Breaking Bad Wiki
Advertisement
Breaking Bad Wiki

"Plan and Execution" is the seventh episode of the sixth season of Better Call Saul, and is the fifty-seventh episode of the series altogether. It is also the mid-season finale.

Summary

Teaser

Late at night, in an industrial area of Albuquerque, Lalo—now returned from his trip to Germany—emerges from a manhole in the center of a street. He walks to a procured station wagon, changes out of a pair of overalls, and drives to a truck stop to take a shower. Returning to his car, Lalo sets an egg timer for an hour and takes a short nap. He returns to the industrial area and climbs back inside the manhole. Navigating the sewer system, he finds a storm drain where he has set up a lawn chair along with food and water. Using binoculars, he surveils the location across the street: Lavandería Brillante.

Act I

Lenny, the actor who had been playing the role of Rand Casimiro, performs his day job at a supermarket. Jimmy drives up and offers Lenny $400 if he walks off the job and helps him for ninety minutes. Lenny hesitantly agrees. Shortly afterward, Jimmy pulls Joey out of a UNM film class he is lecturing, taking him to a grassy part of the campus where the makeup artist is tending to Lenny. Lastly, Joey's sound technician rushes to the scene with photography equipment while Kim arrives with her old sling intended for Lenny-as-Casimiro. Jimmy tells Kim that she can still make her luncheon in Santa Fe, but Kim insists this is where she wants to be.

Jimmy coaches Lenny on the updated details of his "role", while Kim uses Joey's camera tape to apply a fake cast to Lenny's arm. She gives direction to the group as Joey shoots photos of Jimmy sitting at a bench, handing an envelope to Lenny-as-Casimiro. After Joey develops the photos in a darkroom, Jimmy and Kim apply drops of the mild psychotropic drug supplied by Dr. Caldera to the photos. Jimmy runs to a street where Howard's private investigator—now revealed to be on Jimmy's payroll—receives the envelope containing the photos and speeds away.

Act II

At HHM, Howard is preparing the conference room for the upcoming mediation session in the Sandpiper case. An intern named Cary walks in and, startled, drops canned drinks on the floor. Howard shows Cary how rotating the cans several times relieves them of the pressure which would otherwise cause them to burst after being dropped or shaken, a trick he learned from Chuck. Telling his anecdote, he is reminded of how Chuck made it a practice to always "prepare for anything." At that moment, Howard's secretary, Julie, informs him that the private investigator, Genidowski, is waiting in his office. Genidowski presents Howard with the photos, showing Jimmy handing an envelope to a man with a mustache whom Howard does not recognize. Howard notes that Jimmy is holding the same envelope as when he'd been earlier photographed leaving a bank, concluding that it contained cash. He tells Genidowski to track down the car driven by the mustached man.

Howard and Julie meet with Cliff and Irene, the class representative in the Sandpiper case. Howard and Cliff explain to Irene how a typical mediation is supposed to proceed. She expresses relief that the lawsuit will soon be over, but the two lawyers advise her that the case is likely to continue for at least a year or more. Howard is bothered by residue on his hands which had been left behind from his handling of Genidowski's photos. He also begins to feel increasingly hot as he insists on pushing Irene in a wheelchair to the conference room. There, Erin acts as a compère and receptionist for clients participating in the mediation remotely via conference call. Unbeknownst to her, Jimmy and Kim are listening in on the meeting through a burner phone in Jimmy's office.

The last person to enter the conference room is the mediator, Rand Casimiro, whom Howard thinks he recognizes from Genidowski's photos. Before Casimiro can open the proceedings, an incensed Howard grills him about his whereabouts that morning. He has Julie retrieve the envelope containing the photos, which he insists will prove that Casimiro received a $20,000 payoff from Jimmy. However, once Howard gets his hands on the photos, he discovers that they instead show Jimmy innocently handing a frisbee to a jogger (actually Joey's sound technician, in disguise). He becomes agitated and his pupils dilate, unnerving everyone else in the room. Cliff calls a recess and walks an irate Howard out of the mediation session. In the hallway, Cliff apologizes to Casimiro and is told by Sandpiper Crossing's counsel, Rich Schweikart, that his team is going back to their original settlement offer and that it will be reduced by a million dollars a day if it's not accepted immediately.

In his office, Howard has discovered that Genidowski's phone number has been disconnected, surmising that the P.I. was in on Jimmy's plan. He raves to Cliff that Jimmy targeted him in order to deliberately torpedo the mediation and thus force an expedited settlement. Cliff has misgivings about these claims, which to him seem more like paranoid conspiracy theories, and explains that "it doesn't matter" whether they can be proven because the damage cannot be undone. Cliff tells Howard that he will recommend to the class action participants to take Schweikart's offer. Howard desperately suggests putting Jimmy through a civil trial, but Cliff dismisses this course of action—his only concern now is to cut their losses and take the best option for their clients. Howard hangs his head in defeat. Cliff announces through the conference call that a settlement agreement has been reached; Jimmy and Kim have sex on Jimmy's office couch.

Act III

In the storm drain, Lalo records a video message for Don Eladio, telling him what he learned from "a little Croatian bird": Gus has built a secret "mother of all meth labs" beneath the laundry facility. Lalo intends to storm the laundry that night and find proof of the lab's existence. After ending the video message, Lalo tries to call Hector at the Casa Tranquila Nursing Home. However, he hears clicking sounds in the muzak when he is put on hold and realizes that Gus has Hector's line bugged. After taking out his anger on his lawn chair, Lalo calls the nursing home again and reaches Hector. He falsely states that he couldn't find proof against Gus and will resort to "Plan A", which entails striking at Gus that night. Hector rings his bell in protest, but Lalo refuses to relent. Ending the call, Lalo sees Mike and a group of men exit the laundry and drive away in an SUV. Glancing at a cockroach crawling in the sewer, a thought occurs to Lalo. He walks away from his perch in the storm drain.

Act IV

Gus is making a public appearance, presenting a ceremonial check to a local youth program, when he sees Mike standing nearby. Mike takes him aside and plays him a taped recording of Lalo's call to Hector. He tells him that the situation is now out of their control and that they cannot rule out that Lalo will attack Gus then and there, regardless of the civilians and children. He advises Gus that they need "home court advantage" and immediately return to his heavily-guarded home. Mike plans to pull all available men from low-priority surveillance duties around Albuquerque in order to cover Gus while Tyrus and a contingent of men continue to guard the laundry. He assures Gus that "the trap is set" and, once all hands are on deck at his house, Lalo will go down if he so much as shows up. Gus nods in agreement.

That night, at their apartment, Jimmy and Kim are watching the 1950 film Born Yesterday when a disheveled Howard pays an unannounced visit. He presents the couple with a bottle of Macallan scotch whisky to mockingly celebrate their “victory”, bitterly asking what had entitled them to ruin his reputation. He proceeds to call out both Jimmy and Kim as "soulless", disgusted that they have dragged him through the mud "for fun". Neither Jimmy or Kim admit their guilt as they listen to Howard vent his grievances and misfortunes. He continues his rant as Lalo quietly enters the room behind him, to the horror of Jimmy and Kim. When he asks Lalo who he is, he replies nonchalantly he is "nobody" and that he merely wishes to “talk to my lawyers.” They both nervously implore Howard to leave immediately, but he is initially oblivious to his danger until Lalo affixes a silencer to a pistol. Once Howard finally realizes his peril, Lalo shoots him in the head. Jimmy and Kim both scream in horror as Howard's body falls to the floor. Lalo makes them calm down, saying, "Let's talk."

Trivia

Episode Poster

Storyboard of the episode

  • Howard Hamlin is the third main character to die in the series and the second in season 6. However, he is the first main character to not die by suicide in Better Call Saul.
    • Howard's death left Kim Wexler and Lalo Salamanca as the only characters whose fates by the beginning of Breaking Bad were unknown until "Point and Shoot" and "Fun and Games" confirmed their fates.
    • After being shot, Howard hits his head on Kim's coffee table, mirroring the movement from Chuck's injury in the copy shop from "Nailed". Both Howard's death and Chuck's injury were indirectly caused by schemes orchestrated by Jimmy.
    • Near the beginning of the episode, the time shown on Lalo’s car clock is 4:02, which roughly corresponds to the number 42 - the same number of episodes Howard appears in the entire series.
  • This episode is the highest rated of the show on IMDB with an outstanding score of 9.9/10, surpassing "Chicanery", "Bagman", "Bad Choice Road", and "Rock and Hard Place" which each have a score of 9.7/10. It is also the second highest rated episode between both Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, only behind "Ozymandias" with a perfect 10.
  • The episode is the third to not use the traditional end credit theme composed by Dave Porter, opting to use another dramatic piece of music to accompany the somber tone of the ending, marking the death of another main character at the end of the episode. The first two episodes to use this device were "Lantern" and "Rock and Hard Place", following Chuck’s and Nacho’s respective demises.
  • Lalo seeing the cockroach crawling in the sewer is what most likely reminded him of Jimmy and Kim; as this serves as a reference to Season 5 episode "Bagman", where Lalo tells Kim that Jimmy (whilst stranded in the desert) has the survival skills of a cucaracha (Spanish for 'cockroach').
  • When the makeup artist is tending to Lenny, she's portraying the Kira the Gelfling for a musical tribute to The Dark Crystal, but Joey teases her as if she was a beloved character from J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings.
  • The classic movie Jimmy and Kim are watching in the final act of the episode is ""Born Yesterday" (1950).
    • Born Yesterday is a comedy-drama which follows a crooked lawyer, Jim Devery, who convinces a conniving investor to marry his girlfriend so they cannot be forced to testify against each other.
    • This bears reference to the justification for Kim and Jimmy to marry in Season 5. ("Wexler v. Goodman",  "JMM")
  • The original airing of this episode on AMC featured a teaser for the remainder of Season 6 during the credits, showing Jimmy and Kim’s apartment in black and white with Jimmy’s voice saying, "so after all that... a happy ending." This scene is not available on AMC+, Netflix, or VoD, but can be viewed on Rotten Tomatoes TV's YouTube channel here.
  • Playwright Tony Kushner gave personal permission to the show for part of his Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning play Angels in America to be used as Lenny's monologue in the supermarket parking lot.
  • John Ennis, who plays Lenny, is the father of Jessie Ennis, who has played the character of Erin Brill since the second season. This is the first episode (and only episode to date) in which both characters are present simultaneously, although they do not share a common scene.
  • It is theorized (but not outright confirmed) that the drug which Jimmy and Kim received from Dr. Caldera, and put on photos which were then given to Howard, was Atropine, a common nerve agent that causes the eyes to dilate and drastically increases a person's heart rate for a short period of time.

Production

Credits

Co-Starring

  • Breezy Sharp as Casa Tranquila Nurse
  • Rachelle Carson as Charity Executive Director
  • Amy Puente as Reporter
  • Alaina Garland as Frustrated Student
  • Micah Cole Reeves as Laundry Worker

Uncredited

  • TBA

Featured Music

  • Nothing Gets Past Lalo by Dave Porter (credits)

Memorable Quotes

"Is this how these things usually go?"
Irene Landry after the very eventful mediation.

"Don Eladio. Guess who. It's me! I'm alive! I'm here in beautiful downtown Albuquerque. Been here... Four nights? Now, you might be asking, what am I doing down in this shithole? Well... a little Croatian bird told me a secret. He put up a hell of a fight, but he told me. Look... See that? Right there. Fring's secret. Now, I've been watching, and Fring hides his guards very well. But they're there, dressed like laundry workers. See? That's one there. They're hiding guns under the uniforms, but I see. I have a pretty good idea what I'm up against. I can tell you what's in there. A big hole where a German engineer, Werner Ziegler, designed the perfect place to hide the... "mother of all meth labs." Well, that's my story. And Fring, Fring will have his story. A good one. And Bolsa will back him. Because he's an... "Earner." So, tonight... I go in... I kill all the guards... and show you the proof. Then... you decide. Adios."
―Lalo's video message to Don Eladio

"I mean, what do you tell yourselves? What justification makes it okay? "Howard's such an asshоlе that he deserves it?" So... what is it? I sided with Chuck too often? I took away your office, put you in doc review? All of the above? Howard's daddy helped him get to the top, but you both had to struggle. "Howie has so much, and we have so little, let's take him down a peg or two"? What allows you to do this to me? Because this isn't just a prank. No. This goes beyond throwing bowling bars on my car. This took planning. Coordination. I mean, how many weeks? O-Or was it months? It couldn't have been easy. So, tell me... why? Why go through this elaborate plot just to burn me to the ground?"
―Howard confronting Jimmy and Kim over their scam.

"Oh yeah, sure. The Sandpiper settlement? HHM's share will be substantial, absolutely. Even though I humiliated myself. And my clients and peers will whisper that Howard Hamlin's a drug addict... you're right. I've worked my way through worse. Debt. Depression. My marriage falling apart. Oh, yeah. I've been sleeping in the guest house for the better part of a year. Ah, just one more thing good old Howard has to work through. But, yes, I will land on my feet. I will be okay. But you? Far from it. You two... You two are soulless. Jimmy, you can't help yourself. Chuck knew it. You were born that way. But you? One of the smartest and most promising human beings I've ever known... and this is the life you choose. You're perfect for each other. You have a piece missing. I... I thought you did it for the money, but now it's... It's so clear. Screw the money. You did it for fun. You get off on it. You're... you're like... Leopold and Loeb. Two sociopaths. No, you know it's true, you just don't have the guts to admit it. I’m going to make it clear to everyone, because I’m going to dedicate my life to making sure everybody knows the truth... believe it... you can’t hide who you really are forever."
―Howard's angry rant to Jimmy and Kim, ending right when Lalo enters.

Howard: "Who are you?"
Lalo: "Me? Nobody. I just need to talk to my lawyers."
Howard: "Oh, is that right? You want some advice? Find better lawyers."
―Howard and Lalo's conversation[src]

"I uh... think I’m in the middle of something, uh… uh, there’s really no need to-"
―Howard's final words.

"Let's talk."
―Lalo to Jimmy and Kim, after murdering Howard


Videos

TBA

Advertisement