Better Call Saul delivers another fascinating episode in ‘Wiedersehen’ as things slowly build towards the climax as the real Saul Goodman starts to reveal himself
I think I say it every week, but Better Call Saul is an outstanding achievement – it’s a prequel series that has somehow managed to maintain the tension throughout and still keeps you guessing. It’s not an easy task to pull off, as shown by the scattering of failed prequels that litter the floor of Hollywood. Don’t worry though, “Wiedersehen” is the penultimate episode of the season so there’s only one more week of my wide-eyed wonder.
Better Call Saul is a series that puts its characters first and drifts along at a very… relaxed pace. In other hands, it could be incredibly frustrating, but I find all of the characters so beautifully constructed that I am just happy that they have time to breathe. What has been particularly interesting with the current season of Better Call Saul is that I’m still none the wiser about what to expect from next week’s finale. In the previous seasons, there has been an overarching “big bad” or major plot point that feels like it needs to be resolved. I’m really not sure which way things are going to go this year.
“Wiedersehen” sees Jimmy thinking about getting back into practising law and we finally begin to see the reason why he takes on the Saul Goodman persona. It does seem like there is no deep dark secret or reason for the change beyond it is just good business. During his time selling burner phones to the less than squeaky clean elements of New Mexico, he’s built up a decent client base who could do with legal support. It just so happens that all of those prospective clients already know and love one Saul Goodman. Things are never that simple though, as Jimmy’s application for reinstatement gets rejected because he seemed “insincere”. We know that he gets his license back at some point but it seems like this is going to be a real catalyst in the finale as far as Jimmy/Saul goes.
After last week’s lapse to the wrong side of the law Kim is hungry for the thrill of last week’s con. Together with Jimmy, she pulls off a brilliantly executed grift at the start of this week’s episode that would make Danny Ocean blush. It’s a wonderfully constructed and executed con – I loved it.
Unsurprisingly things never run smoothly in the crystal meth trade as it appears that the new Salamanca on the scene, Lalo, is definitely up to something. For one thing, he’s the source of Hector’s iconic (and irritating) bell. Campanological pursuits aside I get the impression, after a tense yet civil meeting with Gus, that there is certainly trouble on the horizon. I thought that their meeting in Gus’ office was wonderfully handled, injecting just enough drama and tension to the proceedings while also giving the two actors chance to play off each other – I really enjoyed Lalo’s pleasant malevolence. There’s something very intimidating about somebody who is so polite.
Gus’ troubles aren’t just limited to the Salamancas either; the construction of his meth lab has hit a bit of a snag. Wermer is suffering from a rather severe case of homesickness and desperately wants to visit his wife. Rather than just wait out the job he decides to make a break for it – I cannot see this ending well for anyone. We know the lab gets finished but I don’t think it’s going to be an easy project. Wermer left Mike what looked like a really detailed letter; this seems quite considerate but it’s possible he’s signed his own death warrant. If Mike has everything he needs to complete the job then maybe a runaway foreman is surplus to requirements? I’m also expecting Wermer’s workforce to rally behind him and do… something. I’m not sure what’s going to happen but I don’t think it’s going to be great for anyone involved.
One more episode to go and I cannot wait to see what happens next, and yet at the same time, I don’t want the season to be over already.
Oli has been writing for Ready Steady Cut since November 2017. He has a PhD in Computer Science and he writes articles about TV, film and, very occasionally, science.