*WARNING* CONTAINS SPOILERS on Better Call Saul Season Six and Series Finale.
Everyone has their own opinion on this show. However, I’d be willing to debate with anybody out there when it comes to the quality of the acting and writing involved with Better Call Saul. The performances from the entire cast have been superb. The dialogue of the show has been nearly flawless when it comes to weaving the storylines involved (past, present and future) all together with Breaking Bad. There are certain aspects of Better Call Saul that I’ve enjoyed even more than Breaking Bad, and I’m not alone on that.
Saul and Kim
The two core pieces of what made Better Call Saul a huge success on-screen were the characters of Jimmy McGill/Saul Goodman/Gene and the absolutely stunning Kimberly Wexler. Their relationship was a rollercoaster of hijinks and con artistry and passion. I can see where someone who is single may not enjoy all the nuances of their bond but those of us that are in a relationship can appreciate their plight. Ultimately, the dangers surrounding them got too real and things fell apart. They had a good run though.
The way that they wrapped up Kim’s storyline was heart-wrenching. She ended up being a conflicted and burdensome shell of her former self. The person that used to be a respected and admired lawyer gave it all up to live a more safe yet unfulfilling life. Rhea Seehorn was perfect in this role and deserves all the awards that should be coming her way. Her portrayal of Kim was so natural and believable. It was easy to become invested in her character and I will miss seeing Kim Wexler.
The final chapter of Saul Goodman (or his other aliases) made me feel sad for him. Yes, he was always a shyster and a manipulator during his various stages in life. There was a time where it was amusing and funny to watch him hoodwink others and screw people over. Then it eventually got dark and desperate and it made him seem like a horrible person. It was nice, and quite surprising, to see him own up to things and actually pay the price for his crimes. His brutal honesty in the final court scene was a major curveball.
Bob Odenkirk was tremendous in reprising this role from Breaking Bad. I honestly didn’t care much for his part in BB but I was very invested in this BCS version. The persona of Saul makes you ponder what you could or would be like if things didn’t go your way. How would you cope with living out your days without the love of your life? Once Kim was gone, all of his worst instincts took over and consumed him. At least he got to make amends with her at the end and have some peace with it all.
Walter White and Pinkman Cameos
I expected a little bit more of Walter White and Jesse Pinkman in this final season. The articles and social media posts leading up to this last half of the finale season indicated that they would be more involved than the end product showed. It mostly ended up being one Breaking Bad scene that they reshot. Yes, Jesse had his brief interaction with Kim. Walter also had a little exchange with Saul. It just felt like they could have done more with Walter and Pinkman. I was anticipating something along the lines of showing us a juicy tidbit or two that we hadn’t really seen before. Similar to how we got to see many different aspects of the Gus Fring character. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be.
The surprise scene-stealer was Carol Burnett as she played the vulnerable yet ornery Marion. What a treat it was to see her come into this world and interact with Gene (Saul). This was exquisite casting and it really added to the final season. She played this elderly woman part with such panache. Carol still has that ”it factor” that commands attention and respect. It’s that same charm and moxie that made her one of the most famous female comedians to ever live. She left me wishing that Marion would have been included with the series even more.
This show had a different and unique vibe to each season. Initially, before the very first episode aired, I was skeptical about the entire concept being centered around ”that lawyer guy”. Boy, did they prove us doubters wrong. There was such great storytelling and drama and intensity. This series made you feel things. Yes, there weren’t always the crazy explosions and ridiculous action of its parent series, but BCS was a more calculated and subtle take on the movers and shakers of Albuquerque.
Michael McKean was so poignant in the role of Chuck McGill. If there was a third person that made the series really take off, it was definitely him. He portrayed mental illness with such a raw edge to it that it actually made you feel sympathy for him despite the hate that he so often elicited. His part as Jimmy/Saul’s brother helped us understand why Jimmy was the way that he was. Imagine how Chuck would have dealt with Coronavirus quarantine. Yikes…
Which Series is Better? BCS or BB?
I can’t pick between the two because they both have their pros and cons. Overall, Better Call Saul will remain one of my favorite TV series of all-time. I wrote a mid-season review a few months back and was actually right about a couple things. I figured that eventually Saul would have to pay for his past sins and now he has. We also knew that Kim would basically be out of the picture and she was until the very end where she tied up the loose ends with Jimmy. Not that those things were hard to predict, but the way that it unfolded created excitement and intrigue.
I enjoyed the back and forth of the different time frames that they went into on the last few episodes. The producers and show runners also made it easy to decipher with the black and white aspect on the post-Breaking Bad era scenes. The sequence that really got me in the final episode was when Kim comes into the prison as Jimmy’s lawyer to say goodbye. The way they shared that cigarette and looked deeply into each other’s eyes was very well done. It was a great moment that encompassed the entire series.
Unfortunately, Kim couldn’t save him from himself as hard as she tried for years. There wasn’t anything that she could have done along the way to change that.
Look for my future TV series reviews, pro wrestling columns and more right here at DiscussPW.com. I plan on returning with a weekly piece in October.