Spoilers below for the Season 6 premiere of Better Call Saul, so be warned if you haven’t yet watched!
After what feels like a 40-year hiatus, Better Call Saul has finally returned to AMC for the already acclaimed first half of its sixth and final season, with Bob Odenkirk’s character digging his claws deeper into the Saul Goodman persona as Rhea Seehorn’s Kim embarks on becoming an immoral monster of her own. Meanwhile, Michael Mando’s Nacho is a walking target from every single direction, Gus is still attempting to keep his cartel-defying crimes hidden, and the Kettlemans are apparently just as miserable as ever running a tax fraud scheme in the middle of the desert.
As awesome as it was to catch up with Jeremy Shamos and Julie Ann Emery’s Craig and Betsy Kettleman after not seeing them since Season 1, I think most fans would agree the most enjoyable thing about Better Call Saul’s first two episodes was poring over everything that happened and seeking out easter eggs and callbacks. Similar to how it goes for every BCS episode that came before it. And that brings us to the topics at hand, as we’ll be going over four specific moments and details from the first two episodes that felt like major clues pointing to what’s ahead for these characters.
The Zafiro Añejo Bottle Stopper
Better Call Saul is among many different TV shows coming to a close in 2022, and arguably has more answers to deliver than just about any other projects out there. So naturally, the premiere kicked off with an opening that bucked expectations for anyone waiting to see what’s happening with Gene in the flash-forward timeline. Instead of purely black-and-white moments, the opening moments of “Wine and Roses” focused on a new point in time soon after the events of Breaking Bad’s finale. With Walter White’s crimes now known to authorities, the entirety of Saul Goodman’s home life is up for investigation, and what a lavishly gaudy home life it apparently was.
The excess on display in Saul’s home was legitimately hilarious to witness, even as it was all coming down. The most important elements weren’t the expensive decor or questionable golden toilet, though, but rather the objects that were purposefully held from easy viewing. Such as the Mesa Verde cowboy photo in the “No Value” box or, more importantly, the Zafiro Añejo tequila bottle top that fell out of a desk as it was being loaded into a van.
The tip-top-shelf Zafiro Añejo tequila is a popular brand within this show, as it’s what Gus Fring used to poison Don Eladio and other cartel bigwigs in Breaking Bad. More importantly here, Kim is known to have kept the stopper as a keepsake from her and Saul sharing a bottle in celebration a few seasons back. So for it to be amongst all of Saul Goodman’s possessions from the Breaking Bad timeline is possibly telling. But of what? Does it mean Kim remained part of his life through some of his money-oozing success, and forgot to take the topper with her? Or does it mean Saul kept it as a secondhand keepsake to remember Kim by after…whatever happens to her happens? I’d prefer to go the optimistic route, but one can never safely do that in this universe. Whatever the case may be, the stopper pulling such obvious focus right from the jump is no doubt a major clue for what’s to come.
Meeting At The El Camino Diner
While the neon El Camino Diner sign was previously seen in press photos released ahead of Better Call Saul’s Season 6 premiere, it wasn’t clear how or if it would be of any importance within the episodes themselves. As fans witnessed, though, that location featured a pretty important scene between Saul and Kim that didn’t take leaps of logic to thematically connect to Aaron Paul’s Jesse Pinkman, the main focus of the El Camino tie-in feature.
Generally speaking, the sequence features Kim telling Saul about her patsy-esque client (who was wearing one of Saul’s drab Jimmy-era suits), who was conned into becoming an accomplice by a rich friend, and was taking the fall for the friend’s crimes, simply because he couldn’t afford legal representation. That rings slightly familiar regarding Jesse’s situation, where even though he was at first more consensual about his wrongdoing with Walt, his situation became much worse due to others actions outside of his interests.
Perhaps more importantly, the scene possibly echoed the “new” Walt and Jesse scene that factored into El Camino, as it took place during the point in Season 2 when Walt still held his family and Jesse in high regard, and made efforts to protect them. It was the ragged calm before the storm (who knocks), and Saul’s conversation with Kim certainly felt like a similar point of no return. Had Saul chosen not to pull on the thread, this might have been a different season, but by agreeing to hear Kim’s plan, he opted to blow up the dam that unleashed a more aggressively scheme-minded Mega-Wexler.
Gus Fring's Broken Glass
Some of the rarest occurrences in the Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul universes involve “Gus Fring sliding .5 degrees down on the scale of cucumber-coolness.” The reason why he ascended into crime boss legend is because he doesn’t slip, he doesn’t crack, and he doesn’t show weakness. So when he does, it’s all the more obvious that things are defaulting to chaos inside his head. Which was possibly the case in the episode “Carrot and Stick” when Fring fumbled his attempt to get water and broke a glass on the floor.
As meticulous as his clean-up tactics were, the crack in Fring’s armor was already witnessed, which is possibly why he went in such an ill-advised direction with his next move: demanding Mike track down Nacho’s father to use him as bait to draw Nacho back. Perhaps if he hadn’t broken anything, Giancarlo Esposito’s Fring might have calmly come up with another option for where to take things next, but his request rubbed Jonathan Banks’ Mike the wrong way.
Nacho’s situation with his father is on the right side of Mike’s empathy, and by calling for this selfish play, Fring is already building a boundary of mistrust between him and the man who will later be his most trusted enforcer. And thus, he’s already giving Mike ammunition to work against him in the future when he threatens others’ more innocent families and relationships.
Lalo Faking His Own Death
Lalo’s first Better Call Saul scene in Season 6 was something of a confusing one upon first watch, though no less watchable given Tony Dalton’s menacing skills in the role. But it was later made clear that his advice for the ZZ Top lookalike to shave his facial hair was Lalo’s intentional ploy to pose that dude’s dead body as his own, so that others in the criminal underworld would think he was dead. Granted, Hector Salamanca mucked it all up by appearing to be happy for the first time in his miserable life, thus tipping Fring off, but still…
If Lalo was able to successfully fake his death once, who’s to say he wouldn’t be able to do the same thing again, but on a grander scale? One can only assume that his faux demise will be revealed to other main characters in Season 6, considering Saul still thinks he’s alive and coming after him during his first appearance on Breaking Bad. And the going idea is that he’s going to go to war with Fring during this final season, ending with him dead and buried, with Fring going on to run everything.
But what if Lalo once again is able to put his trickery to use at the end of that war? Only instead of immediately coming back with retribution in mind, he goes into a more permanent state of hiding, similar to Gene’s situation in Omaha. Hell, it’s even possible that the late Robert Forster ’s Ed the Disappearer could be the one who sets Lalo up with a new life. What more fucked up way for Better Call Saul to end than by having Lalo return in the future timeline to make good on the fear Saul felt during his initial Breaking Bad introduction?
Better Call Saul is only one of AMC’s best shows that are currently available for streaming, so keep yourself busy with those while waiting for the spinoff drama’s new episodes, which air Sunday nights on AMC at 9:00 p.m. ET.
Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.
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