SEason 6B Premiere: Better Call Saul Breaks Bad

Coming to grips with who you are can be tough. For some people, that means coming to the realization that they are caught in a dead-end job. For others, it may be coming to terms with a tragic family past. For me, it is admitting that I was the ‘I am going to get in shape during the pandemic guy’. Spoiler alert: I didn’t get in shape and there is a peloton bike in my basement that taunts me, while reminding me of who I really am, each time I do laundry.

I kind of hate being this person and am reluctant to embrace my dark side, but, at 45 years of age, this is probably who I am. Damn it.

After the season 6B premiere of Better Call Saul, the leading characters have more soul crushing, violent, and destructive terms to embrace than wasting $34.99 a month on an unused exercise bike subscription. In fact, a byproduct of these revelations makes it appear that BCS has effectively ended and that Breaking Bad has begun.

For example:

  • Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito) has vanquished the rival Salamanca clan and has been coronated as the meth King of the New Mexico/SW territory
  • Salamanca lieutenant Nacho Varga (Michael Mando), who placed the safety of his family above all else, embraced his fate and took his own life to ensure the safety of his father
  •  Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks) bid farewell to his last lingering thread of humanity (granddaughter Kalie aside) and came to terms with his position as fixer supreme by burying an innocent bystander, next to the man that had killed him, in the basement of a meth lab
  • As for Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk), it seems that a falling domino of this magnitude was always just a matter of time

So, the last dark side left to embrace is that of the brilliant and talented Kim Wexler (Rhea Seehorn), whose heel turn seems the most sad as she ‘joined the game’ later in life and after numerous chances not to. Kim can no longer pretend that her identity is that of a sliding scale public defender and not a de-facto cartel attorney whose antics directly contributed to the death of an innocent man; former friend and mentor Howard Hamlin (Patrick Fabian).

And being that Kim had the most humanity to lose, it makes sense that she is going to seemingly have the most difficulty dealing with Howard’s death, especially given how much Howard’s last words, pointed at Jimmy and Kim, had to sting.

Howard:

You two. You two are soulless. Jimmy, you can’t help yourself. Chuck knew it.

(To Kim specifically) But you were one of the smartest and most promising humans I have ever known…and this is the life you choose.

You are perfect for each other. You have a piece missing. I thought you did it for the money, but now it is so clear. Screw the money, you did it for fun, you get off on it.’

Damn. A former friend and mentor saying that would have to HURT, especially if your antics caused said former friend and mentor to be murdered in front of you moments later. No matter how many times Kim’s mother was emotionally abusive and regardless of how many times Kim bounced back to overachieve and overcompensate for the abuse, it doesn’t look like Kim is going to be able to fully accept who she has become.

So as the curtains rapidly descend upon BCS creators Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould’s Albuquerque universe, where does that lead us in wrapping up BCS?  I am guessing towards Kim’s emotional breakdown and arrest. Don’t believe me? Check out this screen shot I took (apologies for the poor quality) from episode 5 of season 6A. As Kim sits at her office/favorite Mexican restaurant and contemplates life choices, the shot is framed as to appear that Kim is in a jail cell.

At the beginning of the very next scene, we see Jimmy exit a car in a parking lot that is behind a fence with barbed wire. It appears that Jimmy is also incarcerated. Foreshadow much?

Regardless, the audience has a lot to look forward to during the final five episodes, and watching the (assumed) separation of Mr. and Mrs. McGill will be painful, tortuous, and may even involve blood being spilled. Or maybe Gilligan and Gould will surprise us all and Kim and Jimmy will stay together, alive, and out of prison.

Maybe my dark side isn’t so bad after all.

Revolvers and Cameras

  • Between the music, tension, use of wind and shadows, and spinning exhaust fans this episode, entitled Point and Shoot, was nothing short of a miniature horror movie
  • Kim identifying Gus’ decoy as the target of her murder attempt was a laugh-out-loud and much needed moment of comedic relief
  • I was positive that Gus’ most loyal soldier, Lyle, was going to walk into the back of Los Pollos Hermanos, see something he wasn’t supposed to see, and end up in the basement with Howard and Lalo
  • Speaking of Howard and Lalo, the big revel at the end of the episode featuring them dead on the ground together was one of the most incredible television shots in recent memory
  • I think Jimmy will use his Sandpiper money to buy the veterinarians black book, which is the ultimate metaphor for choosing bad over good and breaking bad

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