In Breaking Bad, we all came to love and, in some cases, love to hate Saul Goodman, portrayed brilliantly by Bob Odenkirk. However, in the prequel series, Better Call Saul, we’re given the chance to delve into the character’s backstory and learn his true name: Jimmy McGill. The entirety of Better Call Saul revolves around his evolution from the well-intentioned Jimmy McGill to the morally ambiguous, fast-talking lawyer we know as Saul Goodman. While various factors contribute to this transformation, his complex relationship with his brother plays a pivotal role in propelling him down this path.
- Long Live Shiv Roy: Sarah Snook Tells All on That ‘Succession’ Ending, Her Pregnancy and Crying Through the Finale
- How Old Is Naruto? Naruto’s Age Timeline Explained
- ‘Ahsoka’ Episode 4 Ending Explained: Where Does She End Up?
- Where to Watch ‘The Last Thing He Told Me’ Premiere Date, Episode Schedule, and More
- ‘Modern Family’ Ending Explained: Does the Family Split Up?
Jimmy McGill’s Complicated Relationship With His Brother
Charles “Chuck” McGill, portrayed by the talented Michael McKean, initially served as an inspiration for his younger brother, Jimmy. Chuck was a successful lawyer at HHM (Hamlin, Hamlin, McGill), which undoubtedly influenced Jimmy to pursue a law degree. However, Chuck, with his rigid moral compass, was less than thrilled about Jimmy’s career aspirations, especially given Jimmy’s colorful past as “Slippin’ Jimmy.”
As the series unfolds, Chuck’s character leaves a bitter taste in the mouths of fans. He actively sabotages Jimmy’s efforts, despite Jimmy’s unwavering love and support. Chuck’s character is complex; he claims to suffer from a condition that causes extreme pain in the presence of electricity. This ailment forces Jimmy to run errands and tend to Chuck’s needs. Chuck lives a peculiar life with the power turned off, relying on candlelight and ice packs to preserve his food.
Chuck’s condescension towards Jimmy is palpable, as he resents his brother’s charm and blames him for anything remotely suspicious. Nevertheless, Jimmy makes genuine efforts to carve out a legitimate law career, hoping to earn Chuck’s approval. He even presents a class-action lawsuit from Sandpiper Crossing, an assisted living facility, to HHM. Instead of being proud of Jimmy’s accomplishments, Chuck, in an act that bewilders many, calls Howard Hamlin to persuade him not to hire Jimmy.
Chuck goes to great lengths to undermine Jimmy’s success, seeking to disbar his own brother by exploiting Jimmy’s love and loyalty. This takes a shocking turn when Chuck returns to work temporarily, despite his supposed condition, and commits a conspicuous error on essential documents. Rather than acknowledging his mistake, Chuck insists that Jimmy falsified documents to discredit him. He manipulates Jimmy by feigning a nervous breakdown, coercing his younger brother into confessing to false allegations to protect Chuck’s fragile self-esteem. What Jimmy doesn’t realize is that Chuck is secretly recording this confession to use in a lawsuit against him. Chuck’s character is a masterclass in complexity, leaving viewers both intrigued and frustrated by his actions.
Saul Goodman Stands Before the Court
This lawsuit becomes a pivotal turning point in Jimmy’s evolution from the earnest, well-intentioned Jimmy McGill into the audacious, morally flexible Saul Goodman. It all starts with Chuck’s profound betrayal, leading to the suspension of Jimmy’s law license. During the trial, viewers witness shades of Saul Goodman emerging in Jimmy’s actions, like his clever use of Huell’s sticky fingers to expose the true nature of Chuck’s condition – a mental, not a physical ailment. The fallout from this trial is deeply impactful, especially as Chuck’s condition, at first, seems to improve. However, a devastating relapse occurs, concluding with Chuck’s heartbreaking parting words to Jimmy, stating that his younger brother never truly mattered to him. Chuck’s suicide profoundly affects Jimmy and continues to linger in his psyche.
Following Chuck’s death in the Season 3 finale, Jimmy fully embraces his criminal inclinations. He delves into selling burner phones and orchestrating various scams. Once his law license is reinstated, he boldly requests to practice law under the infamous alias “Saul Goodman.” As Saul Goodman, he not only perpetuates his characteristic cons but also immerses himself in the cartel’s feud with Gustavo Fring. Saul’s behavior takes its toll, even on Kim Wexler, who initially revels in the excitement of his schemes, eventually becoming his partner in crime. Despite Kim’s eventual departure from his life, more individuals inadvertently become collateral damage as the Better Call Saul narrative converges with the events of Breaking Bad.
In a surprising twist, Jimmy finds himself back in a courtroom, but this time, he takes a noble and selfless turn. To protect Kim from the repercussions of his actions, he confesses to all his crimes. It’s a profound moment, showcasing the noblest act in Jimmy’s journey, as he faces the daunting prospect of a life sentence. Within the confines of this trial, he renounces his Saul Goodman persona and reverts to his original identity, Jimmy McGill, as a tribute to his late brother and his own yearning for legitimacy. Jimmy’s transformation from Jimmy McGill to Saul Goodman and back again comes full circle, reflecting his quest for legitimacy, descent into a life of crime, and ultimate act of self-sacrifice.