Spoilers ahead for the Better Call Saul series finaleBetter Call Saul co-creator Peter Gould explains the reasons behind the flicker of color present in the series finale’s poignant Kim and Jimmy reunion scene. The series finale of the Breaking Bad spinoff show has aired, leaving viewers with a lot to unpack when it came to the shady lawyer’s ultimate fate. To no one’s surprise, Saul Goodman (who rebranded as Jimmy McGill in an emotional courthouse scene) ended up behind bars at the end of the show. However, all hope was not lost for the lawyer, who obtained what mattered most to him in the form of a long-awaited reconciliation with his ex-wife.
Over the course of its run, Better Call Saul presented its post-Breaking Bad scenes in black-and-white, depicting Jimmy’s mundane existence as Cinnabon manager Gene Takovic. The core narrative of the final four Better Call Saul episodes is primarily set in the Gene timeline, meaning a majority of their runtimes were in black-and-white. These sequences hardly used color (Saul’s old commercials being an exception), but for “Saul Gone” Jimmy and Kim’s emotional reunion marked another deviation from the formula. Director Peter Gould injected a bit of color via the flame from a cigarette lighter.
In an interview with Variety, Gould discussed a subtle flash of color during the finale. He explained why they made the detail extremely subtle in the scene, as to not distract viewers from the performances. Check out his comments in the space below:
“In Episode 13, it’s different. I’m glad you spotted it, we made it very subtle, the color in the flame and cigarette. I wanted to make sure everyone was watching the wonderful performances by Bob and Rhea and not getting distracted by technical artifice. It’s more about, this is the one bit of color in his world, his relationship with Kim. [She’s] the one person who sees him as he is and as he was. Each use of color is a little bit different. It just felt right.”
Gould’s explanation validates the fan sentiment that the series ended on a marginally hopeful note for Jimmy and Kim. Their short reconciliation was able to bring some warmth back to Jimmy’s life in the form of the orange glow of a flickering flame, which is especially meaningful when it comes to the couple’s history. Throughout the series, whether they were together or just friends, their intimacy was demonstrated through the act of sharing a cigarette, a scene present in the pilot episode, “Uno,” to set the stage for their relationship.
In the pilot’s smoking scene, both characters’ faces were half-shrouded in shadow. In the finale, though they are in black and white, their faces are bathed in barred light. As Gould says, they are able to see and accept one another for who they truly are, and the color in the cigarette and flame illuminates this moment for them both, even if it is their final one together. Though Seehorn has hinted that the finale may not be the end for Kim and Jimmy’s relationship, Better Call Saul viewers will simply have to imagine the characters’ new paths forward since “Saul Gone” marked the moving end of the series run.