‘Better Call Saul’ Series Finale: End Explained, Jimmy, Kim Wexler

Warning: This post contains spoilers from Monday You better call Saul series finale.

After so many years of keeping criminals out of prison by any means necessary, Jimmy McGill himself ended up behind bars.

You better call Saul On Monday, the six-season program ended with a super-big series finale where Jimmy/Saul/Gene met a fitting ending: sentenced to 86 years in federal prison for his role in Walter White’s drug empire and all its other misdeeds. (Read our full summary here.) At just seven years in a minimum security facility (with a golf program!) he had changed his plea and took full responsibility for his crimes, along with his role in the death of Howard Hamlin and his own brother Chuck, while Kim watched in court. He also went back to the name “Jimmy McGill”, after living under an alias for years.

An inmate Jimmy was allowed to share one last cigarette with Kim during a prison visit, and through flashbacks we even got to see Mike Ehrmantraut, Walter White and Chuck McGill again. However, we here at TVLine still had questions, so we reached out to: Saul co-creator and showrunner Peter Gould — who wrote and directed Monday’s finale — to ask him how he and the writers got to this end, what changed Jimmy’s mind, and whether this qualifies as a “happy ending” for Jimmy and Kim .

TV LINE | We know that the general line of the series changed a lot as you worked on it and evolved over time. So at what point did you settle for this particular ending, and what made you decide to go that way?
I think it was in seasons 4 and 5 that we started thinking about where this was all going, and we started having this image of Jimmy behind bars right at the very end. Because what does he do for a living? He represents criminals. He is the interface between the legal world and the criminal world, and he is part of the justice machine, but he is the tool that does its own thing. He’s the one who finds the loopholes and lies. And it felt like it might be a good idea for him to be a suspect and eventually a convict, while dancing outside for so many years.

TV LINE | Jimmy confesses everything to Kim right there in court when he could have just gotten away with seven years in a cozy federal prison. Did he see that as the only way to redeem himself and regain Kim’s respect and affection?
I think that’s part of it. He wants her there. There’s a lot of ambiguity there, and there’s a lot you could read there. You may think, would he have had the courage to do what he does if she hadn’t been there? You can see it, at least the way Bob [Odenkirk] When he plays it, he’s bound to go in and confess, but in an odd way, he’s almost a little proud and defiant to begin with. And then I think Kim’s presence flattens him to the ground and makes him more real. Did he do it to redeem himself? I think he is breaking a circle. This is a man who wants to get away with anything. He likes to fool people. He likes to win in conversations. He likes to win in court. He always wants to win. And I think he’s breaking out of something we’ve seen him do over and over. His behavior this season, especially in the last few episodes, seems like it was all geared towards this result in some way. He’s kind of at war with himself, but then one side wins, and he comes out clean in court.

I think what you see with Jimmy or Saul, he’s in a cycle where he always seems to react the same way to things. Kim leaves, he becomes Saul Goodman. He has that phone call with Kim, that painful phone call while he’s in the pay phone in Nebraska, and she tells him to turn himself in, and how does he respond? He goes on a crime hunt. And even in the midst of a crime wave, he keeps pushing it harder and harder. It seems like he’s doing something he might not be able to put into words. Finally, we felt it was very important for this character to find out: will he always be like this? Is there ever a chance for him to change anything? And despite all the pain in the finale, he does make one big change: he stands up in court and tells a good deal of the truth. He’s not telling the whole truth. But he tells a great deal of the truth, and certainly the part of the truth that will get him into the most trouble.

Better Call Saul Series Finale Jimmy Kim CigaretteTV LINE | Jimmy and Kim end up sharing that last cigarette in jail which was a great recall to the pilot where they lean against the wall together. It may not be a conventional happy ending, but is this perhaps the happiest ending we could expect, given the circumstances?
I think so. In my perfect world, for me, the great movies – and we aspired to it, I don’t know if we achieved it – but the great movies keep the story floating in your head after the movie is over. Jimmy and Kim are both alive. They both kick. He seems to have found a way to survive behind bars, and it looks like she’s going back into the law. So in a weird way I think it’s a happy ending. In my heart I always wonder if he will end up serving that very severe sentence that was imposed on him. We will see.

TV LINE | Well, we won’t see it. It is over!
Yes, we won’t see it! It’s up to us to imagine it. I’m so used to saying “We’ll see”! I keep doing it!

TV LINE | We got another scene with Chuck McGill and it was great to see Michael McKean again. Was that flashback what would really change Jimmy if he could get back into that time machine: to just be a low-profile lawyer in Albuquerque and still run errands to his brother?
Yes, when we first meet him in the pilot, that’s exactly what he does: he brings the groceries to Chuck every day and begs Chuck to deposit money at HHM. At this point, these two guys, their relationship might have changed.

TV LINE | Yes, and that came back in the other two flashbacks where Jimmy didn’t really regret wanting to go back in time and change. Walter White even says, “You were always like this.”
[Laughs] Well, Walt is the same way. He just stole a baby and rolled on the floor with his son, and yet he regrets something that happened to him in high school. So I think these guys in that scene are both avoiding the elephant in the room… In all three of those flashbacks, you see [Jimmy] avoiding introspection and resisting change. You know, change and introspection are very hard, but if you wait too long, you might end up in federal prison.

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