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Better Call Saul - Smoke - Review

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A little over a year ago Lantern, ( written by Gennifer Hutchison and directed by Peter Gould) left us with some questions. Will Gus find out about Nacho's plan to stop Don Hector from using his father's business as a front for smuggling drugs? How Mike handles his new fake job at Madrigal? In what way will Jimmy, Kim, and Howard's life be affected by Chuck's death? Smoke, (written by Peter Gould and directed by Minkie Spiro) answered those questions.

Smoke starts like every other season premiere, exploring the life of Gene. Last season opener Gene came to the defense of a teenage shoplifter, and the act caused Gene to pass out when he returned to work. We returned to Gene lying on the floor in a daze while the paramedics worked on him. They took Gene to the hospital to see if he had a heart attack. After several tests, Gene got a clean bill of health. On his way out the door, the receptionist pulled Gene back, asking for his drivers' license and social security number. For some reason, they weren't going through. Gene, like a scared little mouse, stops to give the nice woman his numbers. As the woman inputted the numbers, Gene looked like he was going to vomit, but after a couple of tries, the numbers worked, and Gene was able to leave the hospital. Gene jumped in the taxicab, asked the driver to go back to the mall. He noticed that the driver had an Albuquerque Isotopes, decor hanging from his rearview mirror. That freaked Gene out! Not to mention, the driver kept staring at him, throw the mirror. Gene decided to be safe; he'd rather walk in the cold, back to the mall.

Back in 2003, Jimmy and Kim had moved out of their office and brought the Mesa Verde boxes to their apartment, not yet knowing Chuck's fate. Jimmy woke up, fed his fish, and made some coffee. He got the paper and started to look for a new job. Soon after Kim woke up, and like a good boyfriend, Jimmy brought her some coffee in bed. Before he left the kitchen, Jimmy's cell phone rings, it was Howard; Jimmy pressed silent. He handed Kim her coffee, then continued to wrap her arm in plastic. ( so Kim can take a shower) The landline rings, it was Howard again, looking for Jimmy. He left a message; I really need to talk to Jimmy, it's Chuck! Jimmy and Kim rushed over to Chuck's house and saw the aftermath of the house fire. The house nearly burned to the ground, with nothing left, it was shocking.

I don't think Mike understands the concept of his agreement with Gus. However, Mike is not the kind of man who can sit and be an old grandpop. What does Mike do, he does his research and discovers that there's another member of the hair-challenged men's club that works for Madrigal and swipes his employee's ID badge. Then, walks right in the door; no one gave him a second look. During Mike's little adventure, he walked into the employee's lounge, took some coffee, checked out the donuts, and engaged in a debate about Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali. Mike was there to do a job, and he always takes his job assignments very seriously.

It's a pleasant day when Mike is the comic relief, simply because he's always so serious. I don't think I've ever seen Mike smile when he's not with his granddaughter. Maybe if he ever got a chance to punch Jimmy in the heart, Mike would crack a smile. When Mike signed the birthday card saying "reach for the stars" and stops a group of workers simply because they weren't wearing lift belts, then says "on the double." You can't help but laugh.

Until Gus finds out what Mike has been up too at Madrigal, he has to clean up the mess that Nacho has created. When we last saw Nacho, he had a plan to switch Don Hector's pills so he'll have a heart attack. It worked, Don Hector freaked out when Bolsa told him that he and Gus have to learn to work together. Then Don Hector's heart gave out, then just like that, he hit the ground like a sack of potatoes. The paramedics came, and Nacho handed over the pills. Gus gave Nacho one of his death looks, he knew Nacho did something, just not sure what.

Smoke picked back up right where Lanter left off, with the kiss of death 'Gus' look. Gus walks off to call Bosla; they talked about what we don't know. He walks back and to tell Nacho that Bolsa needed to speak with Nacho. Bolsa will drive; in the cartel world, that means you're dead. They arrive at the Los Pollos Hermanos warehouse. Bolsa wanted to make one thing clear, Salamanca territory remains Salamanca territory; nothing changes.

Half a century ago, the "butterfly effect" was discovered by Edward Lorenz. His theory was if a butterfly flapped his wings somewhere, it could ultimately cause a tornado. The smallest actions can have the biggest consequences. Chuck was a very selfish man and made choices that hurt a lot of people in his life. His last selfish act was telling Jimmy that he never really meant all that much to him, knowing how much it would hurt Jimmy. Is it possible that Chuck's actions are the cause of the war between Gus and Walter White? Saul Goodman introduced them.

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