Lawyer Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk) goes dumpster diving to prove a senior citizens home is defrauding its residents on “RICO,” Episode 108 of AMC’s “Better Call Saul.”
Jimmy suspects something is amiss when Mrs. Landry (Jean Effron), one of his clients at Sandpiper Crossing Assisted Living, mentions that her Social Security and pension checks go directly to the facility. After Sandpiper deducts expenses, she receives a modest allowance.
“It’s really all very aboveboard,” she says. “They try to make everything easy for us.”
Chuck examines the fine print of a monthly statement and discovers that seniors are being grossly and systematically overcharged for cheap items such as aspirin and facial tissue. When facility manager Paula (Jillian Armenante) realizes Jimmy is onto the scheme, she orders two burly security guards to throw him off the premises.
Noticing that an employee is destroying incriminating documents at that very moment, Jimmy ducks into a restroom and hurriedly writes a legal missive on cardboard and toilet paper. The letter puts Sandpiper on notice that its records must be preserved as evidence.
“Next time I’d use double-ply,” Sandpiper attorney Rich Schweikart (Dennis Boutsikaris) says dismissively when he calls Jimmy about the hard-to-read correspondence.
“Your clients are facing multiple counts of elder abuse and fraud and deceptive and unfair trade practices,” Jimmy retorts. “And that’s just the start!”
Jimmy carries on this conversation while covered in filth from rummaging in a Sandpiper trash bin. The disgusting chore produces a bag of shredded documents that he brings to his brother Chuck (Michael McKean), a talented attorney stricken with an irrational fear of electromagnetic radiation.
Chuck cautions that searching the dumpster could be deemed an invasion of private property.
“You can’t say it’s private if a hobo can use it as a wigwam,” Jimmy counters.
After Jimmy falls asleep, Chuck begins the Herculean task of reassembling the shredded pages. Eventually he pieces together a “smoking gun,” namely an invoice for overpriced syringes.
Because the needles were shipped across state lines to New Mexico, Chuck points out that this transaction violated the RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) Act.
In other words, Sandpiper committed a federal crime.
When Sandpiper’s legal team arrives at Chuck’s home to negotiate a settlement, Rich admits that some elderly residents were overcharged. But this was a mere “accounting error,” he contends, and offers to settle the lawsuit for $100,000.
Now Chuck startles everyone when he calmly asserts that the wealthy owner of Sandpiper and 11 other assisted living facilities must fork over $20 million “or we’ll see you in court.”
Clearly, Chuck has regained his mojo. And when he absentmindedly walks outside into the bright sunshine, he apparently realizes that radiation isn’t harming his body.
Does this mean Chuck will soon be back on the job at the law firm of Hamlin, Hamlin & McGill?
In other developments, Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks) does a favor for his daughter-in-law Stacey (Kerry Condon), who relocated to Albuquerque after her husband was murdered by corrupt Philadelphia cops. Stacey needs a babysitter for her daughter Kaylee (Faith Healey) and grandpa is happy to oblige.
“Anything you need,” Mike promises, “I’ll be there.”
But getting permission to leave work is difficult for Mike. And his meager salary as a parking lot attendant doesn’t allow him to offer much financial help to Stacey as she struggles to pay her bills.
That’s why Mike seeks out a shady veterinarian (Joe DeRosa) and asks if his buddies in the criminal underworld need a hired hand.
“If you tell me what you got,” Mike informs the vet, “I’ll tell you what I’ll do.”