Caution: spoilers ahead for Better Call Saul season 6, episode 7,The midway cliffhanger of Better Call Saul season 6 is a force to be reckoned with – here’s our full breakdown of how “Plan & Execution” is planned and executed. When AMC first announced Better Call Saul‘s final season would arrive in two chunks, comparisons to Breaking Bad were immediate. A doozy of a cliffhanger was promised, but could the spinoff match Hank Schrader’s bathroom epiphany that Walter White is Heisenberg?,Better Call Saul season 6’s “Plan & Execution” marks the grand finale of Jimmy McGill and Kim Wexler’s attempt to frame Howard Hamlin as a struggling drug addict unfit to practice law, forcing a swift resolution to the long-running Sandpiper case, and taking the $2 million they’re owed from the common fund. The scam has gone perfectly so far (more or less), with Davies & Main’s Cliff Main semi-convinced Howard has his nose everywhere but the grindstone. The final phase takes place during a Sandpiper mediation meeting, and Jimmy and Kim are ready to make their influence felt.,More: Better Call Saul Season 6 Perfectly Flips Breaking Bad’s Best Episode,”Plan & Execution” is an intricate, hard-hitting midpoint finale to Better Call Saul season 6, and drops a hell of an exclamation point for audiences to freak out over before the last episodes begin airing in July. The episode completes Jimmy and Kim’s scheme in stunningly violent fashion, continues to set the stage for Gus vs. Lalo, and promises a darker ending than even Breaking Bad. Here’s how and why everything goes down the way it does.,Better Call Saul season 6’s “Axe & Grind” dropped the bone-breaking bombshell that Rand Casimiro – the Sandpiper mediator Jimmy hired an actor to impersonate – currently holds his left arm in a sling. This meant the fake photos showing Jimmy slipping “Casimiro” a package outside Saul Goodman & Associates were useless. In a rush to fix this glaring error, “Plan & Execution” sees Jimmy hastily assemble his Avengers – the actor, the college film crew, and a rogue elf. They’re joined by Kim, who has completely forsaken her big career opportunity to bring arts & crafts supplies for a semi-convincing plaster cast. Together, the team recreates their original photos on the college lawn, with Casimir-no receiving Jimmy’s package from a nearby bench – this time with sling in shot. The gang also takes a second set of photos Better Call Saul doesn’t reveal right away, and these depict Jimmy on the very same bench passing a Frisbee back to some random guy (actually the film crew’s boom operator). These become important later on…,Until now, an important chunk of Jimmy McGill and Kim Wexler’s Sandpiper con was obscured, but Better Call Saul‘s mid-season 6 finale reaches down the back of the sofa to find that missing piece is actually… Howard’s private investigator. “Black & Blue” revealed Howard hired a PI to keep tabs on Jimmy’s movements, certain the shady “Saul Goodman” was up to old tricks. The PI featured once again in the following episode, this time guiding Howard through numerous innocuous photos of Jimmy going about his daily business, as well as one suspicious shot where their target was withdrawing $20,000 in cash.,Howard’s detective was actually working with Jimmy and Kim all along. As the HHM boss eventually Scooby-Doos, Jimmy phoned their office weeks prior, posing as the firm’s contracted detective agency and asking to update their contact details. When Howard then calls to hire a private investigator – a development Jimmy and Kim were apparently counting on – he dials the fake number and gets a fake PI who’s already woven into the scam., ,Howard was supposed to see the photo of Jimmy withdrawing $20,000 in a striped envelope, because when that same striped envelope is later being handed to Rand Casimiro in a different set of PI photos, Howard immediately assumes the Sandpiper mediator is taking bribes to reach a quicker settlement. This is why Kim stops the second shoot to make sure the envelope is visible. The revelation of the investigator’s true allegiance has been staring Better Call Saul viewers right in the face for some time: the magnifying glass sticky note on Jimmy & Kim’s planning board…,While Jimmy & Kim’s staged Rand Casimiro photos are designed to make Howard doubt the judge’s impartial integrity, they secretly serve an ulterior purpose. Back in Better Call Saul season 6’s “Axe & Grind,” Jimmy sourced a stimulant drug from Dr. Caldera – Better Call Saul‘s criminal vet. Drops of this drug are lathered across the falsified photos before being swept into a brown envelope and rushed to the waiting private investigator. Since Jimmy & Kim both wear gloves (and the PI touches the envelope), Howard Hamlin is the only unlucky soul to make skin contact with the prints. The stimulant dilates his pupils, brings on jitters, and generally recreates common symptoms of drug addiction.,Howard Hamlin enters the Sandpiper mediation meeting already looking like he mainlined a barrel of espresso, so when he recognizes Rand Casimiro as the man Jimmy was bribing in the photographs his “private investigator” took, Howard loses his head. The other participants – Cliff Main most of all – are skeptical of these accusations and notice Howard’s sweaty, wide-eyed state, but Jimmy and Kim’s pièce de résistance comes when the PI’s photos are brought into the room. Unbeknownst to Howard, his phony detective switched Jimmy’s Casimiro photos with the Frisbee set. When the enraged Hamlin reveals these meaningless images to his colleagues, he only looks more detached from reality.,The plan has exactly the effect Jimmy & Kim intend. Howard looking like some kooky drug addict in full view of Sandpiper’s representatives delivers a devastating blow to the case. Now in the driving seat, Schweikart and Cokely (Sandpiper’s lawyers) make a reduced offer that’ll keep lowering every day until the case gets settled. Even though Howard could maybe prove his innocence due to the PI contact number being wrongly changed, Cliff Main duly points out the damage is already done., ,Kim and Jimmy get to laugh along with every second of Howard’s pain. In Better Call Saul season 6’s “Axe & Grind,” Jimmy had Francesca pose as a Sandpiper resident’s daughter to gain an access code for the mediation meeting. Apparently, this was so Jimmy & Kim can eavesdrop on the conference call and check their plan was working. Hearing Howard squirm is a delightful bonus.,When Tony Dalton’s smiling face last graced Better Call Saul, Lalo Salamanca was making a nuisance of himself in Europe by tormenting Casper, one of Werner Ziegler’s loyal employees from the Gus Fring superlab project. The first half of their conversation transpired in “Axe & Grind,” with a wounded Lalo promising to torture Casper unless he spilled some beans. Better Call Saul‘s mid-season 6 finale opens with Lalo back in New Mexico, leaving the remainder of that conversation to the audience’s imagination. We can assume the Croatian construction worker cracked like a jaje, telling Lalo everything he needed to know about the giant cavity underneath Lavandería Brillante.,To avoid detection from Mike Ehrmantraut’s army of sentries, Lalo Salamanca approaches the superlab site via a manhole in a totally different street, having apparently stocked this subterranean cubbyhole with food, supplies and a deckchair between episodes 6 and 7. He also made sure to pack a camcorder for recording proof of his findings, and courteously records Don Eladio an introduction message explaining how he got there.,Lalo Salamanca then gives the best demonstration of his cunning yet in Better Call Saul. He phones Hector Salamanca – presumably to update his uncle about the superlab and Germany – but when Casa Tranquila puts him on hold, Lalo notices a strange crackle over the music. This noise confirms the line is tapped, and it doesn’t take long to deduce Gus Fring is the tapper. In a stroke of genius, Lalo calls again but lies to Hector, claiming there’s no proof of Fring’s guilt, and he’s reverting to the original plan of cold-blooded revenge. This is a lie, of course, and Hector is irate at his nephew’s rashness, but Lalo’s words are pure misdirection, since he knows the call will reach Gus Fring’s ears. The Chicken Man now expects a frontal invasion of his house, taking attention away from Lalo’s real target, the superlab., ,Despite outfoxing Gus Fring, Lalo still can’t enter the superlab site immediately. Seeking a spark of inspiration, Lalo spots a cockroach in the sewer and immediately remembers his lawyer pal, Saul Goodman (who he called a cockroach back in Better Call Saul season 5, hence the connection). Thanks to the Hector phone call from earlier, Gus now believes his home is under immediate threat, so Mike pulls as many guards as possible to that location. This leaves Jimmy and Kim – who Mike previously placed a tail on – exposed, allowing Lalo Salamanca to snake through their apartment window unseen.,Better Call Saul season 6 goes on break before Lalo Salamanca explains the purpose behind paying Jimmy and Kim a visit, but we can already draw tentative assumptions. Lalo might want revenge against these lying lawyers in the long run, but payback against Gus Fring takes priority, so infiltrating Kim’s apartment in “Plan & Execution” can’t be a simple assassination – Lalo wants something. Precisely what he wants from Jimmy and Kim remains unknown, but it’ll likely result in the sneaky Salamanca finding a route into the superlab, possibly by exploiting Jimmy’s connections with Mike.,It doesn’t feel overly bold to suggest Howard Hamlin’s death will hang heavy over Better Call Saul‘s remaining episodes. A prominent lawyer’s fresh corpse is now decorating the floor of Kim’s apartment, and the man responsible is officially considered dead by the authorities. Jimmy and Kim can’t very well call the cops, and even if they successfully dispose of the body (Walter White knows a trick for that…), Howard’s disappearance will make waves soon enough. Given the recent bad blood between them, Jimmy McGill would surely be among the prime suspects. Maybe this is how Lalo Salamanca gains leverage over his two cockroaches. The gangster has considerably more experience in the business of covering up murders than Jimmy or Kim do; if Lalo solves their Howard problem, they might solve his Gus Fring problem.,Jimmy McGill and Kim Wexler need to either frame Howard’s murder to look like the lawyer took his own life, or prove Lalo Salamanca pulled the trigger after rising from the dead before Better Call Saul ends. Jail beckons if they can’t – and maybe that would explain Kim’s absence in Breaking Bad.,
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