Summary: Flashbacks show Jimmy partying after becoming a lawyer. Jimmy and Chuck's relationship is healthy and loving at this point. In the present, Jimmy tries to be seen in public caring for Chuck. He slowly loses himself in the process. Eventually he is asked for his testimony and unleashes an emotional speech about Chuck to con the judges into making him a lawyer again. He is successful but unintentionally and unknowingly makes Kim believe his words as well. Jimmy chooses to practice under the name Saul Goodman. Mike tries to locate Werner to bring him back before anything happens. Lalo, who was watching Gus' operation, follows Mike and is able to track down Werner and come in contact with him on the phone before Mike. Mike reports this to Gus, who tells Mike to kill Werner. Mike does so.
The Good: This was an excellent season finale. The story was powerful and it managed to bring season 4 to a close in an effective way, tying together all of the stories that were told in the last 10 episodes.
The flashback was extremely powerful and emotional, and it wasn't because of Ernie's singing (what a singing voice!). After we have seen Chuck and Jimmy at each other's throats for so long, it feels strange to see them so friendly in this opening scene. Strange, yet powerful as it highlights what could have been between those two. A brotherhood between two brothers who help each other and help bring out the best in each other, keeping each other in line. Instead, we have to face the reality of what really happened, adding to the tragedy of Jimmy's character, a tragedy which was explored thoroughly in this episode.
The early stages of the episode see Jimmy pulling another scam, this time he is strategically placing himself in positions to make him seem remorseful about Chuck to important people in the law community. I enjoyed seeing Jimmy's complete disinterest in doing this, proving to us that he truly doesn't care about Chuck now that he's dead, which paid off by the end of the episode (see: Best Moment). The pressure that pulling this con has on Jimmy is immense, as he is annoyed that he has to go to such tedious lengths to prove himself to the bar association. Jimmy has no interest in re-opening his feeling about Chuck, which have been sealed away since "Smoke".
The tragedy of this episode is how the pressure gets to Jimmy and causes him to completely lose himself. After seeing himself in a hopeful scholar, Christy Esposito, Jimmy realizes the world is against him and always will be. After everything that happened to him, he has finally lost hope about finding his place in this world without cutting corners and scamming. He delivers an awkward and imposing speech to Christy, letting her know of the horrors that he experienced in his attempt to be a lawyer, and it's this speech which he delivered to an innocent kid that makes Jimmy realize how far gone he is. He goes back to his car, and for one of the first times in this show, he cries and it's not a con. It's real tears, tears to mourn for himself. Jimmy McGill is almost gone, burned away by the nightmare of a life he has been trying to live. After four seasons with this character, seeing him slowly die on the inside is painful and immensely powerful. And it prepares him for the ultimate con, as he lies through his teeth to everyone in his testimony with such a convincing nature that even Kim starts to believe what is coming out of his mouth. But it's all a lie. Jimmy has no sincerity, just a motivation to win, to hell with any sense of morals and honour. And he doesn't care anymore. He doesn't spare a thought about how Kim may feel and quickly heads forward to pursue his future under his new name. While some people may say that season 4 was boring and nothing happened, I disagree. This season is about transitioning Jimmy to Saul, an important story which I'm beyond glad the writers chose to tell.
The other half of the episode saw Mike chasing down Werner in a tense and exciting sequence made better by the presence of the ruthless, reckless and unpredictable Lalo. Tensions were really high throughout and I was extremely happy to see "Better Call Saul" make an episode hinged on a storyline with a sense of urgency and excitement to it. There were many sequences in this storyline which were tense and exciting. Mike getting away from Lalo was exciting to watch, and I love the touch of Mike refusing to go for the gun, instead using some chewing gum to remove Lalo. The scenes at TravelWire were great too as both Lalo and Mike work on Fred to get him to reveal information. It's also a great contrast between Mike and Lalo, who both manage to get what they want but through very different means. In the end both manage to come in contact with Werner, but it's Lalo who makes contact first, condemning Werner to his fate in heartbreaking fashion.
This leads to the scene where Mike is forced to execute Werner in cold blood after failing to convince Gus to save his life. The sad thing is that it looked like Gus may give in, but it's Lalo's involvement which prevents Gus from being willing to take the risk. In the end Gus is left in his half-finished lab, angry and unimpressed, demonstrating his disappointment with what happened. To make up for this disappointment, Mike knows he has to fix his mistake and kill Werner. The scene is heartbreaking and beautifully shot as Mike has to slowly let Werner realize what is happening. Werner is so good-hearted, so seeing him meet this fate is devastating, and his final phone call with his wife makes it even more painful and sad. Better yet is the focus on Mike who is pained when he realizes that he has to murder a friend who doesn't deserve to die for what he has done. It's a big change for Mike's character which pushes him even further into his work with Gus. The scene was masterful and it certainly makes up for some slow moments in the episodes prior.
I was glad to see Gale again and his interactions with Gus and Mike were pretty funny and entertaining.
The Bad: But Gale's interactions with Gus were sadly inconsistent with Gus' character which we see in "Breaking Bad". I understand that he's angry about the halt in superlab construction, but Gus has always treated Gale with kindness and it feels awkward to give him the cold shoulder here. I feel like this season hasn't shown enough of the charming and friendly Gus, and it may have even somewhat forgotten what the true essence of the character is.
Lalo's stunt at TravelWire was a little hard to believe. I understand what they were going for and it was somewhat funny, but it was far too cartoonish for this show. I can't buy that Lalo would manage to sneak into the ceiling so quickly and silently, plus how would he get up there anyways? Is he Spider-man?
I was disappointed that Nacho wasn't in this episode. He has hardly had anything to do in the back half of this season which is poor considering how important he was early in the season. Furthermore, I thought that Howard could have had a more important role as well. I was interested to see what Howard and Jimmy's relationship was like, especially after their last conversation but we never got to see any of that which feels disappointing.
The Unknown: Did Lalo cover up his murder of Fred appropriately or could that come back to haunt him? Did he also appropriately deal with the man in the parking lot who may have gotten his license plate?
How will the superlab be completed now? Who finishes it? Will that be Gale's job now?
How will Kim and Jimmy's relationship change after that last scene?
Best Moment: Jimmy's testimony is poignant and it's meant to be. For a little while we even think that he may be honest here since everything he says could very well be true. But of course it's not. The scene even parallels Jimmy meeting with the bar association in the last episode to show that he is still conning the judges. But Kim doesn't realize and thinks that Jimmy finally got his sadness surrounding Chuck's death off his chest. But Jimmy quickly and ruthlessly reveals it was all fake and even laughs at the "asshole who was actually crying". Rhea Seehorn is terrific as she shows Kim's shock at learning this, and it finally begins to clue in to her that Jimmy isn't hiding anything. He isn't the same man anymore, he's Saul Goodman now. It's another powerful scene in an episode full of them.
Character of the Episode: Jimmy.
Conclusion: This was a great season finale, capping off the season with a bang, concluding several stories and all but completing Jimmy's transformation into Saul. This show rarely disappoints and this was no exception.
As for the season as a whole, it was outstanding. Unsurprisingly, the acting, cinematography, editing, storytelling, writing, pacing, etc. were all near-perfect and combined to make this slow-burn show deliver some of the best television this year. Jimmy's story and transformation was tremendously strong and I think it brought out the very best acting from Bob Odenkirk and Rhea Seehorn to date. The big question going into this season was if it could still be great without Chuck. Thankfully the answer was a resounding yes as the story moved in a new and fulfilling direction without Chuck, organically continuing the story. The Nacho and Mike stories were very strong too with engaging moments and a good overall story which combined together nicely in the finale. I would put this season between season 3 and season 2 in terms of ranking and I think it was very strong but not as good as season 3. I think as a whole this was the most consistent season of the show, but it didn't ever reach the highs that seasons 1-3 reached. But that shouldn't take away from just how good this season was.
Just a university student who loves to watch TV. And criticize it like hell.