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#It’s Saul Gone In The Better Call Saul Series Finale

“It’s Saul Gone In The Better Call Saul Series Finale”

It’s shocking to think of how much has happened on “Better Call Saul.” When the show began, Jimmy’s brother Chuck was a major force, and antagonist. But Chuck is now dead, and it feels like he’s been gone for a very, very long time. Which makes his reappearance here in another flashback all the more jarring. It’s a moment where the two brothers attempt to get close to each other, but ultimately can’t. Chuck is too prickly, Jimmy is too defensive. “We always end up having the same conversation,” Chuck ultimately says, receding into the darkness of his house with a copy of “The Time Machine” in his hands. And this must be it — this must be Jimmy’s “time machine moment.” While his previous answers to his regrets were rather pathetic, this moment shows a glimpse of what could have been. Because here, in this flashback, Chuck does make an effort to try to reach out to his brother; to extend an olive branch. These two were diametrically opposed for their entire lives, but they were also brothers. And every now and then, Chuck would try to connect with Jimmy. Here, he wants to talk with Jimmy about his cases — but Jimmy, so used to Chuck’s crap, shrugs him off. 

We realize here, just like Jimmy, that this is the moment that could’ve changed it all. That if Jimmy had just stayed and talked with Chuck about his cases and his clients, every single thing could be different. But Jimmy doesn’t have a time machine; as Walt pointed out, they don’t — and can’t — exist. Which means this is only a memory. Or a glimpse of what could’ve been.

In the end, things end the only way they could. Having confessed his various crimes and blown up his deal, Jimmy McGill goes off to prison — and not the fancy Bernie Madoff prison, either. There’s a wonderful moment where Jimmy is headed to prison and recognized by the other convicts on the bus — all of whom begin chanting “BETTER CALL SAUL!” as a slight, knowing smile comes on Jimmy’s lips.

Finally, one day during his incarceration (it’s unclear how much time has passed), Jimmy gets a visit from his lawyer — who turns out to be Kim, of course. And she has a cigarette. I felt a pang in my heart here, remembering back to the first episode, when Jimmy and Kim stood in the shadows of the HHM parking garage and shared a smoke. Once again, they are shrouded in shadow here, with the lighting invoking film noir and German expressionism (lots of cell bar shadows cutting across faces and walls). 

As the two share a cigarette, we learn that Jimmy has been sentenced to a staggering 86 years. “With good behavior, who knows?” Jimmy winkingly says, and it’s bittersweet, and heartbreaking, and perfect. The idea of Jimmy rotting away in prison for the rest of his life is not a good one — but it’s ultimately fair. He was a criminal who did terrible things. He may not have physically killed anyone himself, but he played a major part in the empire of those who did. We want him to be free because we like him, but liking someone doesn’t determine justice. 

The show ends with a series of powerful shots. Outside the prison, Kim is walking to her car when she sees Jimmy, behind a fence across a courtyard. Kim, standing behind her own fence, watches him — and he shoots at her with finger guns, a knowing gesture they both understand. There’s a wide shot here of the two of them, separated by fences and distance and space and eternity. And as Kim finally walks away, we see Jimmy fade into the distance, the camera traveling, passing in front of a solid object, blocking him from our view forever. 

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