We are rapidly approaching the end of Better Call Saul (BCS). The mid-season finale airs tonight, and the series finale airs on August 15, 2022. It has been an incredible story that we've seen laid out since Breaking Bad (BB) aired its first episode on January 20, 2008. After two incredible TV series and a movie on Netflix, our story is finally coming to a close (or is it?). Below I'm going to lay out my theory that: 1) Better Call Saul is the OG story of someone fully 'breaking bad'. 2) Kim Wexler is Walter White, and Jimmy McGill is Jesse Pinkman. Finally, 3) How Season 6 of BCS will wrap up for our cast, knowing what happens in Breaking Bad.
I'm going to assume those reading this are familiar with the storylines in both BB and BCS. Accordingly, I'll refer to events from both without always digging into specifics. If you want any clarifications hit me up in the comment section or on Twitter. Big thanks to @SDJ5K for planting the idea of Kim as Walt in my head. Also, for allowing me to brain dump on them while I worked through some of the mental gymnastics that led to what you'll read below.
Spoiler Warning. This theory will contain spoilers from all aired episodes of Better Call Saul Season 6.
Better Call Saul is the original story of someone fully 'breaking bad'
BCS always appeared to be a show about Jimmy McGill and his transformation into Saul Goodman. And it very much does tell that story. As time has passed, we've seen many characters who were new to Better Call Saul but never appear in BB. Some, like Kim Wexler, were never mentioned at all in the first series. We come to learn that she's smart and hard-working. Kim came from a rough childhood and boot-strapped her way from the mailroom to a lawyer at a great firm. As she spent more time with Jimmy McGill, she began to further embrace her inner gangster, going from tepidly accepting his schemes to driving them onward.
Kim does that while trying to be a warrior for justice. She wants to open a pro bono law firm to help those less fortunate. But is it a noble act to do something you know is morally or legally wrong, even if it is with good intentions? Reminds of a certain chemistry teacher...
When Season 6 premiered, I was immediately drawn to this version of Kim. I wrote about it at the time, her rise to Slippin' Kimmy. Now, more than ever, I think that Kim is the first person in our universe to break bad, and it will be the grandest story of them all.
Kim Wexler is Walter White; Jimmy McGill is Jesse Pinkman
Connecting Kim to Walt
Let's start with one of the most obvious ones. Walter White and Kim Wexler are the only main characters in either series who we got to see outside of the criminal underbelly. This means we get to see their actual point of entry to the dark side. Both characters had a moment where their outlook on mortality shifted, violently.
Walt was staring at a cancer diagnosis, and had a family and newborn to take care of. Kim being shaken up by a car crash caused by her working too much was part of her entry. When Chuck kills himself, she goes full tailspin. Both Walter White and Kim Wexler were driven by a shift in their view on their own mortality.
Another important parallel between these two is that they aren't fully in the game out of the gate. Kim and Walt have moments where they make a decision that puts them all the way in. No half-measures here. We've seen Walt's moment on screen and it was staggering. I think Kim's will hit that much harder since it comes so much longer after we met her.
The Point of No Return
Walt chooses to let Jesse's girlfriend, Jane, die. He sees her suffering from a drug overdose in bed next to Jesse and allows her to choke to death. While we haven't seen it play out yet in Better Call Saul, I had a feeling Kim's would happen during their plan for Howard Hamlin, D-Day. I'll get into the specifics later on in the article, but I think her PNR will be when she makes a conscious decision that directly results in a death.
Finally, there was a strong visual clue at the end of the most recent BCS episode that I didn't initially catch, but can't get out of my head now. Kim gets the phone call that they need to call off the plan. She disagrees, and pulls a U-turn on the highway. The shot hangs on the car as she changes directions, and we get our first look at her ride since she crashed in Season 3. She is driving a green Pontiac Bonneville, similar to our man Heisenberg, who drove a green Pontiac Aztec. Knowing Gilligan and Gould, the green is probably telling us that their descent was driven by greed.
Ok, one final connection. And this is flimsy but I'm going with it. Walt gets diagnosed with lung cancer to start BB. Skylar mentions that he never even smoked. Kim has been on chimney mode since we met her. Maybe she even gets herself some lung cancer.
The Jimmy/Jesse Connection
I didn't see this one as clearly at first. Initially, I thought that Nacho was Better Call Saul's Jesse. I was thinking that the way things end up with Nacho is going to end poorly (which it does). That would be what makes Mike more protective of Jesse in the future to right his wrongs of the past. But I was the one who was wrong. Jimmy McGill is Jesse Pinkman.
Jimmy and Jesse both start out as low-level goons. Jesse is a street-level meth "cook" whereas Jimmy is a hustler. Over time, both begin to follow the straight and narrow while their partners stray from it. And both ultimately get abandoned by said partners. Walt outs Jesse to the nazis, and at some point Kim is completely out of Jimmy's life by the events of Breaking Bad. See below.
The Chains That Bind
Another area I find Jesse and Jimmy intersecting is where we find them leading up to their swan song. I mentioned Jesse's situation above, and I'll get to how I think Jimmy ends up later on. But the commonality is that both men were prisoners of their partner's doing. Jesse was tethered to a cage and forced to cook meth. Jimmy was trapped as Gene, a nobody managing a Cinnabon in Omaha. Each season we got footage of Gene just making and baking cinnamon rolls. Kneading the dough, rolling it on the table with the brown sugar, and cleaning the lab store. Both men had an existence where they were alive but couldn't live. Until they got help from an unexpected source.
As we watched the black-and-white flash forwards in Better Call Saul, we thought Gene was depressed because he missed Saul Goodman. But it was actually Jimmy McGill who missed Kim Wexler.
How Season Six of Better Call Saul Will Wrap Up
Now that I've laid out the deeper connections, I'm going to share how I think things will go in both the mid-season finale airing soon, and also how the whole series will wrap up.
Closing Out the Mid-Season
I know some people have felt like the pacing is a bit slow (yes, I specifically mean you, FitzMagic!). Things are about to take a turn to the timeline we know and beyond. At the end of the last BCS episode, 'Axe and Grind', Kim has made a major decision. Despite a wrinkle in their D-Day plan against Howard and her having another much more important meeting to attend, she declares the show must go on.
I think her hatred for Howard ties directly to her relationship with her mother. We got a nice flashback scene to start this episode of a young Kim getting caught shoplifting. When back in the car, her mom says "I didn't think you had it in you." Howard said the same.
We've seen throughout Season 6 that Jimmy and Kim have a big plan up their sleeves for Howard, and it's finally coming to our screens. They've planted drugs and manipulated clients to file claims Howard was on drugs, amongst other things. When Jimmy and Kim visit Dr. Caldera, he gives them some kind of undetectable drug that at least dilates one's eyes. Caldera says the effect is impacted by the person's tolerance of coffee.
Remember the awkward morning conversation Howard had with his wife?? Howard is gifted with the latte art for sure. The way she completely failed to acknowledge the peace sign he'd made her was savage. But all of that going on in the foreground made it easy to miss that Howard is making himself tea. I said above that Kim will have her PNR moment, this is it. While indirectly, her decision to press on with D-Day is exactly how Howard dies. Whatever it is they give him is gonna kill him.
Cleaning Up the Mess
The vet scene gave us another fantastic frame. Caldera tells the crew that he's getting out of the game and selling his little black book. Jimmy and Kim flip through it, and inside the coded stuff written down is a business card for Best Quality Vacuum Repair. We even see a beat where Kim's thumb is resting right on it.
My theory is that Kim will decide she needs to disappear after the death of Howard, and will utilize Caldera to find an escape route. On her own. The way they've cleverly titled the episodes this season lends to my theory. There's been double and triple meaning to everything and the finale's title is 'Plan and Execution'. See ya later, Howard.
Jimmy is going to be forced to clean up the Howard mess on his own, he's also going to blame himself for both the plan going wrong, and being the reason Kim's caught up in the whole mess. But Jimmy is gonna pull through just like Jesse survived the nazis. Jimmy knows the law like Jesse knew cooking meth. This will be the point where Jimmy finally completes the evolution to Saul Goodman. But what about the Gus/Lalo situation?
Let's Talk Lalo
Lalo is an incredible character. He's equal parts charisma and maniac. But the thing that makes him most interesting is that we have to assume he dies, right? We know that Gus tells Hector that his whole family is wiped out from Breaking Bad. In BCS Season 5, Gus makes it clear that construction on the super lab is paused until Lalo is dead. As we've watched Season 6 play out, Gus is in max paranoia mode. When we see him in BB, he's in calm-as-a-cucumber mode. Lalo has to be dead. But what if he's really not?
For the lab to be complete and Gus to relax, he needs to genuinely believe that Lalo is dead. As we've seen this season, Gus needs to see it with his own eyes, and rightly so. How could that all come to be? In 'Axe and Grind', Lalo tracks down one of Werner Ziegler's men, Casper. Lalo currently has Casper held captive and short one foot. He's gonna get information, and one significant piece of intel, secret escape tunnels. Time and again they've shown us Gus and his tunnels, why would his secret meth lab not have one?
Mike wants to utilize home-court advantage, he said so in the trailer. They are gonna lure Lalo, who was already coming anyway. Lalo is gonna make them think he's actually dead so he can plot his true revenge when his cousin Tuco gets out of jail. A plan that will go on to get very ruined by Walter White and Jesse Pinkman.
Tying Everything Together
Everything above ties up the mid-season and foreshadows events for the second half, but how do we get to Breaking Bad? When Kim flees, she is going to confess to Jimmy that Lalo is actually alive and he needs to be careful. That explains why he yelled what he did in the desert in BB. We will watch as Saul completes the transformation.
Then see Walt and Jesse become involved in everything Gus/Cartel from a new angle, Lalo's. We'll see glimpses of Kim on the lam. As I've made painfully clear, BB and BCS are mirrors of each other. Lalo will be behind the men tracking Gene at the mall. Kim will come in to save the day blaze-of-glory style, just like Walt did. She'll die like him too. And Jimmy and Lalo will fight to the death like Jesse and Todd. Only this time, the bad guy will prevail. Kim and Jimmy will die together while we see Lalo grab the keys and go.
Thus, setting up the Lalo Salamanca spinoff show. Where he makes his way to Alaska for the final piece of his revenge puzzle, Jesse Pinkman.
Please be gentle when I am most certainly way off on all of this.