[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 6, Episode 6 of Better Call Saul, “Axe and Grind.”]
The show delves into personal lives that viewers haven’t seen much of and widens the scope of the current story at hand. Directed by star Giancarlo Esposito, the installment is a must-see for viewers, and for that reason, we’re breaking down all of the key moments, below, so beware of spoilers ahead.
Kim’s First Rebellion
The episode opens with a flashback to Kim’s (Rhea Seehorn) past on an occasion when she got caught trying to steal some jewelry from a local shop. When her mother arrives, she chides her daughter for her actions and the store manager says that in most cases they’d call the police, but if Kim promises to keep from stealing, they’ll let her go.
When her mom learns the earrings and necklace are worth $35, she’s surprised. Agreeing to let them go, the man tells Kim to listen to her mother who takes her hand as they walk out of the building together. when they arrive in the car, the mom opens her bag to unveil the earrings and necklace set, telling Kim to relax, that she got away with it. It feels implied that Kim’s own mother stole the items for her daughter but the moment seems pivotal for where Kim’s future is heading, particularly when the earrings happen to be the ones she wears all of the time.
Howard at Home
In a peek at Howard’s (Patrick Fabian) home life, he wakes and gets ready in his guest house as he stops by his car to drop off some clothing items and then heads into the big house’s kitchen. Working his way around the home’s fancy coffee machine, he makes a latte. That’s when his wife Cheryl (Sandrine Holt) enters the room. The coldness between them is palpable but he’s still trying.
He informs Cheryl that the coffee is for her, and she unceremoniously pours the carefully crafted beverage into a to-go cup, ruining the peace sign design Howard had created on top of the foam. They talk about their upcoming engagements and she makes mention of a fundraising event. When he suggests that they go together, she tells him that it’s better if they don’t. Before she leaves, Howard mentions that things between him and Jimmy (Bob Odenkirk) are getting worse. He assures her that he’s taking care of things before she saunters off.
As part of handling the Jimmy situation, Howard reconnects with the private investigator that he’s hired to follow Jimmy. The investigation yields varied results as the man shares that Jimmy’s life has been fairly routine between the office and courthouse. The only abnormality in his routine was a large cash withdrawal, that Howard says there’s be no legitimate reason for. It seems to be the in that Howard’s looking for as he plots his next move.
A Trip to the Vet’s
Meanwhile, Jimmy and Kim take a trip to the vet’s office where Dr. Caldera (Joe DeRosa) is helping them administer a drug that will apparently give Jimmy a caffeine boost of sorts. As they make small talk, Dr. Caldera mentions how he’s setting up to close shop on the after-hours activity to focus solely on animals, and little by little he’s clearing his black book which he calls the keys to the kingdom. Jimmy and Kim rifle through the pages of the book which includes a business card for Best Quality Vacuum Repair, a.k.a. the number you call when you want to disappear.
Kim seems to take particular notice of this which could hint at the possibility that she’ll one day use the service. As they sit and wait for the drug to take effect, Jimmy can’t believe that the man would walk away from such an enterprise. Could Jimmy be the one to take the keys to the kingdom next? Once their waiting is up, Jimmy and Kim take a peek in the mirror to find Jimmy’s eyes have dilated quite a bit. It’s not quite clear what this is for yet unless Jimmy’s going to try posing as Howard on coke to someone who isn’t familiar with the lawyer.
A New Opportunity
Meanwhile, on another day in court, Kim works her magic to help out a client as Cliff (Ed Begley Jr.) sits on the sidelines to watch. Kim defends a client who was pulled over for having an air freshener hanging from his rearview mirror. Her fierce determination inspires Cliff who asks her afterward what she gets paid per case. When Kim says she’s only making $700, he asks her about how she left things with Howard and she says she owes him and HHM a lot. Cliff then takes the opportunity to mention the Jackson-Mercer Foundation, a law group that helps underprivileged people, asking if Kim’s interested in joining.
Rushing off to see Jimmy, she bumps into Francesca (Tina Parker) who shows off the redesigned lobby with all of its high-class finishes. Making small talk, Francesca asks if Jimmy and Kim have a registry for their wedding, and Kim thanks her but declines any need for gifts. Meanwhile, in Jimmy’s office, filming and photography are commencing as he works on a project for their scheme, creating a lookalike judge.
She asks him to step out with her for a minute and Kim tells Jimmy about the offer that Cliff made to her, revealing that there’s an opportunity for her to get a foot in the door at Jackson-Mercer. The only catch? It happens to coincide with what they’re calling D-Day. Jimmy reassures her that it will be fine if she goes, encouraging her to follow what she wants as he promises to handle everything else.
A Bloody Rude Awakening
Before we can see this follow-through, the scene shifts to Germany once again where Casper (Stefan Kapicic) is chopping wood in the secluded forest. Casper is one of the many crew members that Gus (Giancarlo Esposito) recruited to help build his secret meth lab underground. When he hears a car pull up he asks who is out there and when Lalo (Tony Dalton) greets him, he begins backing away and runs with an ax to a nearby barn.
Lalo follows him inside and Casper manages to knock the wind from Lalo with a solid blow from the ax’s butt to his chest. But Lalo is smarter as he takes a moment to catch his breath and explain to Casper why he’s there. He says this is about Gus Fring and tells Casper he found him after visiting Margarethe (Andrea Sooch). Lalo tells him that he didn’t harm her and mentions that the gift on Werner’s shelf is what tipped him off. As he goes to hold up a business card with information, Casper leans in, unaware that behind the small paper square is a razor blade.
Reaching out, Lalo slices at the man’s face before managing to grab hold of the ax which he uses to whack the man’s foot, effectively chopping it from his leg. He hands the man a belt to tie it around his leg so he won’t bleed out as he looks for more answers behind Gus’s secret building project.
The Beginning of Francesca’s Fierceness
At the office, Jimmy makes Francesca do him a favor by dialing up HHM in search of dial-in info for their upcoming meeting about the Sandpiper lawsuit. Posing as a relative, she’s given the information, but she knows it’s not ethical, despite what Jimmy tells her. After already judging their clientele, this seems to be one of the last pieces of straw for Francesca. When they go back inside after making the call from the alley, they find one of Jimmy’s clients peeing in his planter. Asking Francesca to clean it up, she vehemently refuses, offering viewers a glimpse of the dynamic they’d recognize from the characters’ Breaking Bad days.
Mike (Jonathan Banks) continues to run surveillance for Gus, even keeping tabs on the laundry service that operates above the meth lab. When Gus’ men ask why Mike has no security on his house, he tells them it’s because he hasn’t been home in so long now that he’s fine without it. Instead, it would seem, he’s planted protection on his granddaughter and daughter-in-law’s house. Peering out from the blinds across the street from them, Mike chats over the phone as he stargazers with them, the girls unaware of his actual whereabouts. He’s told them he’s on business in Chatanooga.
Jimmy & Kim’s Plan Goes Sideways
Cleaning up their kitchen and taking one last look at their corkboard, Jimmy and Kim decide to take a trip to “Omaha Beach” setting a picnic blanket down outside of the HHM offices where their big scheme is set to unfold the following day. Toasting with a glass of wine, they’re unaware of just how uncertain their plan is based on some unforeseen hiccups.
The next day, Jimmy foresees victory in Santa Fe for Kim and victory in Albuquerque for both of them as she sets off for the Jackson-Mercer meeting. Getting ahead of himself, Jimmy takes a trip to the liquor store to buy a celebratory bottle of tequila, the same kind with the fancy topper that the couple still has at home. Before he can check out though, Jimmy comes face to face with the judge that they thought wouldn’t be present at the HHM meeting due to an accident.
The old man is wearing a cast, and he no longer has a mustache, something that was integral to their scheme. Jimmy calls Kim to inform her of the blunder, saying that they can hold things for another day, but she won’t let it go. She tells Jimmy that it happens today before taking a turn across the highway to head back to Albuquerque. Is this self-destructive decision going to serve Kim well or will she pay dearly for it? Only time will tell once Better Call Saul‘s mid-season finale episode airs next week.
Better Call Saul, Season 6, Mondays, 9/8c, AMC and AMC+