Hey there, folks! Welcome to another Better Call Saul recap. It’s hard to believe we have just two episodes left in the final season of this amazing show. And yet, we still have no idea what’s going to happen next. At this point during its run, Breaking Bad delivered “Granite State,” which felt more like a filler episode so we could all catch our breath after the brilliant “Ozymandias.” Last week’s episode of Saul, titled “Breaking Bad,” delivered the goods and remains, perhaps, one of the better entries of the season. So, I imagine “Waterworks” will likely be the episode we need to get through to get to the grand finale if you know what I mean or maybe Vince Gilligan will shock us yet again and deliver another amazing episode that will blow our minds.
Okay, enough waiting, let’s get to this week’s episode, “Waterworks.”
What Happened in Better Call Saul Season 6 Episode 12
We open on Saul doing his best Steve McQueen impersonation and tossing a ball off the Constitution-lined wall in his office. Yeah, we’re back in Breaking Bad territory. Francesca calls and reminds Saul of the time. “You’ve got a lobby full of people out here,” she moans before threatening to leave at 8 p.m. on the dot no matter what.
“Wow, you and your work ethic,” Saul jokes. “Did I ever tell you how indispensable you are?” This is such an odd relationship. Francesca hates what she does, but loves the money too much to quit. Saul isn’t fond of her style, but knows there aren’t many others willing to do his dirty business — plus, I imagine Francesca knows a lot about his business.
Saul blatantly refuses to see additional clients and hangs up on his assistant. He then chucks the ball a little too hard at his wall so that one of his fake pillars topples over. He then pulls up a document sent by Kim … divorce papers. Yikes. Saul taps his Bluetooth earpiece. “What are you waiting for?” he asks. “Send her in.”
Did Kim get remarried? Was Saul yelling at her new husband? So many questions, so little time.
The answers will have to wait because we’re back in black and white land (i.e. the future) where we see a brunette Kim Wexler chopping a potato. Okay, so … the answers are coming fast and furious. A man enters the house. He drops off some Miracle Whip and the pair debate mayonnaise. We then see Kim mingling with a group of housewives while her husband chats with the guys over the barbecue. Our worst fear has come true: Kim is domesticated.
Clearly, this couple is very intimate as we see them having sex. Kim and this mysterious man then spend the evening building a puzzle and watching TV — you know, kind of like my life. (Minus the sex.) It’s abundantly clear that this man is a lot different than Jimmy/Saul. He’s simple-minded, slightly aloof, and … well, let’s just say he doesn’t look capable of conning a pigeon. He heads outside and tells Kim about a new Outback Steakhouse that just opened. “It’s a date,” she says.
I mean, wow. What a change. Where Jimmy’s guilt over Howard’s death drove him to become an exaggerated (and evil) version of himself, Kim went the opposite way and became a watered-down iteration of the feisty lawyer we grew to love. She even works at a sprinkler company where she orders parts, makes coffee, and engages in those horrible office birthday parties that seemingly occur every damned week.
At lunch, following some solitaire, Kim chats with her coworkers who discuss the effects of ecstasy. They ask what she’s eating. “Tuna sandwich,” she replies. “I tried something different and made it with Miracle Whip instead of mayonnaise.” It’s scary how accurate this depiction of ordinary life is.
Later, Kim receives a phone call from Victor Sinclair. Uh-oh. She shuts the blinds in her office and shuts the door, obviously bracing for fireworks. After a brief moment’s pause, she answers the phone. “Kim Wexler,” she says as professional as possible. “Hey Kim,” comes Saul’s voice. “Do you know who this is?” A beat. “I’ll take that as a sign that you do.”
Saul then goes into his usual rambling pitch. He tries to keep things light, but she cuts right to the chase. “What do you want,” she asks pointedly.
“I don’t want anything, I just think it would be nice to catch up… I thought you’d want to know I’m still alive,” Saul says. “Yep. I’m still out here, still getting away with it. The feds couldn’t find their own ass with both hands and a proctologist.” Oh, Saul. Come on, man. Show a little humility. He comes off like a loser ex-boyfriend in this scene.
“You shouldn’t be calling me,” Kim says.
“Come on, Kim,” Saul says. “Yell at me, call me an asshole. Let me know that you still have a pulse.” Is this the first time Kim has spoken to Saul Goodman?
“You want me to say something,” she says. “You should turn yourself in.”
Bam. There it is.
“I don’t know what kind of life you’ve been living but it can’t be much,” she continues.
“Said the pot to the kettle,” Saul snaps before going on a tirade about everything from Lalo to his business. He calls her a hypocrite and says she should turn herself in since she’s the one with the troubled conscience. He doesn’t give her a chance to respond, and when he finally does shut up, her reply is simple: “I’m glad you’re alive.”
You can see her expression almost change to fear during this bit. She hears Jimmy, the man she used to love, but something’s off about the man … he’s slightly more … a douche? Is that the right word? Slimebally? A bit of an ass? I typically root for Saul, but this scene made me see him from the eyes of an outsider, and it’s brilliant.
While Saul breaks the phone booth, we see Kim take a long moment to gather her thoughts. A knock at the door draws her out to the main office where she sings “Happy Birthday” with the rest of her coworkers. (The shocked surprise of the birthday girl is hilarious.)
Following the break, we see Kim waiting for a bus. Two figures approach and wait with her. (Maybe something, maybe nothing. My paranoia is through the roof.) She heads to a familiar sight: the Bernalillo Courthouse, where she moves through the metal detector with the rest of the guests and waits in line for an elevator. She eyes a lawyer instructing her client. As typical, Kim reveals no emotion, but we know what she’s thinking: we’re a long way from the good ole days.
She eventually hops in the elevator … to where exactly? Is she cutting a deal?
The scene cuts to Cheryl Hamlin standing alone in her house. A buzzer sounds. It’s Kim. She enters the pearly gates (towards redemption?) and meets with Howard’s wife. The meeting starts quietly. Kim slides a piece of paper to the woman, who takes a moment to read the lengthy document.
As expected, everything is there. Jimmy and Kim’s plan to ruin Howard, along with his death at the hands of Lalo. Everything.
Cheryl gasps. “Howard was murdered? Why?”
“He was in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Kim says before adding that Howard didn’t suffer, as though this is some sort of consolation.
“He didn’t suffer,” Cheryl snaps. “The lies you two made up? The picture you painted? That’s all he is now. That’s all anyone remembers.”
“I want to change that,” Kim says.
Cheryl asks if Kim will go to jail. That’s up to the district attorney, Kim says. Yeah, she turned in her affidavit. I honestly feel sick. And while my initial thought is to scream, “Damn you, Lalo!” I know better. Jimmy and Kim dug their own grave. They got in too deep with the wrong people and ruined a lot of lives in the process. As Kim told Jimmy a while back, they were too busy having fun to think of the repercussions.
Chances are, the district attorney won’t prosecute on account of zero physical evidence. So, Cheryl asks, why are you doing this? We don’t get the answer, but I suspect it’s because Kim either A) wants to cleanse her soul or B) wants to save Jimmy from Saul.
Again, and I’ve said this a lot this season, kudos to Rhea Seehorn for her incredible acting. The bus ride scene where she finally breaks down is … just, wow. Heartbreaking. Everything seems to hit her all at once — guilt, shame, remorse, sadness, fear. It all comes to the forefront. Damn, what a performance.
Now, we’re back with Saul literally breaking into the cancer victim’s home. As our main man expected, his latest target is passed out on the floor. (An odd thought occurred to me: Saul seems like he wants to get caught. He doesn’t have the power to turn himself in and instead decides to go down in a blaze of glory. Note how he doesn’t even try to cover his tracks in these robbery scenes. His fingerprints are all over the damned room!) Saul goes to work collecting all the info he needs. He’s just about to leave when something draws him back inside the house. He heads upstairs and we see our cancer victim stir … uh oh. Saul wanders around the second floor and starts tinkering with some cigars and liquor. He finds some watches, slides them into his pocket, and takes note of an urn containing the ashes of a dog.
Outside, Jeff sees a pair of lights pull up behind him.
Back with Saul, he peeks over the side of the railing — the target is gone. Actually, he’s in the bathroom located at the bottom of the stairs. Saul picks up the urn …
… outside, Jeff eyeballs the car sitting a few feet away: a patrol car …
… Saul creeps toward the cancer guy with the urn but lets out a sigh of relief when the man passes out again. Saul makes for the door, sees the cop car, and heads back inside.
There’s a great bit from inside the patrol car where two cops are seated. We hear one of the cops ask the other, “Would you look at this?” We assume he’s talking about Jeff’s car. “What would you call that? Could anybody call this a fish taco?” Yeah, he’s just talking about a taco. The pair are clearly unaware of Jeff or Saul, but our main characters don’t know that.
After a long beat (and a drawn-out conversation about fish tacos), Jeff seems to panic. His cab speeds away and smashes into a nearby parked car, much to the surprise of the cops. The would-be criminal drops out of the car and peers up helplessly at the officers — and Saul, taking note of the situation, slips away.
Back in the Breaking Bad timeline, Kim sits in Saul’s office silently filling out the divorce papers. Francesca pops in. The three characters quietly carry out their actions. (So, I guess the phone call wasn’t the first time Kim met Saul.) Finally, Saul asks, “What do you think? Pretty great, right?”
“So, Florida,” he continues. “Why there?” Before she can respond, he adds: “You’re going to regret not taking your share of the Sandpiper money. That’d buy a shitload of swampland.”
She flashes a look of confusion, almost stunned by the man he’s become.
“Have a nice life, Kim,” he says, casually brushing her off.
Kim stands and looks like she’s about to say something, but decides against it and heads outside. We catch a familiar sight: Kim smoking a cigarette. The camera slowly pans around and … we see Jessie leaning against a nearby wall. (I honestly expected this, but man … what a moment.) Jessie goes off about the rain and then asks, “You’re a lawyer, right?” He says he recognizes her. “You defended my friend, Combo. Christian Ortega.”
After more rambling from Jessie, he asks, “Is this Goodman the real deal?” He’s got a buddy (Emilio) facing some real-time. “This guy,” Jessie asks again. “Is he any good?”
“When I knew him, he was,” Kim replies sadly.
After the break, we’re back in the future with Saul, who sits alone on a bench waiting for a bus. (Is this where Saul collides with Nobody?) He leaps off of the vehicle and into his car. Drives home. Drinks some booze. Sets his phone down and waits. He does that thing that Jimmy used to do: conjure calls with his fingers. Somehow, it works.
“Hey, uh, dad, it’s me, it’s Jeff,” Jeff says at the police precinct.
Saul plays along.
“That’s not the big deal part,” Jeff says. “They think I committed a robbery.”
Saul asks if any of the stolen merchandise was on his person when the cops arrested him. “No,” Jeff replies. Then there’s nothing to worry about. Saul assures Jeff that he’ll get the best legal representation. He then calls Marion, perhaps a little too cocky. He offers to pick her up in an hour, but something isn’t sitting right with Marion. Why would Jeff call Saul instead of her? And how does this guy know so much about the legal system?
After hanging up the phone, she pulls out her handy dandy laptop.
Saul drives in his car, merrily singing along to Blondie’s “The Tide is High.” He knocks on the door. No response. Sees himself inside and startles Marion, who had her headphones on. What was she listening to? Saul quickly finds out: an old Better Call Saul commercial. (The commercial reflects off his glasses, in color no less. Cool detail.)
Turns out, all Marion had to type into Google was, “Con man in Albuquerque.” Saul popped up, larger than life. She reaches for the phone to call the cops. Saul violently yanks the phone from her hands and holds the cord like he’s planning on strangling her. Saul is a lot of things, but not a murderer. Marion taps the life alert hanging around her neck. Saul warns her to stop. “I trusted you,” she says.
This statement seems to shock Saul back to existence. Maybe he didn’t want to get caught. Maybe he just thought he was untouchable … a God walking amongst mortals. The great criminal the cops never found. Everyone else — Heisenberg, Mike, Lalo, Gus — died, but not the great Saul Goodman. At least, until now.
The life alert triggers a response from an operator. Marion exclaims a criminal is standing right in front of her. Saul looks genuinely hurt. He dashes for the door and — cue credits.
Wow. That was a lot to take in. Honestly, the best way to describe these last few episodes is like a waking nightmare. Kim and Saul both tried to start anew in a rather ordinary fashion, far apart from each other. But, just as Chuck warned, Saul will always be Slippin’ Jimmy, a con artist with a propensity for criminal behavior. He can’t help it. He lives for the con. And it may have just cost him, big time.
I’m honestly surprised Kim went as long as she did without caving in. Obviously, her attempt at rebirth (so to speak) wasn’t enough to shake her guilt. Though, she seemed to be doing mostly okay. I’m sure the redundancy of her job and marriage (?) made it easier to squash her inner turmoil, and she might have been able to move on eventually.
Ironically, it’s a phone call from Saul that convinces her to come clean. Again, I think her change of heart comes wrapped in a desire to save Jimmy. She looked rather surprised at Saul Goodman and seemed even more shocked during their telephone conversation. Maybe she knows he’ll never stop until he’s dead and wants to prevent another needless murder … we’ll have to wait until next week’s finale to find out, but, oh boy, we’re set up for quite the ending.
Final Thoughts on Better Call Saul Season 6 Episode 12
So, yeah, I was wrong. This episode was definitely not filler. Nope, it was really good. Like A+ good. How crazy was it to see Kim in Saul’s office, and talking with Jessie? Sure, the bit felt very fan service-y, but also quite natural. The worlds of Better Call Saul and Breaking Bad come together in a way that should make all other prequels shake with envy. This is brilliant stuff.
As for Saul, I still feel bad for him. Yes, Jimmy transformed into a criminal, but only because the world would simply not allow him to go straight. Chuck remains the main catalyst for Jimmy’s downfall (and his death clearly affected Jimmy psychologically), but Kim’s outright “betrayal” was the final push. Does he deserve to go to jail? Probably. As stated, Saul is a horrible man, but Jimmy was actually a decent guy in need of a strong moral figure to guide him home. Chuck, Howard, and Kim weren’t strong enough to carry Jimmy on their backs; and all cracked under his negative influence.
So, I think, Kim will try to rectify the situation by acting as the sturdy rock for Jimmy to cling to in his time of need — or, the person she should have been from the start.
That’s my read on things. What do you think will happen in next week’s final episode? Happy theorizing!