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Better Call Saul S6E8: The Goodmans Reap What They’ve Sown in “Point and Shoot”

Kim and Jimmy sit on the edge of their bed, Jimmy looks at Kim as she stares into space
Photo Credit: Greg Lewis/AMC/Sony Pictures Television

The following contains spoilers for Better Call Saul S6E8, “Point and Shoot” (written by Gordon Smith and directed by Vince Gilligan).

After the jaw-dropping cliffhanger of “Plan and Execution” (S6E8), which left all of us Better Call Saul fans anxiously awaiting the next installment of the series during the hiatus, “Point and Shoot” doesn’t give us a minute to breathe. All BCS fans knew when we saw that this would be a Smith-penned and Gilligan-directed episode, we were really in for it. This is the team that brought us “Bagman” (S5E8), which was the most anxiety-inducing hour of television I’ve ever seen. “Point and Shoot” was no different, and in its final moments manages to forever change how we watch Breaking Bad.

This week’s cold open shows us the final resting place of Howard Hamlin—or so we think. A peaceful beach scene with the calming sound of crashing waves turns macabre when we see one of Howard’s shoes bobbing in the water, and the camera pans out to show us a set of footsteps toward the ocean with Howard’s Jaguar parked on the sand, playing classical music with his wallet and wedding ring set on the dashboard. Of course, it’s a set-up—we know Howard didn’t walk himself into the ocean in his final moments—but for the duration of the episode, we can allow ourselves to believe that this peaceful place is where his body was laid to rest. Given how Jimmy and Kim’s plan presented Howard’s current mental state, faking his suicide was always going to be the way they went about covering up the truth of his death. It was the only option, really. But of course in Better Call Saul, nothing is ever as simple as it appears, and we later learn that the truth is far worse than I think any of us could have imagined. 

Howard Hamlin's Jaguar parked on the beach with the door open in Better Call Saul S6E8

After the credits, we pick up right where we left off at the end of “Plan and Execution”: Howard’s body is splayed out on the floor and the room is covered with blood as Jimmy and Kim look on horrified. Lalo, cool as a cucumber as always, demands that they calm themselves down and listen for once—he doesn’t want to hear either of them running their mouths because he is unequivocally in charge now, and he needs them to listen closely and execute the final part of his plan. He wants Jimmy to go to Gus’s house and shoot him, then take a picture for proof, and return within an hour where Lalo will be waiting for him with Kim. At least, this is what he tells them because they don’t need to know his real plan. 

Jimmy has no intention of leaving Kim alone with Lalo. He springs into protection mode, running his mouth to try to convince Lalo that Kim is the better choice because a stranger is much more likely to open the door if he sees a woman in distress outside. He’s not wrong, and Lalo knows this, but Jimmy isn’t actually suggesting that he wants Kim to be the one to commit murder; he wants her out of there, far away from Lalo, believing that she will run or go to the cops. I don’t think that any part of Jimmy believes that Kim would actually go through with it. His only goal is to keep her safe and he’s willing to sacrifice himself to get her to safety.

Kim argues with him and tries to claim that she won’t be able to do it, that she doesn’t know how to use a gun (which I kind of don’t believe), but Jimmy insists that she has to go. In Kim’s mind, she’s leaving Jimmy for dead if she walks out that door. They are in an impossible situation here, and each of them is only concerned with the life of the other. They believe, and probably correctly, that whoever walks out that door has a chance and the one who stays is already dead. Lalo doesn’t really care which one of them goes, which I find interesting because it tells me that he believes that Kim is fully capable of pulling that trigger—that she will do it to save Jimmy over going to the cops or running. Like Mike, Lalo believes that Kim is made of sterner stuff. Of course, we the audience know (and Lalo knows) that there’s no way that Kim will actually be in a position to kill Gus. Mike and all his men (save one team left at the laundry) are ready and waiting for Lalo to show up at Gus’s house and they won’t let her get anywhere near him. But Jimmy and Kim don’t know this, and with the decision made, Kim takes the address and Lalo’s keys and heads out, so distraught she almost forgets her shoes. The last looks that Jimmy and Kim give each other here are heartbreaking, each believing that this is the last time they will see each other.

Side by side images of Jimmy looking at Kim and Kim looking at Jimmy for what they think is the last time in Better Call Saul S6E8

Lalo watches Kim go to the car, commenting that he’s still amazed that Jimmy was able to land a woman like her. He uses a Mexican slang term for a gay male sex worker in reference to Jimmy here, which (homophobia aside) I think is an interesting choice. The slur used in this context is less about Jimmy actually being gay and more about the power dynamic in Jimmy and Kim’s relationship. From what Lalo has seen of her, he can sense that Kim is the stronger and braver one in their relationship, which in the context of the machismo culture that Lalo and the rest of the Salamancas grew up in, would translate to him viewing Jimmy as less of a man. Machismo and homophobia are so intrinsically linked that the use of a gay slur here has less to do with sex itself and more to do with the idea of what a “real man” should be. To Lalo, a real man would have taken the gun and gone to do the deed himself, not sent his woman to do it for him. The difference here is that Jimmy doesn’t believe Kim will actually go through with it (and so his actions are not cowardice but sacrifice) whereas Lalo does. He’s seen her put herself in danger to save Jimmy before and he knows she’ll do it again. Jimmy, on the other hand, thinks that this is a bridge too far for Kim—that she will finally realize that it’s time to cut and run, that she couldn’t possibly love him enough to kill for him.

We the audience are left to ponder this question after Kim leaves and Lalo ties Jimmy up and tells him the story of the massacre at his home in Mexico. When Lalo tells Jimmy that Nacho was responsible and that implies that Jimmy was working with Nacho, Jimmy says a famous line: “It wasn’t me. It was Ignacio.” We first heard him say this in Saul’s first episode in Breaking Bad (“Better Call Saul,” S2E8), when Walt and Jesse kidnapped him and took him out to the desert. What were once throwaway lines referencing an Ignacio and a Lalo who never appeared in Breaking Bad now take on a greater significance, and this scene in particular from “Point and Shoot” makes the desert scene from Breaking Bad a thousand times worse. We now know that Saul is reliving one of the worst nights of his life and that, even after what happens at the end of this episode, he still believes that Lalo is after him in the Breaking Bad timeline.

Lalo leaves Jimmy gagged and zip-tied to a chair, telling him that he’ll be back and he expects to hear the entire story from Jimmy. In one of the only comedic moments in this episode, Lalo grabs Jimmy’s keys and mocks him for having a taupe Ford Taurus, echoing what Kim said to him about his choice of automobile in “Wine and Roses” (S6E1). We only get a moment’s respite, though, because once Lalo leaves, Jimmy ends up on the floor face-to-face with Howard’s dead body.

A bound and gagged Jimmy lays on the floor next to Howard's dead body in Better Call Saul S6E8

We pick up with Kim making her way to Gus’s house (although she doesn’t know who she’s been sent to kill) and as an audience, we have to wonder whether she’s going to go through with it or whether she’s going to make a run for it. Our question is answered when she’s stopped at a light and a cop car pulls up next to her. If ever there was a sign from the universe for Kim Wexler to give up, that was it, and she goes so far as to open her window and look at the two officers chatting away. This is her moment, but she doesn’t take it. This is the point where she makes the decision to kill whoever is on the other side of that door when she opens it.

There are striking similarities to Breaking Bad in Kim’s approach to Gus’s house. First, we are reminded of the time Walt went to Gus’s house to kill him in “Thirty-Eight Snub” (S4E2). Kim parks where Walt parked and walks across the street in much the same way (except that Walt was in Heisenberg mode where Kim is much more afraid and unsure of herself). But the more apt comparison is between Kim and Jesse, and the shot of Kim holding up the gun when the door to Gus’s house opens is almost exactly like Jesse holding up the gun to shoot Gale in “Full Measure” (S3E13). The two of them are in a similar mindset: Jesse didn’t want to kill Gale as much as Kim doesn’t want to kill whoever she’s been sent by Lalo to kill, but neither of them had much of a choice. Jesse kills Gale to save himself and Walt and Kim is ready to kill to save herself and Jimmy. Of course one could argue that they both definitely did have a choice, but both Jesse and Kim believe that they will never be safe from their respective tormentors if they don’t go through with this horrible thing they’ve been sent to do.

Top image of Jesse holding a gun in Breaking Bad S3E13) and bottom image of Kim holding a gun in Better Call Saul S6E8

What “Point and Shoot” does so well here (and later on in the episode as well) is create tension where none should really exist. Thinking about it objectively, we know that Mike and all his men are watching Gus’s house, that they absolutely see Kim walking up, that Mike knows exactly who she is, and that Gus isn’t even in the house. And yet, we still feel all of Kim’s anxiety and terror as she walks toward that door. We know she isn’t going to shoot anyone because there’s no way Mike will allow that to happen, but she doesn’t know that she isn’t going to shoot anybody, and the audience feels every single moment of that through Rhea Seehorn’s incredible (and FINALLY Emmy-nominated) performance, Vince Gilligan’s directing, and the score by Dave Porter.

Mike snatches the gun from Kim and shoves her inside at the last minute, and Gus watches as Mike sits her down in a chair and tries to calm her. This is only the second interaction we’ve seen between Mike and Kim in the series, but as with their scene in “Hit and Run” (S6E4), Mike has a gentle way about him when it comes to dealing with Kim—at least, as gentle as Mike Ehrmantraut can be when faced with a situation such as this. He quickly learns that Lalo is at Jimmy and Kim’s apartment and has sent Kim to kill Gus (although she mistakes Gus’s double for him). Kim is beside herself with only 20 minutes left on the clock and frantically tries to explain to Mike that she needs to get back or Lalo will kill Jimmy.

Mike’s attempts to calm her are pointless, and she’s not only distraught but angry, too, because Mike promised her that he would be watching them. She kept the information about Lalo still being alive from Jimmy partly because she believed that they were being protected, and she’s absolutely furious that Mike didn’t hold up his end of the bargain. You can tell that Mike is bothered by it, too. I wouldn’t go so far to say that he cares for Kim (because he doesn’t really know her at all and he’s certainly not Jimmy’s biggest fan), but I think he feels somewhat responsible for the predicament the two of them are in. At the very least, he’s been played by Lalo and his decision to pull all the details to Gus’s turned out to be the wrong call. Gus, on the other hand, knows that something is up—that sending some woman to his house to kill him couldn’t possibly be Lalo’s play—so he calls Victor and asks to speak to Kim. When she tells him that Lalo had originally planned to send her husband but that he talked him out of it, Gus has all the proof he needs. One does not simply talk Lalo Salamanca out of executing a master plan the way he intends to; he obviously didn’t care which of them went because actually getting to Gus was never the endgame.  

Meanwhile, Lalo’s got his sights set on his real goal: the laundry. Once Tyrus receives the call from Mike to head over to the condo, leaving just one man there to guard the place, Lalo makes his way inside unseen. Gus, going against Mike’s orders not to leave the safehouse, shows up with two of his men and enters the laundry, and his suspicions are confirmed when Lalo emerges from the darkness and takes out all his security.

Mike is still missing the bigger picture and his men have got the condo complex surrounded, and in one of the only other funny moments from this episode, he tells his men, “Nice and easy. We don’t want to spook the neighbors,” before heading up the stairs with a squad of huge armed dudes wearing all black. He finds Jimmy on the floor where we left him and assures him that Kim is safe. He asks him to keep calm and just answer his questions: where did Lalo go and how long he’s been gone. Jimmy has no idea where he went but he tells Mike that he left right after Kim did, and Mike starts to realize that he’s been played yet again. He calls Gus immediately but it’s too late: Lalo already has him on his knees at gunpoint and snatches his phone away. He takes out his camera to make his final video for Don Eladio, and this time he’s going to get the exact proof he needs to show Eladio and Bolsa that Gus is a traitor. He tells Eladio via the camera that he would have preferred that they be able to take their time with Gus together, which implies that Lalo didn’t think that Gus would be smart enough to figure out he was at the laundry, but since he did, he’s not going to waste the opportunity to take him out when he finally has him alone. Lalo knows that Mike will be on his way there and he only has a few minutes to take care of business, so he demands Gus show him the lab and shoots him in the chest so doesn’t try to waste time. Gus has his bulletproof vest on, of course, since he’s been wearing it all season long, but the shot is enough to probably crack a rib and he knows Lalo isn’t messing around. We also know that there’s a gun down in the lab, which Gus hid there in “Black and Blue” (S6E5), so his only chance at survival is exactly where Lalo wants to be.

Lalo stands behind Gus holding a video camera and a gun as Gus kneels with his hands behind his head
Photo Credit: Greg Lewis/AMC/Sony Pictures Television

Gus reveals that the entrance to the lab is under one of the machines, and as he raises it up to reveal the chamber below, Lalo is impressed. He references the bathtub he had at his house in Mexico that raised up to reveal the entrance to his secret escape tunnel, which is how he avoided being killed in “Something Unforgivable” (S5E10), and we can see that he is truly delighted to finally discover all the secrets of the Superlab he’s been looking for for so long. Lalo may despise Gus and want him dead, but he has to give him credit for his ingenuity. He narrates the story of the German engineers secretly building the lab to Don Eladio and even goes so far as to call it badass, but then he kicks Gus down the stairs—can’t let it get to his head too much, got to put him in his place.

There’s one thing Lalo says (to Eladio/the camera but really to Gus) that is somewhat prophetic given the events of Breaking Bad. In discussing how Gus planned to use his lab to take over the meth trade from Eladio and the Salamancas, Lalo says, “Gustavo thought he was building an empire, but all he built himself was a tomb.” While (given the end of the episode) we know that Lalo is correct about the lab becoming a tomb, it isn’t for Gus—at least not literally. But he is correct in the end because building the Superlab and involving Walt in his meth empire is what leads to Gus’s death. He may not be entombed in the lab, but the lab and his attempts at empire building are the reasons he ended up dead.

Gus takes a page out of Nacho’s book as he tries to save himself: he gives a hate-filled speech to the camera. If all goes to plan, Eladio will never actually see it, but Lalo has to hear it just as Gus himself had to listen to Nacho take him down a few pegs before his death. Just as Nacho told everyone exactly what he thought of them at the end of “Rock and Hard Place” (S6E3) before going out on his own terms, Gus goes off on Eladio and the Salamancas and says exactly what he thinks of them. Of course, Nacho gave his speech knowing he was about to die where Gus gives his to buy some time to get to the gun. Gus knows that his little diatribe will throw Lalo off his game just enough to get the drop on him because he was on the other side of it not too long ago. It’s worth looking at his speech in its entirety, not just because it’s badass but because—in the end—it’s 100% true.

Eladio, you greasy, bloated pimp. You talk of honor, but you have none. A pack of stray dogs fighting for scraps has more honor. Jackals. That’s all you are! No vision. No patience. No thought. Stupid and impulsive! That is how I did all this. You couldn’t see it, couldn’t even conceive of it. And you Salamancas… you’re the worst vermin of all. You say you believe in “blood for blood” but you only understand blood for money! You’re whores! I understand blood for blood. Hector? I kept him alive. Kept him broken. I will save him to the last. Before he dies, he will know I buried every one of you.

And, as we see, Gus does end up outliving Eladio, Bolsa, and all the Salamancas (although with Walt’s help, Hector gets the best of him in the end).

Here we see (or rather we don’t actually see) Gus take Lalo out for good. Almost all of “Point and Shoot” is incredibly dark, but this sequence is Game of Thrones dark. Usually I absolutely hate the trend of making everything too dark to see anything, but here it works to the advantage of the narrative. Because we know that Gus lives, having the shots go off in complete darkness creates a sense of tension that wouldn’t be there otherwise (at least not to the same extent). While we don’t know for sure going into it that Lalo dies here, by the end of Gus’s speech it’s pretty clear that Lalo’s time is up, but we spend a few moments in the darkness wondering exactly what is happening—if Gus hits his target and if he gets hit. As it turns out, both things are true. Gus took a few shots but he was able to fatally injure Lalo. But of course it wouldn’t be Lalo Salamanca if he didn’t do something chaotic before he dies, and I very much enjoyed him laughing as blood spurted out of his mouth—like the fact that he was bested by Gus is in some way amusing to him.

Lalo smiles covered in blood during his last moments alive in Better Call Saul S6E8

I’m going to really miss Lalo. He has surpassed all others as my favorite villain—not just in the Breaking Bad universe but quite possibly of all time. What can I say? I love a charming, chaotic evil antagonist. Gus is a badass, sure, but he doesn’t bring the kind of joyful psychotic energy to the screen that Lalo does. I’m not gonna lie, if I hadn’t seen Breaking Bad, I would have been rooting for Lalo to best Gus. Maybe I sort of even was even though I knew it was pointless. I think a lot of that is down to Tony Dalton’s amazing performance (and his incredible mustache). From the first second he came on screen in “Coushatta” (S4E8), he’s been an absolute delight. Of course, he’s brought untold pain and suffering to some of my favorite characters, but boy was it fun to watch.

Back at his safehouse, Gus is getting patched up but that doesn’t mean that business stops. He calls Lyle, the World’s Greatest Employee, who is opening the Albuquerque Pollos and tells him that he will need to be acting manager while Gus is out for the week for a family emergency. With that all squared away, Mike has a few words for Gus. He’s not happy that he went rogue to the laundry, but Gus is just as unhappy that Lalo managed to outwit Mike. When you think about it, Mike’s fondness for Werner was that catalyst for the way things shook out between Lalo and Gus. In a lot of ways, Gus must blame Mike even though he’s probably the best in the world at what he does. But even Mike screws up sometimes, and Gus doesn’t seem ready to let him forget that anytime soon. If I didn’t know better, I would be worried for Mike, but we know he manages to keep Gus’s trust throughout Breaking Bad.

In the aftermath of Howard and Lalo’s deaths, there’s a lot of cleaning up to do, and Mike takes the lead (because of course he does). After all, this is how we first met Mike Ehrmantraut in Breaking Bad. In “ABQ” (S2E13), Mike goes to Jesse’s house to help get rid of Jane’s body after her overdose, and the events of “Point and Shoot” mirror that scene in many ways. The methodical way that Mike goes about removing personal effects from Howard’s body to the way he instructs Jimmy and Kim on what to do going forward is all reminiscent of Mike’s first scene in Breaking Bad. Now, knowing that Saul is the one who sent Mike to Jesse’s place makes even more horrible sense since he’s literally watched him get rid of a body before.

Howard exits Jimmy and Kim’s apartment in their refrigerator, which Mike has replaced with stainless steel. (Kim finally got her stainless steel appliance, but at what cost?) Mike tells them exactly how everything is going to play out: that they will find Howard’s car far away with traces of cocaine in it and everyone will assume it’s a suicide. He tells them that the second they hear anything about that to call the police and tell them that the last time they saw Howard at their place he was drugged up and not making sense. They are to go about their day (and the days after) as they normally would, keep telling the lie they’ve been telling, and act as if none of it ever happened. This is much easier said than done, obviously, but what choice do they have?

Besides for the shot of Howard being shoved into the refrigerator, the most disturbing thing about this scene is the way that Kim has taken on the role that Jimmy usually plays. She’s the one having the trauma response and Jimmy is the one trying to keep it together for her benefit. It makes sense, though, because while Kim has heard about many of the awful things Jimmy has dealt with, she’s never experienced anything like this herself. Howard’s murder is arguably worse than what Jimmy experienced in “Bagman” since Howard was an innocent and it is 100% their fault that he is dead. There’s no mental gymnastics that either of them can do to shirk responsibility for this one and they both know it. I think for a long time Kim has been able to do just that—to pretend that their actions aren’t going to have any seriously negative consequences and what consequences they do have will be in some way deserved, but she’s reached a point where it would be impossible and, frankly, delusional to continue to believe that. They did a very bad thing and it ended in the worst imaginable way; now what remains to be seen is the effect that has on their relationship. This episode proved to us that Kim and Jimmy would kill and die for one another, but will they be able to live with each other after this?

The very end of “Point and Shoot” does something that is just so terrible and so perfect that it had me sitting in complete silence after the episode finished. Howard doesn’t get his day at the beach and I suspected he wouldn’t, but it’s so much worse than I could have ever imagined while also somehow being the perfect choice—something the Better Call Saul writers are masterful at. Howard Hamlin’s final resting place is an unmarked grave under the Superlab, and he shares it with Lalo Salamanca, the man who murdered him. How will anyone ever be able to watch a Breaking Bad scene set in the lab again without thinking about this? I was thinking specifically about the scene where Jesse is dancing around like an idiot in the hazmat suit, which was always hilarious to me, but now he’s quite literally dancing on Howard’s grave and I’m never going to be able to watch it the same way again. Same goes for “Fly” (S3E10)—an episode I love even if many others do not. Time and time again, Better Call Saul takes what we were given in Breaking Bad and makes it so much deeper and more tragic than we could have ever imagined, but this might take the cake.

Howard and Lalo's bodies in a grave dug into the floor of the Superlab as Mike stands over it in silhouette in Better Call Saul S6E8

I don’t have words to adequately express how terrified I am of what Better Call Saul has in store for us in the coming weeks. While I will still die on the hill that they aren’t going to kill Kim (who’s now the last woman standing in terms of main BCS characters who don’t appear in Breaking Bad), there are some fates worse than death. I’ve wanted to believe throughout the series (and have even been holding out hope in the face of this final season) that Kim and Jimmy manage to somehow make it, but I can only delude myself so much. I think that this episode showed us how deep their love for each other truly runs only to show us that, in the end, love just won’t be enough. See you next week!

Written by Alison Morretta

In addition to her position as Senior Editor and Writer for TVObs, Ali is a freelance editorial consultant and author of numerous nonfiction reference books for middle school and high school students. In her spare time, she enjoys obsessing over various television shows, especially Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul. When not overanalyzing TV shows, she is wrangling her hyperactive Corgi, who is inarguably the cutest dog that has ever existed.

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