Better Call Saul will wrap up its third season—its best yet— Monday night on AMC. Since it began, the narrative has been pretty evenly split between Jimmy and Chuck's biblical family struggle (touching on the ins-and-outs of elder law), as well as Mike's more direct Breaking Bad prequel about his involvement with the Salamancas and Gus Fring.

But one of the most compelling and complex new characters to be introduced into the ABQ universe has been Kim Wexler, Jimmy's partner in law and love. Over the course of season three, she's dealt with the fallout from season two, when Jimmy sabotaged Chuck's Mesa Verde files on her behalf (without her knowledge). Since then, she's helped Jimmy defeat Chuck in court, only to find her relationship with Jimmy collapse under the weight of guilt and moral decay.

We got a chance to talk to actress Rhea Seehorn about the evolution of the Jimmy/Kim relationship, the dread of Jimmy turning into Saul, Kim's struggles with Jimmy's actions all season, and where Kim is at heading into the finale.

I talked to [showrunners/creators] Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould recently, and I was telling them that when the show started all I wanted to was to see Saul Goodman in his seedy prime, but I'm now at a point where all I want is to see Kim be happy for an episode. That's awesome, what did they say?

They completely agreed and understood. They were talking about how much they love Jimmy, and how over the course of doing the show they've come to dislike Saul, which they didn't really see coming. I know you were a big Breaking Bad fan, have you felt similarly? Yeah, it's interesting. I was a huge Breaking Bad fan. And I didn't know what exactly this prequel was going to be. And I'm not the only person to say, I think they made a very wise decision in making it its own show clearly tied to the Breaking Bad universe, but its own thing. I think it would have been a disaster to literally be Breaking Bad season seven.

But it's been fun. We all started this show thinking, "Oh when do we become Saul? When does he just con people?" And even then, you're kind of forgetting how he has no conscience, and orders hits on people, and does awful things.

And he seemingly has no friends. Right! And if he does, is he lying to those people? Who are those people who could either abide by it or are in the dark about it? Either way, that's a sad sort of life too.

But by the time we had season three's scripts [we saw] the way they started to reveal Saul. Because sometimes you would see Saul in the commercials, or you would see glimpses of him when Jimmy did the billboard [in season one], these very creative ways to just barely color outside of the lines but you can't haul him off to jail for it. And you would see him enjoy it, and it was a little bit almost like the audience's point of view of, "that's the Saul stuff that we love." It's clever. One of my favorite scenes still is him arguing for the twins in the desert, and he's arguing with Tuco to not break all of their arms, and he's trying to bargain down to just one arm vs. the arms and legs. It's awful and it's grotesque, but it's really great lawyering.

So that's the Saul that is cool, but this season, we start to see an erosion of a conscience, with him not caring about Rebecca as an innocent bystander, or with his relationship with Chuck. You could say that he "deserves" to be taken down a notch and we deserve to try to win the case and not have Jimmy be disbarred. And we basically just revealed the truth, that Chuck is a person who is not mentally stable—but at the same time, did Jimmy have to make sure that he had malpractice insurance issues? That's really just sticking the knife in for no other reason than to be an asshole. And then when he goes to Irene it's heartbreaking; all for money.

Those moments, and the con scene when him and Kim try to re-enact playing around with cons and stuff at the bar and he goes so dark...and it isn't that he just goes dark, he's unavailable to Kim in that moment in a way that's very lonely. It's sort of like, "Where did you go?" And that scene also broke my heart because Kim, who has extreme trouble showing any vulnerability, it's a load to ask for help for anything, barely starts to say to her only confidant, "I'm struggling with this, I'm struggling with how I feel about this." And would she have gone on, I think she would have said, "I just snapped at a client." Paige, the Mesa Verde client. I think it was abhorrent to Kim for her to lose control like that. But she doesn't get that far because Jimmy cuts the conversation off. He is not willing to have a conversation about the consequences of actions, about his conscience.

And there's such deep sadness and tragedy to what that says about him and what that says about us. It was sad. Bob and I called each other and I was like, "Why am I so sad that Saul is arriving, it's not like I didn't know that Saul was arriving." And Bob said the same thing. We've come to really love Jimmy and it forever alters how I see Saul. I feel like if I were to re-watch Breaking Bad right now there would be this weird meta thing happening where that show is now informed in a different way because I'm watching this show, and wondering how much of that is a mask. Is there any conscience left in that person? Is he suppressing it, or is he entirely a different person?

061917bcs2.jpg
AMC

I thought that the fallout from the trial in the second half of this season has been particularly tragic, because Kim was the one who willingly helped Jimmy with Chuck. Jimmy was kind of trying to keep her at a remove from all that, but then there was that beautiful moment where she grabbed his hand at the end of episode three. And she said, eyes wide open, "I'm going to help you with this, I'm here for you." And the consequence has been that even though they won the case, they have fallen apart before our eyes, it seems. Is Kim overworking out of guilt, is it as a distraction from her relationship, or is it just so she can control something in her life? I think it's all of the above. This Mesa Verde case, that's this albatross for her at this point in every way: psychologically, ethically, and physically exhaustive. Yes, she protected Jimmy, and Jimmy's actions with switching the Rosella Drive address, and having Chuck seen as a failure; all of these things were put into motion by Jimmy, but in the end Kim could have recused herself of the case.

She did not have to continue to represent these people and take the paycheck for Mesa Verde but she chose to and that's on her, as she says to Howard at the valet stand. That was her decision, and these are ill-gotten gains. I think Kim specifically is having to wrestle with the idea of what does it mean to deserve something. She deserves the case, and the intentions are all great here, however the way she has obtained this job is totally illegal. Chuck, who's supposed to be the pillar of justice, turns out to be a terrible human being. And Jimmy, who's supposed to be a con man, is often the most honest person in the room with her. So what does that mean, to have to live in the gray area?

And it isn't just that she's a victim of the people she's around. It's also coming from the inside. So I felt like the whole season was about dealing with the consequences, for all of these characters, for actions that were put into motion in season two. As soon as I got the first episode of season three and I saw that she could not stop obsessively trying to figure out the punctuation perfectly in a Mesa Verde document, and then still couldn't even hand it over, begged them to give her another second to look it over one more time I was like, "Okay, this is some internal combustion happening."

But it was so fun and blissfully challenging to play so specifically to this character. Her falling apart looks so different than someone else's falling apart. And by the time we get to the penultimate episode that just aired last Monday, in the car crash scene, it's everything that you said. It's physical exhaustion, it's emotional exhaustion, it's intellectual exhaustion. I imagine she stays up at night not just doing her work, but trying to make sense of how do you keep your head up? What does it mean to be a good person and where does this road lead? And I think that it's just eating away at her.

And I liked the idea too that this once was probably a saving grace to her. We don't know entirely where Kim came from, but you get the idea that when we meet up with her when Better Call Saul starts, she started in the mail room not as an intern out of high school, so she came from somewhere else and desperately needed to believe that if you keep your head down, and just work hard enough you can save yourself. And people just keep poking holes in that.

Now she's gotta face that you've got to live in the gray areas, and you've got to scratch and claw to hang on to your sense of self and your sense of right and wrong. Because it's constantly shifting, unfortunately the compass won't just keep pointing north, there's something constantly shifting it. It was really great to play, and difficult to play because it's so internal for her.

This reminds me of my favorite episode from last season, the "Rebecca" episode, when she says, "You don't save me, I save me." It also feels as if this is an area where Kim and Jimmy have a lot of similarities. They both are so hardworking and dedicated to making sure that they are carrying their own weight. And there is a certain amount of pride that comes with that. I love you saying that, because there's times when people will doubt them like, "What do they have in common?" And less and less that's said to me now because people do get it. But I've always seen it the way you're saying, in that actually these people have much more in common than not in common up until now. I mean, we don't know what happens by the time he's fully Saul, but yeah.

There is a dignity to saying, "I will pick myself up by my own bootstraps and I will get it done. I will get it done, I will find a way pay my half of the rent, I will find a way to move through the world and be responsible for myself and not ask for help." It's sort of sad and tragic when that becomes your own worst poison—this need to not ask for help. They both are obsessed once they sink their teeth into something they don't let go. And they're gonna make it happen come hell or high water. And that obviously can be your undoing.

Yeah, most definitely. Do you think that with the car accident she has hit a breaking point? Is this a wake up call for her? Well I can't spoil anything. I would not do that to our awesome fans. But I don't think there is anyway around it having to be a reckoning for her in some fashion. Whether it's physically, emotionally, psychologically, ethically, career-wise...they're all on the table when something like that happens to somebody. And the way it was edited so beautifully and abruptly lent itself to that idea. It's not so much about the gore of the accident as it is about how psychologically lost she feels in that moment, of honestly losing space and time and not knowing "how did I get here."

061917bcs1.jpg
AMC

As fans of Breaking Bad, we know there are inevitable destinations for most of the characters. Kim is one that's a little more of a mystery, but for Jimmy, for Mike, for Fring, and a bunch of the other minor characters, we know that they're being pulled in a direction. Do you view this story as a tragedy? Is there any happy endings coming out of this? Well I have to admit, I don't feel like Vince and Peter write a lot of happy endings. Better Call Saul to me has a lot of complexity as to what exactly are the most tragic of events. I was thinking about this the other day when someone was saying, "What's the most tragic thing that could happen to Jimmy?" Would it be watching him lose her or something horrible happening to her? And I was like, "Yeah but, it would also be tragic if she's there, to see what kind of erosion went on." It's like either way, there is something great lost. But again, I don't know her backstory. I make it up for myself to play the character, but I don't know where she came from. I don't know what else there is to reveal about her. I'm just very grateful that it will definitely be very interesting because of these writers.

I do hope at some point that we learn that she has another friend. Somebody, anybody. You do? Well that's good.