Better Call Saul – Season 6 Episode 1 “Wine and Roses” Recap & Review

Wine and Roses

‘Better Call Saul’s new season begins episode 1 of season 6 with a beautiful sequence. Following tradition, it starts off in the future. The events that we see in the season happen much before that. It is mainly a throwback to the giant brand that Goodman, a.k.a. Jimmy, had become in ‘Breaking Bad’ itself.

Drenched in a classic opera symphony, the camera glides, elegantly through Jimmy’s house where we see the excesses and extravagance of the life he had built as Goodman.

Straight after that, “Wine and Roses” picks up from where Season 5 ended. Nacho runs and keeps running north before contacting Mike for shelter after letting the assassins in Lalo’s compound. Lalo, who asked one of the assassins to let his employer know that he is dead, visits the house of his servants on the compound. He murders them to avoid witnesses, and the man to decoy him as his body; proof of his death.

Saul and Kim begin their new life together. While Kim combs through her pro bono cases and deals with the horrible memory of the shootout Goodman was involved in the last season, Saul visits the courthouse to meet with the detectives from Lalo’s case. Jorge de Guzman’s alias isn’t holding up as they begin probing into his background and identity. He tells them Lalo will show up when legally required; the time when his bond is about to expire, with nervous energy that only Odenkirk can bring out so well.

Juan Bolsa informs Gus of Lalo’s death. He confers with Mike and they agree that it is actually true. Whether or not Gus is totally convinced is a question for upcoming episodes. They also have an intense discussion about whether or not Nacho deserves to be left in the mud by Gus after what he did for him. Gus is undecided. But Mike has made up his mind: he cannot let this happen after Werner. 

We also get a glimpse of the cousins visiting Lalo’s house and from their reaction, I hope no one stands in their way. Jimmy and Kim discuss their plans for Howard. They want to sabotage him but not in a way that completely destroys him as they still want to get the settlement money.

Their plan is halted midway in the country club where Howard is playing golf when Kevin, Kim’s former employer (remember Mesa Verde and the logo controversy?) spots Saul and stops him. Saul uses the situation to his advantage, as he so often does, and figures out a way to plant cocaine in Howard’s locker. Clifford Main, who is playing alongside him, notices the packet and looks at him curiously, and dare I say, with a sniff of doubt. 

Lalo makes his way to a vehicle entering the US border without getting noticed. He calls his uncle, Hector, before leaving. Hector is belated to know Lalo is still alive. He learns of Gus’ betrayal and role in the shootout at Lalo’s. When Hector asks for proof of Gus’ involvement, Lalo initially says he doesn’t have it, but remembers something and says he will get it. He says to the men to refund his money but they do not listen. He proceeds to kill them and goes on his way to get the proof. 


The Episode Review

What a way to make its way back to our screens! The first episode of ‘Better Call Saul’ typically follows its predecessors and sustains from giving out too much. The gradual unfurling of events is done at a tense pace, executed like a stroll in the park.

Vince Gilligan’s masterful art at storytelling again humbles the viewer. The lull of his trap is so subtle that it catches you disarmed. And the moment it finds you vulnerable, you’re brought back to the macabre reality of Better Call Saul’s cinematic universe, right in the middle of the action.

It was heartening to see Nacho survive to live another day. He has become somewhat of a hero from an anti-hero when he first appeared. You’d actually root for him over many others. But as history has told us many times, one cannot outrun one’s fate. How that is written will be known to us in the coming episodes.

Other major stakeholders made brief appearances, with the exception of Saul and Kim. Their new life together still hasn’t been able to shrug off the ripples from their old one.

The trauma is still there, accompanied by a shade of mistrust on both their parts. What else would you expect, though? They’re coping the best way they know how: work. With their present dynamic, in many ways, Gilligan has made their relationship the great equalizer.

Saul has now unconditionally slumped into the underbelly of cartel criminality, while Kim has adorned a new robe – that of a messiah. The contrast is compelling also in the sense that they extract completely different things from their work.

Kim is passionate and feverishly works to uphold justice; Saul, not so much. Odenkirk does a great job of keeping Saul at an arm’s length from the viewer. We don’t really get to know what he is going through. The surreptitiousness does not help but in the scheme of things, it is not too unfamiliar. Lalo’s menacing promises to his uncle Hector do not bode well for Gus and company.

The way it is panning out, it seems Better Call Saul will see a trifecta showdown between Gus, the Salamanca, and the Juarez cartel. Not to forget that the DEA might also get involved, given that we will see Walter and Jesse again.

Next Episode

Expect A Full Season Write-Up When This Season Concludes!
  • Episode Rating
    (4.5)
4.5

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