- Better Call Saul -The Kettlemans Return On 'Better Call Saul,' But It's Kim Who Gets The Better Of Them This Time
Spoilers ahead for Better Call Saul Season 6, Episode 2, "Carrot and Stick."
For the beginning of the end of Better Call Saul, Saul went back to some of his first clients of the series — Betsy and Craig Kettleman. Kim suggested that Jimmy reach out to the Kettlemans on Better Call Saul to help with their long con against Howard Hamlin. You know that Kim really wants to destroy Howard if she calls in Mr. and Mrs. Cuckoo Bananas to get the job done. But the Kettlemans' return in the final season of Better Call Saul is more evidence that Kim's the real ruthless one when it comes to her and Saul.
As a way to continue Clifford Main questioning Howard's professionalism, Saul goes to the Kettlemans to lure them with a carrot. But Betsy Kettleman was none too happy to see Jimmy McGill again. Craig may have been the Bernalillo County's treasurer who embezzled $1.6 million, but Betsy was the mastermind behind the scheme. And last time they saw Jimmy, he turned them over to the law offices of Hamlin Hamlin and McGill.
Initially, the Kettlemans didn't want Jimmy representing them in Season 1. But when Kim would only offer them a deal rather than get Craig off scot-free, they came crawling back to Jimmy. But Howard punished Kim for losing her first big client for HHM, so in "Bingo," Kim begged Jimmy to convince the Kettlemans to come back and take the deal.
Since Jimmy had taken a bribe of $30,000 from the Kettleman's embezzled cash to pay for his law office, it wasn't so simple to get them to go back to Kim. So Jimmy hired Mike to find their secret stash, returned his cut, and forced them to go back to HHM. It set back his own private practice, but his sacrifice helped Kim's career at HHM, and as he told Mike, he was doing the "right thing" by turning over his cut of the Kettleman's cash.
Now, Saul's sending them on a wild goose chase so that his and Kim's plan to paint Howard as a cocaine user gains more traction. He tells them they have grounds for a civil case because when Howard represented them, he was under the influence of drugs. They go right to Clifford Main as Saul and Kim planned, but with no chance of actually clearing their name.
It's not the first time Jimmy conned them since back in Season 1, he tried to scam them with the skater brothers Lars and Cal Lindholm — but that spectacularly backfired when the Lindholms accidentally targeted Tuco Salamanca's abuelita's car instead. Nacho also wanted to rip off the Kettlemans and so they fled their home and did a little impromptu camping trip.
This time, it's Kim that ensures that the Kettlemans won't tell anyone of her and Saul's con. She prefers the stick to the carrot and threatens to shut down the Kettleman's Sweet Liberty tax service and report them for tax preparer fraud.
The Kettlemans are crooks and deserve to be stopped from ripping off the people who use their services. And Kim's solution, while brutal, is at least partially the "right thing" since she makes them return the money to their clients. But Saul clearly doesn't want to destroy them and is uncomfortable with the whole scheme, showing the growing disconnect between him and Kim. When he gets in the car after giving the Kettlemans money, he claims, "Wolves and sheep" — a reference to the man who conned his father back in Season 2 and told a young Jimmy, "There are wolves and sheep in this world, kid. Wolves and sheep. Figure out which one you're gonna be." There's no doubt about it, Kim is a wolf now even if she does appear in sheep's clothing.
It's unclear if the Kettlemans will pop up again in the final season. (Julie Ann Emery and Jeremy Shamos had recently reprised their roles for the fake American Greed episode about Saul, labeling themselves as "victims" of his, as well as the short film, "No Picnic.") But from Kim's perspective, they've served their purpose by furthering her plan to destroy Howard. Plus, they gave Saul the outdoor decor idea of having an inflatable Statue of Liberty at his future office. And for that, I guess Better Call Saul fans owe the Kettlemans a debt of gratitude.