- This article is about the third episode of the first season of Better Call Saul. For the character, see Nacho Varga.
"Nacho" is the third episode of the first season of Better Call Saul and the third episode of the series altogether. Jimmy pulls out all the stops to prove that his dangerous client is innocent, even though it causes some friction with Kim.
Some time in the past, Chuck McGill visits Jimmy in jail where the latter has been arrested for property damage, assault charges and potentially being labeled a sex offender. Jimmy pleads for Chuck to use his magic and make his charges disappear by the use of legal loopholes. Although originally reluctant, Chuck agrees to help him after Jimmy states that if he doesn't get out of his situation his life is over. Chuck warns Jimmy not to make a fool of him if he gets back out and Jimmy vows to change and do anything for Chuck, he'll just have to name it.
In the present, Jimmy is anxious about Nacho's plot to extort Betsy and Craig Kettleman. He calls Kim Wexler, an acquaintance of his who works at Hamlin, Hamlin & McGill, which is providing legal counsel to the Kettlemans. Jimmy indirectly warns Kim about the potential danger to the Kettlemans, but when Kim presses him to know why he thinks that, Jimmy brushes off the claim, telling her he is just drunk and speculating. As he hangs up, he stares at his phone before stating he is "no hero." Later that night, Jimmy calls the Kettlemans from a payphone and leaves an anonymous tip, warning them that they are in danger. Concerned, the Kettlemans look outside their house and see somebody in a parked van watching them.
The next morning, after badgering Bill Oakley into accepting a plea deal, Jimmy receives news from Kim that something has happened to the Kettlemans. He rushes to their house (in the process stiffing Mike at the toll booth by triggering the gate when the latter's back is turned after yet another argument over validation stickers) to find it surrounded by police, and finds out the Kettlemans, including their two children, have gone missing.
Believing that Nacho had kidnapped them, Jimmy uses Nacho's contact number to try and deescalate the situation but only reaches his voice mail. However, while waiting for Nacho's reply, two unknown assailants appear, and Jimmy immediately tries to flee, only for police officers to corner him in an alleyway and arrest him. The assailants catch up and reveal themselves also as police officers acting undercover. After determining Jimmy's identity, the arresting officers tell him that they had picked up Nacho on suspicion of kidnapping the Kettlemans, and Nacho has requested Jimmy as his legal counsel.
The police take Jimmy to the station, where he discusses the case with Nacho. Jimmy tells him that he's in big trouble: eyewitnesses recognize Nacho as the driver of a suspicious-looking van that was parked outside the Kettleman house, and blood was found in the van when the police searched it. However, Nacho maintains his innocence, admitting that he had performed surveillance on the Kettleman home, but did not kidnap them. Nacho warns Jimmy that if he does not get the charges dropped against him the police might uncover his connections to Tuco's criminal organization, which would result in Jimmy's death. Jimmy tries to convince the police that Nacho is innocent, but the police believe that he is covering for his client. Jimmy convinces Kim to take him to the Kettleman house to investigate the crime scene. Jimmy notices some inconsistencies, such as a missing child's doll, and speculates that the Kettlemans staged their kidnapping so they could escape with their stolen money, but the police are still skeptical. Jimmy privately admits to Kim that he warned the Kettlemans about Nacho, and that must be the reason why they went into hiding. However, he has no way to prove his theory.
Upon returning to the courthouse, Jimmy gets into another argument with Mike: because of Jimmy's stunt with the gate, Mike will not allow Jimmy back into the parking lot. Outraged, Jimmy starts a fight with him. Mike blocks Jimmy in one move and effortlessly subdues him, resulting in yet another arrest for Jimmy.
The police ask Mike to press assault charges against Jimmy so that they can leverage him to testify against Nacho. Surprisingly, Mike takes Jimmy's side and refuses to press charges, as he believes his theory about the Kettlemans' disappearance is correct. Mike recounts a similar case he investigated as a Philadelphia police officer, where a suspect faked his disappearance.
The authorities initially believed the suspect fled overseas, but he in fact was hiding near his own home. Mike tells Jimmy he believes the Kettlemans are doing just that, hiding somewhere in the area, since it is human nature to stay near home. With the new lead, Jimmy explores the forest near the Kettlemans' home and finds them camping. Jimmy furiously confronts the Kettlemans in an effort to get them to turn themselves in. When they refuse, they get into a struggle over a duffle bag, which rips open only to reveal $1.5 million dollars in cash, the money the Kettlemans had stolen.
- In the teaser, Chuck McGill drops all of his personal items into a box before visiting Jimmy in jail. This mirrors Jimmy having to drop all of his electronic devices into a mailbox before visiting Chuck due to his Electromagnetic hypersensitivity.
- When Jimmy enters the room with Chuck at the beginning of the episode, he quotes Johnny Carson's "Here's Johnny" intro. At the end of the episode, he quotes "Here's Johnny" once again when he enters the Kettleman's tent, but this time being a clear reference to the movie Shining.
- Jimmy is chased in the alley. This alley scene is similar to the 1992 film Reservoir Dogs.
- When Jimmy is apprehended by the police and taken down, he says he has "bad knees." This is a callback to the time he was kidnapped by Jesse and Walter ("Better Call Saul").
- It is heavily possible that the graffiti mark left in front of Jimmy as he uses Nacho's contact number on the phone booth might be from Jesse Pinkman. This is not only because it has the word "JP" on it, but during the teaser in the Breaking Bad episode Problem Dog, the exact same mark of graffiti is shown behind Jesse.
- Rick Anglada as Albuquerque Police Officer
- William Fogle as Courthouse Lawyer
- "Big Top Jamboree" by Rick Rhodes
- "Find Out What's Happening" by Bobby Bare
- "Payphone Dilemma" by Dave Porter
References to other media
Jimmy makes many references to other media during the series. In this episode, he makes references to:
- DDA Oakley: "I can't do it. Your guy drove drunk into a shopping center and killed three people. "
- Jimmy: "Wait. Shopping center? Desmond Rojas. Armed robbery, liquor store. He assaulted the cashier with a bottle of Kahlua! "
- DDA Oakley: "Oh. I was thinking of Daryl Redwood. Yeah. Okay, my bad. Desmond Rojas. Okay, go, start over. "
- Jimmy: "I'm not starting over! I'm busting my nut here every day for 700 a throw, inhaling your BM, which is straight from Satan's bunghole, and you can't tell one defendant from another? 90 days with good behavior, we're doing this!"
- — Bill Oakley and Jimmy arguing over a plea bargain
- Jimmy: "FINE! FINE! You’re gonna make me walk back and get the stickers?! I will walk back and get the stickers!"
- Mike: "I’m not making you do anything. Those are the rules."
- Jimmy: "Hey, whatever helps you sleep at night. [Jimmy presses the button in the booth which raises the cross arm] SCREW YOU, GEEZER!"
- —Jimmy and Mike arguing about the stickers.
- Jimmy: "Um, um, they're calling the FBI in on this, which makes it federal. That's a bad thing, Nacho. [silence] That's - that's very bad, but if you tell me where the family is, if you give them up now, full cooperation, deep remorse, I feel very good about knocking your sentence down to the minimum, 18 years. [silence] They take this good behavior thing very seriously, so start here, right here. Tell me the family is okay. Tell me the kids are okay. [silence] You want to tell me your thoughts and weigh in? Does this sound like a plan that you can get behind? "
- Nacho: "You miserable piece of shit. You set me up."
- —Jimmy and Nacho in conference
- Nacho: "The cops are out there right now, poking into my business, and if they find something on me or my partners, for real, it’s gonna be bad for you – really bad."
- Jimmy: "Bad? Bad as in?"
- Nacho: "You get me out of here today... or you’re a dead man."
- —Nacho threatening Jimmy.
- Jimmy: "I called the Kettlemans. After I hung up with you, I gave them a warning call."
- Kim: " A warning call? "
- Jimmy: "Yeah, I was worried my guy Varga was going after their money. And he was. He was gonna rip them off. I deduced it from a conversation that we had. It was lawyer to client, so there was, you know, confidentiality issues. But I called the Kettlemans anonymously to warn them. "
- Kim: "Anonymously? You didn't - Oh, God, you didn't - You didn't do the sex robot voice, did you?"
- — Jimmy explaining to Kim about his anonymous warning to the Kettlemans
- Mike: "All right, I believe you."
- Jimmy: "I knew it! I knew it! Finally, someone believes me! Why do you believe me?"
- —Mike and Jimmy about Jimmy's theory on the Kettleman's kidnapping.
- Jimmy: "But...but why? Why not run?"
- Mike: "That's what everyone expects. It's human nature to want to stay close to home. And if this Kettleman figured out how to do it, that's what he did. Nobody wants to leave home."
- —Jimmy and Mike about Jimmy's theory on the Kettleman's kidnapping.