Well, for those of you who might have forgotten (though you must have a heart of stone to have done so), we are still reeling from last week’s episode of “Better Call Saul’s” final season, in which we witnessed the death of our beloved cartel member Nacho Varga (Michael Mando), after he bitterly revealed to Hector Salamanca in one of the most badass death scenes ever that he was responsible for Hector’s stroke, exonerating Gus of any potential wrongdoing in the process.
Though Nacho is out of the picture, Gus and Mike still have a cold war with the Salamancas – including the not-so-dead Lalo – on their hands, while Kim has just warned Jimmy of the dangers of turning against the cartel, making it unlikely that he will flip on Lalo’s cartel associates, much to DA Suzanne Ericsen’s dismay.
In addition, they are still plotting against their old boss Howard, though all that we know now is that Jimmy now has a copy of his car keys. What, now, does Slippin’ Jimmy have in mind for his not-so cocaine raddled former boss? Well, tonight’s episode’s title – “Hit and Run” – may offer up a clue.
Let’s get into the episode, directed by none other than Rhea Seehorn, who plays our very own Kim Wexler:
Season 6 Episode 4: ‘Hit and Run’
In this episode’s cold open, we see a middle aged couple cycling through a suburban New Mexican neighborhood. They stop by a house being painted, and marvel at the poor choice of color. “Fire engine red?” the man asks. “Tomato red,” the woman replies.
They converse casually as they make their way inside their own house, where a team of suit-and-tie agents are resting, casually using their house as a base to observe some unknown target. The couple maneuver around them as if they aren’t even there. Eventually, one asks if the woman is holding ice tea. “Would you like some?” she asks. “Love some,” he replies. “Thank you, ma’am.”
Ladies and gentlemen, this is what makes “Better Call Saul” the best show on television.
Howard drives to an appointment, and quite noticeably locks his car before heading inside. Turns out, it’s a therapy session. Who knew Howard was a human being just like the rest of us? “At home,” he says, “things are more or less the same,” though he adds that he should be grateful that things aren’t worse…whatever that means. He then says he had a dream: cut to– him (apparently) walking from behind, car keys and a yellow pylon in hand.
Turns out, it’s really Jimmy, with a wild (but surprisingly convincing) facial tan, basically disguising himself as Howard. As Howard explains the real dream to his therapist (something about traveling and an airport), Jimmy steals his car using the keys he had copied, and replaces the parking spot with the pylon, then drives out.
Kim meets with Clifford Main – the senior partner at Davis & Main – for a lunch outdoors. Though why, exactly, we aren’t yet sure.
At a sleazy motel, Jimmy picks up a familiar face: Wendy, the famous “Breaking Bad” prostitute/methhead. Whatever this plan is, Jimmy is clearly nervous – almost hyperventilating – about it. However, Wendy interrupts his thoughts by saying “I really like your hair,” almost mesmerized by the disguise.
Turns out, Kim is secretly coordinating with Jimmy: when she gives him the go-ahead via secret text, he drives right by them, dumping Wendy out in the middle of the road. She follows the plan and screams at him, throwing a shoe at the car as it drives away recklessly. Clifford, astonished, believes this is Howard, and almost can’t believe his eyes.
Jimmy barely gets the car back to the therapist’s parking lot on time (his stress compounded by the fact that someone stole his/Howard’s spot – “What kind of a****** moves a cone?!” he exclaims), but it goes by without a hitch, and Howard leaves without noticing him.
Kim, meanwhile, drops Wendy off, and tells her to “be careful,” giving her her card and telling her if she ever needs any lawyerly help, Kim is her gal, “no charge.” As she drives away, however, she is ominously tailgated by a mysterious vehicle…
Back at home, Jimmy and Kim gloriously recount their respective perspectives of that day’s events. Kim adds that she believes she worked some magic with Clifford, and that he might procure some money. “He knows people, and I think he’ll deliver,” she says. She then tells Jimmy her suspicions about being followed, but he brushes it off as her just being paranoid because they were successful in their mission.
At the courthouse, all the people Jimmy is usually friendly with are giving him the cold shoulder, no doubt because he didn’t agree to the DA’s terms about flipping on the Salamancas.
Kim, meanwhile, abruptly leaves the middle of a lunch meeting to confront her stalkers, who turn out to be two burly white dudes, no doubt working for someone. When she jots down their plate number, confronts them, and threatens them with calling the police, the taciturn men finally leave.
Jimmy, now taking calls as “Saul Goodman,” has become a pretty successful criminal lawyer, basically filling up the nail salon which he uses as a base with two-bit criminals. One comes up to him and confirms he’s “Salamanca’s guy,” to which Jimmy reluctantly replies that he is. A long line of felons form outside of the nail salon while Jimmy tries to sort through his long list of new prospective clients.
At a bar, Kim runs into Mike, who she does not recognize. “They’re gone,” he says. When he tells her to sit, he reveals it is he who has been trailing Kim. “I have men watching you and your husband,” he tells her, confirming he is not with the police and doesn’t care about her personal life. To her shock and dismay, he reveals to her that Lalo Salamanca is still alive. “In the thousand-to-one” chance he does have a grudge to bear with Jimmy and Kim, Mike says, he is there to protect them. When she asks why he is telling her this over Jimmy, he replies, “because I think you’re made of sterner stuff.”
Before he leaves, however, she reveals that she does recognize him, as the courthouse parking lot attendant. “I was,” he says before leaving.
Nearing the end of the episode, we finally reach Gus’s house. Inside, as he changes, it is revealed that he wears both a bulletproof vest under his button-down shirt, as well as a gun holster around his ankle.
Downstairs, like a cartoon supervillain, Gus has what appears to be an El Chapo-style secret hallway behind a bookshelf, which leads to the house of the couple we saw in the cold open. Turns out these men are his, and this is all an elaborate plot to track, and probably kill, Lalo Salamanca. Mike tells him that they’re stretched thin on men and resources, but Gus is persistent about getting him.
Because the owner of the nail salon has kicked Jimmy/Saul out of her boutique, Jimmy has purchased the “s***hole” we all know and love as Saul Goodman’s office. It’s missing its interior furniture – not to mention the iconic Statue of Liberty tube woman – but it’s his, and Kim even thinks it “might be a diamond in the rough.”
“Better Call Saul” airs Mondays at 9 p.m. Eastern on AMC. Part 1 of season 6 will continue to air until Monday, May 23. Part 2 will begin on Monday, July 11.