When Better Call Saul started, the big question on everyone’s mind was “When will lowly Jimmy McGill, the sad-sack younger brother of legendary attorney Chuck McGill, transform into the fast-talking Saul Goodman character we meet in Breaking Bad?” This was understandable. Saul was right there in the title. It wasn’t a difficult equation to put together.
A strange thing happened on the journey from there to here, though. With the fates of so many characters already spelled out for us (Jimmy/Saul/Gene: Omaha Cinnabon; Mike: dead; Gus: dead; Hank: dead; Huell: motel), the focus shifted to the characters whose fates we don’t know. Most notably, it shifted to Kim Wexler, a character who plays a huge part in this series and no part at all in the one that takes place after this series. This leads to the not-unreasonable conclusion that something happens between now and then. Something bad. At the very least, something… not good.
That day is getting closer. It might even be here as soon as this coming Monday’s season five finale. I’m very nervous. Some of you are too, I imagine. And so, to help us all, collectively, deal with that nervous energy, I have created a list of a few potential outcomes for Kim Wexler, ranked from least to most likely. Please note that this list is not exhaustive. Other things could happen. Some of these are just excuses to make pretty terrible jokes. I’m sorry. I’m struggling here. Cut me some slack, okay?
8. Stays married to Jimmy, no harm comes to her at any point, exists perfectly happy and healthy throughout the entire run of Breaking Bad without being mentioned or alluded to a single time
Yeah, no chance. It says a lot about how unlikely this is that I have it ranked before the joke-y entries. I just don’t see how it’s feasible, for a million reasons, but mostly because it would mean she stuck with him through his entire criminal rise and then he just up and left her to flee to that Omaha Cinnabon without so much as a goodbye. Say what you will about Jimmy McGill, he’s not that guy.
The only reason I’m even including this option is because I now kind of want a second spinoff that runs on the exact Breaking Bad timeline but just shows us Kim Wexler’s perspective of the whole thing. That would be fun. Something to consider.
7. Leaves Jimmy for Lalo and they have three children who grow up to be an unstoppable combination of ruthless, crafty, and charming, and the whole family eventually moves to Hawaii and takes over the entire state
You saw Lalo’s face when she was yelling at him. There were sparks in that room if not a crackling open flame. You saw that, right? No? It was just me? Possibly because I adore Lalo even though he’s a diabolical monster? Maybe because of his mustache? Hmm. I will need a few moments to think about this. Possibly more than a few. Give me the weekend, at least.
You can’t deny that they’d be an unstoppable team, though. Lalo’s charisma and athleticism and ruthlessness combined with Kim’s drive and quick-thinking. They could take over the drug market for the entire Southwest. Or, as I indicated above, move to Hawaii and take over the whole chain of islands instead. I think they would like Hawaii. I have this image in my head of Lalo in a tourist-y flower print shirt, with his feet up on a patio table and an umbrella drink in his hand. Kim is still in a suit jacket. She has work to do. She’s the brains of this operation.
6. Gets hired by the cartel after they hear a report from Lalo about how formidable she is as an adversary and advocate
Still very much in the long-shot category only because I suspect Kim Wexler would sooner die than represent a massive international drug cartel in its legal proceedings. She just quit Mesa Verde, for heaven’s sake. If you’re having moral quandaries about helping a financial institution push money from one pile to another, you’re probably not jumping from that to being in-house counsel for a group of wealthy drug dealers.
It would be a little funny, though, to see Kim go full-on Cartel Lawyer, all the way up to and including the flashy Mercedes and reflective Aviator sunglasses. It would also be funny to see Jimmy’s reaction to this scenario, with Kim essentially becoming a better and more successful version of the thing he was headed toward becoming. The man has an inferiority complex as wide and deep as the Pacific Ocean. This one might break him. It would be fun to watch, though. Bob Odenkirk is a treasure, especially when he’s spiraling.
5. Moves to California, changes her name to Ellen Swatello, and eventually joins the law firm of Infeld Daniels, making Better Call Saul somehow a prequel of both Breaking Bad and Franklin & Bash
I don’t see how any of us can rule this one out. Not at this point, at least.
4. Gets dumped by Jimmy, who, in a moment of moral clarity, realizes the choices he’s making — and has already made — will put those around him in danger and he can’t bear the thought of it
Doubtful but not impossible. Jimmy is in a very bad place right now, with PTSD from the gunfight and what appears to be sun poisoning on 50 to 60 percent of his body. Lalo just showed up at his apartment and terrorized his wife and his goldfish. He could do anything in the next few days. He could do this, he could run to Hawaii himself before Kim and Lalo take over and then return in time for Breaking Bad, he could try to learn how to play the guitar. Pretty much everything is on the table for him right now, decision-wise, provides it ends with him running that shady law practice out of that strip mall in time for Walter and Jesse to come calling.
It’s an exciting time.
3. Ends up dead
No. I do not want to talk about this one. I do not want to think about it. I will be inconsolable if this show kills off Kim Wexler, one of the only characters left worth rooting for on the show and one of the best characters on television, full stop. Do not do this to me. I’m begging you.
We are in a dicey place right now, though. Kim is “in the game,” to quote Mike, and she just cussed out a powerful sociopath who has killed before. Also, she quit her high-paying job to follow her dream of defending the powerless, which is at best a half-step less ominous than “after I do this one last job, you and I are going to open a cute little breakfast spot on the beach.” It’s terrifying. Put her in a bulletproof vest every day until Lalo is disposed of.
2. Ends up in jail
This would be even crueler than death, in a way. Death is sadder and more final, sure, but the idea of Kim, the mostly straight shooter who occasionally grifted expensive tequila from wealthy numbskulls, ending up in prison, possibly for or related to something Jimmy did or was involved in, well… that would be a real kick in the pants for all of us. There are a bunch of ways it could happen, too, starting with Lalo framing her for something to punish Jimmy, especially now that Lalo saw her in action. He knows she’s the competent one, the protective one, the one who puts Jimmy back together when he falls to pieces.
Get a good mental image of Kim standing in a jail cell as the bars roll closed in front of her. Hear that lock clunk and lock sound. It stinks. I hate it
1. Breaks up with Jimmy before this all gets really nuts
Three reasons this option comes in at number one:
- She should have dumped that loser a long time ago, for any number of transgressions, but “continuing to lie to her after he promised not to, occasionally about gunfights he was in that brought a suspicious murderous lunatic to the front door of her home” is as good a reason as any, if she’s looking for something fresh
- It is the happiest possible realistic ending for her and I could really use that right now, even if the Breaking Bad universe is not exactly known for giving characters happy endings
- Leaves the door open for Kim, who grew up in Nebraska, to leave New Mexico and move back home, where she could eventually bump into a very familiar-looking mustachioed Cinnabon manager in an Omaha shopping mall, which is so perfect and sweet an ending that it has no chance of working out as smoothly as I’m picturing
Whatever. Let me have this one.