In January 2020, AMC renewed Better Call Saul for a sixth and final season. Showrunner Peter Gould and AMC representatives confirmed it would consist of 13 episodes, higher than the usual 10. This brought the series' total episode count to 63, one more than its predecessor Breaking Bad. Gould stated, "From the beginning when we started this, I think all our hopes and dreams were to be able to tell the whole story ... and make it to be a complete story from beginning to end ... We're going to try like hell to stick the landing of these 63 episodes." Giancarlo Esposito had previously speculated in April 2019 that the series would end with a sixth season because it was the "comfortable way" to do so, similar to how Breaking Bad's fifth and final season was split into two halves, giving the feeling that the latter half was the sixth season. Gould said he initially doubted how he could do 13 episodes because the 10-episode count of previous seasons proved physically exhausting for him, but executive producer and writer Thomas Schnauz convinced him to go for 13, saying, "You'll know it's the last 13 so you'll see the barn in the distance. You'll be like the horse that gallops down the last bit."
In October 2021, a potential strike by the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) would have resulted in all productions in the New Mexico film and television industry shutting down, including Better Call Saul. Odenkirk, Gould, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham and several members of the New Mexico state legislature voiced their support for the IATSE and for creating better working conditions for the unionized crew members. On October 16, 2021, a tentative agreement was made before the deadline between the IATSE and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, temporarily averting a strike. The contract was ratified by the IATSE members on November 15, 2021, ending all prospects of a strike and allowing production to continue without interruption.
Each episode would air on AMC at 9:00 pm (ET) on Mondays, with the first two episodes premiering back-to-back on the same night. During the season's run, each episode would be available to stream the day they premiered on AMC+, AMC's streaming service which first launched in June 2020. The season premiere resulted in the biggest day of new subscriber sign-ups for AMC+, and by the mid-season finale episodic viewership on the streaming service rose by 61%. Upon the release of the series finale, the app experienced an outage, causing many users to be logged out. AMC later reported that first-day viewing numbers for the finale on AMC+ was four times as big as the season premiere, and called the series' final season the highest acquisition driver in the history of the streaming service.
The two-episode premiere "Wine and Roses" and "Carrot and Stick" received positive reviews from critics. David Segal of The New York Times described the first episode as "strong, twisty and gripping" and said the writing "must be hailed as a masterly curtain raiser, one that managed to pick up the story right where it was left, two years ago, and hurl it forward at a promising pace." Segal criticized Kim's con against Howard at the country club, calling it "dimmer and daffier than the rest of the show" and "pointlessly cruel". Reviewing both "Wine and Roses" and "Carrot and Stick" together, The A.V. Club's Kimberly Potts graded them with an "A" and gave positive notes to Gould's screenplay and the performances of the cast, especially those of Rhea Seehorn as Kim and Michael Mando as Nacho. Steve Greene, writing for IndieWire, said the first two episodes were "astonishingly short on false moves so far". He also noted Ed Begley Jr.'s acting as Clifford Main and the symbolism in Kim throwing away the "World's 2nd Best Lawyer" coffee mug, calling it "a poetic bookend of sorts." David Segal of The New York Times described the second episode as "superb and stressful" and said it was a "study in damage control, overseen by a man [Gus] who seems uncharacteristically ruffled and uncertain about what to do." Segal also said the shootout scene was "expertly staged" by Gilligan and that Rhea Seehorn's performance as Kim provided an opportunity for her to "demonstrate an almost thuggish toughness." Scott Tobias, writing for Vulture, compared the motel sequences to the Spaghetti Westerns of Sergio Leone, including Once Upon a Time in the West (1968). He also gave positive notes to the level of detail in the episode's opening scene, calling it "one big reason Better Call Saul stands apart from other shows."
The series finale "Saul Gone" received critical acclaim. Giving the episode an A grade, Kimberly Potts of The A.V. Club called it a "supremely satisfying sendoff" with "blasts from the past and one last twist". At IGN, Rafael Motamayor gave the episode a 10 out of 10 rating, describing it as a "subtler character study, exploring regrets and change in its protagonist". He also noted the episode title and complimented it for being "a thematic bookend on a show that was never really about Saul Goodman" and highlighted the motif of time machines. Similarly, Vulture's Jen Chaney also discussed the motif of time machines in the episode, and commended it for offering more depth and context to Breaking Bad, and felt the series was superior to Breaking Bad, as it "dared to widen its scope and go bigger than Breaking Bad ever did". In addition, the website's Scott Tobias gave it a 5 out of 5 rating and wrote, "'Saul Gone' [...] finds an ending for Jimmy that's hopeful and authentic without feeling rosy or unearned."
Nacho flees from Lalo's compound in Mexico and is sent to hide in a motel in Chihuahua after receiving a call from Tyrus, letting Nacho know of Lalo's "death". An injured Lalo also escapes his compound and makes it to his friend, Sylvia's house. Her husband, Mateo, is instructed by Lalo to trim his beard to look like him. Lalo kills Sylvia and Mateo and burns Mateo's body, passing it off as his own and planting it at his compound. This successfully tricks The Cousins, who investigate the compound and Lalo's "body". Gus is informed of the price on Nacho's head and is also suspicious of Lalo's death. In Albuquerque, Kim and Jimmy have dinner, where Kim hatches a plan to take down Howard. The next day, Jimmy and Kim meet at the country club. Jimmy sneaks inside and plants a fake bag of cocaine in Howard's locker. After opening the locker and finding the cocaine in front of Cliff Main, Howard brushes it off but doesn't leave a good impression on Cliff. At the U.S-Mexico border, Lalo prepares to be loaded into a truck to Mexico with some immigrants, but calls Hector first, revealing that he is alive to him, and vowing to kill Gus. Lalo hangs up and decides to not cross the border, changing plans. ("Wine and Roses")
After escaping the cousins, Nacho makes it to an auto repair shop to clean up and calls Gus. After some back and forth Nacho realizes the only way out of this is to die, so he makes a plan to meet with Gus and Mike in New Mexico. In Albuquerque, Kim is confronted by Suzanne Ericsen, who reveals that Jorge De Guzman's real identity has been found - Lalo Salamanca, and that he has been murdered in Mexico. Meanwhile, Kim and Jimmy make a new plan to take down Howard. At a fancy restaurant, a valet driver takes Howard's Jaguar to a parking garage, and get's his car key pickpocketed by Huell, who copies the key for Jimmy. Later that night, ready for the rest of their plan, Kim reveals to Jimmy that Lalo is dead. Meanwhile, Nacho is transported to Albuquerque. Gus, Mike, and Nacho's plan are for Nacho to reveal that the hit for Lalo was from a Peruvian Cartel that Nacho worked with and that Gus had nothing to do with the hit. Nacho meets with the Salamanca's in the desert, tied up, and goes along with the plan, but goes off script and insults the Salamanca's. He breaks out of his zip ties and steals Juan Bolsa's gun, shooting himself in the head. ("Rock and Hard Place")
Howard drives to his therapist's office. While inside, Jimmy, disguised as Howard, steals his car with the copied key and picks up Wendy, a prostitute who is in on the plan. While Kim has a meeting with Cliff Main at a coffee shop, Jimmy, in Howard's car, passes by the shop and openly kicks Wendy out of the car, getting the attention of Cliff. Jimmy drops the car back off while Kim drops off Wendy. All of a sudden, Kim has a feeling of being watched. Meanwhile, at the courthouse, Jimmy finds he has been disowned by his peers after the information of scamming the court of Lalo Salamanca's bail has spread. At the Nail Salon, though, Jimmy finds a ton more clients, being known as "Salamanca's Guy". While Kim has lunch with her clients, she finds a car following her, and confronts the men in the car, threatening to call the police. They speed off. The next day, Kim is accosted by Mike, who assures her that the people following her and Jimmy aren't going to cause any problems. Mike reveals to Kim that Lalo is alive and that they're being followed for their safety. Later that night, after Jimmy gets kicked out of the Nail Salon due to the overflow of clients, Kim and Jimmy look at a new office. Meanwhile, Gus arrives home, which is heavily surveilled. Mike warns that their resources are being stretched thin, but Gus insists on keeping the surveillance in place as long as Lalo is still alive.("Hit and Run")
Jimmy opens his new and larger office, recruiting his former receptionist, Francesca Liddy. At Sandpiper Crossing, after Howard, Cliff, and Erin convince a group of elderly plaintiffs to wait a little longer in the Sandpiper Case, Howard is confronted by Cliff, calling him out for his recent behavior. Howard, confused, realizes Jimmy is behind this, and angrily drives off. Kim has coffee with her former assistant, Viola. Viola divulges the name of the person running the upcoming mediation session of the Sandpiper Case: Rand Casimiro. That night, Jimmy arrives at a boxing club and is accosted by Howard, who challenges him to a boxing match to let all the anger out. Jimmy boxes Howard but gets knocked out. He drives off but unknowingly gets stalked by a private investigator Howard hired. Kim shows a profile of Rand Casimiro to Jimmy, and they begin the next phase of their plan. Gus and Mike go to the excavation site. Gus privately plants a handgun on one of the excavators and inspects the wiring of the lights before leaving. In Germany, Margarethe Ziegler, Werner Ziegler's widow, meets Lalo in a bar. Lalo goes by Ben and has a conversation with Margarethe, who reveals that Werner died in a "cave-in" during a mysterious excavation project and that none of Werner's team attended his funeral. The next morning, Lalo breaks into Margarethe's house and finds a lucite block containing a slide rule message in Werner's former work room. Lalo notices the manufacturing company and leaves. ("Black and Blue") 781b155fdc