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Five Things To Remember Before Watching Better Call Saul Season 6

"Better Call Saul," AMC's "Breaking Bad" prequel, has been a smash hit with critics and audiences alike, with stratospheric 98% and 96% ratings on Rotten Tomatoes, respectively. COVID delays and Bob Odenkirk's heart attack have intervened since Season 5 concluded with an attack on the Salamanca compound in Chihuahua, but the first half of Season 6 will be released this Monday and conclude on May 23.

Series co-creator Peter Gould told Entertainment Weekly, "Season 6 is like a present. You've given someone this present that's wrapped up, and you can't wait to see what they think when they open it up. And I'm just hoping that folks love this particular present the way I do."

With two years between episodes, fans will also be eagerly anticipating more of Saul Goodman (Odenkirk), Kim Wexler (Rhea Seehorn), Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks), and Lalo Salamanca (Tony Dalton) as events bring us closer to revealing Saul's ultimate fate. Since so much time has passed since the attack on Lalo's Mexican home, let's take a look back and revisit five important plot points to remember going into Season 6.

Lalo escaped but leaked news that he had been killed

The bulk of the Season 5 finale, "Something Unforgivable," focuses on Lalo Salamanca's betrayal at the hand of Nacho Varga (Michael Mando) and the attempt on his life orchestrated by Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito). Just hours after winning the approval of Don Eladio (Steven Bauer), Nacho diverts Lalo's attention with a kitchen fire long enough to let Gus' assassins in through the back gate.

Lalo uses the hot oil and frying pan Nacho left on the stove as weapons and then escapes through a tunnel before returning to take out the rest of the hit squad. Before executing the last remaining invader, Lalo has the man call his superiors and report their mission a success and Lalo among the dead. He takes one look at the glasses he and Nacho had left outside when he noticed the kitchen fire, and a glint of realization creeps into his dark eyes.

Lalo strides away from the home that had been his safe haven, with one last sad look at the body of family cook Yolanda (Emma McCoslin). We don't know where he's headed, but we do know he will be out to exact revenge on Gus, who thinks he is dead, and Nacho, who is now in greater peril than the one Lalo just escaped.

Nacho took off running but has nowhere to go

Nacho Varga spends most of Season 5 trying to earn the trust of rivals Lalo Salamanca and Gus Fring. He impresses Lalo by boldly sneaking into a stash house while the police are raiding it to recover some drugs and provides Gus with important information about Lalo's plans.

For Salamanca, Nacho's boldness justifies giving him more responsibility within the cartel and bringing him another step closer to the inside. The opportunistic Gus protects Nacho when it suits him, but when he learns Lalo took Nacho to Chihuahua with him, he enlists Nacho's help in his assassination plan — even knowing it would expose Nacho as Gus' mole.

Nacho lets Gus' men in and then runs off, but unlike the locally connected Salamanca, he has no safe place to go. He came to Mexico with no notice or preparation and has no allies on that side of the border, especially having just betrayed the most powerful family in the area. Nacho has only Mike on his side and nothing but the clothes on his back and the phone in his pocket.

Back in the United States, Kevin Wachtell is still angry at Saul

In a storyline that dominated the early part of Season 5 but was set aside for the last three episodes, Saul frustrates Mesa Verde Bank CEO Kevin Wachtell (Rex Linn) and his plans to open a new call center. Intervening on behalf of a lone holdout homeowner refusing to sell, Saul uses various forms of trickery to delay the demolition of the man's house. Kim notices a legally questionable similarity between a photo hanging on the wall of Kevin's home office and the Mesa Verde logo, and Saul then uses that knowledge — and slanderous ads he made with the help of his college film crew — to ambush Kevin and Kim by demanding a $4 million settlement.

In a handshake deal made in a parking garage, Kevin calls Saul "a third-rate huckster who'd sell [his] own mother's organs to get what [he wants]" but agrees to pay the photographer $200,000 and the homeowner $45,000 and issue a public apology for both. Despite this, Kevin agrees to keep Kim on as his counsel, instead focusing his lingering anger over the call center situation entirely on Saul.

Saul and Kim worked through their trust issues by going deeper in cahoots

After Saul's ambush, Kim is understandably furious. Saul is initially oblivious as to why, thinking that by surprising her he protected her. But she tells him, "I can't do this anymore. You turned you and me versus the bank into you versus me. ... You can excuse stabbing me in the back by making it about protecting me?"

She tells him she has lost trust in him and choking back tears, offers him a choice: split up or get married. It's a critical moment for the couple where either of them could have ended things. But as is their pattern, they choose a path that benefits Saul and threatens Kim's personal and professional well-being.

In the Season 5 finale, Kim meets Howard Hamlin (Patrick Fabian) in the courthouse elevator and tells him she quit her job with Schweikart & Cokely, prompting him to warn her about Jimmy's influence on her. She quickly reminds him that she is fully capable of making her own decisions, and that night, Kim and Saul brainstorm ways to humiliate Howard while also landing Saul the multimillion-dollar settlement he has due in the Sandpiper class-action lawsuit. How far they go remains to be seen, but in Season 5's closing moments, Kim seemed 100% ready, willing, and able to go further than Saul was.

Mike is somehow holding it all together despite multiple crises

At Season 5's outset, Mike is upset at Gus' decision not to spare Werner's (Rainer Bock) life, even losing his temper with his granddaughter. He's stabbed on the street and wakes up in Gus' underground hospital in Mexico. Initially still unwilling to continue working with Gus, he's persuaded when Gus tells him, "I'm in a war. I need a soldier. ... I believe that you understand ... revenge."

Mike commandeers a police scanner to help get Lalo arrested and is then tasked with protecting Saul when he goes to fetch Salamanca's $7 million cash bail. In "Bagman," he ends up escorting Saul out of the desert but not before bailing him out twice with sharpshooting under extreme pressure. By this point, he has resolved any moral objection to what he's doing, telling Saul, "I have people waiting for me. They don't know what I do. They never will. They're protected. But I do what I do so they can have a better life. And if I live or if I die, it really doesn't make a difference to me."

Mike then sets about trying to protect Nacho and his father from both being placed in further jeopardy by Gus and retaliation from the Salamancas. Season 6 will no doubt put Mike front and center in lots of stressful situations, and it will be a delight to see him find his way through, whether he uses his rifle or his wits and wisdom.