‘Better Call Saul’ Season 6 Midseason Premiere Writer Explains Why [SPOILER] Had to Die

Better Call Saul Season 6 returned for its midseason premiere on July 11. Fans who’ve been waiting all summer to see the aftermath of Kim (Rhea Seehorn) and Jimmy (Bob Odenkirk)’s plan got another harrowing episode full of twists and surprises. Another Better Call Saul main character died too, and the show’s writer explains why it had to happen. 

[Warning: This article contains spoilers for the Better Call Saul Season 6 midseason premiere.]

'Better Call Saul' Season 6 Midseason Premiere: Mike stands in Kim and Jimmy's bedroom to help them cover up a major death
L-R: Bob Odenkirk, Rhea Seehorn, and Jonathan Banks | Greg Lewis/AMC/Sony Pictures Television

Gordon Smith wrote the episode “Point and Shoot.” Smith spoke to the AMC blog in an interview published July 12, after the episode aired. Better Call Saul Season 6 airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on AMC.

In ‘Better Call Saul’ Season 6, it was either Lalo or Gus 

After murdering Howard Hamlin (Patrick Fabian), Lalo Salamanca (Tony Dalton) went after Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito). Gus is in Breaking Bad, so it was preordained who would win. 

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“Obviously, we didn’t want to lose Tony Dalton,” Smith said on the AMC blog. “He’s an incredible actor and an incredible presence on set—there to do the work, there to play in the best sense. An anchor. As Lalo, he brings this charm as well as this sinister-ness to the character, and that flavor was so important to the last two seasons, so we were loath to let it go. But we’re hurtling towards the end here, and we felt like we’d earned this clash of our titans. These are our two most capable characters, our biggest big-bads. The smartest two characters, certainly on our cartel side of things.”

‘Better Call Saul’ Season 6 could have prolonged Lalo’s death 

Smith considered extending the Lalo/Gus battle further into the season. Ultimately, they decided to get right to it. 

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And maybe Lalo could have been injured and gotten away, and then Gus would have to hunt him down while keeping him from getting to Eladio. But we’d done that story already, really, with Nacho in the first part of this season. We felt like it was doing the character more of a service to give him a big sendoff, to give him everything he’s worked for and then take it away. You know, he gets there, he gets through Gus’s men, which isn’t easy.  He even gets to see the superlab! Really gets confirmation of all these things, but he has to die to do it. I really like that last moment, when he gives that little laugh as he’s gurgling on his own blood. It’s like, “You f–k. You got lucky.  I had you.” And he’s not wrong!

Gordon Smith, AMC Blog, 7/12/22

Death isn’t the only consequence 

Some fans feel Breaking Bad characters like Gus or Mike (Jonathan Banks) are safe. Even Hector Salamanca (Mark Margolis) survives to Breaking Bad. But, Smith reminds fans that dying isn’t the only consequence for Better Call Saul characters.

“One thing we’ve been saying all along and loudly protesting is that death is not the only bad thing that can happen to you,” Smith said. “There are falls from grace, there are ruptures in life that can lead to worse consequences, or leave you just as broken. In this scene, the tension is both about what’s going to happen and how—Gus lives, but how? Even if he doesn’t die, he could be badly injured and get a scar that we don’t know about. Does Lalo get away and get to Don Eladio? If so, how does Gus get out of that? And if Lalo doesn’t survive, how does Gus turn that around?”

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