‘Better Call Saul’ Midseason Finale Writer: ‘Jimmy Should’ve Learned His Lesson’

The Better Call Saul midseason finale has left fans reeling. The final season of Better Call Saul had already been emotional and it just won’t stop. Thomas Schnauz, writer and director of the episode, “Plan and Execution”, spoke about why the midseason finale had to be so drastic, and it related to Jimmy (Bob Odenkirk)’s brother, Chuck (Michael McKean).

[Warning: This article contains spoilers for the Better Call Saul midseason finale.]

'Better Call Saul' midseason finale: Jimmy (Bob Odenkirk) sits on a bench, having learned nothing from the death of Chuck
Bob Odenkirk | Greg Lewis/AMC/Sony Pictures Television

Schnauz appeared on the Better Call Saul Insider podcast on May 24, the day after “Plan and Execution” aired. He explained why the Better Call Saul midseason finale had to end with dramatic consequences to someone else in Jimmy’s orbit. Better Call Saul returns July 11 on AMC.

The ‘Better Call Saul’ midseason finale was a repeat of Jimmy’s Chuck mistake 

When Jimmy sabotaged Chuck’s documents, he never anticipated it would spiral to Chuck’s suicide. Schnauz said that should have taught Jimmy a lesson, but he made the same mistake with Howard Hamlin (Patrick Fabian).

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“Jimmy should’ve learned his lesson with what happened to Chuck,” Schnauz said on Better Call Saul Insider. “He messed with his insurance and all the dominos fell and it led to Chuck’s suicide. So there’s Jimmy resisted doing this scam with Kim, Kim not really knowing the full information about all of Jimmy’s guilt about Chuck. Howard took on that responsibility of Chuck’s death. And Jimmy resisted on some level. I think it was because of what happened to Chuck but he was losing Kim in the process. So he decided to go along.”

Jimmy and Kim couldn’t get away with messing with Howard 

Kim (Rhea Seehorn) justified messing with Howard because he sabotaged her making partner and essentially demoted her to document review. However, Kim never imagined she was leading Howard to his death, but that’s the point. You never know how dire the consequences of your actions could be. 

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We felt like there had to be really bad consequences to what these guys are doing. Kim keeps thinking she’s doing it for a good reason. There’s these blinders on. They’re not seeing the unintended consequences. We felt for the progression to Saul Goodman, everything they’ve done, something really, really horrible had to happen. It was the colliding of the two worlds, the cartel world and the legal world and the stuff we’re doing to Howard. We, as a group, felt this is the best way to really have some horrible consequences for their actions. She thought she’d be able to take Howard down and he’d get a little bruised but he’d be back on his feet. We just felt we had to show these characters how wrong they were and what they were doing was really, really despicable.

Thomas Schnauz, Better Call Saul Insider podcast, 5/24/22

The ‘Better Call Saul’ midseason finale is full of misdirects

Schnauz wrote the Better Call Saul midseason finale to be shocking and unexpected. Kim and Jimmy’s plan came to fruition when Howard accused the judge of taking a bribe, making himself look incompetent. But, it turned deadly when Howard and Lalo Salamanca (Tony Dalton) showed up at the same time to Jimmy and Kim’s house. 

“A lot of us, even I when I’m watching it and I see Howard fall for the mustache scam, the real guy comes in the room and he’s just seen the photos, I’m laughing,” Schnauz said. “I’m really with Jimmy and Kim on this ride and I feel like I need to get punched in the face and the audience needs to get slapped around a little bit to see no, you shouldn’t be laughing at this. This is horrible. Part of this horrible ending is just to show that these fun games have consequences.”

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