[Editor’s note: The following contains spoilers through the series finale of Better Call Saul, “Saul Gone.”]
Sometimes you watch an episode of television and see the running time and groan to yourself, “It’s done not should be more than an hour. ” But with Better Call Saul series finale, which clocks in at a cool 70-plus minutes (per AMC+, anyway), every extra second of goodbye is welcome.
After Gene Takovic (Bob Odenkirk) the unsuccessful attempt to run from the law, as summoned by that good old lady Marion (Carol Burnett), Gene’s identity is lost forever (after the last diligent phone call to Krista at Cinnabon ). Instead, Saul Goodman fits in (finally literally), using his fearsome weaseling abilities from “life plus 190 years” for many, more crimes he committed during his time as Walter White’s lawyer.
Even the presence of Marie Schrader (Breaking Badby Betsy Brandt who makes a welcome cameo) won’t stop the DA from risking his perfect conviction record on the unlikely chance that Saul will be able to maneuver his way to a hung jury. But just as Saul gets an almost perfect deal, an attempt to use his knowledge of the true fate of Howard Hamlin (Patrick Fabien) for the contractually mandated weekly ice cream blows up in his face – because he doesn’t have one. know that Kim (Rhea Seehorn), just a month before he was arrested, admitted.
The thing about the character that Bob Odenkirk has portrayed since 2009 is that you can catch him at his most honest when he’s not saying anything. Thinking about the series finale, what is immediately apparent is that the most important scene of the episode was not Saul Goodman’s lengthy confession under the courtroom lights. This is the scene on the plane, as Jimmy realizes the full legal risk that Kim is in, and decides to truly throw himself at the mercy of the law, sacrificing his agreement to make himself perfect. who is the villain of the story.
Odenkirk’s epic courtroom speech is everything you’d expect, because it’s always the line between Saul and Jimmy that’s the most blurry. That may be James Morgan McGill’s downfall, and perhaps his salvation as well. He heads to the prison calling himself McGill, but when his bus of prisoners realizes who he is, and starts chanting his name, well… Maybe Saul isn’t so bad, he thinks. .
Again, it’s the quiet moments in this performance, the moments when Odenkirk isn’t speaking, that deserve attention. It’s easy to keep coming back to Gene in the kitchen, Marion holding her LifeAlert: She could have hurt him to protect herself, but she didn’t. Instead he ran, the way he said he had been running for years. Not running towards something, of course. Instead, running from himself.
Who knows what kind of peace 86 years (minus good behavior) might bring him. But at least he gets to share one last secret cigarette with the only woman we’ve seen any sign of falling in love with in years. In the previous review for consequencesthis critic used the occasion of the official separation of Jimmy and Kim to discuss how this show is never a love story. But in a way, there is romance in Saul Goodman’s last stand in court — a man left on this planet that he loves, and he does his best to try to help him.