Heading into the first of the final five episodes of AMC’s Vince Gilligan & Peter Gould‘s Bob Odenkirk & Rhea Seehorn-starring Better Call Saul, the deaths of Howard (Patrick Fabian) and Lalo (Tony Dalton) signaled that the series was saying goodbye in a very brutal way to its past five seasons. With tonight’s S06E09 “Fun and Games” (directed by Michael Morris and written by Ann Cherkis), it was all about the fallout and how it impacted Jimmy (Odenkirk), Kim (Seehorn), Ed Begley Jr.‘s Cliff, Giancarlo Esposito‘s Gus, Luis Politti‘s Don Eladio, and Javier Grajeda‘s Juan Bolsa. And to say this was a major game-changer episode would be an understatement, as the series crosses the line into “Breaking Bad” territory. Consider the “MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD!” sign on, and we’re throwing down an image spoiler buffer because there were a ton of random thoughts to put into play.
S06E09 “Fun and Games” Random Thoughts
The episode begins with an amazing montage of Jimmy, Kim, and Mike going about their business as if nothing ever happened. Yet, in Mike’s actions and expressions, there’s a sense of mourning. And it ends with Jimmy and Kim coming home… like nothing ever happened. But in Kim’s face, we can tell that she still sees all of it like it’s still there (with Mike’s expression as he’s burning evidence also offering the same vibe.
“One day, we’ll… uh… We’ll wake up and brush our teeth, and we’ll go to work. At some point, we’ll suddenly realize that we haven’t thought about it at all…” from the teaser and now played out here, Jimmy tells Kim that there will come a point when it’s okay to forget. But is there… even for Kim?
Even though we know Gus lives, the show still leaves you wondering what’s going to happen when he rolls into a late-night meeting with Mark Margolis‘ Hector Salamanca (with “The Twins”), Luis Politti‘s Don Eladio, and Javier Grajeda‘s Juan Bolsa. And in the end, Gus gets a very valuable lesson in hate (and we see Hector directly accuse Gus in public like that for the first time) before getting back to business, too.
Very interesting to look at how Gus and Jimmy find it much easier to get back to the day-to-day (Gus wants the meth lab construction back up and running sooner rather than later) than what we’re seeing in Mike and Kim.
A bottle of wine, an intimate exchange, and Esposito’s ability to express more emotion with his face than some actors could do with all of the dialogue in the world make for a beautifully heartbreaking moment that addresses Gus’ sexuality and the reality that his life will never allow him to embrace who he truly is outward. And yet, Gus allows himself these brief moments to remind himself that he hasn’t lost himself completely. Once again, the series demonstrates its uncanny ability to show that even “big bads” have layers.
Mike’s meeting with Nacho’s (Michael Mando) is one that’s done out of respect, father to “father.” Mike tells him about Nacho not coming back and how there will be justice in his name. But Nacho’s father sees it as nothing more than revenge, seeing no difference between Mike & Gus and the Salamancas.
Holy crap! That’s right! Jimmy and Kim would have to attend the firm’s memorial for Howard! Wow… painfully awkward from the moment they got out of the HHM elevator. And that’s when they learn just how much change is on the way, with HHM closing its location, moving to a smaller location, and changing its name. But then Jimmy & Kim meet with Howard’s widow Cheryl (Sandrine Holt), and we see just how easily they can turn the situation to their advantage. But what was interesting? While Jimmy was able to talk his way out of it, Kim was able to knock Cheryl off the trail with a mind game that left Cheryl questioning why she couldn’t see that Howard had a drug problem (which he never had).
Holy Crap, Part II! Kim notified the Bar to let them know that she was stepping down as an attorney!
“What’s done can be undone!” – Jimmy thinks he can be the “fixer” for Kim… but he can’t. And he realizes that when he sees that she’s packing to leave. “We are bad for each other,” Kim finally confesses to Jimmy, telling him she’s had “the time of her life” with him but that together, they’re “poison.”
“I love you.” – Jimmy / “I love you, too. So what?” – Kim
Kim confesses to Jimmy that she knew Lalo was alive a month earlier from her conversation with Mike, and that she didn’t tell him because she didn’t want to ruin what they had, the “fun” that she was feeling with Jimmy as they were running their scams.
FLASH-FORWARD: We see Jimmy in his gaudy castle, paying & bidding farewell to a prostitute as he conducts business- completely detached from any obvious sense of feeling. And as he makes his way to a very different, darker office than we’ve been used to and sits behind his desk, it’s clearer than ever before. Jimmy’s gone. It’s all “Saul” from now on…
And with that, we’ll see you next week as we take a look at AMC‘s Better Call Saul S06E10 “Nippy” (directed by Michelle MacLaren and written by Alison Tatlock)
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