Title: Better Call Saul, Season 5 Episode 10 – “Something Unforgivable”
Release Date: April 20, 2020
Genre: Crime Drama
Wow, Better Call Saul has sure gone out with a bang with its fifth season finale. Something Unforgivable leaves us with unexpected character development and a gripping intensity that leaves us asking that all-important question – what is going to happen next?
The episode is perhaps most notable for showing us just how dangerous Lalo Salamanca can be in a physical confrontation. With the charming Salamanca now beyond the South Border and in his native Mexico, Gus Fring is intent on doing away with him for good. And how does he attempt this? A group of covert hitmen, of course. It’s perhaps telling how desperate Gus is to have him out of the way – the whole group is armed with assault rifles, sneaking into his family home at night to confront him. Lalo really presents a danger to him.
It’s Nacho who tells them where his ‘boss’ is – but not without some reluctance. The beauty of the character is, despite his rough edges and criminal ties, Nacho is a good person deep down. He tells them to target the man himself, not his family, who have not done anything. This doesn’t stop them from doing so, however.
It’s just unfortunate for Nacho then that the intense events of the night have revealed his betrayal to Lalo. Because, despite some overwhelming odds against him, Lalo wins single-handedly in the confrontation against his would-be murderers. They follow him through his secret escape route via a tunnel under his bath but find themselves dead before they reach the other end. Now, the Breaking Bad universe, for all of its drama and intensity, has never been without its quirkiness and surrealism. But the way this scene plays out is…well, close to breaking the audience’s suspension of disbelief. The bath tunnels and the fact Lalo just goes around and quickly disposes of the assassins by shooting them from behind is almost comic in nature despite the scene’s attempt to be serious. But alas…
The smirking gangster has left quite a mark on Jimmy. The highly-confident renewed Saul Goodman from the beginning of the season has quickly been demoralized, in a consistent state of depression. His interactions with Kim continue to be awkward as Kim’s stream of energy highly contrasts his state of decay. Kim is determined to continue working, serving her pro bono clients while Jimmy is anxious that Lalo could be a danger to Kim. In fact, at this point, he’s guilty that she’s even with him at all. Struck by last night’s events, the pair stay at a hotel for safety.
It’s not only Jimmy that thinks that Kim is no good for him, but also Howard Hamlin. After learning that she has given up her work at Mesa Verde, Hamlin is sure that it’s Jimmy that’s dragging her down like this. But even after telling her about the bowling ball fiasco from episodes ago and Jimmy paying a prostitute to come to his dinner table, it isn’t enough to shake Kim’s loyalty to her husband. On the contrary, she finds it hilarious and gives Howard what for.
And it’s perhaps this that’s the most surprising of all in Season 5 of Better Call Saul – Kim is becoming more crooked. Upon returning home, Kim enthusiastically devises a range of creative schemes to bring Howard down. While humorous at first, Jimmy becomes concerned once it’s clear that Kim isn’t joking. He simply says, “It isn’t you.” Well, whether he likes it or not, it may well be her now. She’s the wife of Saul Goodman, after all, and it appears he’s rubbed off on her.
What’s surprising about this character development is that all season, Kim has been going through a consistent internal struggle. After Jimmy feigned his way into becoming Saul Goodman, there was always a sense that she doubted their relationship and perhaps the validity of her own career. She wanted to go straight and be a respectable practicing attorney. But there’s a sense that she’s given up now. She’s in the deep end with Jimmy, and so she’s caved in. It’s an unexpected but interesting twist to the tale and one that may very well lead to her downfall.
Meanwhile, in Better Call Saul, however, Lalo is out on the run, and there’s no telling what damage he could do. With his gun pointed to his head, Lalo convinces the last remaining assassin to tell his superiors that they’ve successfully killed Lalo. Mike relays the message to a worried Jimmy, which rests the concerns of both he and Kim.
By now, Lalo is aware that Nacho betrayed him – and he knows Jimmy is lying and that his rivals are after him. Jimmy and Kim think they’re safe, but they’re not. Nacho believes he’s safe, but he’s not. Mike and Gus guess they’re safe, but they’re…well, they make it through to Breaking Bad, so in the grand scheme of things, they’re going to be alright (for now). But that won’t stop Lalo from trying to cause a dent in their plans.
Verdict: A thrilling Better Call Saul season finale that lays the groundwork for Lalo’s revenge and Kim’s transformation into a conwoman. Leaves you itching for more, as any good season finale should.
- Impeccable acting and Tony Dalton is both charming and deadly as Lalo
- A truly intense pursuit scene between the assassins and Lalo
- Unexpected change in Kim's development, but makes sense contextually
- As intense as the house invasion scene was, the secret tunnel under the bath is hard to swallow
- The way Lalo dealt with his would-be killers feel somewhat...cartoonish?