TV Recap: Better Call Saul Season 2 Finale

Photo Credit: Ben Leuner/AMC
Photo Credit: Ben Leuner/AMC

‘Klick’ Plot Summary:

Jimmy (Bob Odenkirk) does everything in his power to help Chuck (Michael McKean), who has suffered an injury due to his condition. Mike (Jonathan Banks) makes a play to get rid of Hector Salamanca (Mark Margolis) once and for all.

Better Call Saul could have been a lazy, uninspired spin-off that tried to capitalize on the popularity of a minor character from a well-liked series. Instead, creators Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould have crafted a perfect hybrid between Breaking Bad and another groundbreaking show, Mad Men. It’s a compelling drama that trades the highly competitive world of advertisement, for law, but blends in high tense situations and pulse-pounding moments that made Breaking Bad one of the best series of all-time. It didn’t take long for Better Call Saul to get up from under the shadows of Breaking Bad and it finished it’s incredible second season with another strong episode, but it wasn’t necessarily the season finale that it deserved or that fans expected.

The episode began with another flashback featuring Jimmy and Chuck. They are in a hospital at the bedside of their mother who is dying. They have been there for a long time and Chuck is silent, while Jimmy is trying to lighten the mood by suggesting they get some food. Chuck dismisses Jimmy’s idea and he stays in the hospital while Jimmy goes to grab sandwiches. As soon as Jimmy leaves, their mother wakes up and starts calling out his name. Chuck tells her that he is here for her, but all she is doing is calling out Jimmy’s name until she passes. When Jimmy returns, he finds Chuck waiting outside in the lobby. He asks if their mother woke up or said anything before she passed and Chuck lies to him and says she didn’t. It was an emotional and tough scene to watch. It shows that Chuck and Jimmy’s relationship has always been rough. We have seen other flashbacks between the two characters and it always appears that Chuck hates Jimmy. When did Chuck’s animosity towards his brother begin? Was it something specific that happened between them or has it always been present in their relationship?

After last weeks heart-stopping ending that left Chuck bleeding and unconscious in the 24-hour copy place and Jimmy watching from the shadows, it looked like Chuck might not make it. Was Chuck’s death the event that would push Jimmy over the edge and start his transformation to become Saul Goodman? Gilligan and Gould have mastered the art of the twist and are always finding creative ways to tell Jimmy’s story. When it looked like Jimmy was going to become Saul in the first episode of season two, he does the complete opposite and takes a job with Davis & Main. Just when you think it’s going in one direction, they throw a huge curveball and change the course of the show.

The biggest example thus far has been the inclusion of Hector Salamanca into Mike’s story. Although Mike’s storyline this year has taken the backburner to Jimmy, Kim, and Chuck, it has been interesting to see the slow and precautious process that Mike is going through to get rid of Hector. Mike isn’t the coldblooded killer from Breaking Bad yet, he wanted the police to take care of Hector, but that plan failed. The season finale had Mike buying a sniper rifle from gun dealer and Breaking Bad vet, Lawson (Jim Beaver) and attempting to assassinate Hector. Was this the moment Hector would be paralyzed? Unfortunately, fans will have to wait longer to see what happens to Hector because Mike never takes the shot. He is stopped by the sound of a car horn. When he goes to investigate he finds that someone had rigged a tree branch to keep the car horn blasting. The only sign that someone has interfered was a note that simply read “Don’t” left on Mike’s windshield. Who left the note? How long has he been following Mike? Could this be the first hint of another Breaking Bad alum joining the cast?

The rest of the episode dealt with the further fallout between Jimmy and Chuck. Jimmy took temporary guardianship over Chuck so that doctors could run tests on him. After Chuck receives a CAT scan he goes in to what the doctor refers to as a self-induced cationic state. It seemed like Chuck wasn’t going to die, but maybe he would remain in this condition for the remainder of the series, another type of event that would push Jimmy over the edge. Turns out this was another elaborate ruse played by the writers to get to where the truly wanted to end the season. When Jimmy goes to check up on Chuck, it appears that Chuck has completely gone off the rails. He has covered his entire house in material to keep out electricity and has quit his job at HHM. Chuck tells Jimmy that he has quit because his condition caused him to make the mistake that caused HHM to lose out a client to Kim. Jimmy finally works up the courage to tell Chuck that it was not his fault and that he was the one who sabotaged Chuck. The twist that ended season two was that Chuck was only putting on an act to record Jimmy’s confession.

This could have just been another solid episode of Better Call Saul and in fact, it probably should have been the penultimate episode and not the finale. Episode 9’s ending was so captivating it probably would have worked better as the season finale. Mike’s story provided only more questions than any actual conclusion, which was frustrating considering his arc this season was sometimes uncomfortably thrown into certain episodes. This felt like the episode where Mike’s story was finally going to lead to something much bigger than just a note. While I’m not necessarily disappointed with the season two finale, I am however shocked that such a near perfect season ending with more of a whimper than a bang.

Rating 7/10

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