Content warning: The following contains discussions of suicide.
Spoiler warning: The following contains major spoilers for season 6 of Better Call Saul.
Recently returned for its sixth and final season, Better Call Saul, the prequel to Breaking Bad, is one of the most acclaimed shows of recent years. Much like Breaking Bad, the show is famed for its shocking twists.
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Updated on April 26th, 2022 by Mark Birrell: With Kim fully leaning into her dark side, Lalo on the warpath, and Gus Fring on the defensive, season 6 of Better Call Saul looks to be the most shocking chapter of the show yet. While many of the main characters are guaranteed to survive the events of the show because their terrible fates are sealed in Breaking Bad, the lives of many other fan favorites are still in major jeopardy. While the series’ most shocking moments are likely still to come, now is a good time to look back at Better Call Saul’s most unexpected moments so far.
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Gus Fring Kills Arturo
One of Better Call Saul’s best characters is, without doubt, the returning Breaking Bad crime kingpin and fried chicken purveyor Gustavo Fring. Much like how he first appears in Breaking Bad, Gus Fring isn’t very scary at first in Better Call Saul but soon grows to be a terrifying mastermind with virtually no restrictions.
The first real sign of Fring’s darkest side was when he suddenly emerged from behind a truck to place a plastic bag over the head of rival gang henchman Arturo as Arturo’s partner in crime, Nacho Varga, is forced to watch him suffocate. As Fring informed Nacho that he belongs to him now, stunned fans knew that their favorite villain was back.
Gene (Jimmy) Collapses
During the black and white flash-forward scene at the beginning of season 3, Jimmy (now living as Cinnabon manager Gene Takovic) seems content with the security he’s found in his new identity as Nancy Sinatra sings “Sugar Town” atop his mundane routine.
All of that is shattered when a young man stumbles past Gene as he’s quietly eating lunch alone. When a security guard and a cop come by and ask him for his help, Gene meekly points to the young man’s hiding place and looks away in fear and shame as he’s arrested and taken away. Perhaps it’s Jimmy’s instinct to fight authority, or because he noticed that the cop didn’t Mirandize the young man when he was arrested and Saul just took control for a moment, but Gene suddenly yells out to tell the young man to get a lawyer, upending his quiet little exile for a moment. The moment ends without further incident and Gene goes back to work but he then collapses almost immediately, with the flash-forward ending as he hits the floor, leaving fans waiting until the beginning of season 4 to find out what happens next.
Kim Asks Jimmy To Marry Her
When Jimmy goes rogue and strong arms Kim’s number one client, Kevin Wachtell, into doing their bidding, she calls Jimmy out for being selfish and a liar.
Just when the fans thought their relationship was about to end, Kim suddenly suggests that the two get married. It wouldn’t be until the following episode that fans found out Kim’s reasoning for the arrangement, which would give them spousal privilege under the law should the police seek to compel her to testify against Jimmy.
Kim Leaves Schweikart And Cokely
After Jimmy survived a deadly situation, Kim started to think about what was truly important to her and what was not. Much like with Jimmy, the audience often only gets to watch as Kim silently thinks and plans in her own mind.
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After steadily building an incredibly successful role for herself within Schweikart and Cokely, Kim suddenly resigns from her job. This is the beginning of her plan to live her dream of giving top-tier legal help to those who could never afford it but it’s a rash move that stuns even Jimmy and starts her on a dark path to destroy Howard Hamlin.
Jimmy And Mike Get Trapped In The Desert
In one of the best episodes of season 5, Jimmy goes against Kim’s wishes to deliver Lalo’s bail money from the Mexican border to the courthouse. When a gang ambushes him and is about to kill him, Mike shoots and kills all of Jimmy’s attackers instead. As the audience knows that Jimmy doesn’t die here, this part isn’t so surprising but the rest of the episode forks off in a very different direction.
In the hail of gunfire surrounding the ambush, all of the available vehicles are taken out of action apart from one, in which one surviving attacker drives away. This means that Jimmy and Mike have to walk back to civilization across the New Mexican desert with very little water. Along with the trauma of all the death, it’s a humbling experience for Jimmy, who leaves a piece of himself behind in that desert, progressing his character in a very fitting but unexpected way.
Chuck Reveals His True Feelings About Jimmy
Chuck was always hard on Jimmy, whether he did a good job or not. When Jimmy became a lawyer, Chuck used to always keep him in check, and viewers initially thought he just wanted what was best for his brother back at the beginning of season 1. But it turned out that wasn’t the case.
After Jimmy brings a class action lawsuit right to HHM’s doorstep, he’s left in disbelief when Howard still refuses to take Jimmy on at the firm. He later realizes that it was Chuck who’s been preventing Jimmy from working at the firm. When Jimmy presses him to confess why he would do such a thing, Chuck finally breaks and simply says “you’re not a real lawyer.” Fans first learned the true extent of Chuck’s disdain for his younger brother in that scene as he went on a tirade about how he’ll never trust Jimmy or consider him worthy of being a lawyer. Chuck went from being a compelling and unique supporting character to one of the greatest villains of the Better Call Saul and Breaking Bad universe.
Lalo Shows Up At Kim’s Apartment
After making it through the desert ambush and the walk back to civilization, Jimmy was told to get his story straight by Mike, so he told Lalo that his car broke down instead of telling him that he was attacked by thieves. When Lalo was bailed out, he headed back to Mexico with Nacho, but before that, he wanted to see whether or not Jimmy’s broken down car was still there.
He finds Jimmy’s car in a ditch with bullet holes in it. In order to get some answers, he shows up at Jimmy’s house, leaving Jimmy and Kim fearing for their lives. But Kim is able to save Jimmy by talking Lalo down. It’s an incredibly tense scene that’s taken right to the razor’s edge by Mike watching everything through the scope of his sniper rifle, ready to shoot at any moment.
Kim Plans To Destroy Howard
This is another scene where Kim really surprised both fans and Jimmy, right after quitting her lucrative position at Schweikart and Cokely. After finding out about how Jimmy harassed Howard when he offered Jimmy a job at HHM, Kim started pitching an idea to Jimmy about how they could damage Howard’s career in order to speed up the payout in the Sandpiper case.
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At first, Jimmy thought Kim was joking, but as their dark plot in season 6 shows, she was serious and is focused on pulling it off. The end of season 5 and the beginning of season 6 have shown that Kim’s dark powers outmatch even Jimmy’s, so could the Better Call Saul and Breaking Bad universe be saving its greatest villain for last?
After Chuck was publicly humiliated by Jimmy in court, his condition worsened. He pushed everything and everyone away from him as he began to obsessively search for a source of electricity within his home that eluded him, eventually tearing his beautiful home to pieces.
Left clearly distraught and alone, Chuck stares at a gas lantern atop a stack of newspapers, a danger that his doctor had specifically pointed out in season 1 and that Jimmy had reiterated when he tore Chuck down in court, and he slowly kicks it over. The camera pulls away from an exterior shot of Chuck’s window, his curtains quickly beginning to glow with the orange flames behind them before the shot cuts to black and the credits roll. It was a devastating end to the third season and one of the greatest characters of either Better Call Saul or Breaking Bad.
Jimmy’s (Fake) Speech
The final moments of season 4 also came with their own shocking twist. Though Jimmy technically defeated Chuck in court, he is still in danger of losing his license to practice law. After failing once, he’s given a second chance to convince the bar that he should be allowed to return to practicing law, and, after deciding at the last moment to not read out a letter that Chuck had left to Jimmy in his will, he convinces his judges with a moving speech about his complex relationship with his brother.
Just as the audience begins to think that maybe Jimmy has the ability to face the part he played in tearing down his brother, he begins to lean heavily into the sentimentality of his speech, finishing up with the closing powerhouse line about how he’s proud to share the name McGill with his brother. Fans know that Jimmy, of course, drops the name McGill almost entirely out of his life to become Saul Goodman, with him telling a court clerk of his intention to change his name almost as soon as he walks out of his hearing and is given the thumbs up. Kim is left standing in shock after discovering Jimmy’s true feelings, the camera pulling away from her as it did in the final shot of Chuck’s window in season 3.
Nacho Takes His Fate Into His Own Hands
Ignacio “Nacho” Varga is without doubt one of Better Call Saul’s finest achievements. Having been one of the most important supporting characters in the show since its earliest episodes, fans had hoped that they maybe had another Jesse Pinkman on their hands. But it simply wasn’t to be. Much in the same way that Breaking Bad was a show that transformed its main character from a protagonist into an antagonist, Better Call Saul is a comedy that must inevitably become a tragedy, and Nacho’s death is perhaps the show’s most tragic yet.
Knowing that everyone wants him dead after the botched Lalo Salamanca assassination, Nacho gives himself up to Gus Fring in order to secure an assurance from Mike that his father will not be harmed. He goes to his arranged death at a handover to the Salamancas and Juan Bolsa, where he will give a false confession to protect Fring and then pretend to run before he’s shot. Instead, Nacho decides to die on his own terms. He lets the Salamancas know how he really feels about them, even telling Hector about how he caused his stroke. He then takes Bolsa’s gun and turns it on himself.
It gives Nacho some final moments of dignity in death but it’s a heartbreaking scene in a gutwrenching episode that signals impending doom for all of the other Better Call Saul characters with unconfirmed fates.
NEXT: Every Season Of Better Call Saul & Breaking Bad, Ranked (According To IMDb)
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About The Author
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Nishid Motwani is a freelance writer who hails from Nagpur, India and loves to see and talk about all forms of cinema.
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