When asked to give a hint on how You better call Saul would end at a Tribeca Festival panel in June, Bob Odenkirk said two words: “second life”. That clue turned out to be much tougher and more perfect than anyone could have imagined. And the used to be 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. That redemption came in the form of swapping 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 wasn’t just about smooth, Slippin’. Jimmy cheated in the end.
Busted Gene was brought in by Marion, the brave Ask-Jeeves-seeking lady who used her LifeAlert to notify the police, complete with car description and license plate number, of Saul Goodman’s location. He tried to get away on foot after collecting his bandage tin full of diamonds, but the jewels slipped from Slippin’ Jimmy’s hands as he hid in a dumpster, and Omaha cops led him to the hoosegow. The showrunner and episodes storyline and director Peter Gould sent Saul to jail early in the finale, adding to the excitement of all that lay ahead.
One of the biggest surprises of the episode was Saul’s attorney, or more accurately, “advisory counsel,” Bill Oakley, the former Albuquerque District Attorney who took Saul’s place on a bus bench to advertise his new position as a lawyer. . 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 it would do wonders for his legal reputation on the street. And given the modest car he drives, we assume he could use the high-profile work. Not that Saul is doing Bill a favor. Bill is there to help Saul build a little street name of his own, someone without a boatload of pending criminal charges to help Saul force the government to serve a very lavish seven-year prison term in a cozy Club Fed-esque prison (in Butner , North Carolina, where Bernie Madoff died), with golf privileges, and a weekly pint of mint chocolate chip ice cream. That last advantage is Saul’s way of proving that he can prevail, even in his situation, and defeat the accuser who he says has never lost a case. He can completely own his opponent, even if he would have to spend decades in prison.
But then, a twist: When Saul tries to play another card and offers what he thinks is fresh, juicy information about Howard Hamlin’s death, he learns that Kim has already dished up that grime as part of the package of confessions she has. served the Albuquerque DA and Howard’s widow, Cheryl. He is shocked that Kim actually did what he told her to do during their recent tense phone call, and told all about her role in the circumstances surrounding Howard’s murder.
At first we think Saul is upset that Kim has gotten the upper hand and limited what he can get out of the government. He really wants that weekly Blue Bell ice cream cone, and he tells Bill, in front of a Marshal escorting him to an Albuquerque courtroom, that he has another piece of information that he’s sure Kim didn’t share, insinuating that it’s something that will be used against her, perhaps giving her a devastating civil action from Cheryl Hamlin. Saul seems eager for this to happen, and when Kim is tipped off by Albuquerque’s Assistant District Attorney Suzanne Ericsen that Saul plans to enter new testimony about her, Kim appears in court to testify herself. to be of his newest pranks.
But then there’s another twist, one that explains both Bob Odenkirk’s hint about the finale and the finale’s title, “Saul Gone.” With a brilliant shot of a brightly lit sign over Saul’s head, he interrupts proceedings to emphasize to the judge that Walter White’s criminal enterprise has netted him millions of dollars and that without his legal maneuvering on Walt’s behalf, Walt faces a month in prison. 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’s done to Chuck, showing his skill. to practice ruined. law, to purposely hurt him, after which Chuck killed himself. “And I’ll live with that,” Saul says. And to make sure everyone officially knows what Kim realized when he turned and looked at her, Saul corrects the judge when she tells Mr. Goodman to sit down. “The name is McGill. I’m James McGill,” he says, pointing to himself and unbuttoning his very shiny Saul suit.
Poor Bill tries to save some pretense because while Saul was picking up his Jimmy McGill and redeeming himself with Kim, he cost himself that fancy government deal. Leave Saul, literally, and cut to Jimmy riding the bus to jail…not the Madoff, but Montrose, the one he’d previously described as “the Alcatraz of the Rockies.” And he’s supposed to stay there for the next eight and a half decades, that is, a life sentence, even with time off for good behavior.
But all is not lost: During that bus ride, his fellow inmates recognize him not as Jimmy, but as ‘Better Call Saul’, and they stamp and shout his catchphrase in appreciation for their hero. Within Montrose, it is clear that he is willing to get his Saul back to live out that sentence as comfortably as possible. His cohorts call him Saul, and a shot of him operating a dough machine makes us think we might be back in the Cinnabon until we see Saul working in the prison kitchen and baking bread.
And then he gets a visit from his lawyer, but it’s not Bill. It’s Kim, who uses 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 visiting room, sharing a cigarette she snuck in for him. For a moment, they’re those two people in the first episode of the series, “Uno,” when they stand in the HHM parking lot, seeping chemistry as they pass a cigarette back and forth.
This is a very emotional, albeit brief, reunion, and Jimmy stands in the yard watching Kim leave as he fires finger guns and blows on them as she leaves. They’re on opposite sides of the fences, of freedom, but Kim may come back. She makes it a point to tell Jimmy she came to him with that New Mexico bar card that has no expiration date on it. Kim, like Jimmy, still likes to bend the rules a bit.
- Which surprising flashback character did I love the most: Peter Diseth’s Bill Oakley, Jonathan Banks’ Mike, Michael McKean’s Chuck, Bryan Cranston’s Walter, or the biggest surprise, Betsy Brandt’s Marie Schrader, back to try and make it happen? that Saul is punished justice for her Hank? Fitting organically into Saul’s inevitable trip to prison, it was a welcome reunion of favorites.
- Jimmy’s big break began by diving into containers for information to help the residents of Sandpiper sue the company. His life in prison started in a different container, where he dropped all those diamonds and ruined a chance to call Ed for a new life on the run.
- Arguably the funniest sentence ever uttered about a craft store, as Jimmy describes to Chuck how his legal practice goes: “One of my clients, he was caught waving the weenie outside a hobby lobby.”
- During Jimmy’s flashbacks with Mike (during their infamous desert trek in “Bagman”) and Walt (of their time together in Ed’s basement waiting to be transported to their new lives), he was curiously obsessed with what they would do. otherwise with access to time travel. Walt, in his most arrogant and contemptuous way, points out that time travel isn’t possible, then says that Saul really just wants to discuss what they regret. Later, in his flashback to the visit with Chuck, Chuck has a paperback book on the counter: HG Wells’ the time machine.