The main spoilers below are for those who haven’t fully understood “Better call Saul” yet, so be careful if you haven’t watched yet!
The sixth and final season of “Better Call Saul” wasn’t originally written with a six-week hiatus in mind, which didn’t seem so obvious after “Plan and Execution” shockingly eliminated Howard Hamlin from the equation. Nevertheless, the urgency of the mid-season premiere of “Point and Shoot” more clearly indicated that this episode was intended as a rather quick sequel, when the creative team unexpectedly (and quite brutally) killed the drama’s most electrifying antagonist, Lalo Salamanca.
So, technically, it was the main villain of the franchise, Gustavo Fring, who brought down a stream of bullets on Lalo, turning the tables just as the mustachioed brute thought he had driven Fring into an inevitable corner. However, from now on, Lalo will only know the corners that surround his corpses and Howard’s corpses in their common dirty grave under the methamphetamine laboratory, which is in Fring’s development. This detail, no matter how gloomy and gloomy it may be, adds a new shade of context to each scene of “Breaking Bad” taking place in an underground laboratory.
Even Tony Dalton himself was concerned about the fate of his character. In an interview with Variety about the devastating episode, Dalton was asked about the strangeness of seeing his dead body on screen (so to speak), and he reflected on his ties to the Breaking Bad series with his response, saying:
Very strange. They put this episode on Tribeca, and just seeing Howard and me dead in the pit, I thought, “Damn, man.” So what’s all the Breaking Bad I’m in there? Are they walking on my grave?” This is crazy. I wouldn’t even have thought of that.
It’s not necessarily a revisionist game-changer to portray Walt and Jesse performing their meth-making duties over the rotting corpses of Fring and Saul’s most arch-rivals, given that none of the Breaking Bad characters have ever met Lalo or Howard (as far as we know) . Nevertheless, the events of this episode will present Fring in a completely new light for those who are going to watch Breaking Bad again.
“Point and Shoot” showed Gus Fring, whom the audience (and other characters) are not used to seeing: a man who was allegedly outsmarted and surpassed by the class, and who was afraid that this might well be his last day on earth. If it weren’t for Lalo’s sky-high self-confidence and his video camera, the villain probably wouldn’t have kept Fring alive long enough for the crime boss to get to his secret weapon. But now that he’s lived through what is no doubt one of his three major nightmare scenarios, Fring is better suited to become an unwavering tyrant who takes Walt and Jesse under his wing.
Dalton said he and Giancarlo Esposito discussed how the outcome of their last one-on-one conversation would affect Fring’s rise to power in the future. According to him:
I talked about it with Giancarlo, about the part where Gus is worried that Lalo will catch up with him —there is no uncertainty in Breaking Bad. the heel. After Lalo’s death, this turns Gus into the person he becomes in Breaking Bad.
After one kills a massive grizzly bear, other animals (even potentially dangerous ones named Walter White) no longer seem so intimidating. And since no one in this universe was so similar to Lalo, Fring would rest more or less peacefully until years later he would have half of his face blown off.
As much as it sucks to see Lalo go—and I can’t imagine a more excruciating way than him and Howard together forever—at least Tony Dalton’s film and television career isn’t as dead as his character. I can’t wait to see what high-profile roles he gets next, although I regret that he didn’t get to share the screen with the yet-to-arrive guest star Carol Burnett.
Since Pat Healy from “Station 19” is scheduled to appear in the upcoming flash forwards as a converted taxi driver, “Better Call Saul” airs Mondays on AMC at 21:00 ET. In anticipation of new episodes, join me to celebrate superstar Rhea Seahorn, who FINALLY received an Emmy Award nomination this year for her endlessly brilliant role as Kim Wexler after years of unfair neglect.