As ‘Better Call Saul’ draws to a close, an era is coming to an end. There might always be another spinoff series of movie (I, for one, would love to see the origin story of one Lalo Salamanca), but the end of ‘BCS’ is a major end. The first episode in volume 2 of the show’s sixth and final season, titled “Point and Shoot”, is easily one of the best the series has ever been: brutal and emotionally devastating.
Note that this review is very, in fact totally spoilery, so if you are yet to watch the episode, the season or the show, do that and come back. I will be waiting.
The last episode had Lalo (Tony Dalton) ambushing Jimmy (Bob Odenkirk), Kim (Rhea Seehorn), and Howard (Patrick Fabian) as the latter excoriated the former two for undermining him. But the playful pranks that Jimmy and Kim played on Howard quickly turned deadly as Lalo casually shot Howard in the head.
“Point and Shoot” picks up soon after Howard’s death. Lalo has no time for Jimmy and Kim’s grief for Howard (which is frankly hypocritical as they did try to destroy his career and reputation) and asks Jimmy to knock on a particular door and kill the black and librarian-appearing man (Gus Fring) who opens it and he would wait with Kim until he finishes the job.
This is a ruse as Lalo wants to record the evidence of the underground meth lab that Fring has been building. Jimmy convinces Kim to do the job instead. Lalo agrees, Kim leaves and Lalo also leaves after binding Jimmy to a chair. When Kim reaches the house, she is restrained by Mike and his men.
They quickly leave for her house and found it empty — apart from Jimmy, of course. Meanwhile, Lalo is at the lab, where Frings also reaches on a hunch and his men are quickly dispatched by a hiding Lalo. He brings out a video camera and records Fring and the secret lab. But Fring, always preparing for any and every emergency has a handgun hidden in the still-under-construction lab. And shoots Lalo in the neck. It is a brutal end and the man leaves the world with a wry smile on his face.
So read: ‘Better Call Saul’ Season 6 Volume 2 trailer: Beginning of the end
The fixer that he is, Mike (Jonathan Banks), visited Jimmy and Kim and took care of Howard’s body. The cracks in Jimmy’s vestige of conscience are appearing as he did not seem to care as the body was squeezed into his refrigerator for disposal. The ‘Breaking Bad’ universe delights in nuanced storytelling but also knows when to deliver payoffs that feel as though somebody struck you with a jackhammer. Sure, Jimmy has been breaking bad for a while now. It is a tragedy at this point. He is stepping at the precipice with little nudges he is being given by both internal and external forces. But that casual look he gave is something we know from Saul Goodman of ”Breaking Bad’.
What a corker of an episode. The pace, the camerawork, the suspense, the acting, every single thing was absolutely top notch. Just like ‘Breaking Bad’ fired on all cylinders in the final season the entire sixth season of ‘Better Call Saul’ until now has been chock-full of shocks, payoffs and incredible dramatic moments.
Lalo had to die in the last few episodes, sadly, as he is no longer alive in ‘Breaking Bad’, but some writers, overseen by Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould, still managed to create a sense of mystery around his fate. A majestically complex character played with utter elegance by Dalton.
It is hard to believe there are still five episodes remaining. ‘Better Call Saul’ is streaming on Netflix.