Better Call Saul Season 3 Episode 10 Review: Lantern

Better Call Saul season 3 finale concludes with a devastating cliffhanger. Read our spoiler-filled review here!

Chuck in Better Call Saul Season 3 finale
Michael McKean as Chuck McGill - Better Call Saul _ Season 3, Episode 10 - Photo Credit: Michele K. Short/AMC/Sony Pictures Television

This Better Call Saul review contains spoilers.

Better Call Saul Season 3 Episode 10

Saul Goodman isn’t here yet. At times this season, it seemed like Jimmy was hurtling toward the reprehensible persona that we met during Breaking Bad’s run, but in the Better Call Saul Season 3 finale, Jimmy’s descent took a pause. Kim’s accident open’s Jimmy’s eyes and causes him to reevaluate everything in his life. Suddenly, hustling to keep his office space, holding a grudge against his brother, and sabotaging a sweet old woman’s personal life no longer seems necessary or important. The mere thought of losing Kim brings Jimmy’s caring and vulnerable side back to the surface.

That being said, I have to wonder how long it will last if Jimmy loses his brother. Tonight’s shocking cliffhanger finds Chuck attempting to take his own life, though it’s unclear whether his attempt will be successful. If it is, there’s no telling what the loss of his brother will do to Jimmy, especially after their final conversation. The last time we see them speak, Jimmy comes to Chuck’s house with reconciliation on his mind. Kim’s car crash puts life’s fragility in perspective for Jimmy, and realizing that Chuck is the only blood relative that he has left, he makes a final gesture to let bygone be bygones. Unfortunately, Chuck is having none of it. He won’t hear about Jimmy’s regrets and predicts aloud that Jimmy will just do something horrible to someone else sometime soon. To twist the knife, Chuck tells his brother, “You’ve never mattered all that much to me,” and coming from the brother that he loves and admires so much, Jimmy is so hurt he can’t utter a word.

Chuck’s intensified cruelty is a product of his unceremonious retiring from HHM. After Chuck once more asks Hamlin permission to return to the firm before proceeding with litigation, Hamlin tears into Chuck. Rightfully, Hamlin considers Chuck’s actions a betrayal and an assault on their friendship, spurred only by pride and personal vendettas. He writes Chuck a personal check for the buyout money that Chuck is owed, then puts on a professional face and announces Chuck’s departure for all to hear.  Chuck wins, but doesn’t get what he ultimately wants, just like in his trial against Jimmy. With a return to the law now out of the question, and with Jimmy and everyone else convinced that he’s making strides, Chuck no longer as motivation to get over his mental disorder and relapses hard. Tragically, we watch Chuck dismantle his home looking for an unknown source of electricity soundtracked to the sound of sad horns, like Gene Hackman in The Conversation. Even though he’s acted like a jerk, it’s still hard to watch Chuck unravel and ultimately try to end his own life.

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Jimmy in Better Call Saul Season 3 finale

It was also hard to watch sweet Irene Landry become a pariah, but thankfully, Jimmy uses an old hot mic technique and the hatred that former colleague Erin Brill has for him to set matters right. By doing so, Jimmy prolongs the Sandpiper settlement money for a later date and sullies his reputation with the elderly. Conning Irene in the first place was the worst thing we’ve seen Jimmy do during the course of the show and it seemed like it was the first major turning point into becoming Saul Goodman, but setting things right proves that there’s still a lot of heart left in Jimmy McGill. It’s even more apparent in the way he treats Kim, who scales back her workload this week, after her accident. Jimmy tenderly cares for Kim and even if he doesn’t express his deep concern with his words, it’s apparent in his eyes. Kim still makes Jimmy want to be her Atticus Finch, even if it’s a role he never saw himself in.

Finally, Nacho’s risky move against Hector finally pays off, and not a moment too soon. An unfriendly meeting between Hector and Nacho’s deeply unhappy Father spells trouble for Nacho’s family. At first, Nacho plans on taking more drastic measures and sneaks up on Hector with a gun. Before he can act, the rest of the Salamanca crew arrives for an impromptu meeting with Bolsa and Gus. Once again, Hector launches into a tirade about their new arrangement before his heart begins to give out. Hector collapses, and surprisingly enough, Gus rushes to his side to begin CPR. Later, Gus seems to slyly notice Nacho’s preoccupation with Hector’s medicine. This raises a lot of questions. Why would Gus care about Hector’s life at this point? And if Gus did suspect Nacho of funny business, would he relay that information to Hector, try to recruit Nacho for his own operation, or use that information to manipulate Nacho into doing some dirty work for him? Will Gus respect Nacho’s move or feel threatened by it. Having Gus’ attention can’t possibly be a good thing.

Well there we have it! It certainly wasn’t a feel good finale, but it did feel like a great conclusion to another stellar season. Somehow, Better Call Saul has lived up to the near impossible task of honoring Breaking Bad’s legacy while carving out its own space as one of television’s most compelling, expertly made dramas. With so many unanswered questions and so much left to discover before Jimmy McGill transforms into the weasel we meet in Breaking Bad, we’ll be clamoring for more time in Albuquerque. 

Rating:

5 out of 5