Consequences would be the theme we would choose for the most recent episode of Better Call Saul on AMC. One of the greatest drama series of all time began its final season’s second half with a bang.
Mike simply kept getting angrier, sadder, and darker, while Gus ultimately triumphed in the deadly chess game he was playing with Lalo, Kim was made to realise just how deep she had fallen in her own thrill ride, and Jimmy, well… He demonstrated that he would be willing to cross any obstacle in his way.
Given that part 2 of Better Call Saul’s sixth season is intended to tie up Gene Takovic’s unresolved fate as well as the unfinished story of Saul Goodman and Jimmy’s ongoing story, in addition to Jimmy’s ongoing plot. As we see the change in timelines cemented with a stylish montage and a rare post-credit sequence from Gilligan and company that only helps to muddy the waters, Episode 9 seemed like the genuine beginning of the end.
How about the episode’s events, though? And how does it prepare us for what follows? This Better Call Saul Season 6 Episode 9 explained and all our theories for episode 10 – Explored is here to address that question. Oh, and there will be a lot of those, so consider this your spoiler alert!
All Actions Have Consequences: Investigating “Fun and Games”
Better Call Saul’s Season 6 Part B expertly carried over the suspense from the midseason finale’s climax. Lalo Salamanca broke into Kim Wexler’s house, made her go try to kill Gus, broke into the laundry, and was eventually killed by Gus. Mike spent the most of the episode speculating on his adversary’s next move and frequently got it wrong. But now that Fring had resolved his greatest issue, at least in terms of conscious speech, it was time for him to slam the mute button firmly in his face.
Gus travels to Don Eladio’s property on official business, and Cousins and Hector Salamanca himself pay him a visit as well. If you’ll recall the events that led up to Lalo’s death, you’ll know that he told Hector he was alive and was going to try to kill Fring; and even though that was a dummy mission statement because Lalo figured out his uncle’s phone was tapped, it ended up playing out just the way he unknowingly set it up.
So, when Lalo didn’t call Hector or show up at Casa Tranquila, he naturally assumed that his nephew was dead, and he also deduced that Fring was behind it somehow. Therefore, he demanded Don Eladio hold a face-to-face confrontation where Fring would be formally accused of betraying the cartel and tried by the Don himself. Gus showed up to the meeting still suffering from the effects of taking a close-range shot straight to his chest, but he managed to fight through the pain of a broken rib and put on the performance of a lifetime without even trying too hard to do so in the first place.
In the last episode, Gus finally voiced all his frustration and hatred towards the cartel whilst Lalo was recording him and we saw that it wasn’t just the fact that Eladio killed Max that pissed Gus off, it was also the fact that imbeciles like him held the hierarchical power to treat a genius like Gus like a pushover.
He calls Eladio stupid, short-sighted, money-hungry and a pimp besides, and says that he would never see this betrayal coming, and everything he said is proven true in this episode. It must have taken The Cousins hours to painstakingly figure out and write down every single letter that Hector wanted them to convey to the bosses, but he simply disregards Hector’s suspicions- which we know to be true- and goes straight into “examining” the facts of the case.
We already know that a mind more skeptical that Eladio’s would have had Gus sleeping in his swimming pool by the time Bolsa was done reading Hector’s letter, but alas, this is the Winking Greek we’re talking about, and Eladio instead opts to divide his empire and keep Gus on under the fairly slippery eye of Juan Bolsa. Instead of giving Hector the blood he was looking for, Eladio gives him a bed and a maybe a couple girls, and blatantly disrespects perhaps his most-loyal peer till date.
Heck, Gus was so confident that things would go his way, he turned up alone, unarmed, refused to admit to anything, and still walked away with complete control over the cartel’s northern territory. Pulling off such an elaborate game of personal revenge puts Gus in such a mood that he even ends up semi-flirting with his favourite sommelier David; but after this brief moment of vulnerability, Gus puts his stoic façade back on and goes straight back to business. He tells Mike to look for a new engineer and construction crew immediately, and that’s the last we see of him in this episode. Of Gus, that is; Mike has to deal with the consequences of his own actions as well.
After leaving Gus’ basement tunnel and making his way back home, Mike digs open his floorboards and takes out his stash box to, well, stash his weapons when he stumbles across the fake ID Nacho had gotten made for his dad. Though Mike puts it back, even a good ol’ round of baseball can’t get him to stop thinking about Papa Varga so he calls in to his upholstery shop and does what we thought he was always going to do; tells him about Nacho’s death.
Mike does his best to try to be as nice about it as he can, calling Nacho a man with a good heart who just got mixed up with the wrong people. But in his attempt to console Nacho’s dad, we realise how far Mike himself has fallen from grace. When he started his journey in Better Call Saul, he would refuse to commit violence against a madman like Tuco, choosing instead to get his own face broken.
Now, he was telling Papa Varga that his son would get “justice”, but the latter realises that all Mike is talking about is revenge, and he walks away calling Mike and all his gangster friends “the same”. We don’t think this is the last time we’ll see Papa Varga before Better Call Saul is over, but we will see him again, because Mike’s story isn’t over just yet.
But speaking of stories that are over, it looks like the tale of James McGill- and, sadly, Kim Wexler- has finally come to an end. Because by the end of this episode, Jimmy has become Saul and Kim…well, keep listening. Our modern-day Pumpkin and Honey Bunny begin their days just the way Mike asks them to; normally. They go about their business as usual but the direction style conveys their clear sense of anxiety.
When Jimmy and Kim return to Kim’s apartment and find it looking exactly how it looked before Lalo redecorated it for them with Howard Hamlin’s brains, they decide not to stay at the place probably haunted by Howard’s ghost and go to a hotel room where Jimmy gives Kim the same speech Mike gave him in the Bagman episode. But we can already see that Kim has no illusions of just how big the consequences of her actions have been. Her fear was clear for anyone to see in the last episode, and in this episode, her leaving Jimmy because of it was sort of inevitable.
Kim has always been the one with more of a moral compass in this conning duo, so when she sees how many lives her actions have ruined, she decides to get away from all of it. Not only did Howard die, Kim had to lie to his widow to keep the heat off her and Jimmy, and also grapple with the fact that HHM was now downsizing and relocating; all because of her subterfuge.
Her claim in Season 5 that this would simply be a career setback for one lawyer pales in comparison to what actually ends up happening, which makes her realise that Jimmy was right when he said she wouldn’t be okay with this in the cold light of day; because she isn’t. After attending Howard’s funeral service, she kisses Jimmy and leaves him, then quits being an attorney in the middle of a defence- it is and isn’t as dramatic as we make it sound- and literally has all her stuff packed by the time he realises what she has done.
Jimmy is doing the same song and dance he does every time he sees someone leaving him; he deflects the topic, says he’ll do whatever it takes to make things right, and keeps pushing to “let the healing begin”, but he can tell this is far out of his hands now. So, he pulls out the one card he hasn’t so far; Jimmy tells Kim he loves her. He finally coughs up those words that we have known are true since the show premiered, and she reciprocates his emotions, but then she says the most important few pieces of dialogue in our opinion.
Kim says that it doesn’t matter that they love each other, that when they’re together they poison the lives of everyone around them, and that she didn’t tell him that Mike had approached her because she was scared it would somehow lead to a break-up, signifying that she was really doing all this for Jimmy, not herself. And when he put her in the line of fire with Lalo, she realised she wasn’t cut out for any of this. And so she packed her bags and left the scene- for now- as we get a flash-forward to the Breaking Bad timeline and see Saul in his mansion. We get a montage that is in stark contrast with the tone of the rest of the episode.
The first 40 odd minutes of Fun and Games have an unmatched sense of intensity that only builds as it approaches the end, and then the tone shifts to Saul Goodman constantly chatting away on his signature blue-tooth from the moment he gets up. Seriously, he takes calls in the shower, too! The only time he gets off a call is to hear one of his commercials, but even there, he’s always looking for flaws in presentation.
Saul finally makes it his office which has been transformed from the feng-shui-inspired design that Francesca had selected for him to the one we saw in Breaking Bad. The episode comes to an end with Saul quoting the maxim “Let justice be done though the heavens fall”, mirroring his elder brother Charles from season 3, as he prepares to meet a rather familiar face. And whose face might that be? Well, this is where our theories come in.
Mike might kill Papa Varga to display just how far he has fallen
Mike Ehrmantraut in Breaking Bad and Mike Ehrmantraut in Better Call Saul are fundamentally different people. You might not be able to tell that if you just go by his general aura of having known and seen it all, but the difference maker is the fact that Mike is reluctant to even lay a hand on someone at the start of Better Call Saul; whereas in Breaking Bad, he operated as a stone-cold killer and fixer of all kinds of things, including your water heater, probably.
Throughout BCS, we have seen Mike’s moral compass butt heads with his pressing needs. We know that he wants to take care of Stacey and Kaylee, but he also does not want to end up abandoning them; or worse, die before they do, making his entire post-“retirement” life amount to nothing. In fact, the only person he has truly wanted to kill in all 6 seasons is Hector Salamanca, and even that was something stimulated by personal feelings. And perhaps the saddest thing of all, is that Mike seems to be fated to kill every person he is actively trying to protect.
It happened with Werner when he ran off from the warehouse and ended up revealing details to Lalo that nearly caused an all-out war between the cartel and him way before the timeline of Breaking Bad. And it might just happen again with Papa Varga. Nacho’s dad has been marked for death since the first time he appeared on our screens. First, it was Hector, who wanted to use his upholstery shop as his new distribution front, and then it was Gus, who was using Nacho’s dad as leverage to ensure Nacho’s continued loyalty.
He was willing to use him as a bargaining chip in case Nacho decided to renege on their deal in Season 6 episode 3, but Mike stepped in and personally took on the job of protecting Mr. Varga; which, as the trend seems to dictate, has sealed the latter’s fate already. As if to further foreshadow this ending for the kind, Mexican padre, the show-runners ensure that we know that Papa Varga knows that Mike saw his son die. He has also advised Nacho to go to the cops multiple times when he was alive, even turning up at his home and awkwardly encountering his girlfriends to re-iterate his position on how to handle things.
It is quite possible that he goes to the cops with this information and that compels Mike to kill him, especially because he was directly exposed. This will go a long way in explaining exactly why did Mike become so eager to sacrifice Jesse in the early goings of their partnership; it’s because he can’t trust his own judgement anymore, not while he’s working with Gus, and killing Papa Varga would certainly take away that last bit of humanity Mike kept reserved for people outside of his family.
As for how this will happen, it’s possible that we see this scene in a flashback, considering we are already in the Breaking Bad timeline in the show; it’s also possible that Papa Varga decides to visit Saul Goodman in the current timeline and that that is how Mike finds out what is about to go down if he doesn’t act- and quick. Either way, Mike seems to be destined to reach the darkest point of his life before BCS finishes, and this is one death that could very well help him see through that arc.
We might get to see Gus’ lab getting built in the next episode
Considering the fact that the cold opens for Season 6 Part 2 seems to tie into the ending of the episode, we wouldn’t be surprised if the next episode opened with a beautiful montage of Gus’ super-lab being built. Even before being formally completed, the lab remained a big narrative setting for the show. It was Gus’ dirty secret, a modern architectural marvel, the cause of death for at least 2 Europeans and it also currently serves as the final resting place of both Howard Hamlin and Lalo Salamanca.
That makes the lab perhaps the most important location in the show after Kim’s apartment and any Los Pollos Hermanos, and there is a possibility that it might even be connected to the events of Breaking Bad. Remember how Walt and Jesse torched the lab in Season 5? They did so to cover their tracks, but they are completely unaware of the fact that right beneath their feet are two corpses that could get everyone they know into legal trouble so deep even Saul Goodman couldn’t do anything about it.
And as for Saul, well, Howard and Lalo both represent his biggest life-decision; that being the decision to embrace his inner conman and be willing to go to lengths no one else would, all for the sake of money. Howard, not so much money as it was humiliation and a misplaced sense of personal vendetta, but Lalo was definitely the one who set Jimmy on the path of “take what you want, leave nothing behind”.
Given the fact that we are now drawing closer to the end of the line for Saul, it would be karmic justice for all the sins he has committed if he ends up going to jail because of these two deaths that he didn’t have anything to do with. And we know that this is possible because we don’t know exactly why Saul ended up running; we know that the heat was on him, and we know that he went to Ed a few days after Walt did, but we never quite get the reason for Saul’s disappearance.
It would be very Vince Gilligan to reveal that the reason Saul had to run was because the cops found Howard Hamlin’s body in Gus Fring’s secret meth lab, and the entire Albuquerque law community knows where he used to work before; and with whom.
Don Eladio might find new information that compels him to send Tuco back up north
In the promotional material for episode 9, the show’s Instagram page posted an image of a tape with a label titled For Don Eladio with a fly on it. We thought that we might see Lalo somehow spring out of his grave, bring the cartel boss another fancy car, and “go to work” on the actual traitor amongst their ranks. Turns out, it was only meant to foreshadow Hector Salamanca demanding blood for blood with no proof.
But what if that proof is just something he hasn’t found yet? Eagle-eyed viewers will recall that Lalo was using a hand-held camera to record messages for Don Eladio at two points in Season 6; once when he was staking out Gus’ laundry, and the second when he broke into it. But we haven’t been shown exactly what happened to the recordings Lalo made, and there is another question that is eating away at us following the division of territory in episode 9; why was Tuco running drugs north of the border in Breaking Bad?
Sure, the Salamancas are hot-headed, but it’s hard to believe that Tuco would be willing to go against Eladio’s orders, and while it is entirely possible that he was operating by himself after getting out of jail, it doesn’t seem likely that he would stay in New Mexico for too long once he discovers what has gone down with his beloved Tio.
It is very likely that Lalo sent Eladio the first recording he made clandestinely and that it just didn’t reach him before he had his meeting with Gus. Or, that the tape exists, and someone is going to recover it and send it to the don, prompting him to put Tuco right on Gus’ territory. It’s also very likely that once Tuco finds out that Nacho was the one who put his uncle in a wheelchair and got his cousin killed, that he might want to exact revenge against his family members, which could be another reason why Papa Varga isn’t going to be on planet Earth for a long time, but that remains to be seen.
If Eladio watches the tape, it would at least make him suspicious because the information Lalo records matches with the story Hector tells him. He has already shown that he is least bothered by how his men treat each other as long as the money comes in; and he has been pitting Salamancas against Fring for decades at this point, so it all makes sense. Whether this actually happens or not, remains to be seen.
Walter White and Jesse Pinkman are going to show up in the next episode
While the three theories we presented above are pure speculation, this one has been more or less confirmed by the last few minutes of episode 9. Before season 6 even went into production, Bryan Cranston and Jesse Pinkman were confirmed to be appearing on Better Call Saul, but we didn’t know the context in which they might pop up. Well, we do now; because the timeline of the show has sped up to the second season of the show, and we already know how Walt and Jesse are going to get involved.
Through Badger, of course! If you watched the episode carefully and listened to all the dialogue that Bob Odenkirk was spewing out at top-speed in the closing flash-forward montage, you’d have picked up on him talking about a certain “public masturbator”. Breaking Bad fans will instantly recognize this as a reference to Brandon Mayhew- aka Badger- who was one of Jesse’s earliest pushers and closest friends.
In fact, Saul’s character is introduced to us through this arrest, and it is in the discussion he has with Walt over young Brandon’s future where we learned that his “real name is McGill”. So, we are technically picking up right before the events of Season 2 episode 8 of Breaking Bad which was titled “Better Call Saul” in a neat little piece of symmetrical story-telling. And if you aren’t convinced, then just compare the costumes Bob Odenkirk is wearing at the end of this latest episode, and the Breaking Bad episode we just mentioned.
So, Walt and Jesse are pretty much confirmed to show up in the next episode, but the question now is, why? We’ve seen everything we had to with regards to Badger. What is it that we missed that Vince wants to show us over a decade later? Guess we’ll just have to wait and watch.
Whichever way the show does decide to go in, there is another thing we can guarantee, and that is the fact that the final 4 episodes are going to be unlike anything we have seen from Vince Gilligan’s team of creatives so far. Season 6 of Better Call Saul has had a very somber, anxious and urgent tone since it began.
A lot of that is down to the moody production value and the sinister sound design, but those two things are small factors that are taken into account while trying to portray the bigger picture; and that picture is painted in blood. It’s very rare that we go through a scene where a man is clearly flirting with another man, but the tension they have between them is less affectionate and more primal, more…dangerous.
Executive Producer Peter Gould promised that episodes 10 through 13 would change our entire outlook on the Breaking Bad universe, and we’re not afraid of him being right; what keeps us up at night is thinking just how they will be able to top Walt killing a bunch of Nazis with a rigged assault rifle. But then again, if anyone can, it’s Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould, so sit tight, and don’t miss any of our videos breaking down this stellar franchise.