Better Call Saul's ending is near, and despite being a prequel, it should happen after Breaking Bad. As if typical of prequels, Better Call Saul is moving towards a pre-defined endgame. We first met Saul Goodman halfway through the second season of Breaking Bad, and the show can take his story roughly as far as that fabled day when Walt and Jesse come a-knocking.
Better Call Saul’s fourth season laid the groundwork for that, with a number of connections to and reveals about Breaking Bad, including the biggest step yet: the ending sees Jimmy adopting the name Saul Goodman in order to practice law. Better Call Saul has been renewed for season 5 and, given how close it is, that could feasibly be the last, but the show shouldn’t end with Jimmy’s transformation into Saul being complete
Since the beginning of the series, Better Call Saul has also been gradually telling another story: that of Gene, the third man who makes up the character’s arc. Set in the post-Breaking Bad timeline, Gene works at a Cinnabon in an Omaha mall; he’s mostly shown to be keeping his head down, but is also constantly looking over his shoulder should the authorities or someone connected to Heisenberg come looking for him. We had the biggest movement in this storyline at the beginning of Better Call Saul season 4, with Gene being released from hospital following his collapse, only to be spooked by an Albuquerque air freshener in the car of the taxi driver taking him home, but it still only amounts to a few delicious crumbs of the cinnamon roll that is this story.
Creator Vince Gilligan himself has hinted at more to come for Gene, and this is where Better Call Saul would be wise to shift its focus in this direction as the story comes to a close. We know how Jimmy’s story ends and Saul’s begins, and we’re going to be at that point sooner rather than later. Meanwhile, we know virtually nothing about the life of Gene.
It’s in this monochrome world that Better Call Saul should finish, then. It’s here we have some huge questions to be answered, and where Gilligan, Peter Gould, and Bob Odenkirk can take us into the unknown, while there’s also a great chance to bring the story full circle. The prequel has been showing us the rather tragic descent of how Jimmy, a person who wants to be decent but can’t stay on the straight and narrow, becomes Saul Goodman. Breaking Bad, while not his story in any sense, showed us how Saul’s career and lifestyle led to him having to join the witness protection programme and become Gene.
The end of Better Call Saul now has the chance to show Gene reclaiming his sense of identity as a decent person, looping him all the way back around to Jimmy McGill. It’s here he could have a reunion with Kim - assuming she isn’t killed off before then - and it’d give audiences two things that simply ending with Saul cannot: a true conclusion that isn’t something pre-determined by Breaking Bad, and a happy ending for Jimmy McGill, one of the most tragic figures in this world.