Welcome back to our weekly breakdown of the minutia of Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould’s Better Call Saul. While Brian Grubb provides his always excellent coverage of the series (here’s his write-up of the most recent episode), here we will look at some of the details viewers may have missed, callbacks to Breaking Bad, references to other shows or movies, and theories on the direction the series is heading. We scour Reddit threads, Twitter, listen each week to the phenomenal Better Call Saul Insider Podcast, and attempt to curate the best intel about each episode.
In this week’s episode, Kim and Jimmy grow apart.
1. Before I say anything else, can I just say this about that teaser? It’s one of the saddest, most heartbreaking montages I’ve ever seen, and one of the best in a series full of great ones. It’s not that anything in the teaser itself is particularly sad; it’s the import of what is happening. Through four seasons, Jimmy and Kim have been steady rocks. They’ve had fights and disagreements and they’ve been through some horrible moments, but they’ve always been together. To see them drift apart naturally without even fighting over the course of eight months in a five-minute montage was hugely painful because we know what it means. It means that Jimmy and Kim probably won’t be together during the Saul Goodman years. It means that Kim is headed for a fall. It means that season 4 is to Kim what season 3 was to Chuck.
And it might just mean not seeing Rhea Seehorn anymore or much at all in season 5. One of this season’s regular editors on Better Call Saul, Chris McCaleb — who was editing the finale around the time he taped the podcast — said the montage made him cry, and that actually made me think he knows something about what’s coming at the end of the season that we do not, which made that montage all the more heartbreaking.
2. In one simple shot during a montage, we learn why Jimmy uses the name Saul Goodman as a lawyer when his suspension ends and he begins his new practice. It’s because that’s the name he uses to sell his phones, and because he’s met a lot of his future clients selling those phones, and because those future clients know him not as Jimmy McGill, but as Saul Goodman. It’s such an easy transition from “Need to Call? Buy from Saul!” to simply “Better Call Saul.”
To those viewers who have complained over the past four seasons that it’s taken too long to get to the Saul Goodman years, how are you feeling about that now? He’s upon us, and I’ve never wanted anything less. I am really going to miss Jimmy.