“Jimmy Returns to the Light in ‘Saul Gone’ (RECAP)”
Better Call Saul‘s series finale has arrived and it’s a jam-packed episode filled with twists, turns, cameos, and more.
The aptly titled entry, “Saul Gone,” picks up where last week’s cliffhanger left off as Marion (Carol Burnett) called for authorities to capture Saul (Bob Odenkirk), who had been going by the name Gene Takovic. What follows is a heart-wrenching and perfectly fitting cap to a complex prequel series, serving both Better Call Saul and its predecessor Breaking Bad. Below, we’re breaking it all down, so beware of spoilers ahead.
Mike’s Time Machine
As the episode opens with color over black-and-white, fans should pick up on the fact that the sequence is a flashback. Other pieces of imagery like money stuck in a shrub, foil blankets, and Jimmy’s destroyed car reveal a moment from his grand escape from the desert with Mike (Jonathan Banks). Set among the events depicted in Season 5’s, “The Bagman,” Jimmy and Mike stumble upon a water well where the lawyer immediately dunks his head. Taking a breather, the men sit on the duffle bags containing Lalo’s (Tony Dalton) bail money.
When Jimmy points out that they’re sitting on seven million dollars, Mike points out that it isn’t theirs, but Jimmy wonders what if it could be. Jimmy then ponders, what if they took that money and made a time machine, he asks Mike where he’d go. At first, Mike says December 8, 2001 (presumably the night his son was killed), but he quickly changes it to March 17, 1984, the day he took his first bribe.
Mike asks Jimmy where he’d go and he reveals he’d go back to May 10, 1965, a day Warren Buffet rose to power at Berkshire Hathaway. He says he’d invest the extra money and come back to his own time to find he’s a billionaire. When Mike wonders if it’s all about money, he further asks Jimmy if there’s anything he’d change but he doesn’t offer any ideas.
Caught Dirty Handed
In the “present” timeline, Jimmy runs from Marion’s house as she provides emergency responders with information about his car and description. At home, Jimmy digs out his go box and makes a run out the back window as his police scanner tips him off to authorities patrolling the neighborhood. When he hears a helicopter overhead, he makes a run for it. Ultimately, he winds up trapped in an alley and decides to hop into a dumpster. Inside he opens his shoebox to take out the tin containing diamonds and the card with instructions about disappearing. As he tries opening up the burner phone he’s going to use to make the call, Jimmy knocks over the tin and desperately tries scooping up the diamonds and also tries making hast with the call, but soon a knock sounds from above and he exits with hands up.
In the station, he sits cuffed to a bench where he watches a group of cops in another room who are viewing his commercials. When it’s time for his phone call, Jimmy rings one of his coworkers at Cinnabon and asks her to take charge in his absence before telling her she needs to call the head offices for a new manager.
When he’s put into a cell, Jimmy begins pacing and repeatedly questions himself, “this is how they get you?” He’s in disbelief that he’s been caught and is angry at himself to the point where he begins punching the cell door. Falling back in pain, he sits against the wall and notices some choice graffiti etched into one of the stones. “My lawyer will ream your ass,” is scratched into the wall, and it leads Jimmy into a fit of laughter.
Begging for another call, he rings Bill Oakely (Peter Diseth) who is in shock to hear from the criminal. He informs Bill that he’s going to be a part of Saul Goodman’s advisory council as he faces criminal charges, but Bill is reluctant at first. Jimmy ultimately talks him into flying to Omaha to work alongside him in exchange for clout. When Bill asks what Jimmy plans to accomplish, he says he plans to come out on top like always.
Facing the Music
As Bill and Jimmy prepare to walk into a meeting, he notices Marie (Betsy Brandt) speaking to a lawyer in a separate room. Sitting beside Bill in front of a panel, Jimmy’s told what charges he faces and how much time he could end up in prison for. With counts for being an accessory to murder along with the drug charges, Jimmy’s facing a life sentence plus 190 years in prison.
Ultimately, they’re all there to discuss making a deal that could end up being 30 years with parole for good behavior. But Jimmy doesn’t seem to notice, he is preoccupied looking at the one-way window he knows Marie is behind. He asks to her join them for the discussion and she says her piece. She mentions how she heard he was found in a dumpster and proceeds to tell him what a good person her husband Hank (Dean Norris) was and how his partner Gomez (Steven Michael Quezada) was also brutally murdered for no reason, leaving behind a wife and three kids.
As she lays out all of the wrongdoings, she questions why he’d do it all for money. She then goes on to say how there isn’t a long enough period of time for him to go to prison. Once she stops talking, Jimmy appears to get choked up, he compliments Hank and mentions how he met him a few times. He goes on to recount his introduction to Walter White (Bryan Cranston) and how it scared him.
He provides evidence by giving the date October 4, 2009, saying that it’s a day Walt had several men murdered in prison, as depicted in Breaking Bad‘s Season 5 episode, “Gliding Over All.” Jimmy even tells them the name of one of the victims, saying he was a colleague of his. He maintains that he ran from Walt and Jesse (Aaron Paul) and stayed gone because Jesse is still out there.
Marie’s lawyer questions Jimmy, asking if that’s what he plans to feed to a jury, and Jimmy counters that he only needs one person to believe him. The fear of losing their case makes the prosecution willing to work on negotiations with Jimmy.
One Last Scheme
Once the logistics of Jimmy’s plea bargain are set in stone, the prosecution reads out the details, which leave Jimmy with only seven and a half years behind bars. He also argues that he should be permitted to choose his prison, selecting one in the Carolinas that has a golf program, he also asks that he receive Blue Bell mint chocolate chip ice cream once a week. Believing he can sweeten the deal, even more, Jimmy offers information on Howard Hamlin’s (Patrick Fabian) death, something that makes them all laugh. They tell Jimmy he mustn’t be in touch with his ex Kim (Rhea Seehorn) because she filed an affidavit detailing everything.
Bill speaks up for Jimmy, saying that they’ll take the deal and from there he’s to be extradited to New Mexico for court proceedings.
The next sequence brings viewers back to color as Jimmy lays in bed and hears a screeching sound. Instead of being in prison though, he’s in the secret living space where Ed (Robert Forster) held his customers until they could be moved. Jimmy’s bunkmate is none other than Walter White who is eager to fix a pipe providing hot water. As he makes noise and fiddles around, Jimmy tries having a conversation. He mentions how Walt is a scientist and then poses the question Mike asked him years ago, where would Walt go if he had a time machine? Walt doesn’t willingly acknowledge the question, noting that it goes against science and isn’t based in reality.
He mentions how this is a question about regret, and when it comes to that, he mostly regrets allowing Elliot (Adam Godley) and Gretchen (Jessica Hecht) to push him out of their company Gray Matter. He notes how he wouldn’t be in this predicament otherwise. Hearing this, Jimmy wonders why Walt never came to him for advice as he could have helped him get what he was owed, but Walt says he’s the last lawyer he would have reached out to.
As their conversation continues, Walt asks Jimmy about his regrets, but instead of saying anything about Kim or his brother Chuck (Michael McKean), Jimmy mentions a slip and fall scheme he pulled at 20. He tells Walt that he hurt his knee and it’s never been the same. The drug kingpin’s response is, “you were always like this?”
Kim in the Air
When the show returns to the present, Jimmy is on an airplane seated next to an air marshall who is reluctant to allow the criminal to speak with his lawyer Bill as he walks past on his way to the lavatory. Jimmy wonders if what he says in front of the air marshall is privileged and when he learns it isn’t he realizes he has the ears of the prosecution because of that.
Jimmy claims he remembers a detail surrounding Howard’s death that could help him, but admits that it will hurt Kim. Still, he proceeds with planting a seed, noting to Bill that it’s some really good “ice cream.
As for Kim, she’s continuing her Florida life where she lunches with her coworkers outside. Gathering her things inside, Kim tells her receptionist that she’s leaving early and she heads over to Central Florida Legal Aid, where she offers her skills to provide free legal advice to those in need.
Late at that office, Kim gets a call on her cell from Suzanne Ericsen (Julie Pearl) who informs her that Jimmy’s been arrested and is talking. She says that this call is unofficial, but she wants to warn Kim that what he’s saying could impact her own situation.
Catharsis for All
Heading into court sporting a suit reminiscent of Saul’s heyday, he enters the court in Albuquerque to see Kim sitting in the back. Sitting down next to Bill, he looks back at Kim and says under his breath that it’s “showtime.” The judge presiding over the case is informed that it’s the United States vs. Saul Goodman and acknowledges that the family of the victims, Marie Schrader and Blanca Gomez are sitting in to listen.
As the judge acknowledges the agreement that has been settled upon, she can’t help but take issue with the sentence length of seven and a half years. Speaking up, despite being told not to, Jimmy takes the podium and begins recounting the introduction he had to Walter White, but instead of acting like a victim himself, he says that Walt would have never gotten as far as he did without him.
The comment leads Bill to plead with Jimmy that he stands down, but he keeps on talking. Jimmy tells everyone he lied about Kim so she would be forced to attend, revealing that he wants her to hear what he has to say. He says what happened to Howard was horrible and he commends Kim for picking herself up and carrying on with life, admitting that he was the scared one who metaphorically ran away. He admits that he also wronged his brother Chuck, who ended up killing himself when Jimmy took what he loved most from him: the law.
It’s after these words that Jimmy calls himself by his real name, saying “I’m James McGill.” As the courtroom descends into a frenzy, Jimmy turns to look back at Kim as they longingly lock eyes with each other.
Chuck’s Final Goodbye
Flashing back to the past one more time, Jimmy arrives at Chuck’s house late one night with refills for his groceries. When Chuck says he can hire someone to do this for him, Jimmy refuses, saying he’s his brother and he wants to, noting that Chuck would do the same for him. Chuck then offers to talk about cases, but Jimmy brushes him off, hinting at some of the things he’s currently taking on and claiming they’re not great. Chuck tells Jimmy he can always pause and change his path, but once again Jimmy brushes him off. As he makes a quick exit, Chuck reaches for a book on the counter, H.G. Wells’s The Time Machine. A book we saw among Jimmy’s belongings during Season 6.
So Long Saul
On the bus ride to prison, a sign reveals he’s heading to ADX Montrose, a prison he specifically asked to avoid in initial negotiations. As he sits among his fellow inmates, they begin to recognize him, chanting “better call Saul” to the point of guards needing to step in. Realizing he’s like a god of sorts among these prisoners, is a little reassurance. As time passes, he works in the kitchen mixing bread like his job at Cinnabon. Just after putting a loaf in the oven, Jimmy’s told his lawyer is there.
When he walks into the room though, Kim is the one standing there. She asks for them to remove his cuffs and they’re left alone to talk. Checking out the window, she leads them to the back wall and offers him a cigarette. As they stand in the beam of light coming through the window above them, the cigarette’s burning end glows yellow, some color of the past when they’d smoke together in HHM’s garage coming back.
She admits she’s impressed that he managed to finagle a seven-year deal, noting that his stunt in court ended up putting him behind bars for 86 years. He argues that with good behavior anything is possible, but they both know that’s not really true. Jimmy’s dug a hole he can’t get out of, but the light’s finally shining on him. As she exits the prison, she looks back at the yard where Jimmy is standing by a chainlink fence. Staring at each other, he shoots her Saul’s famous finger guns, but this time she doesn’t do it back.
Taking one last peek at him, she walks away. So, what did you think of the finale? Let us know in the comments, below.
Better Call Saul, Series Finale, Streaming now, AMC+
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