Entertainment

‘Better Call Saul’ Series Finale Review: Past, Present and Future Collide in ‘Breaking Bad’ Spinoff Episode 13

Never exactly a racehorse in terms of pacing, the extra-long finale continued to continue the show’s slow-and-steady strategy, which this season included an entire episode seemingly devoted to a funny sight gag inside the show. ‘a big store.

Yet the series reached a logical if understated conclusion, one that saw Jimmy/Saul (Bob Odenkirk) engage in a single noble and selfless act in order to get back together, however fleetingly, with his ex, Kim Wexler (Rhea Seehorn). His fate has always been the show’s most fundamental mystery, and the key to Jimmy’s evolution (or descent) into the fast-talking huckster he has become.

Having been caught in a dumpster by a medical alert bracelet (creating an invaluable guest role for Carol Burnett), Saul got down to doing what he does best, which is playing the system.

It was something, as Walter White (Bryan Cranston) observed in a sharp flashback, that he was always prone to do, which is why he couldn’t resist going back to his larceny ways. , which ultimately led to his capture.

“So you were always like that,” Walt said.

Back in his element, arguing on his own behalf, Saul seems to have once again thwarted the prosecution by getting an absurdly light sentence. This was despite fellow “Breaking Bad” alum, Marie Schrader (Betsy Brandt), seeking justice for her after-the-fact complicity in the death of her husband, Hank.

The “Bad” characters served a purpose, with fellow transplant recipient Mike (Jonathan Banks) expressing thinly veiled contempt when Saul asks him about a time machine, saying he would use it to invest smartly and become a billionaire.

” That’s it ? Money ? Mike sneered.

In the end, however, Saul found something more important, as what seemed to be less about saving Kim or freeing her from a possible trial, than simply seeing her again. It was an expensive cigarette in terms of the years added to his sentence, but all things considered, it was worth it to him, reclaiming at least a piece of his soul.

Written and directed by Peter Gould (who co-created the show with Vince Gilligan), “Saul” obviously couldn’t provide the same fireworks that distinguished the “Breaking Bad” finale, but it proved satisfying. in a way that felt true to the show.

Notably, “Better Call Saul” had never won an Emmy in any category before the current season. In addition to its pending nominations, this second batch of episodes – which aired outside of the current eligibility window – will likely put the series, and perhaps in particular Odenkirk, who survived a death experience imminent to deliver the performance of a lifetime, in affirmation for next year, assuming anyone remembers that long.

With his cover blown at the start of the episode, Saul showed his priorities by trying to take his money and run away. In the end, though, first Kim and then Saul/Jimmy had to atone for what, in hindsight, was the show’s pivotal moment: how their shared glee at perpetrating scams ultimately came to fruition, if only only inadvertently, upon the death of Howard (Patrick Fabian).

By then, all innocence was lost, drawing a straight line back to Jimmy’s “Breaking Bad” years and his dull, colorless future.

Even then, Cinnabon’s extensive experience with baked goods would come in handy, a skill he demonstrated applying in his new role as a prisoner. Because like “Breaking Bad,” “Better Call Saul” always found ways to bring the past, present, and future together, even if it was something as small as Jimmy’s talent for manipulating another guy. paste.

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