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Critics Laud The 'Masterful' Conclusion Of Better Call Saul

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This spectacular, absorbing drama comes to a close after 61 flawless episodes.

It was exquisitely detailed television that went well beyond Vince Gilligan's prior program.

As the Breaking Bad spin-off came to an end after six seasons, critics hailed the Better Call Saul conclusion as "masterful."

Launched in 2015, the prequel centers on Jimmy McGill, played by Bob Odenkirk.

It demonstrates how he changed into Saul Goodman, the conceited criminal defense attorney.

COPYRIGHT_WI: Published on https://washingtonindependent.com/ebv/critics-laud-the-masterful-conclusion-of-better-call-saul/ by Tom Mohamed on 2022-08-25T07:21:40.985Z

It was a "striking and exquisite finale to one of TV's most consistently outstanding series of the past decade," according to Variety's Daniel D'Addario.

According to D'Addario, "This ending seemed thorough, from the way it drew attention to Saul's moral dilemma to the deployment of crucial supporting characters to make its points."

Let's dive in and see how critics laud the 'Masterful' conclusion of Better Call Saul and talk a bit about the show.

Backstory

Better Call Saul | Series Trailer [HD] | Netflix

Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould are the creators of the American crime and legal drama television series Better Call Saul.

It is a spin-off, prequel, and sequel to Gilligan's prior series, Breaking Bad, and a part of the Breaking Bad franchise.

The series follows the transformation of Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk), a sincere lawyer and former con artist, into the egotistical criminal defense lawyer known as Saul Goodman.

The series is mostly set in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in the first half of the 2000s.

Additionally, the moral decline of former police officer Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks) is depicted.

In order to support his granddaughter and her widowed mother, Ehrmantraut turns into a violent fixer for drug traffickers.

After six seasons and 63 episodes, the show debuted on AMC on February 8, 2015, and ended on August 15, 2022.

Jimmy has financial difficulties at the beginning of the series because he is a public defender who takes on largely court-appointed clients.

At Hamlin, Hamlin & McGill (HHM), a law practice co-owned by Jimmy's bright but ill brother Chuck McGill (Michael McKean) and Chuck's legal partner, Howard Hamlin, Kim Wexler (Rhea Seehorn), his love interest and former coworker, is an attorney (Patrick Fabian).

Nacho Varga (Michael Mando), a shrewd drug dealer who later turns out to be a snitch for Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito), a drug lord and legitimate businessman as the owner of the Los Pollos Hermanos fast food restaurant, receives guidance and protection from Mike after hiring Jimmy as his legal counsel.

Members of the homicidal Salamanca family, notably Lalo Salamanca, interfere with their operations (Tony Dalton).

Odenkirk, Banks, and Esposito, along with a large number of other guest stars, all reprise their roles from Breaking Bad.

Ratings

Rotten Tomatoes rating of the show Better Call Saul
Rotten Tomatoes rating of the show Better Call Saul

Critics have praised Better Call Saul for its performance, characters, writing, direction, and cinematography, and many have considered it a worthy successor to Breaking Bad and one of the greatest television series of all time, with some even going so far as to say that it is better than its forerunner.

A Peabody Award, 46 Primetime Emmy Awards, 15 Writers Guild of America Awards, 14 Critics' Choice Television Awards, six Screen Actors Guild Awards, and four Golden Globe Awards are just a few of the nominations it has received.

The series premiere held the record for the highest-rated scripted series debut in basic cable history at the time it aired.

What Critics Has To Say About The Finale

Why Better Call Saul Has The Perfect Ending

It was a "striking and exquisite finale to one of TV's most consistently outstanding series of the past decade," according to Variety's Daniel D'Addario.

According to D'Addario, "This ending seemed thorough, from the way it drew attention to Saul's moral dilemma to the deployment of crucial supporting characters to make its points."

The option made by the show to mix important and stunning events with prosaic sequences of the characters' everyday lives, such as a talk with a bartender or a day at the office, especially in its last stretch of episodes, was startling.

It had the feel of real life, which is maybe not what one would expect to be looking for in a show about a dishonest lawyer involved in cartel fights.

"Achievement from an era of television that seemed to have ended before the show itself did: It had a willingness to putter around the edges of its story and a faith in its audience," the critic wrote in his conclusion.

According to Ed Power of the Telegraph, the spin-black-and-white off's denouement was "slower and sadder - but just as momentous" as that of its predecessor.

He wrote, "Finales are usually hard. "Better Call Saul is a faultless series, but there's always the chance that it won't hold together until the very end.

"Is it superior to or inferior to the finale of Breaking Bad? Although opinions will vary, Saul's departure felt just as significant and laborious as that of its sibling thriller."

Similar to the most recent season of another Netflix program, Stranger Things, which debuted earlier this year, the sixth and final season was divided into two parts and had a total of 13 episodes rather than the customary 10.

Paul MacInnes of The Guardian felt that the baker's dozen was flawlessly constructed. "So a fantastic series comes to a close, and like many others, I imagine, I hope there will never be another installment."

"Over the course of six seasons, the plotting and character development have been executed with exactitude, and the satisfaction of watching has been so high that I would never want anything else to undo it.

"No Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Albuquerque mini-series for me, please."

Better Call Saul not only tells the story of the show's namesake lawyer but also provides some backstory for two other Breaking Bad characters who make appearances in the series finale: Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks) and Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito).

Louis Chilton of The Independent noted that the latter episodes benefited from a more restrained approach than earlier seasons.

The actor claimed that "the program has always excelled at visual storytelling, trusting its viewers to see and comprehend the numerous signals and reflected pictures without overexplaining things."

"Saul Gone [the season finale] is packed with them, bringing up a ton of imagery from previous episodes with utterly tragic results."

He said, "Letting things just gently play out can sometimes be the most impactful, fulfilling outcome there is.

"This judge decides solidly in favor of the defendant in the Bang v. Whimper case."

According to Empire's Boyd Hilton, the underlying question of the final season is "if they can find some kind of closure, some kind of peace with one other" and "how and whether Saul and his confidante Kim Wexler (Rhea Seehorn) will be punished for their transgressions."

One "masterful courtroom scene," he continued, and another moment in jail in the last episode plays out all of this wonderfully and provide "certainly as ingenious and satisfactory a climax to this story as humanly imaginable."

Jimmy McGill wearing a purple suit sitting on a desk
Jimmy McGill wearing a purple suit sitting on a desk

All the drama and tension in these closing moments comes from the expressions on the faces of Bob Odenkirk and Rhea Seehorn; their delicate little half-smiles and wistful stares, according to Hilton.

"After six seasons of cartels, cons, conspiracies, betrayals, and cold, hard, chilling murder," wrote Hilton.

No spoilers, however, the reviewer believed that the story's conclusion gave us "everything we need from this specific masterpiece of a novel."

The program experienced a major setback in 2021 when actor Odenkirk was hospitalized in an Albuquerque hospital after having what he later characterized as a minor heart attack on set.

It took him about a month to recover and return to work.

The show had never received an Emmy award before to its last season, but CNN's Brian Lowry believes that is about to change.

This second batch of [series six] episodes, which were broadcast outside the current eligibility window, will probably put the show - and perhaps especially Odenkirk, who overcame a near-death experience to give the performance of a lifetime - in contention for the following year, assuming anyone can remember that far back.

According to Nick Harley of Den of Geek: "Better Call Saul ends in exactly the same way it began: in a smart, endearing, and profoundly human way.

"I've received so much from this series and its parent show, and they've set a bar so high that subsequent shows will have to live up to it.

He concluded, "Showtime is done, guys," with a pun that Goodman could have liked: "It's Saul over except the tears."

People Also Ask

Better Call Saul on AMC became the rare spin-off series that, throughout the course of its lauded six-season run, not only lived up to but perhaps even outperformed its predecessor, Breaking Bad - well, depending on who you ask. Whether or not the extended misadventures of Saul Goodman, a.k.a. Jimmy McGill, a.k.a. Gene Takovic, were on par with or even better than its predecessor, it is obvious that co-creators Peter Gould and Vince Gilligan produced a compelling, compulsive sequel that merited the addictive, well-earned fanaticism of its elder sibling series. It's understandable that the prequel/sequel show attracted a large audience when it was time to wrap up Goodman's extensive, nearly ten-year-long narrative.

Is Better Call Saul Worth Watching?

Absolutely. It's getting linked to Breaking Bad in some way. The two stories are not the same. Saul is a lawyer who makes money, while Walter is a drug dealer who makes money.

Is Better Call Saul A Real Story?

The fictitious character James Morgan "Jimmy" McGill, who goes by the names Saul Goodman in business and Gene Takavic in his personal life, is a mainstay of both the original Breaking Bad and its prequel/sequel, Better Call Saul.

Conclusion

From the way it capitalized on Saul's moral dilemma - with the mayhem of many peripheral characters participating in the drug trade becoming merely a list of crimes for which Saul must account - to the positioning of important supporting characters to buttress its arguments, this finale felt meticulous.

Odenkirk has perhaps never been stronger than in the courtroom scene, where he appears to be completely assured of his decision to use his legal expertise on another person's behalf and yet is secretly delighted that the plan is succeeding.

Saul retells the events leading up to his downfall for a second time in the season finale before a court, only to change the details so that Kim can go free.

Once the audience understands what's going on, the payoff is much greater.

It's the climax to a six-season confidence game that's the polar opposite of what we saw on "Breaking Bad."

Those who enjoyed watching Walter White become Scarface got to see a man who needed to do wrong constantly, who had to pull cons even when he was desperately attempting to hide his true identity.

And right in the end, his true identity as a human being is revealed.

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About The Authors

Tom Mohamed

Tom Mohamed - I understand and respect the confidence my clients put in me as a Colorado native and seasoned real estate professional, and I strive to meet their standards every day. For over 11 years, I have been a top producer. Prior to joining the real estate industry, I served in the US Army Infantry, including several tours in Iraq and Kuwait. These experiences taught me the discipline needed to create Colorado's most powerful real estate team.

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