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"Axe and Grind" is the sixth episode of the sixth season of Better Call Saul and the fifty-sixth episode of the series altogether.



In 1984 Nebraska, a 16-year-old Kim Wexler sits in the back office of a department store. The manager enters the office with Kim's mother, telling her that Kim was caught attempting to shoplift a pair of earrings and a necklace. Kim's mother admonishes her and threatens to take the value of the items out of her allowance, but the manager graciously declines either that or calling the police. Outside, Kim's mother drops the facade and shows that she's actually impressed at what has happened, revealing that she herself had shoplifted the same items, giving them to Kim. As they drive away, Kim looks out of the car window vacantly.

Act I[]

In 2004, Howard engages in his morning routine. He makes a latte for his wife, Cheryl, but it becomes apparent that the two are estranged. After agreeing to Cheryl attending a social engagement alone, he tells her about the problems he has been having with Jimmy and, if she sees or hears anything, to remember that he is handling the matter. At HHM, the private investigator shows Howard surveillance photos taken of Jimmy at his new practice, Saul Goodman & Associates, and details his step-by-step activities over the past few days. Howard notes a photo of Jimmy visiting a bank, where the P.I. says he made several cash withdrawals amounting to $20,000. Howard states that Jimmy has "no legitimate reason" to need that much money.

That night, Jimmy and Kim visit Dr. Caldera, who gives Jimmy a mild psychotropic drug. Caldera reveals that he is about to move away from Albuquerque, expressing relief that he will no longer have to engage in criminality and can treat animals full-time. He mentions having a "little black book" of contacts in the city's underworld, which Jimmy asks to see. Jimmy and Kim discover that that the book is written in a cypher; between the pages are several business cards, including for a vacuum repair company, confusing Kim as to their purpose. After Caldera leaves the room, Jimmy is incredulous that he would walk away from the money that he is making, while Kim says that "he knows what he wants." Kim looks at Jimmy and, amused, takes him to a mirror, showing that his pupils have dilated.

Act II[]

At the courthouse, Cliff observes a hearing in which Kim defends her client on a drug possession charge. Afterward, he questions her about how she left things with Howard when she quit HHM. Kim credits HHM with both her career and her relationship with Jimmy. Cliff brings up the Jackson Mercer Foundation, a non-profit legal group which funds justice reform programs on the East Coast, saying that he wants to talk to Kim about an attempt to bring the foundation to New Mexico.

After dark, Kim visits Jimmy's office and is let inside by Francesca. Kim is impressed with the new waiting room, which has a classy and professional-looking appearance in keeping with Francesca's tastes. Francesca, who hasn't seen Kim since the closure of Wexler McGill, congratulates her for her marriage to Jimmy. After she leaves, Kim enters Jimmy's office. There, he and Joey's film crew are about to put makeup on an actor impersonating Rand Casimiro, the mediator in the Sandpiper case. Kim tells Jimmy that Cliff invited her to a luncheon in Santa Fe in which board members from the Jackson Mercer Foundation, as well as the lieutenant governor, will be attending. Jimmy is ecstatic, but Kim has misgivings because the luncheon is scheduled for "D-Day." He assures her that nothing will go wrong because her presence will not be needed. The two share a passionate kiss.

In a forest in Germany, Casper, a former member of Werner Ziegler's excavation crew, is chopping wood when Lalo drives to his cabin. Sensing danger, Casper takes his axe and hides in a nearby barn. Drawing a pistol, Lalo follows him inside. Casper gets the drop on Lalo and strikes him in the gut with the blunt end of the axe, causing Lalo to collapse and struggle for breath. Under questioning, Lalo explains he tracked Casper down through the Lucite block he gave to Werner's widow, Margarethe. However, his pain is largely a ruse. He regains the upper hand by luring Casper to a close distance and slashing his face with a hidden razor blade, then using the axe to chop off his left foot. Lalo removes his belt and tells Casper to tie off the bleeding from the stump, saying that they are going to "have a talk."

Act III[]

At Jimmy's practice, Francesca looks uneasily at the collection of ne'er-do-wells in the waiting room. She enters his office with a letter of engagement for a client he is currently consulting. Francesca asks for a word, causing Jimmy to excuse himself while they talk in the "law library"—the alley behind the strip mall. There, the two argue over a task Jimmy has assigned her with: calling HHM posing as a relative of a Sandpiper plaintiff. Jimmy coaxes Francesca into dialing the firm on a burner phone. Speaking with an HHM representative, they learn that the firm's offices will host the upcoming mediation session and are given the passcode needed to participate by phone. They return to Jimmy's office to discover his client urinating in a water feature. Jimmy tells Francesca to clean up the mess, but she tells him to clean it up himself.

Meanwhile, at Lavandería Brillante, Mike is summoned to a meeting with Tyrus, who questions his decision to pull the surveillance from his own house while still keeping up surveillance at other locations across the city, specifically Alameda Street. Mike replies that he made a judgment call owing to their stretched resources and insists that the surveillance on Alameda Street be kept in place. That night, Mike goes to Alameda Street and enters an empty house that is being guarded by two of Gus's men. The house is across the street from Stacey and Kaylee's address. He dials them via his cell phone and watches as they stargaze through a telescope on their front lawn. Eventually, Kaylee is turned in for bed and Stacey converses with Mike, being under the impression that he is on a lengthy business trip. Mike continues to keep watch after Stacey goes back inside her house.

Act IV[]

At Kim's apartment, she and Jimmy look over their post-it notes outlining the phases of their scam against Howard; Kim crosses off the last post-it marking the final phase until "D-Day", which is the following day. Jimmy suggests they go out to celebrate the imminent completion of their scheme by visiting "Omaha Beach." They subsequently go to a grassy area, sit down on a picnic blanket, and share a bottle of wine. After the couple give a toast to "tomorrow," it is revealed that they are sitting outside the main meeting room of the HHM office.

The following morning, Kim and Jimmy leave the apartment—Kim to attend the luncheon in Santa Fe and Jimmy to oversee "D-Day." Jimmy goes to a wine store to purchase a bottle of Zafiro Añejo in anticipation of the scam's success. However, he is shocked to see Rand Casimiro standing in the checkout line ahead of him, with his left arm in a sling, supporting a cast. A panicking Jimmy calls Kim, who is driving out of town, to inform her that the plot has gone sideways; there is no way they can pass off photos of Jimmy meeting with the actor posing as Casimiro, who isn't wearing a cast, as genuine. Jimmy suggests that they abort the plan and "fight another day," but Kim—after much internal deliberation—insists that "it happens today". She pulls a u-turn across a highway median and speeds back into Albuquerque.

Official Photos[]


BCS 606 Promo Poster

Episode Poster

  • Amongst the pages of Caldera's criminal contact book is a business card for Best Quality Vacuum, revealing that Caldera has connections to Ed Galbraith, the Disappearer, possibly explaining how Saul came to be aware of Ed's services in the future.
    • The card appears to be the same one or at least a similar one to the card that Saul gives to Walter White in the Breaking Bad episode "Crawl Space".
    • This is further suggested by the fact that Caldera's book is amongst the items being seen repossessed in the flashforward in "Wine and Roses", indicating that Saul was the one to buy it.
  • The board full of pet photos in Caldera's office is made up from pictures of the crew's real life pets, including some of showrunner Peter Gould's cats and writer Ariel Levine's dog.
  • Patrick Fabian learned how to make latte art for Howard's scene with Cheryl.
  • Stefan Kapičić learned proper wood splitting techniques for Casper's scene in the forest.
  • This is the first and only episode in Better Call Saul or Breaking Bad where a cast member (in this case, Giancarlo Esposito) directed an episode without physically starring as their character within it.




  • Kolbe Jackson as Jose
  • Melissa Heiman as ADA Carter
  • Jeff Pride as Liquor Store Employee
  • Shaquille Mathurin as Liquor Store Cashier
  • Christopher Kelly as Joshua Holcome
  • Adam Harvey as Mr. Benning


  • TBA

Featured Music[]

  • "The Reflex" by Duran Duran (in Mrs. Wexler's car during the flashback)
  • "A Dreamer's Holiday" by Willie Nelson

Memorable Quotes[]

Caldera: "Once I sell my little black book, it's gonna be all animals all the time."
Kim: "Black book?"
Caldera: "Yeah, the keys to the kingdom. You know, you call me up, you're looking for a someone? Keep all my "someones" in here."
―A retiring Caldera reveals his book of criminal contacts

"Oh. Alright, yeah. I think we, uh, we found the Zodiac Killer."
―Saul's reaction to seeing Caldera's coded book

"Best Quality Vacuum?"
―Kim is confused by one of Caldera's contacts