Meaning of the movie “Better Call Saul” and ending explained

Meaning of the movie “Better Call Saul” and ending explained Films

“Better Call Saul” is recognized by connoisseurs of the genre of comedy-crime drama as an excellent prequel to “Breaking Bad” and a worthy independent project. The series about the slippery rogue Saul Goodman is a story about how Jimmy McGill, a “middle hand” lawyer who worked mainly as a public defender, turned into a super businesslike and eccentric lawyer. Penny cases in court, instead of an office – a musty two-square nook, filmed in the backyard of a pedicure salon on the outskirts of the city. Poverty, failure, family troubles. Hopelessness and disappointment bring the main character to despair. For the sake of earning money and in the hope of success, he decides on a major scam, but does not understand who he has contacted. The audience is involved in the showdown of criminal cartels, immersed in the atmosphere of the largest city in the state of New Mexico.

What is special about the spin-off

Film director and producer Vince Galligan began filming the project in 2015, when Breaking Bad, which finished two years earlier, had already become his famous TV franchise. The starting events in the prequel are dated 2002, before the start of the events of the main series for another 6 years. The work got its name from one of the episodes of the eminent saga about the criminal world of Albuquerque. The 8th episode of season 2, when the cult anti-hero Goodman first appeared on the screen, was titled “Better Call Saul.”

You don’t have to be familiar with the legendary original to watch the prequel. Better Call Soul, which expanded the Breaking Bad universe, sounds good and solo. However, in the course of timing, various consonances of the two series are caught. For example, Jimmy McGill’s car key fob is the same as Walter White’s in the Felina series. In Better Call Saul (episode “Marco”) and in Breaking Bad (episode “Kafkaesque”), there is a story about a girl whom the hero managed to convince that he is Kevin Costner. In the main project, there is a fragment where Goodman directly voices his real name – McGill.

The peculiarity of a simple and light spin-off is that it somehow surpassed the great and gloomy “big brother”. The series looks with interest and remains faithful to the chosen format of the “collective genre hodgepodge”. Here is a drama about a failed lawyer, and a comedy about an unlucky swindler, and a crime thriller about drug trafficking, and a melodrama about co-dependent relationships.

Franchise main theme

How is it that a decent person goes over to the dark side? Why does he get involved with the “bad guys” and turn into a villain? This is the main thing that interests the creators of the saga about the criminal world of Albuquerque. In the prequel, the theme of the original continues, but is revealed differently.

  • Loser and mattress Walter White becomes a victim of circumstances and tries to survive at any cost. The starting point of his story is a terrible diagnosis. As a result, a part-time chemistry teacher turns into what he always wanted to be: drug lord Heisenberg. The protagonist follows the path of self-deception and endless moral compromises: life is like this, and I’m not bad.
  • In the case of the kind and slightly idealistic Jimmy McGill, everything is much more interesting. Before us is a charming swindler, a great strategist and a talented speaker, obsessed with the desire to get rich. A sort of American Ostap Bender. “The main thing is not what you lie about, but how,” he says. Saul became a coping mechanism for Jimmy, because he did not live up to the expectations of his brother and wife. But the main character consciously tries to play by all the rules, it is important for him to be decent and good.
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The stories of the fall of the main characters are presented in different variations: a consistent evolution in the TV series Breaking Bad and a blurry transformation in Better Call Saul.

Explanation of the series finale

The sixth season of Better Call Saul puts an end to the massive project of showrunners Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould. The story ends on a high note: greed and ambition do not win, the main character remains quite a decent person. Instead of single-handedly administering swift justice, Jimmy McGill returns to his former craft. He is content with little: to rob a drunken rich man, to deceive an ignorant old woman.

While at the end of the events of Breaking Bad, one thing becomes clear. The most that the bastard Saul Goodman can now count on is a job in a candy store in Omaha. Here, under the guise of manager Gene Taktavik, a lonely and depressed man lurks, in the depths of whose soul the memory of the once influential person of the criminal world smolders.

It is noteworthy that for the personal characteristics of the characters, the authors use the principle of “fire and ice”. It was used in the colors of clothing and accessories. Bad guys wear red (symbol of flame), good guys wear blue (association with ice). Tuco is wearing a red shirt as he takes the twins and Jimmy to the desert to punish him for running over his grandmother. Nacho, in a blue shirt, persuades Tuco not to kill them. How positive or negative a character or his act is can be understood by the intensity of the color. As for the “Fallen Jimmy”, then his car has one of the doors – red. This is a hint that the hero is far from being an ideally good person, but he is not ambitious, not a cynic, and not a scoundrel.

The series finale answers “no” to the viewer’s question “was the main character always a villain?”. Jimmy manages to take off all the masks and become himself again, sincere, simple, human. In fact, the filmmakers are building micro-worlds of big dramas from inconspicuous trifles and small print, which lawyers usually advise paying attention to in a document. According to the plot of “Better Call Saul”, a whole human life broke down due to a couple of numbers scrawled on paper.

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“Better Call Saul” ending explained

In the second half of the last season, the viewer is mostly shown black-and-white flash forwards, where Jimmy / Saul has grown a sad mustache and, under the pseudonym Gene Takovich, works at Cinnabon in Omaha. The criminal nature still rushes out: in the last episodes, Gene turns a criminal scheme and, with the help of accomplices, robs wealthy drinkers in a bar. And the hero becomes much more careless and arrogant – that’s how the police caught him.

In the last episode, Saul decides to avoid justice as much as possible: he fools the investigation, feeds it with insiders about Walter White’s drug empire, makes a deal and even manages to cut his sentence down to a ridiculous seven years (and he is accused of racketeering, money laundering and participation in the death of two federal agents!). But at the last minute, the infamous lawyer drops the Goodman name, asks to be called Jimmy McGill again, takes the blame, and deliberately gets an 86-year sentence. What happened to that impudent and unscrupulous grand schemer?

The beauty of the finale is that it is impossible to unambiguously answer this question.

Version one is boring and canonical. Jimmy really repented and realized that this was his only chance to reunite with Kim, who sits in the courtroom and watches the process. The old criminal found his conscience, why not? And at the same time arranged the last colorful show.

The second version is interesting and adventurous (ours). The hero has no soul. His whole life is a series of dashing tricks. It was he who exacerbated the unstable mental state of his brother and did not shed a tear when he committed suicide. Jimmy felt no remorse (unlike Kim) even when Howard Hamlin ( Patrick Fabian ) was shot by his fault. From any situation, he tries to extract the maximum profit. And in the final, his victory is not the minimum term and the deal (what is Saul to do at large under the watchful eye of law enforcement?), but Kim’s forgiveness. And he achieves it by agreeing to 86 years in prison. But all these years she will visit him, and yet Jimmy does not have a single soul mate.

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The final season of “Better Call Saul” is something to scold. Its first half developed extremely slowly (we  wrote more about this here), the cameo of old acquaintances from Breaking Bad also turned out to be rather unsuccessful: Aaron Paul tried very hard to repeat the old intonations of Jesse Pinkman, although it was clear that the 42-year-old actor did not similar to the substance abuser from the early seasons of IWT. But all the shortcomings are redeemed by the ambivalence of the final series.

Modern TV series have taught us that the soul of the protagonist is an open book. Walter White was an understandable character: a touchy and vindictive egocentric who for many years wore the mask of a family man and an inhabitant, and then began to realize his complexes with monstrous force. And in Better Call Saul, showrunners Peter Gould and Vince Gilligan surprise with a dramatic paradox: we lived with the main character for several years, but never fully studied him. The trickster with many masks (Slippery Jimmy, Jimmy McGill, Saul Goodman, Gene Takovic) ended up pulling off the biggest scam ever and went backstage, leaving us in doubt. Although we did understand something about him: he really loves Kim, otherwise why would he voluntarily go to jail for many decades? It’s even touching – the grand Gould-Gilligan TV universe (VVT,El Camino ) about the American dream, exorbitant ambitions and brutal murders, as a result, ends not with a shootout and death, but with pistol fingers (Saul’s favorite gesture) and a kind of happy ending. In the end, it was love, not the law, that was able to subdue the seasoned swindler.

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