‘Better Call Saul’ Season 6, Episode 8 Recap: Showdown


The same goes for Kim. She is never mentioned in “Breaking Bad.” But the names “Lalo” and “Ignacio” are, and both of those guys are dead. The fate of Kim is one of the great unknowns of this story, and the possibility that it could intersect with the Omaha version of Jimmy/Saul is tantalizing.

Here’s what’s certain. Walter White (Bryan Cranston) and Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) are about to turn up — in three scenes, according to a recent Cranston interview. And the promo poster for this season shows Gene Takavic taking off a bright red sports jacket. The rest is a very eagerly anticipated mystery.

  • One upside to watching a murder in your condo; refrigerator upgrade!

  • Did Fring hire a body double? It seems as though the young man Kim points to as her intended murder victim plays no other role than providing potential bait to a would-be assassin. That said, he does appear mildly startled to learn that he was her target.

  • Right before the shooting starts in the superlab, Fring makes a prediction to Lalo: that Hector will be the last Salamanca alive and that “before he dies, he will know I buried every one of you.” As it happens, this is true.

  • As we say goodbye to Lalo, let’s celebrate this singular character. He was the only Salamanca who knew how to behave in polite society; his bar scene with Weiner Ziegler’s widow, for instance, is one that no other member of his clan could have managed. He was discriminating when it came to violence, too. Where his kinsman were unhinged sadists, Lalo exits the show with a body count that is low for his cohort. His most egregious act is murdering the TravelWire employee. And Howard Hamlin. And Caspar the German superlab worker.

  • OK, he killed his share of people.

That said, Lalo emphasized civility, or rather, he urged it on others. “Drive nice,” he instructed Jimmy and Kim as he outlined his plans in this episode. “Be nice,” he told the men driving immigrants over the Mexican border in the first episode of this season. When he changes his mind about the trip to the United States, and these guys won’t provide a refund, he calmly reminds them:

“I told you, be nice,” he says. Then he starts shooting.

Lalo died as he lived, one step behind his enemy. Even in the end, when it appeared that he had outsmarted and outplayed Gus, when all of his plans came together and he actually got the long-sought tour of the superlab, he lost. He was competent and smart enough to provoke deep anxiety in the preternaturally implacable Mr. Fring. This might be his most impressive accomplishment, and it hinted at both his strengths and limitations. Brought to breezy and chilling life by Tony Dalton, he was scary, entertaining, charming and doomed.

Now he is entombed in the superlab, where apparently he is never found, not even when the D.E.A. shows up and sifts for clues in the aftermath of Fring’s “Breaking Bad” death.

Buenos noches, you rascal.

Please leave farewells and speculations in the comments section.