Better Call Saul Season 6, Episode 5 Recap: Boxing Barristers!

Got all that? 

Jimmy’s impersonation of Howard and gonzo performance art with Wendy the prostitute was convincing enough that Cliff confronts Howard after the meeting about his alleged drug problem. It takes Howard about 30 seconds to piece together what’s happening. “I do have a problem, just not the problem you think. I have a Jimmy McGill problem,” he huffs to Cliff, before calling his assistant and telling her, “Cancel my week.”

So now Jimmy and Kim have a crazed drug lord and a hyperactive law partner coming for them.

Next we have a fun little fan-service scene where Saul Goodman’s trusty secretary, Francesca Liddy, shows up for her first day of work at the toilet room and almost walks. Jimmy has to bribe her, basically, and then she demands a say in the decor. Cute.

And the lore just keeps on coming. Who is this nice woman eating lunch with Kim? Why, it’s Viola Goto, of course, Kim’s paralegal from Mesa Verde. The ostensible purpose of the meeting is for Kim to apologize to Viola for leaving her in the lurch at Schweikart & Cokely, but really she’s fishing for information—specifically, the identity of the judge handling the Sandpiper case. Which Viola obligingly coughs up just before shaming Kim by telling her what an inspiration her decision to go totally pro-bono was. Oh, well!

Now here comes one of those semi-brilliant, semi-absurd set pieces that you can imagine a writer’s room deciding to go ahead with because, hey, it’s the last season and why the hell not? Howard lures Jimmy to [checks notes, confirms this wasn’t a hallucination from drinking coffee laced with bullet lead] an empty boxing ring and invites him to get all his aggression out once and for all, if that’s possible. Yeah, that really happened.

Jimmy almost walks away, but then decides to enact his own personal Rocky Balboa fantasy after all. For a minute, it looks like Jimmy will get the better of Howard, but then Howard knocks him flat. Afterward, Howard huddles with some kind of private eye (I’m sure this person has some significance in the Breaking Bad Cinematic Universe but, honestly, I’m so tired of googling, guys) and instructs him to tail Jimmy for a week and record all his movements and interactions. So I guess the pragmatic purpose of staging this brawl between bulging barristers was to lure Jimmy and set up a tail on him.

Kim’s ripping another butt on the balcony when Jimmy slinks home. Back in the apartment, he’s desperately experimenting with eye-makeup solutions to hide his shiner, but Kim, as usual, is all “S’all good, man” about it. She fills Jimmy in on the intel she gathered from Viola, and goes to grab a photo of the new Sandpiper judge. From Jimmy’s reaction (“Love the ‘stache—that’s a lot less face to worry about”), we can infer that they’re planning to impersonate the guy. And from Kim’s reaction when Jimmy kicks himself for letting Howard suck him into his game (“You had your reasons…because you know what’s coming next”), we have to at least wonder if she and Jimmy wanted to be caught pulling the stunt with Wendy and the NAMAST3 Jag. As Howard said to Jimmy before the clash of the crepuscular counselors, “You didn’t even try to cover your tracks!”

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