Better Call Saul stepped up another gear in its fifth season as tensions between Gus Fring and the Salamanca family escalated almost as rapidly as the fractures in Jimmy/Saul and Kim’s relationship.
With just a final season left to run after this one, a lot rests on Better Call Saul’s season five finale.
There are so many questions as to how it will all come to a screeching close, with the Breaking Bad timeline drawing increasingly near.
So far, we have a trailer for the finale though, as proven by the last couple of episodes, all bets are off and pretty much anything is possible – but what are the key events we’re looking out for in the season five finale?
What will happen to Kim?
Without a doubt the biggest questions that have dangled over Better Call Saul favourites since the beginning have revolved around where the non-Breaking Bad characters have got to.
Better Call Saul has actually kept the majority of its start cast fit and breathing, but with just one episode plus a final season to go, major players are going to have to be swept away, in some shape or another.
Admittedly it took some time to warm to Kim Wexler, but throughout the course of the series, she has blossomed into a true fan-favourite able to jostle with the very top characters of the budding Breaking Bad universe.
Kim has been a rare beacon of morality throughout, but the Jimmy effect has even started to rub off onto her, leaving any number of possibilities for her next moves.
The obvious ending for Kim is that she is killed, caught in the crossfire, but that feels like an easy way out for the writers. Instead, we’d like to suggest she will make it through the finale, she’s in the game now…
It feels possible that Kim could even make it through next season. Could she vanish, as Jimmy does at the end of Breaking Bad? Could the real heartbreak for Saul be that Kim has to flee for her own safety? Could we see them reunited in the black and white post-BB footage?
Fring versus Salamanca: Round 476
The heart-stopping stand-off between Lalo and Kim was cooked to perfection, just enough of a convincing rant from her side to sweep off the slimy Salamanca… for now.
It’s hard to tell whether he truly bought it, he is not done with Saul, but the evidence suggests he has. In the finale trailer, we see a snippet of Lalo lounging around, apparently by a pool, has he finally reached Mexico?
Whatever the case with Lalo, the bubbling war between his family and Gus Fring is ready to erupt. Expect fireworks as the two sides lock horns, desperate for control.
There have to be big questions asked surrounding Nacho’s future. Mike made a plea for Gus to cut him loose, let him leave and live, but nobody gets out that easily.
His burden should be eased if Lalo makes it to Mexico, but again, when you’re a double-crossing agent in the middle of a cartel war, life isn’t an easy game to play.
Nacho probably tops the list of candidates to take a bullet in this one, but he does still have value to both sides of the chaos and it’s by no means a forgone conclusion that he has met his end. As with Kim, part of us feels there is still a way out of this for Nacho, a chance of redemption, an opportunity to shaft both the Salamancas and Gus, but he’d require some slippery assistance to wriggle free of their clutches.
The sleeper story. Howard Hamlin. The one-time key player in Better Call Saul has taken a back seat since the death of Chuck McGill but his phantom-like presence remains.
His pursuit of Jimmy in season five has been relentless, but why? It’s not for pure comedy, that seems for sure. Jimmy holds all of the cards in their fractious relationship right now, but the titular character rarely triumphs in every battle against an opponent – Howard is due a win.
And so we return to Kim. She has freed herself from Mesa Verde, and it can’t be a coincidence that the trailer shows a snippet of her chatting to a shadowed Howard in a courtroom. Is Howard making a play for Kim? For her services, or potentially even her affection?
Boiling Better Call Saul down to its core we have a two simultaneous storylines. An escalating drug war and an escalating personal drama, Jimmy/Saul is slap bang in the middle, and what happens in the season five finale will almost certainly shape the course of the series as it enters the home stretch.
Better Call Saul’s season five finale airs 20th April on AMC in the US. Netflix will air it a day later for UK viewers. If you’re looking for more to watch check out our TV guide.