Better Call Saul’s midseason finale just paid off one of season 5’s best scenes in a huge way. Better Call Saul season 6, episode 7, “Plan and Execution” is the last episode before a several-week break, and it just ended with a massive cliffhanger: Lalo Salamanca shoots and kills Howard Hamlin. While the scene works great on its own, Better Call Saul also used it to pay off an incredibly tense scene from season 5.
Throughout Better Call Saul season 6, Jimmy and Kim have mainly been focused on ruining the career of a rival lawyer, Howard Hamlin. In doing so, the duo has destroyed his car with bowling balls, pinned cocaine on him, made it seem as if he has been hiring prostitutes, and more. “Plan and Execution” was the conclusion of this arc, with their incredibly complex Howard Hamlin scam finally coming to an end. However, things don’t go quite as planned. At the end of the episode, Howard shows up at Kim and Jimmy’s apartment to confront the two, knowing that they were at the center of the scheme. Unbeknownst to them, another one of the show’s villains, Lalo Salamanca, also shows up at the apartment at the same time. Before Lalo confronts Kim and Jimmy, he shoots Howard, creating one of the most shocking moments in Better Call Saul.
Many viewers felt as if “Plan and Executions” climax seemed familiar, pointing out that it mirrors a scene from Better Call Saul season 5, episode 9, “Bad Choice Road.” In this episode’s finale, Lalo Salamanca shows up at Kim and Jimmy’s apartment, confronting Jimmy after he realizes that he has been conned. Both scenes follow the same format, although season 6’s scene ends quite differently. While the tension in “Bad Choice Road” let viewers off easy, the similar intensity in Better Call Saul’s midseason finale finally paid that setup off.
While Lalo hadn’t made any earth-shattering moves until this point, his actions in shooting Howard show that Better Call Saul’s stakes are fully escalated. The fact that Lalo would shoot a complete stranger shows just how violent he may be towards Jimmy and Kim, as they have wronged Lalo in the past. While season 5 sets up how dangerous and intimidating Lalo can be, season 6 is finally showing how far Lalo will go to get what he wants.
Better Call Saul’s midseason finale twist also highlights the key differences between the show’s two main antagonists. Whereas Lalo is cool, calm, and collected when he shows up at the apartment in season 5, Howard is the exact opposite. Howard Hamlin is disheveled, defeated, and desperate for answers. It doesn’t feel as if Howard wants to hurt Jimmy – he just wants to know why they want to hurt him. Lalo, on the other hand, is absolutely set on hurting Jimmy and Kim. Armed with his gun and not asking any questions, Lalo comes in guns blazing, confronting the two and killing Howard. Better Call Saul has spent years building up Howard and Lalo, especially in season 5, and the midseason finale “Plan and Execution” finally paid it off.
We love how much the last scene felt like a horror movie. Jimmy literally looked like he saw a ghost. Whole cast getting nominated.
This scene was a true demonstration of the shows two worlds colliding. It was surreal to see Howard and Lalo in the same shot, almost like watching a crossover episode of two separate shows. When the candle light started flickering, chills went down my spine even before seeing Lalo – you could feel the temperature of the room drop in an instant. BCS does not always have the most of intense scenes as it relies more on subtlety, but when it gets intense it does it right. Such a strong ending to the mid finale, can’t wait for the last half…
It is even more tragic when you think about the fact that Howard’s death will most likely look like a suicide. A man who was trying to better himself will be remembered as a drug addict who took his own life. Where as Chuck was remembered as someone who died in a freak accident, when he actually took his own life.
I don’t think we’ve ever had a death as sad and tragic as this in movies or tv… in the entire history. He’s a character with 5 previous seasons of build-up… 5 and a half seasons of character development for someone who’s not in the game, who didn’t deserve any of it, who died because of a wrong place at the wrong time and just when he figured it all out. And it was so sudden, just like real life… no final speech, no glorious last act.. just shot blank on the spot only because he was meaningless to Lalo.
It was all fun and games with bowling balls and hookers at lunch… maybe even a deserved prank for enabling Chuck. But this is truly irredeemable for Kim and Saul… after basically causing his career death and actual death I don’t see how in this universe where everything has a meaning the two of them could have/deserve a happy ending.
Howard’s death. I didn’t hate him, I didn’t love him, but I never wanted to see him murdered either.
His death reminded us of Hank’s death in a way. Guy who is right about the person he is dealing with, but is struggling to get everyone to see the light. And when is just about there, he’s brutally murdered by a psychopathic associate of said person.
Source Screen Rant