Better Call Saul Season 4 Finale
Not many of the characters can be considered a Winner in Better Call Saul 410. The true winners in this case are the audience, who was treated to some great television, and the owners of the licensing rights to the two songs featured in the karaoke opening scene. Let’s hope the Television Academy is paying attention and this season becomes a Winner of some Emmy Awards.
Jimmy McGill Takes a Giant Step Toward Becoming Saul Goodman
Jimmy truly did have a “total eclipse of the heart,” pretending to cry and be sad when really he just wanted to manipulate the Board to give him his law license back. It was unclear why he wasn’t made to wait a full year to re-apply, and it cost him a pretty penny because he apparently paid for the memorial Reading Room. Could he have made $23,000 by selling drop phones? We’re not sure about that, either. He may have won the right to practice law again, but it seems that it probably cost him the love and respect of Kim Wexler.
The lyrics of Winner Takes It All, by Abba, the karaoke song Jimmy and Chuck sing together in the opening flashback scene, seem almost to have been written for Jimmy McGill’s character.
I don’t wanna talk
About the things we’ve gone through
Nothing more to say
No more ace to play
I was a fool,
Playing by the rules
Jimmy even tries to corrupt one of the young scholarship applicants. Or maybe he thinks he’s trying to help her.
Standing at Chuck’s grave doesn’t make him cry. Reading Chuck’s letter doesn’t make him cry. The tears in these scenes are pretend tears. The real tears come when he faces the fact that the real lawyers won’t ever accept him because of the mistakes he’s made. Sitting in the car after the scholarship board meeting, he identifies with “the shoplifter,” realizing that the other lawyers see her only by that label despite the hard work she’s done to turn her life around. He’s damaged goods, and no matter how much he may deserve a second chance, no matter how hard he’s worked to redeem himself, they will never invite him into their inner circle, and he resents this more than anything.
Kim says that, no matter what happens in the hearing, she’s with him. We’re not sure if that’s true, and worse, Jimmy probably doesn’t believe it, even if it is true. This seems to be the deep down reason their relationship is doomed.
Mike Makes his Commitment to Gus More Permanent
Mike was the one who vouched for Werner. He hopes he can convince Gus to go easy on Werner, and it probably would have worked if it hadn’t been for Lalo.
It’s unclear what Lalo is looking for, exactly, as he spies on the Los Pollos Hermanos warehouse, but he hits the jackpot. Now he’s on Mike’s trail as well as that of Gus, and there’s no telling what trouble he can cause with the little he was able to learn from the Travel Wire office’s surveillance tape and his short phone conversation with Werner. We have to assume he’s smart enough not to have left behind evidence that will help the police learn who killed the young clerk there, and we’re hoping there’s no way he can make it look as if Mike may have been the killer.
The situation did give us an opportunity to watch the amazing Mike Ehrmantrout improvise a clever way to lose Lalo. It also first fakes us out, when we see the gun in the glove box, and later we realize it wasn’t a red herring, it was a foreshadowing that the gun would be used later in the episode.
Mike and Werner’s last scene is heart-breaking. But it gives us insight into the kinds of choices Mike will have to make as he continues in the employ of Gus Fring.
Gus Continues His Game of Chess
After all of the German workmen have presumably been sent back to Germany, Gus shows Gale the location that will become the superlab. Gale is suitably impressed, and we see the notebook he is famous for from later in Breaking Bad, the one that gives Hank a clue as to Heisenberg’s true identity.
Gale is ready to throw together some kind of Rube Goldberg contraption for ventilation and start cooking immediately, even though the lab is far from finished. Gus tells him, again, that the time is not right. Poor Gale is going to have to be even more patient than the audience, since he isn’t seen in Breaking Bad until the middle of the third season. Gus might have been much better off had he let Gale take over the lab now instead of waiting. But Gus is a patient man and wants to do things right. He’s got a long-term goal, and it seems he’s still got a ruthless adversary in Lalo.
Other Notable Details from the Better Call Saul finale
- Kim is clearly confused and very disappointed at Jimmy’s lack of real feelings. We’re hoping we learn more about her back story and ultimate fate in season 5.
- Werner was a gentle soul. He clearly didn’t realize the seriousness of his misbehavior, and yet, once he realized his fate, he quickly accepted it and his final act was to do what he could to make it easier for Mike. This situation is much more tragic because of it.
- Nacho is one of the characters whose fate we don’t know, as he’s not shown in Breaking Bad. We assume he hasn’t yet made his escape, but we didn’t see him in this episode, so we’re left wondering how Gus and Lalo’s chess game will affect him in season 5.
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