Better Call Saul’s midseason finale aired yesterday, May 23, and fans of the show have been left reeling in its wake. The episode, titled “Plan and Execution,” featured season six’s two main plotlines coming to a head and colliding with one another, centered around Howard Hamlin, lawyer and managing partner to the titular Saul Goodman. Better Call Saul, created by Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould, is a prequel to the hit AMC series Breaking Bad, also created by Gilligan. The show follows lawyer Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk) through his transformation from an earnest lawyer at Hamlin, Hamlin & McGill into eccentric con-man Saul Goodman. With the show confirmed to end with season 6, the season has been full of dramatic moments and revelations for the entire cast, but none so much as Howard Hamlin (Patrick Fabian).
Over the course of season 6, Howard Hamlin, the managing partner at Hamlin, Hamlin & McGill, has been deeply entrenched in two different plotlines: the first being an ongoing battle between Juarez Cartel member Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito) and Lalo Salamanca (Tony Dalton), acting head of the Salamanca crime family. In addition to that, Howard must also deal with Jimmy and his wife, Kim Wexler (Rhea Seehorn), as they plot to frame Howard as a maniac drug addict during the Sandpiper mediation hearing.
According to ScreenRant, the Better Call Saul midseason finale reaches a boiling point as Jimmy and Kim’s plot to frame Howard succeeds, causing opposing lawyer Rich Schweikart (Dennis Boutsikaris) to win the Sandpiper case. When Howard confronts the duo about their actions, Lalo makes a surprise appearance to brutally murder Howard and then demands to speak to Jimmy and Kim.
“Better Call Saul” Showrunner Peter Gould Breaks Down Midseason Finale
SPOILER: According to showrunner Peter Gould, Howard’s death isn’t the result of a long game played by the show’s creators, given that they weren’t even sure he was going to die until the beginning of season 6. In an interview about the midseason finale, Gould told Entertainment Weekly:
“A[t] the end of last season, Kim Wexler shocked us all by suggesting, ‘Hey, maybe we should scam Howard and get the Sandpiper money now, instead of waiting three years.’…the more we talked about that, the more we realized that Jimmy and Kim are sort of the bridge between these worlds, the legal world and the world of the cartel and Gustavo Fring and the Salamancas.”
Gould also explained that Jimmy and Kim may have united the show’s two main plots, but they don’t “fully understand what they were doing” and that “the consequences are just beginning”, which is certainly a foreboding message for fans to take into the second half of the season.
Better Caul Saul season 6, episode 8 will premiere on July 11, 2022, giving fans three agonizing weeks to wait before the cliffhanger is resolved.