Wine and Roses -| Review Score – 4.5/5
Carrot and Stick -| Review Score – 4.5/5
Rock and Hard Place -| Review Score – 4.5/5
Hit and Run -| Review Score – 4/5
Black and Blue -| Review Score – 4.5/5
Axe and Grind -| Review Score – 4/5
Plan and Execution -| Review Score – 4.5/5
Point and Shoot -| Review Score – 4.5/5
Fun and Games -| Review Score – 5/5
Nippy -| Review Score – 4.5/5
Breaking Bad -| Review Score – 4/5
Waterworks -| Review Score – 4.5/5
Saul Gone -| Review Score – 5/5
And so, it comes to an end. The saga of Saul Goodman/Jimmy McGill/Gene Takovic, spanning almost a decade, took its final bow with season 6. Initially, viewers saw it as a spin-off to AMC’s crown jewel, Breaking Bad. It was merely a follow-up with the potential of creating something special. Not in the wildest dreams could one have wagered it could possibly eclipse the illustrious predecessor. Even with preposterous odds, it seemed impossible.
Six emotional seasons later, the situation has probably changed. Peter Gould, who did not have a pioneering role behind Breaking Bad, joined forces with Vince Gilligan for Better Call Saul and took the show to another level. Most of season six, especially the second half, was spent in his contemplative, understated treatment of the story.
True admiration for BCS did not come from flamboyant action pieces or daring plot twists. It came from the urge to come clean and find love again. The trying patience in watching characters gradually change and then yearn for their old selves – or rather the memories attached with being that person – paid off rich dividends in the end.
While the first half of season six was spent in the timeline where Jimmy and Kim plotted an adventurous scheme against Howard Hamlin, not knowing that Lalo Salamanca is plotting one of his own against Gustavo Fring, the second was spent as a reflective exercise looking at the past through the prism of regrets. The two halves stand in stark contrast to each other, both in style, aesthetics, and themes.
Season six is also distinctly different from the previous seasons of Better Call Saul, where we did indeed see topsy-turvy plot frameworks. Serving both as a prequel and a sequel to Breaking Bad, the sixth and final season of Better Call Saul had the unenviable task of maintaining the momentum of the franchise from previous seasons and also patching a cross-over into the world of Walter and Jesse. Cranston and Paul did make notable guest appearances but mostly as a gesture of providing you closure.
There was a buzz about them featuring in the season even before it was released. All marketing and branding efforts aside though, they did not truly serve a fundamental purpose to the story.
One of the most remarkable features of season six was the handling of the duality for Jimmy’s personality. Two episodes were dedicated to indicating how, first, Jimmy became Saul and vice versa. The latter, probably not in the truest sense, as Jimmy found a way to live as both in the finale. But overall, the dynamics kept shifting. It gave us a meditative space within the universe where central characters were dying left and right. This season saw the departures of crowd favorites and it’s like the creators offered up their respects in the form of sequences akin to funeral marches. The foreshadowing of so many events manifested in season six.
What Gould does so well in the episodes he helmed singularly, was ignoring the noise and giving the story his own temperament. Many fans were upset with how the final few episodes turned out. Anger was mixed with confusion as to why are we seeing that. In a way, those episodes were a direct nod to the character of Walter breaking out. Saul was certainly lost beneath Gene. Keeping up appearances meant that our protagonist had to chain up the sweet-talking lawyer and the scheming Slippin’ Jimmy somewhere inside. Finally, when he felt he had nothing more to lose and missed that part of who he was, they broke out. The depiction was subtle, nuanced, and existential, ticking all the boxes on my checklist.
But at the core of season six’s finale, it is a love story. Kim Wexler and Jimmy McGill were reunited by the latter’s initiative and sacrifice. He didn’t have to give himself up having brokered an unbelievable deal for himself (that even Kim was impressed by). But he realized he had nothing to show for all his exploits. Going all gangster and becoming a money-minting lawyer couldn’t fill the empty hole, the vacuum of Kim’s presence. Seeing that, he raised one final scheme to come clean; to show that Kim had indeed fallen in love with a man of pride and values.
Season six, had, like all the other seasons of the show, exemplary acting performances on display. Rhea Seehorn, Bob Odenkirk and Jonathan Banks led the charge. The former two, especially, should deservedly take it all in the upcoming awards season. These are unprecedented moments in their professional lives that will never be matched. They truly gave a season where every dollar was worth it. Season six of Better Call Saul is television history. It belongs to an elite echelon of works that will carry a generational legacy with them to posterity. Better Call Saul is television royalty of the highest kind. Goodbye, Better Call Saul.
Verdict - 10/10