‘Better Call Saul’: Nacho Makes His Next Move (RECAP)
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 6, Episode 3 of Better Call Saul, “Rock and Hard Place.”]
While the episode explores the next stage of his escape plan, Jimmy (Bob Odenkirk) and Kim (Rhea Seehorn) continue their scheme against Howard (Patrick Fabian), and Gus (Giancarlo Esposito) works on securing his footing following Lalo’s (Tony Dalton) supposed death. Below, we’re breaking down all of the key moments from the pivotal episodes, so beware of major spoilers ahead.
The episode opens in the desert as storm clouds roll in and the camera shifts its focus to bright blue flowers. Just as raindrops begin to fall, the camera pans down to reveal a shart of something that could be glass or ceramic, the clinging sound giving away the foreign object. But how did it end up there? As the episode carries on, all is revealed.
Nacho’s Dash to ‘Freedom’
As viewers will recall, Nacho was last seen attempting to escape the Salamanca twins (Daniel and Luis Moncada) who caught up with him at the motel he’d been hiding out at since opening the door for Gus’ mercenaries at Lalo’s compound. Driving as far as the bullet-riddled truck will take him, Nacho abandons the vehicle on a dirt road and runs to what appears to be an abandoned oil truck container.
Peeking through the cracks in the metal tank, Nacho sees the cartel men pull up and so he submerges himself in the remaining oil to remain undetected. Once they’ve passed, Nacho emerges from the liquid and remains hidden in the tube until nightfall. The next time we see him, he’s cleaning up with a hose attached to an auto shop.
When the proprietor finds him, he offers Nacho some soap to clean up with and lets him use the phone to call his father. Nacho’s dad is concerned for his son, but Nacho reassures the man that all is well. There’s a sense of relief for Nacho knowing his father has been unharmed, but the conversation also appears to double as a last conversation for them when tears fill Nacho’s eyes.
Next, Nacho calls Mike (Jonathan Banks) who is standing in Gus’ office with a gun to his head. As he tells Nacho that Mexico wasn’t his call, Mike hands the phone to Gus upon Nacho’s request. “You are screwed,” Nacho tells Gus, noting that whether Nacho is caught by the Salamancas or not, the family will always think Gus is responsible.
And so, Nacho offers a deal, he’ll die under Gus’ terms as long as he can be promised safety for his father. But it isn’t Gus’ word that he wants, Nacho needs to hear Mike confirm the deal before he agrees to go anywhere. Appearing to come to some agreement, Nacho leaves a stack of money for the auto shop owner before going to a presumable pick-up stop.
At the underground lab that is later used to cook meth, a Los Pollos shipment is unloaded and Mike enters the empty truck to unscrew panels on the floor, unveiling Nacho inside. After cleaning up, Nacho sits to eat and asks Mike when everything will go down. Mike calmly tells Nacho that he’ll die tomorrow, but their conversation is interrupted when Mike is told that Nacho looks too pretty, suggesting that he’ll have to be roughed up a bit.
Mike says he’ll do the job, but offers Nacho a sip of booze before beating him up for safe measure. After he’s roughed up enough, Nacho and Mike are joined by Gus who explains that Juan Bolsa (Javier Grajeda) will want the truth upfront as he doesn’t appreciate the Salamancas flare for drawn-out punishments.
And so, it’s decided that Nacho will claim he was hired to work as a rat for a different cartel family, keeping Gus’ hands clean in the attack on Lalo’s compound. Nacho is then told he’ll turn to run once sharing this falsehood and someone will shoot him. Mike promises it will be quick as he informs Gus that he’d like to be there. They agree that Mike will watch from a distance for insurance as things could go south quickly. Once the decisions are made, Nacho is left alone and he eyes one of the drink glasses.
The next morning, Nacho is driven into the desert with Victor (Jeremiah Bitsui) and Gus sitting upfront and Nacho, Mike, and Tyrus (Ray Campbell) in the back. Before arriving at the meeting spot in the desert, the van stops to let Mike out with a sniper with the rest continuing on their journey. When they drive up to the Salamanca twins, Hector (Mark Margolis), and Bolsa, the men are standing near a house.
When Nacho is dumped out of the van, he’s knelt in front of Bolsa who rips some tape off of his mouth. Bolsa informs Nacho this will be the day that he dies, and it’s his choice whether it will be good or bad. Nacho tells them that he was being paid by the Alvarez family to help take down Lalo, but Hector isn’t satisfied as he rings his bell and points to Gus.
Nacho laughs and says it’s a joke to think Gus was involved. When Bolsa asks if anyone else is involved, he denies the possibility. Nacho says he’s to blame and then goes on to add that he’s glad Lalo is dead because he hates the Salamancas. Adding further insult to injury, Nacho tells Hector that he’s responsible for putting him in that chair and that he swapped out his heart meds with the hopes of killing him only for Gus to revive him.
It’s then that Nacho manages to escape his restraints with the help of a shard of glass taken from one of the drinking cups he shared with Mike the night before. In the chaos of it all, Nacho gets a hold of a gun and threatens Bolsa before turning the gun on himself and pulling the trigger.
In the end, that shard of glass serves as a marker for the spot where Nacho dies under his own control, not allowing Gus nor the Salamancas the satisfaction of pulling the trigger. Walking away from the situation, behind Gus viewers can see the twins lift Hector’s wheelchair where he’s helped in shooting Nacho’s corpse.
Jimmy’s Plan Takes Shape
On a less depressing side of things, Jimmy and Kim’s scheme continues to take shape and they look at their planning board. They discuss plans to use Howard’s car, or a duplicate of it, but with limited time on their hands, the best option is to find a way to access the lawyer’s Jaguar. Jimmy says he can get Huell (Lavell Crawford) to lift the keys and still be a ghost, but Kim seems reluctant to follow this plan.
On their way to work at the courthouse, Kim approaches ADA Suzanne Ericsen (Julie Pearl) to hand over evidence for a mutual case and is asked to look at a photo of Jorge De Guzman, a.k.a. Lalo. When Suzanne asks Kim if she recognizes the man, she denies knowing who he is. Suzanne explains to Kim that he died during an attack on his compound and that he was a major player in the cartel.
This then leads Suzanne to bring up the case handled by Jimmy and hints that there’s a current case possibly building against the lawyer regarding his knowledge of Lalo’s identity. Essentially, Suzanne tells Kim that if he admits he was in the dark about Lalo’s identity, he’ll be free from trouble. If he did know about Lalo’s identity, he’d have to rat on his associates in order to stay out of trouble.
Kim seems offended that Suzanne would challenge Jimmy’s character in this way, correcting the woman when she refers to him as Jimmy, saying that it’s Saul Goodman now. Before exiting Suzanne’s office, Kim is told that Jimmy is a lawyer and human being that knows what’s right.
Meanwhile, when Howard pulls in for lunch and the valet goes to park his car in the garage, Huell intercedes, lifting the keys from the young kid. Before the boy realizes what’s happened, Huell hands the keys over to a locksmith who is working out of a van in the garage.
With limited time, the man cuts the key just moments before the valet runs back upstairs upon realizing he didn’t have Howard’s set anymore. Thankfully, Huell had replaced the keys just under the corner of Howard’s car. Later on, when Huell catches up with Jimmy, handing over the copy keys, he asks why Jimmy is doing all of this and he promises Huell that it’s the lord’s work.
At home, Jimmy walks in on Kim smoking a cigarette and he explains that Huell came through with the keys. Kim is tense and she tells Jimmy about how Lalo is supposedly dead and that Suzanne wants him to rat on the drug dealer. And so, Kim poses the question, does Jimmy want to be a friend of the cartel or a rat? We never exactly get an answer, but based on his future client base, it seems like ratting is a no-go for Jimmy.
Stay tuned to see what happens and let us know what you thought of the intense episode in the comments section, below.
Better Call Saul, Season 6, Mondays, 9/8c, AMC