Sunday, May 29, 2022

‘Better Call Saul’ Recap: Season 6, Episode 1 “Wine and Roses”

It’s been two years since we’ve seen a new Better Call Saul episode. And this final season premiere gave us two heart-pounding, gripping episodes, which made the long wait more than worth it. All the familiar faces were there, and some surprises from seasons past appeared as well.

The first episode, “Wine and Roses,” opens in its usual flash-forward way. We are inside a lavish mansion where authorities are packing up items and removing art from the walls. It soon becomes apparent that this is Saul Goodman’s home. (And if the golden toilet didn’t give that away, the cardboard cutout of the (in)famous lawyer should have.) This opening scene is probably set during the time Saul leaves Albuquerque for Omaha, when Breaking Bad‘s Walter White is revealed to be the meth kingpin that he is. So, what we’re witnessing is Saul’s home being raided and cleaned out in the aftermath. And if past season premieres of Better Call Saul (and Breaking Bad, for that matter) have taught us anything, it’s that this flash-forward sequence is giving us a clue as to where we’ll end up when this series ends later this year.

Nacho Varga Is on the Run

Photo Credit: Greg Lewis/AMC/Sony Pictures Television

When we last saw Nacho at the end of season 5, he was at Lalo Salamanca’s home when an attempt was made on Lalo’s life, with Nacho’s assistance. In this episode, we see Nacho running from the compound to hide out and wait to be extracted from Mexico. He receives a call from his contact that Gus has put in place, a man named Tyrus, and is given instructions on where to go next.

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Later, Nacho arrives at a motel, where the front desk worker is waiting for him. She hands him a key to a room, and inside the room, Nacho receives further instructions, along with some cash and a gun for protection. This begins a days-long wait for Nacho, where he battles sleeplessness and mounting paranoia. He spends every waking minute peering through the curtains, looking for a sign that someone is after him. And in episode 2, he eventually finds it.

Lalo Salamanca Lives

Photo Credit: Greg Lewis/AMC/Sony Pictures Television

No one knows that Lalo survived the violent attack that occurred at his compound. And he wants to keep it that way. Lalo walks out of the compound before the authorities arrive, and he eventually makes his way to a neighbor’s house. The woman, who knows Lalo, sees him limping up to the door and helps him inside. She pours him some coffee and offers him breakfast. Lalo politely declines, and the woman’s husband enters. He greets Lalo, and his wife tells him to clean up and shave for their guest. Lalo tells the husband to keep the moustache. When the man emerges with his new shaved look, we see a remarkable resemblance between the two men.

A few scenes later, we see the frightening Cousins arrive at the compound to take stock of what happened. They find a very badly burned body they believe to be Lalo, and word of his death spreads quickly. (Now we know why Lalo wanted the man from earlier to spare his moustache. He needed a look-alike body double for the crime scene.)

Later, Lalo pays some smugglers to help him get across the border to the United States, but he first calls his uncle Hector in the nursing home to tell him that he isn’t dead after all. He tells Hector that “the chicken man” was behind the attack on his compound, and he wants to exact revenge. Hector demands that Lalo provide proof that Gus was behind the attack. At first, Lalo doesn’t think he has any, but he then realizes he might. So he changes his mind about crossing the border, killing the smugglers and getting his money back in the process, and steals a truck and drives back into Mexico.

Jimmy and Kim Scheme Together Again

Photo Credit: Greg Lewis/AMC/Sony Pictures Television
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Kim and Jimmy spend their days in the courthouse, with Kim working pro bono cases and Jimmy trying to smooth over any bumps and hiccups in his cases. At dinner, Kim tells Jimmy that she had the best day of her professional career that day, and she is really enjoying the work she is doing now. She then turns the conversation to Howard Hamlin and the Sandpiper case. She tells Jimmy that she has a plan to wreck Howard’s career and get the Sandpiper case finally settled, but “…it has to be paced right, and it has to make sense.”

The first part of their scheme involves them spying on Howard and Cliff Main (Ed Begley, Jr.) at the local golf club. Kim tells Jimmy he has about 45 minutes to do his part, and Jimmy heads inside for a tour of a clubhouse. He eventually gets inside the locker room and finds Howard’s locker. Later, when Howard opens the locker, a small baggie containing a white substance falls out, and Cliff sees this happen. Howard is understandably confused, and Cliff is understandably worried about his friend. And the reason why Jimmy planted this baggie in Howard’s locker will become more clear in the second episode.

Better Call Saul airs on Monday nights at 9 p.m. EST on AMC. Catch our weekly recaps here, and read our recap of episode 2 “Carrot and Stick” now.

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