Greatest TV Of Last Decade: ‘Better Call Saul’ Final Season Critic Reviews Pour In
The final season goes live on Monday, April 18.
Across the years, Better Call Saul has slowly shuffled Walter White off the ‘TV’s Greatest’ throne and replaced him with the conman-turned-lawyer-turned-conman Jimmy McGill – who is now just a few episodes away from truly going 100% Saul Goodman.
Mere days away from the much-awaited season 6 launch, critics have got their hands on (at least) two of the new episodes – and the immediate reactions are exactly what fans have come to expect.
‘Bob Odenkirk and Rhea Seehorn’s acting duet is as strong as it’s ever been, drawing on their characters’ histories together,’ writes Variety’s Daniel D’Addario. “In the season’s second episode, the pair attempt to put one over on two figures who haven’t been seen since the series’ earliest days,” he teases. “Seehorn, as the trying-to-be-virtuous attorney Kim, finds herself more enmeshed than ever in her partner’s plans — as if helping this underdog schemer out restores the justice of the universe in the same way a public defender might.”
It’s absolutely crucial that Rhea Seehorn’s fan-favorite character, Kimmy Wexler, gets a nuanced and thorough portrayal – perhaps one of the biggest mysteries in the Breaking Bad universe is her eventual apparent departure from Jimmy’s life, and it’s one we can’t wait to see explored.
Bob Odenkirk, meanwhile, plays the most tortured version of Jimmy yet. “In this new season,” continues D’Addario, “he’s worn by the strain of the many plates he spins. Some of the joy has sapped from his chicanery; when he threatens a country-club employee under false pretenses in order to pull off a con, there’s less lightness of foot than there once was. Concealing himself in the club’s locker room, Jimmy twists his body unnaturally, grimacing.”
It’s a dark parallel to the very real physical strain that the actor has had to go through. Odenkirk, who is now 59 years old, collapsed on July 27, 2021 while on the New Mexico sets of Better Call Saul, confirming what he described as a ‘small heart attack’:
I had a small heart attack. But I’m going to be ok thanks to Rosa Estrada and the doctors who knew how to fix the blockage without surgery.— Mr. Bob Odenkirk (@mrbobodenkirk) July 30, 2021
Also, AMC and SONYs support and help throughout this has been next-level. I’m going to take a beat to recover but I’ll be back soon.
Vince Gilligan & Peter Gould’s Mission
The creators of Breaking Bad have got just about every successful showrunner’s checkboxes ticked – multi-Emmy wins, incredibly deep and well-constructed plots, memorable characters, and oodles of personality even in the way scenes are shot and foreshadowed.
Given this, the duo have a very specific list of plot threads to tie into the following season, namely:
- Gus Fring and Mike Ehrmantraut call on Nacho to backstab Lalo Salamanca. The assassination attempt fails, of course. Lalo is a f**king badass.
- Jimmy finally dons the colorful outfits and snake-oil salesman demeanor as his Saul Goodman transition becomes more than just a name.
- Kim Wexler finally drops the good-cop act, choosing to follow Jimmy/Saul into the dark side.
Uproxx’s Brian Grubb recommends a rewatch of Season 5 – before diving into a discussion on Season 6 complete with a light dusting of spoilers. In the meantime, fans have grown increasingly rabid – terrified of coming across anything Saul Goodman on the internet.
For the love of god no spoilers! I may not get to this till summer so everyone shush!— Dave Lamoureux (@dave_lamoureux) April 5, 2022
Others called upon Kim Wexler yet again – perhaps the series’ most loved character to date.
Kim Wexler is still the best!! pic.twitter.com/GsD98uKvZ9— Priyansh Kumar Jha (@innate_mediocre) April 4, 2022
Like we’ve mentioned above, several fans have expressed serious concern about the character’s future. Perhaps we ought to sit back and let the creators do the thing they do so well – blow minds (and faces). Grubb’s words of wisdom to fans ring true here:
“There’s a beauty to what’s happening here, to watching smart people make something cool, to watching something wholly unique and original play out before your eyes at its own pace, to settling in and letting the story come to you instead of trying to rush out ahead of it all the time.”
Better Call Saul goes live with the final season on Monday, April 18. With only a couple weeks of Saul-less waiting to go, perhaps the critic is right – it’s time to trust Gould and Gilligan at what they do best.
(Featured Image Credits: AMC Entertainment)