If you're a fan of Vince Gilligan & Peter Gould's Bob Odenkirk & Rhea Seehorn-starring Better Call Saul, then we're pretty sure you left Monday night's episode feeling pretty satisfied… maybe a bit confused… and definitely a bit concerned. Just to make clear, we're saving the spoilers for a rundown of our recap waiting for you below. But before we get to the promo for next week's episode S06E12 "Waterworks," we do have to touch upon one "spoiler" that was pretty much unleashed on social media minutes after the episode ended. Yes, we had the return of Walter White (Bryan Cranston) & Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul), and in very important and meaningful ways (more on that below). So to honor the moment, we have some looks from behind the scenes of the episode, with Odenkirk, Cranston, Paul, Gilligan, and episode writer & director Thomas Schnauz.
And here's a look at the teaser for next week's Gilligan-written & directed penultimate episode, "Waterworks." And considering how this week's episode ended, we can only assume they're answering a call at the home Gene broke into. If you're looking for more than that, then check out our in-real-time thoughts & observations from "Breaking Bad" awaiting you below:
Better Call Saul Season 6 Episode 11 "Better Call Saul" Thoughts & Observations
We are kicking things off with Saul bound & hooded… yup, we're getting a flashback to Breaking Bad S02E08 "Better Call Saul" (seems only right… right?), where we heard the infamous name "Lalo" and Saul, Walt & Jesse's lives would become entwined.
Wow… the opening credits video barely plays before going blue. Ouch.
Francesca (Tina Parker) is now a landlady… and apparently very paranoid about her travels. As she waits by the pay phone, another example of a character given a choice to make… and probably making the wrong one. Yup, it's Gene on the phone. Of course, they have a deal… and are you kidding me? Is Gene literally stringing her along?
Francesca offers updates. Skyler White (Anna Gunn) cut a deal, Jesse's car was found at the border, and it sounds like Huel (Lavell Crawford) walked away off of a bad charge (possibly back to New Orleans), but that was it. Apparently, the heat is still on Saul & Francesca has been having her phone lines tapped, her mail read, and she's being followed.
Francesca was checked in on by Kim!!!! Kim asked if "Jimmy" was alive… and that meant everything to him right now.
Now it's Gene at a literal & metaphorical crossroads… and he goes back to the pay phone to call someone in Florida. Of course, he's calling Kim at her work. Pure brilliance having us not hear the conversation but instead watch Odenkirk's physical acting from a distance play out just how badly that phone call went. Ut was phone-destroying bad. Might be the worst rage we've seen from Jimmy-Saul-Gene so far during the show's run and Breaking Bad.
Gene's not quite "Gene" anymore, running on anger & spite over Kim's reaction and heading back over to see Marion & Jeff. While Jeff thinks he's in trouble for spending too much money, just the opposite, Gene wants back in the game, and that "game" is going to involve dealing Barbiturates. Uh-oh…
Gene performing "Brandy (You're a Fine Girl)" by Looking Glass was about ten tons of symbolism. Because Jimmy's "sea" a life of crime and scams that he can't escape from- listen:
Starting up a small drug ring, running scams on an obnoxious drunk at a bar… Gene's gone & Saul's back!
So Jeff's driving the cab that's bringing Gene's "mark" from the bar (Alfred Hill) to his home, so they could pull of the "tape trick" to keep the door to his home open. Now, the dude from last week helping Gene and Jeff (has the dog, but can't think of his f***ing name) is scoping out the dude's place while he's passed out on the couch. Going into Alfred's wallet, they grab photos of his ID and credit cards (front and back, of course). From there, it's all about grabbing images of his bank statements, checkbook, etc. So I guess Al should've let himself lose a bet to Gene…
Damn! I thought for sure that dude was going to forget to remove the tape…
They're back!!!! We're back into Breaking Bad S02E08 "Better Call Saul" land, and we're learning some serious backstory on what went on inside the RV (and we've got the goldfish connection from the key art). We're seeing how the three of them got to know one another. A great joke from Saul about his chiropractor before a classic Walt/Jesse exchange about getting the RV to actually drive. From there, we see the first clue Saul has that Walt's not well. And now, Jesse's asking who "Lalo" was and why he was so freaked out by the name, but Saul offers a blow-off answer. ("Jiffy… Lube."). If anyone was concerned about Cranston and Paul's appearances being "awkward" or "out-of-place," you can relax. This was an excellent, effective use of their talents to build upon the mythology of both series.
We now move forward in time to Gene (imposed in bed over the empty hole in the desert from the Walt/Jesse scene as a transition cut) as he receives a package in the mail. That leads into another medley of how Gene is running the scams with Jeff and the dog dude (sorry). And it's pretty clear that this racket is running really, really well… as Gene begins living more of a Saul lifestyle.
And with each return to Cinnabon, Gene's resentment over any "normalcy" like that grow more and more obvious.
But Gene's next mark (Kevin Sussman) is a bit different, a man with cancer who doesn't even come close to registering on the "asshole scale" as the past have. Yet even though he hesitates, Gene still lets him leave in the scam cab. Hmmm…
So we're back to the "Saul"/"Breaking Bad" timeline, as Mike pays a visit to Saul. Clearly, Saul would prefer not to have Mike's boot in his skull, so Saul gets up from his "chi" work as Mike offers a rundown of updates on the work he's been doing. And that's when we learn that Saul had Mike do a complete rundown on Walt… including the lung cancer (Ahhhhh! See above! Now we have the cancer connection, with Gene thinking he's feeding his mark to the darkness like he fed Walter). Mike advises Saul to stay away from Heisenberg because they're too many problems… but Saul sees potential in him. Still, for now? Saul puts the idea aside… yet there's still something on Saul's mind.
Uh-oh, Marion is starting to suspect… but Gene has another problem because the dog dude doesn't want to scam someone with cancer. And then Gene hits him with the same line he gave Kim years ago about getting over it, while Jeff isn't exactly there to back either of them up. Gene fires the dude and tells Jeff they're heading over to finish the job… but Jeff has his doubts. And as Gene steps out of the car to finish the job… we cut to Saul in the "Breaking Bad" timeline heading over to the high school where Walt worked. Now we're back to Gene, who breaks the glass on the door to open it… before we go to credits! Ugh!
Wow! A ton to process! Check out our updates all week, and we'll be back here next week for a recap & random thoughts on the Gilligan-written & directed "Waterworks."