Winner (Better Call Saul)

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"Winner"
Better Call Saul episode
Episode no.Season 4
Episode 10
Directed by Adam Bernstein
Written by Peter Gould
Thomas Schnauz
Original air dateOctober 8, 2018 (2018-10-08)
Running time60 minutes
Guest appearances
Episode chronology
 Previous
"Wiedersehen"
Next 
"Magic Man"
Better Call Saul (season 4)
List of episodes

"Winner" is the tenth and final episode of the fourth season of the AMC television series Better Call Saul , the spinoff series of Breaking Bad . The episode aired on October 8, 2018, on AMC in the United States. Outside of the United States, the episode premiered on streaming service Netflix in several countries.

Contents

Plot

Opening

In 1998, HHM's staff visits a karaoke club to celebrate Jimmy McGill attaining admission to the New Mexico bar. [lower-alpha 1] Although initially hesitant, Chuck McGill agrees to sing "The Winner Takes It All" by ABBA, first as a duet with Jimmy but eventually stealing the microphone and singing solo. Chuck and Jimmy return to Jimmy's apartment where they drift off to sleep in Jimmy's bed, singing together.

Main story

In 2004, Mike Ehrmantraut tracks Werner Ziegler to a money wire agency and convinces the clerk to let him view security camera footage. Mike guesses Werner is going to meet his wife at a hot spring resort and begins calling hotels. He notices Lalo Salamanca's car following him and evades it.

Lalo goes back to the money wire agency, kills the clerk, and reviews security footage showing Mike looking at tourist pamphlets for hot springs. Lalo calls hotels until he locates Werner, pretends to work for Gus Fring, and extracts some details of Werner's work before Mike arrives at the hotel to end the call.

Gus realizes Lalo can connect Werner's work to Gus and decides Werner must die. Mike tells Gus not to send men because he will kill Werner himself. Werner calls his wife at the Denver airport and convinces her to return to Germany. Mike promises to make Werner's death look accidental for his wife's sake, then shoots him. Mike later reports to Gus as Gus and Gale Boetticher inspect the meth lab, which was created according to Gale's design.

Kim Wexler and Jimmy stage several events where Jimmy feigns remorse over Chuck. They intend to influence the appeal panel considering Jimmy's suspension by showing that despite his appearance at the first hearing, [lower-alpha 2] he really is grief-stricken about his brother's death.

Jimmy sits on a panel reviewing candidates for scholarships in Chuck's name. Jimmy focuses on Kristy, [1] whose background includes a shoplifting charge, and tries unsuccessfully to persuade Howard Hamlin and other members to award her a scholarship. Afterward, he encourages her not to stick to the upright path she wants to follow but to do whatever is necessary to succeed because "the winner takes it all".

At his appeal, Jimmy gives a seemingly impromptu speech about his remorse over Chuck and wins reinstatement. He then stuns Kim by revealing his performance was insincere. He asks the panel’s secretary for a doing business as form and states his intention not to practice under the name McGill. Kim asks Jimmy to explain and he briefly turns to face her before exclaiming "S'all good, man!".

Production

"Winner" was written by Peter Gould and Thomas Schnauz. [2] It was directed by Adam Bernstein, who also directed the episodes "Five-O", "Gloves Off", and "Slip". [3] [4]

This episode includes guest appearances from Michael McKean as Chuck McGill and Brandon K. Hampton as Ernesto, both of whom appear in the flashback. [2] The directors had written the cold open with the desire to utilize McKean's background as a singer. In Episode 1 of Season 1 ("Uno"), Jimmy displays post-meeting frustration with Howard by kicking a trash can located inside the doorway between the HHM office building and parking garage. [2] In Winner, Jimmy passes the dented trash can, which is still visible inside the doorway. [2]

Reception

"Winner" received critical acclaim. On Rotten Tomatoes, it garnered a perfect 100% rating with an average score of 9.1/10 based on 19 reviews. The site's critical consensus is, "An excellent ending to a bittersweet season, 'Winner' ties up loose threads while priming each of Better Call Saul's excellently drawn characters for the coming danger." [5]

Accolades

The episode received four nominations at the 71st Primetime Emmy Awards: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for Bob Odenkirk, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for Jonathan Banks, Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series for Peter Gould and Thomas Schnauz, and Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series for Michael McKean.

Ratings

"Winner" was watched by 1.53 million viewers on its first broadcast, earning a 0.5 ratings for viewers between 18 and 49. [6]

Notes

  1. As seen in "RICO".
  2. As seen in "Wiedersehen".

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References

  1. "Kristy with a K". Imgur. Retrieved 29 August 2021.
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  3. Ramos, Dino-Ray (October 8, 2018). "'Better Call Saul' Season 4 Finale Gives Birth To A Brand New Jimmy". Deadline.com. New York, NY: Penske Media Group.
  4. "Adam Bernstein (I): Director". IMDb. Seattle, WA: Amazon . Retrieved April 20, 2021.
  5. "Winner". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved October 9, 2018.
  6. Welch, Alex (October 9, 2018). "Monday cable ratings: 'Better Call Saul' finale holds steady, 'Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood' dips". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on October 10, 2018. Retrieved October 9, 2018.