'Better Call Saul' season 4 finale: Jimmy set to transform into Saul Goodman, while the Fring-Salamanca feud peaks
'Winner', the season finale of the fourth season saw 'Better Call Saul' set up several storylines that may prove crucial in the long run
'Wiedersehen', the penultimate episode of season four of 'Better Call Saul' that aired last week, saw Jimmy (Bob Odenkirk) denied his law license by the hearing committee on grounds that he was "too insincere". Flabbergasted that the show he put on didn't work, Jimmy goes berzerk, with Kim (Rhea Seehorn) telling him it came down to him not mentioning his brother Chuck (Michael McKean) even once. He would end up losing his cool at Kim, though the pair would eventually reconcile after Kim promised she would help Jimmy get his license back at all costs.
One of the more interesting revelations for 'Breaking Bad' fans will be the story of how Hector Salamanca (Mark Margolis) came about his infamous brass bell (yes, the very same he would later use to blow half of Gus Fring's (Giancarlo Esposito) face off).
Lalo (Tony Dalton), seemingly the newest antagonist in town, sits his uncle down and recalls a time when they tortured and killed a Spanish teacher. But wait, he says, after torching his house down, he made his way back into the house and retrieved a nice little souvenir — a shiny brass bell — that he would present to the Salamanca patriarch.
Mike (Jonathan Banks) on the other hand, seemed uncharacteristically off pace. Despite suspecting that head engineer Werner (Rainer Bock) might make a break for it, he decided he would trust the German to heed his warnings. Of course, Werner's longing for his wife proved too much, and he would make his escape from the warehouse despite the multiple layers of security the former cop had installed. The escape left Mike in a precarious position and knowing full well that failing to track down Werner might mean significant consequences.
Lalo and Fring had a face to face as well, though one got the feeling it was hardly a friendship that the two forged over the course of their conversation. While they were both all smiles while discussing the terms of their business relationship, each could be seen trying to stake out the other's weaknesses. Now that Hector is practically out of the way, Gus has a new Salamanca to deal with, and their battle is shaping up to be quite interesting.
'Wiedersehen' left a lot of questions to be answered for the season finale 'Winner'. The episode opened by giving a little more insight into why the committee may have taken offense to Jimmy leaving out Chuck, with the older brother shown vouching for Jimmy when he first passed the bar. A wholesome scene showed the pair sharing a song at a karaoke bar and passing out together on the same bed, showcasing a time when they weren't at loggerheads with each other all the time.
Lalo making a nuisance of himself
Lalo quite obviously has a plan in mind to take down Gus, which is why he probably asked Nacho (Michael Mando) to take him to the Los Pollos Hermanos supremo's chicken farm in the first place. In 'Winner', we see Lalo staking out the farm and scrupulously taking notes of the trucks that are coming and going, only for his attention to be drawn to a commotion as several men rush into black SUVs and drive away.
Curious, Lalo decides to see what all the hullabaloo is about and begins tailing Mike, who is in a desperate hunt to track down Werner. But the former cop is not one to be fooled so easily, taking Lalo on a detour before tricking him into getting trapped inside a car park through some ingenious scheming. Nevertheless, Lalo still manages to track Mike down and manages to glean some valuable information from Werner before he's cut off. Lalo is now aware that there is some kind of construction taking place at the farm, possibly giving him some valuable leverage in the revenge ploy he's cooking up against Gus.
Mike has some unfinished business
Mike finds himself in an unfamiliar situation: one where he's not completely in control. While he's tracking down the engineer, he's informed by Gus that his men are tailing Werner's wife and that they would take care of business. Mike asks for a chance to track down Werner himself, promising he would bring him back to the warehouse, and Gus reluctantly agrees, though time was quickly running out.
Some excellent detective work sees Mike track the engineer down to a hotel in the outskirts of Albuquerque, though it would already prove to be too late. Werner had unknowingly given off potentially game-changing information to a Salamanca, and despite Mike's best intentions for the engineer, it was apparent Gus had lost all faith and was in damage control mode. Surprisingly, Mike takes the responsibility of killing the engineer himself, but not before giving Werner the chance to save his wife. The conflict on Mike's face was there for all to see but so was this undying professionalism that he's become known for, ensuring he completed his task despite his personal feelings in the matter.
It's all good man
The entire season has been a tease for whether Jimmy would complete his transformation into Saul Goodman, and 'Wiedersehen' seemed to have all but killed off that possibility. However, creators Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould did leave room for hope with Kim's plan to get Jimmy his license at all costs, and in 'Winner' we saw how that expensive plan played out. Three parts of the scheme involved Jimmy mourning at Chuck's tombstone, writing a $23,000 cheque to build Chuck a public library, and sitting in an HHM meeting that would decide which students get a valuable scholarship.
The last would see Jimmy snap after he realized that those that have made mistakes would never be treated the same way as those with perfect records. It's a realization that spurs him into a last-ditch effort to get his license back that sees him spin an incredible story about how he has struggled his whole life under the expectation of living up to his brother's standards. It seemed sincere enough, though Jimmy quickly reveals afterward — much to Kim's disgust — that it was all an act. But it's worked and the board has bought it. He will be practicing law come the next season, but with a little caveat: he will do so under the name of Saul Goodman!
Season 5 is set up quite nicely
In comparison to the series' other season finales in the past, this one was not as action-packed, though that's not an indictment of the show by any means. The season unspooled so many storylines that will prove crucial in the coming season, including the increasing tensions between Jimmy and Kim, Mike's increasing importance to Gus and the Salamanca clan growing wise to Gus's double game.
The numerous cameos throughout the season may prove to be quite significant as well, with the Salamanca twins, Leonel and Marco (Daniel and Luis Moncada), and Gale Boetticher (David Costabile) arguably the most important of the lot. As the episode closed out, we saw the latter in conversation with Gus about his underground meth lab, possibly indicating that season 5 will finally see Gus beginning production himself and attempting to cut off the Salamancas altogether.
'Better Call Saul' is aging like fine wine, getting better with every season, and if the trend continues, season five will be its best one yet.