The last thing viewers saw in Better Call Saul season 5 was Kim stunning Jimmy by proposing a shady scheme to settle the Sandpiper suit, score a payday, and sully the reputation of Howard in the process. So let's point finger-guns at Rhea Seehorn, the actress who plays Kim, and ask: What's the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of the final season?
"Implosion," she says.
"She cannot keep the internal and the external separate any longer," Seehorn continues. "Kim's compartmentalizing was always going to have a reckoning day — and it comes."
Season 6 of AMC's Breaking Bad spin-off — which kicks off April 18 with a two-episode premiere — is "devastating, thought-provoking, suspenseful, beautiful, nail-biting, and hilarious," she raves. "It is a breathless, thoughtful, stunning, and shocking season."
Hilarious, thoughtful, and shocking are just a few of the adjectives that could be used to describe Kim Wexler, stellar lawyer and enigmatic soul. In fact, her mysterious M.O. has intrigued fans for seasons, and this latest gambit only helps to thicken the plot as the show hurtles toward conclusion.
Greg Lewis/AMC/Sony Pictures Television Kim (Rhea Seehorn) moves mysteriously in 'Better Call Saul' season 6
"I can't say exactly what [Jimmy and Kim] proceed or don't proceed with, coming out of season 5," Seehorn says. "But I can say that thread is not dropped as far as this exploration of how much of Kim's behavior is what was always there and uncovered, versus how much of Kim's behavior is ignited by Jimmy. And vice versa. It's a very exciting but anxiety-inducing ride to watch them go on. Especially her."
What will be the ramifications of the scheming and dreaming that this husband-and-wife team tease out of each other, for better and worse? "There's a lot more to be learned about the cost of how much they affect each other," she says. "And sometimes it's a beautiful thing, how much they affect each other, but sometimes it's a very dangerous thing about how much they affect each other. I was very happy to see that [Saul co-creator] Peter Gould continued to shepherd the season in a way that respects Kim's autonomy and her agency as well. She's not just in reaction to Jimmy, and never has been."
Context is king, of course, and this season will delve more into Kim's backstory and motivations. Is everything you know about her wrong? Not exactly. "If you think you know Kim, you don't know all of Kim," Seehorn says. "But probably the even harder thing to wrestle with is holding opposing thoughts about a person in your head at one time. She is everything you thought. It isn't just the side of Robin Hood do-gooding always, either, which I think people would like to assign her shenanigans to. There's quite a bit of ego and quite a bit of God complex happening."
Well, there's certainly fan worship of Kim (and Seehorn), who occupies the heart of Better Call Saul as much as Bob Odenkirk's Jimmy. Viewers have expressed their concern for Kim's well-being — and their (joking?) threat to riot if she doesn't make it out of this show alive.
"I have been told of the riot," Seehorn says with a chuckle. "I can't even articulate how grateful I feel about fans' perception of my character and my performance of this character. I feel the concern. I am stopped on the street with the concern." She laughs. "How fun is it that this person who's inscrutable and has her own code of ethics could have been thought of as this foreign object that you have no accessibility to, and instead people really feel like she is their friend or their confidant? Part of it is this extremely observant nature and economy of language and constantly having secrets. But the audience became my closest confidant often in scenes and knew what I was thinking when she chose not to show other people in the room. And it created this little bond that makes me really, really happy. [So] I would tell them that I, too, was concerned for Kim. And now that I know the ending, I'm going to let you go on the ride yourself."
AMC Rhee Seahorn and Bob Odenkirk on 'Better Call Saul'
While fans can decide if that is reassuring or alarming, there's no denying that there's a foreboding feeling that radiates off the season 6 trailer: Kim senses that she and Jimmy are being followed. How much peril is facing the duo, especially in the wake of the botched hit on cartel member Lalo (Tony Dalton)?
"Can you operate in a bubble and can you have actions not have reactions and consequences? Kim is very much flirting with thinking that you can," Seehorn says. "Her actions are larger and the consequences are larger. People finding out the consequences for their actions and having opportunities to get out of something before it goes too far is a constant question, and Kim's facing those same dangers. To me, it was inevitable that those dangers have to be intertwined. We even saw Lalo come to her safe haven, and I think that the reckoning with that is not over."
And as Saul approaches the Breaking Bad timeline and the cartel game intensifies, the two worlds "have never been more entwined," Odenkirk recently told EW. Gould recently revealed that Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul will reprise their roles as Walt and Jesse before the season ends.
"I would say it's not just specific to faces and places," Seehorn adds. "It's also story lines from Breaking Bad, and understanding the peripheral parts of some of them, and some of the Rashomon effect of what was going on when."
In short, brace for some forward motion that she equates to locomotion. "I've always said the scripts were page-turners, but this year more than ever, I just could not believe the levels they were going to with character and plot at the same time — just speeding trains," she says. "I was blown away by even the halfway mark, and I didn't know we were splitting this season. So [with] both the [midseason] finale and the finale, I couldn't have asked for anything more respectful of the fans and the characters that they've written. That doesn't always mean happy endings, of course, in this world. But they took literally everything into consideration, and it is heart-pounding."
Any clues about that very last episode? "I'm still thinking about it," Seehorn says. "I found it deeply profound — and very moving."
Move yourself to a safe hotel room on April 18 to see the beginning of the end. And hopefully not the end for Kim.
Better Call Saul review: The (leisurely, tense, funny, horrifying) end begins