Better call Saul Explained: What’s Up With the Ending?

The end of the story with Saul Goodman and other characters. Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk) finally established himself in the role of “Saul Goodman” – a slippery and sly character, ready to earn money by any means, not squeamish to deal with gangsters from the drug cartel. Together with his wife, Kim Wexler (Ray Seahorn), Jimmy leads a rather complicated operation to discredit Howard Hamlin (Patrick Fabian), the managing partner of the large law firm where they both once worked.

Gustavo Fring (Giancarlo Esposito) and his closest henchman Michael Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks) are preparing to significantly expand their drug empire, for which Gustavo has built a secret drug laboratory. At the same time, Gustavo has to confront the Salamanca family, which has great influence on Don Eladio himself, the head of the cartel, so Fring is constantly under heavy guard, which is led by Michael.

Lalo Salamanca (Tony Dalton), miraculously surviving a raid on the ancestral home of Fring’s militants, goes on the warpath and tries to get Fring. And he gradually comes out on the tracks of Gustavo’s drug lab.

We are also shown the end of the story with Saul Goodman: after the collapse of the Heisenberg empire, Jimmy McGill left Albuquerque for a small town and hides there under the name Gene Takovich. Jimmy leads a very private life and works at the Cinnabon Cafeteria located in the mall. However, at some point, he is recognized by a taxi driver who has seen a “Better Call Saul” ad, and to be on the safe side, Jimmy concocts an elaborate scheme to steal expensive items from the mall where he works in order to tie the taxi driver up with a joint crime.

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In general, of course, with this series, the story is downright amazing. Saul Goodman – the slippery lawyer from Breaking Bad – is a bright and memorable character, but when the showrunner of this series Vince Gilligan suggested that actor Bob Odenkirk make a separate spin-off about this character, Bob at first thought that Vince was joking. Because Saul Goodman is a very secondary character, and Bob point blank did not understand how a whole series could be made with him.

However, Gilligan had already come up with an interesting plan: to show a prequel to the story of Saul Goodman, in which unsuccessful lawyer Jimmy McGill, who tried for a long time and unsuccessfully to prove to his older brother Chuck (Michael McKean), a famous lawyer, that he, Jimmy, is capable of something , finally comes to become not a respectable lawyer, but the same Saul Goodman, who makes money on anything and does not hesitate to deal with anyone: neither Heisenberg, who produces a new drug, nor Fring, nor Don Eladio’s drug cartel.

Also in this series, the backstory of old acquaintances from Breaking Bad – Gustavo Fring, Michael Ehrmantraut and Hector Salamanca – Michael’s backstory was shown in particular detail – and the stories of characters that were only mentioned in Breaking Bad, but did not appear there – Ignacio “Nacho” Varga and Eduardo “Lalo” Salamanca.

And, of course, there were completely new characters who were not mentioned in Breaking Bad in any way: first of all, it was Kimberly “Kim” Wexler, who started in the mail department of Hamlin, Hamlin and McGill, where Jimmy worked as a peddler. mail, like Jimmy, she managed to break into lawyers, and she and Jimmy first met and then got married. All the viewers of Better Call Saul throughout all the seasons asked themselves the question: what happened to Kim, why is there no mention of her in Breaking Bad?

In the first five seasons there were 10 episodes each, in the final sixth season – 13 episodes, and the season was divided into two parts: from April 18 to May 23 they showed the first 7 episodes, from July 11 to August 15 they showed the remaining 5 episodes. And I specifically waited for the release of the entire series in order to write a review for the last season.

So, the final season is great. Despite the fact that I had certain questions about the logic of the development of events (the most incomprehensible story is there with some events of the 11th and 12th episodes, but we will discuss this at the end of the review under the spoiler), the way Giligan and Gould ended the series – I liked it, and this is a great ending to a really outstanding series. After all, when the spin-off was announced, everyone thought that it would be the kind of fan service that people would watch just because it was a spin-off of Breaking Bad, one of the most significant series of recent decades. (It is considered by some to be one of the most significant TV series of the 21st century.)

But when “Better Call Saul” began to come out, it immediately became clear that this was not just the desire of the creators of “Breaking Bad” to play on the popularity of the main series. This is a completely separate work – in the sense that it is both a full-fledged and cool spin-off, and a prequel to Breaking Bad, and at the same time – this is, perhaps, no less significant work than the original series.

Why? First, because the story of Jimmy McGill turning into Saul Goodman is very interesting, and it also involves all sorts of completely new characters (Jimmy’s older brother Chuck and Kim Wexler), and these characters are wonderfully scripted and amazingly well played, for which thanks to Michael McKean and Ray Seahorn.

Secondly, because this is a full-fledged prequel to the events in Breaking Bad, and here we meet both well-known iconic characters and new characters that were only mentioned there.

Thirdly, because “Better Call Saul” purely genre is much more diverse. There is a judicial tragicomedy, and an adventurous comedy, and a psychological drama, well, the same crime drama as Breaking Bad was. And the finale of the whole story of Saul Goodman was completely filmed in the style of black and white noir (I immediately remembered the excellent film by the Coen brothers “The Man Who Wasn’t There”).

Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould summed up this complex, long and extraordinary story with this series and its ending. The end of the story of the quiet chemistry teacher Walter White, who turned into an authoritative and dangerous bigwig in the criminal world of Heisenberg, happened at the end of Breaking Bad. The story of Jesse Pinkman, who went from a primitive and slightly silly high schooler to a man who survived terrible tragedies, was ended with the feature film “El Camino: Breaking Bad”, which not all fans of the original series liked, but I believe that Gilligan made this picture exactly the way it needed to be done.

Well, now the final story of Saul Goodman. Whether you will like it, whether you will accept it, I do not know. The very end of the story of this character, I took one hundred percent. This has its own logic, it is quite natural, this is the correct resolution of the issues of choosing one’s destiny at various stages of life, about repentance, forgiveness and redemption.

For me, “Better Call Saul” is a series that is clearly no less interesting than “Breaking Bad”. It has a certain subordination to the original series, because there are a lot of prequel elements, but I think that even for those who have not watched Breaking Bad (why, I would like to ask?), it will be interesting to watch. But that’s not the point.

Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould somehow managed to make what seems to me a cult series from what seems to be an ordinary spin-off of a cult series. It’s a really unique story, I don’t remember anything like it. I remember when the spin-offs of not-too-famous series became cult – Frasier, Boston Lawyers. But for a cult series to have such a spin-off and a prequel at the same time, this is really something special!

An excellent finale, a landmark and, of course, noteworthy series!

PS Now, under the spoiler, let’s talk about what remained incomprehensible to me in the final season.

 

Some viewers had questions about why Kim was so actively involved in the Howard discrediting story, and she even insisted that she and Jimmy played the coolest act of this performance.

In my opinion, it was quite understandable. Howard humiliated her several times, and Kim, although almost unemotional, does not mean at all that she does not remember anything and does not want to take revenge. Besides, they just wanted to ruin Howard’s career, nothing more. They didn’t know what it was all about in the end.

With an unexpected call from Jimmy Kim after six years – well, there are no special questions either. He learned from his secretary that all his stash was open, that is, he had no hopes for at least some secure future, broke loose and called his ex-wife, saying all sorts of nonsense to her. Because of which Kim decided to completely ruin her own life – in atonement.

I didn’t have any issues with the ending either. Jimmy knew that he had lost everything, Jimmy was no longer going to be any Saul Goodman, because it was impossible, Jimmy also wanted to come to atonement for his many sins. Why did he first turn on Saul Goodman and get himself an agreement for seven years, and then he passed everything himself, receiving 86 years in prison? There were two reasons. First, he wanted Kim to be summoned to court, and she herself saw what he had done – that is, returned to the former Jimmy. Secondly, he thus wanted to show that he was still able to achieve everything he wanted, and able to get out of the most difficult situation, like Saul Goodman, but when he got it, he passed everything himself.

And only one question remained incomprehensible to me. Why Jimmy organized all these robberies with the help of a taxi driver and a second accomplice in episodes 11-12 – it is still at least somehow understandable: he lost almost everything except for the diamonds, and decided to earn at least some money for the rest of his life somewhere in the other place. However, why Jimmy suddenly began to push so hard with the robbery of a cancer patient, why he himself went into business, why at the same time he was ready to slap this patient on the head, why he was clearly already ready to kill the taxi driver’s mother – this did not fit in at all with anyone. Saul Goodman, much less Jimmy. This caused me great bewilderment, I did not understand why it was all done this way.

In the rest – everything is clear, everything is logical and everything is competent.

Director: Vince Gilligan, Peter Gould Cast: Bob Odenkirk, Jonathan Banks, Ray Seehorn, Patrick Fabian, Michael Mando, Giancarlo Esposito, Michael McKean, Tony Dalton, Mark Margolis, Kerry Condon

Series, USA, 2022, 46 min. Crime drama, 13 episodes

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