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“Let justice be done though the heavens fall.”
The quote that echoed like a threat throughout Better Call Saul was finally realized in its series finale, which aired on AMC Monday, August 15. The thirteenth episode of Season 6, chillingly titled “Saul Gone,” answered a bunch of burning fan questions, tied up some serious loose ends, and served as a gut-wrenching goodbye to one of TV’s most beloved prequels and unexpectedly brilliant dramas.
The penultimate episode of Better Call Saul, “Waterworks”, brought fans back to the Breaking Bad days where Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk) and Kim Wexler (Rhea Seehorn) were signing their divorce papers. In Gene’s black and white timeline, viewers finally got to see Kim’s post-Albuquerque fate. She wears her hair long, dark, and crucially not in a ponytail. She sports an unstylish wardrobe and dates a dud who has trouble shopping for mayonnaise and moans “yep!” during sex. She lives in Florida and works her dull days away at a company called Palm Coast Sprinkler. It’s a boring uneventful existence for Kim, until Viktor St. Clair (Omaha’s friendly neighborhood Gene Takavic) calls her at work to check in after six years.
Kim urges Gene to turn himself in and he questions why she hasn’t done the same. She tells him she’s glad he’s still alive and swiftly hangs up, but his words inspire a trip to Albuquerque where she visits the old courthouse and meets with Howard Hamlin’s widow, Cheryl. Kim gives her an affidavit explaining Howard’s death in great detail. She comes clean about Gus, Lalo, the staged suicide, and her and Jimmy’s involvement before heading back to Florida and breaking down in tears.
Meanwhile, “Waterworks” shows Gene breaking into a mark’s home while Jeff (Pat Healy) is parked out front in his getaway cab. Gene’s reckless behavior makes more sense now that we know what was said in his phone call with Kim, but he’s acting so careless he barely escapes the mark’s house. The police arrest Jeff, so Gene calls his mom Marion (Carol Burnett) to bail him out of jail. When he accidentally mentions Albuquerque in the call, Marion looks him up using Ask Jeeves and puts all the pieces together. When Gene arrives, Marion threatens to call the cops and he threatens to strangle her with the phone cord. Marion presses her LifeAlert button and reports Saul Goodman’s whereabouts, so the final scene shows Gene running for cover. That’s where the finale picks up.
So what goes down in the Better Call Saul series finale? Do Jim/Saul/Gene and Kim survive their post-Breaking Bad Season 6 scenes? And does Better Call Saul‘s series finale mean the end of the Breaking Bad Universe? Here’s everything you need to know about the ending of Better Call Saul Season 6 (and beyond) explained…
Better Call Saul‘s sixth and final season chronicles Jimmy McGill’s complete transformation into Saul Goodman. It shows the aftermath of Season 5’s failed assassination attempt on Lalo Salamanca (Tony Dalton), including Nacho Varga (Michael Mando), Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks), and Gustavo Fring (Giancarlo Esposito) scrambling to regain the upper hand. We see Saul and Kim staging an elaborate attack on Howard Hamlin’s (Patrick Fabian) character, then finally having to face repercussions for their actions.
In Gene’s world, the Omaha Cinnabon manager has decided to clean up his own mess. In Season 5, Jeff the cab driver recognized Gene as Saul Goodman and threatened to blow his cover. Last time we saw Gene he had called vacuum repairman Ed Galbraith (the late Robert Forster), aka the Disappearer, to tell him he got made and needed a new identity. Before the call concluded, Gene let Ed know he changed his mind and planned to deal with the problem himself.
“Saul Gone”, written and directed by show runner Peter Gould, opens with shots of the Albuquerque desert; a flashback to the Season 5 episode “Bagman”. We see Jimmy’s old 1998 Suzuki Esteem hood-down where him and Mike left it, followed by new footage of Saul dunking his head into pool of water. Mike tells him to slow down or he’ll make himself sick, and the two sit down to rest.
Saul says they’re sitting on $7 million and suggests they take the cash, split it, and take off. Mike reminds him it’s not theirs to keep and that some people who would have a problem with them stealing it. Saul tells him not to worry, they’ll use $6 million to build a time machine and escape the consequences.
He asks Mike where he’d take the time machine to first. “March 17, 1984,” Mike says, “the day I took my first bribe.” Saul says he’d go to 1965, invest his share of the money, and become a billionaire. “That’s it? Nothing you’d change?” Mike asks. Saul looks remorseful for a moment, then snaps, “I’m rested,” and they keep moving.
We cut to where “Waterworks” left off. Gene escapes Marion’s house, but not before she reports his license plate number. He gets home and sees police parked outside, so he slips out the window and makes a run for it, carrying only his box of Saul-era mementos. A helicopter flies overhead as he sprints for cover, and with cops around every corner he hops in a dumpster and waits. He pulls out the card for the vacuum repairman and recites the infamous code words, “Hoover Max Extract Pressure Pro Model 60,” but the police find him before he has a chance to call for help.
At long last, Gene’s in jail — or should we say, Saul now — and the cops are in the other room watching his old commercials. He uses his phone call to ring Krista at Cinnabon and tells her to call the main office and let them know they’ll need a new manager. The end of an era. He paces his cell, angrily punches the wall, collapses in pain, and bursts into laughter at the sight of “My lawyer will ream your ass” etched into a cinderblock.
He asks for another phone call, rings his old pal Bill Oakley (Peter Diseth), and asks him to be his advisory council. “Where do you see this ending?” Oakley asks. “With me on top, like always,” Saul replies.
Oakley flies to Saul and escorts him into a room where a possible sentence of life plus 190 years is being discussed. Saul receives a one time offer of 30 years and declines, asking for agent Hank Schrader’s widow to come join them. Surprise! Marie (Betsy Brandt) sits down and speaks kind words about “the good guys,” her late husband Hank and his partner Steve Gomez. Saul empathizes, but says he’s a victim of Walter White too, and he only committed crimes because he feared for his life. His words seem genuine, but he suddenly gets cocky and says all he needs is one juror to buy his story.
They hammer Saul’s sentence down to seven and a half years, but before he takes the deal Saul tries to trade info on Howard Hamlin’s murder, only to find out that the information is useless because Kim already confessed.
The show flashes back to Jimmy and Walter White hiding out in a basement in Breaking Bad. As Walt’s trying to fix the hot water Jimmy whips out the time machine question again. Walt says he regrets stepping away from the company he and his friends started as a grad student. Jimmy says he regrets pulling a slip and fall and cracking his knee when he was 22, proving he’s still incapable of answering the question honestly.
Back in black and while we see Saul on a plane being escorted by a U.S. Marshal. He tells Oakley as soon as they land he has more info about Howard to trade. Then we see Kim, living her dull Florida life. She drives to a Central Florida Legal Aid office that offers free legal service and asks to volunteer. There she receives word that Saul got arrested and is giving testimony that impacts her.
“It’s showtime,” Saul says in the courtroom ahead the trial we’ve all been waiting for: United States vs Saul Goodman. He’s representing himself and Kim’s in attendance, along with Hank and Steve’s wives.
Saul takes the stand and purposefully changes his testimony so he’ll be sworn in under oath and can vow that he lied about Kim’s involvement with Howard’s murder. He uses his time before the judge to say, “The fact is, Walter White couldn’t have done it without me.” Then he expresses remorse for Howard’s death and confesses to driving his brother Chuck to suicide. When the judge asks Saul to settle down, and he replies, “The name’s McGill. I’m James McGill.”
In a flashback to Jimmy dropping off Chuck’s groceries we see him leave The Time Machine by H.G. Wells, and suddenly the question makes sense. He always carried Chuck’s memory with him.
We see Jimmy being transported to prison on a bus, where a convict recognizes him as Saul Goodman and spreads the word. The entire bus starts chanting “Better Call Saul!” and Jimmy flashes a little smile. In prison, he’s flexing his Cinnabon skills to bake bread when a guard escorts him to his lawyer. It’s Kim. Turns out her New Mexico bar card doesn’t have an expiration date. She hands him a cigarette and the lean against the wall and share a smoke like the good old days.
Kim tells Jimmy he got 86 years for the stunt he pulled in court, and he replies, “Yeah, but with good behavior, who knows?”
In one of the final shots of the series Kim walks away from the ADX prison and stares at Jimmy through a line of fences. He shoots finger guns at her, and that’s Saul, folks.
Surprisingly? Nobody. Unlike the apocalyptic ending of Breaking Bad, and even the violence of Jesse Pinkman’s (Aaron Paul) swan song El Camino, the end of Better Call Saul finds Jimmy and Kim with new leases on life; not death.
I’m not sure anybody really knows the answer to this question, but co-showrunner Vince Gilligan recently said he has “no plans” to continue the Breaking Bad Universe post-Better Call Saul.
“You can’t keep putting all your money on red 21 over and over again,” Gilligan said at the Television Critics Association’s 2022 summer tour. “I feel like we probably pushed it doing a spinoff to Breaking Bad. I could not be more happy with the results. And then I did El Camino, and I’m very proud of that too. But I’m starting to sense you gotta know when to leave the party. You don’t want to be the guy with the lampshade on your head… I don’t have any plans right now to do anything more with this universe. I know I was asked that at the end of Breaking Bad; I gave the same answer. I gotta prove to myself that I’ve got something else in me, [that] I’m not a one-trick pony.”
“There are some other things that I want to try,” Better Call Saul co-showrunner Peter Gould added. “Having said that, I love Albuquerque. I love Bob, I love Rhea, I love Vince, I love the whole group. So we’ll keep as much of the band together as we can. And also never say never. Who knows how we’re going to feel in a couple of years?”
The concept of extending the Breaking Bad Universe is a controversial one amongst fans. Even TV critics disagree, with some arguing Gould and Gilligan should let perfection lie and others eager to explore other stories and spend more time with Better Call Saul‘s captivating, complex characters. No matter where you fall on the scale, there’s no denying that the Breaking Bad to Better Call Saul pipeline has been one hell of a remarkable, terrifying, at times painful ride.
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