[S6E1] In Country... Club VERIFIED
Steve has been chosen to sing the national anthem at the veteran's fair. However, he sings it with little passion, leading Stan to believe that the only way he can truly appreciate the national anthem is by experiencing war. Stan signs them both up for a Vietnam War re-enactment held at a local country club's golf course. Upon enlisting, Steve is immediately put on guard duty but he falls asleep, allowing the Viet Cong to attack their base and capture Stan. In a parody of Apocalypse Now, Platoon and Forrest Gump, Steve goes in on a mission to rescue his father and succeeds. But later, while singing the national anthem at the fair, fireworks are lighted, sending Steve into a "war" flashback and breaking out a fight between him and other veterans. This causes Steve to be committed to a mental hospital. Later, Steve escapes from the hospital as the doctor questions a limbless man named John Q. Mind on how he opened the curtain.
[S6E1] In Country... Club
He uses his psychic powers to knock her into the wall as "Mind Quad" goes to commercial. Steve returns to the country club where the re-enactment took place (in a parody of First Blood). He interrupts the golfing, at which point a patron tries convincing him to leave. When that fails, the patron tries to use force, only for Steve to snap again when he sees a spinning sprinkler, thinking of a helicopter and attacks the patron, then holes up in the golf cart shed. Stan comes in to apologize for pushing him too far and tells him that he can sing the way he wants to. Unfortunately, Steve sings the anthem in an excited and disrespectful mode while wearing a unitard; Stan tells a fellow veteran that Steve is his neighbor's son.
The following day, Jimmy and Kim watch as Howard and Cliff play golf at a country club; Kim estimates that Jimmy has forty-five minutes to enact his part of their plan. Jimmy walks into the country club and begins to take a tour. In the main lounge, he is spotted by Kevin Wachtell, who tries to pressure Jimmy's tour guide, Norm Wakely, into kicking him out. Instead of leaving, Jimmy makes a scene and accuses the country club (on account of his fake surname "Goodman") of engaging in anti-Semitic discrimination. Kevin confronts Jimmy and is nearly provoked into punching him. Angered, Kevin leaves. Feigning stress, Jimmy has Norm give him the directions to the men's locker room.
In the locker room, Jimmy walks into a bathroom stall and deliberately clogs the toilet. Meanwhile, outside, Kim is alarmed when Howard and Cliff end their round of golf early. After finding Howard's locker number, Jimmy receives a text message from Kim telling him to abort. Ignoring the message, he finds Howard's locker and slips something through the door. He is then forced to remove his clothes as Howard and Cliff enter the room in order to pose as a fellow club member. Jimmy overhears as a small bag of what appears to be cocaine falls out of the locker. The two men quickly chalk it up to a staff member, but Cliff seems suspicious.
Outside of the country club, Jimmy and Kim watch as Howard and Cliff walk to Howard's Jaguar. Kim expresses doubt in their plan and says they may have been "too subtle", but Jimmy replies that the plan was "perfect."
Kim plans a risky first strike against Howard, even as Jimmy frets over his commitment. Lalo and Nacho try to throw off their pursuers. Mike worries about getting too close to a loose end.Tropes: Bad Boss: Lalo only helped out a couple from a local area to use as assets for any time he'd need to fake his death.
Despite Mike's urging to get Nacho help, arguing he's done everything they've asked of him, Gus refuses to give Nacho any respite and forbids Mike from assisting him in any way.
Bait-and-Switch: The opening shows black and white colored ties falling, implying that this is one of the intros to the present day as shown in previous season premiere openings. But then colorful ties also start to fall.
Bait the Dog: Lalo arrives at a local couple's place to patch up his wounds. He's on amicable terms with them, who pay respect to him as "Don Eduardo". They mention in passing how Lalo has been funding Mateo's dental plan and keeping small talk with his wife about the farm. It's then shown he intends to use them as part of his plan to fake his death, killing them both and using their corpses to set the scene.
Battle Discretion Shot: The thugs managing the illegal immigration try Lalo's patience when they refuse to give him a refund after his change of plans. Cut to the inside of the haystacks and a few gunshots going off, with a single bullet hole blown through the top of the cargo tarp.
Bavarian Fire Drill: Jimmy's plot to infiltrate the country club is almost busted when Kevin Wachtell spots him and compels the staff member to deny him a tour. He begins to walk out... only to then turn around and loudly accuse the club and Kevin of discriminating against him (claiming antisemitism because they heard his last name "Goodman" and changed their course). This propels Kevin to almost come to blows against him, and he's allowed into the bathroom in the men's locker room to "relieve his stress", where he can then execute the plan.
Big Fancy House: It turns out Saul was living in a huge, gaudy McMansion with gold covering almost every appliance and paraphernalia of himself around the place.
Body Double: Lalo turns out to have one of these, funding the dental plans for a local farmhand to make their records match, while the couple remain unaware of his true intentions for helping them. Before he kills him, Lalo recommends he shave his facial hair to a style similar to his.
Call-Back: The introductory flash-forward to Saul Goodman's home being evicted has a few nods to the previous seasons, such as the cowboy photograph Jimmy and Kim used to threaten copyright infringement charges against Mesa Verde (after the latter wanted to abort this plan), a now-golden-plated version of the shower Jimmy asked Kim to check out when looking for houses, and a painting taken away being the same one hanging from their apartment. It ends with the tequila bottle stopper from the time they scammed Ken Wins, spilling out a drawer and being abandoned to the wayside.
Jimmy takes out the old brown suit he used to wear as a public defender all the way back in Season 1, offering it to Kim's client so he has something nice to wear in court.
Like the Esteem's trashing, Kim takes out the "World's 2nd Best Lawyer (Again)" cup and decides to unceremoniously toss it into the trash, showing both of them moving past the identity of Jimmy McGill.
The District Attorneys and detectives have finished dismantling Lalo's temporary "de Guzman" identity.
Kevin's still not happy with the headache Jimmy caused, and almost ruins Kim and Jimmy's plan at the country club by demanding he be removed immediately when he's spotted trying to take a tour of the place.
This isn't the first time Jimmy has faked a medical condition to gain access to a bathroom after being asked to leave; way back in Season 1, he pretended to have Irritable Bowel Syndrome to get into Sandpiper Crossing's bathroom so he could write a demand letter on toilet paper.
Call-Forward: The Twins leave a card of the Mexican saint of death, Santa Muerte, as a sign of honoring Lalo and swearing vengeance on whoever was responsible for his death. It's similar to how they'll make an offering to a shrine to Santa Muerte against "Heisenberg".
Bolsa calls up Gus to let him know about the death of a Salamanca and discusses the "blood for blood" motto of their family, warning Gus about the dangers he could face with the ongoing suspicion of traitors. Though Bolsa still trusts Gus during this time, he'll be much harsher years later when Gus plans on hiring Walt despite him being in the Cousins' crosshairs.
Kim notes that a car appropriate for Saul Goodman should be a more expensive American-made car, and that he should think about getting an office state she describes as a "cathedral of justice". Both things describe the white Cadillac Saul drives note which is glimpsed in the flash-forward opening and the office he operates out of respectively by the time of Breaking Bad.
Jimmy relies on his Saul Goodman alias to fake an ethnic Jewish background for his own gain, something he'll later admit to doing plenty of times to "Mr. Mayhew" in his debut episode.
Lalo plans to join an illegal immigration to make his way past the border without detection from either governments, only to leave the scene with the organizers of the operation dead. It echoes the dramatic introduction the Cousins had in "No Mas", though he at least kept the innocent bystanders alive.
Lalo uses the same "A-B-C-D" method of receiving answers from his uncle Hector that his other nephews and his nurse will eventually use.
Chekhov's Gag: Way back in Breaking Bad, Saul told Walt that his real name was McGill and that he puts on an act to cater to clientele that "want a pipe-hitting member of the tribe". Here, he claims Jewish ethnicity to accuse the country club of antisemitic sentiment so he can continue the plan against Howard.
Cluster F-Bomb: On the phone with Hector, Lalo curses out Bolsa, Eladio and everybody else in Spanish as he plans on traveling back to the States to kill Gus regardless of the consequences.
Conspicuous Consumption: We finally see what Jimmy's been going home to during the events of Breaking Bad, which is a massive tacky house with gold and marble covering nearly everything. The most ridiculous case of this has to be the golden toilet that has its own dedicated podium and chamber.
Continuity Nod: Juan Bolsa reminds Gus of the Salamanca way when faced with the killing of a family member: "Sangre por sangre".
Jimmy and Kim discuss what they'll plan to do to Howard in order to throw the Sandpiper Case and get their payouts. Kim reminds him of how hesitant he was the night before, which Jimmy refutes and claims that he's in.
David vs. Goliath: Kim's case with a juvenile is this. Her client was easily swayed by a rich friend that convinced him to be the unwitting Getaway Driver for him to stick up a local liquor store. When they're caught, the rich kid and his family make sure to shift all the charges onto Kim's client and frame him as responsible for the whole thing, going as far as to hire lawyers from out-of-state to ensure it. Meanwhile, said client can only muster public defense.
Deadpan Snarker: As Gus points out the glaring inconsistency behind a successful mission from a team that was reported to be completely wiped out, Mike comments "It's been known to happen".
Dirty Cop: The federales Nacho has to avoid are on the cartel's payroll. The authorities surrounding the crime scene in Lalo's hacienda also let the Cousins on to investigate for themselves, not protesting even as they step over important exhibits.
Dramatic Irony: The situation and circumstances behind the attack on Lalo's hacienda have become rather muddied for everyone involved. The Juarez Cartel believe Lalo is actually dead and concluded Nacho betrayed them, but they don't know the latter is working for Gus. Bolsa in particular tells Gus to be careful since nobody will be beneath suspicion during this time, showing he still doesn't know Gus' intentions.
Only Hector is left knowing for sure that Lalo survived by the end of the episode, with the Twins still believing they saw his actual dead body.
Nacho thinks Lalo's been killed, only relying on Tyrus' phone call as confirmation. Though on the run from both the cartel and the local federal forces, he doesn't know he could end up running from Lalo at any moment.
Even on Gus' end, they find it difficult to know if Lalo survived the hit or not. Tyrus is ready to believe he's dead by taking the report from the hitmen at face-value, while Gus and Mike remain wary, all without any surefire way to know.
Jimmy and Kim are inevitably kept out of the loop. They've eventually accepted Mike's guarantee that Lalo would be taken care of.
The Dreaded: When the Twins arrive at Lalo's hacienda, it is an active crime scene. However, the agents and crewmen present all know well enough to step out of their way and allow them to trespass and even handle (what they think is) Lalo's body. Some also make sure to avoid eye-contact and hide their faces in the Twins' presence.
"Eureka!" Moment: While discussing their next steps with Lalo over the phone, Hector asks if he can muster any proof. Lalo says no... only to remember he does have the perfect proof, and that it's not north of the border.
Even Evil Has Loved Ones: In true Salamanca fashion. The Cousins are horrified to see what is (supposedly) the charred corpse of Lalo Salamanca in his home. Leonel's mouth is agape the whole time as he uses his coat to cover their cousin's body out of respect.
Hector is close to angry tears while mulling in his wheelchair before Lalo reveals he survived the hit on him. He's shocked then delighted to hear his nephew's voice, and soon the two begin plotting to get back at Gus. It seems to go both ways as Lalo has no problem in keeping the rest of his family in the dark, but does let Don Hector know he's okay, even though he's the one who ends up giving away the ruse.
Lalo swears he will kill Gus just like how Hector taught him, in honor of their family name and reputation.
Even Evil Has Standards: Carrying over from the last episode, Nacho is concerned enough over the well-being of the other people in Lalo's hacienda despite their allegiances, asking if they're okay while on the phone with Tyrus.
Everything Is Racist: Jimmy and Kim's plans for the country club run into a hurdle when Kevin wants Jimmy off the premises immediately. Since he was going by his "Saul Goodman" alias, he claims they only refused to give him a tour when they heard his name and realized he was Jewish, accusing the establishment of antisemitism. "Saul" paints every scathing comment Kevin makes against him as discriminatory.
Evil Is Petty: The border-crossing operation has a no-refunds policy, taunting Lalo for having already paid up after he changed his mind. It doesn't end well for them.
Fake-Out Opening: Downplayed. The episode opens on several ties in various patterns and shades of black and white being dropped in a pile against a white background, making the viewer think for a brief moment that they are back in the Deliberately Monochrome flash-forward vignettes showing the life of "Gene Takavic" in Omaha, but then several garishly colored ties start appearing among the monochrome ones, and the scene cuts to establish that the scene is instead taking place in Saul's mansion in Albuquerque, and presumably is happening, chronologically, in the immediate aftermath the collapse of Walter White/Heisenberg's drug empire in the final act of Breaking Bad.
Faking the Dead: Lalo gets a Body Double in the form of a local civilian he's been helping, making sure their dental records are the same, before killing him and his wife and burning his corpse to make it seem more believable. He makes sure to hide his face and travel discreetly while making sure the only one in on his faked death is Hector.
Faux Affably Evil: This extremely unnerving trait of Lalo's continues. He patches himself up at the home of a couple he's apparently on good relations with, and is extremely friendly and kind to both of them... before eventually killing both of them to aid in the cover-up of his death.
He tries to politely tell the border-crossing gang he wants his cash back since he doesn't plan on joining them anymore. When they refuse to give him a refund, he warns them that they should have been nice. A few gunshots later, and he calmly tells the passengers that they'll unfortunately have to find another way past the border and gives them their money back.
Fiery Cover-Up: A variation; to help make his Body Double look more like him, Lalo has a fiery attack faked on his compound, burning and disfiguring the corpse.
Genius Bruiser: Lalo demonstrates his brains and brawn during the attempted border crossing. He's able to decipher Hector's spelling over the phone without having to write anything down, then handily disarms and dispatches two armed coyotes (human traffickers) without breaking a sweat.
Genre Savvy: Mike and Gus are both immediately suspicious about the circumstances of Lalo's assassination scene, particularly the fact that all the gunmen are dead and yet the hit was supposedly successful. Mike sardonically notes that "it has been known to happen", but it's clear both men aren't convinced their man is truly dead.
The Ghost: Eladio doesn't appear in the episode but exposition from Tyrus reveals he put a price on Nacho's head.
Gory Discretion Shot: We don't actually see Lalo killing Sylvia and Mateo, but we can surmise that Sylvia's murder was very brutal. We still see Mateo's body, however, after it has been burned beyond recognition.
Greedy Jew: Exploited by Jimmy. When one of the insults that Kevin throws at him is calling him "money grubbing", Jimmy accuses him of alluding to this trope.Kevin: (peeved) You know damn well that's not what I meant!
He's Back!: A Downplayed case. Jimmy steels his nerves and, after clenching the fist wearing Marco's ring, manages to bluff his way out of trouble in front of the ADA and Detective Roberts with his mental acumen of the law, all while keeping his usual smug and confident demeanor. He only slips up when he accidentally reveals "Jorge"'s real name is Lalo, and even then he just brushes it off with a quick excuse. The moment he gets away, though, it's shown he still has a long way to go for properly recovering.
Horrible Judge of Character: A Downplayed example here, retroactively knowing their business relationship will sour in the future. Although Juan Bolsa seems to a Professional Butt-Kisser and implicitly trusts Gus, his quip that everyone is liable to suspicion over Lalo's death indicates he's not entirely believing Gus is absolutely not involved.
How the Mighty Have Fallen: Saul's tacky McMansion housing trinkets from his career and excessive golden decor is seen being rummaged through to be sold following eviction, now that he's disappeared.
I Never Said It Was Poison: Almost happens when Jimmy calls "Jorge" by his real nickname, Lalo. The ADA questions him a bit, but Saul excuses himself by saying he simply mixed his many clients up.
Internal Reveal: The Juarez Cartel surmise Nacho is a traitor and played a role in the death of Lalo, though they still don't know it was Gus' plan.
Lalo calls Hector to let him know that he's alive and plans to keep his faked death ongoing until he can get his hands on Gus, before deciding to search for "proof" against him instead.
Mistaken for Junkie: Turns out to be the start of Kim and Jimmy's plan for Howard, first building him up as a cocaine user by sneaking a packet of baby powder into his locker at the country club.
Mistaken for Racist: Invoked and Exploited by Jimmy, with Kevin asking the country club to get rid of him. As he used his "Saul Goodman" alias, he claims they only decided to discontinue the tour upon hearing his name. When the director tries to claim there's a waiting list, Jimmy claims it's an exclusionary l