Warning: There are Better Call Saul finale spoilers ahead, so if you are Michael McKean do not read on:
It’s hard to avoid spoilers for TV shows when everything is automatically uploaded, memed, and made into a GIF set 30 seconds after it airs. It’s even harder, probably, when you are actually an actor on said show but haven’t been able to catch up on the current season’s new episodes, which is the case for Michael McKean with Better Call Saul.
McKean portrayed Jimmy/Saul’s brother Chuck McGill during the first three seasons of the series before Chuck ultimately committed suicide. McKean has since been keeping up with the series, though he has not seen the last five episodes of season six which are, arguably, the most important episodes of the show and Jimmy’s character. In a new interview with Variety, McKean explained what he thinks his finale cameo meant, though he isn’t sure since he has very little context for it. But he does his best!
The scene features Jimmy delivering Chuck’s groceries, as he often did at the beginning of the show. With the rest of the flashbacks in the episodes, Jimmy is seen asking various characters about what they would do if they had access to a time machine. At the end of the scene with Chuck, it’s revealed that he was reading The Time Machine, showing just how much influence Chuck had over his brother.
“I think that the reason Chuck is in the episode is to tell everyone that you really can’t go back in time,” McKean explained. “So you have to make your decisions in the moment. And we’re flashing back to a guy who didn’t make the right choices, a guy who let a lot of long-burning problems set fire to his life, literally and figuratively. Chuck, at that point, may have had a little glimpse of what the future is, if you mold it correctly. And of course The Time Machine is about a poorly molded future.” That’s a pretty accurate description of Jimmy McGill, who ultimately had to own up to his actions in the finale.
McKean continued to explain what he believed the significance of the scene is. “What you do with yourself and who you are when you revisit the past can be kind of instructive. I think on a much shorter scale, that’s what Jimmy is doing and feeling in these moments, when he’s thinking about the time that’s gone by.”
Despite not seeing the finale, McKean spent three years learning about Jimmy, so he was pretty spot on with his interpretation of how it will end up for him. Though he didn’t mention Blue Bell mint chip ice cream.