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The Ending Of Better Call Saul Season 4 Explained

When "Better Call Saul" first aired in 2015, it's safe to say nobody could have imagined how popular and beloved the series would become. It's hard enough for spin-off shows to get off the ground in the first place, let alone when your predecessor is a once-in-a-lifetime series like "Breaking Bad." The series follows Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk), a New Mexico lawyer who eventually transforms into the smarmy, wisecracking Saul Goodman, a fan-favorite character that first appeared in Season 2 of "Breaking Bad." For the first three seasons of "Better Call Saul," Jimmy does his best to get his life on track, hoping to become an esteemed lawyer like his brother Chuck (Michael McKean), though all of these plans inevitably fail.

It's not until the 4th season that the show begins to dip into a darker type of story line that fans of "Breaking Bad" will be much more familiar with. Season 4 follows the characters as they give in to the darker sides of themselves and are forced to deal with the ramifications that come with compromised morality. Thus, the Season 4 finale is a moment of change for several major characters — and sets up the much darker story line to come.

Saul Goodman officially arrives

The finale of "Better Call Saul" Season 4 saw Jimmy McGill finally winning his appeal to be reinstated as a lawyer, having been suspended for one year as a result of his document tampering back in Season 2. He gives a heartfelt and moving speech to the committee about the impact his brother Chuck had on him and promises to them that if he is allowed to practice law again, he will bring honor to the McGill name once more.

After he wins the appeal, it's quickly revealed that his remorse for Chuck was all an act, and (in an incredible act of spite) he tells Kim Wexler (Rhea Seehorn) he has no plans to continue practicing law under his legal name. He leaves a confused Kim alone in the lobby while he goes to fill out his new paperwork, casually dropping the line "s'all good, man" as he walks away. The message is clear: After four seasons of trying to become the honest, hardworking lawyer Chuck once wanted him to be, it's time for Jimmy to become his own kind of lawyer — and so far, it's working very well.

Jimmy has everything he wants right now, and he got it all through manipulation and lies — though there's a chance his new, darker persona might cause him to lose the thing he loves most.

Kim is blindsided by the change in Jimmy

After the first reinstatement hearing fails horribly, Kim correctly points out that the only way for Jimmy to be reinstated is if he shows remorse for his brother since the board did not believe he was sincerely sorry for what he had done back in Season 2. Thus, the two begin an elaborate scheme to create several high-profile displays of Jimmy's grief around town and subtly convince the committee to give him another chance.

Jimmy's speech is the nail in the coffin, and it is so moving that it even manages to make Kim tear up. The magic is broken the moment they leave the court, however. It becomes clear that he did not mean a single word of what he said, and his shift in demeanor is enough to wipe the smile right off of Kim's face. It's almost as though she's seeing him for the first time — and realizing too late that he's turning into a man who will take advantage of anyone and everyone who gets in his way. The ending of "Better Call Saul" marks the end of Jimmy McGill and the beginning of Saul Goodman, and right now, Kim is the only one who can see how dangerous that really is.

Mike becomes a bit more heartless than he already is

By Season 4, Mike's (Jonathan Banks) relationship with Gustavo Fring (Giancarlo Esposito) is still fledgling at best, but as the season goes on, it's clear the two have mutual respect for one another. In the Season 4 finale, their relationship is put to the test when one of the workers constructing Gus' hidden meth lab (a German man named Werner, played by Rainer Bock) accidentally reveals vital information about the lab to Lalo Salamanca (Tony Dalton).

Mike tries to convince Gus to spare Werner's life, but it becomes clear very quickly that the man will die one way or another. In the end, Mike agrees to do it himself, which is devastating considering the heartfelt conversation the two shared just a few episodes prior and the fact that Werner clearly thought that Mike was his friend. Mike allows Werner one last look up at the stars in the middle of the New Mexico desert before shooting him in the back of the head.

Mike has killed plenty of people before, but what makes this one important is the fact that the reason behind this murder is strictly business. It foreshadows what Mike is set to become — a trained killer who can set his emotions aside when it comes to business — and reinforces the mutual respect between him and Gus, strengthening their relationship and foreshadowing their dynamic in "Breaking Bad."

Gale's cameo and an impending conflict with Lalo

Season 4 saw Gustavo Fring secretly constructing his own meth lab, with plans to take over the Salamancas' territory and start his own drug operation — though the construction of said lab is taking a lot longer than Gus would have liked.

In the season finale, the lab in question is examined by none other than Gale Boetticher (David Costabile), who plays a major (and ultimately tragic) role in the 3rd season of "Breaking Bad." Gale gushes over the lab, calling it an architectural wonder, but Gus is less enthusiastic. Gale leaves after a tense silence, bumping into Mike on his way out, and the scene abruptly ends. This scene is significant because it gives us an important bit of information about Gus' plans to come, specifically the fact that Gale was intended to be the sole cook and that he was supposed to have started cooking all the way back in 2004, four years before the events of "Breaking Bad."

While the lab is nowhere near complete, it seems clear that there is a major setback in store for its construction, and this scene (along with the fact that Lalo does not appear in "Breaking Bad" at all) seems to indicate that a major showdown between Gus and Lalo is coming very soon.