|Posted: 20 April 2020 at 9:48pm | IP Logged | 1
Best show on TV, man. I’m both amazed and crushed that the season is already over. We can only hope that the production delays from corona- chan don’t delay the final season beyond its projected airing in the fall of next year.
After the amazing action and tension of the past few episodes, we end this season with a very somber and quiet finale (that amazing shootout in the final act aside). Great to see Nacho finally back in the spotlight. The game is definitely afoot, now. Not only is Lalo the sole survivor of the attempt on his life, but he’s surely now aware that Nacho was the inside man. Yikes. This guy may just be the most formidable villain—aside from Gus—in the entire Gilliganverse.
Seeing Don Eladio and his infamous pool (site of both Max Arciniega’s—the character, not the actor—and Don Eladio’s deaths) was a fun little bonus, complete with the ironic, act-ending “salud” from Eladio, which of course foreshadows his death at Gus’ hand.
The cartel stuff in this finale is all good and fun, but let’s talk turkey. In his review of the finale, Alan Sepinwall lays a good case to ask the question: Have we been wrong about Kim this entire time? We know a precious few snippets of her past. We’ve seen her relationship with Jimmy in great detail, and the lengths she’ll go to in order to double-down and maintain it. More importantly, we’ve seen again and again how intoxicating pulling cons with him is for her.
Now, she seems to have finally turned into a mirror of Jimmy mixed with Walter White. She seems to have finally broken bad. Eager to rationalize heartless and criminal behavior for the supposedly greater good of starting a pro bono clinic. The entire sequence with Jimmy and Kim playfully coming up with mock cons while in bed felt like a preamble to a breakup. One last attempt to remember the good times before answering Jimmy’s question: “Am I bad for you?”.
Then, Kim bumps into Howard, who tells her about the bowling balls and the hookers. And she laughs. Compared to the cartel experience she’s just had (and Jimmy’s confession about picking up the money in the desert), that’s nothing. And, more importantly, it makes Howard (quite unintentionally) look like he’s being self-serving rather than altruistic, because he’s telling her about acts perpetrated upon him, personally. WE know that Howard genuinely felt guilty and was genuinely trying to make amends, but Kim has been poisoned by both Jimmy’s hatred of “the man”—the establishment—and perhaps also by her own experiences in rubbing shoulders with high-rolling lawyers and bankers. What if her moral compass was never as fine-tuned as we all thought it was? What if she’s the monster who unleashes the monster we know Saul Goodman will become?
So, in proper Walter White fashion, she lays out her plan to “set back” Howard’s career a little in exchange for getting that sweet, sweet common fund money from the Sandpiper case. A Chekhov’s Gun which has been set up and waiting patiently in the background since season one. It all ties together. And it’s absolutely chilling. The moment is a perfect mirror of the previous season finale, right down to Kim doing the finger-guns move Jimmy that did in the courthouse when he announced his professional name-change (“S’all good, man!”) to her. Except that now the shoe’s on the other foot, and this time we see Jimmy’s heart drop through the floor as he wonders just who the person he loves has become.
There are still many questions to be answered, but the endgame has most definitely been set up, now. What will push Jimmy over the edge into becoming everyone’s favorite criminal lawyer? What will Kim’s fate be? Or Nacho’s? How will Gus manage to proceed with construction of the Superlab? Where will Lalo end up?
And, perhaps most importantly, what will be the final fate of one Gene Takovic, Cinnabon manager?
One more season to go of this masterpiece. And I really do hope that it marks the proper and definitive end of the Gilliganverse, because I wouldn’t want to see any more follow-ups, reboots, or anything like that which could mess it up. Two genius shows (and one movie) which will have told tell one epic, long-form story—yet with each half working perfectly fine as an entity unto itself—over the course of nearly 14 years. Quite possibly the best long-form storytelling ever seen on television.
BREAKING BAD has few real competitors for the crown of Best TV Drama of All Time. THE SOPRANOS’ non-ending is still hotly debated, and disappointed many. GAME OF THRONES became a complete and utter disaster at the end. BETTER CALL SAUL now has a shot at reaching that upper-tier, although I really can’t pit the two sister shows against each other, since I view it all as one giant epic presented in two distinctly separate parts.
Here’s an brief interview with Gilligan (who, fittingly, will be much more involved with the final season) and Gould in regards to what’s coming down the pipe: