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The Heartfelt Long Con of the Better Call Saul Finale

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The story of a seedy lawyer’s descent into amorality sparked one of the most significant series finales in recent history by becoming what none of us dared hope for: a redemption story.

Better call Saul Finale Gone

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Through Valerie Ettenhofer Published on 11/24/2022

This essay is part of our series episodesa monthly column in TV Critic Valerie Ettenhofer delves into the unique chapters of television that make the medium great. This time she revisits the finale of Better Call Saul.


Better call Saul can be one of the biggest long-term TV downsides of all time. Until the end of his Six-season run By that year, the series had pulled off a trick worthy not only of Slippin’ Jimmy, but of Saul Goodman, the king of lures and rods. That said, when Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould’s series premiered in 2015, we all thought we knew what we got: a bridge story between a potentially decent guy named Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk) and the slimy showboat rat of a lawyer he would one day become. Easy right?

For years, Gilligan and Gould played the long game in a Gambit that had about as many moving parts as Jimmy and Kim’s (Rhea Seehorn) slow-motion destruction of their former colleague Howard Hamlin (Patrick Fabian). With every Saul-esque wink and moment of further moral lapse, the show encouraged us to point out and speculate: This is when Jimmy finally became Saul. But at the end, Better call Saul it wasn’t about that at all.

Neither of us really really knew what a story Better call Saul would be until it ended, and “Saul away” the masterful series finale of the series, turned out to be neither a tragic ending nor a bitter farewell. Wonder of wonders, it turns out this was a redemption story all along. It’s not about Jimmy becoming Saul, it’s about Saul ditching his garish suit jacket to become who we always hoped could be – someone worthy of the love of Kim Wexler and ours .

Saul Gone doesn’t immediately tell us his master plan. Like many of his episodes, which unfold slowly and methodically before showing their cards in a pacing method that seems wholly characteristic of Gilligan and Gould, it kept us in the dark. The scenes in which Jimmy goes all-out on Saul here are compelling and disturbing. When he climbs into a dumpster to evade police arrest, he is his meanest self and loses whatever vestige of dignity he had for an obviously foolish plan. But later, sitting across from Marie Schrader (Betsy Brandt) at a negotiating table, Jimmy shows his most incorrigible side.

Is that the meanest we’ve ever seen, Jimmy? No, that was an episode earlier when he threatened Carol Burnett with a phone cord and considered searching a urn of dog ashes for valuables. That’s what happened to Gene Takavic, a man who we can easily believe isn’t quite the type we know because he seems so determined to compartmentalize those identities for himself. But there’s no foreclosure as he sits across from the widow of the man whose death he helped and explains why he deserves leniency.

He says he was afraid of Walter White and that his involvement in the crimes, which could carry a life sentence, was under a lot of pressure. He says he’s still scared of Jesse and his associates. Jimmy puts on a show that is one of the most compelling of his life. We don’t quite think he’s doing this for any reason other than to save his skin, and neither does Marie, but her expression softens a little. Then the punchline hits like a punch in the pit of the stomach. “And you think the jury will believe that?” says the attorney. “One,” Jimmy replies, immediately dropping the genuine emotion. “I only need one.”

It’s a scene that’s not only harrowing but disgusting, and at first it’s hard to say why. Watching it again, I realize that’s not because this is the meanest thing Jimmy has ever done, nor the most convincing lie he’s told. It’s neither, but it’s a collision of the two halves of himself that he’s never revealed publicly before. This isn’t Gene or Saul being an asshole to people who don’t know Jimmy. This isn’t the slow slide toward amorality that Kim or Chuck (Michael McKean) gradually picks up on, too fleeting to point out most days. This is Jimmy revealing his worst self once and for all, convinced there is no way out and no reputation left to uphold. This is Ted Bundy admitting before his execution, only Jimmy reveals all his worst parts in order to save his own skin at the last minute. It’s bewildering and unsettling to watch the curtain fall unceremoniously to reveal the man behind it.

“Saul Gone” would have been a fantastic finale, even if the only feeling it gave us was a sense of relief. The relief that Kim is alive and well, or that a hint of Jimmy still shines through his facade. That would have been enough. But instead, here the series morphs into one of the rarest and most difficult things an ending can be: a tale of absolution. The shift comes when Jimmy finds out that Kim has turned himself in for Howard’s murder, but we don’t see the fruits of his erratic work until he takes the stand outside a courtroom. After all, Jimmy is still doing his best work there.

After the finale, Gould told AMC Talk that he and Gilligan discussed Jimmy’s story as a parallel to A Christmas Carol. In the classic Charles Dickens story, Ebenezer Scrooge is moved by three spirits who give him wisdom and warning. Saul Gone has its ghosts too, and Jimmy asks each of them the same question: What would you do with a time machine? Mike (Jonathan Banks) says he would go back to the first day he took bribes and to the future to check on his loved ones. Walt (Bryan Cranston) says he would return to the day he lost his company. His dear brother Chuck, whom Jimmy loved despite everything except killing him, didn’t answer but instead shared a bit of wisdom with him. “If you don’t like where you’re going, there’s no shame in going back and changing your path,” he said.

That’s what Jimmy did, his hand on a Bible with Kim as his witness. He gave one last impassioned speech, only this time it was the truth. At first it sounds like Walt’s own final admission that he liked to cook meth and was good at it. But that’s different. This is something heart-expanding. This is the long deceit, revealed, and this revelation? It was all about love, baby. Once the truth gets out of him, Jimmy can’t stop it. He calls Kim brave and Chuck brilliant. He takes his wife’s love off the hook while once again embroiling himself in a life sentence. Then, before resting his case, he corrects: It’s Jimmy, not Saul.

Like I said, series finales are rarely really about redemption. They can be about loose ends, happy endings, or consequences, but the feeling of trying to be a better person just isn’t quantifiable enough to show on screen often and well. But not in this case. The court scene in Better call Saul leaves a feeling like applause after a baptism, but it’s not over yet. Relief and redemption would have been enough, but we are given one final gift: a glimmer of hope.

In the last five minutes of the show we see Jimmy in prison. We know nothing of his life there except that the inmates know him Better call Saul, and his work cutting deals for criminals makes him like a god to them. But when Kim walks in to see him, it’s like his whole world shifts. Directed by Gould and shot by Marshall Adams, the gauzy shadows of the cell grids are suddenly beautiful. He and Kim sit side by side like a stylish pair of crooks from the film noir they spent hours watching together on their couch. As she smuggles him a cigarette and lights it wordlessly as the smoke billows between her gazes while he keeps her hands steady, the show is sexier than ever. There is an intoxicating romance here, expressed in every gesture and look between these two actors who have embodied these characters perfectly for years. There is also history; This scene mimics their first togetherness, a much less meaningful smoke break together in the pilot.

When Kim leaves Jimmy after a brief but charged conversation about his sentence (“86 Years”) and his future (“With Good Behavior, Who Knows?”), we don’t know what’s on her mind and what’s on her mind. She sniffs a little as she walks outside, and when Jimmy fires finger guns her way, she doesn’t respond. Is this a goodbye or see you later?

At least we know this much: Jimmy’s world has been black and white for so long, but when Kim lights up his cigarette, color comes back into his life. It’s just a red flare, a warm, comforting glow that could be erased with a tap, but it’s there. Like a name regained, a love reignited, or a long betrayal ending in hope, it’s there.

Related topics: Better call Saul, episodes

Valerie Ettenhofer is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer, TV lover, and mac and cheese enthusiast. As a Senior Contributor at Film School Rejects, she covers television through regular reviews and her recurring column, Episodes. She is also a voting member of the television and documentary divisions of the Critics Choice Association. Twitter: @aandeandval (you)

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Day Care Owner Pleads Guilty To Shooting Husband Accused Of Child Molestation

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Shanteari Weems, a Baltimore-area daycare owner, has formally pleaded guilty to the shooting death of her husband, James Weems.

Shanteari will be sentenced in February

On Monday, Shanteari claimed responsibility for shooting James on July 21. CBS Baltimore She reportedly pleaded specifically guilty to armed aggravated assault and carrying an unlicensed firearm.

Shanteari was also initially charged with resisting arrest, possession of a firearm during a crime and assault with intent to kill. However, those charges will be dropped at their sentencing hearing, which will be announced on February 3rd CBS Baltimore.

The situation came after a dark accusation

The case quickly drew widespread public attention when it arose, and it is particularly related to a serious allegation made against James.

As we so far reported, Shanteari said she shot James after learning of allegations that he had molested scores of children at her daycare, the Kidz Kastle Child Development Center.

Shanteari’s attorney, Tony Garcia, spoke about the impact this disclosure had on his client. WBAL TV reports.

“She was confronted in a very emotional, momentary, shocking moment by the parents of the children her husband had abused. For leaving those kids, for letting those kids get hurt under her care, she has extreme, extreme regret.”

She eventually shot James in the neck and leg at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Washington, D.C., though he survived the ordeal. An investigation into the incident uncovered Shanteari’s plans to shoot James, as well as two handguns.

James awaits his day in court

Shortly after the shooting, James – a former police officer who retired in 2005 – was arrested Child sexual abuse charges.

He is reportedly still in police custody and it is currently unclear when he will be brought to justice.

Online support for Shanteari Weems continues to be good

Following reports of Shanteari’s guilty plea, we should note that the court of public opinion remains with her and calls for her release.

What are your thoughts on the Shanteari Weems case and do you think the justice system is failing you?


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REPORT: White Tiger To Appear In Marvel’s ‘Daredevil: Born Again’

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The White Tiger comes to the Marvel Cinematic Universe thanks to Daredevil: Reborn.

Daniel Richtmann reports that the White Tiger is set to appear in Marvel’s Disney Plus series Daredevil: Reborn. The Insider is the second person to claim the character will appear in the upcoming series daredevil Revival, with a recent report from Huge freakin robot Linking Jenna Ortega to the role. The cast remains unconfirmed at press time.

The White Tiger was created by writer Bill Mantlo and artist George Pérez, with the first iteration of the character, known as Hector Ayala, making its debut in the 1975s pages Kung Fu Deadly Hands #19. Since Hector there have been four other White Tigers, most recently his sister Ava.

The people behind the new Daredevil series

Little known Daredevil: Reborn, with plot details being kept under wraps, but the show’s 18-episode first season makes it Marvel’s biggest Disney Plus project to date. Matt Corman and Chris Ord are co-writing and producing the series for the streaming service Production is scheduled to begin early next year in NYC.

reborn supposed to be there the return of Matt Murdock’s best friend and business partner, Foggy Nelson, played by Elden Henson. Also earlier this year Deborah Ann Woll expressed their interest in reprising the role of Karen Page for the Disney Plus series. Karen and Foggy were two of the main characters of the original daredevil Series on Netflix, in collaboration with Matt.

Daredevil: Reborn is currently slated to premiere on Disney Plus in Spring 2024. Stay tuned in for the latest Born Again news and make sure you do Subscribe to Visit our YouTube channel for more content!

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