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My thought about Kim is this... All of Jimmy's foils are dead. Howard-- dead. Lalo-- dead. Fring and Hector, also dead by Gene-time.  In Gene's current scheming and conning timeline of 2010, there's not a heavy.

The only antagonist at this point is "the heat." But that is a concept, not a face. Technically, the only face to the heat we ever got was a cameo by Hank, but also he's dead now... for that matter, so are Walt and Mike. (Mike needing some sort of denouement on this show is something they also need to figure out... I hope the flashback wasn't it for him).

Jesse doesn't have enough beef with Saul to come out of the woodwork to clip him.

You can't have a series finale of a crimey-thriller show without a showdown of some sort... and you can't have a showdown without two sides. There's really only one person left.

I think the finale is going to be Jimmy/Saul/Gene vs. Kim. 

Has she set up her own criminal empire and he's HER loose end to burn?

Has she taken a deal with the feds and gets involved with luring him into being caught?

Do they get back together?

The climax of this season/series is going to be some sort of showdown between Kim and Saul.

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Having just rewatched the whole run, it really does shift once Chuck dies tonally. I remember the first season feeling like WAIT THIS ISN'T SAUL WHAT IS HAPPENING, and then realized it was a slow burn

“Hey - old people love me!”  

This show is a masterclass in everything. Conning for decades and getting away with (more or less) murder... and it's a little old lady from Omaha that brings it all down thanks to his hubris. 

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Makes sense, the whole series was centered around their relationship anyways.

This episode was kind of boring though, not loving the Gene stuff. It feels like padding to flesh out time before the next major story beat. Feels like all this later Gene stuff could have been done in a couple episodes, not four or whatever. 

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Interesting thoughts. It does make sense that it has to be Kim vs Jimmy/Saul/Gene. Seems to tie up with some people on Twitter who have worked out what was being said on that call to Kim as well - her telling him to hand himself over and he somewhat disagreeing! 

Part of me got wondering that as Gene is in 2010, does he get banged up and then we have a further jump forward to his release in a more present year?

But either way, the parallels of Walt and Jessie starting to go down their dark path in that sequence tying in with Gene reverting back to his old ways was nicely done.

This guy will never learn…

 

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Penultimate episode: Waterworks.

Well. Rhea Seahorn was immense in this - not a surprise with how she has performed throughout this series. Some heartbreaking stuff and found myself totally absorbed, heart pumping away nervously!

Phone call was revealed and was as per what the Internet found out. 

Saul has always been the loveable rogue - we felt sorry for him because of what his brother did, or how Howard treated him, or just his poor lack of judgement.
But these last couple of episodes have really made a point of highlighting how bad he has become and was really emphasised by Kim’s reply to the question of if Saul is a good lawyer in the flashback.
I really thought Gene had a plan (get caught, do the time, released in 2022ish, reconnect with Kim), but no.

One final episode to go, “Saul Gone”… presumably some court scenes with him and Kim if things head that way? But a lot of things need to happen before we get there and it’s so hard to predict this series.

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This show is a masterclass in everything. Conning for decades and getting away with (more or less) murder... and it's a little old lady from Omaha that brings it all down thanks to his hubris. 

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I’d sort of half-convinced myself into thinking we’d never see really see Kim again, no closure, no nothing, maybe she’d even be dead or dying. I figured the show was going to go do a hard zag instead of a zig and would deliberately tweak any and all audience expectations. Instead, what I got was ten times worse (in a good way; that was a great episode of TV!) because I had to sit there and watch a Kim Wexler absolutely drained of any and all self-confidence in her own judgments, a Kim Wexler who can’t even bring herself to correct and revise and correct over and over again any of her documents, a Kim Wexler who can’t decide between two different flavours of ice cream, a Kim Wexler who gets plowed by some oaf she won’t even let stay the night, a Kim Wexler who finally does what’s right at long last and seems to feel no relief whatsoever (that’s how I took the breakdown on the bus; she finally came clean and it didn’t help her at all), a Kim Wexler who seems way less of herself than even Jimmy/Saul/Gene does at that stage in life. Horrible!

Terrified of what’s to come next week. Am I going to see Jimmy/Saul/Gene die? Will Heisenberg-strength meth fumes resurrect Howard and Lalo’s intermingled corpses into a singleminded revenge monster? Will this Howduardo “Lamlo” Samlinacin be finally defeated by the immortal Kaylee Ehrmantraut, Mike’s granddaughter, whose age has been canonically indeterminable for the entirety of her years and years worth of appearances on Breaking Bad (‘08-’13) and Better Call Saul (‘15-’22)? WILL WE FINALLY SEE MARIE!?!?!?!?!? Terrific, terrific stuff. Television!

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16 hours ago, Tank said:

This show is a masterclass in everything. Conning for decades and getting away with (more or less) murder... and it's a little old lady from Omaha that brings it all down thanks to his hubris. 

“Hey - old people love me!”

 

FA366B5F-AE14-4748-9065-5652D34D885F.jpeg

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That really drives home how far the show travelled. It was like after Chuck died all the characters moved to a different show. Totally intentional, this show has been perfectly planned, but still quite the journey.

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Agreed - the journey has been fantastic and these last few episodes have just taken it to another level. 


The trailer for the final episode is off though - reference to the vacuum relocation method with Saul’s voice (possibly from his original escape to Gene’s life as opposed to a new call maybe),  but images of his old car that got shot up when he collected the money for Lalo’s bail… is that becoming evidence of some sort?

But I have to go back to Kim - what a performance - the scenes with Howard’s widow, and then the breakdown on the bus, but not forgetting how she played her mundane life in Florida.
Totally agree with R.C’s comments above - just amazing.

Heck, even the broken up title sequence creeps me out (in a good way), to show how messed up it’s all become for our two leads.

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It’s almost like the gene episodes are another show as well. Jimmy, then Saul after Chuck dies, then Gene— they each have a slight, but distinctively different feel.

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Gotta be honest, I've not been so interested in the Gene stuff. Ive felt liked it's dragged a lot.  I get that the pace is intentional but I've caught myself checking my phone/time or getting distracted by something else in a few of the episodes.

I do like how Saul has gone from being a likeable guy doing sketchy things, to a greasy lawyer who you forgive cause he's funny and charming(in breaking bad), to being an absolute piece of shit now as "Gene".

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this show is just so damn amazing.  It popped in my head as he was pulling on the life alert necklace that here he is getting called out by a senior citizen after finding so much earlier success in elder law.  I was glad to see this get pointed out above, too.

Just so good.

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Re: Rogue 3’s imagepost : I never put it together before that the Gene Takavic Cinnabon® narrative stream is being evoked by the black’n’white (and the loneliness!) of his Sand Piper commercial.

Also, also, in the episode where we see the flashback where Chuck’s ex-wife, well, at the time she was just his wife, Rebecca, when Rebecca meet his brother for the first time and then she ends up liking him so much that it basically helps drive Chuck into full blown mental insanity (!?!?) before he gets to the house and they’re getting dinner ready there’s a whole scene where Chuck is saying we should work out some sort of signal if anyone’s uncomfortable and he explicitly references Carol Burnett, the Carol Burnett earlobe thing. If you watch the scene Michael McKean says the name Carol Burnett! Twice!

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been wracking my brain on and off again all weekend about how things are going to go down

 

- Jimmy McGill, imprisoned and ... happy? In some ways, yeah, maybe. Running little scams to keep anyone else from cornering the market on ramen & cigarettes. Acting as a jailhouse lawyer to help his fellow inmates prepare their own self-defences. Getting one over on the guards.

 

- Jimmy McGill, free and clear via trial by jury?? Genuinely think he could fill the courtroom with his former clients, hangers-ons, etcetera. Bring them up to the witness stand one at a time and have them testify about the sort of guy he is. Have him look the foreman in the eye and just say something, like, I don’t know, “most of us are too proud to say it but aren’t we all more than a little bit shook up after that airplane disaster? I can’t sleep nights. It was tough on me, not gonna lie, especially after the death of my brother. So, yeah, I gave the guy responsible for that a hard time. I never meant for it to go that far. It’s not my fault. But I didn’t kill him and if I’d gone to the police after I’d have been just as dead as him. I’m not brave. And, yeah, one of my clients was a high school teacher suffering from a debilitating illness who chose to provide for his (disabled!) son and pregnant wife in a way that might strike all of us as crossing the line but, let’s be honest, booze is way way way worse. I’m sorry. I’m not too ashamed to admit it. Yeah, I ran. What would you have done? I’ll tell you what, though, the thing that I’m most sorry for out of all the things I’m so sorry about. How it’s affected the people I love most. People like my clients. People like Ms. Wexler. Don’t have pity for me. Have pity for them!” Would something like that work? Is the series going to end with us not knowing if that sort of speech works or not? Maybe.

 

- Jimmy/Saul/Gene/Viktor/????. A new identity from the vacuum cleaner man??? I don’t know. Robert Forster’s dead. Don’t see how this can be done in a really satisfying way what with that horrific obstacle. Plus, of course, they already did this kind of thing before in the Jesse movie. Still, can’t rule it out. It could work!

 

- Jimmy dead? Suicide by cop? It’s like that line (Henry Adams?) of how if you’ve got a president or a vice-president in the family it’s like having a relative commit suicide. From then on it’s always an option. Has he got more Chuck in him than one might think? Would Jimmy rather die than be imprisoned? I mean, he has compassion enough for Carol Burnett not to ice her for a moment’s advantage. Does he have that compassion for himself? Can people change?

 

Yeah. I don’t know. Maybe the yodelling ants from that dropped mint chocolate chip ice cream cone have been following him all this time all the way to Nebraska for more of that sweet sweet cream!?!? They’ve been patiently making their way and they want it, they can taste it, there’s no mayonnaise for them and they won’t settle for Miracle Whip, they know what they need. Maybe they finally catch up with him and make him their ant king like in that episode of The Outer Limits (‘95-’02)?

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That was good - really enjoyed the finale! I liked the Christmas Carol style conversations with the 3 “Ghosts of Saul’s past” to discuss regrets they all have.

He got me with his attitude to Kim on the plane, but once I calmed down (this show!), it was then obvious he just wanted her in the court room to hear him. Lovely stuff.

Very neatly wrapped up and agrees with your first scenario RC - he’s a bit of a hero in prison and he got his victory initially with the feds, before deliberately undoing it to save Kim and be Jimmy McGill again, rather than be Slippin’ Jimmy to get the 7 years.

Kim was the only grey area - she happy now? She confessed and seems to have got away with what she did to Howard - obviously no comparison to Saul’s wrong doings, but feels right that she can go on and live her life now, with a hint she will go back to being a proper lawyer maybe, or just continue volunteering on the side of her day job maybe. Whilst the civil law suit might still be there, I’d assume Jimmy’s actions have shifted the blame.

Oh and the point he mentions his brother in court and the shot moves to the Exit sign that is buzzing with electricity - nice!

Lots of excellent guest appearances - very satisfying ending for me.

Reading on Twitter it sounds lot like there were too many commercial breaks for the broadcast in the US? Although we were a little later getting it in the UK, at least it was ad free on Netflix!

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I watch streaming, so no commercials on my end.

Part of the mastery of this show was that at first I felt like parts of it were a bit on the nose, and that his flip back to Jimmy wasn't motivated-- but it really comes through via those flashbacks. I love that a bit with Walt, a bit with Chuck, and a bit with Mike (all has flashbacks since they're all dead) tell a story-- that jimmy was always always focused on the money, and he finally confessed realizing that he needed some form of love. 

Things that made me most happy:

1. The flashbacks. I had a feeling we'd get a Chuck flashbacks since they've done that before. And I HOPED there'd be one for Mike given that last week's was hardly a farewell moment for him. And I suspected there'd be one with Walt given that we got that bonus moment with Jesse last week, but nothing with Walt. You don't waste Bryan Cranston. I was SO HAPPY they all got a moment, and they were all in keeping with how they'd appeared in Saul's world,. but also spoke to their own character, AND became the thematic through-line for Saul to come clean.

2. On top of that, Marie got a good farewell moment as well. I always thought she and Jesse were a little short-changed in the BB finale. Jesse got El Camino, and Marie was able to have a great moment here.

3. Jimmy and Kim shared a cigarette against a wall.

I think Kim was left in an interesting spot. It's hinted that she's maybe ready to stop living a passive life. I love her volunteering her time as it harkens back to her doing the pro bono stuff... but also, remember the pro bono stuff was how she offset her being influenced by Jimmy being shifty. The more she got into conning people, the more pro bono work she did. When she decided to take down Howard, she went full pro bono.

She got into see Jimmy by doing a bit of conning-- also, VERY IMPORTANT, she was back in heels and not suburban mom sneakers. She can't legit practice law any more, but I don't think she's going back to her meek Florida existence either. If they want to wait a few years while Rhea ages up a bit to match how Kim would look in present day,. I'm ALL IN on a Kim spin off.

Would have liked if Nacho and Howard got little moments, but there wasn't room for everything.

Overall, like Breaking Bad, this is one of the few shows EDVER to stay consistently good, AND stick the landing with their finale. Of course Jimmy is popular in prison, will he be in forever? Who knows!

One thing I did forget when I made my prediction about Saul not having any more enemies... I had totally spaced (until I saw somebody post the BB clip of Jesse kicking Saul's ass) that Jimmy/Saul had instigated the whole storyline of Jesse's common-law stepson being poisoned. Had I remembered that, I would almost have wondered if Jesse was going to come for him in the end, especially knowing Aaron Paul was back... though I suppose that would put it AFTER El Camino, which was such a great place for Jesse to end.

 

post script-- Vince Gilligan proves himself to be a class act by letting Peter Gould write and direct the finale while he himself did the penultimate episode. Vince gets a lot of the glory., but Gould had been a writer on BB and essentially developed the idea for Saul as a spin off independently with Vince's blessing. As it came together, Vince helped push it through to get made obviously, and then came aboard. He got the press, but it was just as much Gould's show, and he deserved to get the last episode.

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Amazing finale! V. moving! Love that they maintained the black’n’white aesthetic (but w/the tiny yellow glow of the lit cigarette!) for everything set ‘now’, y’know? Beautiful, beautiful. Television!

 

* Really admired the simultaneous excesses and restraint as to who got to come back! I literally laughed aloud when we saw you-know-who! I know there’d been some discussion about bringing her in for the scenes where Chuck was in the hospital in previous years but it never quite worked out. Amazing! I’m chalking that there up to Column A but I’m also filing the absences of most of the deceased main cast into Column B.

 

* A dumb half-joke which doesn’t quite make sense (because I think he only finds out how he can finagle Kim into the courtroom much later on; at that point he doesn’t even know she’s come clean about the murder) but I gotta drop it here anyway. Saul Goodman looks at the graffiti in that Omaha holding room, “MY LAWYR WILL REAM UR ASS”, and just artfully assembles a plan which will eventually allow Kim Wexler to peg him in some kinda conjugal visit sitch, right!? I don’t know. I don’t know why I’m making fun. I don’t know why I’m being gross. He chose a lifetime of imprisonment in order to gain her (and his own!) respect! The prospect of freedom meant nothing to him unless Giselle St. Claire loved him back! Love! Love is real!

 

* I don’t think the drop of the book in the Chuck scene is hokey or dumb or forced. We know what Chuck reading to Jimmy as children meant to both of them. I don’t think we’ve ever seen much in the way of evidence that Chuck has a real appetite for science fiction per se — although his belief in fringe medicine to justify his mental illness probably must have come from somewhere — and I’m not going to dig around some fan nerd wiki to check either way but I think it works. I realize just by bringing it up I’m acknowledging the implicit criticism that IT IS too far; you could argue that the scene between the pair of them is good as is in terms of interconnecting with the Saul-Mike and Walt-Saul scenes and doesn’t need to make the time machine thing explicit to make sure the dots align. I don’t know.

 

Best episodes of the show

 

I did a rewatch of everything up to the current season somewhere in there. Uh, off the top of my head:

 

  • Season 1 finale! Especially that big scamming-the-town thing where he goes back to the old neighbourhood and has fun w/Mel Rodriguez.

  • Bagman’ Season 5, episode 8. This is the one this episode opens w/a flashback to. Hits really well on a rewatch because you see Jimmy shpritz some dirt off his shoes with his water bottle early on!

  • Nippy’ Season 6, episode 10. Just a beautiful episode of television!

  • Not a favourite episode but a favourite thing, I suppose. Mike’s daughter-in-law talks in group therapy about her fear of losing her memory of Matty’s voice, losing her memory of him, and of the morning she woke up and for the first time never gave Matty a thought. That becomes transmogrified later on into Mike’s advice to Saul about how to get through the trauma of the shootout in the desert. He sort of rejiggers her words and says, “Well, here’s what’s gonna happen. One day, one day, you’re gonna wake up. Eat your breakfast. Brush your teeth. Go about your business. And sooner or later you’re gonna realize you haven’t thought about it. None of it. And that’s the moment. You realize you can forget. When you know that’s possible it all gets easier.” Saul tells that over to Kim in an effort to make her believe that one day she’ll wake up and not even think about Howard’s death.

  • I realize that in order to do this properly I’d probably have to rewatch the series again and ask myself a number of yes/no questions about each episode and assign each episode its own point score. Did this episode feature a sequence of such bravura filmmaking unlike anything any other TV show would bother to do? Did this episode feature a musical needledrop so perfectly fitted to what’s going on onscreen that it now irrevocably attaches that particular piece of music to the show forevermore? Did this episode feature a feat of acting from the cast above and beyond the typically high level they tend to perform at? Did this episode feature an appearance from a beloved character actor? Was this beloved character actor a featured player on Mr. Show (‘95-’99, ‘15)? Was this beloved character actor the CHILD of a featured player on Mr. Show (‘95-’99, ‘15)? Were there really fun shenanigans and hijinks this episode? That sort of thing.

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Also, it's kinda cool how a character that was intended (at least at the beginning) to be there for comic relief in Breaking bad, was strong enough and well portrayed enough to get his own series, with like 5 or 6 seasons or whatever it is. That's pretty impressive. 

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Apparently, it was a running joke in the BB writer's room that they would come up with things for Saul as a way to blow off steam. As the comic relief they would spin out on wacky subplots for him as a break from how heavy BB got. (Though I maintain BB is actually frequently hilarious).

At some point they actually started saying "save that for the Saul spin off" and somebody, likely Gould or the writer's assistant did. They kept track of every thing Saul said that pertained to his life away from Walt and Jesse (mentioning his name was "McGill;" mentioning Iganacio and Lalo when Walt and Jesse threaten him, all that sort of stuff. I actually remember when the show was first announced there were rumors it was actually going to be a half hour comedy.

For my money, the ONLY thing I feel like I needed a mention of, at least before the last few episodes, was Jimmy having a love of laser tag.

 

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This is not an original thought but the entire thing hinges on a multi-million dollar production being absolutely certain that an elderly senior citizen (Jonathan Banks was 67 years old when they began filming! He wasn’t exactly a spring chicken when they first introduced his character on BB, neither!) will be able to convincingly play a mortal threat to other characters for the remainder of the series.

Like, if an anvil had fallen on any of the other actors the show’d probably have been able to work around it Odenkirk excepted, of course, and one almost did! but what could they’ve done without Mike!?!? Or with a Mike who was less good, less convincing, like, what if Jonathan Banks became a bad actor as he aged!? Or just started looking substantially and irrevocably different the way sometimes old people do, in a way that even a night shoot couldn’t obscure!? Crazy, crazy stuff.

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Lol. What's with people thinking someone in their 60s is old. I mean, he's no spring chicken but it's not like once you hit 65 you can't work, walk or exercise anymore cause if you do you might break.

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