Whether it’s the tone of the black-and-white “future,” Saul Goodman’s alter ego of Jean Tackovich or the fact that she’s a shadow of the charming former self, Better Call Saul’s Cinnabon Jean timeline is in a pretty serious place. Since the Breaking Bad prequel happened to Saul (Bob Odenkirk) after Ed “The Disappearance” Galbraith (Robert Forster) sent him to Omaha, fans have questioned how this dreary existence would end for the charismatic Jimmy McGill. Worryingly, the final episode confirms that our leadership isn’t just facing a hopeless fate.
Over the past six seasons of court cases and oppositions, we’ve seen Rhea Seehorn’s Kim Wexler emerge just as Jimmy’s love interest – becoming his equal in many ways. Given that Kim was mysteriously absent from the Jean timeline until last week’s “Breaking Bad,” some rightly feared that she would go the way of Nacho (Michael Mando) and Lalo (Tony Dalton). It’s true that Kim survived by slitting her throat with a box cutter and pouring it into a barrel of acid, but being haunted by the past while working at Palm Coast sprinklers in Florida sounds terrifying in itself.
Kim Wexler receives the Jean Takovic treatment
“Waterworks” establishes that after filing for divorce from Jimmy and sending Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) for legal advice, Kim has set up shop in Florida. Kim divorced Jimmy before things got really bad in Albuquerque, meaning she would avoid paying for his crimes. Still, everything has changed for Kim, and as her life has changed irreparably, she’s largely indistinguishable from Jean. The only difference is that he is not absconding.
Kim’s day involves tough decisions about whether miracle whips can be used as a mayonnaise substitute and doing puzzles while her boring, average Joe husband sits in the other room. Kim’s work life doesn’t get much better—writing copy on the FLO-Chief 1.2-Inch PEX Crimp Brass and asking about the flange diameter.
There is at least some sense of justice, as after calling with Jean, Kim calls upon the widow of Harold Hamlin (Patrick Fabian) to try and correct the wrongs of the past. Here’s a glimpse of old Kim as she boldly claims that the lack of evidence or witnesses means she will be given time behind bars.
Even though Florida Kim is far from her former self, she is somewhere… buried under a heavy fringe and box dye. When Kim travels to Albuquerque to sign an affidavit, she finally lets go of her feelings and breaks into the bus after revealing the truth about what happened on the night of Harold’s death nearly six years earlier.
Better Call Saul deals a tough hand
Kim’s dismal fate is a well-established trope for Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul. It’s not just the bad guys who are punished on Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould’s shows. Innocent spectators such as the passengers of the Wayfarer 515 flight and Drew Sharp (Samuel Webb) are caught in the crossfire. You don’t even have to die to have a clumsy hand in this world, because we don’t imagine Heisenberg’s afterlife has been much fun for widowed Mary Schrader (Betsy Brandt) or Skyler White (Anna Gunn).
Closer to Better Call Saul, unfortunately continues to build up a rough deck for minor characters like Marco Pasternak (Mel Rodriguez) to suffer a heart attack or Fred Wallen (James Austin Johnson) unintentionally getting in Lalo Salamanca’s way. Jimmy’s brother, Chuck McGill (Michael McCain), is one of the most divisive TV characters ever, but it’s still hard to watch him burn out in the Season 3 finale. Recently, there was the shocking realization that Harold was not the villain we thought he was when Lalo brutally blew his mind.
Even death does not give salvation in this world. Typically in the Badverse manner, “Waterworks” includes a brief reveal that Mike Ehrmantraut’s (Jonathan Banks) ticket booth work has been automated. Cheryl Hamlin (Sandrin Holt) has also spent years believing that Kim took her husband’s life until she told him the truth.
Kim isn’t dead, but for all intents and purposes, she may be. Forced to attend potluck dinners with other plain housewives, it’s a fate that old Kim would never have chosen. But is it worth it?
Kim is not as morally corrupt as Jimmy, but after running a scandal like her and admitting that she kept Lalo’s existence a secret because she was “having a lot of fun,” she is also someone Walt Jr. (RJ Mitte). Not there.