When “Better Call Saul” began, Kim (Rhea Seehorn) was a moral compass for Jimmy (Bob Odenkirk). Without her, he might not have become a better person. Now, it seems like Jimmy has turned her the opposite direction. Kim has become a schemer as well, and if their relationship continues in this direction, it could spell doom for both of them. Tonight is not just about Kim and Jimmy, but also about the budding partnership of Mike and Gus. The two relationships are essential to “Dedicado a Max,” which sets the table for the rest of the season.

RECAP

Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks) wakes up in Mexico after being stabbed last week. After unsuccessfully attempting to communicate with the woman of the house, Mike walks into the desert. Before long, Barry Goodman (JB Blanc) approaches Mike and offers to heal his still-open wound. Barry and Mike head to a makeshift clinic or Mike to get stitched up. They discuss why Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito) would have Mike stabbed, but would not kill him. The question looms over Mike, who will die if he attempts to escape the small town.  

In New Mexico, a team of construction workers discuss plans to tear down the Acker (Barry Corbin) house. However, they do not anticipate the arrival of Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk). Saul helps Mr. Acker win an extra day in his house thanks to some fake mail and address. Kim (Rhea Seehorn) tries to leverage Saul/Jimmy’s involvement to get out of the Acker case, a plan she’s had in the works since last week. However, her boss Kevin Wachtell (Rex Linn) won’t let her go so easily.

Jimmy and Kim discuss their day while they eat dinner. Intrigued by Wachtell’s plan to keep Kim on board, Jimmy asks Kim to reenact the golf club meeting. She obliges, providing a humorous and silly impression of Wachtell. There’s not much to the sequence on paper, but the small moments with Kim and Jimmy help you understand why they are so perfect for one another.

Jimmy performs scheme after scheme to hold onto the Acker property. Together Jimmy and Acker make a formidable and creative team. They paint Jesus on the side of the house, plant fake artifacts in the dirt, and use fire alarm batteries to create a false-positive radiation scare. Kim returns to Wachtell with a proposal to build his call center on another site, but he refuses to give in to Acker. At home, Kim and Jimmy sit in bed discussing their options. Either Mr. Acker leaves his house, or they have to go after Wachtell directly.

While the stabbing has left Mike weak, he remains active. After walking past a fountain dedicated to Max, he uses his technical skills to build a phone charger. With enough battery, he calls Gus, who quickly dismisses Mike. With a storm thundering outside, Mike gets out of bed and fixes a leaking/termite-infested window.

Jimmy and Kim wait in his office for Sobchak (Steven Ogg), who hides his identity from Kim. Sobchak snuck into Wachtell’s house, but despite Jimmy and Kim’s wishes, it appears Wachtell is squeaky clean. However, Kim discovers the key to beating Watchtell in the pictures, but we’ll have to wait for next week to find out what that secret weapon might be.

The next day at work, Kim is approached by Rich (Dennis Boutsikaris). Disappointed and frustrated in her performance, Rich tells her he is taking her off Mesa Verde. Kim takes the demotion personally, challenging his reasons in front of the office. The two have it out, and Kim tells Rich she needs this case. He lets her stay on board, but when she retreats into her office and appears shaken.

Mike finishes the window and sees Fring standing by the fountain. “Breaking Bad” fans know the fountain is dedicated to Max Arciniega, Fring’s partner in Los Pollos Hermanos. Max was murdered by Hector Salamanca (Mark Margolis) and the Juárez Cartel. That knowledge weighs over the scene, adding a great bit of fan service to the ideological debate that follows.

Fring protects this small town but does not want his relationship with Mike exposed. Fring needs soldiers he can trust to stop the other cartels. Without Mike, he may not win. Mike challenges Gus, asking him why he is better than the Salamancas. Gus retorts that this is not just about the Salamancas and the monsters they’ve become. This is about cleaning up all of the cartels. This is about revenge.

What did you think of the fifth episode of “Better Call Saul,” “Dedicado a Max?” Let us know in the comments below!