Although Better Call Saul is technically a spinoff of AMC's acclaimed series Breaking Bad , connections between the two series have been (wisely) kept to a few subtle references, rather than parading Walter White and Jesse Pinkman through a parade of buzzy cameos. In fact, other than the titular character, Better Call Saul 's only overt tie to Breaking Bad is Mike Ehrmantraut. But while the spinoff started as a show about Jimmy McGill with supporting appearances by Mike, has now — by Season 2 — officially turned into the parallel origin stories of both Jimmy and Mike, with the latter as much of a main character as the former… and that's never been more apparent than it was during this Monday's episode, "Amarillo."
Although both Jimmy and Mike appeared in the episode and had sizable plots, neither of them interacted at all with the other. While Jimmy is off on his (mis)adventures with David & Main, Mike is holding his own in a totally independent, equally important storyline. "Amarillo" took the time to check in with the character of Mike's daughter-in-law Stacey and her daughter Kaylee for the first time since Season 1's penultimate episode, "Pimento." Sadly, things aren't looking too good for the wife of Mike's dead son.
Things seemed perilous for Stacey and Kaylee when the young mother told Mike that she'd heard gunshots outside their home the past two nights in a row. So when Stacey declined Mike's offer to sleep over, he decided to sleep outside in his car just to keep an eye on things. And although he was momentarily startled by the sound of a delivery man dropping newspapers on the pavement, there was no sign of gunplay… or anything remotely suspect.
That made it all the more strange when Stacey called him over a bit later in the morning in a panic, claiming once again that she'd heard gunshots, even pointing out what she claimed was a scrape made by a bullet in the side of her garage. Sensing her distress, Mike told her he believed her (even though he knew no guns had been fired) and telling Stacey that he would move her and Kaylee into a new house in a new neighborhood. Suddenly this whole situation is a lot more interesting. Is Stacey deliberately lying to Mike in order to leverage a new home out of her father-in-law? Or is the young woman going off the deep end and simply imagining things that aren't really there? Which possibility is worse?
Regardless of what's going on in Stacey's head, her sudden desire to move means that Mike needs an influx of cash, stat. So he goes to his veterinarian friend to see what jobs there might be for a "cleaner" like him. Although a measly $200 bodyguard gig seems like the best offer on the table, the vet calls him up later with a new job posting: a mysterious benefactor who needs a job done that is, quote-unquote, "next level" stuff. Making things even more mysterious is the fact that this benefactor has specifically requested Mike by name.
Who is this mystery person? In the final moments of the episode, we meet Mike's new boss: Ignacio "Nacho" Varga, who simply tells the cleaner that he needs Mike to "get rid of somebody." Who does Nacho need to get rid of? Is it Pryce, the hapless drug dealer who almost embroiled the wannabe kingpin in a police investigation last week? Is it Tuco Salamanca, Nacho's boss and the Season 1/2 villain of Breaking Bad? Someone else entirely? And, more importantly, will Mike — who earlier in the episode had insisted to the vet that he wasn't even willing to break bones — be able to bring himself to commit murder just to help Stacey buy a new house? We'll find out next week, I guess.
Images: Ursula Coyote/AMC (3)