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In the final episode of Better Call Saul (so, y'know, spoilers ahead, both inside and outside the spoiler blocks):

Jimmy, off-screen, provides the prosecutors with fictional details about Kim's involvement in Howard's death, in order to get her to attend his trial. He then recants this testimony at the trial, and honestly describes both his involvement with Walter White, and his actions in connection with his brother's suicide.

He seems to do this in order to

make amends with Kim, by demonstrating that he's honestly facing his motivations for his previous actions, like she did when she filed her affidavit describing her actual involvement with Howard's death.

However, Kim was also facing potential civil legal action from

Howard's widow

in relation to her actions, which could result in effectively permanent financial punishment for her. Jimmy initiated his plan to lure her to the courtroom after hearing about this from Bill Oakley on the plane to Albuquerque.

Was Jimmy also attempting to protect her from the civil case? If so, how might an honest confession from him accomplish this?

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    A show of penance to Kim.
    – user97401
    Jun 29, 2023 at 4:56

2 Answers 2

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In a Rolling Stone interview, Peter Gould makes it fairly clear that Jimmy isn't attempting to affect Kim's legal situation, and very clear that he doesn't achieve that:

To your mind, do you think what Saul does in the hearing will get Kim out of legal trouble with Cheryl?

No, I don’t. I think that Kim is on her own journey, and I think he knows that. He does feel bad about what’s happening with Cheryl. But I don’t think Kim would like it if Jimmy pulled some maneuver that protected her from Cheryl. He doesn’t save her; she saves her. They’re done with saving each other by this time.

https://www.rollingstone.com/tv-movies/tv-movie-features/better-call-saul-series-finale-explained-creator-interview-1394766/

And Bob Odenkirk seems to agree that Jimmy isn't trying to do anything other than stopping the bullshit and honestly confessing, in order to heal his relationship with Kim:

“He exhales and he looks back at Kim and he thinks he’s sort of done something pretty clever, and then he realizes it’s not really enough,” Odenkirk says. “It’s not a full confession and he doesn’t show the extent of his self-awareness and his bravery that he can call up and that he’s capable of.”

Only then does Saul bluntly admit to all of his crimes and misdeeds, including lying to the government about Kim’s involvement in Howard’s murder and his role in Chuck’s death by suicide. “He does that in front of her,” says Odenkirk, whose character spends the sequence looking back at Kim. “And shows her who he can be.”

...

The final result is a confession that feels raw—but more importantly, it feels believable.

“It’s not a ploy,” Odenkirk says, before adding a clarification. “It’s a ploy between himself and the universe—not a ploy between himself and some person he’s trying to con.”

https://www.theringer.com/better-call-saul/2022/8/17/23309803/better-call-saul-finale-final-scene-breakdown-jimmy-kim

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No, nothing could do so anyway. Plus he knows Kim doesn't want to be "saved".

He also isn't that honest about his involvement with Walter White and in fact uses that part of his testimony to proclaim his might.

His attitude changes when he sees her reaction to his phoney schtick; he realizes she knows he's still showboating and is still Saul Goodman. It is at that moment he follows her example, becomes truly honest, talks about Hamlin and more importantly his brother and takes responsibility for his actions; ending with him referring to himself as Jimmy McGill.

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    "He also isn't that honest about his involvement with Walter White and in fact uses that part of his testimony to proclaim his might" — I think he's actually pretty accurate about his role in Walt's rise, and about what probably would have happened to Walt without someone to guide him around Albuquerque's seedy underbelly. Aug 16, 2022 at 15:11
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    Some thoughts from Odenkirk here about the internal stages of Jimmy's confession: theringer.com/better-call-saul/2022/8/17/23309803/… Aug 18, 2022 at 13:05

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