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Mabel (Better Call Saul)

"Mabel" is the first episode of the third season of the AMC television series Better Call Saul, the spinoff series of Breaking Bad. The episode aired on April 10, 2017.

Better Call Saul episode
Episode no. Season 3
Episode 1
Directed by Vince Gilligan
Written by Vince Gilligan
Peter Gould
Original air date April 10, 2017 (2017-04-10)
Running time 52 minutes
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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List of Better Call Saul episodes




In present-day Omaha, Gene has a sandwich during his lunch break and is reading a book when he sees a shoplifter hide inside a photo booth. He reluctantly points the shoplifter out to the mall security guards pursuing him, but then yells to the shoplifter to remain silent and hire a lawyer as he's being walked away. After returning to work, Gene suddenly collapses.


Back in 2002, Jimmy McGill calls Howard Hamlin to tell him that Chuck has decided against resigning from Hamlin Hamlin & McGill. He helps Chuck remove the foil from his walls and reminiscences over a book they read together during their youth. Chuck is quick to sever the nostalgia and remind him that his actions will neither be forgotten nor forgiven. When Jimmy returns to the office, he shares with Kim and confides to her on how refreshing it is to not be hated by Chuck even for just a few minutes.

Kim begins to experience anxiety at running her own law firm as well as keeping the knowledge of Jimmy's fraud secret, despite also making progress in getting Mesa Verde's hearing bumped to an earlier date. Later, 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 his 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 by Bauer's threats. 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 Fudge as a witness to sway the jury to his side. Bauer storms out but not before warning that "the wheel is gonna turn."

Chuck plays Jimmy's confession to Hamlin. While he is taken aback, Hamlin questions what the tape can accomplish given the nature in which the confession was elicited, the ways in which Jimmy could deny it being his voice, and the unlikelihood that it would bring Mesa Verde back to HHM. Chuck, with a smirk, assures him that it has a use. It is later "accidentally" played by Ernesto when he changes the batteries in the tape recorder. Chuck quickly turns it off and makes Ernesto promise not to tell anything that he heard to anyone on the premise of confidentiality.

Mike frantically drives away from the scene of his attempted assassination on Hector Salamanca and checks his station wagon for a tracking device but finds nothing. Determined to find out how the saboteur prevented him from killing Hector, he dismantles his car at a local junkyard but fails to find a tracker until he has an epiphany and finds it inside of the car's gas cap. Upon obtaining an identical tracking device from Caldera, Mike studies how it works and discovers that the tracker will remotely warn the operator when its battery runs low. He then replaces the tracker in his gas cap with the new one, drains the battery of the one tracking him and waits while snacking on pistachios. In the early morning, someone arrives and takes the tracker; Mike dresses up, 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 positive reviews 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