When asked to give a hint about how You better call Saul would end during a Tribeca Festival panel in June, Bob Odenkirk came up with two words: “second life.” This clue turned out to be much more concise and more perfect than anyone could have guessed. And that has been sort of a perfect ending and a new beginning for Jimmy McGill.
Jimmy gave way to Saul who briefly gave way to Gene Takovic who gave way to Saul who claimed redemption for himself as Jimmy. This redemption took the form of trading a seven-year prison sentence for an 86-year sentence to prove that, despite what people like Mike Ehrmantraut, Walter White and his brother Chuck told him, he didn’t It wasn’t all about Jimmy’s slick, slippin’ trickery at the end.
Busted Gene was made by Marion, the brave lady-searching Ask-Jeeves who used her LifeAlert to notify the cops, along with the car’s description and license plate number, of Saul’s location. Goodman. He tried to flee on foot after retrieving his bandage box full of diamonds, but the jewels slipped from Slippin’ Jimmy’s hands as he hid in a dumpster, and Omaha police l took to the hoosegow. Showrunner and writer-director Peter Gould’s script sent Saul to jail at the start of the finale, which heightened the excitement about all that lay ahead.
One of the episode’s biggest surprise appearances was Saul’s attorney, or rather his “advisory board,” Bill Oakley, the former Albuquerque District Attorney who took Saul’s place on a bench. bus, announcing his new position as defense attorney. No longer impressed with Jimmy’s success after learning of his association with the Salamancas, Bill nevertheless took Saul’s call and agreed to represent him after Saul assured him that it would do wonders for his legal credibility. And from the modest automobile he drives, we assume he could use the top job. Not that Saul is doing Bill a favor. Bill is here to help Saul get his own credibility on the local street, someone without a boatload of pending criminal charges to help Saul force the government to a very generous seven year sentence in a Club Fed type nursery (in Butner, North Carolina, the one in which Bernie Madoff died), with golf privileges and a weekly pint of mint chocolate chip ice cream. This last advantage is Saul’s way of proving he can get the upper hand, even in his situation, and defeat the prosecutor who he’s told he’s never lost a case. He can totally own his opponent, even if he should be looking at decades in prison.
But then, a twist: When Saul tries to play one more card, offering what he thinks is fresh and juicy information about Howard Hamlin’s death, he learns that Kim has already given out that dirt as part of the package. of confessions she served to the Albuquerque district attorney and Howard’s widow, Cheryl. He is shocked that Kim did what he told her to during their recent tense phone call, recounting all about her role in the circumstances surrounding Howard’s murder.
At first, we think Saul is angry that Kim got the better of him and limited what he could get from the government. He really wants that weekly Blue Bell ice cream, and he tells Bill, in front of a marshal who drives him to an Albuquerque courtroom, that he has another piece of information that he’s sure Kim didn’t share. , hinting that it’s something that’s going to be used against her, possibly causing her a devastating civil suit by Cheryl Hamlin. Saul seems eager for this to happen, and when Kim is told by Albuquerque Assistant District Attorney Suzanne Ericsen that Saul plans to present new testimony about her, Kim shows up in the courtroom to witness the hearing herself. his latest shenanigans.
But then there’s another twist, which explains both Bob Odenkirk’s allusion to the finale and the title of the finale, “Saul Gone.” With a bright shot of a brightly lit courtroom exit sign above Saul’s head, he interrupts the proceedings to point out to the judge that Walter White’s criminal enterprise has earned him millions of dollars and that if not for his legal maneuvers on Walt’s behalf, Walt would have ended up in jail. jail in a month. Saul gets emotional as he tries to talk about what happened to Howard, but then when he sees Kim in the back of the room and sees that she’s really listening to him, he finally reveals what he did to Chuck, ruining his ability to train. law, to deliberately hurt him, after which Chuck committed suicide. “And I’ll live with that,” Saul said. And just to make sure everyone knows, officially, what Kim realized when he turned around and locked eyes with her, Saul corrects the judge when she tells Mr. Goodman to sit down. “My name is McGill. I’m James McGill,” he says, pointing to himself, unbuttoning the jacket of his very shiny Saul suit.
Poor Bill tries to salvage some semblance of the deal, because while Saul was putting on his Jimmy McGill and making up with Kim, he was costing himself that sweet government deal. Get out, literally, Saul, and cut Jimmy off the bus to prison…not Madoff’s, but Montrose, the one he’d earlier described as “the Alcatraz of the Rockies.” And he’s expected to stay there for the next eight and a half decades, which is a life sentence even with time off for good behavior.
All is not lost, however: During this bus ride, his fellow inmates recognize him not as Jimmy, but as “Better Call Saul”, and they stomp and shout his catchphrase in appreciation of their hero. Inside Montrose, it’s clear he’s ready to get his Saul back to live out this sentence as comfortably as possible. His bandmates call him Saul, and a photo of him operating a dough machine makes us think we might be back at Cinnabon until we see Saul working in the prison kitchen making loaves of bread.
And then he gets a visit from his lawyer, but it’s not Bill. It’s Kim, using her old New Mexico bar card to visit her ex-husband. In another beautifully shot scene, Kim and Jimmy (that’s what she calls him) stand against the parlor and share a cigarette she slipped for him. For a minute, it’s those two people in the series’ first episode, “Uno,” when they’re in the HHM parking lot, oozing with chemistry as they pass a cigarette back and forth.
It’s a very emotional, albeit brief, reunion, and Jimmy stands in the yard, watching Kim walk out when he fires guns and blows at them as she leaves. They stand on either side of fences, freedom, but Kim just might be back. She insists on telling Jimmy that she came to see him with this New Mexico bar pass that doesn’t have an expiration date on it. Kim, like Jimmy, always likes to bend the rules a bit herself.
- Which surprise flashback character cameo to love the most: Peter Diseth’s Bill Oakley, Jonathan Banks’ Mike, Michael McKean’s Chuck, Bryan Cranston’s Walter, or the biggest surprise of all, Betsy Brandt’s Marie Schrader, back to try to make sure Saul gets punished to get justice for his Hank? Organically integrated into Saul’s inevitable trip to prison, it was a welcome reunion of favorites.
- Jimmy’s big break began with digging through the trash for information to help the people of Sandpiper prosecute the company. His life in prison started in another dumpster, where he dropped all those diamonds and wasted a chance to call Ed for another life on the run.
- Hands down the funniest line ever uttered about a craft store, as Jimmy describes to Chuck how his legal practice is going: “One of my clients, he got caught waving the weenie in front of a Hobby Lobby.”
- During Jimmy’s flashbacks with Mike (on their infamous desert trek in “Bagman”) and Walt (of their time together in Ed’s basement as they waited to be transported to their new lives) , he was oddly obsessed with what they would do differently with access to time travel. Walt, in his most arrogant and dismissive manner, points out that time travel isn’t possible, then says that all Saul really wants is to discuss his regrets. Later, in his flashback to the visit with Chuck, Chuck has a paperback on the kitchen counter: HG Wells’ The time machine.