If you know me (And let’s be real, you’re probably not better for having done so.), you’d know that I’ve always identified and felt a certain kinship with dark and troubled characters in media. Give me a depressed and alcoholic sentient horse or a bald nerdy man with glasses who has to take increasingly dark steps to accomplish the American Dream and I’m fully engaged, etc.
It’s in the world of that last referenced characters show that I’ve found my latest avatar.
Better Call Saul, the story of one James McGill. A lawyer and unethical shyster increasingly tired of having to take the right track only to get screwed over in the process who also constantly lives in the shadow of his more successful peers who look down on him to a certain extent. Oh man, where does that sound familiar? Minus the law part, a whole hell of a lot synchs up.
Now, if you’ve seen Breaking Bad or any of this show, you know what happens. If you haven’t seen anything at all, please direct your attention to the line below before reading any further.
Ok, now that that’s out of the way and I just finished a quick run to the shoe store for a cheeseburger. I can get into the crux of this piece, my theory about the shows ending. Assuming ratings don’t dip dramatically or the show adopts the narrative quality of a Michael Bay film, one can assume that the AMC ran and Sony Pictures owned series will come to an end after two more seasons on the air. The average show runs between five and seven before losing steam.
That begs the question, what will the resolution be for Jimmy/Saul? Will things lead directly into Breaking Bad and leave it at that Rouge One style? Or will a familiar message be played out in a dark way? In my own view, Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould will take the grim path forward.
What’s one of the central themes that was present in Breaking Bad and is in Better Call Saul?
ACTIONS HAVE CONSEQUENCES
Whether it was Hank choosing to not inform his peers at the DEA aside from Gomez about his investigation into Walter and subsequently getting killed when they went in alone to arrest him or Jesse dating Andrea in spite of his dangerous life of crime, no bad decision went unpunished.
Saul hasn’t really paid for his mistakes yet.
Sure. He’s living in Nebraska under an assumed name, working a dead-end job and cut off from his old life. But if anything, it’s a step up from what he had. Gone are the days of constant death threats, tussles with cartel connected goons and junkie lowlifes streaming into his office for help with their latest law enforcement related fuckup. No, he hasn’t suffered. He gets to be “Gene” in an off the grid rehab where no one knows his name. He can go out, see a movie, even date a bit.
This, is not going to last. How do I know? Let me direct your attention to this quote.
“I hate the idea of Idi Amin living in Saudi Arabia for the last 25 years of his life. That galls me to no end.”
Vince Gilligan said that during an interview with the New York Times in the run-up to the final season of the mother show for this spin-off. Given his tendency and that of the creative team he has assembled to stick to this theme. There are only two ways Saul will end.
One, Jesse shows up on his front door. Kills him and then himself. Sirens blare in the distance and the show slowly fades to black.
Two, given Saul’s outburst in the opening “In-Hiding” scene of season 3. In time, he’ll slip up and expose himself to someone where he is living. He’ll get arrested and extradited to New Mexico. There, former girlfriend Kim Wexler, now working as a federal prosecutor, leads the trial to put Jimmy McGill in prison. Bringing a fitting end to the series on a legalese note.
Now of course, knowing the brilliant minds behind this show, they probably have something awesome I and everyone else who watches/pirates the thing on the internet doesn’t see coming. But, it’s always fun to speculate. Because every now and then, people are right on the mark.