Better Call Saul season 6, episode 5 sees Gus Fring hide a weapon in his half-excavated super lab. What eventuality does Lalo Salamanca have planned?
Gus Fring’s secret weapon could have major ramifications for Better call SaulLalo’s enmity. Ever since Tony Dalton first arrived as Lalo Salamanca in season 4, Better call Saul it’s been a cat-and-cat chase between him and Giancarlo Esposito’s Gus Fring, two cunning criminals used to getting their way. Gus harbors ambitions to force the Salamancas out, while Lalo has been recruited to protect his family’s interests. Neither man has managed to land a knockout blow, but Gus Fring came closer with the failed assassination attempt on Better call Saul season 5. The world believes that Lalo died that day, but Gus knows otherwise and now lives in fear of a mustachioed shadow.
Looking over his shoulder becomes too much for Gus to Better call Saul “Black & Blue” from the sixth season. Waiting for the inevitable retaliation from Lalo Salamanca has sent Fring into a frenzy of washrooms and customer service (did that guy ever get his coleslaw?), so along with Mike Ehrmantraut and a team of bodyguard, Gus visits his half-built super lab Better call Saul season 4. Mike assures Gus that the site’s tunnel is inaccessible due to packed earth and cement, then offers to post more guards outside. Instead of answering, Gus surveys the dig site alone. He examines the layout, the various pieces of gear lying around, then subtly conceals the gun from his holster inside a parked bulldozer…
Mike seems to assume that Gus is afraid that Lalo Salamanca will discover the superlab, and this little field trip is just Chicken Man making sure the site is properly protected. Gus Fring planting the gun confirms that something far more sinister is at work. gus is not concerned about Lalo finding the super lab, it’s waiting for and has set the stage for an underground showdown that will finally end their feud for good.
Ever since learning of Lalo’s survival, Gus Fring had been expecting Lalo Salamanca to show up at his personal residence, hence the massive security operation. Even in “Black & Blue,” Mike stands at Gus’s house and says, “Sooner or later, it’s going to end hereHowever, early in the episode, Gus Fring experienced a sudden epiphany while asking a Los Pollos Hermanos customer if they would like to try the spice curls. After weeks of not looking, Gus realizes that Lalo can’t kill him without upsetting the cartel. The Salamancas’ only option is to find proof of Fring’s betrayal, and nothing screams “betrayal” like a massive underground superlab the cartel knew nothing about. Having constantly wondered where Lalo would attack from, Gus now knows that his nemesis will, sooner or later. later, he visits the super lab. This foresight allows Gus to prepare for battle, giving himself a home-field advantage by planting a concealed pistol.
Gus must now wait for Lalo to discover the super lab and check out the site for himself. He can then catch Lalo off guard by appearing unarmed and then drawing the planted weapon. It’s the classic toilet stall trick from The Godfather, where the Corleone family murders Sollozzo and McCluskey by hiding a gun in a restaurant bathroom before everyone arrives. Had Gus not hidden his firearm on location, he would have had to reach down, roll up a pant leg, remove the gun from his ankle holster, stand up, and then shoot, at which point Lalo would have turned him into a colander. .
Now, Gus just needs to sneak up on the bulldozer and swipe the weapon that’s already hidden at hand height. That even Mike is not aware of his boss’s true intentions demonstrates Fring’s level of paranoia in Better call Saul‘s final season, and it means he’ll have to personally pull the trigger if Lalo Salamanca ultimately dies. At least the body would already be underground…
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Better call Saul continues Monday on AMC.
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