Higher Name Saul EP Breaks Down Finale Shocker: ‘This Is a Big, Big Step…’

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Higher Name Saul EP Breaks Down Finale Shocker: ‘This Is a Big, Big Step…’

Warning: This put up accommodates spoilers for Monday’s Higher Name Saul midseason finale.

We thought Better Call Saul would possibly finish the primary half of its last season with a bang — however we didn’t know that will actually be true.

The previous few minutes of Monday’s midseason finale left us with our jaws on the ground, as a defeated Howard confronted Jimmy and Kim after their rigorously deliberate scheme to humiliate him and get the Sandpiper case settled labored like a attraction. Howard got here to their house to congratulate them after which to berate them — however he was interrupted by Lalo, who barged in wanting to talk to his legal professionals whereas he calmly screwed a silencer into his pistol. Earlier than anybody might react, he nonchalantly shot Howard within the head, leaving him to die on the ground earlier than turning to Jimmy and Kim: “OK… let’s speak.”

Yeah, after seeing that, we undoubtedly did want to speak, so TVLine reached out to Saul government producer Thomas Schnauz — who wrote and directed this episode — to unpack that surprising last second, what Howard’s homicide means for Jimmy and Kim’s future and what’s on faucet for Saul‘s last six episodes (premiering July 11).

TVLINE | Peter Gould instructed me you and the writers didn’t know the ultimate season can be cut up in two whenever you have been writing it. However you couldn’t have picked a greater scene to finish on, might you?
It’s actually humorous… I imply, within the historical past of Breaking Unhealthy and Higher Name Saul, we’ve had some superb luck — and I don’t need to name Bob [Odenkirk] having his coronary heart incident and COVID “luck” — however dealing with these horrible issues and doing what it did to the season, it simply so occurred that Howard’s demise got here proper in the course of the season. And it was a very good breaking level, midseason, for AMC.

Better Call Saul Season 6 Howard HamlinTVLINE | Did you at all times know that Howard wouldn’t survive?
No, we didn’t. I imply, originally of the season, in case you’d requested me after we began breaking it. I didn’t know. I most likely might have guessed that he wouldn’t make it, however I didn’t know the way. We knew for certain that Jimmy and Kim going after Howard was going to result in one thing very unhealthy for Jimmy and Kim. We didn’t know that it meant that he can be shot proper in entrance of them of their house. However we knew some unhealthy end result needed to occur due to what they have been doing. They couldn’t simply succeed, and whether or not that was Kim getting caught or Howard getting suspicious and getting Kim disbarred… No matter completely different situations we had, we didn’t know for certain Howard would die. However as we went alongside, we simply felt like, “Properly, that is the place it’s going.” We actually needed the 2 separate storylines, the cartel world and the legal-slash-scamming Howard world, to come back collectively, and it simply occurred to come back collectively prefer it did on this episode.

TVLINE | Yeah, I used to be simply going to say: It looks like now the Jimmy/Kim storyline and the Gus/Mike storyline have collided, violently, and there’s no going again from right here.
Oh, completely. So far as getting Jimmy McGill down the pathway to Saul Goodman, this was an enormous, big step.

TVLINE | The return of Lalo type of overshadowed the truth that Jimmy and Kim’s scheme went off completely. Jimmy will get his minimize of the Sandpiper settlement, however does that even matter now?
Yeah, there’s this darkish cloud hanging over all that. The Sandpiper settlement, I don’t assume that’s on their minds proper now after what occurred on the finish of the episode. We spent extra time on this rip-off than every other rip-off within the historical past of the present, displaying each step. And we did one thing that we don’t at all times do is, which is preserve some data from the viewers, just like the personal detective being on Jimmy’s and Kim’s aspect, versus being Howard’s. That was the largest factor we hid from the viewers.

TVLINE | It was spectacular how Howard deduced the entire thing and defined it fairly rationally to Cliff, all issues thought-about. However by that time, it was too far gone.
Yeah, that was additionally one of many difficult issues we needed to do. We needed to assume: How do they do that rip-off? And we all know Howard’s going to determine it out, however the outcomes should be in a manner that it ruins the Sandpiper settlement. Even when Cliff believes Howard and all the things that he says, it does an excessive amount of harm to the Sandpiper case. So it’s higher to settle now, versus going again in and refighting. Schweikert knew he had these guys over a barrel, so he took benefit.

Better Call Saul Season 6 Episode 7 KimTVLINE | I did love that shot of Jimmy and Kim making out as Cliff introduced the settlement. That type of proves Howard was proper: They do get off on it!
Oh yeah, undoubtedly. Proper from Episode 1 this season, when Jimmy says, “So we have been doing this?” And Kim says, “Wait, we’re not?” Kim type of withdraws, and Jimmy sees the frustration there. It’s like, if we’re going to have that magic spark, we higher go forward. It ties into our “Days of Wine and Roses” idea, that these guys are addicted, to not alcohol, however they’re hooked on the scamming, and the push of that.

TVLINE | One factor that did puzzle me: Why didn’t Kim inform Jimmy that Lalo was nonetheless alive, after she had that dialog with Mike?
Properly, for the very purpose we have been simply speaking about: The rip-off is an important. If she instructed Jimmy about Lalo, meaning they return to the lodge, they go into hiding, he freaks out… The rip-off goes away, mainly. So she did it to save lots of the plot towards Howard. She additionally had Mike telling her: “We’ve guys watching you, so if Lalo does present up, we’re right here.” What she doesn’t know is that Lalo hears the cellphone faucet at Casa Tranquila. So he is aware of that Gus is aware of, and he pulls just a little switcheroo, saying “I’m gonna come after him tonight.” They pull all people to Gus’ home. So whoever was watching Jimmy and Kim that night time left to go to Gus’ home.

TVLINE | Yeah, I used to be going to ask you what modified Lalo’s thoughts. I didn’t decide up that he had realized Hector’s cellphone was tapped.
That’s a really difficult factor. It’s within the episode, and that’s the one factor that’s at all times apprehensive me. It was within the script that he hears a click on on the cellphone. That’s why he smashes the garden chair within the tunnel. He hears this clicking noise. He’s like, “Oh crap, it’s being tapped, and, nicely, who would faucet Hector Salamanca’s cellphone?” That’s why he says, “Intelligent Hen Man.” He thinks, “Shit, this man is aware of. He simply heard my voice. The cat’s out of the bag. So I’m going to name Hector again and simply say, ‘I couldn’t discover proof. Again to Plan A. I’m gonna go get him.’” And that’s when he appears by way of the binoculars and he sees Mike popping out, Tyrus moving into. He is aware of that this place he was going to enter and shoot all people is extra closely armed. If it wasn’t for Gus’ cellphone faucet, he would have gone in there and died, as a result of there was no manner he was going to get in there and shoot the couple of guards that have been there, when there’s Mike and all these different guys inside.

Better Call Saul Season 3 Finale ChuckTVLINE | Howard talked about Chuck on this episode, and it’s actually one of many first instances Chuck’s title has been talked about within the final couple of seasons. He was such a giant a part of the primary three seasons. Will Chuck’s legacy play a much bigger function in what in the end occurs to Jimmy?
I feel though we don’t speak about Chuck, Chuck hangs over all the things. Jimmy is liable for Chuck’s demise. In Season 3, he does this insurance coverage rip-off that completely messes with Chuck and truly results in him being let go from HHM, which is what makes Howard assume that Chuck’s suicide, tipping over the lantern, is his fault, when in actuality, if Jimmy hadn’t executed this infantile prank, Chuck would nonetheless be alive. And I feel Jimmy carries that with him on a regular basis. All this guilt that Howard’s been carrying and going to remedy for, all the things that Howard’s doing, is the factor that Jimmy ought to have been doing: admitting what he’s executed, working it out with a therapist and getting higher. As a substitute, he simply fell in love with Kim and determined to do all these horrible scams to Howard as an alternative.

TVLINE | So now we’ve simply six episodes left, and an entire lot of free ends left to tie up and join all of it again to Breaking Unhealthy and Gene in Omaha. What are you able to tease about this last run of episodes?
Uh, I’m mainly not allowed to say something. [Laughs] However I’m very, very pleased with them. We don’t spell quite a lot of issues out for the viewers, so hopefully all the things ties collectively in a manner that’s satisfying for the viewers, so after we get to the tip of [Season 6], the Breaking Unhealthy/Higher Name Saul of it and the Gene world all make sense.

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