By representing a dangerous client, criminal defense attorney Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk) sinks deeper into New Mexico’s drug underworld on “Nacho,” Episode 103 of AMC’s “Better Call Saul.”
Gangbanger Nacho Varga (Michael Mando) saved Jimmy’s life when he ran afoul of crazed drug kingpin Tuco Salamanca (Raymond Cruz) in a traffic accident scam gone horribly wrong.
Nacho believed Jimmy when he said the scam wasn’t aimed at Tuco’s grandmother (Míriam Colon). The real target was Craig Kettleman (Jeremy Shamos), a county treasurer who embezzled $1.6 million.
Now Nacho wants the loot for himself -- and Jimmy for his lawyer.
Worried that Craig and his family are in danger, Jimmy makes an anonymous call warning that “they’re coming for your money!”
Jimmy drives to the Kettleman residence the next morning and sees police cars blocking the street. The home has been ransacked and the Kettlemans are presumed victims of ruthless kidnappers.
“You would say something if you could help find them, right?” asks Jimmy’s friend Kim Wexler (Rhea Seehorn), an attorney representing Craig in the embezzlement case.
Albuquerque detectives (Dorian Missick and Vincent Laresca) inform Jimmy that Nacho’s van was parked outside the Kettleman house for two nights in a row. Even more damning, police discovered blood inside the vehicle.
“You set me up,” Nacho yells at Jimmy. “I told my plan to one other person -- you! Now here I am, under arrest!”
Nacho maintains he was never in the house and that the blood didn’t come from the Kettlemans. But Nacho’s prime concern is that “cops are out there right now poking into my business.”
“And if they find something on me or my partners, for real it’s going to be bad for you. Really bad,” Nacho threatens Jimmy. “You get me out of here today or you’re a dead man!”
“You’re going to get your special CSI people, right, and you’re going to test the blood in that van,” Jimmy manically tells the detectives. “Because I guarantee you one billion percent, it’s not the Kettlemans'!”
A blood analysis could take weeks, however, and Nacho is the only suspect. So no way he’s getting cut loose.
Desperate to find a quick solution, Jimmy inspects the Kettleman home and notices that the favorite doll of 7-year-old Jojo (Sage Bell) is missing. If she was allowed to leave with her toy, “maybe the Kettlemans kidnapped themselves,” Jimmy suggests.
“If you run, everyone knows you’re guilty,” Jimmy points out. “But if you’re kidnapped, you’re a victim.”
Although the detectives discount this theory, former-Philadelphia-cop-turned-parking-lot-attendant Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks) takes a different view. He tells Jimmy about a bookie who disappeared and was found six months later hiding out in his own neighborhood.
"It was basic human nature," Mike says, because "nobody wants to leave home."
Spurred by this insight, Jimmy does some detective work of his own. He walks out the back gate of the Kettleman abode and follows a dusty trail into the hills. As night falls he hears a family singing camp songs inside their tent.
“I found your dumbass clients,” Jimmy says on a phone call to Kim. Then he surprises the Kettlemans by flinging open the tent flap and dramatically announcing: “Here’s Johnny!”
“We’re heading back,” Jimmy says. “Civilization awaits.” But Craig and his wife Betsy (Julie Ann Emery) refuse to leave.
“You either do this on your own recognizance or the cops come and drag you by your heels,” Jimmy insists as he struggles with Betsy in a tug-of-war over a knapsack.
Suddenly the knapsack rips open and the stolen cash spills out. Busted!