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Mabel

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"Mabel" is the first episode of the third season of Better Call Saul and the twenty-first episode of the series altogether.

Summary

Teaser

In present-day Omaha, "Gene" carries on with his job at the local Cinnabon. During a lunch break, Gene sees a shoplifter hide inside a photo booth. He reluctantly tips off pursuing police officers to the shoplifter's location, resulting in an arrest. However, as the shoplifter is led away, Gene is overcome with emotion and shouts at him to say nothing and hire a lawyer. When he returns to work, Gene faints.

Act I

BCS 3x01 04

Following Jimmy's confession to forging the Mesa Verde documents, Chuck hides the tape recorder in a desk drawer while Jimmy phones Howard. When he returns, Jimmy helps Chuck remove the foil covering his living room. When Jimmy finds an old copy of The Adventures of Mabel -- a book Chuck read to him when he was young -- the two brothers briefly reminisce about their childhood. However, Chuck cuts the nostalgia short and tells Jimmy that he will neither forgive nor forget what he has done. "And you will pay!" Chuck states firmly.

Jimmy returns to Wexler McGill to give Kim an update on Chuck, and remarks that he had forgotten what it felt like to have his brother not hate him. Meanwhile, Chuck invites Howard to his house and plays him the tape of Jimmy's confession. While Howard is livid, he reminds Chuck that the tape cannot be legally used as evidence against Jimmy, nor can it be used to win Mesa Verde back to HHM. Chuck suggests that he has something else in mind.

Act II

After finding the mysterious message on his windshield in the desert, Mike understands that his hit on Hector has been completely compromised and Mike himself is most likely in danger. He drives at break-neck speeds to flee the reserve in his station wagon. His first intuition is that someone has placed a tracking device on his vehicle. Not easily able to spot it, he stops in a junkyard and begins to meticulously disassemble the vehicle. After hours of unsuccessful searching with the junkyard about to close, Mike has an epiphany: he takes apart the wagon's fuel cap and finds a tracking device inside. At home, he finds and examines another device hidden in his Chrysler sedan, recording its ID number. Mike contacts Caldera and tasks him with finding information about the device.

Act III

BCS 3x01 08

At WM, Captain Bauer shows up and angrily confronts Jimmy about fraudulently gaining access to his airbase to shoot his commercial. After momentarily cracking, Jimmy defiantly refuses Bauer's demand to take it off the air. Bauer warns Jimmy that smart little guys like him, who do not play straight, always end up paying. Before leaving WM, he yells at Jimmy's other clients: "A lawyer you can trust, my ass!"

Night at the parking booth. Mike is working his regular shift, until he is convinced that he is not being watched. Quietly shutting down the booth, Mike covertly removes the bugged fuel cap from his Chrysler and hides it in one of the overpass pylons. Confident that his tail has been shaken, Mike drives off into the night.

Act III

At a railway warehouse, Mike meets up with Caldera, who is upset about being called in the middle of the night. Mike requests a tracking device and monitor identical to the one used to bug his vehicle. Caldera agrees, but warns Mike he will need time and extra money for this job. He also admonishes Mike to keep to "business hours" when contacting him.

BCS 3x01 09

At Mesa Verde, Kim presents the updated paperwork to Paige, who praises her instantly on the quality of the documents. After hearing Paige's disgust at Chuck's "incompetence" and arrogance, however, a conflicted Kim asks to hang onto the corrected Mesa Verde documents for one more night. Visibly struggling with her professional ethics, Kim obsesses over a single punctuation mark on her final report to Mesa Verde, reluctant to submit it and profit from Jimmy's fraud.

Act IV

During a visit to Chuck's house, Ernesto brings Chuck in addition to the ususal products and groceries new batteries for the tape Recorder at his request. Feigning not to be able to change the batteries due to his medical condition, he asks Ernesto to do so. The moment Ernesto finishes changing the batteries, the tape Recorder plays back a small section of Jimmy's confession -- it seems that the play button had accidentally been left on. The passage is sufficiently explicit for Ernesto to grasp the gravity of what he has just heard. Chuck pressures Ernesto to never tell anyone on the pretext of confidentiality. Destabilized, Ernesto hastenes to finish putting away the groceries. Chuck seems pleased to have managed what appears to be the first step in his machiavellian plan against Jimmy.

At Mike's home, Mike has begun his own move against the owner of the tracking device in his Chrysler. Having obtained his replacement tracking device from Caldera, Mike switches the original device in the Chrysler with his own, and then proceeds to drain the original's battery by wiring it to a transistor radio, while Mike waits next to his window. Eventually, someone arrives to replace the "drained" tracker with a fresh one, unwittingly giving Mike the means to follow them. After arming himself and removing the fuel cap containing the newly-planted tracker from his Chrysler, Mike drives into the night and begins his pursuit.

Credits

Co-Starring

Uncredited

  • Richard Beal as Shopper

Official Photos

Trivia

  • Jimmy's elderly female client, when listing flowers, includes Lily of the Valley, the plant Walt used to poison Brock in Breaking Bad.
  • A shot of Mike hiding the tracker on his car before going for a drive directly mirrors a similar shot of Gus doing the same in Season 4 of Breaking Bad.
  • Another scene directly mirroring Breaking Bad is when "Gene" faints in the teaser similar to Walter White fainting in Pilot.
  • The episode is dedicated to Eric Jutsen. He worked as a re-recording mixer on all seasons of Breaking Bad and passed away on August 11, 2016, just two weeks shy of his 44th birthday. Along with frequent collaborator Jeffrey Perkins and Darryl L. Frank, he shared three consecutive Emmy nominations for Outstanding Sound Mixing for the show’s final three seasons. They and others also earned Cinema Audio Society Award noms for those same seasons of the show, and Justen was part of the team that won the 2014 Motion Picture Sound Editors Award for Best Sound Editing – Short Form Sound Effects and Foley in Television.

Memorable Quotes

"Say nothing, you understand? Get a lawyer-get a lawyer!"
―Gene shouting at the shoplifter.

"Jimmy, don't think I'll ever forget what happened here today. And you WILL pay."
―Chuck cutting short of nostalgia for his brother.

Kim: "Are you mad?"
Jimmy: "I'm not mad, I'm just thinking about things. For 10 minutes today Chuck didn't hate me. I forgot what that felt like."
—Kim and Jimmy in their offices.

"I don't even know where to begin. But yes, I believe you. Your brother is one world-class son of a bitch. No offense."
―Howard, reacting to hearing the tape of Jimmy's confession.

Howard: "Chuck, if that tape is useless in a court of law, and no help in the court of public opinion, what's the point? Because I can't think of a single use for it."
Chuck: "I can."
—Howard and Chuck discussing Jimmy's confession.

Jimmy: "I'm a lawyer, and this is what I do all day, every day, so how about this: I won't fly jet planes, you stay out of court. Does that sound good?"
Bauer: "You know, guys like you... you think you're so damn smart. And you think you don't have to play straight with anybody. The wheel is gonna turn. It always does."
—Jimmy and Bauer arguing about the TV commercial.

""A lawyer you can trust", my ass!"
―Bauer yelling at Jimmy's other clients.

Featured Music

  • "Sugar Town" by Nancy Sinatra (Played during the "Gene" montage at the beginning of the episode.)
  • "Can't Leave the Night" by BadBadNotGood
  • "Memory" by Morrie Morrison Orchestra
  • "Hurry Sundown" by Little Richard
  • "Alfonso Muskedunder" by Todd Terje