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'Better Call Saul' finale recap: 'Marco'

A visit to Chicago and a trip down memory lane wrap up the first season.

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Ursula Coyote/AMC

Better Call Saul

type:
TV Show
genre:
Crime, Drama
creator:
11394, 9236
performer:
Bob Odenkirk, Michael McKean
broadcaster:
AMC
seasons:
3
Current Status:
On Hiatus

Throughout the first season of Better Call Saul, the creative team behind the Breaking Bad spin-off has made some really bold choices. While the show has been somewhat unpredictable week-to-week, I don’t think anyone would have imagined that the season 1 capper would have Jimmy returning to Chicago, his former partner Marco, and their slippin’ ways. What other show in recent memory has ignored almost all of the established drama to devote its finale to an existential road trip? But the sharp left turn makes for some fascinating characters moments—not all of which totally work—and moves Jimmy in a direction that will no doubt make for an interesting season 2.

The hour kicks off with yet another opening flashback, this one taking place just after a previous one. Jimmy is fresh out of Cook County jail, and Chuck is waiting in the car. There’s just one last stop to make before the brothers head to Albuquerque. Marco, Jimmy’s partner in crime from his days as Slippin’ Jimmy, is schooling some chumps on the art of removing a dollar bill from beneath a stack of quarters when the younger McGill comes in. This is goodbye for the grifters and a farewell from Jimmy to the con game they played together. “It’s like Miles Davis giving up the trumpet,” Marc tells Jimmy, trying to get him to stay, but his future—at least for now—lies in Albuquerque.

Unfortunately, that future is pretty crappy. Fresh from the reveal of Chuck’s continued betrayal, Jimmy shows up at HHM dressed in his best Matlock costume, ready to accept Howard’s offer. In the lobby, Kim gives her apology for not being more honest about telling Jimmy to take the deal and forego a role in the Sandpiper class-action suit. She just didn’t want him to hate his brother. That also seems to be the reason for a lot of Howard’s dickishness toward Jimmy, but that doesn’t mean we’re willing to forgive the lawyer for everything. (He really does need a new tie.) Jimmy, however, is willing to apologize for his expert use of the term “pig-f–k,” which kind of takes the sweetness away from that moment. All of this is underscored with a great deal of sadness. Before, Chuck was just an eccentric, someone that needed constant care from his loving brother, but he turned out to be something much darker, a scumbag, a willful leech on Jimmy’s attempts to better himself.

Before Jimmy heads to Chicago, there’s one last, horribly awkward thing that he has to do. Don’t you just hate it when you’re calling bingo, and nothing but “B”s come out of the shoot? And then you start losing your mind and your anecdotes become way too personal? Jimmy hates that, too. The “B”-induced mental breakdown spurs the lawyer to tell the full story of his last incarceration and why it was such a big deal that Chuck bailed him out. It turns out that Jimmy was married at one point and that his wife slept around on him. This naturally leads to a good amount of drinking from Jimmy, who spots the car belonging to Chet, the man with whom his wife did the deed, outside of Dairy Queen, so he performs a Chicago Sunroof. For the forgetful out there, a Chicago Sunroof is that thing where you poop through a sunroof, but the key is to make sure that there aren’t any kids in the backseat. Those unfortunate children were the reason that Jimmy’s arrest could have led to him registering as a sex offender if it weren’t for Chuck. The way Jimmy sees it, that Chicago Sunroof was the start of all of his problems.

NEXT: So what does Jimmy do next?

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