Spoiler-Free Thoughts on the Better Call Saul Finale Season so far…
This is an adult show. At times it has the craziness and violence that you would expect but it is more naunced and delicate than its parent series. Yes, Better Call Saul is essentially a prequel series to Breaking Bad but it also stands on its own. The Sixth and final season has been very, very good to this point.
We’re on a midseason break now until July when the series resumes and finishes out its run. Without giving anything important away or speculating too much (since this is a spoiler-free piece) I will just say that the second part of this finale season is set up to go out in mind-blowing fashion. Connecting BCS to Breaking Bad is a tricky little dance but they are doing it effectively right now.
Breaking Bad Adjacent
How do you blend together Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul? There are a million ways that you could tie in these two series but it feels like they are continuing to tell the story that should be told. The writers are some of the best in all of entertainment. They make you pay attention because you become so invested in the characters, even if we know how a lot of the endgame works out.
There is a twist to that however, as we have continued to see Saul (with flash forward clips) throughout this series in a post-Breaking Bad timeframe. He has a new identity as a Cinnibon manager at a mall. This sad version of him comes across as broken and defeated. What is exactly going on in this future for Saul and just how bad is it? It doesn’t seem like an enjoyable time for him.
Even in that shithole of a future, he survives. He gets through his unsatisfying days slogging along at the mall. A menial customer service job in order to make ends meet and keep a low profile. He’s avoided being murdered by the cartel or arrested by the government. Is someone else after him that we aren’t aware of? He’s definitely paranoid in this future and he is scared of whatever lurks in the shadows. Something or someone is coming to collect. That’s the price you pay when you’re in the business of selling your soul to the devil.
The acting in Better Call Saul is amazing. Bob Odenkirk is the center of attention but his supporting cast is what really draws you in. Rhea Seehorn is a breakout star because of her work on BCS. She is underrated and under appreciated as Kim Wexler. Michael Mando is perfectly cast as Nacho Varga. Giancarlo Esposito is as disturbing and poignant as ever with his returning role as Gus Fring. They’re all great on this show.
The characters are tremendous. Even down to the demented wheel-chair bound, bell-ringing Hector Salamanca. Of course, you can’t take Lalo for granted either as he’s the most scary dude of them all. Mike Ehrmantraut, played by the incomparable Jonathan Banks, is my personal favorite. There’s something about the persona of Mike that I can relate to. He doesn’t put up with shit from anyone and he’s brutally honest at times. Those are qualities in a person that I can respect.
Future Time Frame
Bob Odenkirk and Rhea Seehorn have the best chemistry together of the entire bunch. The dynamics of the Saul/Kim relationship are a bit confusing at times but you can tell that they genuinely love each other. Kim and Saul are definitely “in over their heads” more often than not but they always seem to navigate their way through it all… so far. We know the plot eventually is going to take a turn but not knowing the path of how they get to that point is so intriuging.
Will they show more of the time frame of post-Breaking Bad where Saul is the Cinnabon manager? Who is still alive? Which characters will show up? Will Saul eventually have to pay the piper with his own life? Will it actually become more Breaking Bad than Better Call Saul at that point? All questions that we’ll get answered later this year.
It’s not a spoiler to mention that Walter White and Jesse Pinkman are going to play a role in this finale season at some point. What that ends up being is unclear, but AMC has been upfront about their involvement. If you missed the Pinkman-centric movie El Camino, which is also in this Breaking Bad genre and part of the overall story, make sure to check that out on Netflix too. They’ve done an admirable job in tying everything like that together while creating very sensible and quality canon for their fans.
This Column is Part One of Two
On this piece I had to explain things in generalities to avoid spoilers. I did not get into specifics on this particular column. When the entire series of Better Call Saul concludes later this year, I will do another wrap-up piece that will cover specific plot points. Then the spoilers will be flowing and all bets are off.
Until then, check out the rest of DiscussPW. We cover pro wrestling and entertainment here. I plan to review more TV shows in the future including Stranger Things and Lord of The Rings: The Rings of Power.