The penultimate episode of Better Call Saul, sees a relationship fractured forever as we begin to see the making of Saul Goodman...
The new drama spin-off/ prequel from the creator of Breaking Bad, has been a slow burner but now the end is nigh the drama just stepped up to what will not doubt be a roller coaster of a series finale.
Set in 2002 four years before Breaking Bad we get to see the a full and frank picture of Jimmy McGill, (Bob Odenkirk) the man he was before the law-side stepping Saul Goodman. Throughout the series we've quite literally seen the good, Jimmy trying to establish himself as the best lawyer he can be, the bad Jimmy also know as slippery Jimmy doing his con tricks for quick money, and the ugly "accidentally" dabbling in the criminal world and having to save the two brothers, who were also con artists he "accidentally" dragged into the criminal world. How did he save them from imminent death by the criminal lord Tuco (Raymond Cruz) ? By making a deal that they would have learnt their lesson and be in pain for a considerable amount of time but would still get to keep their lives.
In this penultimate episode we get to dive deep into Jimmy's relationship with his brother Chuck (Michael McKean). Jimmy finally seems like he's on the up, he may not be a high- flying lawyer liked he wants to be yet but he's being honest, not taking any shortcuts, and he seems to be building up a reputation as an honest lawyer.
When visiting one of his clients at a retirement home he discovers figures that don't quite add up, elders that are being ripped off left right and centre, from being charged an arm and a leg for toiletries to medication, he quickly became embroiled in what could be a career- making case.
He quickly seeks the help of his housebound brother who he has clearly looked up to and aspired to be. Together they work the case tirelessly, seeming to have finally got his brother's approval before being to told by Chuck that the paperwork load is just too much for them both and they will have to ship it out to his old legal practice Hamlin and McGill.
This was such a harsh and bitter realisation of the resentment and the arrogance that Chuck had being carrying around for years since Jimmy finally managed to get his law degree after three attempts. Chuck had thwarted his chance at Hamlin and McGill and was doing the same again now why? Chuck let it all out in a tirade "You're still slipping Jimmy – you haven't changed and you never will" referring back to his days as slippery Jimmy.
Chuck sees the law as a gilded profession that he and others like him have worked so very hard in.
He sees Jimmy as not only under qualified but what clearly hurts the most in this final scene is that it becomes clear that Chuck still sees him as unworthy. Despite all that he has done to help his brother whilst he's been housebound, the gentle nudges to get him to go outside, the constant supply of food, getting him drawn back into his work but perhaps most importantly and clearly over looked by Chuck that against all the odds he's truly changed from the crook he once was and he's fought it every step of the way throughout the series.
With Jimmy seemingly severing all ties with his brother at the end of the episode it makes it all the more tragic that we know Jimmy McGill's ending. This is clearly a crucial loss of a relationship that might be the beginning of Jimmy on the road to darkness and becoming the crooked lawyer Saul Goodman.
We've seen an array of character traits from Jimmy simply clowning around, to being vulnerable and alone, to fighting with his con to do the right thing. All of this along with the writing, directing, supporting cast, and more makes Better Call Saul not just great television but drama at its finest.
The Series is available to view on Netflix.