SPOILER ALERT: This article contains details of tonight’s “Fun and Games” episode of the final season of Better Call Saul.
“You asked if you were bad for me,” Rhea Seehorn’s Kim Wexler says to Bob Odenkirk’s Saul Goodman in tonight’s fifth to last episode of AMC’s Better Call Saul. “That’s not it,” the recently Emmy-nominated actress adds. “We are bad for each other.”
Full of anything but fun and games, the Michael Morris directed and Ann Cherkis penned “Fun and Games” episode took Wexler and Goodman’s relationship seemingly over a cliff, as well as calcified others like Jonathan Banks’ heavy Mike Ehrmantraut and Giancarlo Esposito’s drug lord Gus Fring. Still, regardless of where things go next with Saul Goodman now apparently in full sleezeball lawyer flight, and the advance towards Breaking Bad, it was that closing soliloquy by Seehorn’s Wexler that will largely define this turn on the BCS highway. Absent from the Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul-led series, Wexler’s fate appears determined and the question of how Saul Goodman was truly born answered – at least for now.
With the August 15 series finale fast approaching and those long, long awaited BCS appearances by Emmy winners Cranston and Paul looming, Seehorn and series co-creator Peter Gould spoke with me about the serious implications of “Fun and Games,” who is truly bad for whom, and what’s really next. Also, the duo offered their own perspectives on the wild BCS ride and Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul’s upcoming stint on the show.
DEADLINE: So, have we seen the last of Kim Wexler?
RHEA SEEHORN: You will have to wait and see.
PETER GOULD: (LAUGHS) Well, that remains to be seen. I mean it certainly looks like the two of them have broken up. Is it the last of Kim Wexler, I mean we’ll have to see.
DEADLINE: Clearly, you aren’t going to give this up so easily. Let me try a different route here. Rhea, based on what we saw tonight with that soliloquy near the end of the episode by you to Bob, how is all this landing for you?
SEEHORN: Listen, regardless of whether or not we see Kim again and in what capacity, this was a monumental ending of an era of their relationship. I thought it was handled so beautifully in the writing by Ann Cherkis and the direction by Michael Morris, and really just how Peter Gould is assembling these last couple of episodes.
DEADLINE: In it that, is it a pause or a revelation?
SEEHORN: Well, we all wondered, what is the thing that makes her not in Breaking Bad? I thought that sure, I mean, if she died by some wrongdoing of her own or of Jimmy’s before we saw him turn into Saul, which they do at the end of this episode, that’s its own kind of tragedy. For me, her saying that we love each other and I’m not leaving you because of any loss of love, but instead this absolute despair of self-loathing at who she has become, and scratching and clawing, trying to figure out any way to get out of her own skin.
DEADLINE: It gave the character and you due respect, I thought …
SEEHORN: Isn’t it great that at the end of the day, they gave her some agency? While she’s completely shut down, I still thought it was great that this thing that has always been such a huge part of Kim, of her making her own decisions and trying to be responsible for her own choices, that’s what she’s doing.
DEADLINE: So much of ‘Fun and Games’ plays off the crashing wave that she is experiencing in the blast radius of Howard’s (Patrick Fabian) murder by Lalo (Tony Dalton) …
SEEHORN: I think the parking garage scene when she kisses Jimmy is for me about…after that memorial scene, when she realizes how casually cruel she could be, easily, and that there’s no waiting for someone else to tell her how to atone. It’s not Jimmy’s problem to be her hair shirt. It’s not his problem to persecute her. She loves him, and this is going to be her job that she’s going to have to do, is remove herself from the situation and from the law, which is its own tragedy.
DEADLINE: Peter, there is so much you are clearly not going to say now, but what’s your POV this close to the end?
GOULD: I mean, I’m so proud of these episodes. I’m so proud of where we landed, but it was certainly a struggle to get there. One of the amazing things about this episode and the great work, it answers a lot of the questions that we started with. The question that Vince and I started with at the very beginning was what kind of problem does becoming Saul Goodman solve? It seems to me this episode comes very close to just answering that question right there.
Tonight! @TheRealCherkis wrote this one (her last!), #MichaelMorris directed (HIS last!?!) and it hits me where I live… So many of the questions we had at the beginning of the series are answered in this amazing episode. #BetterCallSaul pic.twitter.com/nwm8TYuIJm
— Peter Gould (@petergould) July 18, 2022
DEADLINE: Reads like you guys are taking these final six episodes to move the story not just up against the beginning of Breaking Bad, but to another place as well?
GOULD: Yeah. I think that’s absolutely right, Dominic. I have to say, what’s happening in these last few episodes, the way it’s structured and what it’s about is very different from any TV show that I’m aware of. I think it’s because this is all answering the questions and dealing with the structures that we started with. The fact that this is a prequel and a sequel and that it’s hard. It’s the story of a man’s journey through life and trying to come to some kind of resolution in himself.
So, yeah, it’s different, that’s for sure. There is some super, super exciting stuff yet to come and also some very funny things yet to come. The last few episodes have not been funny, for the most part, but we’re not done with the comedy yet.
DEADLINE: Rhea, I knowing the timing is coincidence, but sure looks like circumstance is providing you with the opportunity to conduct one of the greatest Emmy campaigns in near real time. With so much happening in one episode, in one week of your life with the nominations and the show, where is all that for you?
SEEHORN: (LAUGHS) So many things, and I guess we’ll have to beg our lovely viewers and voters and critics to remember that the episodes you’re watching now are actually part of the next Emmy cycle, but yeah, it’s amazing. I, of course, had absolutely nothing to do with when these episodes air or any of this, but I’m glad that…they were hard. This whole season was hard, and the reception of my character and my performance by critics and fans has been profound and profoundly touching.
DEADLINE: In that, with Better Call Saul one of the rare series to rival or even surpass its mothershow, what is the legacy of Better Call Saul for you now?
SEEHORN: Well, I don’t know how to answer that. I will enjoy asking you that when you see the whole thing, because don’t forget, we still gave to see what happened, where Carol Burnett fits in, too, and that’s a very special story as well. It’s nothing but bananas from here on out, is what I can say.
But you know, I think that they raised and answered some big questions in this episode that have been part of the ongoing more complex themes of the show, and that is who are we inherently? Are you a sum of your experiences and your relationships or are you just born good or bad? You know, questioning your station in life, which is so vital.
DEADLINE: So, as you know her almost better than anyone, what’s next for Kim for you?
SEEHORN: For my money, when we end this and she’s packing, I don’t think she has an idea where she’s going. I think she’s a shell of a person, and it’s like, you know, one of those nameless, faceless people you’ll pass on the street and have no idea that they could have done so much.
So, I hope that one of the legacies is that fans, viewers, critics find what could be very inaccessible and lofty and philosophical actually totally accessible and visceral, because that’s the show does for me. It takes some very complex, philosophical questions and makes them visceral, and they make me think about them for a while, and I hope that that’s one of its legacies.
DEADLINE: Peter, the arrival of Bryan Cranston’s Walter White and Aaron Paul’s Jesse Pinkman to BCS is widely anticipated on a cultural and narrative level. Is their appearance related to the choices Kim Wexler makes in tonight’s episode?
GOULD: Well, certainly, the choices that Kim has made, the choices that Jimmy has made, yeah, absolutely. I’ll say that I really love the way these characters are woven together into this final group of episodes. I think it’s really cool
DEADLINE: You’re all done, have been finished filming for ages. So, where does Better Call Saul stand right now for you?
GOULD: I’m still getting a perspective on it. We’re almost finished. This season, more than any other season of this show, is being finished pretty close to air dates. So, we’re still doing a lot of work.
We’re taking some very big swings yet to come, and I’m just hoping people love it the way I do.
What’s my perspective on the entire project?
Boy, it’s kind of hard for me to say right now. Mostly, I’m torn between being giddy with delight at what we pulled off but also very sad because this is an amazing group of people. It’s a wonderful band. Now no matter what we do we’re never going to get the entire band back together. So, that’s something I’m still kind of assimilating and trying to get my head around.
GOULD: Not that I’ve heard, but we always want to hear from him. I would love it if he did. That was a tremendous compliment on Breaking Bad. I hope he’s listening. I hope he’s reading Deadline.