Better Call Saul Finale: Co-Creator Explains Meaning Behind Colorized Moments In Gene's Black-And-White Timeline

Spoilers for the series finale of Better Call Saul, “Saul Gone,” lie ahead, so read at your own risk.

This week marked the end of an era, as Better Call Saul signed off after six seasons, effectively closing the book on the Breaking Bad universe in the process. In short, the Saul series finale gave all the feels and served as a worthy conclusion to AMC’s acclaimed franchise. The final few episodes took place mostly during the post-BB timeline, where Saul Goodman was going by the alias Gene Takavic. The installments were notably presented in black and white though, interestingly, there were a handful of colorized moments. Now, series co-creator Peter Gould has shed some light on the meaning of those sweet, artistic flourishes. 

The scenes involving Gene have been depicted in black and white since the show’s 2015 pilot. But as Peter Gould recently recalled, that episode’s prologue dished out a small bit of color via the Saul commercials that Gene solemnly watched in his living room. In the more recent episodes, there were a few other instances in which color popped in. One was the moment that Gene’s past life was discovered by Carol Burnett’s Marion (who the Internet is loving). The other occurs during one of the show’s final moments, during which Saul – now going by Jimmy McGill again – shares one more cigarette with former wife Kim Wexler, who visits him in prison.

As with everything on the beautifully crafted show, there’s a reason for these quick dashes of color. Peter Gould explained to Variety that the moments connect to two major aspects of the lead character’s life – his past fondness for the Saul Goodman persona and his love for Kim Wexler:

It started out in the pilot of ‘Better Call Saul.’ Gene’s watching his old commercials and they’re reflected in color. The way I read that, that’s where his passion is, his nostalgia for the man he used to be. His nostalgia for Saul, not for Jimmy. It’s a callback and rubbing his face in it a little bit, when he’s seeing those reflections in Episode 12. 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. He’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.

Both were definitely powerful shots, especially the one featuring Jimmy and Kim. Not only was the color well placed within the scene, but the meeting between the two former flames (no pun intended) served as a callback to the very first episode. In my humble opinion, it’s one of the greatest moments shared between any characters from Breaking Bad or Better Call Saul

Such thoughtful visual cues and storytelling is why so many people (like myself) are eager to see more from the fictional universe. The maestro himself, Vince Gilligan, has discussed the possibility of additional spinoffs and, while he likes the idea, he’s not actually planning to dive back into the world of seedy lawyers and dangerous drug dealers. Hey, but never say never, right?

While a follow-up may never happen, it’s satisfying knowing that Better Call Saul closed things out on a high note, thanks to the efforts of Peter Gould and co. I think most would agree that the show and its predecessor were bright spots in many people’s lives. And that’s a poetic thought when considering the flashes of color that inhabited Gene Takavic’s black-and-white-shaded existence.

Though Better Call Saul is over, you can stream the first five seasons with a Netflix subscription, and the sixth and final season will likely join them at some point down the road.  Also, those looking for another small-screen obsession to fill the void can check out CinemaBlend’s 2022 TV schedule.

Erik Swann
Senior Content Producer

Erik Swann is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He began working with the publication in 2020 when he was hired as Weekend Editor. Today, he continues to write, edit and handle social media responsibilities over the weekend. On weekdays, he also writes TV and movie-related news and helps out with editing and social media as needed. He graduated from the University of Maryland, where he received a degree in Broadcast Journalism. After shifting into multi-platform journalism, he started working as a freelance writer and editor before joining CB. Covers superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. He eats more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.