I’m back at last! I mark my return with a TV show, but this is no ordinary TV show, because this one I really like. Better Call Saul is a near perfect show, though it is a show I can see myself liking even more on a rewatch as now that the show is over, I can properly say I like it more than Breaking Bad. Since this is the final season of the show, there will definitely be spoilers, but towards the end behind the safety of a little dropdown box. Before that I’ll give a quick summary of the show, as I haven’t really discussed Better Call Saul in much detail on the site before, which will then be followed by my thoughts of this most recent season.
If you don’t know, Better Call Saul is the prequel/spin-off to Breaking Bad. The show is about struggling lawyer Jimmy McGill and his gradual transformation into the crooked sleezy lawyer Saul Goodman, from Breaking Bad. The show is also about his ever complicated relationship with Kim Wexler, a talented by the book lawyer who perversely enjoys indulging in Jimmy’s schemes. You also have Mike, an old time criminal who we see throughout the series get involved with the likes of the Salamanca’s and Gus Fring, characters who are known for being in Breaking Bad. Jimmy’s transformation into Saul Goodman is slow, but it is a rewarding one and I think because of that it helps make this the most subversive prequel I’ve seen. If you have seen Breaking Bad you already have a rough idea of where Better Call Saul might end up, yet the journey on how he gets there is not what you would expect. This is mainly down to the great writing, that not only improves on Breaking Bad but also adds another layer to that story. Better Call Saul is a very underrated show in comparison to its predecessor despite having its own share of standout moments, great episodes and characters. The characters especially, as some of my favourites are the ones introduced in Better Call Saul, which feels unheard of in a prequel. Howard is great and Nacho too, as he rivals Jesse for the most abused character in fiction, as these guys can never catch a break. Lalo Salamanca might be the best villain in recent memory, because he’s very charming yet at the same time he just as easily comes off as scary. Season 5 of BCS made Kim my favourite, because she’s just as unpredictable as the show, and is someone I can never take my eyes off.
Season 6 of Better Call Saul, unlike previous seasons, is made up of 13 episodes with two distinct halves. The first half focuses on the aftermath of season 5 with Jimmy and Kim ganging up on Howard and the looming threat of Lalo hanging over Gus’s empire. Whilst the second half focuses more on the post BCS and Breaking Bad timeline of following Jimmy under his alias as Cinnabon manager Gene. That’s as much as I’ll share in regards to plot until the spoiler portion. Everything I said in the previous paragraph in regards to the writing is still valid here. Although the second half is the biggest shift in the series as we have finally gotten to Breaking Bad times and beyond, which was a change I initially was hesitant to accept. I was so used to the slow pace that it felt really jarring when we were suddenly in another period of time. I did get used to the change and it really didn’t bother me afterwards as I had faith that the writers would give me something awesome and they did just that. The ending to Better Call Saul absolutely delivers, giving us a solid yet fitting conclusion. (A thing that feels quite rare for TV shows.) One final thing I want to mention is the underrated acting as it’s overlooked by major award shows like the Emmys. The acting in Better Call Saul is a sight to behold, from the main cast of characters and even including the supporting players.
Overall I don’t really have much to complain about this final season as it’s quite minute. It’s really solid engaging television, that you’re going to hate reaching the end of, because it’s that damn good! Not sure if it’s as great as season 5, but it might have a shot as I’m definitely going to rewatch the entire series at some point. I feel no need to specify if I’m recommending this show or not, but click the dropdown box below if you like some spoilers, otherwise I have been The Blog Complainer, signing out.
I guess we’ll go chronologically, so let’s talk about Nacho. The first few episodes of this season were slow as it always has been and I’m just biding my time waiting to see where it goes. This excludes Nacho’s story, which is just tense and stressful. When I said Nacho is one of the most abused character in fiction, this statement shines through with his brief appearance in this last season. He is pushed around by everyone and always seems to take the punches from either Gus or the Salamancas. The scenes of him on the run were tense, the final phone call to his unaware father is touching and his eventual return to Gus feels so cruel when you realise he’s going to hand him over to the Salamancas anyway. A great thing about this season is every main character that dies gets one hell of a final scene. Nacho ripping Hector and the rest of the Salamancas a new one and then killing himself is the happiest ending you could have gotten from a character like Nacho.
The antics of turning Howard into a drug addict is some good harmless fun. The whole set-up with getting photos as Saul dressed up as Howard with the junkie was my favourite. Though this fun stuff proves to still be the bane of Jimmy and Kim’s chaotic relationship. Kim gives up her job interview so she can help Jimmy reshoot the last big scam to bring down Howard. Though that also turns out to be a bad idea as Howard’s confrontation at Jimmy and Kim’s place leads to his untimely and shocking death at the hands of Lalo. For most of this season Mike has guys watching every place where Lalo might strike. Including a team tailing Kim, which is how the two meet, which is was great. Lalo is like a ghost this season as Gus’s security means nothing to him as he can be anywhere he wants with no hassle. Gus knows this and it scares him even when he’s hiding out in his second house. We learn Gus essentially has his own supervillain lair, as he lives in two mansions connected by an underground tunnel, with constant security on both. It sounds quite ridiculous, but I went with it as he is type of man that is so careful that he can sniff out a car bomb from 5 meters away. Ending an episode with Howard dead and Lalo showing up unannounced to ask Sal and Kim something, is such a cruel way to leave your audience hanging for a month.
The second half of the season is my favourite despite my earlier complaints in the spoiler free section. The mid-season premiere Point and Shoot would probably be my favourite episode of the season because it’s one of the most stressful hours of television you’ll ever see. Lalo sends Kim to assassinate Gus, if not he’ll kill Jimmy, then Lalo leaves Jimmy tied up with Howard’s body with no explanation to be heard of. The final confrontation with Lalo and Gus is another great moment for this show, which is topped off with Lalo’s death. Mike lecturing Kim and Saul to go on with their day like nothing happened is the perfect way to end that episode. The final episode set in the main timeline is the breaking point for Kim and Jimmy. Howard’s death and Lalo’s ghostly presence convinces Kim to leave Jimmy and escape this life and Jimmy decides to continue on his way to becoming Saul Goodman. They leave the time between Kim’s departure and when Saul meets Walter White, for us to fill in for ourselves, which I was a little disappointed by that considering how much detail went into explaining every other aspect of Saul’s life up till that point.
The final four episodes bring in Gene and the completion of Saul Goodman’s downfall. He befriends the guy that recognised him in the last season and now they’re planning clothes outlet heists and ripping off drunk rich people together. Though in the episode Breaking Bad that marks Walt and Jesse’s first appearance on this show, Saul’s greed leads to him going into hiding and finally getting arrested. It’s so fitting that Saul Goodman is taken down by an elderly woman considering the first half of the show was dedicated to him practicing elderly law and ripping them off. The other big thing that happens is we finally learn what happened to Kim and why she is never mentioned in Breaking Bad. Kim and Jimmy are divorced and Kim is living in Florida with an uninspiring job and an equally uninspiring boyfriend. Jimmy doesn’t even seem to think of Kim, until his call with Francesca asking about what’s going down in Albuquerque. Another great Kim moment for this show is after giving Howard’s widow a statement on his death where she breaks down on the bus after six years of living with this unbearable guilt. Perhaps it was the scene where the Emmys realised Rhea Seehorn should be getting nominated for this stuff, but we’re going off topic.
The series finale fits this show as well as the glass slipper did for Cinderella. The final court trial of the show is the fate of Saul Goodman, which feels so natural. There is a theme of releasing the skeletons from your closet, which seems most evident with Jimmy’s flashback with Chuck, where they were discussing Jimmy giving up on being a lawyer. That also seems to be the ultimate reason for Jimmy confessing to everything in open court and pretending to threaten Kim’s life, just so she could be there to witness it. A very fitting ending for this character renouncing himself as Saul Goodman and at last finding peace. An equally fitting end to Jimmy and Kim’s relationship as they smoke their last cigarette in prison together before they part ways again, very reminiscent of their first scene together. A nice bittersweet end for the best prequel show out there.