‘Better Call Saul’ Season 6 Left Albuquerque for Howard’s Final Fate
The Better Call Saul Season 6 midseason premiere brought all new surprises. It also brought some finality to the big surprise of the midseason finale in May. The resolution of Howard Hamlin (Patrick Fabian)’s Better Call Saul story also had to leave the home base city of Albuquerque, N.M. to pull it off.
[Warning: This article contains spoilers for Better Call Saul Season 6.]
Writer Gordon Smith wrote the episode “Point and Shoot.” Smith spoke with the AMC Blog in an interview published July 12, the day after the midseason premiere aired. Here’s why they had to leave Albuquerque to lay Howard to rest. Better Call Saul Season 6 airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on AMC.
The opening of the ‘Better Call Saul’ Season 6 midseason premiere needed an ocean
The Better Call Saul Season 6 midseason premiere opened with a shot of the ocean. Howard’s car is parked and his wedding ring is sitting atop his wallet on the dashboard. Viewers previously saw Lalo Salamanca (Tony Dalton) kill Howard in the midseason finale, and “Point and Shoot” explains how Mike (Jonathan Banks) covered up Howard’s death. There are no oceans in Albuquerque though.
“We have this teaser that could not be shot in Albuquerque,” Smith told the AMC blog. “So it was an ending on an ending on an ending. The teaser in fact was the last thing we shot. It felt right that it was Vince and me and producer Jenn Carroll on the beach at the end, playing with shoes with [director of photography] Marshall [Adams] and [special effects coordinator] Werner [Hahnlein] and [A-camera operator] Matt [Credle] and as much of our crew as we could have. Just a sunset and a beach and a goodbye to the show.”
Howard Hamlin’s final ‘Better Call Saul’ fate is sealed, literally
Mike also made sure Howard’s body would never wash up ashore. That’s because he didn’t actually dump the body in the ocean. He buried Howard, along with Lalo also, in the ground of Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito)’s superlab.
“That came straight out of the writers’ room,” Smith said. “We knew we were getting close to the end of the episode. We talked about whether we could end on Jimmy and Kim sitting on the bed with their thousand-yard stares. And I think that would’ve been a legit way to go! But we really felt like we could give Howard and Lalo a final moment of rest, almost a funeral. I think both Alison Tatlock and Vince both pitched the superlab, and it’s the kind of thing you hear and get chills and go—is this too far? Is it too much?”
They had to cross reference ‘Breaking Bad’
The construction of the super lab has been setting up Breaking Bad all along. Walter White (Bryan Cranston) will ultimately be forced to cook there. Better Call Saul Season 6 lays new foundation in the superlab, litearlly.
“And more importantly, does this screw up something we’re not thinking about with Breaking Bad?” Smith said. “Is there some reason not to do it? So we talked about it a lot, and then we were like no, this is too good and feels right. It adds a little bit of flavor that this superlab was built on a foundation of death. And after we figured out that’s where it ended, we broke the teaser as a sort of wraparound.”