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Sunk Costs

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

Summary

Teaser

Across the border in Mexico, a Los Pollos Hermanos truck drives towards an intersection. An old pair of Sneakers are seen hanging from the power line over the road. After the truck leaves, the laces snap and the shoes fall onto the road.

Act I

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Back on the desert road, Mike answers the phone call -- it's Gustavo Fring, telling him to expect two cars "momentarily". A pair of black SUVs approach from opposite directions -- Victor arrives in the Escalade, while Gus and Tyrus Kitt arrive in the other car. Mike holds up the note he found on his windshield ("Klick") and asks Gus to elaborate. "It's not in my interest for Hector Salamanca to die at this time" Gus explains. But he will look the other way if Mike robs another one of Hector's trucks. Mike realizes that Gus is Hector's competitor and wants to undermine his supply line. Mike, still harboring a vendetta against Hector, implies to Gus that he has his own plan.

Meanwhile, Jimmy contacts Francesca and tells her to clear his schedule. He sits down on the curb outside Chuck's house, waiting to be arrested for his break-in. Chuck approaches to tell Jimmy he's pressing charges against him for his own good. "You won't want to hear it, but this is for the best. You'll come out the other side a better man" he says. In response, Jimmy coldly tells him that some time in the future, Chuck will get sick again and that no one will be around when he dies alone.

While Jimmy is booked, photographed and fingerprinted, DDA Bill Oakley shows up to gloat at his misfortune. "How the mighty have fallen" he laughs. Jimmy spends the night in jail.

Act II

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The following morning, Kim wakes up in her office and goes to the gym across the street to change clothes and freshen up. When she returns, she encounters Ernesto, who tells her that Chuck has fired him and that Jimmy was arrested.

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During his arraignment, Jimmy pleads not guilty. Kim bursts into the courtroom to be Jimmy's attorney, but he vehemently refuses and insists he will represent himself in the case. Upon securing bail, Jimmy takes a taxi back to Wexler McGill, where he tells Kim that he wants to deal with the consequences of his actions himself. He doesn't want to involve her in his mess when she has Mesa Verde to worry about.

Meanwhile, in Mexico, Mike visits Gus's physician, Barry Goodman, and receives a small package, which he places in the trunk of his car next to his sniper rifle.

Act III

At the courthouse, Jimmy Shows up with a burger and fries and meets Bill Oakley sitting in the hall, chatting him up about his case. Oakley tells him that he's not handling the case and that the whole Albuquerque DA's office has been "conflicted out" because they all know Jimmy too well; a prosecutor from Belen named Kyra Hay has been brought in.

Back in Mexico, Mike drives to the intersection we saw in the teaser and tosses a new pair of shoes - also the pair the from the teaser - onto the power line.

Hay visits Chuck for a pre-trial interview and Chuck assures her he'll testify in court, despite his ailments. While Hay asserts that she will not let Jimmy off easy during his trial, Chuck becomes emotional. He tells Hay that Jimmy has a good heart and wonders if, rather than throwing his brother in jail, there might be a "better solution for everyone."

Act IV

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Later, from a sniper's nest, Mike sees one of Hector's trucks stop at the intersection and its occupants leave guns at a dead drop. Mike fires his rifle several times into the air, which the drug runners eventually assume is from a hunter nearby. As they leave, Mike shoots the shoes, spraying cocaine -- collected earlier during his visit with Dr. Goodman -- on the truck's roof and rear bumper. When the drug runners reach the border, they are arrested after a drug sniffing dog detects the cocaine.

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Meanwhile, Jimmy informs Kim that Hay, at Chuck's behest, has offered him pre-prosecution diversion, which means that Jimmy can avoid jailtime if he joins a rehabilitation program to help remedy the behavior leading to his arrest. In exchange, Jimmy is expected to confess to the fellonies and submit his written confession immediately to the New Mexico Bar Association, which will likely result in him getting disbarred. Jimmy laments that Chuck has him "boxed in", because he'll be disbarred if he confesses, and if he takes it to trial and loses, he'll face the bar anyways plus jail time, most likely. Kim takes Jimmy's hand and convinces him to let her stand by him to get around Chuck's scheme. Jimmy finally agrees and says that he'll "take that PPD and shove it right up Chuck's ass".

Credits

Co-Starring

  • Simon Drobik as Arresting Officer
  • Kyle T. Cowan as Gym Guy
  • Christopher Alvarenga as Truck Driver
  • Mariano Mendoza as Truck Guard
  • Carmen Dahlman as Clínica Assistant
  • Diana Navarrete as Patient's Mom
  • Adrian Lopez as Patient

Uncredited

  • Gregory Paul Valdez as Lawyer

Official Photos

Trivia

  • The background music that plays as the truck is being searched by the Border Patrol is an offshoot of the music that played during the Border Patrol scene in the opening of Season Two episode "Fifi" ("Border Crossing" by Dave Porter.)
  • In the epilogue, Kim refers to the same "Fallacy of Sunk Cost" model that Jimmy used to explain his actions in ("Switch").
  • This episode marks the earliest chronological appearance of Tyrus Kitt and Barry Goodman, who first appeared in Breaking Bad.
  • Jimmy's case number is CR-2003113081. It can be deduced that this episode takes place in 2003, perhaps in November.

Memorable Quotes

Mike: "Wait. You want his trucks hit because you want to disrupt his supply line. Hector's your competition."
Gus: "Why do you ask?"
Mike: "Because I'm not done with Hector Salamanca."
—Mike and Gustavo agreeing on a plan to disrupt Hector Salamanca's smuggling operation.

Chuck: "Here's what's going to happen. The police will arrest you and I'm sorry, but I will be pressing charges. I told you there would be consequences. But I have to believe you'll face those consequences and you'll come out the other side a better man. I know it's hard to see right now. But Jimmy, this is an opportunity. That's why I'm doing this. Not to punish you. To show you... truly show you, that you have to make a change. Before it's too late. Before you destroy yourself. Or someone else. And I believe you can change. You'll find your path. And when you're ready... I will be there to help you walk that path."
Jimmy: "Here's what's gonna happen. One day, you're gonna get sick again. One of your employees is gonna find you, curled up in that space-blanket, take you to the hospital, hook you up to those machines that beep and whir and hurt. And this time, it'll be too much. And you will die there. Alone."
—Break point in the relationship between Jimmy and Chuck.

Jimmy: "I fucked up. Chuck bamboozled me, again. That tape? He made sure that Ernie heard it, right? 'Cause he knew Ernie, bless him, would tell me about it and I would come over, try destroy it or steal it or whatever. Howard was there, and a P.I. If you can believe that? Just wainting for me to lose my shit and bust in. Chuck played me like a fiddle, and schmuck that I am, I fell for it. Moron. I'm sorry. I didn't call you, which is stupid, and I'm sorry about that to. But I didn't call you for a reason, okay? 'Cause this is my screw-up. I own it, okay? It's my responsability to fix it. I know you wanna help, of course you do, 'cause you're wonderful. But... you're up to your ears in Mesa Verde, and I can't, I won't, load this onto you too. We have work too hard to let Chuck's bullshit vendetta threaten everything we're building. I won't allow him to endanger our business, no. I will fix this. Myself, me, Jimmy McGill, okay? You have gotta let me do this on my own."
Kim: "Okay"
Jimmy: "Thank you."
—Jimmy explaining what happened with Chuck to Kim.

Featured Music

  • "Hurry Sundown" by Peter, Paul and Mary, performed by Little Richard (played during Jimmy's arrest and booking process)
  • "Alfonso Muskedunder" by Todd Terje (played during Kim's morning routine montage)