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'Better Call Saul' recap: Chuck and Jimmy's backstory grows clearer

Attorney Kimberly Wexler (Rhea Seehorn) tries to regain the trust of her boss Howard Hamlin (Patrick Fabian) by drumming up new business for their law firm on “Better Call Saul.”
Attorney Kimberly Wexler (Rhea Seehorn) tries to regain the trust of her boss Howard Hamlin (Patrick Fabian) by drumming up new business for their law firm on “Better Call Saul.” (Ursula Coyote / Sony Pictures Television/AMC)

The backstory of estranged brothers Chuck (Michael McKean) and Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk) becomes a bit clearer on "Rebecca," Episode 205 of AMC's "Better Call Saul."

A flashback reveals that before Chuck suffered from a mysterious case of electromagnetic hypersensitivity, he was married to Rebecca (Ann Cusack), an accomplished violinist.

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Rebecca gets to know Jimmy over a home-cooked meal celebrating his first week at Chuck's law firm, Hamlin, Hamlin & McGill (HHM).

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Chuck apologizes in advance for his troubled younger brother, cautioning that Jimmy is "something of an acquired taste." To Chuck's surprise, Rebecca is charmed by Jimmy's gregarious personality and corny lawyer jokes.

However, Rebecca isn't aware of Jimmy's checkered past in Cicero, Ill., where he pilfered money from his father's business. That was before Jimmy's con artist phase when he intentionally slipped on icy sidewalks and threatened to sue shop owners.

Flashing forward to the present, Chuck empathizes with Jimmy's overly trusting girlfriend, Kimberly Wexler (Rhea Seehorn). She risked her reputation by recommending Jimmy to HHM's partner law firm, Davis & Main. And when Jimmy screwed up, Kim got demoted to the basement.

"My brother is not a bad person," Chuck tells Kim. "He has a good heart. It's just, he can't help himself. And everyone's left picking up the pieces."

Chuck says he'll help Kim by putting in a good word with her supervisor, Howard Hamlin (Patrick Fabian). And Kim helps herself by recruiting a prestigious client. Needless to say, Kim unequivocally rejects Jimmy's advice to sue HHM, which would result in "career suicide."

As for Jimmy, he was nearly fired from Davis & Main for producing and airing a cheesy TV commercial without permission. That's why Jimmy's every move is monitored by his relentless "babysitter," second-year associate Erin (Jessie Ennis).

A humorless stickler for the rules, Erin is taken aback when Jimmy tries to win favors from a courthouse clerk by offering a stuffed toy.

"What are you doing? That's a bribe," Erin exclaims.

"So does this go on my official Stasi report?" Jimmy sarcastically asks, referring to East Germany's secret police.

During a chance encounter with an old courthouse buddy, Deputy Dist. Atty. Bill Oakley (Peter Diseth), Jimmy waxes nostalgic about his public defender days. Even though the clients were often despicable lowlifes, Jimmy was much happier back then.

"Lucky bastard," Jimmy mutters as Bill walks away.

Finally, Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks) is still badly bruised after being beaten by crazed drug boss Tuco Salamanca (Raymond Cruz). For tricking Tuco into committing the assault so he'll face a lengthy prison sentence, Mike received $25,000 from dealer Nacho Varga (Michael Mando).

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Now a memorable character from the "Breaking Bad" series appears. It's Tuco's powerful uncle, Hector Salamanca (Mark Margolis) of the Juarez drug cartel. Hector has yet to manifest the muscular degeneration that eventually confines him to a wheelchair.

"He should have showed you respect," Hector says to Mike in apologizing for Tuco's brutal attack. Being put behind bars will teach Tuco to appreciate his elders, supposedly. But serving eight to 10 years is too harsh, Hector contends.

Accordingly, Hector promises Mike $5,000 if he falsely claims that an illegal firearm found at the crime scene belongs to him, not Tuco.

"You're an ex-cop. They go easy on you," Hector assures Mike. "Think about it."

Put Tuco back on the street early and risk Nacho's wrath for a measly $5,000? Sounds like Mike should hold out for a much better offer.

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