"Black and Blue" slows the pace of season 6 with a solid episode that’s a bit more filler.
- - Gus actually being terrified
- - Howard's unexpected discovery
- - Francesca's return
- - Kim and Jimmy's sweet relationship
- - Meeting Margarethe Ziegler
- - A fair amount of filler, but still some important moments
"Black and Blue" slows the pace of season 6 with a solid episode that’s a bit more filler than the past four episodes. And that’s fine, as it’s important for us to catch our breaths given all the excitement we’ve been treated to in this near perfect season so far. It’s also still an important one, given we revisit a few key plot points that have been unacknowledged through the course of the series. The showrunners are ensuring no stones are unturned.
The episode begins with a very classic Breaking Bad trope: a dialogue-free, music driven montage of something being manufactured. You’d be forgiven for assuming that this was a meth cooking sequence, but in a season full of misdirects, once again, the results are surprising, as we see it’s the creation of a plaque with a ruler in it. The German inscription on it reads “In Liebe…Deine Jungs,” or in English, roughly translated, “With love… your boys”. Between the German, the black box and the somber choral melody playing, it’s a safe assumption to think this has to do with the dearly departed Warner Ziegler, last seen in season 4.
The action then cuts to a sleep deprived Kim Wexler (Rhea Seehorn), clearly unsettled by Mike’s (Jonathan Banks) news in the previous episode that Lalo Salamanca (Tony Dalton) is still alive. She hasn’t told Jimmy (Bob Odenkirk) and still won’t, despite his suspicions that things aren’t good, since there’s a chair barricading the door. She’s doing everything she can to just protect him. It’s incredibly sweet.
Elsewhere, Lalo’s presence has more rattled as Gus (Giancarlo Esposito) is also watching his back. The poster child for a calm, collected demeanor, he’s looking over his back every five seconds around the Los Pollos Hermanos restaurant for any signs of threats. We’ve literally never seen Gus like this, but with someone as unpredictable as Lalo on the loose it’s understandable. That said, he’s losing his grip on keeping things cool and he absolutely hates it.
Next, we cut to Cliff (Ed Begley Jr.) and Howard (Patrick Fabian), getting ready to engage their clients at Sandpiper (oh Erin, even when describing legal terms to the elderly, you’re still a hilariously condescending brownnoser). Howard of course works his mojo to ensure he keeps his Sandpiper clients. It’s a very transparent play to do everything he can to keep them, complete with answering his own phony questions, but it all works.
However, it’s not enough for Cliff to drop his suspicions about Howard being a coke-addicted, prostitute abuser thanks to Jimmy and Kim’s recent acts. Unfortunately for Jimmy and Kim though, Howard is not an idiot; he quickly realizes they’ve somehow perpetrated plans to ruin his life. He cancels his whole week upon hearing the news.
As we move closer to the Breaking Bad timeline, Francesca Liddy (Tina Parker), Saul’s past and future receptionist, returns. She arrives at the strip mall and discovers a line of unsavory clientele and a craphole office, complete with a toilet right next to her makeshift desk. Fixer-upper would be an understatement. Immediately, she asks where Kim is. Hearing it’s just Saul and that the mission has expanded to more colorful characters than the previous elderly clients, she immediately loses any faith in the operation. Thankfully money talks (as does input in decorating) and she relents.
Elsewhere, Kim meets with her old coworker, Viola (Keiko Agena). Kim asks her about the Mesa Verade case and the new judge, possibly pumping for information? Viola tells her how much she admires Kim for leaving and defending the little guy. She’s quite good at putting up the good-girl appearance; absolutely better than Jimmy of course.
Later that evening, Jimmy answers a "housecall" with a Mr. Ward. It turns out to be Howard. Naturally he confronts Jimmy about the situation, to bury the hatchet once and for all. But naturally things go about as well as can be expected regarding all situations between Jimmy and Howard.
When Jimmy gets home, Kim lets him know about the judge Viola told her about. She comforts him about the meeting with Howard. Their relationship is probably the healthiest thing in their lives. It’s something you absolutely hope upon hope doesn’t end in the worst way possible. This absolutely remains to be seen, but no one wants to see this one end in absolute tragedy.
Mike arrives at Gus’ home fortress, finding Gus in his continued anxiety about Lalo (we’re now at stress cleaning bathtubs). They decide to go on a bit of a field trip to the meth lab construction site. Gus takes some time to survey the area. It seems like, looking at the excavator and a few of the nozzles and plugs around the construction site, he’s formulating some sort of plan. Perhaps a trap of some sort for Lalo? I suppose it wouldn’t be hard to dispose of him at the construction site if they needed.
We come to the last bit of the episode, where we finally meet Werner Zeigler’s wife, Margarethe Ziegler. Obviously, a tragic figure, given the untimely events of Werner’s demise, she’s lonely, in a bar, heartbroken about the death of her husband. It’s uncertain what may or may not happen to her character as the rest of the season plays out, but given how sad she has been, even displaying the plaque we see at the beginning of the episode, openly in her home as a tribute to her husband, we can only hope her suffering will transpire under circumstances more pleasant than those of her late husband.
New episodes of Better Call Saul air Mondays at 9 pm ET/PT on AMC in the US and on Tuesdays on Netflix in the UK.
Mike is a proud, sarcastic nerd with a penchant for comic books, comic book movies, and movies in general, and occasional delusions of grandeur. He's also a UC Berkeley graduate who decided to go into writing over pre-med because he figured he'd ultimately save more lives by not being a doctor. He's a Slytherin and a Pisces, so he's very emotionally sensitive, yet also evil, but can be defeated by exploiting his insecurities. His goal is to live one hell of a unique life, and it's been working so far! His proudest moments are being retweeted by James Gunn and Ryan Reynolds in the same week, and getting 999,999 points on Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters at Disneyland.
You can find Mike's writing around the web at publications like The Nerds of Color, What to Watch, Spoiler Free Reviews, and That's It LA.
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