The second half of Better Call Saul‘s sixth and final season started with a bang, bringing a bloody end to the feud between Lalo Salamanca (Tony Dalton) and Gustavo Fring (Giancarlo Esposito). Now, Episode 9, “Fun and Games,” takes us to the day after Lalo’s death, showing how everybody is dealing with everything that took place on that traumatic night. On one side, Gus is ready to declare victory and move forward with his plans to take down the Salamancas. On the other, Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk) and Kim Wexler (Rhea Seehorn) are trying their best to keep it together after the gruesome murder of Howard Hamlin (Patrick Fabian). And while each pawn on the Better Call Saul board has their own game to play, everyone is doing the best they can. After all, despite tragedy, life goes on.
It’s not so easy to forget, though, and Episode 9 shows how different people process guilt in their own way. For Saul, the storm has passed, and he’s eager to leave everything behind. Kim, however, cannot do the same. That means the series has finally started to address Kim’s final fate, explaining why she’s not part of Breaking Bad. We still have no idea what might happen in the four remaining episodes of Better Call Saul Season 6, but for now, let’s recap Episode 9.
After coming out on top of his final confrontation with Lalo, Gus has eliminated the main threat to his plan to build a meth lab and make a move to take over the entire drug business from the cartel. However, Hector Salamanca (Mark Margolis) is still determined to get revenge on Gus, deciding to tell what he knows to Don Eladio (Steven Bauer). Gus is summoned to Don Eladio’s home, where the cartel leader is waiting for him with Hector, Bolsa (Javier Grajeda), and the Salamanca Twins (Daniel Moncada and Luis Moncada).
In the gloomy meeting, Bolsa reads a letter dictated by Hector, in which the Salamanca patriarch reveals that Lalo was alive after his home was attacked by mercenaries. Hector also reveals Lalo went back to the U.S. to get revenge on Gus, the real one responsible for the attack. Finally, Hector lets everyone know that Lalo disappeared while tracking Gus, which means he’s probably dead. While Hector doesn’t know about Gus’ secret lab, he’s pretty much correct about everything else. Unfortunately for him, Gus did a wonderful job covering his tracks.
After hearing the serious accusation Hector brought to the meeting, Eladio asks Gus to defend himself. Gus refuses, dismissing Hector’s story as nonsense that’s unworthy of a reply. So, to solve the issue, Don Eladio reviews all the evidence he has at hand. The Twins confirm they saw the burnt corpse of Lalo after the mercenaries’ attack. Bolsa also underlines how Mexican federal agents found a match between the burnt corpse teeth and Lalo’s dental records. Finally, Eladio confirms that the traitor Nacho Vargas (Michael Mando) confessed to be working for a Peruvian cartel and that Bolsa found enough paper trail to confirm the story. Gus had a lot of work to put all this fake info together, but in the end, it paid off because his lies could stand even an accusation by Hector. Eladio decides to stand for Gus, split the U.S. cartel territory in two, and ensure the peace remains intact by giving a fair share to the Salamancas. After months of careful planning and execution, Gus finally got rid of the Salamanca menace and is ready to focus on his meth lab once more.
Also on the organized crime side of the series, Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks) is dealing with the guilt of having delivered Nacho to the Salamancas. Mike cannot forget the fact they gave away a young man with a good heart just to keep Gus’ lies intact. So, in the evening, after cleaning Saul’s and Kim’s apartment and removing Howard’s body, Mike decides to look for Nacho’s father, Manuel Vargas (Juan Carlos Cantu), to let him know his son won’t ever be found. Mike tells Manuel that Nacho’s death was quick and clean and that justice would be soon coming for the Salamancas. Manuel, however, says revenge does not equal justice and that the cycle of violence will never end for those involved with organized crime. As we know from the events of Breaking Bad, that’s especially true for Mike.
Episode 9 ends for Mike and Gus when the owner of Los Pollos Hermanos orders his general to restart the construction of his secret meth lab. Mike promises to look for a new engineer and crew to take care of the job but underlines the process could take some time. Gus doesn’t mind, though, as he knows he’s built solid foundations for his plans to take over meth distribution to move forward.
A Sad Farewell
On the day after Lalo’s return and Howard’s murder, Kim and Saul do their best to have a regular day at work. As Mike tells them, sticking to their usual routine will help avoid any suspicions once the police have found Howard’s car in the simulated suicide scene. Saul and Kim play their part, doing what they can to sell the lie that Howard was a drug addict. The decisive moment comes at Howard’s memorial service at HHM, when Saul and Kim realize that their lies lead to a lot of pain and suffering. For starters, HHM is downsizing after the death of Howard, incapable of keeping its size after being dragged into a drug addiction scandal and losing all of its leading partners. Then, there’s Howard’s wife, Cheryl (Sandrine Holt), who refuses to believe her husband ever used drugs.
During the funeral, Cheryl confronts Saul, saying that Howard told her he was being targeted by all kinds of stupid pranks. Saul denies he ever came after Howard, blaming his erratic behavior on the drugs. To make the story more credible, Kim tells one more lie, claiming she had witnessed Howard snorting coke while she was still an intern at HHM. That moment leads to Kim’s breakdown, as she cannot pretend she’s a good person anymore.
After Howard’s funeral, Kim abandons all her cases and gives up being an attorney. When Saul arrives home to try to dissuade Kim from her choice, he also finds out she’s breaking up with him. As Kim explains, Saul is always worried about being too bad for her, but the truth is they are bad for each other. Together, Saul and Kim push each other to lie and break the law, all in name of having fun. So, she must leave, so they both can be better people alone. Kim also confesses she knew Lalo was alive and didn’t tell Saul because she didn’t want them to stop going after Howard. Her decision, then, ultimately led to Howard’s death. She can no longer deny the damage she has done together with Saul, and although they deeply love each other, they can no longer be together.
Episode 9 of Better Call Saul ends with a huge time jump. We don’t know how much time has passed, but Saul Goodman is already a known lawyer with a fancy office and hundreds of clients. He also has his mansion, filled with gold and expensive pictures. Kim is nowhere to be seen, but we can assume that the series will at least address what happened to her in the next episodes.
New episodes of Better Call Saul premiere on AMC every week.