Better Call Saul season 5 episode 3 review: “The Man for This” sees the return of another Breaking Bad character

Bob Odenkirk as Jimmy McGill - Better Call Saul _ Season 5, Episode 3 - Photo Credit: Greg Lewis/AMC/Sony Pictures Television
Bob Odenkirk as Jimmy McGill - Better Call Saul _ Season 5, Episode 3 - Photo Credit: Greg Lewis/AMC/Sony Pictures Television /

Better Call Saul’s “The Man for This” has Saul crossing paths with Lalo, Kim becoming disenfranchized with Mesa Verde, and Hank and Gomez appearing for the first time since Breaking Bad.

After last week’s two-part season opener got things off to a roaring start, episode three of Better Call Saul‘s fifth season, “The Man For This,” slows things down a little as it reintroduces a familiar face from Breaking Bad. While we’ll always love seeing characters from Better Call Saul‘s parent show pop up every now and then, we’re hoping that Hank Schrader doesn’t stick around for too long this season, despite how fun he may be.

The episode begins literally seconds after where we last left off, with an opening teaser consisting of a bunch of ants eating away at the ice cream cone Jimmy had dropped at the end of “50% Off.” With some obscure German-sounding music playing in the background, the sequence was one of the most memorable in the show’s history, and an apt metaphor for Jimmy’s morals being slowly eaten away the more and more he gets drawn into the underbelly of the ABQ.

After a brief ride in Blingy’s tricked-out car, Jimmy soon finds himself face-to-face with none other than Lalo Salamanca, grin and all. It was certainly a surprise to us to see Lalo and Jimmy meet so early in the season — especially considering that, when Lalo is mentioned in Breaking Bad, Saul is absolutley terrified of him.

Here, Jimmy is certainly scared (Bob Odenkirk brings back the “slimeball talking his way out of death” routine that we haven’t truly seen since his season 1 run-in with Tuco), but not anywhere near the levels of horrified he seemed to be in Breaking Bad. This would seem to imply that Jimmy will end up crossing paths with him again, and according to Lalo, he’ll “make time” to help the cartel when they come calling.

Also coming to call is Nacho’s father, Manuel, in a scene that managed to be both painfully awkward and quietly tragic at the same time. Nacho, who is holed up in his swanky drug-funded pad, relaxing with his massive cars out front and a pair of girls inside, is surprised when is dad arrives at his doorstep. Papa Varga tells Nacho that someone made an offer to by his upholestry shop, and though Nacho initially seems surprised, Manuel makes it very clear that he knows it’s Nacho’s attempt to give him money so that he’ll flee the country and the grasp of the cartel.

To Nacho’s credit, it was a good try, but Papa Varga sticks to his guns and leaves in a huff, telling his son to turn himself into the police and own up to his actions instead of running away from things. It makes us worry for Manuel down the road … it doesn’t seem like he’ll ever be convinced to take the money and run as Nacho wants him to, which could mean a potentially fatal end.

Much like his father, Nacho also continues to head into dangerous territory. With Lalo now having a direct line to the DEA that he can use to shut down Gus’s dealers, each rendezvous he has with Gus draws closer and closer to exposing his status as a double agent.

On the more upstanding side of things, Kim is having trouble staying content with her work on Mesa Verde — although, as her boss tells her, it keeps the lights on. It’s clear that her true passion lie with pro-bono work, and her spirits are dashed even further when she’s called away to deal with an issue for the firm that goes sour.

Watching Kim try to deal with the stubborn landowner was heartbreaking because, even when she bared her soul, she was still shut out. It’s one of the few times that we’ve seen Kim well and truly fail, and Rhea Seehorn plays Kim’s struggle to stay professional and composed perfectly, as usual. The ending scene with she and Jimmy hurling bottles from their balconly after such a cruddy day is a bittersweet reminder of the close bond the two share, while simultaneously keeping it in the back of viewers’ minds that their relationship won’t last forever.

Lastly, there’s Domingo (now Krazy-8), locked up and interrogated by none other than Breaking Bad‘s resident DEA agent, Hank Schrader. From the second he and Gomez appear onscreen it’s as if the pair never left. Their natural chemistry shines through, and the humor that comes with Hank’s character was a breath of fresh air.

However, as we previously mentioned, the actual content of Hank’s scenes — the deal to establish Krazy-8 as an informant — felt a little slow at times, and going forward we’re hoping that Hank doesn’t have too large of a role on the show. There are so many characters that we want to spend time on, and not all series regulars are in every episode as it is.

Despite our mixed feelings about Hank’s return, though, “The Man For This” is still another strong entry in season 5 that gives Rhea Seehorn and Michael Mando the chance to shine as their respective characters are pushed closer and closer to the limit.

Next. Better Call Saul season 5 episode 2 review: Putting the pedal to the metal. dark

Did you like seeing Hank return? What Breaking Bad character should appear on Better Call Saul next? Sound off in the comments below.