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Biggest Unanswered Questions From Better Call Saul Season 6 Part 1

The day before the Season 6 mid-season finale of "Better Call Saul" aired, episode director Thomas Schnauz took to Twitter to inform everyone not to expect a big cliffhanger, that the splitting of the season into two parts (with the second half airing later in the summer) was a matter of logistics more than art. While that second part might have been true — filming on the final season was indeed delayed briefly after star Bob Odenkirk suffered a heart attack on set — the mid-season finale ended on one of the most shocking cliffhangers in the history of either this series or its parent show "Breaking Bad." 

"Better Call Saul" has for the most part operated as two shows in tandem, with Jimmy McGill's (Odenkirk) legal shenanigans only occasionally coming into contact with the cartel drama that would one day consume his life as Saul Goodman. That separation came down once and for all when ruthless cartel boss Lalo Salamanca (Tony Dalton) gunned down Jimmy's former boss/current adversary Howard Hamlin (Patrick Fabian) in front of Jimmy and his wife and partner Kim Wexler (Rhea Seehorn), not 30 seconds after meeting him for the first time.

So what comes next? With the exception of Lalo and Kim, the remaining main characters are holdovers from "Breaking Bad," so we know that they will survive more or less intact through the final episode of "Better Call Saul." But there are still plenty of mysteries still unsolved, and still a long way to go on the road from criminal lawyer Jimmy McGill to criminal lawyer Saul Goodman to lonely, paranoid Cinnabon manager Gene Takovic. Here are some of the biggest unanswered questions from "Better Call Saul" Season 6, Part One.

How will Jimmy and Kim cover up Howard's murder?

Perhaps the most immediately pressing question when the show returns for its final six episodes will be what to do with Howard's body. After all, Lalo has just murdered one of the most prominent attorneys in Albuquerque in the home of two of his former employees, whom he had publicly accused of conspiring to ruin his career. Not only that, but the murder took place in an apartment, surrounded by neighbors who, assuming they didn't hear Lalo's silenced pistol, no doubt heard Jimmy and Kim's screams of terror and Howard's body hit the floor. How can they possibly maneuver their way out of this?

The answer, perhaps, will be Mike Ehrmentraut. Longtime viewers will remember that Mike's first appearance in Season 2 of "Breaking Bad" was as Saul's cleaner, helping a distraught Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) remove the body of his girlfriend Jane (Krysten Ritter) after she overdosed on heroin. Enlisting him to dispose of Howard's body would a strong bit of connective tissue between who Mike is at the end of "Better Call Saul" and who he is at the start of "Breaking Bad," and would help explain why he is doing this sort of work for Saul in those early episodes when he has a seemingly full-time job as Gus' fixer and muscle.

What happens to Nacho's father?

There are very few honest people in Vince Gilligan's Albuquerque. Even the characters we sympathize with, like Mike or Nacho or Kim, have literal and figurative skeletons in their closets. Nacho Varga's father Manuel (Juan Carlos Cantu) is one of those very few. A proud man, he loved his son even as he despised Nacho's descent into cartel life. And Nacho's love for his father was likewise strong — strong enough, in fact, to become a liability. When Gus needed a spy on the inside of the Salamanca organization, he forced Nacho into service by threatening Manuel — much to Mike's chagrin. As Nacho grew increasingly desperate to get out from under Gus and the Salamancas, he began to plot an escape for himself and his father, with a pair of fake IDs hidden away in his safe.

After Gus' assassination attempt on Lalo failed, though, Nacho took his own life rather than be tortured and killed by the Salamancas in the aptly titled Season 6 episode "Rock and Hard Place." Before doing so, he made Mike promise that Manuel would be safe, but is that a promise that Mike would be able to keep if either Gus or the cartel ordered his death? History would say no; Mike is a man of integrity and personal strength, but at the end of the day he is a follower, and if given orders he will obey them, no matter how personally distasteful. Hopefully, though, it will never come to that — or if it does, perhaps Mike will be able to convince Manuel to take the forged identification his son bought for him and make a new life away from Albuquerque.

What happens to Dr. Caldera's little black book?

The Season 6 episode "Axe and Grind" reintroduced Albuquerque veterinarian and underworld middleman Dr. Caldera (Joe DeRosa), who in the past has found muscle work for Mike and procured any number of burglars and lowlifes for Jimmy's various schemes. Dr. Caldera has been a fixture of the series since Season 1, but in "Axe and Grind" we get a little more insight into how he does business: He keeps his criminal contacts listed in an encrypted "little black book." He also announced that he'll be leaving Albuquerque and his underworld side hustle behind to concentrate fully on his veterinary practice, a decision that leaves Jimmy bewildered. How could Dr. Caldera let go of such a great passive income stream? And buried within that question, perhaps, is Jimmy's greater concern: How could someone possibly go straight?

The episode gives us a brief glimpse into the book, written in a cypher that was nonetheless cracked within hours of the episode's airing; the page we see has a listing that's been crossed out, and internet sleuths quickly deduced that it was for the now-deceased Nacho Varga. A second, more obvious reference is also found in the book: A business card for Ed the vacuum cleaner repairman (Robert Forster), who years later will smuggle Saul, Walter White, and Jesse Pinkman out of the state and into brand new lives. It stands to reason that Jimmy will come into possession of Dr. Caldera's list of contacts — possibly by just buying it from him, possibly by more larcenous means.

Will we get into the Breaking Bad years?

Since the very first episode of "Better Call Saul," fans have wondered how much, if any, of the show would take place during "Breaking Bad." After all, viewers only ever saw Saul in the context of Walt and Jesse's adventures; it's entirely possible that he was mixed up in his own shenanigans as soon as they left his law office. In fact, could it even be possible that Saul hangs up his garish suit and tie at the end of every day and drives out to the safe, happy home he shares with Kim? Bob Odenkirk liked to joke about that possibility, but as the series went on and it became clear that creators Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould were playing a long, deliberate game, the idea that "Better Call Saul" could (or should) exist in the margins of "Breaking Bad" like a desert-set "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead" slipped ever further into the horizon.

But now, that horizon is here. With just six episodes left, if the show is ever going to step into the "Breaking Bad" years (other than a couple of cold opens and the ongoing black-and-white saga of Gene Takovic), that time is now. Gould, Gilligan, and Odenkirk have thus far been as tight-lipped as ever about what could happen, when it might happen, and who could show up in these last six episodes, with one major exception.

How will we see Walt and Jesse?

Just before Season 6 premiered in April 2022, Peter Gould announced what was either a major spoiler or a confirmation of what fans had likely assumed: Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul would be reprising their "Breaking Bad" roles in the final season of "Better Call Saul." It wasn't exactly a surprising reveal, especially after Cranston and Paul had returned to Vince Gilligan's Albuquerque in the 2019 sequel film "El Camino." But Gould provided no other information other than their return, and considering that he also tweeted that the mid-season finale wouldn't have a big cliffhanger, it's worth taking his announcement with a grain of salt.

Sure, it could be that Walt and Jesse appear in one, or two, or perhaps all of the remaining six episodes, as the series leaps forward to cover Saul's perspective on the Heisenberg saga. Or perhaps they will simply be in the background of one scene, sitting in Saul's waiting room while he attends to other business. Or perhaps it isn't Saul whom Walter White visits, but Gene; "Better Call Saul" has thus far played coy as to exactly how far into the future the black-and-white season introductions take place after the end of "Breaking Bad," and considering that the last two episodes of that series take place over several months, it might be that Walter sees Jimmy/Saul/Gene in Omaha on the way to make his final stand in Albuquerque. We'll find out soon enough.

Who else might we see from Breaking Bad?

From the beginning of the series, "Better Call Saul" has brought back many "Breaking Bad" characters, both major and minor. Aside from Jimmy and Mike, the cartel side of the show has mostly trafficked in characters familiar from the original series, from Tuco and the rest of the non-Lalo Salamanca clan, to Gus Fring, to doomed meth chef Gale Boetticher, to a two-episode appearance by Hank Schrader and Steve Gomez. The legal side is mostly made of new characters like Kim and Howard and Jimmy's disapproving brother Chuck (Michael McKean), but we've also seen the return of obnoxious finance bro Ken Wins, Saul's cutthroat receptionist Francesca, and his sticky-fingered associate Huell Babinaux.

With the appearance of Walt and Jesse confirmed (in whatever form that takes), it's possible that Skyler White and Walt Jr. might also show up at some point. Hank has already been on the show once, but his wife Marie, an X-ray technician and Skylar's younger sister, could just as easily pop up in an episode. Gilligan and Gould could also take advantage of the series' prequel status and resurrect characters who died in the course of "Breaking Bad," from Jesse's heroin addict girlfriend Jane or her air traffic controller father Donald (John De Lancie), to Danny Trejo's beheaded cartel snitch Tortuga, to any of the neo-Nazis that populated "Breaking Bad's" final season.

What happens to Gene?

Our first glimpse of Saul Goodman in "Better Call Saul" was not a flashback, but a grim flash-forward in black and white. Thanks to his association with Walter White, Saul is now on the run from both the DEA and a gang of meth-dealing neo-Nazis, and Ed the vacuum cleaner repairman has disappeared him into Nebraska, where he lives as Gene Takovic, the manager of a shopping mall Cinnabon. Every season of the show until now has begun with a check-in with Gene, wracked with paranoia at getting discovered. And when it finally does happen, when someone calls him out as the former Saul Goodman at the start of Season 5, it's not a cartel heavy or federal agent, but rather a yahoo cab driver (Don Harvey) who remembers Saul's goofy commercials. Still, the experience rattles Gene to the point that he reaches out to Ed once more to change identities, only to change his mind at the last minute: "I'm gonna fix it myself."

So what does it mean to "fix it" in this case? Season 6 began with a different type of flash-forward, so Gene's next move is still very much up in the air. While we may not know what happens next, we have been given a significant clue as to why Saul chose Omaha as his escape hatch in the first place. Her Kansas City Royals t-shirt hinted at it, but a pair of childhood flashbacks in Season 5 and 6 confirmed that Kim is from the Omaha area. Did Kim retreat to her family home after whatever terrible thing ends up going down in Albuquerque in these last six episodes? Is there a chance, even a microscopic one, that Jimmy and Kim could make a happy ending out of all this?

What happens to Lalo?

It's exceedingly rare for a television show to introduce a brand new main character late into its run, and rarer still for that character to almost immediately click into place like a missing piece we never realized the show needed. Yet that is exactly what happened in Season 4 when Gilligan and Gould introduced previously unseen Salamanca nephew Lalo (Tony Dalton), who comes north of the border to take over cartel business when his tío Hector (Mark Margolis) is incapacitated by a stroke. Lalo is a different kind of villain than we'd seen before on the series: A smiling psychopath, a charisma bomb with the analytical brutality of Gus Fring hiding underneath. After a botched assassination attempt by Gus at the end of Season 5, Lalo goes underground to discover what the Chicken Man is up to, turning up like a ghost in Jimmy and Kim's apartment as Howard is fatefully confronting them.

At this point, Lalo is the only character on the cartel side of the story whose fate is up in the air. Everyone else, from Mike to Gus to the Salamanca twins and Juan Bolsa and Don Eladio, meet their fates on "Breaking Bad." It's clear that Gus will win the war with Lalo; however, when Walt and Jesse kidnap Saul in his very first episode of "Breaking Bad," Saul assumes that they have been sent by Lalo in retribution for some offense, and tries to place the blame on Nacho, a convenient scapegoat due to being dead. Could it be that Lalo is still alive at that point, and that his war with Gus continues through at least the first two seasons of "Breaking Bad"?

What happens to Kim?

The most striking transformation on "Better Call Saul" turned out to not be Jimmy McGill becoming Saul Goodman, but rather Kim Wexler becoming ... well, exactly what she becomes remains to be seen. She started the series as an old and/or possibly new flame of Jimmy's, then his legal and romantic partner, then something of a moral weight for Jimmy in the same way his brother Chuck was, then a partner in crime, both literally and figuratively. In Season 6, as Jimmy hones his Saul Goodman persona, we've seen that many of his trademarks were Kim's idea, from the flashy Cadillac, to the "cathedral of justice" law office, to even commercial ideas.

Howard, Chuck, and Nacho have all died, and Lalo will most likely die, or at least will be out of the picture during "Breaking Bad." Kim is the last new character standing, the only one whose fate is uncertain, and that has become a terrifying prospect for "Better Call Saul" fans. We love Kim and fear for her, due in no small part to Rhea Seehorn's powerhouse performance. As Mike notes when they meet for the very first time in Season 6, Kim is made of "sterner stuff" than her husband. The plot to ruin Howard's career in order to force a settlement on a longstanding class-action suit, the unintended result of which was Howard lying dead in her home, was Kim's idea. She has broken bad as much as anyone else on the show, and as much as fans fear for Kim, part of them just plain fears her.