With the midseason finale of Better Call Saul successfully planned and executed, all eyes are now turning to where the final 6 episodes of the iconic prequel series will take us when it returns on July 11, 2022, on AMC. Will the shock of experiencing Howard Hamlin’s murder at the hands of Lalo turn out to be the true “Ozymandias” moment of Better Call Saul? Absolutely not. The shock and grim experience of “Plan and Execution” is merely the primer for what is likely to be a rough and tumble ride to the conclusion of this equally great and brilliantly written Breaking Bad origin story. What will happen to Kim and Lalo? Will Saul become more like the Saul we see in season 2 of Breaking Bad? How exactly will the Gene timeline end? The obvious answer is that we will all find out before summer’s end. But predictions are a natural part of any perceptive show’s fanbase, and that is what we will be exploring in this article. For Better Call Saul fans, the run-up to these last 6 episodes is a bittersweet moment. It is possible that this will be the last time we visit the Breaking Bad universe. So this gives us one more opportunity to relive the unforgettable moments we all watched in real-time back in the late summer of 2013 as Breaking Bad came to an end. We don’t know what shocks we will be in for, but trying to connect the dots and put the pieces together can certainly help us be better prepared for what may come. Save the shock and awe for affected YouTube reaction videos, and let’s explore all the possible ways Better Call Saul could possibly end; character-by-character, plot thread by plot thread.
The title character, and everyone’s favorite sleazy criminal lawyer in Breaking Bad (BB), is almost a non-starter in terms of where he will end up. We already know how things go for Saul in the next series. The action in Better Call Saul is still set in 2004, and we first meet up with Saul in BB in late-2008 when he first meets Walt and Jesse, so there is a good 4+ years of Saul development to go before we get into the final 6 episodes. For Saul, it is all about what is left in his transition to becoming the always humorous, low-key vulgar Saul we know of in BB. And it seems like there is going to be some kind of major plot development between himself and Kim that triggers the Saul we know of later on. For one thing, we know that Saul is dedicated to Kim in Better Call Saul, but in BB, we frequently see him hitting on Francesca, there are allusions to ‘happy endings’ in his massage parlor front, and even the flash-forward that opened the season six shows packets of Viagra and women’s lingerie littered across his tacky mansion that takes place towards the end of BB. Not quite the Kim devotee we associate Saul as in this series. So what could happen there? It is entirely possible this could mean that Kim dies or is disappeared by Ed the Disappearer before BB starts in 2008. It could also mean that Kim turns on Saul to save herself but fails, and only succeeds in forever turning Saul against her. Whatever ends up happening, I think this is a major plot point in what is left of Saul’s story arc before BB begins and before the Gene timeline is resolved.
As for Kim Wexler, we last see her in a state of shock after witnessing Howard’s murder by Lalo right in front of her. I think this is important for a couple of reasons. Back in season six, episode 4 “Hit and Run,” there are some odd closeups of Kim fidgeting as if she is nervous. She does this when adjusting her chair before meeting with Cliff, and again when she is visibly nervous in her first meeting with Mike. This can easily imply that Kim is not the criminal vigilante and mastermind people are expecting her to become or, perhaps she is? That would align perfectly with how Walter White behaved in the first season of BB. Unsure of himself, nervous, and in way over his head–only to discover that he enjoyed moving within the criminal underworld. I suspect the former, and the shock of witnessing Howard’s murder, a man she had just successfully destroyed and humiliated for no reason along with Saul, could possibly trigger in Kim buyer’s remorse. Then again, perhaps it doesn’t. There is an argument to be made that if Kim had told Saul about Lalo not being dead, she and Saul would not have moved forward with the plan to ruin Howard, and therefore, what happened in their apartment would never have transpired. At the very least, Saul would have left town–but Kim never told him because she knew how he would react–she wanted this to happen regardless. In many ways, it is possible that Kim Wexler is shaping up to be the most ruthless character to have ever broken bad in the entire BB universe. The point of making predictions that find her in shock and remorseful and wanting to escape the pain and havoc she has created–well, it is likely not going to go that way, and if it does, that’s certainly not the caliber of writing we expect from one of the best written shows on television.
Like Kim, Lalo Salamanca is a Better Call Saul-specific character that is never seen, but unlike Kim, is in fact mentioned in BB. In BB season 2, episode 8 titled “Better Call Saul,” Walt and Jesse kidnap Saul and take him to the desert where he is blindfolded and forced to squat down execution style where they threaten him to force Badger from testifying against them. Terrified that he is about to be executed by the Cartel, Saul states “it wasn’t me, it was Ignacio. Did Lalo send you?” The “Ignacio” being mentioned in Nacho from BCS, who took his own life in season 6, episode 3 “Rock and Hard Place.” But as of BCS season six, episode 7, Lalo is still very much alive, and now likely in the midst of using Saul and Kim to uncover Gus’ meth lab at the laundry in ways that are hard to predict. After brutally killing Howard right in front of them, the showrunners were also signaling to us that Lalo is a pure and ruthless villain, every bit as capable of heartless murder as Gus Fring, and nothing at all to take lightly or write off. So what could happen to this character? On a surface level, it is not far off to comfortably predict Lalo’s death. Gus knows he is coming, and has planted a gun that he can use if he is ever trapped at the meth lab site with Lalo. The problem with this is a small, but important timeline inconsistency. In the fourth season of BB, set in 2009, Gus visits Hector and informs him that all the Salamanca’s apart from him are now dead. Since Lalo is a Salamanca, (although some theorize he isn’t), this is either a gaffe the showrunners of both shows could easily explain as miscommunication or, this means that Lalo is not killed until the BB timeline, about 5 years later from the point of the BCS, season six midseason finale.
Like Saul, Gus Fring is a character whose fate we are fully aware of thanks to BB. But what can we expect in the lead up to Walt first meeting with Gus at Los Pollos Hermanos in season 2 of BB? Gus is currently in a state of concern due to Lalo being alive and ready to strike against him and his crew at the industrial laundromat. What Gus doesn’t realize (or does he?) is that Lalo is aware that Gus and Mike have bugged the phones at the nursing home where Don Hector is residing. By the end of the midseason finale, Lalo makes a fake phone call that Mike and his team intercept where he states he will strike against Gus at the laundry that evening, but its all a ruse, and Lalo instead pays Saul and Kim a visit. By the time we pick up with Gus in BB, the meth lab is fully operational with Gale as his main cook. So we have to assume Gus kills or in some way, neutralizes Lalo in the 4 years left before BB starts. Perhaps Lalo escapes and is still in hiding–but whatever does happen in these final six episodes, Gus is finally able to feel secure enough to move forward with the construction of the superlab.
Mike Ehrmantraut’s trajectory is also already known. But it will be interesting to see how he evolves past trusted foot soldier to full-time fixer and advisor to Gus Fring in the BB timeline. To be honest, there is not a whole lot left with developing Mike outside of his run in BB. By the time BB starts, and we first see him late in season 2, he is still a doting grandfather to Kaylee and watchful former father-in-law to Stacey. But there is some animosity between Mike and Tyrus, who is Gus’ right hand guy in the BCS timeline–a position Mike assumes with Tyrus demoted when BB starts. Mike will play a pivotal role in the coming confrontation with Lalo, but there is not much to pick apart from that. Mike and Saul were never close friends in BB, which the writer’s authentically maintained throughout BCS, but I suspect he will be instrumental in trying to keep Saul and/or Kim safe in some way.
There are three major categories of where Better Call Saul is headed as we approach what is sure to be an explosive 6-hour finish. What happens after the fallout of the Howard Hamlin scam and his eventual grisly murder, where do Kim and Lalo end up, and what is the resolution to the post-Breaking Bad, Gene timeline? Let’s explore each.
The Howard Hamlin Fallout
We all know that Saul and Kim will now be thrust into the Lalo/Gus/Mike storyline, but there are other real-world things to be aware of as well. What will they do with Howard’s body, and how will they explain his apparent disappearance? The easiest remedy here is for Saul and Kim to stage Howard’s gunshot wound to the head as a suicide. The events of the humiliating scam earlier that day fully play into why something like this may have happened. Everybody would likely buy it, especially when his marital troubles are thrown into the equation as well. But Howard adamantly explained detail-by-detail how both Saul (he left Kim out of it) pulled off the scam against him. Cliff may start to finally suspect something is not right. These are the events that could trigger Kim either landing behind bars or visiting Ed’s vacuum shop once a full-scale investigation is launched. Furthermore, the storyline concerning ADA Erickson has been dormant for a few episodes now, and it is highly probable that this plays into the Lalo storyline somehow. Either way, it seems as if the negative consequences are going to land on Kim–Saul is perfectly fine throughout BB.
Lalo and Kim Survive Into the Breaking Bad Timeline
Let’s take a look at what could possibly happen to Kim Wexler. Jail, death, Ed the Disappearer. I am leaning towards Ed relocating her. She noticed his card in a closeup in “Axe and Grind,”–nothing is ever by mistake in the BB universe. She is not going to just up and leave it all behind because she gained a moral conscience–that is a bit weak. As for Lalo, I suspect that he (and a 60% chance Kim) survives and even thrive in some way well into the BB timeline. Perhaps he works through Kim in some way to control Saul. Look for Lalo to be lurking in the shadows through BB, and Kim has likely been relocated to Nebraska by Ed the Disappearer.
Where Is the “Gene” Timeline Going?
Finally, what can we expect with the Gene storyline. This truly is an unknowable thread–which makes it exciting. I have no doubt he subdues and vanquishes the weird taxicab driver, but what happens after that? Jimmy’s story has always been building to him taking control of himself and setting things right. Jimmy saving himself to borrow Kim’s line. I don’t see him turning himself in (maybe), but I do see some kind of reuniting with Kim in some way.
We will start to find out on July 11.
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