We’re back, folks! After nearly two months of “Better Call Saul” on hiatus, season 6 resumes tonight with the beginning of Part 2, the eighth episode of the season overall. Tonight will be the first of the show’s final six episodes.
We left off with the finale of Season 6 Part 1, in which, as per usual, we were left with a massive cliffhanger. Jimmy and Kim finally executed their longstanding plan of tanking Howard’s career, in which they set in motion a complex and pernicious series of events which led to their former boss being duped into making an utter fool of himself, destroying any prospect he had with his Sandpiper clients, and possibly even destroying his career as he knew it.
We’ll never have a chance to find out, however, as the last we saw of them, Lalo Salamanca, back from his trip to Germany, entered Jimmy and Kim’s apartment in the midst of Howard’s climactic confrontation about their borderline-sociopathic scheme, and shot the HHM chief in the head, killing him. Mike and Gus, meanwhile, are aware of the threat Lalo poses, but have been misdirected into believing he’s going after Gus, not Jimmy and Kim. Will Mike once again come to the rescue? How will Jimmy escape this treacherous situation alive? Finally, we are about to find out.
At long last, let’s finally get into the episode, titled “Point and Shoot,” directed by none other than series co-creator Vince Gilligan.
Season 6 Episode 8: ‘Point and Shoot’
Part 2 of season 6 starts, as usual, with a cold open. We’re on a sandy beach, and see a man’s shoes scattered along a beach, only to approach…Howard’s car, alone and empty, his wallet and wedding ring atop the dashboard, facing the ocean. Clearly, Howard’s death is being framed as a suicide. But by who? We’ll have to wait and see.
We’re back in the present – picking up where Part 1 left off – Jimmy and Kim panicking over Howard’s dead and bloody corpse on their living room floor. Lalo orders them to calm down and sit. He then gives Jimmy his keys, as well as a hand-drawn map to a certain residence, where he wants him to knock on a door, and empty a revolver on the unlucky victim who answers. Lalo describes this victim – presumably Gus – as a “housecat … [he] kind of looks like a librarian.” Jimmy is then meant to take a snapshot of the victim as proof of the deed, then return home. Jimmy, however, worried for Kim’s safety convinces Lalo that Kim should be the one to go, against her desperate pleas otherwise. Reluctant and trembling with fear, Kim leaves.
“Now, what to do with you?” Lalo asks Jimmy now that they’re alone. What he does is ziptie him to a chair. Lalo recounts the tale of the attempted assassination against him, where, instead of killing him, the assassins “killed people I care about.” Lalo then confronts him about his association with the late Nacho Varga, who he knows was involved with the attempt on his life. In response, we hear the words that made Saul Goodman famous 13 years ago: “It wasn’t me, it was Ignac–!” Before he is able to finish, however, he is cut off by a makeshift gag, and Lalo leaves.
Kim is on her way to this mysterious destination, where she runs into a couple of cops who idly pull up next to her. She is tempted to presumably cry out to them for help, but keeps her mouth shut. Eventually, she makes her way to the destination, and approaches the black door. She rings the doorbell, the peephole blackens, and just as the door opens, she is swept inside by a man from behind.
Turns out the house Kim was sent to was Gus’s, and the man who swept her inside was Mike. Mike interrogates her about what she was brought there to do, and she tells all, screaming at him about why he broke his promise to protect her and Jimmy. Mike then marches to Gus, who has been observing all from another room, via surveillance cameras, and leaves with his crew, assuming Lalo is still at Jimmy’s.
Turns out this was Lalo’s plan all along, and he infiltrates Gus’s house (bypassing the little remaining security he has left) while Mike and most of Gus’s protection are absent. Gus, however, is still nervous, and likely knows something is up. He then calls Kim, and asks her why Lalo sent her. She tells him he wanted to send Jimmy at first, but Jimmy “talked him out of it,” which astounds Gus. He then exits the room with two of his men, a new plan afoot.
Outside Jimmy’s, Mike’s men, who notice something (Jimmy) moving inside Jimmy’s apartment, secures a perimeter around his building while Mike and his team infiltrate it.
Gus heads to the laundromat. While scouting the interior, Lalo appears from behind and effortlessly kills each of Gus’s men, leaving the two of them in a dramatic standoff.
Inside his apartment, Mike finds Jimmy tied up on the ground. He assures Jimmy that Kim is safe, but tells him it is imperative to know what happened to Lalo. Mike ungaggs him, and Jimmy says that Lalo left shortly after Kim but he doesn’t know where to. Mike immediately calls Gus, who is currently being held captive by Lalo.
At the laundromat, Lalo makes a video for Don Eladio, in which he forces Gus to deliver a “nickel tour” by gunpoint. They have 13 minutes, he says, before Gus’s “bald gringo gets here with the cavalry.” Lalo shoots Gus in the chest – he survives, thanks to his bulletproof vest, though he is badly wounded. Gus is forced to show Lalo – and, naturally, Don Eladio, downstairs, where all the secrets are revealed. From Lalo’s camcorder, we get a bird’s-eye shot of the underground lab. “Think of the labratory you could put here, Don Eladio!” Lalo tells the camera. “Gustavo thought he was building an empire, but all he built himself was a tomb.” Well, we sure know how that works out.
Gus, however, interrupts Lalo’s monologue by making an impassioned speech of his own. “I haven’t told that fat pig Don Eladio what I think of him yet,” Gus says. He goes off on Eladio, comparing him to a pack of “stray dogs fighting for scraps,” before he segues into the Salamancas. “You’re the worst vermin of all,” Gus says to Lalo’s face. “You only understand blood for money. You’re whores!” He then transitions into English, and reveals to Lalo that he kept his uncle Hector alive so that he can “bury every one of you” for Hector to see.
Though for most people this would be an immediate death sentence, we are reminded of the gun Gus secretly hid in the tracks of an excavator in the lab a while back. Lalo is greatly amused by Gus’s speech; when he asks if Gus is done, Gus swiftly cuts the lights with a kick of an electrical wire, and runs to the gun, emptying the chambers in Lalo’s direction. For maybe the first – and only – time, we see Gus truly nervous. As he turns on the lights and approaches the dying Lalo, he realizes that once again, he has won. Lalo is mortally wounded with a gunshot to the neck. He dies laughing, with a smile on his face.
In the early morning hours, Gus calls the manager of the local Pollos Hermanos, and calmly tells him that he will be out for the rest of the week, while simultaneously getting a bullet removed from his side. Mike castigates Gus for leaving the premises and jeopardizing his safety, but Gus responds in turn by tacitly criticizing him for his failure to protect him.
Mike reunites Kim with Jimmy as he helps to remove Howard’s body from the house. He then assures them that Lalo is dead, while giving instructions on how to proceed with Howard’s death, essentially going with the story that the two of them crafted throughout Part 1 – that he was a cocaine-raddled, mentally unstable has-been lawyer who was driven to suicide. His body, however, will never be found. This will be his legacy, and Jimmy and Kim are frozen with distress as they come to realize that this is what they have made for him. “You keep telling the lie that you’ve been telling,” Mike tells the frozen-faced lawyers.
“Today, you’re Meryl Streep and Laurence Olivier,” Mike goes on, ordering them to basically go about their days as normal, once again strongly mirroring the character’s first ever appearance 13 years ago, when he delivered instructions to Jesse Pinkman on how to respond to his girlfriend Jane’s death. “None of this ever happened,” he stresses. “None of it.” Jimmy and Kim, however – like Jesse in the future – are hugely traumatized, and unlikely to go about their business as usual.
Meanwhile, at the lab, Lalo and Howard are being buried underneath what will soon be a concrete floor. In every subsequent appearance the superlab will make, we now know what dark secrets lay beneath it. Mike removes Howard’s shoes and ring as he is thrown in a makeshift grave alongside Lalo. “Easy,” Mike tells his men as they toss Howard in, demonstrating the compassion we know is buried beneath that stone-cold exterior.
We still have five episodes to go, and with our chief antagonist dead, and the rest making it on to “Breaking Bad,” I am deeply intrigued to see what else lays in store for us in future weeks. Kim, and Jimmy’s, fates remains the biggest – and perhaps sole remaining – questions.
“Better Call Saul” airs Mondays at 9 p.m. Eastern on AMC. The series finale airs Monday, August 15.