We’re almost here, folks: “Better Call Saul” is all but two episodes away from the long-awaited series finale. After tonight, we’re about to see just how Gene Takavic’s decision to break bad will work out for him, and how – or if – he and Kim, his wife from another life, will eventually reunite. According to Francesca, Kim contacted his office in light of his widespread criminal activity coming to light, and there’s no doubt the two clearly have a deep emotional draw extending far past their unfortunate breakup about 6 years earlier.
Let’s cut to the chase, and enjoy what we have left of the show while we can. Here is the penultimate episode of “Better Call Saul,” written and directed by none other than legendary series co-creator Vince Gilligan, titled “Waterworks.”
Season 6, Episode 12: ‘Waterworks’
We pick up in the office of Saul Goodman, where Saul plays wall ball against his U.S. Constitution wall paper, knocking down one of the purely aesthetic pillars in the process. Francesca calls him from several feet away, in the main office, expressing her frustration given the myriad of clients waiting for him, but he is hardly perturbed. As he hangs up and gets back to his desk, he opens up an envelope…they contain documents for a divorce with Kim. “What are you waiting for?” he tells Francesca on Bluetooth headset. “Send her in.”
We’re back in the future (aka the present, aka 2010), and an older Kim, now with longer, darker hair, prepares for an upcoming dinner gathering with a new male living partner.
Later that night, the new happy couple engage in some…intimate relations (though the new Mr. Kim sure doesn’t sound like he’s having a good time, despite his repeated assurances of “yup” in the bedroom). Later, he watches a TV show while she assembles what appears to be a blank puzzle.
We see Kim in the exciting new chapter of her life at Palm Coast Sprinkling in Florida, in which she gets to make use of her lack of law license by crafting exciting descriptions for the nuts and bolts that make up sprinklers.
While at work one day, she gets a call from a “Viktor Saint Claire,” which she seems to recognize immediately. We may just finally be getting a view of last week’s silent phone call from the other side. As Kim secludes herself in her office, closing the door and shuttering the blinds, she hesitates for a long while before finally picking up. Jimmy talks to her casually, expressing a desire to “catch up,” as well as shock at how much time has gone by since they last saw each other (6 years). He also wants to inform her that he’s still alive, and “still getting away with it.” When she is at a loss for words, Jimmy implores her to say something. Finally, she spits it out: “You should turn yourself in,” she says. “I don’t know what kind of life you’ve been living, but it can’t be much.” When Jimmy angrily turns it around on her, saying it should be her who should turn herself in on account of her guilty conscience, she can only spit out, “I’m glad you’re alive,” before hanging up.
Almost immediately after, she is ushered into the hall to celebrate one of her coworker’s birthdays. Everyone sings “Happy birthday,” but Kim, naturally, is just not in the mood.
We cut to the Albuquerque airport, where Kim has evidently returned, and she waits for a shuttle (right next to the Alaska Airlines terminal, a subtle reference to our good friend Jesse Pinkman). Of all places, she decides to return to the courthouse. Though she gets to an elevator, we’re cut off before we see where she goes.
Kim then heads to the house of the late Howard’s widow Cheryl, where she delivers her a hand-typed manifesto essentially detailing the entire plot of season 6. Upon reading about Howard’s death, Cheryl can barely breathe. When Kim, trembling while trying to keep it together, says that Howard didn’t suffer, Cheryl rebuffs her with what she did. The lies she and Jimmy made up about him all but destroyed his life. “That’s all he is now,” she says, basically confirming exactly what she and Jimmy feared after Lalo executed him. “That’s all anybody remembers.” She asks if Kim will be prosecuted, and Kim tells her that she delivered the affidavit to the District Attorney, but she doesn’t know what she’ll do with it, especially given the lack of physical evidence. Cheryl asks why Kim is doing this, but she has no response.
While on the bus home, Kim breaks down in tears.
We’re finally picking up where episode 11 left off, with Jimmy, as “Gene,” breaking into the house of his cancer victim. After seeing him knocked out on the floor, Jimmy inexplicably goes to the piano and hits a high note, perhaps testing to see just how strong these barbiturates are…or perhaps, desiring a bit of excitement, testing his own fate.
He then does what he’s meant to do, snapshotting photos of the bank statements, and finding his account passwords by chance…on the underside of a lamp.
The plan seems to go off without a hitch, but before Jimmy returns to Jeff in his cab outside, he tests fate some more by deciding to take a trip upstairs to gander at some of the gentleman’s other knickknacks, including some fancy cigars and watches. The victim, however, is beginning to wake up. When Jimmy sees that the man has woken up, he begins to panic, and is unable to escape without getting noticed.
Outside, meanwhile, Jeff’s cab is approached by a police car from behind.
Jimmy then decides to approach his victim from behind with a vase, intending to knock him out once more, but doesn’t get the chance before he gets knocked out by nature, falling asleep at his phone instead. Jimmy then tries to sneak outside, but is dissuaded by the police car.
In a panic, unaware that he is not remotely on the radar of the two cops chatting casually behind him, Jeff tries to make a run for it, but crashes into a van across the street. The police naturally approach him. He’s caught. Jimmy, however, manages to escape.
Back during the events of “Breaking Bad,” Jimmy and Kim, who has not yet grown or darkened her hair, uneventfully sign divorce papers, with Jimmy apparently even distracted by his cellphone. Kim, almost at a loss for words, is nearly brought to tears when Jimmy hardly has anything to say to her, telling her to simply “have a nice life,” sending her on her way.
Outside, Kim lights a cigarette underneath the awning as a young Jesse Pinkman, waiting outside the office, asks her for a bump as it pours rain in front of them. Jesse then tells her he recognizes her, as she represented his friend Combo a few years back. “Tell him I hope he’s keeping his nose clean,” Kim tells him. Evidently this is near the beginning of “Bad,” as Jesse has not yet decided on whether to choose Saul to represent him and his buddy Emilio, so seeks Kim’s counsel on whether he’s the “real deal.” Kim can only respond, that “when I knew him, he was,” before booking it to her car underneath the rain.
“Gene” takes a bus back to his place, where he pours himself some gin and places his cellphone on his glass coffee table in anticipation of Jeff’s phone call from prison. Jeff calls, referring to Gene as “Dad,” and the two of them put on a show for the prison officers and whoever might be listening in. “Oh no!” Gene says after Jeff tells him he’s been arrested. “What for? Jeffie!” Jeff gives him the rundown, revealing that the police found evidence of a robbery in their cancer victim’s house shortly after they found Jeff. Gene, aka “Dad,” tells him that they will sort everything out, given that there’s no actual evidence linking Jeff to any crime. “You’re gonna get the best legal defense in the whole wide world,” Gene says. “Trust your old man on that.”
Gene then calls Marion, who becomes quite distraught upon being informed of the news, exclaiming, “He’s gonna put me in my grave!” While Marion rants about her son and the trouble he’s caused her, Gene assures her that everything will work out, even assuring her that the rules for bonds in Omaha are different than they are in Albuquerque. The fact that Gene knows this so offhand gives Marion pause, and she proceeds to ask him why Jeff called him over her. Gene answers that he was probably scared. She also asks about Buddy, their former partner-in-crime, who she saw with them near the garage the other day, shortly before Gene fired him from the group, wondering if he was also arrested. Naturally, Gene tells him he wasn’t, then says he will see her in about an hour.
Intrigued, Marion can’t help but do a little investigating. When Jimmy gets to her house, he finds her watching a video of him as Saul, perhaps one of her very first non-cat-related YouTube video. All she had to do was type in “con man in Albuquerque” on Ask Jeeves, and up he popped, “big as day.” “There never was a Nippy, was there?” she asks mournfully, finally putting the pieces together.
When she attempts to call the police, Jimmy disconnects the phone, then smashes it. He tries to assuage the old lady as he backs her into a corner, simultaneously wrapping the phone cord around his hands in an awfully mafia-esque manner. However, Marion threatens him by pressing the helpline button around her neck. He threatens her back with a “final warning,” but all she can say is, “I trusted you.” Jimmy tearfully lets go of the button, and Marion presses it, telling the operator that a “wanted man named Saul Goodman” is standing right in front of her. The operator calls the police as Jimmy makes a run for it out her door.
The series finale of “Better Call Saul” airs Monday, August 15, at 9 p.m. on AMC.