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Better Call Saul’s Chuck Reference Makes Two Deaths More Tragic

Better Call Saul‘s Chuck references add a little extra sting to Howard’s death too. Showing off Chuck’s soda can trick, Howard remembers how the late lawyer was always “prepared for anything, accidental or otherwise.” These words sound eerily ominous given what transpires later with Lalo. “More important things” then serves a painful reminder of Howard’s own failed marriage – yet another trait shared with his mentor. There’s a real sense of tragedy in how Howard is just beginning to consider putting his personal life before professional endeavors… then Lalo Salamanca puts him down.

Perhaps the real meaning behind Chuck’s presence in Howard’s final Better Call Saul episode relates to the last scene shared between the two McGill brothers. Chuck ruthlessly told his brother, “In the end, you’re going to hurt everyone around you. You can’t help it.” Howard’s corpse lying in Kim’s apartment is the most harrowing testament imaginable to Chuck’s foresight. Jimmy didn’t pull the trigger personally, but he involved himself with notorious criminals and drove Howard to desperation. This outcome is entirely of Jimmy’s making, and Chuck’s ruthless prediction is rapidly looking prophetic. The portrait hanging over HHM’s conference room almost feels like Michael McKean is there in person telling Howard “I told you so.”

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