There was no doubt that the first four seasons of AMC’s Better Call Saul were about Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk) transforming into Saul Goodman. Anyone who has seen Breaking Bad knew where Jimmy McGill would ultimately end up, and Saul basically filled us in on the detailed backstory. What no one saw coming — because we all underestimated her — is that the fifth season would be about Kim Wexler (Rhea Seehorn) “breaking bad.”
It worked, however, because, while it was unexpected, it’s a story that Saul has been telling since the beginning. “I feel lucky that I did not think of this as one giant arc of this mask coming off,” Seehorn said this weekend during Deadline’s virtual Contenders Television event. “It was for me, filling in the jigsaw puzzle, taking the pieces that are there in these brilliant scripts that have as much loaded in not speaking as speaking. I don’t know where we are going, but I feel very lucky that I was allowed to play it honestly, incrementally, a step at a time.”
It may be one of the slowest burns in television history, but as Bob Odenkirk noted at the same event, the fifth season of Saul saw “the stakes of” McGill’s choice to become Saul Goodman, which included nearly getting Saul, Kim, and Mike all killed by Lalo. With Lalo still alive — and now angry that Gus Fring and Nacho tried to have him killed — the lives of everyone on this series are precarious. We at least know that Saul Goodman, Gus Fring, and Mike Ehrmantraut will survive the final season, because we see them in Breaking Bad. We cannot say the same thing about Kim Wexler, and as the series heads into its final batch of episodes, showrunner Peter Gould warns viewers of the potential heartbreak to come.
“We have a lot of ideas about where Jimmy and Kim are going,” Gould hinted at the Deadline event. “There’s some ideas which I am so excited about, but there is also a lot of sadness to where this is going.” Given the fact that we do not see Kim in Breaking Bad or in the Omaha flash-forwards with Gene Takovic, the sadness may allude to Jimmy and Kim’s break-up or worse. Should we be worried about Kim’s fate?
Vince Gilligan, who co-created the series along with Gould, noted last year that the ending of Saul will be “better” than that of Breaking Bad. Note, however, that he said “better,” not “happier.” In other words, yes: We should definitely be worried.
Production of the final season of Better Call Saul is expected to begin later this year, with the final 13 episodes airing in 2021.