better call saul details: cc mobile burner phones

AMC Networks

It's strange to think this is one of the slower, more contemplative episodes of Better Call Saul's 4th season - given it included a massive cartel gunfight, the noose around Nachos' neck tightening even further, Mike taking an ominous meeting with Gus, and Jimmy finally deciding to go into full-on con mode, but this show is not like the others. It's a show about the details - the subtle callbacks, the hints towards the future, the seeds being planted that will only matter in hindsight. That's what makes this show so special - the creators clearly ACTUALLY CARE about all of the kind of stuff fans like to obsess over. They're paying just as much attention as we are.

better call saul details: cc mobile burner phones

AMC Networks

And - hey - we probably finally know how Saul Goodman got his drawer filled with burners - the good folks at CC Mobile! But there were a lot more details in this episode worth talking about...

1. The cold open was a callback to Mike's last time in grief counseling

better call saul details: grief counseling callback

AMC Networks

The episode begins with an extended, dialogue-free sequence of Mike doing what Mike does best - tedious, extensive work. A much younger Mike is setting up a foundation, pouring concrete, and doing lots of laborious tasks you'd expect of Mike at any age, but with one difference - his (now departed) son Matty is there, and is allowed to write his name in the fresh concrete by his father....which is revealed to be something Mike's thinking about at his grief counseling session with his daughter-in-law Stacey. And it just so happens to coincide with what we had heard about at Mike's LAST time at grief counseling.

better call saul details: grief counseling callback 'matty'

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Back in season 3's episode "Off Brand", Mike begins to attend grief counseling with his daughter-in-law, and finds out he's been volunteered to assist in fixing up a playground for some local kids. Why him? Because he's handy and knows how to pour concrete...

better call saul details: grief counseling callback 'matty'

better call saul details: grief counseling callback 'matty'

AMC Networks

Of course, either Stacey is misremembering or Mike is remembering the story wrong, because Matty writes out his full first name in the concrete (from what we see, at least). Also ties in nicely with the content of the group therapy session - Stacey speaks of beginning to forget to think about Matty for longer and longer periods of time....while Mike clearly cannot move past his grief whatsoever, and refuses to admit it or even talk about it in any real way. He claims to have nothing to say, that he doesn't remember this specific incident, but it's clearly playing over and over in his head.

Poor Mike. He broke his boy.



2. The beginnings of Judge Papadoumian

better call saul details: judge papdoumian

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As Kim begins her mysterious journey to...do something at the courthouse, she is told by bailiff Marty that Judge Papadoumian is dealing with some settlement conferences that morning. That's not of much interest to her, though, as she's going to sit in on some of Judge Munninger's cases. But, interestingly, Papadoumian is the judge that will be most relevant to Saul Goodman - and the future of the show, as we find out later (muuuuch later) that Saul Goodman has a relatively friendly relationship with Judge Papadoumian.

In season 5's "Buyout", Saul comes to Mike's rescue as Hank and Gomie's investigation into the criminal fixer begins to get a little too close to the truth. When Hank insults Saul's credentials AND his suit, he brings out his trump card - he's on good terms with Judge Papadoumian (she likes his suits, thinks he's a "sharp dresser") and is in a position to give the DEA a lot of headaches if they don't back off of Mike:

better call saul details: grief counseling callback 'matty'

better call saul details: grief counseling callback 'matty'

AMC Networks

Just another instance of Better Call Saul planting the seeds that will one day grow into...well, even more problems for Saul Goodman.



3. The beginnings of Mike's financial web appear...in his grief counseling pal, Anita

better call saul details: anita grief counseling buddy

AMC Networks

Possibly the only person on genuinely friendly terms with Mike Ehrmentraut (other than waitress Fran) looks to be his fellow grief counseling buddy Anita (played by Tamara Tunie), who we find out works for Cradock Marine Bank (according to her nametag, at least). If this specific bank name sounds familiar - GOOD. It means you're paying attention, and have - at this point - realized that NO NAME is thrown in just for the heck of it. EVERYTHING MEANS SOMETHING.

better call saul details: cradock marine bank

AMC Networks

Cradock Marine Bank was seen way back in (or, in the future, depending on your viewpoint) Breaking Bad's 5th season episode "Say My Name", where we see the details as to how Mike keeps his "guys" in jail paid through a series of safety deposit boxes. Is Anita Mike's connection to that particular bank? Seems like more than a coincidence...

better call saul details: cradock marine bank

AMC Networks

Also, if you wanna go DEEP into Cradock Marine Bank lore, the institution made its first appearance in The X-Files - an old show you may have heard of that featured a young writer named Vince Gilligan amongst its staff (and who happened to write an episode featuring a major guest turn by Bryan Cranston)...

better call saul details: cradock marine bank x files vince gilligan bryan cranston

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