"Better Call Saul' Series Finale: Ending Explained, Jimmy, Kim Wexler

Jimmy McGill spent so many years doing anything he could to keep criminals out of jail that he ended up in jail himself. 

Better Call Saul ended its six-season run on Monday with a huge series finale. Jimmy/Saul/Gene got what he deserved for his part in Walter White's drug empire and other bad things: 86 years in federal prison. (Check out our full summary here.) 

He could have gotten off with just seven years in a minimum-security facility (with a golf program! ), but when he heard Kim give a full confession to the police, something inside him changed. He changed his plea and took full responsibility for his crimes, including his role in the deaths of Howard Hamlin and his own brother Chuck, while Kim was in the courtroom watching. After years of living under a different name, he also went back to calling himself "Jimmy McGill." 

During a prison visit, Jimmy was able to smoke one last cigarette with Kim. We also got to see Mike Ehrmantraut, Walter White, and Chuck McGill again in flashbacks. We at TVLine still had questions, though, so we called up Saul co-creator and showrunner Peter Gould, who wrote and directed Monday's finale, and asked him how he and the other writers came up with this ending, what made Jimmy change his mind, and if this is a "happy ending" for Jimmy and Kim. 

TVLINE | We know that the overall plot of the series changed and grew as you worked on it. So, when did you decide on this ending, and what made you choose it? 

I think we started to think about where this is all going in Seasons 4 and 5, when we started to picture Jimmy in jail at the end. What does he do for a living, anyway? He represents criminals. He is the link between the legal world and the criminal world. He is also a part of the justice system, but he does his own thing. He is the one who lies and looks for ways to get out of things. And it seemed like maybe it would be best for him to be a suspect and then a convict, since he had been dancing around outside for so long. 

TVLINE | Jimmy tells the judge everything, even though he could have gotten away with just seven years in a nice federal prison. Did he think that was the only way to make it up to Kim and get her respect and love back? 

I think that's part of the problem. He needs her to be there. There's a lot of ambiguity, and you could take a lot from it. You can ask yourself: If she hadn't been there, would he have the courage to do what he does? You can tell, at least from the way Bob [Odenkirk] plays it, that he plans to go in there and confess, but in a strange way, he seems almost proud and defiant at first. 

Then, I think Kim brings him back down to earth and makes him seem more real. Did he do it to redeem himself? I think he's doing something new. This guy is always trying to get away with things. He enjoys fooling people. He likes to come out on top in talks. He enjoys winning in court. He wants to win all the time. And I think he's doing something different from what we've seen him do many times before. In a way, it seems like all of his actions this season, especially in the last few episodes, were meant to lead to this result. He's kind of at war with himself, but eventually one side wins, and he tells the truth in court. 

I think Jimmy, or Saul, is stuck in a cycle where he always seems to react the same way to things. When Kim goes, he changes into Saul Goodman. He has that painful phone call with Kim while he's in the phone booth in Nebraska, and she tells him to turn himself in. What does he do? He does a lot of bad things. And he keeps pushing it harder and harder, even when he is in the middle of a crime spree. He seems to be acting out something he might not be able to say. Lastly, we thought it was important for this character to find out if he would always be like this. Is there any chance that he will change? And even though the ending is sad, he does make a big change: he stands up in court and tells a lot of the truth. He doesn't say everything that's true. But he tells a lot of the truth, and it's the part of the truth that will get him in the most trouble. 

TVLINE | Jimmy and Kim do end up sharing that last cigarette at the prison, which was a great callback to the pilot where they were leaning against the wall together. Even though it's not a typical happy ending, isn't this the best we could hope for given the situation? 

I believe so. In my ideal world, the best movies would keep the story going in your head after the movie is over. We tried to do this, but I don't know if we were successful. Jimmy is still alive, and so is Kim. Both of them are kicking. He seems to have found a way to stay alive in jail, and she seems to be on her way back into trouble with the law. So, I guess it's a happy ending in a weird way. I always wonder in my heart if he will end up serving the whole long sentence that was given to him. We'll see. 

TVLINE | Well, we won't see. No more! 

Yes, we won't see! We have to make up our own ideas. I've been saying "We'll see" for so long! I keep doing it! 

TVLINE | Chuck McGill did appear in one more scene, and it was great to see Michael McKean again. Was that flashback really what Jimmy would change if he could use that time machine to go back in time? Would he just be a low-key lawyer in Albuquerque and still bring his brother groceries? 

Yes, that's what he's doing when we first meet him in the pilot. He's bringing Chuck's groceries every day and begging Chuck to cash out of HHM. At this moment, these two guys could have changed how they were with each other. 

TVLINE | Yes, and that was related to the other two flashbacks, which showed that Jimmy didn't have any big regrets he wanted to change by going back in time. Even Walter White says, "You've always been this way." 

[Laughs] Well, Walt is just like that. He just stole a baby and rolled around on the floor with it, but he feels bad about something that happened to him in graduate school. So I think that both of these guys are avoiding the elephant in the room in that scene... In all three of these flashbacks, Jimmy avoids thinking about himself and fights against change. You know, it's hard to change and think about yourself, but if you wait too long, you might end up in a federal prison.

Source: tvline.com

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