Better Call Saul season 3 finale – titled Lantern – ended on a big cliffhanger, putting the life of Chuck McGill at stake.
Episode 10 that aired on 19 June on AMC featured Chuck getting a farewell from Hamlin & McGill law firm after receiving a big payout from his former partner, and an ugly confrontation between Jimmy and his elder brother.
Chuck refused to believe that Jimmy is capable of changing and asked him to embrace his lack of moral. Chuck says, "You're just going to keep hurting people... that's what you do." and then delivers the final blow saying, "You've never mattered all that much to me."
The finale found the older McGill brother reverting to his old habits. He shut off the power in the house and then searched desperately for the source of a remaining power that the meter was registering, and chipping away at the very foundation of the house in the process.
He tears out kitchen tiles, yanks out wires and finally takes a baseball bat to the meter to make it stop. The episode ended with him wrapped in his old space blanket, kicking a lantern sitting on some papers off of the desk, which immediately set the cluttered room on fire.
Is Chuck dead? How will Jimmy react to the news about his brother's seemingly demise? Better Call Saul season 4 will have to deal with all these questions. Michael McKean, who plays Chuck McGill, teased his character's fate and described Jimmy and Chuck's complicated relationship.
When asked if Chuck is really dead, McKean told Deadline, "Yeah. And he's now being played by Patrick Duffy (both laugh)." Executive producer Peter Gould too dished on Chuck's cliffhanger and said, "We haven't opened the writer's script for Season 4 yet, so it's very hard to be definitive. It sure looks that way and I think there would be something a little ingenuous if we have this big build-up and it being a season ender and then we found out that he got out at the last second. Having said that..."
McKean explained how the elder McGill seemingly ending was apt for the plot. "He felt he was infallible, and he felt if he was questioned or if he was confronted he knew that he knew, or he felt, that he had moral right on his side, and he felt that he could do no wrong — that's a terrible place to be."
He continued, "You know, he's a man living inside his own metaphor, really. If you can't change who you are essentially, sometimes you'll repaint your house or blow up your car, or you know, these things don't really work, but at least you're doing something. And I think the combination, there's a combination of his inability to get at what was really destroying him caused him to take that last step over the cliff."
Teasing Jimmy and Chuck's relationship McKean admitted, "As far as who Jimmy and Chuck are together, that gets complicated. All siblings are complicated. This is beyond that. I think that the way that this story has rolled out over the last three years has been very, very interesting and the people have reacted to what a bad brother Chuck is."
The actor also dished on playing this obsessive characters for 3 seasons on Better Call Saul. "It's three seasons that will go down in my history book as being just so much fun. And so much of a challenge and so much just delight in working with the people in the cast and the crew and the writers of this project has been just, you know, three scoops and a cherry on top," he admitted.