This past August gave us the final episode of AMC Courtroom drama and “Breaking Bad” prequel, “Better Call Saul,” ending its sixth season. This season ends all that “Better Call Saul” had been building up to, showing us how the conman lawyer with a heart of gold, Jimmy McGill, became “Breaking Bad’s” criminally corrupt Criminal Lawyer, Saul Goodman.
This season had quite a bit to resolve. Season 5 ended with the cliffhanger of the failed assassination attempt against antagonist Lalo Salamanca, leaving Ignacio “Nacho” Varga in deep, deep trouble. In addition, Jimmy and his wife, Kim Wexler, ended the season by beginning plans to bring down a long-time legal rival, Howard Hamlin.
Like much of “Better Call Saul,” this season was a slow burn. The season has a significant character death early on, but it is mainly set up for more incredible things.
Just like how “Better Call Saul” had gone up to this point, two main plotlines are happening parallel to each other. One revolves around Jimmy and Kim’s legal machinations, and one involves Mike and Gus planning to take down Lalo before he exposes Gus’s underground meth lab.
The setup, though slow, was still well paced, as Jimmy’s intricate schemes and Gus’s tactical preparations added quite a bit of flavor to the structure. The slow simmer of the show comes to a fantastic conclusion as the two plots collide, with the consequences of this collision forever changing Saul and Kim.
This confrontation is revealed to be what resulted in Jimmy’s corruption. This is clearly shown by the end of the episode, showing that Jimmy fully embraces the identity of the criminal lawyer, Saul Goodman, as we witness events that took place around the time of “Breaking Bad” from his point of view.
After this, “Better Call Saul” enters its final phase, showing Jimmy after the end of “Breaking Bad,” working under the assumed identity of Gene Tacovik as a mall Cinnabon manager.
These scenes are shot in black and white to represent the depression that Jimmy is going through at this point. The way we see the sheer monotony of Jimmy’s new life is simply compelling. This arc leads to “Better Call Saul’s” ultimate finale: a bittersweet end to Saul Goodman and his empire of lies.
Overall, this season was simply beautiful. The many narrative pay offs and satisfying conclusions brought to us from this slow burn were brilliant. The way that “Better Call Saul” manages to keep its own artistic identity despite being so inextricably linked to “Breaking Bad” is evident of “Better Call Saul’s” greatness. It works wonderfully as both a prequel and as a stand-alone story.
Former “Breaking Bad” head writer and prominent “X Files” writer Vince Gilligan has graced our screens with yet another beautiful show. I recommend that people watch “Better Call Saul,” though I advise against comparing it to “Breaking Bad.” While it is a prequel, they are like apples and oranges.