*WARNING: This review contains spoilers*
Audiences have been waiting to see how Slippin’ Jimmy inevitably becomes the dirty, witty lawyer of “Breaking Bad,” Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk), and we finally got an inkling into the transformation.
After last week’s reveal that Chuck (Michael McKean) was the one who told head partner Howard Hamlin (Patrick Fabian) to not hire Jimmy for the Sandpiper Crossing case, which will be making the law firm thousands upon thousands, Jimmy questioned his brother’s intentions. Chuck never was proud of Jimmy for becoming a lawyer; he was proud when he was a humble mail runner at his law firm. To Chuck, his brother took shortcuts to become a lawyer while he worked his butt off, and therefore is simply a disgrace who doesn’t deserve a career in the field.
After Jimmy left in a rage for obvious reasons, he is next seen at Hamlin, Hamlin & McGill to give the elder law case to Howard himself. Kim (Rhea Seehorn) apologizes to Jimmy for not telling him earlier about Chuck’s silent hatred since she didn’t want to ignite a family feud.
Despite all of these events, the real ignition is when Jimmy goes back to his hometown of Cicero, Illinois, where he meets back up with his old pal and fellow con artist, Marco. Show writers and creators Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould then crafted a beautiful, old film style sequence of Jimmy and Marco pulling scams and schemes on various townspeople with neon lights, dark lighting, clinks of bubbly beer and an intertwining monologue of the two con men to their victims. Gilligan and Gould already established their prequel series with an old style, western feel through the introduction, filming techniques and the music, but this made that signature even more ingrained in the viewers.
After their week of debauchery and drunken sex, Jimmy hears his fifteen voicemails of elderly people looking for his services back in Albuquerque. He decides to go back, but not without one last trick with Marco. To Jimmy’s devastation, the traditional watch scam the two pulled in an alleyway ends with a heart attack for Marco, which brings about his untimely death.
This is the trigger for Jimmy; first his brother’s betrayal followed by giving up the biggest case of his career and then the death of a lifelong friend.
With this event, we finally begin to see glimpses of Saul Goodman peaking out of Jimmy’s internal values and thoughts. First, instead of potentially becoming a partner with a successful law firm in Santa Fe, he ditches and drives off to a familiar meet up with Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks) at the courthouse parking garage. Jimmy asks him why they didn’t keep the $1.8 million from the Kettlemans, especially since nobody would have known about it. Mike replies in his usual, mundane tone that, if he remembers correctly, it was because Jimmy said it was the right thing to do. Jimmy, now with feelings of betrayal and rage, says that they should have kept the money and split it and leaves as a heavy guitar riffs plays in the background.
Jimmy McGill is slipping, but not back into the Cicero con-man, but as a new face; as Saul Goodman. This season finale was not meant to be explosive; it was meant to reflect real life through its dialogue, personal events and randomness of life. With those three things, Gould and Gilligan have created a show that displays pure authenticity through the life of Jimmy McGill. Some viewers have deemed the show boring and uneventful at times, but in the end the intention is to imitate what life truly is.
People change, unlike what Chuck believes, and this transformation into Saul Goodman is what defines the show, and now next season will hopefully show the beginnings of the criminal lawyer people have grown fond of.