The Beginning of the End
Better Call Saul season six, episode one begins with a flashforward of what is seemingly the end for Saul Goodman, with his extravagant house emptied of all its ludicrous treasures. The tour of the Goodman mansion is ridiculously brilliant and encapsulates how over the top and “in your face” Saul Goodman is. From the viagra in the bathroom to the lavish fittings right through to the most over-the-top toilet, it’s an eccentric treasure trove, fitting for someone as ridiculous as Saul Goodman.
It’s not clear when this clearance takes place, or if it does signal the downfall of Saul Goodman. Is the clearance part of the Saul Goodman timeline or the Jimmy McGill timeline? Could the clearance be to do with Saul’s association with Walter White? Could the opening house sequence be goodbye to Saul Goodman and hello to Gene Takovic? The mystery of the mansion clearance will be uncovered later on in this final season of the show.
The ever-changing Kim Wexler
In these opening two episodes of season six, the change in Kim Wexler is more apparent than ever as she hatches a plan with Jimmy to engineer a situation where it paints the picture of Howard from HHM having a cocaine problem.
The plan hatched by Kim and Jimmy prompts Jimmy to act out various comical distractions to gain access to the locker rooms, where Jimmy attempts to discredit Howard. In addition to the locker room scene, Bob Odenkirk goes on a hilarious rant about antisemitism and how he feels victimized despite not being Jewish.
This story arc continues in the second episode, “Carrot and Stick,” where we see the return of the Kettlemans, who we first met in season one when Craig Kettleman was involved in an embezzlement case.
The embezzlement case lit the fire which ignited a war between Jimmy and HHM. Betsy Kettleman is not pleased to see Jimmy, but he quickly uses his way with words to manipulate the Kettlemans to approach Clifford Main, long-term partner of HHM, and express their worries about Howard’s apparent cocaine problem.
The Kettlemans vs. Kim and Jimmy
Betsy Kettleman hasn’t forgotten all she and Craig lost and continues to blame Jimmy. Jimmy realizes he needs to keep the Kettlemans quiet. Kim quickly realizes the Kettlemans are not the law-abiding citizens they are now pretending to be, and she shows her ruthless side by confronting the Kettlemans. What follows is a surprising turn of events, where we learn Jimmy does have a conscience regarding his past behavior.
In the first episode, “Wine and Roses,” and during the 2nd episode, we see moments where Jimmy shows a softer side. The story involving the Kettlemans shows Jimmy has never been further away from Saul Goodman, and Kim is fast becoming the real Saul Goodman. When Jimmy pretends to be Saul, it involves expensive suits and a cocksure personality.
However, Kim is fast showing she is the alpha male and chief con artist in this relationship. Her devious side is overpowering Jimmy, and he is the supporting cast in her story. Kim talks passionately about her wish for Saul that he has a cathedral of justice as a place of work.
It’s hard to tell if Kim is falling more in love with Saul than Jimmy, or if she is speaking her wishes into existence as though she were Saul Goodman. After witnessing this scene in the diner between Kim and Jimmy, it’s hard to fast forward and imagine the mansion and all the extravagant trimmings that we saw in that opening sequence of episode one.
Nacho and Lalo
Away from the Jimmy McGill show, we have another part of season six that is developing nicely involving the cartel. Nacho is on the run, thinking his snitching helped kill Lalo. Lalo is injured but alive and full of vengeance, making his way towards his version of redemption; leaving a trail of dead bodies in his wake. At the end of “Carrot and Stick,” is Lalo following Jimmy?
As Nacho’s paranoia increases, he distrusts everyone and thinks they all want him dead. Mike is a vital ally for Nacho and seems to be the only thing standing between Nacho and painful death. Despite Gus being an unhinged drug kingpin, he seems to value the experience Mike brings to his organization. Mike goes behind Gus’s back and begins to engineer a situation by replacing evidence in an attempt to protect Nacho from the clutches of Gus.
What Will Happen Next?
Better Call Saul season six episodes one and two do not rush in their storytelling. Vince Gilligan and the cast ensure every story arc is explored thoroughly. Nacho’s paranoia is explored brilliantly in the run-down motel. The directors have a unique way of setting a scene, but they do so in a way that is never anything other than fascinating.
Nacho is undoubtedly in a tight spot, and with Salamancas men closing in, can he escape?
Whose pink thong is hanging on the bathtub in the house clearance in “Wine and Roses?” Does this pink thong signal the end for Kim Wexler? Will Kim succeed in her obsessive planned takedown of Howard Hamlin? Will we see an appearance from Walter White and Jessie Pinkman? These final 11 episodes of Better Call Saul season six promises to be one hell of a ride!
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