Breaking Bad Wiki
Advertisement
Breaking Bad Wiki

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

Summary[]

Teaser[]

Late at night, Lalo, having returned from his trip to Germany, emerges from a manhole in an industrial area of Albuquerque. After driving to a truck stop to take a shower, he takes a short nap in a station wagon. He then returns to the manhole. Navigating the sewer system, Lalo finds a storm drain inlet where he has set up a lawn chair along with food and water. Using binoculars, he watches the location across the street: Lavandería Brillante.

Act I[]

Jimmy drives up to Lenny, the actor who had been playing the role of Rand Casimiro, and offers him $400 and legal representation if he walks off his job at a supermarket and helps him for ninety minutes. Shortly afterward, he 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. Joey's sound technician arrives 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 gives direction 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 a trick he learned from Chuck that would relieve the pressure inside the cans that would otherwise cause them to spray, stating how Chuck made it a practice to always "prepare for anything."

Howard's secretary, Julie, informs him that the private investigator, Genidowski, is waiting in his office. Genidowski presents the photos, showing Jimmy handing an envelope to a man with a mustache whom Howard does not recognize. Howard notices the wetness on the photos but accepts the explanation that it's from the hasty photo development. Looking at the photos, Howard notes that Jimmy is holding the same distinctive envelope as when he'd been earlier photographed leaving a bank, concluding that it contained cash. He directs Genidowski to track down the man's car.

Howard, Julie, and Cliff meet with Irene, the class representative in the Sandpiper case. Irene expresses relief that the lawsuit will soon be over, but Howard and Cliff advise her that the case is likely to continue for at least a year or more. The psychotropic drug starts to take an effect on Howard as he begins to feel hot while he pushes the wheelchair-bound Irene into 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 instantly recognizes from the photos. Before Casimiro can open the proceedings, an incensed Howard grills him about his whereabouts that morning and asks Julie to retrieve the photos from his office. However, he discovers that the photos now show Jimmy innocently handing a frisbee to a jogger (actually the sound technician, in disguise). Howard becomes agitated and his pupils dilate, unnerving everyone; Cliff calls a recess and walks him out of the room. In the hallway, Cliff apologizes to Casimiro and is told by Sandpiper Crossing's counsel, Rich Schweikart, that he is going back to his original settlement offer and that it will be reduced by a million dollars each day until accepted.

In his office, Howard has discovered that Genidowski's phone number has been disconnected, surmising that he was in on Jimmy's plan. When Cliff comes to confront him, he insists that Jimmy targeted him in order to deliberately torpedo the mediation and thus force an expedited settlement. Cliff explains that "it doesn't matter" whether these claims can be proven because the damage cannot be undone, telling Howard that he will recommend to the class action participants to take Schweikart's offer. As Cliff announces the settlement agreement through the conference call, Jimmy and Kim have sex on Jimmy's office couch.

Act III[]

In the storm drain, Lalo records a message on a handheld video camera 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. He then tries to call Hector at the Casa Tranquila Nursing Home. However, he hears clicking sounds in the on-hold music and realizes that Gus has the line bugged. After taking out his anger on his lawn chair, he calls the nursing home again. He tells Hector that he couldn't find proof against Gus and will resort to "Plan A," which entails striking at him that night. Hector continually rings his bell, indicating his disagreement with this plan. Ending the call, Lalo sees a black SUV hastily arrive at the laundry, picking up Mike and a group of men. 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 engaging in a photo-op, presenting a ceremonial check to a local youth program, when he sees Mike standing across the room. Mike takes him aside and plays him a taped recording of Lalo's call to Hector. He tells him that they cannot rule out that Lalo will attack Gus then and there, regardless of the civilians and children, and advises that they immediately return to Gus's heavily guarded home. Mike plans to pull all available men from low-priority surveillance duties around the city in order to cover Gus while a contingent led by Tyrus 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 film Born Yesterday when a disheveled Howard pays an unannounced visit. He presents the couple with a bottle of Macallan scotch whiskey to mockingly celebrate their “victory”, calling them out for ruining his reputation "for fun." Neither Jimmy nor Kim admit their guilt. Howard continues his rant as Lalo quietly enters the room from behind, to the horror of Jimmy and Kim. They both fearfully 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 calmly 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[]

BCS 607 Promo Poster

Episode Poster

BCS 607 storyboard

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, and "Saul Gone", which has a score of 9.8/10. It is also the second highest rated episode between both Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, tied with "Felina" and "Face Off" and 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 is the same 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


Advertisement