‘Better Call Saul’ Season 6 Series Finale Recap and Review: “Saul Gone”

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Jimmy McGill/Saul Goodman/Gene Takovic was never just one person. Throughout Better Call Saul, we've watched the story of this man with three names take us on a journey from Illinois to New Mexico and beyond. Whether his name was changed by choice or circumstance, Jimmy/Saul/Gene was a man bound by a, let's say, flexible morality that changed as he saw fit.

His story ended last night with Better Call Saul's series finale, "Saul Gone," and came to an end about as perfectly as it could.

Major Better Call Saul Spoilers Ahead

Where Would You Go If You Had a Time Machine?

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"Saul Gone" begins with a flashback as we see Jimmy and Mike Ehrmantraut wandering through the desert again as they did in the legendary episode "Bagman." They've been wandering the desert for quite some time, both dehydrated and sunburnt, on their mission to collect the $7 million of cartel money to bail out Lalo Salamanca. Jimmy and Mike come across an open tank of fresh water, which Jimmy rushes to start drinking from.

Jimmy casually and perhaps semi-seriously suggests they take the money, split it 50-50, and leave town. Mike reminds him that the people they are working for wouldn't look too kindly upon that. So, how do they fix that problem? Jimmy suggests they do the logical thing and build a time machine.

At first, Mike says he'd go back to December 8th, 2001 but then quickly changes to March 17th, 1984: The day he took his first bribe, where he took his first step on his bad choice road. He also says that he'd like to go ahead in time and check on some people, make sure they're alright. He then asks Jimmy what he would do.

"May 10th, 1965. The day Warren Buffett took over at Berkshire Hathaway." He says he'd invest his money into it, jump back to the present and live his life as a rich man. Whether it's a sign of his selfishness, greed, or that he doesn't want to admit what he really regrets, Jimmy makes his choice. After Mike presses him, asking if that's really all he wants, there's nothing he would change; Jimmy says it's time to move on.

In Gene's time, we see him fleeing Marion's house as she rattles off the details of his car to the woman at Life Alert. He arrives home and begins gathering what he needs: Money, diamonds, and a burner phone. He hears his description on the police scanner and manages to flee out the back of his condo. He travels to a sewage tunnel, evading the police and hiding from a helicopter.

Saul keeps moving forward, getting to an alleyway but comes across multiple cop cars searching for him. They haven't spotted him yet, but they surround him, so he hides in a dumpster. While he hides, he pulls out the band-aid box full of diamonds and the phone number for Ed Galbraith, hoping to escape once again and assume a new identity somewhere else. He begins practicing the code phrase, "I need a dust filter for a Hoover Max Extract® Pressure Pro™, Model 60," but before he gets a chance to call, he spills his diamonds and is caught by the police.

Let's Make a Deal

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At the police station, Saul calls the Cinnabon store and asks one of his co-workers to handle the schedule for that week. Oh, and that they're going to need a new manager. He overhears a group of cops watching his Saul Goodman commercials from Albuquerque and then, in his cell, walks in circles, muttering to himself, "what were you thinking?" He punches the door in frustration and spots the words "My lawyer will ream your ass" carved into the wall. With no one around, Saul starts laughing and stands up, yelling that he needs another phone call.

Who does he call? Why his old frenemy Bill Oakley, of course! Saul says he's hiring him as his advisory counsel, with Saul acting as his own lawyer. Despite a mountain of evidence against him, Saul plots his defense.

"Where do you see this ending?" Bill asks.

"With me on top, like always."

In the Federal holding facility, Saul is brought to a room in chains and sees Marie Schrader before beginning the meeting with the attorneys. He asks for Marie to be brought into the room, and she's allowed to say her piece. She was never able to say these words to Walt or Jesse, and Saul is now the last person alive who shares some responsibility for Hank and Steve Gomez's deaths.

She details how Hank was the man she loved, who made her and everyone around him laugh, and how he was the best man she'd ever known.

"You helped the two-faced poisonous bastard behind it all. For what? Money. You did it all for money. No matter what they do, and wherever they put you, it will never be enough."

Saul offers his sympathies, saying he met Hank a few times and acknowledges that she is a victim. But so is he, Saul says to the shock and disgust of Marie and the Federal attorneys. It's here that he begins to practice his defense, saying that everything he did while working with Walt and Jesse, he was under duress, and he feared for his life. Yes, he made money, but he always thought that Walt would kill him if he refused.

He details the massacre of Mike's guys in prison, orchestrated by Walt, saying that this was how much power he held and why he should have been afraid. He says that when it all came crumbling down, he ran, but not from the police; he ran from them. The prosecutor doubts that the jurors would buy that story, but Saul reminds him that he only needs one juror and would get off scot-free.

It's here that Saul Goodman reemerges, becoming confident that he can do what he needs to do to garner his freedom. Marie is frustrated, but prosecutors recognize that it's a real possibility that he could go free. They negotiate a plea deal, which would see Saul serve seven and a half years behind bars.

Much better than the life sentence he was facing.

Saul adds another addendum that he wants to serve his sentence at FCI Butner in North Carolina, in the low-security wing. "If it's good enough for Bernie Madoff..." He assumes that they'll throw him into the general population in a dangerous prison, where, in all likelihood, he'd be a target of violence.

He makes one last request for a pint of mint chocolate chip ice cream to be delivered to him every Friday for the duration of his sentence, saying he has one more thing to admit to them: the details of Howard Hamlin's murder. The mood suddenly shifts. The attorneys all face him, saying they already know about all of that, thanks to Kim Wexler.

They inform him that Kim walked into the Albuquerque DA's office last month and admitted to everything. Saul is shaken by the fact that Kim actually did what he said she should do and confessed to their crimes.

Regrets, I've Had a Few

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In another flashback, this time to the brief period where Saul and Walter White were an odd couple of sorts in Ed Galbraith's basement. In the middle of the night, Walt gets up to try and fix a noise that's been annoying him, coming from the heater. Walt finds a piece of PVC pipe to repair it and asks if Saul has anything he can use to cut it. When Saul says he doesn't, Walt yells at him, telling him to speak up.

It might be the end of the Heisenberg era, but Walter White is as condescending and cruel as ever. Saul poses him the question that he asked Mike back in the desert: "What would you do if you had a time machine?"

Walter mocks him, telling him that the question is meaningless because the idea of a time machine is impossible. He's thinking of it as a scientist, essentially telling him that the question is pointless because time travel can't be done. Walter recognizes that the question is not about a time machine but about regrets.

"If you want to ask about regrets, then TALK ABOUT REGRETS. Leave all this time machine nonsense out of it." Walter details his biggest regret: leaving Gray Matter, the company he co-founded. Walt still refuses to take any blame for what happened, saying that he was manipulated into leaving and betrayed by those he thought his friends. If he had stayed, he wouldn't be in that room with Saul, and he'd be a rich man. Saul immediately moves to think like a lawyer, saying they could have sued the company and made a ton of money. Walt callously tells him he would be the last lawyer he would have hired for that job.

Walt asks about Saul's regrets, with Saul saying that he once pulled a slip and fall (hello, Slippin Jimmy) that resulted in him hurting his knee, a problem he still suffers from. Saul doesn't talk about Chuck, Kim, or Howard; he doesn't, and never has, trusted Walt enough to admit to that. Walt gets up off his bed, walks over to Saul, and says, "So, you were always like this."

It's not a totally accurate statement, as we've learned from the events of this series, but it still cuts right to the core of Saul. The scene then fades into black and white, back to the present.

Saul and a US Marshal are on a plane back to Albuquerque for his trial, where he will plead guilty to his crimes. Bill is also on the flight, and as he passes to go to the bathroom, Saul flags him down and asks about Kim. Bill tells him that she's unlikely to face any criminal charges due to lack of physical evidence, but Cheryl will probably take Kim for all she's worth in civil court. He takes in this information and begins thinking about his next move.

Bill is told by Saul that he has one more thing to tell the Feds and that even though whatever he says might hurt Kim, he says that he wants to tell them what he knows.

In an effort to atone for what happened to Howard, Kim decides to volunteer at a Florida legal aid office. She can't practice law, so she takes on a clerical role, answering phones and organizing files. As she works, she gets a call from Suzanne Ericsen, who tells Kim that Saul has been arrested and is on his way back to Albuquerque. She also lets Kim know that he's giving testimony that affects Kim personally, but what he plans to say is unknown.

The Last Trial of Saul Goodman

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Saul, in a fancy suit and all, is led into a courtroom, where he spots Kim sitting in the back. Before everything begins, he gives one last "it's showtime, folks," and things get underway. The Judge has some questions about the terms of Saul's plea deal, given the lenient number of years he was given due to his numerous crimes.

Before the prosecutor goes into detail, Saul stands up and asks to speak despite Bill's hesitance. He wants to give the context himself rather than let the government do so.

When he steps to the podium, he recites the same speech he gave to the prosecutors about living in fear of Walter White. However, after he tells the story about being taken into the desert and initially frightened of Walter, he switches things up by saying he also saw an opportunity. The mood of the court changes as the prosecutors, Kim, and everyone in the room is caught off guard.

He admits that for the next 16 months, he spent every waking moment helping build the Heisenberg empire. The Judge tries to remind him that anything he says could violate his plea agreement, but he doesn't care. This moment serves as his actual confession both for the law and in the eyes of the woman he still loves, Kim. Saul is sworn in under oath and continues with his speech.

Saul looks back at Kim and says he lied to the government about her involvement with Howard's murder. He details that while he wasn't there when people were killed, Walt's meth was cooked or sold, and he knew that all of it was happening. He was indispensable to Walt and Jesse, saying that he kept them out of jail, laundered their money, lied, conspired, and did everything he needed to help them, making millions in the process. If Walt hadn't walked into his office as Mr. Mayhew, he would have been dead or in jail in a month.

He talks about Howard's death and admits that Kim was the stronger of the two. She was able to leave town and this life behind her, and he just dove deeper into the pit.

Saul finally admits to his role in his brother Chuck's death. Their relationship was never strong, Chuck wasn't exactly the greatest brother, but out of pure spite, Saul took away his brother's insurance, thus preventing him from practicing law, leading to his eventual suicide. Bill asks why he admitted to everything that happened to Chuck, saying it wasn't a crime. Saul simply says, "Yes, it was."

The Judge tells "Mr. Goodman" to stop talking and sit down, to which he responds, "The name's McGill, my name is James McGill." As Bill and the prosecutors argue over whether what Jimmy says was a confession, he looks back at Kim, who gives him a slight smile.

In a flashback, Jimmy arrives at Chuck's house to drop off his groceries. Chuck asks Jimmy why he still does this for him, that he could get someone from the firm to help him out. Jimmy says he's his brother, and Chuck would do it for him.

Chuck says they could have a talk and discuss his clients. Jimmy sees this as Chuck trying to lecture him again about how he practices law, so he'll pass on the heart-to-heart. As Jimmy leaves, Chuck says, "If you don't like where you're heading, there's no shame in going back and changing your path." Jimmy asks if Chuck has ever changed his path and says they always end up having the same conversation. As the camera focuses on a copy of H.G. Wells's The Time Machine, the scene ends.

Welcome to ADX Montrose

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Jimmy is on a prison transport bus headed to ADX Montrose, a high-security facility. Given his confession, he will no longer be placed in the cushy jail he once negotiated for. Jimmy's fellow prisoners begin to recognize him; all of his publicity and presence in the public eye have made him quite the celebrity.

"Better Call Saul. Better Call Saul. BETTER CALL SAUL," the prisoners chant in unison despite the guards telling them to shut up. Jimmy gives a slight smirk, perhaps indicating he'll be alright in this prison. He's able to put his Cinnabon skills to use now that he's locked up, working in the prison kitchen baking bread, and is told that his lawyer is here to see him.

To his surprise, Kim is waiting for him in the room. Her New Mexico BAR card never expired, and she used it to pose as his attorney. She pulls a pack of cigarettes out from her bag, and the two of them share a cigarette, much like in the first episode of the series.

"You had them down to seven years," Kim says, and now he'll likely remain in prison for the rest of his life.

As Kim leaves the prison, she passes by the recreation yard, where Jimmy watches her walk out. They share a look, and Jimmy gives her his classic finger guns. She leaves but looks back at him, perhaps for the final time, until they can no longer see one another and the series comes to a close.

Final Thoughts

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It seems incredibly fitting that the trio of Walter White, Jesse Pinkman, and Saul Goodman all ended up being "killed" due to the events of Breaking Bad. Walt was the only one physically killed, but the identities of Jesse Pinkman and Saul Goodman were erased from existence. Jesse is destined to live out a new life in Alaska, and Saul has returned to being Jimmy McGill. We all thought there was no way that they'd all get a "happy ending," but Jesse and Jimmy certainly did, in their own ways.

Kim Wexler, the woman Jimmy loved and who shaped him as much as anyone else, managed to get hers. Jimmy admitted to everything that he did, she has a new life to live, and while it might not be the one she wanted, she has her choice road to follow.

Much like Walter and Jesse's stories, Jimmy McGill's life was one of consequences. He chose his path and is now destined to spend the rest of his days behind bars, separated from the one who truly cared for him. It's a fitting punishment for this man but also one he knows he deserves.

Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould managed to create not one but two TV shows that will stand the test of time and have cemented their place in history. Not many shows can say they had a fantastic and satisfying ending, but Gilligan and Gould crafted one for two shows.

Thanks for the ride, fellas, and I speak for everyone when I say that we can't wait to experience it again.

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