With the long-anticipated season finale of Better Call Saul officially concluding the Breaking Bad timeline as of August 15th, 2022, let’s rank the top ten best episodes of Better Call Saul. This AMC television show has recently been regarded as one of the greatest shows to ever grace our screens. Many fans believe that this TV show has surpassed its predecessor Breaking Bad in terms of narrative, cinematography and character development.
This series consists of a multi-stranded narrative throughout the whole show. Many of the different plots are Courtroom/Cartel related, the plots within this show include the love story between Jimmy McGill and Kim Wexler, the ruthlessness of the drug cartel, the bitterness of Chuck McGill, the Salamanca family, the rise and fall of Saul Goodman, and how people can be manipulated by money.
Better Call Saul first aired in February 2015 and ended in August 2022, spanning 63 episodes over 6 seasons. This show has received 46 Emmy Award nominations, these include Outstanding Drama Series, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, and Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series, with several more to list.
Better Call Saul can be seen as the prequel and sequel of Breaking Bad. This TV show has provided more insight and depth to characters who have already been established to the Breaking Bad fandom, such as Saul Goodman and Gustavo Fring, while new characters such as Kim Wexler and Lalo Salamanca have been introduced.
10. Chicanery – S3 E5
An episode with one of the most unforgettable monologues of the series. The battle of the McGill brothers never ceases to amaze audiences, but Jimmy certainly comes out on top of this courtroom catastrophe. Jimmy’s skills as a conman certainly did not go to waste, even after entering the legal world of law and order. Jimmy uses his sketchy tactics to make Chuck look mentally ill and unhinged due to his rare condition.
Two brothers with contrasting work ethics, personalities, and moral flexibilities, Chuck may have been one of the greatest legal minds in New Mexico, but his efforts to end Jimmy’s time as a lawyer, were clearly outsmarted by the younger brother.
9. Winner – S4 E10
Every season finale of Better Call Saul knows how to leave the viewer wanting more, and “Winner” was no exception. Kicking off this episode with a flashback scene flooding back the nostalgia, with Jimmy as a ‘soon to be lawyer’, out celebrating passing the bar exam. It’s very clear who the trained singer here is, as the performance Michael McKean gave certainly made us want to sing ‘Winner Takes it All’ as well! It was a pleasure watching the happier times between Chuck and Jimmy, showing that Chuck loved Jimmy as a brother, not so much as a lawyer.
Another memorable moment from this episode is Jimmy getting reinstated to practise law, giving a passionate speech about the significance of what it means to be a McGill, only to change his professional name to ‘Saul Goodman’, Kim’s reaction was the same as ours.
8. Five-O – S1 E6
Mike Ehrmantraut, a character shrouded in an enigma in Breaking Bad, is revealed to be a tragic character who fell into the wrong crowd in Better Call Saul, doing bad things for bad people, with only his family at heart. Five-O helps depict Mike’s unfortunate bad story, as it comes to haunt him in the present day as he comes to face the unwanted truth about his son.
Despite Jimmy being the protagonist of this show, this episode is very much focused on the tragedy of Mike’s past. With characters like Mike, we mostly see him at work, making sure people follow the orders of Gus Fring, and carrying out the relevant procedures when those orders are disobeyed, so it can change the way we see Mike as a character, seeing how family orientated his life outside work is, and how the traumatic events surrounding his son have affected him.
This is definitely one of the standout episodes of season 1! Many have claimed that season 1 is one of the less exciting seasons, but this episode should not be overlooked.
7. Something Unforgivable – S5 E10
Season finales seem to be very common on this list, and Vince Gilligan definitely knows how to write a cliffhanger. At this point in the series, we’re fully aware of how Gus keeps Nacho on a tight leash because if Nacho doesn’t follow Gus’ orders, his family will receive the consequences. Michael Mando’s acting in this episode really helps us get a sense of the danger he’s in, behind enemy lines, entering the home of the charming psychopath Lalo Salamanca.
Once Nacho’s plans turn futile, Lalo carries out the ‘necessary protocol’, slaughtering the intruders (while upside down (like a badass)) who made the mistake of entering his home. As an audience, it can be difficult who to feel sympathetic for, Lalo? Being tricked into thinking Nacho was his friend, seeing young people in his home get killed, watching mercenaries break into his home? Or Nacho, constantly in fear of his father getting hurt, being blackmailed by Gus, and wanting to get out of ‘The Game’ but can’t? That’s for you to decide!
6. Waterworks – S6 E12
A truly heart-breaking episode. The return of Kim Wexler, a closer look at what she was up to while the events of Breaking Bad was happening, watching her normal, suburban life take place without any real events happening, except whose house in the neighbourhood she’ll be going to for a barbeque. Another spectacle return in this episode was seeing Jesse Pinkman! The beauty of a character like Jesse returning, was that it was a flashback scene, when he interacts with Kim. Upon watching El Camino “a Breaking Bad movie”, we know that Jesse’s story is over, so seeing him as the season 1 version we got introduced to was a nice nostalgic feeling.
5. Bagman – S5 E8
An episode with fantastic cinematography and a nail-biting storyline. Saul’s venture into the desert displays his naivety when it comes to the Cartel’s approach to money, especially large sums of money, that belong to the Salamanca’s. Despite the large amount of cash Jimmy (and eventually Mike) are tasked to handle, crime does not pay, crime leaves you sunburnt, dehydrated and indebted to Lalo Salamanca.
Throughout this whole franchise, it’s clear that money has the power to corrupt people, and Saul is no exception. Would you hike across the desert near the US/Mexican border for $7 million to be a ‘friend of the cartel’? I know my answer 😉
4. Plan and Execution – S6 E7
The tragedy of Howard Hamlin will leave you devastated after this episode. Jimmy and Kim have toyed with Howard’s personal and professional life for too long up until this episode. Howard has been antagonised many times throughout the show, always having one up on Jimmy professionally with the HHM fiasco, and how Howard had the respect of Chuck that Jimmy could never quite earn. It’s only until the plot thickens that we see the true depth of Howard and his personal struggle, suffering with insomnia and a crippling marriage.
It’s episodes like that help us realise that despite the professional success Howard has experienced, it’s only backfired on him, affecting his marriage and sanity.
3. Breaking Bad – S6 E11
An episode released in 2022, replicating an episode from 2009, brings make the protagonist of Breaking Bad, Walter White. The significance of this episode comes from the lines in the original series by Saul, ‘It wasn’t me! It was Ignacio!’ and ‘Lalo didn’t send you? No Lalo?’ What seemed to be throwaway lines at the time managed to work their way into inventing new characters Saul encounters, has relationships with, and lots of character depth of their own.
As I mentioned earlier, these episodes tend to have several strands of narrative, the main plot for this episode displayed Saul (now Gene Takovic) is back to his old ways, scamming people and getting back into ‘The Game. For hardcore fans of the franchise, it’s fascinating finding out the fate of the other characters via Francesca, hearing names like Skyler White and Bill Oakley might bring a smile to your face.
2. Point And Shoot – S6 E8
The episode kicks off with the unfortunate conclusion to Howard Hamlin, his legacy is now synonymous with cocaine addiction and suicide. While this scene is aesthetically stunning with the waves hitting the shore and the sun shining in the early hours of the day, the beauty of the location is contradicted with Howard’s clothes and car, washing away at sea.
Many viewers have held Lalo Salamanca in high regard, due to his natural charm and flamboyant interactions with anyone he meets, that is not to disregard his killer instinct. Lalo eventually meets his fate in a shootout with Gus, to add insult to injury, Lalo’s body is buried with Howard’s, two men with contrasting lifestyles and professions, ironically receive the same ending. Life is not fair.
1. Saul Gone – S6 E13
The episode that everyone wanted to see, but nobody wanted it to come. Saul Gone marks the season finale for the entire show, with so many great episodes behind it, this episode had to be the crème de la crème. This episode brought a lot of closure, with many fantastic scenes and the rise (again) of Jimmy McGill, finally embracing who he really is, almost being a role model for the viewer, to admit he has hurt people and they deserve the truth.
It was sad seeing Saul’s conclusion no doubt, but it was perfectly done. He’s everyone’s favourite con artist, trying to right his wrongs. Your heart rate will look like a line graph of the stock market crash after this episode, after witnessing Gene on the run, Marie Shrader making an appearance, Gene going from Gene to Saul to Jimmy, to Jimmy and Kim sharing a cigarette for the last time under new circumstances.