Nicole Wilder / AMC / Sony Pictures Television

Better Call Saul Causes Kim To Consider Her Future

Jimmy's dream of reviving Wexler-McGill runs up against Kim's pragmatism in our EPIC OLD-SCHOOL RECAP of 'Pinata.'

Where last week's cold open catapulted us into Saul's future, this one sends us into Jimmy's past: he's wheeling his mail cart around HHM and kibitzing with the cubicle personnel as he collects their cash and Oscar pool ballots. One woman named Clara has voted a straight Howards End ticket, so (a) it's 1993, and (b) I admire her passion, if not her strategy. "I just love Emma Thompson," she effuses. "Who doesn't?" says Jimmy amiably. "She's so pragmatic!" Clara adds. WHAT A STRANGE THING TO ADMIRE, OH WELL PROBABLY DOESN'T MEAN ANYTHING. At a hallway junction, Jimmy crosses paths with Kim, who at this point in her career is pushing a cart as well; she's also helping Jimmy collect ballots and money, and hands over everything she's picked up from the second floor -- including from an apparently notorious holdout named Chloe. Jimmy's about to go to the third when she tells him she's already done it. "You know you're making the rest of us look bad," Jimmy jokes. Kim notes that he doesn't have to stop at every cubicle to chat, but Jimmy says, "It's called being friendly? It's great for morale?" "It is great for wasting time," she shoots back. She's so pragmatic. Jimmy doesn't disagree; Kim reminds him that discovery on the Cordero case is coming in, so he should get on the stick. Before Jimmy can answer...

...they hear applause coming from a far corner of the office, which Chuck comes out to wave off, modestly. "He really did it," says Kim. Jimmy apparently cares less about ongoing litigation than he does about the Oscar pool, because he has no idea what Chuck did, and Kim has to walk him through in such stultifyingly dull detail that Jimmy has to implore her to speed it up. The case is Isaacson vs. Vikarian Holdings, Inc. HHM represented the Isaacsons, the patriarch of which family has died. His survivors found shares of a company he had invested in; it had seemingly been dissolved, rendering his shares worthless. Chuck proved that the corporation had just reconstituted itself under a new name, and thus got the Isaacson heirs their money, thanks to obscure case law. "That's...good," says Jimmy, responding less to Kim's boring story than to her excitement. When Chuck comes toward them, Kim straightens up to congratulate him and kiss a little partner ass. Chuck needs to be reminded of Kim's name, but he recognizes her as one of the firm's law students; she confirms that she's in her third year at UNM, "thanks to HHM." After brief pleasantries, Chuck clearly wants to move on, and can't quite hide a grimace when Kim stops him to ask whether Vikarian Holdings would have also been liable under some other piece of obscure case law; Chuck says they looked into it, and rewards Kim's citation of the specific case with a (slightly patronizing) smile. Jimmy then tries to get in on this brown-nose-a-thon -- "Sounds like it was Isaacson v. Chuck Handing Him His Butt On A Platter" -- at which Chuck tightly tells him Isaacson was their client. "Oh, really, okay," says Jimmy. "The other guys' butts, then." "Served on platters, that's right, thanks Jimmy," says Chuck through a clenched grin. Fortunately for Chuck, Howard comes around the corner behind him at this point to invite him to a meeting in his office with "Mr. Bushmills."


As Kim looks longingly after the clot of men (and one woman) as they repair to the whiskeytorium, Jimmy mopily reads her thoughts: "That'll be you soon." "Yep," Kim nods, not sounding like she believes it, before briskly getting back to her mail rounds -- leaving Jimmy, at first, planted in place, and then headed in the opposite direction, running his extracurricular game. "Last call for ballots," he warns the office at large, before wheeling his cart past the imposing wooden doors of the library, framed by walls of HHM blue. He's about to turn down another hallway and then stops, looks back at the doors, leaves his cart, gives a quick check over his shoulder, and lets himself in.

After the credits shot -- a phone book, fallen open to a full-page Saul Goodman ad in the Yellow Pages, dangling under a pay phone in the middle of nowhere -- we're with Kim, after dark, working on a stool at the kitchen counter (which has GOT to be murder on her back: spare a thought to ergonomics, Kim, you're not a kid anymore!!!). She's narrating notes into a tape recorder for Viola to follow up on -- all Mesa Verde-related, though her eye keeps getting drawn to the enticing stack of PD cases she's unwisely set too close by. Given that the brief she and Viola are working on involves getting an exemption to sign code restrictions for a piece of (alleged) art at one of the Mesa Verde locations, it's no wonder she bores herself while talking and can't help flipping open the PD case on top of the pile, the accused gazing out grimly at her from his mug shot. Finally, she snaps herself out of it by directing Viola to the presumably obscure case law she thinks will put her brief over, dropping an especially thick Mesa Verde folder on top of the possible perp, and calling it a night.

In the bedroom, Kim takes a moment to smile fondly at Jimmy, who's fallen asleep with his scratch pad on his chest. But when she picks it up, her face falls. The first page is a bunch of different treatments for what they might call their revived partnership: every iteration of her side has her practicing "Banking Law," while he's trying out all kind of different specialties on his -- immigration law, gaming law, intellectual property law, among others. What Kim sees when she flips to the next page is even more tragic.


My man's been drawing logos. And they're corny as hell. Kim looks from the pad to Jimmy and tries not to stress-barf.

The next morning, Jimmy's got the juicer going when Kim comes out of the bedroom and, not surprisingly, declines a glass of freshly squeezed room-temperature orange, opting for coffee instead. Jimmy comments that he didn't hear her come to bed the night before, and Kim tells him she was up "justifying a giant horse statue to the Park City zoning department." After a joke about the shortcomings for which the enormous statue might be compensating -- not her best -- Kim goes into cross-examination mode, starting with an easy one about Jimmy's hours at the store. Jimmy tells her he's on 9-4 every weekday: "The busy time." She looks up at this, hopeful on his behalf, but he dourly tells her the store is "deader than disco." Man, no one is busting out their good material today! "Does that mean you were able to schedule an appointment with the therapist?" Kim asks, trapping him, and deliberately not looking at him as she does so. After a long beat, Jimmy replies, "I decided go." Kim briefly meets his eye at this, and then quietly just says, "Oh. Um. Okay," nodding stiffly. Jimmy exhales, seeming to know there's going to be more -- and there is, Kim adding, "I thought you already decided to go." Jimmy agrees that he did, but as time went by, he "calmed down" and "realized it's not for" him. "Why not," says Kim curtly. Jimmy grimaces before lamely replying, "It's just not. I don't think that navel-gazing is gonna get me where I need to be." Before Kim can get a whole sentence out in response, Jimmy fields the question of how he can know before he tries: "It just doesn't feel right. I need to be moving forward. You know? And now I got this job, and I'm kind of on a path, and, uh, I just wanna give this a try. Is that okay?" Kim cocks her head, a little surprised, and says, "Sure. Yeah. Of course, Jimmy." He grips her shoulder as he says he knows she wanted him to go, but she shakes her head, saying he has to do what's best for him. And then it's time for him to open the store, though first he gives the briefest glance at the aquarium and suggests, "Sushi tonight?" lol COLD. Kim says that sounds great. Jimmy grabs his keys and heartbreaking legal pad and embarks upon his day, leaving Kim alone to ponder her next move.


Turns out Kim's next move is to Schweikart & Cokely! She's so pragmatic. Schweikart himself ushers Kim into his office, where there's some pro forma chitchat about how overdue this meeting is, given her having referred Gatwood to him; and about her cast; aaaaand about how Jimmy's doing since the funeral. Then Kim gets down to business with the reason she requested this meeting: "How's your banking division?" Schweikart says they don't really have one. Does he want one???

We go from here to a windowless warehouse. This place is HUGE: kind of in the middle are a pair of two-bedroom mobile homes, facing each other, but there is just a shitload of empty space still around them on all sides. "Well, it's a good long way from the rest of your operation," assesses Mike, invisible to the viewer at the far end of the shot as the camera glides through to show us the scale of the building. "It must remain completely separate," says the also invisible Gus. These mobile homes will, of course, house Ziegler the engineer and his crew, and while Gus has already had the mobile homes plumbed and wired, Mike immediately starts rattling off other amenities Gus should provide: gym equipment, a home theatre with recliners, a foosball table, a basketball hoop, a bar with beer taps. ("I mean, they're German, so.") Mike lays out the challenge, both for the skilled workers and for Mike as their direct manager: "Werner said that this was going to take six months. Which means eight at least -- probably ten -- in total isolation. These guys are going to be doing ten hours' heavy labour every day -- well, night -- and then coming home to this. We can't just keep 'em alive; we gotta keep 'em from climbing the walls." Gus looks around, no doubt thinking how easily someone with his mental strength could withstand such deprivations, and then nods to himself, turning back to tell Mike to make a list. Mike then moves on to security: cameras that are neither hidden nor obtrusive, both inside the building and out; a sally port on the entrance, controlled from the outside; and a staff of at least five security officers -- ideally including a couple of German speakers -- working shifts in a trailer nearby to monitor all activity. Gus says he can provide them, and smoothly accepts the condition that Mike vet them. Their discussion is interrupted by the arrival of Tyrus, with news for Gus: "Infection. Bad one." "I must leave," Gus immediately tells Mike. "Tell Tyrus what you need." Gus strides out, leaving Mike to dictate his list of creature comforts to Tyrus -- who doesn't have anything to write with or on but promises Mike he'll remember it all. I know how this goes: Mike is going to ask for wholesale-grade treadmills and end up with a turkey club, extra tomato.

Jimmy's at the store, doodling drop shadows on his law firm logos while trying to price a 24-foot sign for the store, when his cell phone rings. He ends the land line call and picks up the cell to a Brett Dunst; Jimmy did his aunt's will. Brett's the executor, but there are some tricky details in the document he's not sure how to handle, so he wanted to get Jimmy to work on it with him. Jimmy asks his aunt's name, and when Brett says it was Geraldine Strauss, Jimmy is genuinely crestfallen at the news, wanting to know how she died (heart failure, in her sleep); whether her heir got the Alpine Shepherd Boy Hummel (he did, and just finished college!); and whether Jimmy may attend her memorial (sorry, he already missed it). Brett seems taken aback that this random lawyer has so much tender feeling for his late aunt and really just wants to get back to his life in Salt Lake, so what's Jimmy's hourly rate? Jimmy heavily informs Brett that he's no longer practising law, but refers him to someone at HHM who'll be able to help him. "'Hamlin Hamlin McGill,'" Brett repeats as, one assumes, he writes it down. "McGill. Wait. Isn't that you?" Jimmy mumbles that it's just a coincidence, and Brett ends the call and goes on with his day. "Goddammit," Jimmy mutters to himself...

...and then, at home, digs out a banker's box full of VHS tapes, finds one, and plays it: it's one of his old Sandpiper TV ads, starring an old lady who scrimped and saved and didn't want to be a burden to her family and then was suddenly told one day by the staff at her assisted living facility that she'd run out of money!


Mrs. Strauss may be gone, but her artistic legacy lives on. Jimmy is smiling faintly at her steady gaze when his cell phone rings with a call from Kim. She's somewhere very good, and he could be there too.

Jimmy leaves his busted Esteem with a valet and walks into his and Kim's favourite short con location, where she's waiting with Moscow Mules. "Heeeeeeey, Giselle," Jimmy greets her mischievously, but she thinks they should just be themselves today. He quickly dismisses her question about his work before turning it back on her; she nervously babbles that she has good news -- "Great news, really" -- that "could change things for Wexler-McGill": "I met with Rich Schweikart today." She plays it off like she'd just been meaning to follow up about Gatwood, and yada yadas a lot of steps before arriving at "He offered me a job." "Again?" laughs Jimmy. "What, he can't take no for an answer?" Kim fudges the facts some more: "They want me to run their banking division. Build it, really." "You're not seriously considering it," says Jimmy confidently. "I'd be coming in as a partner," says Kim. Jimmy thought things were going well with Mesa Verde, and Kim says they are -- or were; her workload's more complicated lately since she's been taking PD overflow cases pro bono. This is, of course, the first Jimmy's hearing about that, and he sputters follow-up questions (follow-up sentence fragments, really); after a long beat, Kim says she likes it: "I'm good at it, and I'm helping people, Jimmy, and I know that sounds cheesy. It's-- You know, it's whatever, but it's the truth." Jimmy tries to recover, saying it makes a lot of sense; after a long beat of his own, he says he's been thinking about criminal law himself lately. "Really," says Kim dubiously. He also likes helping people -- like Kim said! "I'm thinking an office in one of these refurbished bungalows, you know, downtown by the courthouse," Jimmy muses. "You know, stick around where all the people who need help are." As Jimmy improvises, Kim keeps her gaze steady on his face, resting her chin on the heel of her hand and covering her mouth with her fingers like she doesn't trust herself not to blurt "THAT'S BULLSHIT" in his face. "Boy, it has a nice ring to it, now," says Jimmy. "Wexler-McGill Criminal Law." Kim smiles a little and moves her hand to tell Jimmy, "That all sounds great." She blinks, and carefully goes on: "The thing is, if I go to Schweikart & Cokely, I have all those associates to help cover Mesa Verde. It'll keep paying the bills, and free me up to do the work I really care about." She's so pragmatic. She stops, and looks into Jimmy's eyes to make sure he's hearing what she's saying. Jimmy's eye twitches a little, and he's hoarse as he sums things up: "So you kind of get to have your cake and eat it, too," he says, gutted at the realization that while wanting to work with Kim has driven every major decision he's made for the last decade, working with Jimmy is no kind of "cake" for Kim. Jimmy tries to collect himself, quickly finds that he can't, and tells her he'll be right back. Kim realizes how upset he is and tries to stop him from leaving, but he insists he just has to "hit the head."

Jimmy bravely walks through the restaurant, but loses his purpose at the kitchen, leaning in the doorway gasping. All the ambient noises -- knives chopping, cutlery clinking, hushed chatter -- get louder on the soundtrack as we watch Jimmy trying to breathe through what seems like an anxiety attack...

...but presently he's pulling his seat back up to the table and telling Kim, "I say do it."


Kim looks like she's not buying this show of support even a little, but is granting Jimmy the dignity to make it. "It's a great opportunity," he adds, "and you should jump on it." Her eyes filling, she asks whether he means it; he says she has to do what's best for her. "You sure?" she asks, AGAIN, like, if this was a test he's failed, just tell him you changed your mind! "Yessssss," Jimmy breathes, perhaps getting as annoyed as I am. "I can't ask you to wait around for me. And who knows? Ten months, a lot can happen." She laughs in apparent relief. Jimmy raises his cup: "To Schweikart & Cokely. And Wexler." Mules are sipped. Jimmy's already narrowing his eyes plotting his next slip.

Evidently the Germans haven't gotten to town yet, because Mike has time to go over and see what's up with stupid Stacey. This seems to have been the first time they've seen each other since her support group share practically gave Mike a rage stroke, and when she sees he's at the door, she opens it but comes outside to talk to him. That's right: OUTSIDE of the house HE FUCKING BANKROLLED. Under other circumstances, I would never say someone who gives a gift has an eternal right to access it whenever he wants, but I really can't stand Stacey, you guys. Anyway: Stacey comes out, crossing her arms and keeping her back against the closed front door as she says she only has a few minutes because she has to pick up Kaylee. She prompts him to say what he wanted to tell her, and after a long sigh, he rumbles, "I stand by what I said. The guy's a charlatan. But there's a time and there's a place, and that wasn't it." Stacey rolls her eyes as she tells Mike he left her "quite the mess"; Mike says he can see that. Then it's Stacey's turn to sigh, though she also uncrosses her arms as she murmurs, "It'll be okay, eventually." There's a beat before she adds that Anita's pissed and maybe Mike should call her, but Mike drawls, "Probably better if I don't," and is surely as right about this as he is about everything, generally. Stacey lowers her voice to insist, "You know that I would never forget Matty." Mike nods and gives her a long blink: "I know. No one expects you to wear a hair shirt for the rest of your life." It's a good thing he said that; maybe now she can cut that shit.


"Same goes for you," Stacey tells Mike, re: hair shirts. Instead of answering that, he asks if she and Kaylee are okay. Stacey sighs yet again and says they are. "Then I'm good," says Mike. Tentatively, he adds that he was thinking he might pick Kaylee up after school the next day, and Stacey smiles: "That would be a big help, Pop." "See you then," says Mike, probably heading straight from here to buy more toys for the bigger kids in his life.

Then Jimmy's walking through the familiar halls of HHM, though he could hardly get a decent Oscar pool going now: cubicle after cubicle has been abandoned, and when he finally enters a space with people in it, they're discussing, in hushed tones, the fact that "nobody's heard anything." One is Howard's assistant Julie, who smiles at Jimmy and tells him he may go in.

Through the door, Howard's working at the desk in his enormous office, and seems just as eager to get rid of Jimmy as Jimmy is uncomfortable about being there, though at least Jimmy's going to exit this conversation up $5000, since he's there to pick up his token inheritance. Howard says the cheque was about to go in the mail, so Jimmy would have received it by Friday, but Jimmy grits that he has "a pressing need only five thousand dollars will cure," and Howard's like, well, there it is, BYE. He tries to get back to work, but before he can, Jimmy brings up all the empty desks outside. "We're doing some reorganizing," Howard euphemises. "Just making the office a little more feng shui, I take it?" Jimmy jokes. "We've had some setbacks," says Howard hoarsely. "Paying out to Chuck's estate?" Jimmy guesses. "That is part of it," says Howard testily. When Jimmy continues standing there, Howard reluctantly elaborates: "And to be frank, the firm's reputation is not what it was." "So what's the plan?" asks Jimmy. "The consultants call it right-sizing," says Howard, aiming for cheer and wildly missing the mark. "No, I mean what's the plan to get HHM back on its feet?" Jimmy explains. Howard huffs, kind of shrugs with his wrists, and ultimately says nothing. Jimmy stares at Howard in shock for a moment, and turns to go, but he can't even make it all the way to the door before blurting, "Are you kidding me? I just referred a client to you guys -- you're welcome, by the way -- and you're telling me this place is falling apart? Get your shit together, HOWARD." "Excuse me?" says Howard, sounding curious to see where this goes. "Oh, please," spits Jimmy. "You suffer one little setback and you're going to let your entire legacy go?" "'One little setback,'" Howard repeats. "Fine," says Jimmy, "your pain is very special. Woe is you. Just stop wallowing, okay? This place is all you've got! That and your hair -- which, let's face it, clock's ticking there too, so-- You want to save your business? Save your dignity? You're going to have to fight." When Howard has nothing to say to this hostile pep talk from one of his worst enemies, Jimmy steps forward with his closer: "Hey. You're a shitty lawyer, Howard."


"But you're a great salesman. So get out there and sell." "FUCK YOU, JIMMY," Howard barks. "There you go!" says Jimmy, pointing in triumph. "Use that." And off he goes to spread more...sunshine?

Jimmy doesn't have time for all of Howard's FEELINGS because he's got a montage to star in! He's spending Chuck's bequest on a pallet of phones, which he then brings in, a stack at a time, and piles on his desk in the back of the nail shop, finally also bringing in the pallet itself. When he's all done, he sits down behind the phones and gets on...the landline. We only hear his side of the conversation: "We're set over here. You got a spot yet?...Piñatas. Are you kidding?...No that, could-- could work, yeah. Regardless, we have full run of the place? There's no prying eyes?...All right! Well, that's it, then....She's fine! Yeah, I change half the water in the tank every week." HEY, DR. CALDERA!!! "No, I know: don't overfeed." Mrs. Nguyen loiters in the doorway until Jimmy hangs up, whereupon she demands to know what all this merchandise is. Jimmy calls it a side business. She thought he was a lawyer, and he admits, "I've had a temporary setback." "Lost your job again?" she snits. Jimmy, starting to get irritated, asks if she needed something, and she announces that she doesn't want people coming in and out of her shop to buy his phones. Jimmy tells her he's not selling them out of the office. When she pivots to say he can't keep them there, he counters that he's renting the space and can do whatever he wants with it. "They're a fire hazard," she tries. "Well, they're not going to be here very long," Jimmy shoots back. "Okay?" Mrs. Nguyen continues standing there looking expectant until Jimmy finally catches his snap and gives her a phone, on the house. She takes it, with one last curse: "Get rich quick schemes never work." Pretty sure he's in it more for the high than the money, but good looking out, Mrs. N.

Then we're in Hector's hospital room, where the camera shows us various religious talismans and statuettes before landing on the patient, still unconscious in bed. It's too dark to see Gus sitting there next to the bed unless you're looking for the faint reflection of a monitor screen on his knees, but evidently Gus has also been advised to talk to Hector in order to speed his recovery, and has prepared a monologue: "The doctor tells me your fever has gotten worse." Okay, guy, no, you're supposed to keep it light. "They say this infection may kill you. Even if it doesn't, my doctor tells me, again and again, that you may never wake. And yet, I wait." Gus then launches into a parable about his childhood: he grew up very poor, in a house built of materials his brothers had scavenged. "But there was a lúcuma tree." The family had given up on it, but a seven-year-old Gus decided to try to nurture it, and after a very long time, the fruit did finally grow. Gus didn't tell anyone, picking the first one and eating it in secret: "I'd never tasted something so sweet. It was like caramel." Over time, the tree bore enough fruit that Gus started selling what the family couldn't eat. Then one day he came back to find his tree denuded of fruit, several half-eaten pieces strewn about: "I thought it was probably a coati....About the size of a large house cat. Opportunist." South America's answer to the raccoon, in other words. Little Gus built a snare out of branches and wire, which his antagonist soon tripped: "But the coati thrashed so hard, it broke out of the snare -- broke his leg as well. I tried to grab it, but he slipped away. It ran under the house. I knew it would show itself sooner or later. So I waited. For hours. Into the night. When my brothers called for me, I did not answer. I didn't make a sound. I was so still. Finally, it came out. It knew I was there. But it was hungry. This time, I was ready. I caught it. It fought me, but I was stronger. The merciful thing would have been to kill it." Gus stands and approaches Hector's bedside. "I kept it. It lived for quite some time. I believe you will wake, Hector." As Gus turns and quickly leaves the room, the camera comes to rest on Hector's right hand. It does not move.

Time for Mike to pull up to the warehouse in the Wilkommen Wagen! Ziegler and his crew drop all their bags just inside the door of the warehouse and look around in wonderment. "This is huge," says one, accurately, in German. Another hopes there's food in the kitchen, while a third says he should have eaten before. Yet another notices the bar and heads straight for it, several of his colleagues following. (I have to say, if I just saw all these dudes travelling together I would guess they were a dance troupe sooner than I would shady construction workers. Their posture is impeccable!) Ziegler hangs back, smiling daddishly, as his boys fan out to discover everything.


The home theatre touches my heart the most. It's so homey! I'm only sorry all these Kurts and Horsts are so many years away from Deutschland 83, never mind Babylon Berlin. And, uh, Netflix, I guess.

Presently, Mike and Tyrus come around a corner toward them through the little walkway between the trailers. After Ziegler has greeted him, Mike calls out to the guys to gather up. A young James Urbaniak type in a green vest gets there first, adorably standing at attention; I regret that the camera's too far back for us to see if he literally clicks his heels together as he takes his place. The rest soon join them...except one guy with an asymmetric haircut, pulling his first pint at the bar. "That means you too," Mike wearily calls. "Kai," says Ziegler, embarrassed. Kai nods, hair flopping, filling a second glass. "Over here, Kai," says Mike, in a very coachly tone suggesting that if he has to summon him a fourth time, Kai's going to be doing laps. "Enough!" snaps Ziegler, in German. Kai finally looks up. "For what they are paying you, you'll listen," Ziegler barks. Kai slams the first stein on the bar and showily saunters over carrying another.


We don't yet have a name for the guy behind Kai giving him a savage side-eye, so for now let's call him Tarek, for he is the male, German me. Mike goes over the facilities: there are four bedrooms in total, and it's up to the crew to work out their sleeping arrangements: "I assume you're all friends, and I don't really want to hear about it if you aren't." The kitchens work and are stocked with essentials, but the guys can add anything they want to the shopping list. Each house has a phone that goes directly to Mike or one of his staffers: "Anything you need, call." "So when do the girls get here?" murmurs -- you guessed it -- Kai. Even the better behaved guys can't help smirking at the question, though it earns him a head cock of even more paternal disappointment from Ziegler. Mike looks Kai up and down, taking his measure before telling him, "Anything within reason." Kai nods cheerfully and takes another sip of his beer. "Any more questions," says Mike, not really asking, and not really to the room at large, as he stares straight at Kai. No one has anything else, so Mike tells them to take some time to relax: "Work starts tomorrow night." Bets on whether all the beer's gone by then?

Mike heads for the exit, Ziegler following (and addressing him as "Michael," which is very cute). "They are good boys," says Ziegler quietly, falling into step with Mike. "Once the work begins, they focus. I'll see to it."


Mike doesn't look convinced, but he doesn't argue. Ziegler moves on to complimenting their setup and thanking Mike for it. "All right," says Mike, of course unable to take a compliment. "You need anything to make this go better, you let me know." They shake again, and we see the security Mike's put in place at the only door in or out: he stands in the path of a closed circuit camera, and the door opens. He passes through to a little airlock, waits, and the door to the outside opens. Mike crosses through the dusk from the warehouse to a trailer, where two security officers are watching the action on the security cameras. Not much is going on yet: the guys are farting around at the bar and basketball hoop and kicking a ball around the soccer pitch. Mike goes to a corkboard, where there's a Polaroid of each guy with his name Sharpied onto it; he points to Kai's and advises the nearest security guy to keep an eye on him. I look forward to seeing Mike smack the sass out of Kai's sexy, sexy mouth.

After night has fallen, Jimmy parks at the laundromat and surveils the Dicksmack Gang in his rearview mirror. The camera cuts to a shot of Jimmy in his dirtbag tracksuit, gripping his steering wheel and breathing hard as he psychs himself up. With one final two-handed slam on the wheel, Jimmy gets out of the car and stalks toward the teens, holding up his hands in front of him as he assures them he comes in peace: "I'm just here to make a deal." The dyed-blond one -- whose name, per IMDb, is Peewee -- asks what kind. "Look, fellas, we-- We got off on the wrong foot," says Jimmy meekly. "I'm sure you saw me out here selling my wares, and you thought I was just some rube, out looking to score a quick buck and just begging to be rolled, but guys: I'm thinking long-term. I see a real need in this community for safe, affordable, untraceable phones, and I'm ready to fill it." "Wah wah wah," says Scooter, the one with short, dark hair. Jimmy states that he's switching to straight talk: "I need to be able to sell my phones without worrying about getting ripped off. I'm proposing if you let me sell my phones without hassle, I cut you in. Say a hundred bucks every night that I'm out -- and that's money for literally doing nothing." The kids look at one another, silently weighing the offer, and then Peewee turns back to Jimmy to ask why they wouldn't just take all of it. This is a real crooked take on the marshmallow test! Patiently, Jimmy says he's giving them a chance at "reliable, consistent profits." If they roll him again, he'll stop selling, and then they lose a revenue stream. The teens share another look, and then Peewee just straight demands that Jimmy hand over everything he's got, immediately. "I'm trying to make money for all of us, here," says Jimmy feebly. "Just work with me." Scooter repeats Peewee's order. Jimmy urges them to expand their thinking, but Peewee's got a switchblade, and feels Jimmy talks too much. "All right," says Jimmy wearily. "All right, we've got a man of action."


Jimmy has barely gotten the sentence out before he's hauling ass away from them. The teens give chase. Jimmy has the advantage of a slight head start, given his adversaries' shock before they followed him, but oh no, he ends up cornered in an alley, unable to pull himself over the wall! The kids just stop and laugh mockingly as they wait for Jimmy to slide back down to the ground, at which point he turns around and breathlessly informs them, "You should've taken the deal." "You're, like, the stupidest person I've ever met," Peewee declares, because he can't see what we do: a couple of figures in black, coming through the fence behind him. But then he hears a handgun cock and realizes that he got played by Slippin' Jimmy. No shame in it, son; better than you have fallen prey.

Smash cut to Peewee, whining under a piece of duct tape over his mouth. We can hear a rattling chain and then see, by a single light, that Peewee's hanging upside down from the ceiling in a storage space filled with, you guessed it, piñatas, as are his cohorts. One of the black-clad figures comes toward them, dragging his bat along the floor before hoisting it to start smashing piñatas around them while the boys whimper and, I assume, piss their pants. "Didn't know I had friends, didja," says Jimmy, emerging from the dark. "So what's it going to be -- fast or slow? It's gonna hurt like a bitch either way." Peewee starts moaning more frantically, so Jimmy leans in: "What was that? Slow?" He yanks off Peewee's tape so that we can hear he's crying before he starts babbling that they're sorry. "Yeah, you are," says Jimmy, bending over to look him in the eye. "Very much so." As more piñatas get smashed around them, Peewee promises that they'll leave Jimmy alone: "I'll swear on anything you want me to." Jimmy asks if he means it, and Peewee pledges that, after this, Jimmy will never see them again. "And you will spread the word that I'm off-limits?" Jimmy asks. I feel like that's giving more power to these little turds than they could possibly have, but of course Peewee desperately agrees. "All right, we're done," says Jimmy, straightening back up. There's a little skit where Jimmy pretends to call off his enforcers and they pretend not to heed him and Jimmy pretends to give them free rein over their bats if it's that important to them, and one guy gets close to Peewee and swings...stopping just short of striking him, instead poking him with the bat to get him spinning, and handing the weapon to Jimmy. There's a shot just for us of the batters peeling off their balaclavas on their way out, so we can see it's Man Mountain (last seen way back in "Pimento") and, of course, Huell. "You get one warning," Jimmy tells Peewee, gesturing with the bat in his face to underline his point. "And that was it." Jimmy drops the bat and follows his henchmen, leaving the shitty teens to dangle. As all shitty teens should.

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