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"Mabel" is the third season premiere of the American television drama series Better Call Saul, the spinoff series of Breaking Bad. Co-written by series creators Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould and directed by Gilligan, the episode aired on April 10, 2017 on AMC in the United States. Outside of the United States, the episode premiered on streaming service Netflix in several countries.

Better Call Saul episode
Episode no.Season 3
Episode 1
Directed byVince Gilligan
Written byVince Gilligan
Peter Gould
Featured music"Sugar Town" by Nancy Sinatra
Original air dateApril 10, 2017 (2017-04-10)
Running time52 minutes
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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Better Call Saul (season 3)
List of Better Call Saul episodes



In a flash-forward, Gene eats a sandwich during his lunch break at the Cinnabon in Omaha. He's reading a book when he sees a shoplifter hide inside a photo booth. Gene reluctantly points the shoplifter out to the police and security guards who are pursuing him, but then yells to the shoplifter to remain silent and hire a lawyer. After returning to work, Gene suddenly collapses.

Main storyEdit

Jimmy calls Howard to tell him Chuck has decided against resigning from Hamlin Hamlin & McGill. He helps Chuck remove the foil from his walls, windows and ceilings, and reminiscences over a book they read together during their youth. Chuck is quick to end the nostalgia and remind him that the fraud he committed to steal the Mesa Verde account for Kim will be neither forgotten nor forgiven. When Jimmy returns to the office, he confides to Kim that for a brief period Chuck and he weren't arguing, and it was refreshing not being hated by Chuck, even for just a few minutes.

Kim experiences anxiety at running her own law firm and keeping the secret of Jimmy's fraud, despite success at getting Mesa Verde's new branch application re-filed and their re-hearing moved to an earlier date. Bauer, the Air Force captain who toured the base with Jimmy and his film crew, confronts him about entering the base under false pretenses and threatens to press charges if Jimmy's commercial is not pulled off the air. Jimmy momentarily cracks (due to Bauer's arguments sounding similar to ones Chuck would use) but is ultimately unmoved. He points out that Bauer risks hurting his own career if the fact that he let unauthorized people onto the base comes to light, and that he could always call elderly "veteran" Fudge as a witness to sway the jury. Bauer storms off after warning that "the wheel is gonna turn."

Chuck plays Jimmy's confession to Howard, who questions what the tape can accomplish since it won't make Kevin and Paige bring Mesa Verde's business back to HHM, and the way the confession was elicited limits the recording's law enforcement and courtroom uses, but Chuck assures him the recording does have a use. He later asks Ernesto to change the recorder's batteries, and Ernesto accidentally hears part of the recording. Chuck intimidates Ernesto into promising not to repeat what he heard.

Mike drives away from the scene of his attempted assassination of Hector and checks his car for a tracking device, but finds nothing. Certain that someone followed him, and determined to find out how he was prevented from killing Hector, he dismantles the station wagon he was driving at a local junkyard but fails to find a tracker. While looking at a sales display of gas caps, he has an epiphany and takes apart the one from the station wagon, where he finds a battery operated tracking device. He obtains an identical tracking device from Caldera, studies how it works and discovers that it will remotely warn the operator when the battery runs low. He replaces the tracker in the gas cap of his sedan with the new one, drains the battery of the one he took from his sedan, and watches the sedan from inside the house. In the early morning, someone arrives to change the tracker for one with a fresh battery. Because whoever placed the new tracker is actually carrying one with a good battery, Mike is able to follow him. He dresses, arms himself and begins his pursuit.


This episode was written by show creators Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould, with Gilligan directing.



Upon airing, the episode received 1.81 million American viewers, and an 18-49 rating of 0.7.[1]

Critical receptionEdit

The episode received critical acclaim from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the episode has a 100% rating with an average score of 8.8 out of 10 based on 11 reviews. The site's critical consensus reads, "Odenkirk and Banks carry their respective portions of "Mabel" with ease and innuendo in an episode that enlivens its familiar aesthetic with a peppier-than-normal pace."[2]


  1. ^ Welch, Alex (April 11, 2017). "Monday cable ratings: 'Better Call Saul' premieres low, 'Love & Hip Hop' ticks up". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved April 11, 2017.
  2. ^ "Mabel". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved April 10, 2017.

External linksEdit