Jimmy McGill Got The Happiest Ending Possible In The ‘Better Call Saul’ Series Finale

In the final minutes of Better Call Saul’s series finale, Jimmy McGill gets a visit from his lawyer in prison. The audience knows exactly who we’re about to see, but Jimmy is shocked to see his ex-wife Kim Wexler. She updated her sad Flordia haircut and wardrobe, and now embodies a leading lady from a film noir, like a character from the kind of movies Kim and Jimmy once loved watching together. Kim and Jimmy don’t say much to each other, because they don’t have to. Kim offers Jimmy a cigarette and they lean against the decaying prison wall sharing it in near silence. Their dull black and white world sees a hint of color in the lit end of the cigarette, signifying the return of Kim and Jimmy as they once were: a team of misfits who understood each other at their best and their worst. The scene is tragic but slightly erotic: Kim and Jimmy are right back where they started earlier in the series, leaning on a wall and sharing a cigarette with a little cinematic light shining on them. Jimmy McGill will spend the rest of his life in prison, but this is the happiest ending he could possibly get because he got Kim back.

In its opening minutes, the series finale, aptly titled “Saul Gone,” dabbles in intense action with a chase sequence but the episode quickly puts an end to the thrills and shifts its focus on Saul Goodman’s prison sentence. For much of the episode, Jimmy is still in Saul Goodman mode: he insists he be called Saul Goodman, he talks himself out of a lifetime prison sentence (narrowing it down to seven years), and he performs a cheesy monologue that victimizes himself even though he knows he’s complicit. There are slivers of truth and hints of Jimmy McGill in this monologue: he was terrified of Walter White, but he also went out of his way to help him. Jimmy negotiates in the unbelievable way we’ve seen throughout the entire run of Better Call Saul. He can talk a team of lawyers into dwindling down a life sentence plus over a century to seven years, just like how he could convince people like Lalo Salamanca to listen to his ideas.

The finale builds to Jimmy’s pivotal confession in Better Call Saul’s traditional slow and intentionally brutal pace, which makes the finale even more excruciating than it already is. For a majority of the tense episode, we’re on the edge of our seats, gripping the cushions in our sweaty hands anticipating the worst: that Jimmy McGill is Saul Goodman and always has been, and Jimmy McGill was the real performance, not Saul. Just when you think it will only go one way, Jimmy comes back and proves he’s the decent (if corrupt) person Kim Wexler fell for so deeply. Jimmy couldn’t go back in time to change his mistakes: his relationship with Chuck, his criminal activity, his involvement with the cartel and Walter White, Howard Hamlin’s death, the end of his marriage to Kim. Once Jimmy discovers that Kim is in jeopardy with a civil suit, he realizes what Saul Goodman was all for: a mask for his trauma, pain, and loss. If Jimmy could help Kim – the only person who ever truly knew him – by coming clean about everything, he would do it.

“Kim had the guts to start over,” Jimmy says of Howard’s death in court. “She left town, but I’m the one who ran away,” he adds with a hint of pride. Jimmy has finally understood himself by understanding that Saul wasn’t really him, he was a distraction. Finally, he’s seen in himself what Kim always has. Saul Goodman’s end could have been a brutal death, another lonely life living in secret, or life as Saul Goodman or Gene Takovic.

Jimmy McGill isn’t exactly a hero, but he is the hero and the writer of his own story. He’s serving an 86-year prison sentence by his own design. He let go of Saul Goodman, confessed his crimes and, in doing so, saved his relationship with the most important person in his life. Jimmy doesn’t care where he is, all he ever cared about is Kim.

It took a long time, but Saul Goodman is truly gone. Jimmy McGill just had to let go of his pain and guilt over Chuck, Howard Hamlin, and Kim to get there.