Finale Of “Better Call Saul” Explained: Jimmy McGill Or Saul Goodman Goodbye?

What would you do if a time machine existed? Right now, going back to February 8, 2015, to restart the entire series sounds quite alluring in light of the excellent Better Call Saul finale, “Saul Gone.” “Saul Gone” functions as a kind of writerly wish fulfillment exercise, similar to the Breaking Bad conclusion that came before it. How does one go about giving a character who seems unredeemable some kind of redemption? The finale of “Better Call Saul” Explained: Jimmy McGill or Saul Goodman goodbye?

Walter White (Bryan Cranston) becomes somewhat of an action hero as a result of Breaking Bad. In the final episode of Breaking Bad, the former meth kingpin traveled to New Mexico with a beard and looked disheveled. And for the most part, he succeeded in doing exactly that, eliminating his enemies and saving his colleague Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul), all before being fatally wounded by one of his own machine guns that he had MacGyverized. It’s undeniably exciting, but it may seem a little out of character for the shattered, defeated man who had just been coughing up his lungs in New Hampshire.

Mike Ehrmantraut, Walter White, And Chuck McGill Flashbacks

The time travel theme is continued throughout “Saul Good,” which makes several trips into the past. While flashbacks are an excellent way to finish up various Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul characters’ stories, they also help to show Saul’s developing thought process and route to redemption.

The finale picks up in the desert during the events of season 5 episode 8 “Bagman” after the previously broadcast segment (and a really striking graphic promoting the episode from AMC) rolls.

Finale of Better Call Saul Explained
Finale of Better Call Saul Explained

Jonathan Banks and Saul Goodman’s characters Mike Ehrmantraut and Saul Goodman find a tank of fresh water while seeking refuge from the punishing New Mexican sun and take a seat to rest. Saul raises the time machine query at that point.

Although Mike doesn’t explain to Saul the significance of the date, he declares that he would return on December 8, 2001, the day his son Matt was slain. He then adds he would go even further back to March 17, 1984, the day he first accepted a bribe, after giving it some more thought. Saul, on the other hand, can only picture going back in time to 1965 in order to invest in Berkshire Hathaway.

The End of Saul Goodman

I’ll stop talking about the past now and move on to the satisfying conclusion. Gene Takovic is discovered very early on in “Saul Gone,” despite AMC’s brilliantly deceptive final episode trailer. But Gene in captivity is anything but a letdown. Regardless of his name—Jimmy, Saul, or anything else—the person the police hold in custody poses a greater threat in a courtroom than anywhere else. And that brings on the episode’s first burst of fireworks.

Saul Goodman is informed by the unbeatable prosecutor put in charge of his case that the total sentence for all of the crimes against him is a life sentence plus 190 years. But because he’s a decent guy, he’ll give him a 30-year offer just once. Saul executes his best trick yet after detecting weakness.

The Name’s McGill, Jimmy McGill

Better Call Saul’s dramatic scene was always going to take place in court. After all, this is a legal drama. The formality of Jimmy’s arraignment in Albuquerque is intended. He has an agreement with the state, and according to Bill Oakley, this judge always upholds those agreements (even if they are absurd like this one is).

But from the time Jimmy learned that Kim was in difficulty, he had no plans to carry out this agreement. He drags himself up to the witness stand, takes the court’s solemn oath, and then erupts in a holy torrent of upright admissions and much more upright lies. Jimmy is honest when it comes to Walter White. He was first wary of the man, but after realizing how much money there was in the meth business, he plunged deeply into Heisenberg’s world. He also speaks the truth about Chuck. Jimmy could have given him more effort. Instead, Chuck committed suicide after having his malpractice insurance canceled.

But more crucially, he misrepresents Kim. He alone is responsible for Howard Hamlin’s death, and it was his fault. Kim was not involved in any way. In order to receive his Blue Bell ice cream, he told the police a bunch of lies. He also wanted Kim to see this in court.

Better Call Saul Again

However, that’s not actually the end, is it? In the instants following Jimmy’s triumphant moment in court, “Saul Gone” makes one of its more intriguing decisions. One of Jimmy’s fellow detainees recognizes him as Saul Goodman as Jimmy is being carried away to jail (and not a luxurious federal penitentiary with a golf program at that). While Jimmy tries to refute the charge, word quickly spreads around the bus like wildfire, and before you know it, a bus full of delighted men is yelling, “Better call Saul!”

Then, while still in custody, we observe that a guard and a prisoner working in the kitchen both refer to Jimmy as “Saul.” No matter how noble Jimmy’s courtroom epiphany was, the world still views him as the notorious conman. And what about that? Jimmy appears to be mostly ok with that. Maybe finding peace wasn’t about rejecting one aspect of who he was, but rather about figuring out how to combine both whiles (and this is an important part) without hurting anyone.

Are There Any More Breaking Bad Cameos?

You betcha, I say! The show contains one final gift for Breaking Bad fans in addition to the previously mentioned Walter White and Mike Ehrmantraut (who doesn’t really count because he appeared in Better Call Saul). Marie (Betsy Brandt), the widow of Hank Schrader, makes her television debut while listening in on Saul’s plea negotiations. She is later joined by Steve Gomez’s widow Blanca, who was mentioned on Breaking Bad but was never depicted before, during the arraignment.

Is this the End of the Breaking Bad Universe?

According to Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan, this is the last episode set in the Albuquerque universe. It’s also difficult to picture another spinoff succeeding without him or Saul’s creator Peter Gould. Even the most aesthetically devoid corporate executive must understand that this universe has run its course, right? AMC doesn’t exactly have a good track record when it comes to letting sleeping material lie, especially with The Walking Dead growing into one of TV’s most overwhelming properties. …right???

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