In Better Call Saul, Saul ended up getting 86 years in a federal prison after he did not take the plea deal that was offered to him.
Better Call Saul provides context for some of the characters on Breaking Bad, but also follows its own, intriguing story.
This includes the decision of Saul to not take the plea deal offered to him in the finale, but rather confess to his crimes, which meant that he was sentenced to 86 years in prison.
What makes Better Call Saul such a good show?
Better Call Saul has been hailed as one of the best examples of how to do a spin-off show correctly since its first season in 2015.
Although Better Call Saul does its job as a prequel by giving viewers new context for some of their favourite characters on Breaking Bad, what really sets this show apart from other spin-off shows is the fact that it has such an intriguing plotline of its own.
The show follows the decline and corruption of Jimmy McGill as he tries to walk the difficult line between doing what is right and wrong in his own eyes as a legitimate criminal attorney called Saul Goodman, even though his moral compass is clearly flawed.
This forced the show to tackle difficult questions about human nature, and over the six season of the show, these questions played out in interesting and often dramatic ways that kept viewers engaged.
Even though the audience probably knew where the characters would ultimately end up or what fate awaited them.
Better Call Saul: Did Saul get 7 years or 86?
The final episode of Better Call Saul embodies all of the same complexities that made the rest of the show so popular with audiences.
Even though Saul Goodman spent most of his time during the six seasons of the show as a criminal attorney trying to get Walter out of prison, the final episode, which aired on 15 August 2022, provided a surprising twist where Saul had to try and defend himself in court.
During this trial, Saul initially does what he does best and manages to concoct a story about how he was kidnapped and forced to do Walter’s bidding.
This con works and he is offered a plea deal where he would only have to serve seven years in prison instead of the more than 100 years that he would have faced without the deal.
The biggest twist in the finale happens when Saul gets up on the stand and, instead of taking this deal for seven years, he makes the decision to tell the truth about his pivotal role in Walter’s drug empire and various other instances of financial fraud.
It is clear that this confession is a bid for redemption in Kim’s eyes, but it does lead to him finally being sentenced and getting 86 years in prison for his crimes.
What did Saul give up by not taking the plea deal?
Saul’s lie about how he was forced to help Walter works just as he knew it would initially, and it is what gets him the plea deal.
The plea deal included a reduced prison sentence of only seven years and also ensures that Saul will be serving this sentence in a nice prison in North Carolina.
However, when Saul decided to go back on the lie he led the jury to believe, and confesses to all of the crimes he committed in the past, he negated the plea deal, including among other things, the reduced sentence and the special privileges that came with it.
Saul was, a result, sentenced to serve a much longer time in federal prison.
Why did Saul decide to confess to everything?
Viewers may never get the chance to truly understand what drove Saul to give up his plea deal and confess to his crimes.
But from the flashbacks shown during the episode and Saul’s interactions with Kim, it is clear that he had grown to regret what he had done and was trying to redeem himself for his crimes in some way by taking responsibility for them as Jimmy, from his erstwhile name, James “Jimmy” McGill.
Did Kim inspire Saul to confess?
Better Call Saul is not known for always spelling out or explaining the characters’ decision making processes or motivations and it is unclear exactly when Saul decided that he would not take the plea deal and rather confess to his crimes.
However, it is clear that when Saul found out that Kim had already confessed about what happened with Howard’s death, it solidified his decision to confess to his own crimes, as well as trying to lessen Kim’s punishment and thereby taking responsibility for his crimes as Jimmy instead of Saul.