Title: Better Call Saul, Season 5 Episode 4 – “Namaste”
Release Date: March 9, 2020
Genre: Crime Drama
Namaste is a greeting commonly used by people belonging to Indian-originated religions. Still, in the case of the fourth episode of Better Call Saul‘s fifth season, there’s little in the way of kind greeting. Much the opposite.
DEA agent Hank Schrader and his buddy, Steven Gomez, are cracking down on the dead drops, aided by Krazy-8 from the last episode. While they don’t capture the perp who is taking from these drops, they do take in the drops themselves. Oddly enough, despite their serious material, it is these scenes that provide the most fun this episode. Hank and Gomez’s usual banter is a welcome addition to Better Call Saul and offers plenty of great moments for those who loved the pair in Breaking Bad.
In a rather odd manner, the car-chase scene is spliced up between the chase itself and Gus Fring, getting a worker at his restaurant to clean the fryer until it is “acceptable.” It’s an odd but strangely intriguing scene that emphasizes Fring’s perfectionism in a way that many of his other scenes don’t. But one can’t help but feel that it was an attempt by the writers and director to be pretentiously artsy.
Meanwhile, Jimmy/Saul is still at his business – and still manages to steal every scene he’s in. The conman lawyer is first seen attempting to convince two hoodlums to settle on a $4,000 fee for his services. Though initially reluctant, a quick trick from the fast-talking conman ensures that they decide on the payment, once they realize nobody else could get them off in the way Saul could.
A later scene has Jimmy defend one of his clients in the courtroom. The witness is sure that the defendant sitting at the front of the courtroom is responsible for a recent break-in. However, Jimmy reveals that he is, in fact, wrong as he points out to the real defendant sitting in the back-row. This makes for the most laugh-out-loud scene in the entire episode as it just comes so out of the blue that you don’t expect it. Hank is witty with his banter, sure, but Bob Odenkirk/Saul still maintains the comedic chops to keep things going in Better Call Saul.
Incredibly though, Saul also manages to get the elusive Mr. Ackers on his side in a way that Kim couldn’t last episode. Kim asks Jimmy to represent the disgruntled senior in court to defend him against the wrath of Mesa Verde, who desperately wants to boot him off his land in order to start up a call center in its place. Although suspicious of Jimmy at first, it doesn’t take too long for him to come around to his aid – particularly when Saul shows him a picture of a man having sex with a horse (he explains that he’s the man doing the horse and the horse is the people trying to screw Ackler).
Back to the brooding mind of Mike Ehrmantraut, we find the seasoned killer attempting to make amends with his daughter after shouting at his granddaughter two episodes prior. While the rage was brought on by Mike’s guilt over killing Werner, his daughter, Stacey, doesn’t know anything about his burdens. She, therefore, as politely as possible, rebuffs Mike’s attempts to reconcile with his granddaughter and sends him on his miserable way. However, on the way back, Mike encounters the same group of thugs that we saw in the last episode – and, in the act of revenge, they beat the living stuff out of him. He wakes up in a mysterious location, with no idea where he is. Mike is definitely alive (well, he has to make it to Breaking Bad, no?), but we won’t know where he’s gotten to until next episode. Could Gus have saved him in an attempt to coerce the man into coming back to work for him? At this point, it doesn’t seem like Mike has a lot else to live for, and Frings needs somebody trustworthy by his side after the DEA gets their hands on a bucketload of his dirty cash…
But speaking of cash, Howard Hamlin has some to offer Jimmy. Over dinner, the pair discuss the possibility of Jimmy working for HMM again. Hamlin is eager to employ Jimmy because of his seemingly natural talents, but Jimmy firmly declines. Jimmy considers his ‘Jimmy McGill’ self a thing of the past. Saul Goodman has taken over, “the righter of wrongs, the friend of the friendless,” as Jimmy excitedly describes him. Jimmy McGill is fading away, with Saul Goodman slowly taking over bit by bit.
Verdict: This season’s fourth episode is thrilling and offers some intriguing insight into the characters of Jimmy McGill and Gus Fring, and it’ll be highly interesting to see how Saul tackles the Ackler case. Look out for some laughs among the well-written drama of Better Call Saul.
- Funny comedy from Jimmy McGill and Hank Schrader to ease dramatic tension of episode
- Hank's ongoing involvement in the story raises the stakes of the Gus Fring plotline
- Where is Lalo and Nacho in this episode?
- Mike's storyline is boring