What to Watch Verdict
The final six episodes of Better Call Saul kick off with a game changing eighth episode, filled with tension and action
Suspenseful from beginning to end
Lalo Salamanca being probably the smartest character in the Breaking Bad universe
Terrific character moments with Mike
Not too much for Jimmy in this one
NOTE: This review contains spoilers for Better Call Saul season 6 episode 8, "Point and Shoot." You can read previous recaps for Better Call Saul season 6 right here.
It's been a month and a half since we saw Lalo Salamanca (Tony Dalton) execute poor Howard Hamlin (Patrick Fabian) and we still haven't recovered. But this is the final season of Better Call Saul. We, like the characters, don't have time to catch our breath. Writer Gordon Smith and director/co-creator Vince Gilligan know this, giving us an episode that hits the ground running and doesn't stop.
Things pick up seconds after Lalo executed Howard. Jimmy (Bob Odenkirk) and Kim (Rhea Seehorn) are in shock, but Lalo forces them to have a seat. He hands Jimmy the keys to a car and starts dictating instructions to him as if nothing had happened. We know Lalo is a killer without remorse, so he’s desensitized to even the idea of murdering someone in cold blood. In some ways you can’t help but wonder if it’s going to foreshadow characters becoming desensitized to the horrors they’ve seen (more on this later).
Lalo asks Jimmy to go over to Gus Fring's (Giancarlo Esposito) home and kill him. In a ploy to just get Kim as far away from Lalo as possible, Jimmy convinces him to send her instead. Though Kim strongly opposes, she complies and leaves. Lalo then just ties Jimmy up and leaves immediately after.
Kim makes it to Fring's, but as she raises the gun, she’s intercepted by Mike (Jonathan Banks). She tells him what’s happening and calls him out for carelessly neglecting them. Mike acts immediately and goes for Jimmy and Kim’s. Fring asks Kim why Salamanca sent her. She says Jimmy convinced Lalo to let him send her, which triggers Fring's suspicions. No one can convince Lalo to do anything.
Indeed, Fring is on to something. Mike has Tyrus and his crew pulled from the laundromat to head to Jimmy’s, which is what Lalo wanted. Parked right out front waiting for the troops leave, he sneaks inside undetected. This honestly makes Howard’s death even more tragic, because the only reason Lalo went to their apartment was to use them as decoys. Howard died because Lalo needed a distraction. It’s heartbreaking.
At Jimmy's apartment, Mike asks him where Lalo went and how long ago. Even though Jimmy doesn’t know where Lalo went off to, he’s still able to tip Mike off that he left shortly after Kim, which allows Mike to put two-and-two together and he leaves for the laundromat.
Given his suspicions, Fring arrives before Mike, but is ambushed by Lalo, who kills his men. Gus Fring is one of the craftiest men in the Breaking Bad universe. So it’s saying something that Lalo was able to get the drop on him without breaking a sweat. Throughout this season, we’ve seen Fring sweating bullets about being at the receiving end of Lalo’s gun and we finally see it. That speaks volumes to how brilliant and completely devious the character of Lalo Salamanca is.
As soon as Lalo gets the drop on Fring, he pulls out a camcorder and begins recording a message to Don Eladio. He’s forcing Fring to show him the superlab he’s been building to televise the betrayal to Eladio before executing him. However, Fring has studied the ins and outs of his construction site down to the wire. As he gets to the bottom of the staircase, he convinces Lalo to let him get in one final dig at Eladio and the Salamanca family, Nacho (Michael Mando) style. Naturally, Lalo indulges him to mock his enemy one final time. But clever Gus, kicks a nearby extension cord, shutting off the lights.
He goes for the gun he stashed in the bulldozer a couple episodes back and blindly shoots into the dark. He turns on the lights to find that his shots weren’t in vain. Fring has executed Lalo through sheer dumb luck; a literal shot (or several) in the dark. The next body served up in this "go-for-broke" endgame of a season is Tony Dalton’s terrific villain, Lalo Salamanca. RIP Lalo. Thank you Tony Dalton for this amazing character and performance.
Fring makes it back to his compound with Mike to patch up injuries. Mike tells him he should have called him if he was suspecting the laundromat. However, Fring answers in a way that implies he blames Mike for how all of this transpired, agreeing that "things could have ended differently."
Back at Jimmy and Kim’s, Mike sits the traumatized married couple down. He assures them Lalo’s not coming back, then explains that his team will make Howard’s death look like a cocaine-influenced suicide. He impresses on them that none of it happened and forces them to say it. They both agree. The big question from there is how long they can keep this "nothing happened" charade up before it desensitizes them like Lalo or eats away at them.
Ironically enough, Mike returns to the laundromat to bury Lalo and Howard deep beneath it. He takes Howard’s ring, wallet and shoes for the suicide story, but asks his men to be careful with Howard’s body. He lingers for a moment in obvious regret before he leaves as the bodies are buried.
So now that Lalo Salamanca and Howard Hamlin are dead, where does the show go from here? There’s still five episodes left. Is Kim Wexler next (the answer better be no, #ProtectKimWexler)? For Mike, Jimmy and Kim, it’s easy enough to say the words "none of this happened," but living with all of this is another matter entirely. We’re in the endgame now, so all will be revealed soon enough.
New episodes of Better Call Saul air on AMC Mondays at 9 pm ET/PT in the US and release on Netflix on Tuesdays 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.