‘Better Call Saul’: Who Will Become the Show’s Ultimate Villain?

by Craig Garrett

After Better Call Saul‘s midseason premiere, many fans were left wondering who would be the main villain in the final episodes. Warning: a discussion of season six going forward follows and will contain spoilers. The mid-season premiere, “Point and Shoot,” changed the tv show in an unexpected manner by killing Lalo Salamanca. Lalo was not only the main antagonist for the past few seasons, he was a fan favorite. Many viewers expected him to be the central villain for the remaining episodes. They were shocked when he was shot dead by Gus Fring.

Given Giancarlo Esposito’s popularity as Gus Fring since Breaking Bad, he seems like the obvious choice. However, Better Call Saul isn’t your typical procedural crime drama. The main villain going forward may be more thematically layered than expected.

The most likely candidate for Better Call Saul’s last villain

Better Call Saul season 6 has had two primary plot lines. These were Jimmy and Kim’s plans against Howard Hamlin and Gus’s war with Lalo. However, both of those stories have concluded. In the midseason finale, “Plan and Execution,” Howard is killed by Lalo. Now with Lalo dead, the trajectory of the show is in unknown territory. One possibility is to leave the vacuum open for a new adversary to assume control as Better Call Saul comes to an end.

However, this is a prequel to Breaking Bad. In the final episodes of that show, the main character had a villainous turn. Walter White famously became “the one who knocks”, turning all of his family and friends against him. He ultimately closed the series on a sort of redemption arc. With that in mind, it makes a lot of sense for Jimmy McGill AKA Saul Goodman to also become his own worst enemy.

Jimmy McGill finally becomes Saul Goodman

Jimmy is undergoing a dark origin story where he embraces his Saul Goodman persona. His transformation from lovable underdog to cutthroat ambulance chaser is nearly complete. The conclusion of the series should be something else than an encounter with another external threat.

The core of Better Call Saul is the tale of how Saul Goodman became who he was. So, that will be the show’s conclusion. That said, if Gus is the final primary villain, it may overshadow everything else. It would shift the emphasis away from Saul Goodman’s backstory and toward what would happen to Jimmy and Kim if they incurred Gus’s fury. Gus may still be a villain, but the attention should now be on Jimmy’s downfall.

Rhea Seehorn’s character, Kim, might be the key. Kim is the last hanging thread introduced in Better Call Saul. We know she isn’t around for the events of Breaking Bad. It begs the question: What does Jimmy do that drives her away? Kim had been involved in many of Jimmy’s schemes and has stuck with him. Whatever happens to Kim to make her absent from Breaking Bad must be extreme. Saul Goodman is almost certainly the cause of it.