Season 6, Episode 13, “Saul Gone”

Rhea Seehorn in Better Call Saul

Rhea Seehorn in The best of Saul on demand
picture: Greg Lewis / AMC / Sony Pictures Television

When asked to give a hint on how to do it The best of Saul on demand Concluding during one of the Tribeca Festival sessions in June, Bob Odenkirk gave two words: “Second Life.” This guide turns out to be more accurate and more complete than anyone might have guessed. and here I was Kind of a perfect ending – and a fresh start for Jimmy McGill.

Jimmy makes way for Saul who briefly makes way for Gene Takovich who gives way back to Saul who claimed redemption for himself in the name of Jimmy. That redemption came in the form of a seven-year prison sentence for 86 years to prove that, despite what people like Mike Ehrmantraut, Walter White, and his brother Chuck had told him, it wasn’t all about the slick, slippin’ Jimmy trick in the end.

Jane Busted in Marion, the daring looking Ask-Jeeves lady who used LifeAlert to notify the police, complete with vehicle description and license plate number, was busted around Saul Goodman’s website. He tried to get away on foot after retrieving a bandage box full of diamonds, but the jewels slipped from Slippin Jimmy’s hands when he was hiding in a trash can, and Omaha police officers drove him home. Showrunner and episode writer and director Peter Gould sent Saul’s story to prison early in the finale, adding to the excitement about all that lay ahead.

One of the biggest surprise aspects of the episode was Saul’s attorney, or rather “consulting counsel” Bill Oakley, the former Albuquerque County District attorney who took Saul’s place on the bus bench, announcing his new position as defense attorney. He no longer fears Jimmy’s success after learning of his connection to the Salamanca series, but Bill takes Saul’s call and agrees to represent him after Saul assures him that he will do miracles due to his street legal credibility. And from the humble car he drives, we think he could use high-profile work. This does not mean that Saul does any favors to Bill. Bill is there to help Saul get a little cred on his local street, someone who doesn’t have a load of criminal charges pending for helping Saul push the government to a very generous seven-year sentence in a comfortable Federal Reserve club type prison (in Butner, Carolina North, in which Bernie Madoff died), with golf concessions, and a pint a week of mint ice cream. This last advantage is Saul’s way of proving he can get the upper hand, even in his case, defeating a prosecutor who was told he never lost a case. He can totally own his opponent, even when he thinks of decades in prison.

But then there’s a twist: When Saul tries to play another card and provides what he believes to be new and exciting information about Howard Hamlin’s death, he learns that Kim has already scraped off that dirt as part of a batch of confessions given to her by Albuquerque da and Howard’s widow, Cheryl. Kim was really shocked by what he told her during their last tense phone call, telling her all about her role in the circumstances surrounding Howard’s murder.

At first, we think Saul is pissed that Kim has outgrown him and he’s limited what he might be able to get out of the government. He really wants the weekly Blue Bell ice cream, and tells Bell, in front of the guards he’s tending to a courtroom in Albuquerque, that he has another piece of information that Kim surely didn’t share, insinuating that this was something she would use against her, possibly causing her to have a devastating civil suit by Cheryl Hamlin. Saul seems eager to make it happen, and when Kim receives from Albuquerque Assistant District Attorney Susan Eriksen that Saul plans to give new testimony covering it, Kim appears in the courtroom to witness her latest hoax first hand.

But then there’s another twist, explaining Bob Odenkirk’s hint about the ending and ending title, “Saul Gone.” With a brilliant shot of a brightly lit courtroom exit signal above Saul’s head, he interrupted proceedings to assure the judge that Walter White’s criminal enterprise had earned him millions of dollars and that without his legal maneuvers on Walt’s behalf, Walt could have ended up in prison in a month. Saul becomes emotional when he tries to talk about what happened to Howard, but then, when he sees Kim in the back of the room and sees that she’s really listening to him, he finally reveals what he did to Chuck, destroying his ability to practice. Law, to intentionally harm him, after which Chuck committed suicide himself. “And I will live with that,” says Saul. And to make sure everyone knows, officially, what Kim realized when he turned around and closed his eyes with her, Saul corrects the judge when she tells Mr. Goodman to take his seat. “My name is McGill. I’m James McGill,” he says, pointing to himself, unbuttoning Saul’s high-gloss suit jacket.

Bob Odenkirk in Better Call Saul

Bob Odenkirk in The best of Saul on demand
picture: Greg Lewis / AMC / Sony Pictures Television

Poor Bill is trying to salvage some semblance of the case, because while Saul is getting Jimmy McGill and redeeming himself with Kim, he’s costing himself that sweet government deal. Get out, literally, Saul, and ride to Jimmy on the bus to prison…not Madoff, but Montrose, whom he previously described as “Alcatraz in the Rockies.” He is set to stay there for the next eight and a half decades, a life sentence even with leave for good behavior.

All is not lost, though: During that bus ride, his colleagues recognized him not as Jimmy, but as “Saul’s best calling,” stomping their feet and shouting his motto in recognition of their hero. Inside Montrose, he’s clearly willing to send Saul back to live that sentence as comfortably as possible. His colleagues refer to him as Saul, and a shot of him running a dough machine tricks us into thinking we might go back to Cinnabon until we see Saul working in the prison kitchen baking loaves of bread.

And then he gets a visit from his lawyer, but it’s not Bill. It’s Kim, who uses her old New Mexico pub card to visit her ex. In another beautifully filmed scene, Kim and Jimmy (that’s what she calls them) stand facing the visiting room and share a cigarette she had snuck out for him. For a minute, it’s these two people in the first episode of the Uno series, when they’re in the HHM parking garage, spiking chemistry as they pass a cigarette back and forth.

This is a very emotional encounter, albeit short, and Jimmy is standing in the yard, watching Kim exit as he fires his finger guns and blows at her as she leaves. They stand on both sides of the ramparts, Freedom, but Kim may be back. She made sure to tell Jimmy that she came in to see him with her New Mexico bar card that had no expiration date on it. Kim, like Jamie, still likes to bend the rules a bit herself.

stray notes

  • What surprise flashback character do you love the most: Peter Desith Bill Oakley, Mike Jonathan Banks, Michael McCain Chuck, Walter Bryan Cranston, or the biggest surprise ever, Betsy Brandt’s Mary Schrader, trying to make sure Saul is punished. Justice for Hank? Organically integrated into Saul’s inevitable journey to prison, it was a welcome rendezvous for the favourites.
  • Jimmy’s Big Break has begun diving into the trash for information to help the Sandpiper residents sue the company. His life in prison began in another trash can, where he dumped all those diamonds and ruined an opportunity to call Ed for another life on the Llam.
  • Undoubtedly the funniest sentence ever said about a craft store, as Jamie describes to Chuck how his legal practice goes: “One of my clients, got caught waving a sausage outside the Hobby Lounge.”
  • During Jimmy’s reminiscences with Mike (during their infamous journey through the desert in Bagman) and Walt (from their time together in Ed’s basement while waiting to move on to their new lives), he’s curiously obsessed with what they’d do differently with access to time travel. Walt points out, in his most arrogant and dismissive way, that time travel is not possible, and then says that all Saul really wants is to discuss what he regrets. Later, in his memories of the visit with Chuck, Chuck has a paperback on the kitchen table: H.G. Wells Time Machine.
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