‘Better Call Saul’ Finale: Michael McKean on Chuck’s Inflammatory Act

“We’re saying that’s the end,” he said.

Mr. McKean called recently to discuss Chuck’s exit, his Mylar man cave and the joy of destruction. These are edited excerpts from the conversation.

Are we sure Chuck is definitely a goner?

I am. I know they want to bring me in for some flashbacks this coming season, but that’s kind of beside the point. One of the things that made Jimmy Saul Goodman is the burden of, if not guilt, then that nagging feeling of having being somehow involved [in Chuck’s demise]. So that’s what he has to deal with, and it’s one of the things that made him wind up in a Cinnabon in Omaha.

What do you think finally drove Chuck over the edge?

Part of it was the desire to have this behind him, and the fact that no matter how many times they shut off the power, that there was something going on in the house, or at least in his mind. It was still that unscratchable itch. He thought maybe this all goes away if I build this Mylar man cave, but no. Listen, he’s a man whose mind isn’t working right.

In their final conversation he tells Jimmy that all he ever does is hurt people around him. Couldn’t you say the same about Chuck?

Absolutely. Chuck’s not a very self-aware person. He’s in his own driver’s seat, and everybody else on the road is [a jerk].

It revealed his character in that moment but it also revealed the brothers’ closeness and similarities, in an odd way. They’re both abusive people.

But also Chuck tells a great big lie when he says, ”The truth is, Jimmy, you never really mattered to me much.” We’ve been watching for 30 hours how central Jimmy has become in his life, or at least part of his life. And how he has associated it with his own troubles, in a way he never has to nail down. So Jimmy mattered a lot in lots of negative ways, and in fact preoccupied Chuck to a certain extent.

So you never found out what sparked Chuck’s disorder?

Nope.

Does that seem odd to…

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