‘Better Call Saul’ Season 6 Episode 12 Recap and Review: “Waterworks”

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A recurring theme throughout both Better Call Saul has been unforeseen consequences. Jimmy and Kim's plan to sully the name of Howard Hamlin leads to his death at the hands of Lalo Salamanca, and a simple cab ride with Jeff may finally bring about the downfall of Saul Goodman.

In the penultimate episode, Saul Goodman has completely sunk into his old ways. Jimmy McGill may not entirely be dead, but he's undoubtedly been buried far down below the surface. The ramifications of his actions, both seen and unforeseen, lead to an outcome one could only describe as tragic when you know the whole story.

Major Better Call Saul Spoilers Ahead

Do You Think Miracle Whip is Okay?

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"Waterworks" opens with Saul in his office, bouncing a Spalding rubber ball up and down and against his way, which accidentally knocks over one of the fake columns in his office. He goes over to fix it, puts on his jacket, and checks himself out one more time. He sits down and looks at the divorce papers for his and Kim's marriage, a long overdue dissolution, considering Saul Goodman is fully in control by this point. He calls Francesca and tells her to send Kim in.

Back in the Gene timeline, we see Kim chopping up potatoes and preparing a potato salad for a classic suburban BBQ. She's got dark hair and bangs now, and considering she no longer works as a lawyer anymore, she is almost an entirely different person. She has a rather humdrum conversation with her boyfriend, Glen, about potato salad and the nature of Miracle Whip.

Kim is now fully immersed in the life of suburbia: BBQs, washing dishes, doing puzzles, listening to her boyfriend rattle on about The Amazing Race, and having boring sex. (I mean, come on, Glen, how many times does someone need to say "Yup" when between the sheets?) She's far gone from her days in Albuquerque, being an expert lawyer, running schemes, and going face to face with cartel bosses.

She now works at Palm Coast Sprinkler as a Catalogs and Brochures Specialist, another dull aspect of an average, ordinary life. Her new norm is to talk with vendors, refill the office coffee pot, and plan coworkers' birthdays.

We cut to her and a few others at lunch, where they're talking about, of all things, drugs. They all have an incredibly surface-level discussion, with Kim silently listening on.

"Whatever happened to crack? You never hear about that anymore!"

Kim settles back in after lunch, finishing up her work amidst the endless sea of normal cubicle monotony. She gets a call from a Victor St. Clair, which leaves her genuinely surprised. She quickly lowers the blinds, closes the office door, waits a moment or two, and answers the phone.

Saul/Gene is on the other line, calling from a pay phone as we saw previously, and he's looking to catch up on the lines. She's unsure of what he wants, and it's pretty clear that she has no interest in speaking with him, even after six years of not talking with one another.

As she remains quiet, it's clear that Gene is becoming increasingly agitated and slipping back into his old persona of Saul Goodman. Kim tells him that he shouldn't be calling, and she tells him that he should turn himself in.

"I don't know what kind of life you've been living, but it can't be much," Kim says. To which Saul fires back, "says the pot to the kettle! That is really rich, you preaching to me? You have no idea what I did or didn't do. Why don't you turn yourself in since you're the one with the guilty conscience? What's stopping you?"

It's obvious that her telling him that has sent him off the deep end, she remains quiet, and he continues berating her. He begins to calm down, and before he manages to tell her anything more, she says, "I'm glad you're alive," and hangs up. She stares at the phone before heading out to sing Happy Birthday to a coworker.

You Can't Outrun Your Past

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Kim has landed back in Albuquerque, and as she heads to the courthouse, we're treated to a little step back in time. She heads through the front gate where Mike used to take parking tickets, passes by where she used to eat lunch with Jimmy, and goes through the metal detector like she did countless times before.

She looks over at a public defender helping her client get dressed before his court appearance, another thing she used to do; an image of better times.

After the courthouse, she heads to Cheryl's house, the home she once shared with Howard. Once there, she hands Cheryl a confession of everything that she and Jimmy did to Howard and how it tragically led to his death. Cheryl finally learns the truth about what happened to her husband: He wasn't addicted to drugs, and he didn't commit suicide. Howard was murdered for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, a place he would never have been in had Jimmy and Kim not put their plan in place.

"The lies you two made up, the picture you painted. That's all he is now," Cheryl says. No matter what Kim tries to do, the damage has been done. Kim confessed to her crimes at the courthouse, but it's unlikely she'll be tried for anything because there's no physical evidence, and the only other witness is Jimmy.

She leaves Cheryl's and heads back to the airport to go home to Florida. Kim boards a shuttle to get back to the terminal. She slowly starts to tear up as she sits there, reflecting on everything that has led her to this point. The cracks are beginning to appear, and suddenly, the dam bursts. She breaks down crying, despite her struggling against it. Unable to contain the emotion of everything, she screams "Oh God" and continues crying.

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We cut back to Gene as he breaks into the man's house that was teased last week. He finds his mark, passed out and snoring on the floor. He does one final check to ensure he's out cold and then gets to work. As in the robberies before, he finds the information he needs, like bank accounts, credit cards, etc., and eventually, the account passwords.

Jeff pulls up outside the house to pick Gene up, but as he is about to exit the house, he stops himself. Unable to help himself, he goes back in and looks for more things to take, diverting from the original plan to slip in and out without stealing anything physical. He takes a cigar, watches, and pours himself a drink.

As Jeff waits outside, a police car pulls up behind him but doesn't do anything. Gene continues to putz around upstairs when he notices that the man has awoken from his slumber and he's lost track of him. He has gone to the bathroom and looks like he's about to make a phone call and sits down on the stairs, with Gene looking down at him from the top.

Unable to spot a way around him, Gene picks up an urn full of the man's dog's ashes and is about to knock him over the head with it. He sneaks down the stairs, and just as he's about to do it, the man passes out again.

Outside, the tension builds as Jeff becomes more nervous that the cops are here for him. We see that they actually aren't looking for anything insidious; they're just trying to enjoy a later dinner. (By the way, one of the cops ordering fish tacos in Omaha, Nebraska, is incredibly suspect. Thankfully his partner had the sense to call him out for it.)

Suddenly, Jeff peels out at lightspeed, driving erratically and through a stop sign, and then crashes into a parked car. The cops wrap their dinner and head over to investigate what's happening. Gene takes advantage and manages to escape unscathed.

You Never Know Who You'll Meet When Smoking a Cigarette

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In Saul's office, Kim is signing the rest of the divorce papers to finalize everything. Saul sits behind his desk, not even paying attention to her, and when she hands the papers back to him, he signs them quickly and without hesitation.

He asks her what she thinks of his office, and she casually says, "it looks great." He also asks why she's headed for Florida, but he cuts her off before she even gets a chance to answer. Saul kicks his feet up on his desk and simply tells her, "Have a nice life, Kim."

Whether it is an emotional defense mechanism or this is just who he has become, Jimmy, the man Kim once loved, isn't the one talking to her right now. Before Kim leaves, we see that Saul is meeting with Emilio Koyama, who was Jesse Pinkman's original partner in the Meth business, and who would later become Walter White's first murder victim.

Kim steps outside and lights up a cigarette when an unexpected person asks her if he can have one too. Jesse Pinkman, who came with Emilio, is waiting for him outside, and he and Kim share a conversation. Well, it's mostly Jesse talking.

He tries to make small talk about the rain pouring down, but Kim isn't looking for that. Jesse recognizes Kim from the courthouse, saying she had defended his friend Combo, who stole the baby Jesus from a Nativity scene. Jesse asks Kim if Saul is the real deal when it comes to being a lawyer and if he's not just some guy in commercials.

"This guy, he any good?"

"When I knew him, he was."

In the present, Gene hops on a bus after dodging the cops and heads home. He makes himself a drink and waits for his cell phone to ring, knowing that Jeff will inevitably get in touch. Sure enough, Jeff calls him from the police station, and, posing as a father and son, he tries to explain to Gene what happened.

It's pretty clear that Gene doesn't care what happened to Jeff but knows that he needs to make sure nothing comes of it out of it, just for his well-being. Gene says he'll have him out by lunchtime and let Marion know what has happened. It's the middle of the night, but Gene calls Marion and informs him that Jeff was arrested.

Gene tries to keep her calm, but she reminds him that this isn't his first brush with the law. She says he's been arrested a few times for different things in Albuquerque, but he says she doesn't have to worry about finding a bail bondsman as she had before. Omaha doesn't use them, and he casually lets on that he knows more about the law in Albuquerque than he probably should, arising Marion's suspicions.

When Gene gets to Marion's house, she doesn't answer the door, so he heads around back and surprises her in the kitchen. She didn't hear him since she had been watching videos on her computer with headphones on.

He opens her computer and sees she's been watching some of his old Saul Goodman ads. Knowing that he's been unmasked, Gene tries to lie his way out of the situation, but Marion knows better. Still speaking calmly, he rips the ethernet cable from Marion's laptop and corners her against the wall.

She pulls out her Life Alert, and he tells her to put it down. Terrified, she hands it over to him and says, "I trusted you," giving Gene pause. Surprisingly, he hands it back to her, and she immediately pushes the button.

She lets the woman at the other end know that a wanted criminal named Saul Goodman is standing in the kitchen, and he runs out the back door.

Final Thoughts

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It almost feels redundant at this point, but Bob Odenkirk and Rhea Seehorn continue to put everything they have into the roles of Jimmy/Saul/Gene, and Kim Wexler. The scene of Kim breaking down on the bus was one of Seehorn's best acting performances, as she runs through the whole gamut of human emotion without saying a word.

Seeing Odenkirk, for what feels like the first time, put on a truly menacing and terrifying performance during the scene with Marion (Carol Burnett) was a sight to see. We're used to seeing Odenkirk be the sly, scheming con man, not a guy threatening an old woman for discovering who he really is.

Seeing the splash of color in Gene's scenes feels almost foreign, but it's a brilliant call back to the very first episode of the show where we saw more of that.

Better Call Saul, like Breaking Bad, has cemented itself as one of the best television series of all time. How it wraps up will determine where it is placed on that pantheon of television, but even if it doesn't stick the landing, there's no questioning that it was one hell of a ride.

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