Thursday, December 7

‘Better Call Saul’ Recap, Season 6 Premiere: Run Nacho, Run

Say this for Lalo. After spending two seasons a step or two behind his enemy, he finally knows something that Gus does not. Namely, that he’s alive. His plan, initially, is to link up with a couple of smugglers and sneak over the U.S. border to exact some revenge. He changes his mind after he calls Don Hector (Mark Margolis) in his New Mexico nursing home. Hector taps out a single word of advice on the bell attached to his wheelchair: “prueba,” or, “proof.” He means “proof” that Gus was behind the mercenary attack, something Lalo initially thinks he doesn’t have. A moment later, he has a eureka moment, grins and ends up driving back into Mexico in a vehicle stolen from the smugglers he just shot.

Nacho is again the most stressed out man on earth, this time running from everyone with a pair of eyes in Mexico as he tries to return to the United States, now with a bounty on his head. Gus has an extraction strategy in the works, which involves stashing Nacho in a motel with a gun, some cash and orders to shoot anyone who comes through the door.

On the (mostly) law-abiding side of our tale, Kim has the best day of her professional life, as she explains to Jimmy over dinner. Once she is done with the details, she re-pitches the idea of wrecking the career of her former law firm boss, Howard Hamlin (Patrick Fabian), because it would be fun and financially rewarding, as she explained in last season’s finale — a way to force the settlement of the long-running Sandpiper lawsuit and net themselves a cool couple of million. Thankfully, the camera cuts to an outside shot, looking in on the scheming couple, when Kim outlines her plan, so we don’t know any details.

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Your Faithful Recapper says “thankful” because the plan is no doubt cockamamie and cringeworthy, at least judging from its opening salvo, which we soon watch. Jimmy sneaks a small bag of powder into Howard’s golf club locker room on the theory that his golf partner and fellow law firm eminence Clifford Main (Ed Begley Jr.), will spot that baggie and instantly conclude that Mr. Hamlin has a drug problem.

Well, of course he will!

As far-fetched as this whole operation sounds — even the ease with which Jimmy divines Howard’s locker number strains credulity — it seems to work. Everything about this subplot, which threatens to become a major part of the Season 6 narrative, seems about 40 I.Q. points dimmer and daffier than the rest of the show. It also seems pointlessly cruel. If the writers want Kim to explore her wicked side, there is surely a worthier target for her machinations, no?

Easily the best part of the golf club excursion is Jimmy’s improvised accusation of antisemitism once he is asked to leave the premises. “Five thousand years, and it never ends!” says the Irish guy with the new Jewish name.


  • The opening montage is filled with Easter egg-like treasures. One of the meds on Jimmy’s bathroom sink is a prescription for Numilifor, a fictional drug for which we see a television ad in Episode 3 of last season. Also, the pages of Saul’s little black book are filled with non-alphabetic code of numbers and symbols. When you work for the cartel, all caution is advised.

  • In an establishment shot outside of the motel where Nacho stays, there seems to be a shout out to the photographer William Eggleston.

  • Shall we guess in the comments about what “proof” Hector has in mind? My only idea: It has something to do with a bottle of liquor. We see one at Lalo’s compound as the police comb through the crime scene, and the much-treasured top of another bottle is tracked in the opening scene at Saul’s impounded house, as it falls from a chest of drawers to the sidewalk.

  • “Proof” also has a good double meaning if it’s related to booze. And if you’re Don Hector, it’s quicker than spelling “Bottle of liquor.”

  • If I’m right, it’s sheer luck. If I’m wrong, remember that stress is hell on diverticulitis.

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