Season 4, Episode 1

Smoke

Jimmy struggles to cope with Chuck's tragic death. Mike ponders his role at Madrigal. Howard makes a startling confession.

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Full Recap

At the Cinnabon store in Omaha, Nebraska, Gene lies on the floor following his fainting spell at the start of season 3. EMTs wheel him through the mall on a gurney.

At the hospital, doctors check Gene’s vitals and run diagnostic tests. Gene lies vigilant in his hospital bed and anxiously notices a police officer at the nurse’s station.

A doctor informs Gene that his vitals are healthy and that he did not suffer a heart attack, but he does need to better manage his stress.

As Gene leaves the hospital, the receptionist relates that she had difficulty processing his driver’s license and asks for his license and social security number again. Gene tenses up as the receptionist re-enters his information, only to realize that she simply mistyped a number.

Gene gets into a taxi and asks the driver to take him back to the mall. He notices an air freshener representing the Isotopes, the Albuquerque baseball team, hanging from the rearview mirror and then catches the driver staring at him. Nervous that he’s been made, he abruptly asks the driver to pull over. Gene quickly walks away from the taxi and turns the corner as it idles on the street.

In the present, Jimmy wakes up next to Kim in her apartment.

Jimmy searches “help wanted” ads in the newspaper while eating breakfast. Howard calls his cell phone. Jimmy doesn’t answer.

Jimmy brings coffee to Kim in bed and helps wrap her injured arm for the shower. Howard calls Kim and leaves a message on the answering machine, saying he needs to speak to Jimmy about Chuck.

Jimmy and Kim race over to Chuck’s house, which is swarming with firefighters. Jimmy stares at the charred remains of the house. A coroner’s van drives away with Chuck’s body.

Jimmy sits in a daze across the street from Chuck’s house. Kim speaks with the fire commander then informs Jimmy that the fire started with a lantern in the living room. Jimmy points out that Chuck had moved all of the electrical appliances into the backyard and infers that Chuck suffered a relapse.

Mike exits the parking booth on his last day of work. He dryly turns in his SMQ Parking jacket at his employer’s request.

Mike watches Kaylee happily garden in his backyard making use of the spike strip Mike employed to ensnare Hector’s delivery vehicle. Stacey arrives from work to take Kaylee home. Mike offers to pick up Kaylee for the rest of the week, saying that his new job allows him flexible hours.

Mike checks his mail and finds a large paycheck from Madrigal Electromotive — his first installment of the money that Gus Fring laundered for him. As he takes in the infusion of cash his mood seems to darken.

Mike watches a baseball game on TV but his mind is elsewhere. He picks up the phone and calls information to get the address for Madrigal’s Las Cruces office.

Howard calls Jimmy to get his approval on Chuck’s obituary. Howard reads a long description of Chuck’s illustrious career. Jimmy drifts off and puts the phone down. Kim picks up and assures Howard that Jimmy is on board with the proposed obituary.

Kim pours tequila and invites Jimmy to join her on the couch. Jimmy stares into space then eventually gulps down his shot. Kim pours another round. Hours later, Kim sleeps on the couch but Jimmy still sits, quiet and numb.

Elsewhere in Albuquerque, an EMT asks Nacho about Hector’s medical history as her colleagues load Hector into an ambulance following his collapse. Nacho gives the EMT a bottle of pills that Hector had been taking — after swapping out the fake pills. Nacho tries to drop the fake pills down a grate while Gus talks to Juan Bolsa on the phone, but Gus returns before he can dispose of the pills. Gus tells him that Juan Bolsa wants to meet.

Juan Bolsa meets with Nacho and Arturo at a Los Pollos Hermanos warehouse. He orders them to protect the Salamanca territory and keep business running smoothly while Hector is indisposed. After Nacho and Arturo leave, Gus predicts that someone will move against the Salamancas, which will bring war, chaos… and the DEA.

Nacho drives to a bridge and throws the pills into a river. One of Gus’s men, Victor, surreptitiously watches Nacho from a parked car, then continues to track Nacho on a GPS device.

The next morning, in an idyllic New Mexican suburb, a bald man named Barry heads to his car for work but stops to fix his son’s bike. He returns to his car only to find it won’t start. He calls in late to work then realizes that his security badge is missing.

Mike walks around the Madrigal offices wearing Barry’s badge. He hangs out in the kitchen, weighs in on water cooler talk and even signs a co-worker’s birthday card.

Mike rides a golf cart up and down the aisles of the Madrigal warehouse. He works with purpose: taking notes, picking through trash, ordering employees to put on proper safety gear.

Mike personally returns the badge to Barry then asks to speak with Barry’s manager.

Mike meets with Barry’s manager and proceeds to list a number of security lapses at Madrigal, from unlocked access doors to unprotected passwords. He introduces himself as a Madrigal security consultant and recommends the chagrined manager call Lydia Rodarte-Quayle in the corporate division for verification.

At Chuck’s funeral, Jimmy, again, sits in a daze as a parade of guests offer their condolences.

Jimmy and Kim drive home and find Howard waiting for them in the parking lot.

In Kim’s apartment, Howard confesses to Jimmy that he forced Chuck out of the firm following an incident with their insurance. When Jimmy asks for more details, Howard explains that their malpractice insurance company raised their rates after learning about Chuck’s condition. He tearfully blames himself for driving Chuck to suicide. Jimmy processes Howard’s words, then tells Howard, “I guess that’s your cross to bear.” To Kim’s great concern, Jimmy then cheerily feeds the fish and asks if anyone wants coffee.