Better Call Saul: Season 6 REVIEW – Closing Storylines

It still amazes me that Better Call Saul was originally outlined as a lighter spinoff, a half-hour goofy comedy where every week Saul would have a new client and find an amusingly amoral way to get him out of his sleeve. In the event that it turned out to be as gripping a drama as its predecessor Breaking Bad, if not more so, I’ve seen it called The Godfather Part II on TV – high praise, to be sure, but definitely deserved.

My thoughts on the previous season made it so much that it was effectively three intertwined stories into one. This had its rough spots, especially when they seemed like completely unconnected parts of Albuquerque’s life, but it’s all worth it here because every single plot thread is worth it. Conclusions may not be happy endings, but gosh, they are endings.

For one of these main threads, we already knew where it all ended; the other was in the air. But as for the third, while we always knew what would ultimately become of Saul, the show had been playing with an ostentatiously black-and-white post-Breaking Bad timeline from the start. We always knew, or at least really hoped, that we’d see a bit of where are they now?

Pulling off the landing is itself commendable, given all the high-octane A-list dramas that completely screwed it up. First on that list is obviously Game Of Thrones’ infamous self-destruct. Ozark, which was clearly mimicking Breaking Baddiverse in places, fell apart badly as it came to an end. Even The Wire, television’s own great American soap opera, was starting to show the tension towards the end.

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The common theme here can only be television as a longer-form work. No serialization, no adventures of the week (as The Adventures of Saul Goodman JD might as well have been), now the kind of grandiose storylines that were incredibly specific not too long ago have become the standard. Thus, it manages to squeeze three flats, at least two and a half, into a single-flat pack.

Better Call Saul always had a leg up on the competition in this regard, having a good 62 hours of story to play through from minute one. But this is a double-edged sword. To be sure, there’s already a great deal of depth to any returning character, but it also means, as I’ve already mentioned, that we know where a lot of them end up (see: Mike, Gus, Hector, and the rest of Albuquerque’s lovable career criminals). ).

As this goes on, I have to draw a comparison to El Camino, the rather shaky sequel movie, which, while it was a sequel, was very keen to go back into the Breaking Bad timeline and bring out the old faces, most obviously Jonathan Banks and Bryan Cranston. . Better Call Saul has also been promiscuously cheerful about it from the start, but here it feels less like something designed to make the studio audience clap.

When Better Call Saul gives us the old faces, they never seem like a famous guest star. There is a bit of ‘remember when’, but this is a recollection of things past, remembering how we got from there to here.

The true brilliance of this final season of Better Call Saul is in finally reconciling the cartoon ambulance chaser from Breaking Bad with the infinitely more rounded and underdog version of the character that Better Call Saul introduced us to. ‘Rounded’ can even be looked down upon for a man who goes through at least three different personas. Jimmy McGill finally grows up to fit the Saul Goodman mask, the same thing we all wanted all along, and turns to ashes in our mouths when it happens.

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And leave it as a testament to the skill of the creators that they were able to pull off this transformation on the fly. When they first came up with Saul and dropped him on us, while casually taunting his secretary and nonchalantly suggesting killing a man, they never could have imagined that one day they would have to make the character not just likeable but genuinely funny. comprehensive.

This is not the first time they have had to play things by ear. When Breaking Bad introduced Gus, you could see the show metamorphosing as they realized exactly what they were up to, and now Giancarlo Esposito will be playing nice, well-groomed evil men until someone physically forces him to stop. But Bob Odenkirk has found himself opening up layers of Saul that we never would have suspected could exist. The days before he was Saul were just the beginning.

Speaking of character development, does Rhea Seehorn’s Kim ever get to co-star? Maybe not, but it’s a very close second, and she’s head and shoulders above the other putative Better Call Saul leads, second only to the man himself. It’s far from muddy, but Kim and Jimmy are very much a romance. Crucially, Seehorn is complementing Odenkirk’s performance, rather than fighting him for screen time (as she has been doing in our never-ending obsession with the Albuquerque underworld since the beginning).

And Kim is another clear example of the creators improvising like crazy and extracting pure gold. Even Lalo, that scene-stealing highlight, was based on a small mention in Breaking Bad and was ultimately window dressing. Kim came out of nowhere and ended up being an indispensable part of the A-plot.

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On a fundamental level, Better Call Saul is the best that television can be, although it is limited by the fact that it is a prequel (for example, Odenkirk and Esposito could never share a scene without throwing continuity out the window). So perhaps it’s fitting that the highlights were those parts of the story that the original didn’t even hint at. That hem requires creativity, in the same way that pressure creates diamonds.

READ MORE: Better Call Saul: Who Is Really The Villain, Anyway?

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Verdict

Better Call Saul: Season is not just a mere ending, but a true conclusion, the end of a journey that many of us have been following for a long time.

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