Coming off the climactic start that brought us into Season 6 Part 2, last week’s episode of “Better Call Saul” left us with the deaths of two of our main characters – Howard Hamlin, who was killed in the Part 1 finale, and chief antagonist Lalo Salamanca, who was killed last episode by Gustavo Fring in a climactic peak to the years-long Salamanca/Fring battle. Both corpses were buried underneath what will soon become Gus’s meth lab.
With five episodes left, we’re left with four main characters: Jimmy McGill – aka the to-be Saul Goodman – Gus, Gus’s chief enforcer Mike Ehrmantraut, and Jimmy’s wife Kim Wexler. With our main villain dead, we have five episodes to tie in the events of “Better Call Saul” to “Breaking Bad” (which takes place about four years later, remember).
That being said, let’s get to tonight’s episode, titled “Fun and Games.”
Season 6 Episode 9: ‘Fun and Games’
Our cold open today is not a flash forward, but rather a montage of the few remaining characters we have left: Jimmy and Kim resuming their work as if – as Mike instructed – nothing ever happened, while Mike deep cleans their apartment, completely eliminating himself any trace of what they all witnessed over the past few days. Kim and Jimmy return home and are almost as astounded to find the place completely back to normal as they might be to see it covered in blood. “One day we’ll wake up and brush our teeth and go to work, and at some point we’ll suddenly realize that we hadn’t thought about it at all,” Jimmy tells a nearly-catatonic Kim. “And that’s when we’ll know. We’ll know we can forget.”
Gus, fresh off his mission of Operation Kill Lalo Salamanca, meets with the Dons – Eladio, Bolsa, and Hector (plus Hector’s nephews, the Cousins). Bolsa reads a letter from Hector, in which he states the truth: that Gus was responsible for the failed hit on Lalo, and secretly hates Eladio and Bolsa. “With all due respect,” Gus responds to the Don. “I don’t believe this merits a response.” After interrogating the Cousins – who believe Lalo to be dead – and confirming that Nacho said he was hired by the Peruvians before he died – Eladio appears convinced by Gus’s denial. He then tells Gus he shall continue to work for Bolsa up in the States.
Back at home, Gus consults with Mike about the previous night’s events, and orders him to resume work on the rest of the lab. There shall be no delay when it comes to its construction.
We’re blessed with a brief, but deeply intriguing, scene between Gus and a waiter at a bougie restaurant, where Gus goes to briefly celebrate his victory. There, Gus and the sommelier waiter gush over wine (this may strike some viewers as reminiscent of that which Gus had with his old “business partner,” Max). However, as soon as David leaves to retrieve another bottle of wine, a dark visage falls over Gustavo’s face; he then promptly finishes his wine and leaves, without hardly any explanation.
Mike, surely with a lot weighing on his conscience, deliberates before getting out the contact information on Nacho’s father, Manuel, and eventually calls him, telling him to meet him outside his place of work. When Manuel asks of his son, Mike tells him he’s sorry, but Nacho “won’t be found.” Mike reassures him that “it was over fast, no pain.” And despite falling in with a bad crowd, Mike tells him that Nacho had a “good heart.” Furthermore, he will not have to worry about the Salamancas anymore. Mike assures him that there will be justice, but Manuel is unconvinced. “You gangsters and your ‘justice,'” he says spitefully. “You’re all the same.”
Jimmy and Kim are making a mournful visit to HH&M, in a memorial for Howard. While there, they run into Cheryl, Howard’s widow, who is deeply suspicious of Jimmy and Kim, both because they were apparently the last to see him alive, as well as because among the last thing she heard of him was his ranting that Jimmy and Kim were responsible for framing him as a drug addict. Though Jimmy and Kim deny it, Cheryl is not convinced. “There’s something more to this,” she insists. Kim then steps in, making a made-up story about how she saw Howard snorting a line after hours a couple of years ago. Kim uses her knowledge of their strained marriage to her advantage, insinuating that she was not around Howard enough to be aware of his drug problems. Cheryl then confronts Cliff Main, and asks him to corroborate Kim’s allegations that Howard was an addict; a stunned Clifford insists that this is neither the time nor the place. Cheryl can’t help but storm out in tears.
In the parking lot, Jimmy reassures Kim that, although that may have been tough, it’s finally over. Kim, however, only responds by kissing him, then getting in her car and driving away.
In the courthouse, Kim makes a surprise request: she asks the judge that she be allowed to withdraw from the case. While her client is fully informed of the decision, the judge is still stunned, and nearly insists that Kim go on with the case before she finally explains herself: she is no longer a lawyer. She informed the bar only two hours ago.
Jimmy is in an uproar upon hearing this news, speeding home to scream at her over the recklessness of her decision. While trying to persuade her to reverse the motion and take a few weeks to figure it out, Kim instead informs him that she can’t continue doing this, and upon his discovery of her bags packed in the bedroom, reveals she is leaving.
“We are bad for each other,” she tells him. “Other people suffer because of us. Apart, we’re okay, but together…we’re poison.” While a distraught Jimmy insists this is still because of what happened to Howard, Kim reveals that she knew Lalo was alive for weeks before he confronted the two of them. “The real reason I didn’t tell you was because I knew what you’d do,” she says, which is that he would sacrifice the scam and take her away to protect her. “And then we’d break up. And I didn’t want that! Because I was having too much fun!” she cries, before heading back into the bedroom in tears, where she continues to pack.
Now, we come upon Saul Goodman, years later, in a very new kind of flash-forward. A flash-forward which almost certainly takes place within the “Breaking Bad” timeline. Saul gets out of his rotating bed with a lady friend in a lavish mansion, and spends his morning chatting up business with his assistant via earpiece. Once he finally gets to work, his office filled to the brim with drunks, drug addicts, and public masturbators, Saul finally decides to get to work. “Let justice be done, ’til the heavens fall,” he says at his now-iconic desk.
Ladies and gentlemen, Saul Goodman has entered the building.
“Better Call Saul” airs Mondays at 9 p.m. Eastern on AMC. Four episodes remain until the series finale on Monday, August 15, 2022.