It is with regret that I write this review, knowing that with the phenomenal ending of season 4, comes the year-long wait for season 5.
Unlike previous seasons, Better Call Saul: Season 4 gained momentum quickly, following the suicide of Jimmie’s brother, Chuck. From episode one, Jimmie suppresses any sign of emotion regarding Chuck’s death, most likely because allowing himself to feel would involve accepting responsibility and that would be enormously inconvenient for his plans to come out on top. Instead, he cruelly allows Howard to take the blame and waltzes around as if nothing has happened, much to Kim’s shock.
Of course, in the season finale, Kim finally sees Jimmie open up about his brother’s death in his heartfelt speech to the jury. Kim’s eyes get watery as she watches Jimmie admit what his brother meant to him in a sincere and moving moment of truth at last.
At least, that’s what we thought. The moment he steps out the boardroom, Jimmie laughs, mocking the “suckers” on the board who actually shed a tear. Kim stands there in shock, realizing that she is one of the suckers who believed Jimmie was capable of sincerity. It is with Kim’s shocked expression and Jimmie’s smug grin that the season wraps up. Jimmie is now officially a lawyer again only he is no longer practicing in the name of Mcgill. He proudly announces that after weeks of deceit he’s come out on top: “S’all good man!”
Jimmie’s transition into Saul was fascinating to watch and viewers have expressed surprise at the fact Jimmie fully transitioned while still with Kim. Many of us wrongfully predicted that it would be the loss of Kim that tipped him all the way over the edge of morality, so to speak. Instead, Jimmie wins Kim over to the ambiguous land of moral grey area in a shocking character transformation. Nonetheless, even though Kim participates in Jimmie’s devious schemes and even organizes her own, it’s still clear that her humanity is entirely intact. This is more than we can say to Jimmie, who not only dupes an entire board of lawyers but terrifies two teenage troublemakers by hanging them upside down while Huel comes running at them with a baseball bat in ‘Pinata’. It’s become apparent that he is willing to do anything to cut corners and get ahead.
The Salamanca and Fring storyline was also more than gripping this season. Gus’s treatment of Hector is the closest thing to pure, unmotivated evil that anyone has come so far on the series. Anyone who watched Breaking Bad and found Gus’s secret meth lab ridiculously unbelievable will also be satisfied to learn the extents he had to go to build it. The introduction of the eccentric Lalo Salamanca was also very welcomed and the car chase in the finale was a series highlight. Mike’s sneaky chewing gum trick to shake Lalo loose was very, very satisfying and the death of the German architect missing his wife was moving and beautifully directed.
Overall, Season 4 of Better Call Saul was phenomenal and it wrapped up perfectly. It would almost be a satisfying ending to the whole series if the question of what happens to Nacho and Kim was not still hanging over our heads. The year-long wait for season five will be a long one but for now, all we can say is a big congratulations to Vince Gilligan and the Better Call Saul team for producing another incredible season of television.