As we watched Jimmy McGill—Goodman’s given name—bilk strangers of money with elaborately improvised shpiels, and later build a law practice on seemingly endless varieties of ambulance-chasing hucksterism, we didn’t exactly cheer him on. But a successful con artist is at heart a storyteller with a strong motivation, and as a dramatic character, Jimmy, played with subtly intense showmanship by Odenkirk, has been irresistible.Better Call Saul Season 1-6 Download
But there were shadows from the start of “Better Call Saul,” and as the series reached its gripping Season 5 finale last night, it was clear that they have overtaken the show’s formerly capering spirit as it heads for its inevitable appointment with the events of “Breaking Bad” (next season will be its last). To be clear, the show was never a romp; even as Jimmy danced on the high wire with his schemes, the show also unflinchingly explored his toxic rivalry with a persnickety lawyer brother, Chuck (Michael McKean), and detailed the troubling backstory of the laconic factotum Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks), as he circled the New Mexico drug gangs we know he will one day serve.Along the way we met two compelling figures with their own claim on our conflicted sympathies.
Ignacio “Nacho” Varga (Michael Mando), a taciturn gang lieutenant struggling to get out of the game even as he is drawn in deeper, and Kim Wexler (Rhea Seehorn), an ambitious but self-destructive lawyer who is both Jimmy/Saul’s intermittent romantic partner and his often unheeded conscience.This is a simmering brew of rich characters, and this past season brought many of their stories to a gratifying boil. Nacho, caught between rival drug kingdoms, managed some desperate and delicate feats of derring-do to prove his mettle, even as we can feel with tragic inevitability that these will never be enough for him to escape.