Hit and Run
In typical Vince Gilligan style, episode 4 of Better Call Saul, titled “Hit and Run”, starts with an elaborate sequence that is just random stuff. At least, that is what it seems. But like always, there is a purpose behind it. A couple cycles through a suburban neighborhood. After the ride, they come home… but they aren’t alone.
Burly men with guns and monitors mapping every inch of the streets sit along with them.
It is actually Gustavo Fring’s plan to look out for any attacks by Lalo. He knows that Lalo is alive and will come for him. There is a tunnel that leads from under Gustavo’s house to this couple’s house where he can avoid any attempts by the Salamancas for retaliation.
Kim and Saul’s plan for Howard Hamlin goes something like this: Howard has a limited appointment with a psychiatrist. While his car is parked downstairs, Jimmy, dressed and looking like (scarily alike) Howard, will use the duped keys to take it to a motel.
There, he will pick up a prostitute, pay her money, and take her to a place. What place, you ask? Right in front of a restaurant where Kim has invited Clifford Maine to have coffee and discuss her charitable efforts. Saul will then throw said prostitute out of the car and drive away. The plan goes perfectly, albeit with some improvisations. It is a win-win for both as Cliff is also seriously considering Kim’s sincere proposal, which was again, not part of the plan.
Saul goes to the courthouse the next day. The setup is the exact same as the one we saw in season one. In fact, it is so similar that you are almost deceived into thinking that it is a flashback. Only this time around, no one gives Saul respect. He is treated like an outsider because of what he did with Salamanca. The court staff, lawyers, and all associated entities feel that Saul scammed the court and the judge by allowing a serial murderer like Lalo to walk scot-free.
But that does not deter clients from coming to Saul. They swarm in bunches to get protection from the lawyer who was able to get Lalo Salamanca to walk free. Mrs. Ngyuyen bars Saul from using her back office as the crowd is too much. Kim notices a car following her. She confronts them but they walk away. It is here that for the first time she meets Mike. He explains to her that Lalo is not dead yet and Gus is making sure that they have eyes on all the people whom Lalo can contact. This leaves her with a burden but she does not tell Saul – yet.
The Episode Review
Compared to the previous episodes, “Hit and Run” has less peculiarity and more narrative build-up. The creators manage to get the balance among the characters right, never keeping the audience out of the loop of what’s going on. The style of storytelling allows the interaction between us and them to be more confronting in nature. This creative choice is found in several of the scenes in the episode.
There was a classy throwback to one of the first times we see Saul Goodman work his magic over people. His gift of the gab and slick style that first appeared in season one doesn’t quite work here – but not really because of his own fault. Gilligan is definitely finding the right footing to prepare the avid fans for the final goodbye. I am expecting a lot of similar throwbacks to the earlier season for the show to come full circle.
The delightful, carefully patient energy of Gilligan’s detailing make even the most mundane things special. “Hit and Run” seems to be directed more by Kim than Rhea Seehorn. Her character’s temperament is found in the tonality of how she brings the episode to life. But it fits in well in the Better Call Saul universe of episodes.