It’s finally here, folks: the first two episodes of the final season of AMC’s “Better Call Saul” airs at 9 p.m. Eastern tonight. The season will be split into two parts – similar to the final season of “Breaking Bad” – with five more episodes of part one being released in subsequent weeks, followed by a 7-week break until it resumes with part 2 on July 11. Unsurprisingly, critics who have already gotten a sneak peak of the premiere have given it a perfect rating.
Where We Left Off
AMC released an official recap of season 5 here, and given how it has been almost two years since we last saw a new episode of the series, many fans may need it. But in case you don’t have 15 minutes, here is a trimmed-down version of where we last left off:
After being arrested for the murder of TravelWire clerk Fred Whalen, Lalo Salamanca (Tony Dalton) hires Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk) to pick up the bail money in the New Mexico desert. Much to the dismay of his newlywed, Kim Wexler (Rhea Seehorn), Jimmy does it, but is ambushed and nearly killed by a squad of gunmen. Luckily, however, he is saved by Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks), who was tracking Jimmy on behalf of Gustavo Fring (Giancarlo Esposito).
When it came to Kim’s character arc, season 5 also ended on a cliffhanger. After a vocal argument about Jimmy with her (and Jimmy’s) former boss Howard Hamlin (Patrick Fabian), Kim decides she wants to follow through with a plan by Jimmy to derail Howard’s career; a plan originally formulated to force the resolution of Jimmy’s case involving the old folk’s home, the settlement of which Jimmy would have received a substantial share. The last we see of the two of them, Jimmy advises against the plan and asks Kim if she’s sure she really wants to do it. In response, Kim mimics Jimmy’s signature finger gun gesture in a sign that she is not only sure but enthusiastic about it.
Meanwhile, Gus, who has a well-known longstanding feud with the Salamancas, put a hit out on Lalo. It almost succeeds, but Lalo narrowly escapes, killing all but one of Gus’s assassins, who he orders to tell whoever hired him to report that he, Lalo, had died. However, in an ominous sign for Gus’s mole in the Salamanca cartel, Nacho Varga (Michael Mando), Lalo notices that Nacho, who fled before the firefight began, is missing and hence realizes he must have been in on the plot.
How all these cliffhangers are resolved is yet to be seen, though surely the first two episodes of season 6 will give us an idea. Stay posted for our live update of the episodes as they air.
Season 6 Episode 1: ‘Wine and Roses’
For the cold open, all we get is a mysterious tracking shot of a group of workers clearing out what appears to be Saul Goodman’s mansion, in one of the few instances of what is likely a flash-forward sequence in color. The camera ominously focuses in on H.G. Wells’s “The Time Machine” and some of Saul Goodman’s prescription bottles. Outside, there’s a good shot of Saul’s cardboard cutout getting planted in the dumpster, flashing his finger guns at us as if they’re still worth anything.
Meanwhile, in the present, Nacho is escaping from the mansion where Gus’s men tried to kill Lalo, as seen in season 5. After all this time, his fate will finally be revealed. He’s fleeing north from the mansion, and while hiding out in a ditch, gets a call from Mike, who gives him instructions. When Nacho asks if “it’s done,” Mike responds, “Yeah, it’s done,” revealing that he and Gus likely believe (mistakenly) that Lalo is dead.
Meanwhile, Lalo takes refuge in a farm of a couple living on his compound. There, although the couple is friendly, he kills them both separately (apparently using a scissor blade), but not before having the man, who looks kind of like him, shave his beard in order to use his body as a decoy.
Over in Albuquerque, Jimmy and Kim ger ready for their days. While looking for cash for the cab, Jimmy resorts to taking some from the stash of bail money. On the way out, Kim literally tosses the memorable “World’s 2nd Best Lawyer (Again)” coffee mug in the garbage, likely representing the imminent and inevitable demise of their relationship.
At the Salamanca mansion, post-assassination attempt, The Cousins come to investigate the scene, which is swarming with police. There, they find a dead girl, burnt to a crisp, and cover her with a jacket, as well as the cross of Santa Muerte, a cult-like religion which we know from “Breaking Bad” the Cousins are adherents of.
Gus receives a call from Don Bolsa, who is frightened of what went down, and though he doesn’t know of Gus’s involvement, he has concluded that Nacho is a rat. Gus is unsure about Lalo’s apparent death, suspicious that all but one of his assassins were killed yet they still succeeded in their mission.
Over at the courthouse, the prosecutors tell Jimmy that they have discovered Lalo, who they know as “Jorge de Guzman,” is on the run, and likely gave a fake identity. Jimmy, who accidentally lets Lalo’s real name slip, manages to weasel his way out of the confrontation, but is definitely on the hook for aiding and abetting a fugitive.
Kim is still generously taking on a lot of cases pro bono. Despite Jimmy thinking her day of casework sounds like “the day from hell,” Kim calls it one of the best days of her life. Kim suggests that Jimmy beef up his car and office to match the Saul Goodman persona. She then once again brings up the idea of tanking Howard’s career, but – mercifully – without destroying him completely. Jimmy is hesitant, but agrees to hear out the plan.
Nacho, meanwhile, makes his way to a tiny motel in the desert, where the manager mysteriously gives him a key without either of them saying a word. On the bed in his room, Nacho finds an envelope stuffed with a gun and some cash. Knowing the cartel has put a price on his head, that gun will be necessary for his self-defense. At his daughter-in-law Stacey’s, while taking care of his granddaughter, Mike rejects a call from Nacho.
Kim and Jimmy scout out Howard at a golf course, their plan in action. As Saul Goodman, Jimmy almost takes a tour of the club, but unfortunately runs into Kevin Wachtell, the CEO of Mesa Verde. Claiming he is a victim of antisemitism (though of course Jimmy is not Jewish), he makes a scene in the lobby while Kim continues to stake out Howard. Later, Jimmy distracts the bathroom attendant to determine Howard’s locker number, where he proceeds to plant a bag of cocaine (which is really just baby powder). Howard is confused when he finds it in front of Clifford Main – a partner at another law firm who Howard is golfing with – though Main seems unconvinced by his insistence that he doesn’t know where it came from.
Back in the car, Kim expresses her concern that this might have been “too subtle,” though Jimmy disagrees. He thinks it is working perfectly.
While on the run, Lalo makes a call to his uncle, Hector Salamanca, revealing to him that he is still alive, and implicates Gus in the botched assassination attempt. Hector, communicating through his signature bell, asks if there is proof. Lalo believes he can find some. He then goes on to kill the American coyotes who intended to smuggle some Mexicans north of the border, tells the hopeful immigrants that they will have to find another way to the U.S., gives them back their money, then heads back down south in his pickup truck.
You can find our recap of episode 2 here.
“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.