'Better Call Saul': Jimmy Opens Door to "Relentless" Threat

Julie Ann Emery and Patrick Fabian weigh in on how their characters might pay Jimmy back for his scheming.
Ursula Coyote/AMC

[Warning: Spoilers ahead for Monday's episode of Better Call Saul, "Hero."]

This list of pepole Jimmy (Bob Odenkirk) has ticked off is growing fast.

On Monday's Better Call Saul, he duped Howard (Patrick Fabian) into making Jimmy look like a hero and accepted a bribe from The Kettlemans (Julie Ann Emery and Jeremy Shamos), becoming party to their embezzlement crime.  

In Breaking Bad, Walter (Bryan Cranston) constantly had to keep tabs of multiple players, and sometimes it was the ones he didn't initially worry about that grew into major threats. In Saul, Nacho (Michael Mando) seems to be a strong candidate for this season's big bad. He told Jimmy in episode four that there would be consequences for tipping of the Kettlemans, with Mando saying, "We haven't really seen what he's capable of yet."

But like some of Walt's sleeper enemies, Howard and Betsy may be a part of the very real consequences Jimmy will face.

So far, Betsy has done nothing to harm Jimmy, but her mindset makes her dangerous. She believes her family deserves the $1.5 million her husband embezzled, and will do what it takes to keep her "rightful" reward.

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"She believes that she is moving the chess pieces on the board at all times. And she's a relentless advocate for her version of the truth," Emery tells The Hollywood Reporter. "A lot of middle class families go into major debt trying to live a version of the American dream — or look like they're living the American dream — and the Kettlemans are the same."

For an insight into Betsy's head space, look no further real-life embezzling public officials. Emery became obsessed with the case of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, who spent two years in prison for accepting bribes, but maintained he took only money he deserved.

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"It's fascinating to use someone like the Kettlemans as Jimmy's first moment of corruption," says Emery. "That is something that Mrs. Kettleman will not let go of moving forward."

As for Howard, Jimmy tricked his brother Chuck's (Michael McKean) law partner, mimicking his look and billboard all as an elaborate rouse to make himself look like a hero. In the process, he also humiliated Howard by making him reveal he'd trademarked a color named after himself, Hamlindigo Blue.

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Howard has good reasons to retaliate against Jimmy, but he's also pragmatic.

"He'd have to weigh the idea of what level of retribution would be satisfying verses the cost that it may incur on his other relationships," says Fabian. "From Howard's perspective, he's not going to get his hand's dirty the way Jimmy does."

Adds Fabian: "He knows a snake when he sees one."

For more from the episode, read THR's Q&A with writer Gennifer Hutchison.

Better Call Saul airs at 10 p.m. Mondays on AMC.

Email: Aaron.Couch@THR.com
Twitter: @AaronCouch