TV Club: Better Call Saul burns down one relationship and rebuilds another

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In the centerpiece of tonight’s finale, Chuck McGill rips out paneling, punches holes in kitchen tile, and leaves piles of plaster, drywall, and insulation throughout his home, looking for whatever is still drawing current into his house. It’s a scene that immediately brings to mind the end of Francis Ford Coppola’s The Conversation, in which Harry Caul, a man who listened into the conversations of others, becomes so paranoid that he is being bugged that he tears up his entire apartment looking for the device. He’s left huddling in the corner, surrounded by rubble.

The parallels go beyond the visual. Both Harry and Chuck are driven to this extreme when they find that a situation they thought they had under control was something other than what they assumed. Chuck’s plan for outmanuveuring Howard, delivered with his usual faux-offhand smugness in the HHM boardroom, falls apart …