WARNING: If you haven’t watched the 12th episode of “Better Call Saul” Season 6, titled “Waterworks,” proceed with caution. Spoilers ahead.
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Kim Wexler makes a comeback!
Following the surprising and heartbreaking split between her and Saul (Bob Odenkirk) three episodes earlier, “Better Call Saul” enthusiasts have been grappling with a Wexler-shaped void. Fortunately, all that changed in the penultimate episode on Monday night, providing many answers about Kim’s (Rhea Seehorn) whereabouts in both the “Breaking Bad” and post-“Breaking Bad” realms.
The episode kicks off within the “Breaking Bad” timeline, with Saul absentmindedly bouncing a stress ball against his office wall. Francesca (Tina Parker) alerts him that everyone in the waiting room can hear the rhythmic thumping, and he has an unexpected visitor: Kim. While we don’t witness Kim’s presence initially, Saul instructs to let “her” in, setting the stage for the signing of their official divorce papers.
Before Kim graces the screen for the first time in the primary “Breaking Bad” era, we take a leap forward to her life post-“Breaking Bad,” a departure from the arid landscapes of Albuquerque to the rather uneventful expanse of Florida. Her existence has undergone substantial changes since parting ways with Saul: she’s embraced a new romantic relationship, sported a fresh haircut, experimented with different brands of mayonnaise, and found solace in watching “The Amazing Race.” Her professional domain has shifted as well; she’s now employed at Palm Coast Sprinklers in the Catalog & Brochures department, steering clear of Saul’s morally taxing escapades. That is, until a phone call disrupts her new normal—a scene glimpsed without sound in the previous week’s episode.
In tonight’s episode, we finally get to hear the exchange between Saul and Kim, and it’s nothing short of chaotic. Fully immersed in the Saul Goodman persona from “Breaking Bad,” he facetiously claims to be checking in after six years, proudly asserting his survival and success in evading consequences. Kim, composed but firm, advises against his calls and urges him to turn himself in. Saul, unimpressed by her counsel, retorts that the pot is calling the kettle black.
“We’re both too intelligent to squander our lives without cause,” he assures her, also disclosing the demise of Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito) and Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks). Kim, on the verge of tears, expresses relief that Saul is alive before abruptly ending the call. Subsequently, a colleague intrudes into Kim’s office, compelling her to partake in what turns out to be the most awkward rendition of “Happy Birthday” in workplace history.
Continuing in the black-and-white timeline, we trail Kim’s journey from Florida back to good old Albuquerque. She retraces her steps to the courthouse and revisits pivotal “Better Call Saul” locales, such as Mike’s ticket booth and the outdoor table where she and Saul hatched schemes. Her next stop is Howard Hamlin’s (Patrick Fabian) residence, where she sits down with his wife Cheryl (Sandrine Holt). In this intimate setting, Kim unveils her soul, laying bare everything—absolutely everything.
Kim divulges the intricate plot she and Saul concocted to tarnish Howard’s reputation, including the fabricated cocaine addiction, Lalo Salamanca’s (Tony Dalton) murder of Howard, and the staged suicide. While Kim provides this confession to the courthouse, she acknowledges the lack of substantial physical evidence to support any potential charges. On the way back to the airport, Kim succumbs to overwhelming sobs, releasing the burden of guilt she has carried for years. Among the myriad Emmy-worthy moments this season, this heart-wrenching scene stands out prominently.
In the subsequent appearance of Kim in this episode, she is back in Saul’s office during the “Breaking Bad” era. Unperturbed by her decision to move to Florida, Saul reveals that she didn’t claim her share of the substantial Sandpiper payout. However, a pivotal moment occurs as Kim departs Saul’s office and lights a cigarette, capturing the attention of none other than Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul), who seeks refuge from the rain and requests a smoke.
This encounter between characters from “Breaking Bad” and “Better Call Saul” may seem unusual, but it surprisingly works well. Jesse recognizes Kim from a legal matter involving one of his friends and commends her for securing his friend’s acquittal. He then inquires about Saul’s authenticity, and Kim, though reluctantly, truthfully responds, “When I knew him, he was.”
Meanwhile, Saul spends much of the episode investigating the house of the cancer patient he encountered in the previous episode, searching for valuable items. During his exploration, Saul’s intended victim awakens from his drug-induced slumber, suggesting Saul’s luck might be running out. However, just as Saul prepares to incapacitate the man with a vase containing his dog’s ashes, the patient loses consciousness once again.
However, Saul’s freedom is short-lived. Outside, Jeffy (Pat Healy) realizes he’s parked his cab in front of two cops, but the officers are too engrossed in their food to notice Jeffy—until he panics, accelerates, and collides with a parked car down the street. Saul’s unwilling partner-in-crime finds himself incarcerated, yet Saul assures him over the phone that he’ll easily secure his release.
But will Saul have the opportunity? Upon returning to Marion’s (Carol Burnett) residence to share news of Jeffy’s arrest, he discovers that the elderly woman has stumbled upon some of his old Saul Goodman commercials. Recognizing that “Gene” isn’t who he claims to be, Marion denounces him as a fraud. Amidst the black-and-white setting, a splash of color emerges in Saul’s glasses from the Saul Goodman commercials, bridging the gap between the black-and-white and color timelines. Abruptly, possibly channeling his inner Walter White, Saul abandons the facade and menacingly approaches Marion, gripping her phone cord as if to strangle her. Before any harm can unfold, Marion activates her Life Alert button, proclaiming she’s under attack, and fingers Saul Goodman as the assailant.
How will Saul extricate himself from this predicament? Will he and Kim ever find reconciliation? “Better Call Saul” enthusiasts will have to endure just one more week to witness the resolution in the upcoming series finale.