The perfect ending to one of the best spin-offs in the history of television sees several old faces poignantly return, while maintaining focus on the two characters that gave the show heart and soul in this thematic and emotionally resonant finale.
- Satisfying, logical conclusion for Saul Goodman and the Breaking Bad Universe
- Terrific use of returning characters and callbacks
- Tense, unpredictable moments
- Jimmy McGill and Kim Wexler
NOTE: This review contains spoilers for Better Call Saul season 6 episode 13, "Saul Gone." You can read previous recaps for Better Call Saul season 6 right here.
From the first Cinnabon to one final cigarette, Better Call Saul has established itself as a rarity; a spin-off to a masterpiece that actually managed to surpass said masterpiece. In fact, after six terrific seasons, the most impressive thing was not how it got us to invest in it as a continuation of Breaking Bad, but how we grew to love it independently as Better Call Saul. It established its own identity, made us fall in love with its unique characters and took an indecent con-man and got us to see him for more than just his parlor tricks. For all those reasons, a perfect ending full of pathos and heart is the only thing befitting of this series.
Jumping between scenes that represent key points in the story of Saul Goodman and the present, "Saul Gone" starts out with a final scene between Saul (Bob Odenkirk) and Mike (Jonathan Banks). Fans will recognize this as an unseen moment from the season 5 episode, "Bagman." After suffering in the desert and questioning his own fate for hours, Saul comes across a water reserve and satiates his thirst immediately. He then contemplates the possibility of taking Lalo’s money and running away, before asking Mike what he’d do with a time machine — the start of a recurring motif. Mike opens up about the day he took his first bribe. He poses the same question to Saul, who deflects and throws up a smokescreen about getting richer.
Present day, Saul is sprinting from Marion’s (Carol Burnett) home after she alerted authorities. The exciting, unpredictable sequence sees Saul trying to stay ahead of the police and find a moment to call the Vacuum Cleaner salesman. It’s all for naught, however, as he’s finally caught in a dumpster; Slippin’ Jimmy having fallen from the top to the gutter. In jail, he gets an inspired idea on how to "end on top" with the aid of good old Bill Oakley (Peter Diseth) from the courthouse.
With Bill, Saul enters a plea bargain with the government. Present at the discussion is Marie Schrader (Betsy Brandt). Naturally wanting the maximum sentence on him for his involvement in Hank and Steve Gomez’s deaths, Marie is surprised (though not at all swayed) by Saul’s well-rehearsed testimony about being a victim of Walter White’s reign as much as Hank. Even though it doesn’t convince anyone in the room, the prosecutor knows there’s enough rationale in Saul’s words to convince even a single jury member to let him go.
Saul’s able to reduce what would be a brutal life sentence all the way down to seven years in a cushy minimum security prison. He tries to toss in the truth about Howard as a bargaining chip, but learns that Kim (Rhea Seehorn) confessed to everything already.
The show cuts to the moment where Saul and Walter White (Bryan Cranston) wait to be delivered their new lives. Once again, in a position where he’s left to question his fate, Saul brings up the time machine question to Walt, who, in true Heisenberg fashion, tells Saul to speak plainly about regrets. Walt brings up the events surrounding Gray Matter as his biggest regret. Saul, once more, deflects and talks about breaking his knee during a con. To which, Walt dismissively comments, "so you were always like this."
Back in the present, Saul convinces Bill to move forward with presenting another bargaining chip involving Kim and Howard’s murder. Kim, who is getting back into the legal world by volunteering at a legal aid practice for the defenseless, gets a call warning her that he’s threatening to give testimony against her about Howard. This prompts her to head back down to New Mexico for the trial.
However much to Kim’s and everyone else’s surprise, Saul isn’t there to bargain further. He’s there to officially risk his impressive plea bargain and finally come clean about all his regrets, fully inspired by Kim’s example. Jimmy McGill, who was beaten down by the world, his family and loved ones and his addictions into becoming Saul Goodman and Gene Takovic, has managed to return, in spite of the consequences befalling him. He just wanted to make sure the love of his life and moral compass, Kim Wexler, was there to see it.
The final flashback is a conversation between Chuck (Michael McKean) and Jimmy. Jimmy completes shopping and ice replacement for Chuck, who muses on why his brother is choosing to do this. It’s a rare moment of acknowledgement from Chuck in the good man Jimmy is deep down, though peppered with the condescending notion about Jimmy needing to "change his path." Frustrated by the forever bitter relationship between them, both brothers go their separate ways, as Chuck grabs his copy of The Time Machine from the counter.
Jimmy, accepting the fate he deserves, heads to prison. Even though Saul is gone, the legend lives on among the inmates of the prison, as they recognize him and welcome him as a hero to thunderous chants. Though that’s not the man he is anymore, it’s still a persona he can leverage to get by for the rest of his days there, baking bread and making nice with his fellow prisoners.
Jimmy receives a visit from his "lawyer," Kim. In the final moments of the show, Kim Wexler and Jimmy McGill are reunited to share a final cigarette with one another, backs against the wall, similar to one of their first scenes in the series. As Kim leaves the prison, she and Jimmy share a meaningful look, as he gives her the finger guns she once gave him. She takes one final look back at her ex-husband, as the series beautifully cuts to a bittersweet black.
The final episodes of Better Call Saul are available to stream in the US on AMC Plus, with past seasons available on Netflix. In the UK, all episodes, including the series finale, are available on Netflix.
Mike is a proud, sarcastic nerd with a penchant for comic books, comic book movies, and movies in general, and occasional delusions of grandeur. He's also a UC Berkeley graduate who decided to go into writing over pre-med because he figured he'd ultimately save more lives by not being a doctor. He's a Slytherin and a Pisces, so he's very emotionally sensitive, yet also evil, but can be defeated by exploiting his insecurities. His goal is to live one hell of a unique life, and it's been working so far! His proudest moments are being retweeted by James Gunn and Ryan Reynolds in the same week, and getting 999,999 points on Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters at Disneyland.
You can find Mike's writing around the web at publications like The Nerds of Color, What to Watch, Spoiler Free Reviews, and That's It LA.
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