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The Ending Of Better Call Saul Season 2 Explained

With the surprising success of its 1st season, "Better Call Saul" ratcheted up the stakes — and the action — for Season 2. Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk) has a life nowhere near as simple as it seems when he's first introduced as Saul Goodman in "Breaking Bad." He's living down a reputation as a con artist that his brother Chuck (the legendary Michael McKean) won't let go of. Chuck, meanwhile, suffers from a debilitating psychosomatic condition and believes himself hypersensitive to electricity. To top it all off, his girlfriend Kim Wexler (Rhea Seehorn), who works for Chuck's law firm, is tainted by her association with Jimmy.

Meanwhile, the cartels we see so much of in "Breaking Bad" are as active as ever in the New Mexico deserts. Season 2 follows Ignacio "Nacho" Varga (Michael Mando), a low-level cartel member reluctant to live the life of violence required by a life of crime. Meanwhile, ex-police officer Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks), another "Breaking Bad" alum, is slowly roped into the interpersonal dramas of the cartel as he seeks a way to provide for his granddaughter.

It all comes to a head in the Season 2 finale, entitled "Klick." Here's how the many plot threads of this thrilling season all tie together.

Chuck's resentment of Jimmy has a long history

Season 1 of "Better Call Saul" ended with the revelation that Jimmy McGill's brother Chuck had deliberately sabotaged his career, holding the younger McGill back from success out of a deep-seated belief that, as the saying goes, once a criminal, always a criminal. Jimmy spent most of that 1st season trying to escape his reputation as the con artist "Slippin' Jimmy" by grinding away as a perpetually broke public defender thanks to Chuck's behind-the-scenes refusal to hire him at Hamlin, Hamlin, & McGill, though he still pulled a fair amount of grifts along the way.

The finale of Season 2 reveals just how long Chuck has resented his brother, and how far he will go to bring him down. The episode opens with a flashback to Jimmy and Chuck at their mother's deathbed. They've been by her side for three days, and Jimmy, feeling restless, leaves the room to get a sandwich. Just after he leaves, their mother stirs and says, "Jimmy?" Although Chuck tells her it's him, she repeats Jimmy's name one last time and then dies.

The nurse asks whether he wants to call anybody, but Chuck declines. When Jimmy returns, a bag of sandwiches in hand, he finds Chuck sitting in the waiting area to inform him, "She's gone." Jimmy asks whether she said anything, and in a truly cruel twist, Chuck lies and says, "No." It's a stunning low for Chuck that reveals the inferiority he's always felt to his little brother. Chuck feels Jimmy has always been everyone's favorite despite being the problem child when really it should have been him, the successful lawyer, who deserved to be adored.

Chuck's condition deteriorates

After that devastating flashback and the title sequence, "Klick" cuts to the show's present-day setting, where Chuck has suffered an attack from his psychosomatic condition in a copy shop. He's been checking in with every print office in the city to prove Jimmy altered the Mesa Verde documents that were misfiled and cost HHM the whale of a contract. Jimmy frantically rushes around the room to make sure his brother gets the help he needs — a striking indication of how much he cares for his older brother despite Chuck's resentment. It's a great acting moment from Bob Odenkirk.

Chuck is rushed to the hospital, a waking nightmare for him since he believes all the electronic devices there are causing him pain. Most egregious of all, they run a CAT scan on him, authorized by Jimmy as a temporary guardian, which panics Chuck enough to send him back into a self-induced catatonic state, although the doctor assures all of his vitals are fine.

Jimmy stays with his brother until he returns to consciousness, then takes him home. But as soon as the younger McGill is gone, Chuck hatches a dastardly plan to prove Jimmy altered the Mesa Verde documents and take him down for good.

Mike gets closer to the cartel ... and a dangerous new player

Mike Ehrmantraut has been tangling with the Salamanca cartel led by Hector Salamanca (Mark Margolis). Nacho, worried that his life is in danger, approaches Mike to assassinate Tuco Salamanca (Raymond Cruz), the violent, meth-addicted drug dealer Walter White (Bryan Cranston) eventually kills in Season 2 of "Breaking Bad." Mike isn't yet a conscienceless killer and proposes getting the cartel member arrested instead. He goads Tuco into an episode of road rage and it works. Tuco then catches a case for an unlicensed firearm.

Hector begins to threaten Mike's granddaughter, forcing his hand, and Mike resolves to kill the cartel boss. Having engineered a situation where he'll have a clear shot from a sniper rifle in the middle of nowhere, that's where we find Mike in the Season 2 finale. Mike purchases a high-powered sniper rifle from Lawson, the gun dealer played by Jim Beaver who first appeared in "Breaking Bad," and heads out to do the dirty deed. He sets up his sniper nest on a ridge overlooking the Salamancas' hideout.

The Salamanca crew is busy executing Ximenez (Manuel Uriza), the drug trafficker Mike robbed in the previous episode to lure them out there, and Mike waits for his shot. Hector is there, and his goons execute Ximenez with a gunshot to the head, but Mike can't get a clear shot because Nacho is blocking his line of sight.

As he realizes he's missed his opportunity, Mike's car alarm begins to blare, and he goes back to the vehicle with a revolver drawn. But when he gets back to the wagon, there's no one in sight, with only a note stuck under his wipers with a single word: "DON'T." It's an ominous portent that a new player has entered the drug wars.

The battle between brothers takes a devastating new turn

When "Klick" picks up with Chuck's attack, Chuck has his employee Ernesto (John Christian Love) going around to every print shop in the city to try and prove that Jimmy altered the Mesa Verde documents. Chuck is absolutely correct that Jimmy did so, as Ernesto discovers when he questions the clerk at the correct shop. In an attempt to do damage control, Jimmy pays the clerk off to deny seeing him when Chuck gets there to cross-examine him, then hides out across the street.

When Chuck gets there and suffers an attack from his condition, Jimmy is able to get there quickly and help, but this tips Chuck off to his brother's malfeasance. In the hospital, he asks Ernesto whether Jimmy was there prior to his arrival, but Ernesto lies and says he called Jimmy to the scene. In the hallway, Ernesto explains that he covered for Jimmy because Chuck's vendetta worries him. "He's really out to get you," Ernesto says.

Once Chuck is home from the hospital, he escalates his plot. Pretending to be slipping deeper into his delusions, he covers the interior of his house in the same foil space blankets he uses to protect himself from electricity. When Jimmy arrives, concerned, Chuck feigns deep guilt over the paperwork mix-up, saying, "I blew it completely and utterly, and then I blamed you." He goes so far as to imply he's considering suicide.

Thinking he might end up the cause of his brother's death, Jimmy finally confesses to tampering with the documents. "It all went down exactly like you said," he admits. "I did it for Kim," he insists. "Kim deserves Mesa Verde, not you!" Jimmy exits, and Chuck uses a pair of tongs to shut off a tape recorder. This shows how Chuck got Jimmy to admit to a felony on cassette.