Warning: The recap for “Klick,“ the Season 2 finale episode of Better Call Saul, contains storyline and character spoilers.
In which Chuck McGill survives, but Jimmy McGill, attorney, might not.
Flashback: the final days, actually, minutes, of Chuck and Jimmy’s mom, and the brothers are at her hospital bedside. Jimmy thinks they should both stretch their legs and go get a sandwich, but Chuck’s incredulous that he’d want to leave “now.” Jimmy tries to lighten the mood by recalling the story of how he once mistakenly invited two dates to his mom’s surprise birthday party, but Jimmy’s lark was just another example, Chuck points out, of his family being forced to clean up after him. Their mom even had to leave her own celebration to drive one of the girls home.
Restless Jimmy decides to go get that hoagie he’d tried to talk Chuck into, and promises to bring one back for his big brother. The moment Jimmy leaves, stoic Chuck starts to sob, his shoulders shaking, until Mrs. McGill suddenly wakes up. She calls for Jimmy, but Chuck tells her he’s there. She says Jimmy’s name again, and again Chuck tells her he’s there. But just as quickly as she awoke, she goes silent again; Mrs. McGill dies while her Jimmy is getting lunch. When the nurse comes in to turn off the machines, Chuck returns to his stoic state, and he moves to the waiting room. When Jimmy returns and gets the sad news, he asks if his mom woke up, if she said anything, before she died.
“No,” Chuck tells him.
Johnny on the Spot
Back at the copy shop, where Lance the clerk and Ernesto are trying to tend to the fallen Chuck, Jimmy stands panicking across the street, witnessing his brother’s head injury and wondering what he should do. When he sees no one making a call to 911, he runs over, yells at Lance to call an ambulance and give him something to cushion Chuck’s head (Lance grabs a roll of bubble wrap). Jimmy runs around the store turning off all the lights and unplugging all the copy machines, and despite what looked like it could be a fatal conk on his head, Chuck wakes up and is surprised to see Jimmy.
The next thing Chuck sees is the harsh lights of the ER, as he’s being wheeled into the hospital, his neck in a brace. The EMTs and ER personnel are trying to talk to him, and each other, about his injuries and tests they need to perform, and that sets Chuck straight into a panic. He cries, yells, and finally has to be restrained as they mention an EKG, and he tries to tell them about his hypersensitivity to electricity. Meanwhile, Jimmy is talking to Dr. Cruz, the doctor who treated Chuck in Season 1. She tells Jimmy they’re in the same situation, where Chuck is refusing to have certain tests performed, and Jimmy cuts her off, saying he will not commit his brother. He is willing to get a temporary emergency guardianship, though, because Dr. Cruz says she can’t know how extensive his injuries may be without the tests. He asks the doctor to let him tell Chuck about the TEG.
“Well, if it isn’t Johnny on the spot,” Chuck says when Jimmy enters his room. He’s still in a neck brace, and his hands are restrained, and he immediately calls for Ernesto. With Ernie in the room, Chuck asks how long he was on the floor at the copy shop before the ambulance arrived, and Ernie says about 10 minutes. That sets Chuck on a rant, saying the only way Jimmy could have arrived before the ambulance is if he never left; he must have been there bribing Lance to say he had never been there before, Chuck tells him. And he thinks Jimmy stuck around because “you wanted to see me suffer, have a laugh at my expense.”
But Ernie corrects him. He tells Chuck he called Jimmy, because he was worried, and that’s why he was there. Chuck clearly doesn’t believe Ernie, and he’s so angry he orders both of his visitors from his room. Before Jimmy leaves, he tells Chuck about the TEG. “You finally got me where you want me,” Chuck says.
Jimmy sees Ernie in the hallway, and asks why he lied for him. “I didn’t want to say anything, but your brother, the way he’s been talking about you lately, it’s like he’s really out to get you,” Ernie says. “And, I don’t know, you’re my friend.”
Jimmy and Kim are waiting at the hospital for the results of Chuck’s tests, and Jimmy’s commercial comes on TV. It’s pure showmanship, a roundup of his elderly clients, including Mrs. Strauss and Major Fudge, saying “gimme Jimmy” for all their lawyering needs. Given where he is and why he’s there, he cringes a bit when the commercial’s tagline promises he’s “Jimmy McGill… a lawyer you can trust,” and when his telephone number flashes on the screen, he takes his phone out of his pocket and turns it off.
Dr. Cruz comes out with the results of Chuck’s test, and the news is good: no signs of a stroke or cardiac arrest. His heart is strong, she says, and she thinks he essentially had a panic attack. But the chaos and trauma of the ER and the tests have sent Chuck into a state of self-induced catatonia, and Jimmy says he’s not leaving his brother’s side until he comes out of it. Chuck does, 20 hours later, and he assumes Jimmy’s now going to send him to “some insane asylum in Las Cruces… someplace you can really tuck me away for good.” Jimmy tells him the “T” in TEG really did mean temporary to him, and he takes Chuck back to his home. Jimmy fusses over him for a few minutes, before Chuck finally tells him he wants to be left alone after all the poking and prodding he suffered at the hospital. Jimmy agrees to leave, if Chuck agrees to call Ernie. Chuck nods, but right after Jimmy checks out, Chuck, wrapped in a space blanket, goes to his garage. He rummages around the contents — lots of things that run on electricity, of course — until he finds what he was looking for and picks it out of a box with a pair of tongs.
Mike has been scoping out Nacho and Tio’s activities, and after he sees Nacho and Arturo take the Regalo Helado truck driver into the desert, he goes to gun dealer Lawson and purchases a powerful weapon. After practicing his shot with Lawson, he takes the gun into the area where Tio, Nacho, the cousins, and Arturo are with the ice cream driver. He gets into sniper position with the rifle, and watches through the scope as Leonel and Marco kill the driver and Arturo buries him near a small, dilapidated house. At one point, Nacho is standing beside Tio when something far away catches his eye… does he spot Mike and his rifle? Maybe, because Nacho doesn’t leave Tio’s side, perhaps making sure Mike can’t get off a good shot at his enemy?
Mike grows frustrated with the situation, and looks like he might have to resign himself to skipping an assassination attempt for the day, when he hears his car horn start to blare. He takes his gun and slowly, carefully makes his way back to his parking spot, with a pistol drawn, only to find someone has wedged a stick into the steering wheel to make the horn go off. He throws the stick away, and then finds someone has also left him a note and stuck it on his windshield. The message: “DON’T.”
“Stop Trying to Talk Everything Right”
At their shared office, where Jimmy’s commercial has already netted him a waiting room full of clients, a frantic Howard, holding a letter in his hand, asks him via the phone: “I have just one question: Are you behind this?”
The “this” he’s referring to is a letter of resignation from Chuck, which sends Jimmy speeding to Chuck’s house. The locks have been changed, though, so he has to pound on the door, have Chuck tell him to come back later, and pound on the door some more before he can gain entry. Once he does, he finds Chuck in the middle of a home makeover project: He’s taping space blankets all over the walls, to further protect himself from electricity. Chuck says what he really needs is a proper Faraday cage, and the fact that he’s climbed up on a ladder to try to create one alerts Jimmy that he’s not in a good state of mind.
Jimmy finally gets him to take a break, and as they sit on the couch, Jimmy addresses Chuck’s resignation, or retirement, as he’s calling it. “You retired not just from HHM, but from the law? That’s not good, Chuck,” Jimmy says. “I don’t know what you are if you’re not a lawyer.”
Jimmy tries to joke with Chuck, telling him he cant quit the law until he’s gotten him disbarred, and run out of town, because otherwise he’d be the sole McGill practicing law in the area. When that doesn’t work, he asks Chuck if this is all about the Mesa Verde files. He says he didn’t do what Chuck accused him of, but if Chuck really thinks he did it, he should get angry and fight back. Retire for Chuck, Jimmy says, can only come when he’s 99, “giving closing arguments to JudgeBot 3000, which will run on electricity.”
But Jimmy’s charms, once again, are lost on Chuck, who finally admits he feels he’s not up to the job anymore, after transposing those address numbers, and then trying to blame it on Jimmy. “It’s this goddamned electricity!” he says. “It’s wearing me down… it’s wearing my faculties. My brain, my mind, it used to… work. And now it doesn’t anymore. And people got hurt because of me. It’s time to end it.”
Finally overcome with the guilt of what he did, Jimmy confesses. He tells Chuck, “I changed 1261 to 1216. It was me. It all went down exactly like you said, I mean, exactly… it is insane how you got every detail exactly right. So you can relax, OK? ‘Cause that brain of yours is chugging along at 1,000 percent efficiency.”
Chuck asks Jimmy to confirm this is the truth, that he’s not just saying all this to make Chuck feel better.
“I am telling you to make you feel better,” Jimmy tells him. “I sure as hell wouldn’t be telling you otherwise. But yes, it’s the truth.”
Chuck: “You’d go to such lengths to humiliate me?”
Jimmy gets a little angry himself here, telling Chuck he did it for Kim, because she, not him, not Howard, not HHM, earned and deserves the Mesa Verde case. He says he didn’t think Chuck would be this hurt by the situation, expecting he would just say, “Oh, crap, I made a mistake” and go on with his life, “like a normal person… wishful thinking!”
He then has Chuck confirm he isn’t going to retire, and says he’s going off to call Howard and share the news with him.
But first, Chuck has another question. “Jimmy, you do realize you just confessed to a felony?”
Jimmy: “I guess. But you feel better, right? Besides, it’s your word against mine.”
Except, it’s not. That thing Chuck went looking for in his garage? It’s a tape recorder, which he had hidden under some material on the coffee table. When Jimmy leaves the room, Chuck gets up and turns the recorder off.
* Jimmy knows his clientele: hHis office waiting room is stocked with a bowl of individually-wrapped hard candies, and he offers the seniors free coffee and doughnuts.
* Now that Chuck has mentioned it, isn’t it a little bit surprising he doesn’t have a proper, formal Faraday cage?
Let’s hear your feedback, Saul fans: Now that Chuck knows the truth about what Jimmy did with the Mesa Verde files — or rather, can prove what Jimmy did with the Mesa Verde files — what will he do with that information? Does he want to clear his own name so badly he’s willing to send Jimmy to jail? Is it possible anyone other than Nacho left that note on Mike’s car? How will Kim react when she finds out Jimmy confessed to Chuck? And will the McGill brothers’ relationship be damaged beyond repair when Jimmy realizes Chuck tricked him into confessing?