What's that I see? Albuquerque's next TV star? It's you, small business owner! Struggling to make it in today's fast-paced economy? Thought television advertising was too expensive for you? Well you better think again! You can't afford not to be on TV! Look at you, you're a triple threat: great services, great products, and most of all, that face! You're a star! Wrap it all up in your natural charisma, and bam — you belong on TV! Better watch out for autograph hounds and paparazzi! And it gets better! I can have you on the air tomorrow! Yeah, you heard me right — tomorrow! Better get ready to be famous, Albuquerque! I can make you a TV star for a price you can afford! Call me, Saul Goodman! The world needs to know about you and your business! Call me now!
|― Jimmy McGill's first transformation into Saul Goodman in a TV ad.|
James "Jimmy" Morgan McGill, better known by his professional alias Saul Goodman, is a former criminal lawyer and the former principal attorney of Saul Goodman & Associates. He operated out of a cheap strip mall office and ran over-the-top late night TV ads advising potential clients they'd "Better Call Saul!" when in trouble with the law, promising "I fight for YOU, Albuquerque!" While his late-night commercial ads seemed tacky and cheap, Saul was an incredibly effective lawyer, using illegal tactics and dirty schemes to make sure his clients came out on top.
He is the protagonist of the spin-off Breaking Bad series, Better Call Saul, wherein the events six-years prior to Breaking Bad are explained, though the series also delves into events that occur after the Walter White story.
Saul serves as the lawyer and adviser for Walter White and Jesse Pinkman, getting them out of several difficult situations over the course of their drug business operations. Often dressed in flashy suits, Saul maintains extensive connections within the criminal underworld, and serves as a go-between connecting drug distributors, evidence removers, impersonators, and other criminals-for-hire. Saul arranges for Walt to launder drug money through Walter White Jr.'s website (SaveWalterWhite.com) and dispatches a cleaner (Mike Ehrmantraut) to Jesse's apartment to attend to Jesse and dispose of any incriminating evidence after his girlfriend Jane overdoses.
Despite his sleazy, flamboyant appearance and mannerisms — punctuated by his outrageous low-budget TV commercials — Saul is a highly competent lawyer who is able to solve problems and find loopholes in order to protect his clients. He is also reluctant to be associated with violence or murder. He has served as an adviser for Walter, Jesse, Mike, and even for Skyler White, whom he also helped acquire a car wash in order to launder Walter's drug money.
As Walter began to trust Saul, Saul became consigliere to Walt in his drug empire, laundering Walt's drug money for the White family. Saul expanded Walt's profits by arranging for the latter to supply crystal meth in bulk to the Albuquerque Mafia, through his contact Mike Ehrmantraut, who was himself consigliere to the mob boss of Albuquerque, Gustavo Fring.
Jimmy was born to Ruth and Charles McGill, Sr in the Chicago suburb of Cicero, Illinois. His older brother, Chuck McGill, graduated college and went on to become a successful lawyer in Albuquerque, New Mexico. When he was young, Jimmy worked for his father at his small corner store and watched as scam artists repeatedly fleeced his father. After one of them offered young Jimmy a life lesson about wolves and sheep, Jimmy caved in and began stealing money from the family till ("Inflatable"). His actions eventually led to the bankruptcy of the store. Six months later, Jimmy's father died, and according to Chuck, nobody cried harder than Jimmy at the funeral. ("Rebecca")
In his teenage years, Jimmy began to play his own scams to get quick money, which granted him the nickname "Slippin' Jimmy." In one of his most famous scams, Slippin' Jimmy would find the most slippery patches of ice every winter, stage a fall, and earn himself a fair amount of money ("Uno"). In one of his other scams, Jimmy (using his future alias "Saul Goodman") works with his close friend Marco Pasternak to trick others into trading cash for fake Rolex watches ("Hero"). Jimmy also ran an illicit ID forgery business in school ("Nailed"). After school, Jimmy was married at one point, but his wife cheated on him with a guy named Chet and they got divorced. Chet also owed Jimmy money. One day, Jimmy got drunk and encountered Chet at the local Dairy Queen, and decided to perform a "Chicago Sunroof" (defecating through the sunroof of a car) as revenge. Unbeknownst to Jimmy, however, Chet's children were in the back seat. Worse, Chet had ties to the local prosecutors, and Jimmy was quickly brought in by the police on charges of property damage, assault, and sex offenses. Jimmy was booked and put in pre-trial detention, likely at the Cook County Jail in Chicago.
Chuck traveled from Albuquerque to visit Jimmy at the request of their mother. Jimmy begged Chuck to make the charges disappear with the help of legal loopholes. Although originally reluctant, Chuck agreed to help after Jimmy admitted that, if he didn't get out of his situation, his life would be over. Chuck warned Jimmy not to make a fool of him if he got out, while Jimmy vowed to change for the better ("Nacho"). Chuck agreed on the condition that Jimmy leave Cicero and move to Albuquerque to work in a legitimate job. Jimmy reluctantly agreed and was subsequently acquitted due to Chuck's intervention. After saying farewell to Marco, Jimmy left Cicero to live with Chuck in Albuquerque.
The only time Jimmy would return to his hometown was for his mother's death and funeral, seven years after he moved to Albuquerque ("Marco"). When Ruth had to be hospitalized, Jimmy and Chuck sat for three days at her bedside. Eventually Jimmy decided to step out for some hoagies, only to be devastated when, upon returning to the hospital, Chuck told him their mother had died. All Jimmy could manage was a quivering, "Did she say anything?" and although his mother had briefly awoken before her death and called for him, Chuck told Jimmy their mother had said nothing before her death.("Klick")
Jimmy worked in the mail room at Hamlin, Hamlin & McGill, where he befriended many people, including Chuck's wife Rebecca and Chuck's law partner Howard Hamlin. Most importantly, he met and began a semi-romantic relationship with Kim Wexler. Prompted by her achievement of passing the bar exam, Jimmy eventually pursued and earned his own law degree online from the University of American Samoa, to the delight of all. However, Chuck secretly rejected Jimmy's achievement, seeing it as yet another of Jimmy's quick "shortcut" schemes. Refusing to view Jimmy as a real lawyer, and frustrated that his younger brother earned a law degree so easily while he had to work hard his entire life to earn his own position, Chuck covertly blocked his brother from becoming a partner at HHM. When Howard was forced to deliver the news, Jimmy mistakenly blamed him for the decision ("RICO"), ("Pimento"). Shortly thereafter, Jimmy quit HHM to become a solo practitioner.
Better Call Saul
When the series begins, Jimmy is working hard at his practice, but enjoying little success. He sleeps in his office, which is located in the back of a nail salon. He mostly works for the court as a public defender for $700 a case and is struggling with debt. He takes care of Chuck, who refuses to go outside, due to his self-diagnosed electromagnetic hypersensitivity disorder, a disease widely accepted by medical professionals to be psychosomatic. While working in court he meets Mike Ehrmantraut, who works there as a parking lot attendant.
After a particularly grueling day in which he loses a sex offense case (and is "shorted" by the county clerk), loses potential client Craig Kettleman to HHM, and fends off an injury scam from Cal and Lars Lindholm, Jimmy decides to return to his shady techniques to level the playing field. ("Uno") He enlists the Lindholms in an attempt to win the Kettlemans' favor. The plan backfires, however, when the twins mistakenly target the grandmother of Tuco Salamanca, who captures them along with Jimmy, intending to kill them all. Utilizing his silver tongue, Jimmy persuades Tuco to spare them, but is unable to prevent the gang leader from breaking the brothers' legs. ("Mijo")
Shortly thereafter, Jimmy receives a visit from Nacho Varga, one of Tuco's lieutenants. Nacho, who overheard Jimmy's plan to strongarm the Kettlemans into business, wants to steal the money they embezzled. Realizing Nacho is very likely intending violence against the Kettlemans to achieve his goals, Jimmy attempts to warn off the family, first by hinting to Kim, who is now in charge of their case, then by sending a distorted phone message to the Kettlemans themselves. When the Kettlemans disappear, Jimmy is brought in by the police -- first as a suspect, then as the appointed attorney for Nacho himself, who has been marked as the prime suspect. A furious Nacho warns Jimmy to correct the situation, or face deadly consequences. Stressed by the encounter, Jimmy inadvertently escalates the matter by getting into a confrontation with Mike over a validation dispute, but in the process figures out the Kettlemans staged their own abduction to evade further scrutiny. ("Nacho")
Tracking down the Kettlemans, Jimmy persuades them to return to their home, but accepts a $30,000 payment from them as a "retainer" (in truth, as hush money for keeping quiet about the Kettlemans' stashed loot, indeed stolen from the county treasury). Using this payoff, he stages a publicity stunt by creating a deliberately plagarized version of HHM's billboard featuring himself made up to resemble Howard. When Howard proceeds to file an injunction for copyright infringement, Jimmy allows himself to lose, though in actuality, he intends to use the incident to garner public support through the media. While filming a video about his billboard being forcibly taken down, a billboard worker falls off the platform and dangles by a rope. While his camera rolls, Jimmy climbs up to the platform and rescues the worker, but when the guy is successfully pulled back up to the platform to safety, it's revealed that this was part of Jimmy's stunt. He appears heroic and gets the media exposure that he was aiming for. ("Hero").
After several abortive consultations, Jimmy enjoys some small successes with some elderly clients, leading Kim to suggest he consider practicing elder law. Their musings are interrupted, however, when Jimmy recieves an emergency call from Howard - Chuck has had an altercation with the police and has been hospitalized. Rushing to the hospital, Jimmy fends off doctors, security, and Howard himself in order to bring his brother home. At Chuck's residence, Jimmy sees a copy of the newspaper he hid from Chuck, with himself on the front page. Realizing his culpability in Chuck's collapse, Jimmy explains his actions as a "little bit of razzmatazz" and reassures Chuck that as he now has clients, the incident will not be repeated. ("Alpine Shepherd Boy").
Jimmy eventually decides to go into elder law and help old people. He redesigns his image around "a young Paul Newman dressed like Matlock," recreating the classic suit style worn by Andy Griffith. He begins helping out at retirement homes, where he helps pass out meals (which of course are stamped with his contact information and ads), hosts bingo games, and slowly builds a growing clientele. ("Bingo")
When he visits the Sandpiper Crossing retirement home, he learns that the workers are scamming the residents by overcharging them. Jimmy goes through their dumpsters and takes their shredded documents as evidence against them. ("RICO") Chuck sees Jimmy's case and convinces him to take the case to Hamlin, Hamlin, & McGill since the case is too big to handle single-handedly, much to Jimmy's dismay. At this point, Chuck begins to shrug off most of his illness and begins to go outside a little more. The night before Jimmy and Chuck head to HHM to deliver the case, Chuck secretly goes outside and uses Jimmy's phone to call Howard.
During the meeting, Howard agrees to take the case but refuse to hire Jimmy as an HHM laywer. Jimmy leaves, angrily refusing to take the deal. After seeing Kim, who urges him to accept, he goes to confront his brother, after realizing that his cell phone's battery had been drained after Chuck used it to call Howard.
At his house, Chuck confesses to be the one behind the fact that he was never hired at HHM, not Howard. He tells Jimmy that he never considered him a real lawyer, claiming that allowing Jimmy a law degree is like giving a machine gun to a chimpanzee. Heartbroken, Jimmy storms out of the house, telling Chuck that he will not provide for him anymore. ("Pimento") The next day, he hands the case over to HHM, apologizing to Howard. He then hosts a Bingo game at the nursing home where he suffers a nervous breakdown, graphically recollecting the time he took revenge on a man who owed him money and slept with his wife (the Chicago Sunroof Incident). Throwing down the microphone, he walks away in disgust.
He goes back to his hometown of Cicero and reconnects with his friend Marco. Together they start doing scams again. After a whole week Jimmy says that he has to go back to his clients, but Marco insists that they do one last scam together. Sadly, Marco died of a heart attack that night, right in front of him.
At the funeral Marco's mother gives Jimmy Marco's old ring, as he was his best friend. He then receives a phone call from Kim telling him that a big Santa Fe law firm, Davis & Main, wants to hire him, as they are joining in the Sandpiper case and need a representative.
Jimmy goes to the meeting but declines the position, and talks to Mike at his booth, wondering why they gave the Kettleman money back earlier. As Mike states that his was hired to do a job and simply did it, Jimmy declares that he knows what stopped him and swears that "it's never stopping me again." He then leaves, humming the song "Smoke on the Water," like his old friend Marco used to during their time together. ("Marco"), ("Switch")
Continuing his self-righteous rant, Jimmy proceeds to continue his rebellious streak in Albuquerque, openly agitating his landlady at the nail salon, and tearing down his door sign. He rents a room at one of the high class hotels where he begins running scams on the other guests. When confronted by Kim over his new lifestyle, Jimmy persuades Kim to try it out. Stunned at first, Kim is amused when Jimmy successfully puts the move on Ken, a loudmouthed broker. One thing leads to another, and the two consummate their relationship, spending the night together. The morning after, however, Kim admonishes Jimmy to return to reality, refusing to participate in any further scams. Eventually, Jimmy decides to follow her advice, and returns to Davis and Main to accept their offer of employement. ("Switch")
Jimmy adjusts quickly to his new status and perks at D&M, including private office (with a cocobolo desk), company car, and personal assistant. He also hits it off well with the personnel at his new workplace, and contemplates establishing a live-in relationship with Kim. The fly in the ointment presents itself, however, when Chuck, having returned to the office, begins attending the Sandpiper briefings, officially in his capacity as senior partner, but in reality, to intimidate Jimmy. A further complication arises when Mike enlists Jimmy to represent his employer Daniel Wormald, who has implicated himself in a drug deal. Jimmy successfully gets Daniel off, but is forced to fabricate evidence of a pie fetish video to do so. When he lets the story slip to Kim, she furiously chastises him for the incident. ("Cobbler")
Jimmy continues a dubious recruitment campaign for the Sandpiper suit, convinced that the retirement company is continuing to block traditional methods of contact with his prospects. His plan to engage a busload of Sandpiper residents, for example, is largely successful, but attracts undue attention from Chuck and the other partners - even Kim. Jimmy then proposes a televison commercial; specially timed to reach prospects during daytime hours - a point of access Sandpiper cannot block. While Clifford Main is open to the idea, seeing a previous ad run by Davis & Main convinces Jimmy that the firm will never agree to the style or time of broadcast Jimmy needs. Taking what he feels is the initiative, Jimmy compiles a video crew comprised of college students to film and air his own commercial advertising the Sandpiper suit. While a major windfall for the firm, the act immediately draws the ire of Cliff and the other partners. ("Amarillo")
Jimmy immediately tries to soothe the waters with the senior partners, but is reprimanded for his actions. To his shock and disgust, he learns that Kim has also come under fire at HHM for allegedly approving of the tape, but in truth, for her association with him. Worse, Kim is furious with Jimmy over the incident, and refuses outright any offers of help in restoring her good graces at the firm. The next day, however, Jimmy confronts Chuck over Kim's demerit, only for Chuck to rebuff him, refusing even Jimmy's offer of full responsibility for the incident. ("Gloves Off")
Jimmy's frustrations continue to mount at Davis & Main after he is "paired" with legal assistant Erin Brill for help in the Sandpiper case - in truth, Erin has been assigned to watchdog Jimmy and force him to adhere to D&M policy. Immediately chafing under Erin's constant prodding and corrections, Jimmy dodges her as soon as he can, so that he can present Kim his latest offer: a letter of legal action against HHR for mistreatment. Kim steadfastly refuses - only she will save herself from the doghouse, she says. A further crestfallen Jimmy begins to question his decision to take his position at D&M, as Erin continues to hound his every action, hampering his progress in court and at the clerk's office. Seeing his old colleagues talking about the recent changes only serve to fuel the dilemma. ("Rebecca")
The tensions continue to rise as D&M continues to subvert Jimmy's tactics, replacing his original ad for a more sanitized one to be played during ineffective air times. Beginning to become fed up with D&M's enslavement to policy over productivity, Jimmy begins preparations for departure. He begins sleeping in his old office at the nail salon, which he still has kept under lease. He mends the fence with Kim after she is tempted into another dupe game at the hotel. He uses a tire iron to remove the cup holder from his company car, so that his gift mug from Kim will fit. ("Bali Ha'i") He prepares his letter of resignation to D&M, to Omar's surprise, but when he learns resigning or being fired for cause will cause him to forfeit his bonus, he decides to go for the outlandish track by dressing in gaudy suits, making horrible messes in the office, and becoming such a general nuisance to his co-workers that Clifford proceeds to fire him WITHOUT cause, thus allowing Jimmy to keep his bonuses (and his desk.) ("Inflatable")
Once free of D&M, Jimmy proposes his master plan to Kim: he offers to form a joint partnership with her, sharing all expenses and costs, as well as profits. Kim is intrigued, but initially disagrees - she is not prepared to risk her career with Jimmy being the kind of lawyer he is. She does, however, offer a counter proposal: she will go into solo practitioner-ship for herself and share an office with Jimmy. Jimmiy is intrigued by the idea, but advises Kim to move quickly on a client she has engaged: the Mesa Verde Bank. Jimmy knows that HHM will attempt to seize rights to the case as soon as they realize Kim is resigning. Kim is hesitant on the idea at first, but upon overhearing Howard contacting Mesa Verde after delivering her resignation letter, realizes Jimmy was right all along and quickly takes steps to retain Mesa Verde's services for herself. Meanwhile, Jimmy procures an old dentist's office for renovation into the joint venture. He also begins producing his own personal ad, enlisting the aid of his former college video crew and some of his elder clients.
When Chuck and Howard outmaneuver Kim to retain Mesa Verde for themselves, however, an outraged Jimmy springs into action to sabotage the endeavour. Sneaking into Chuck's house under the cover of his family ties, Jimmy carefully removes documents containing the address of Mesa Verde's intended site for the permit process: 1261 Rosella Dr. He takes the records to a nearby 24-hour copy center, where he creates doctored copies with the street number transposed into 1216. He then substitutes the altered papers into the originals' places in the Mesa Verde case work. Patiently waiting for his brother to wake up from his latest EMF-induced coma, Jimmy confronts and chastises Chuck over stealing Kim's laurels. Chuck brushes Jimmy off, not wanting to fight again, but in so doing, fails to truly question Jimmy's presence in his home. ("Fifi")
After waiting for Chuck to complete his legal preparation prior to the Mesa Verde hearing, Jimmy quietly restores the original documents after his brother departs to present the permit request. Jimmy's plan works perfectly - Chuck and HHM are caught in a massive clerical fiasco at the hearing, and Mesa Verde walks away angry and humiliated. While Jimmy and Kim are working on the new office, Kim receives a call from Paige requesting her services once again while Jimmy watches in silent approval. However, their victory is short-lived: Chuck has deduced exactly what Jimmy has done, and openly accuses him in front of Kim when inviting her to his house to pick up the files. Jimmy listens to his friend, colleague, and lover proudly defend him against his brother, whom she verbally berates for his cold and judgmental treatment. Once out of the house, however, Jimmy immediately suffers an equal portion of Kim's wrath - he has not fooled her for an instant. Later that evening, Kim strongly hints to Jimmy that he had best cover every last trace of his misdeeds. Quickly proceeding to the copy shop, Jimmy cuts a deal with the clerk to eliminate all evidence of his presence there from the other night - but not before Ernesto has questioned the clerk on Chuck's behalf. Hoping the clerk is capable of carrying out the cover-up, Jimmy watches as Chuck himself arrives and begins grilling the clerk about Jimmy's activities at the copy shop. Jimmy watches with pride as the clerk lives up to his word and adamantly denies having seen Jimmy, even in the face of Ernesto's statements. To his horror, however, Jimmy watches as Chuck has another spell, passing out and cracking his skull on the counter in the process ("Nailed")
Choosing his brother's safety over his deniability, Jimmy rushes Chuck back to the hospital, where he anxiously sits in the waiting room, awaiting word. Once he hears that Chuck has stabilized, Jimmy goes to see his brother, who immediately calls Jimmy out on his proximity to the shop during his accident. However, Ernesto comes to Jimmy's aid, claiming that he called Jimmy before Chuck left the house to question the store clerk. A furious Chuck tells them both to get out. In the hall, Jimmy asks Ernesto why he said what he said. Ernesto replies that Jimmy is his friend, and Chuck's vendetta against him is upsetting to Ernesto. Jimmy thanks his friend, who only will say that he misses simply being back in the mail room, before walking away.
Convinced against his better judgement to submit Chuck to a temporary emergency guardianship order, followed by a CAT scan and workup, Jimmy sits with Kim, worried about the obvious chilling effect the Mesa Verde incident is having on their relationship. When Jimmy's new ad airs on the television, he barely notices. Kim, however, is amazed that he was able to film such a professional-looking ad on a shoestring budget. With some of his confidence back, Jimmy turns to face the newly-arrived results: Chuck is not permanently injured, but is in a state of self-induced catatonia from the perceived "trauma" of the CAT scan. In frustration, Jimmy sits down by Chuck's bedside and angrily pronounces he is not moving until Chuck wakes up. When Chuck eventually does so, and mockingly asks Jimmy if his next move is to the asylum, Jimmy simply tells Chuck he is taking him back home. After doing just that, Jimmy is assured by Chuck that he will be fine.
Later on, Jimmy begins his first consultations at the new office, now finished and ready for business. Without warning, he is called by an irate Howard, who tells him Chuck has quit HHR and demands an explanation. Returning to Chuck's house, Jimmy is shocked to see his brother covering the walls in "space blanket" linings and insulation, and when he questions Chuck about it, Chuck calmly explains that he believes his "sensitivity" has become unmanageable and he cannot even remain indoors without protection. When Chuck breaks down and begins crying over his "failure" with Mesa Verde, Jimmy has a crisis of conscience, and he confesses his complicity in the incident. Chuck is stunned, and tells Jimmy he has just admitted to a felony. Jimmy retorts that it was to make Chuck feel better, and it would be merely one's word against the other. Jimmy leaves to phone Howard and reassure him that Chuck will not be quitting HHM, not seeing the tape recorder Chuck has secreted under a stack of foil. ("Klick")
Confident that he has restored his brother's confidence, Jimmy begins helping Chuck to take down the space blanket wallpaper. He reminisceses upon finding an old book he and his brother used to read, and Chuck seems to respond jokingly enough, but eventually, he stops Jimmy in mid-sentence and delivers an ominous warning: he will not forget what Jimmy has done, and he will see that Jimmy pays a price. Further hints of trouble await Jimmy at his office upon his return: Captain Bauer from the airbase has learned of Jimmy's ad and is furious. Trying to defuse a heated argument, Jimmy attempts to reason with Bauer, until his own anger builds, and he coldly advises the captain to let the matter go, resulting in Bauer storming out while making a violent public scene. ("Mabel")
While Jimmy and Kim work on hiring a new paralegal, Mike calls Jimmy and has him watch the man Mike tailed as he has breakfast in the restaurant. Jimmy notices nothing unusual and reports back to Mike as Gus Fring watches the two from a distance. Ernesto approaches Wexler-McGill but decides against entering, and speaks to Kim in the parking lot about the tape. Kim relays this information to Jimmy and she takes Jimmy on as her legal client, advising him that the tape is no legal threat to him. Jimmy suppresses his feelings of anger and betrayal in front of Kim, but later drives to Chuck's house, breaks in, berates him, and destroys the tape. However, this more or less happens all according to Chuck's plan, as he only used the tape as bait, and Hamlin and the private investigator are present to witness Jimmy's break-in. ("Witness")
Jimmy is arrested and jailed following a few harsh but hesitant words with Chuck, and chooses to represent himself in court (against Kim's wishes), pleads not guilty and posts bail. Jimmy later explains what happened during his break-in and tells Kim to work on Mesa Verde while he works his own legal battle, to which she flatly agrees. The prosecutor in Jimmy's case, Assistant District Attorney Hay, meets with Chuck and tells him that she doesn't plan to let Jimmy off easy. Chuck wishes to seek a "better solution for everyone." Jimmy talks with Kim outside of Wexler-McGill and informs her that he can avoid jail time, but will have to confess to his felony break-in and submit his confession to the New Mexico Bar Association, which will likely result in disbarment. Kim convinces Jimmy to let her help him fight Chuck's plot. ("Sunk Costs")
Jimmy hires Mike to pose as a handyman, and Mike uses the repair of Chuck's door as cover to photograph the interior of Chuck's house in order to document the bizarre living conditions. Jimmy, Kim, Hamlin, Chuck and ADA Hay meet in order to finalize Jimmy's confession, with Jimmy agreeing to have his confession reviewed by the New Mexico Bar Association. After the meeting, Kim confronts Chuck, telling him that she suspects he has a copy of the tape. Chuck confirms her suspicions and states that he plans to submit the tape as evidence in Jimmy's disciplinary hearing. Kim then relays the information to Jimmy, revealing that having Chuck admit the existence of the second tape was all according to their plan. ("Sabrosito")
Both sides gear up for Jimmy’s hearing in front of the New Mexico Bar Association after Jimmy meets with veterinarian Caldera to acquire the services of "someone with a light touch." At the hearing, things do not seem to go well for Jimmy as the tape is played before the committee. Rebecca enters the courtroom, much to Chuck’s surprise, though he believes it's some ploy by Jimmy to throw him off balance. Later, Jimmy cross-examines Chuck about the circumstances of the recording, Rebecca’s presence, and his illness. Though Chuck remains calm throughout most of it, Jimmy reveals that Chuck had been carrying a fully-charged cell phone battery planted by Huell for the entire hearing, contradicting the EHS symptoms Chuck claimed to have and suggesting he has a mental illness. This triggers a sudden and acidic tirade from Chuck as he vents all of his frustrations about Jimmy and how he never should have tried to help him. Chuck realizes, too late, that his outburst has shocked the entire courtroom, including the committee. ("Chicanery")
Jimmy is given only a year's suspension in the aftermath of his legal battle with Chuck. Afterwards, while he and Kim celebrate, Rebecca asks Jimmy to help with Chuck, who has shuttered himself in his home, but Jimmy refuses, no longer calling Chuck his brother. Jimmy must figure out how to recoup money spent on his remaining television commercial slots. With the help of his college film crew, he uses a loophole in his contract to sell the slots via a new series of commercials, in which Jimmy poses as a character named Saul Goodman. ("Off Brand")
Jimmy tries to fulfill his court-mandated community service while also trying to sell his commercials, but can't convince anybody to sign on for more than one or two spots, and more often, none at all. Cash in hand from the few spots Jimmy does secure rapidly nets deeper and deeper losses, but Jimmy papers over this careening towards poverty by bravely giving his film crew and Kim Wexler the very last of his money and insisting he is not maxing out his credit cards or emptying out his personal bank account. Finally, in a parking lot after yet another net-loss, Jimmy collapses on the ground and stays there, clearly exhausted, nearly penniless, and extremely depressed. While Kim was having a dinner with Jimmy, she wonders whether they did the right thing, and Jimmy replies what happened to Chuck was his own fault and that she should forget about him. Jimmy meets with an insurance agent to try and get a refund on his malpractice insurance policy. However, the agent is unable to grant the refund and mentions that due to his suspension, Jimmy's future premiums will rise by 150%. Jimmy is visibly shaken by this news and starts to cry. When the agent reacts sympathetically to his emotional breakdown, Jimmy seizes the opportunity to "accidentally" mention Chuck's mental illness before leaving, knowing that the insurance company will be forced to act on the information. ("Expenses")
Jimmy's guitar store clients become suspicious of his motives and refuse to pay him for their commercial spot. Jimmy stages a "slip and fall" con, intentionally slipping on a drum stick and injuring himself in the process. Kim returns to the office to find Jimmy lying on the floor, with his half of the rent, indicating he used the "slip and fall" to coerce the guitar shop into paying him off. Despite Jimmy's assurances, Kim still expresses doubts about Jimmy's ability to pay and considers taking on another client. Jimmy later is able to make $700 during his community service, helping a drug dealer "see his sick child" by threatening the supervisor with legal action. ("Slip")
Jimmy talks with the Sandpiper class action representative Irene to get an update on the Sandpiper case, and realizes that Sandpiper has already offered a settlement deal which if D&M and HHM accept, would give Jimmy over $1 million as his share of the settlement. Jimmy tries to convince Howard to accept the settlement, but Howard sees through Jimmy's motivations and refuses. In order to secure the Sandpiper settlement, Jimmy pulls a series of cons and social manipulations to trick Irene into thinking that holding out on the Sandpiper settlement is against the interests of her fellow elderly clients and she moves to accept it, giving Jimmy his much needed fee. He returns to the office to give the good news to Kim. ("Fall")
Jimmy, feeling partly responsible for Kim's exhaustion and resulting car accident, finally agrees to break their office lease and have Kim work out of her own home to save costs. Jimmy meanwhile tries to make amends with Chuck, but Chuck coldly cuts ties with Jimmy. Jimmy then tries to mend relations between Irene and her friends, but is unable to since Irene's friends remain suspicious of her. He finally outs himself as crooked in front of his elderly clients, which both vindicates Irene and cancels the Sandpiper settlement. After insulting Jimmy and forcing him away, Chuck commits suicide by pushing a gas lantern off a table and onto a pile of newspapers, leaving Jimmy as the sole living member of his family. ("Lantern")
Prior to Breaking Bad
After the events of "Better Call Saul," Jimmy abandons his given name and develops his old pseudonym Saul Goodman (from his watch scam with Marco in Cicero) into a fully fledged identity. He obtains legal accreditation for his new identity, and opens a new office, this one far more gaudy and clichéd than his former offices. Taking his former style as Jimmy to a whole new level, the newly-anointed Saul practices far more aggressively than before, and quickly gains a reputation for his ability to acquit local criminals such as Emilio Koyama.
This above information is, as of yet, not known with any certainty. We don't know that Jimmy waits to abandon his given name until after the events of "Better Call Saul". In fact, it's more likely than not that we will see the exact moment in the series "Better Call Saul" when he changes his identity. Actually, the pseudonym "Saul Goodman" first appears "publicly" in "Better Call Saul" when Jimmy makes a commercial to produce commercials and sell the airtime he himself has already paid for (as Jimmy McGill). The transformation from Jimmy to Saul is the main premise for the entire "Better Call Saul" series, and we are, as of this date (6/14/2017), nearing the end of Season 3. We have no information currently as to when he obtains "legal accreditation for his new identity" or when he will "open a new office". All of this information, at this time, is speculation.
When Badger is arrested for selling blue meth, Saul is sent to negotiate with him. It comes to call his attention that Hank Schrader and Steven Gomez, two DEA agents, are trying to interrogate Badger. Deducing they were interested in his client, he made a deal with the DEA for Badger to testify against his dealer “Heisenberg.”
Later that day, Walter White and Jesse Pinkman decide to look for Saul Goodman in his office. Walt, posing as Badger’s uncle "Mr. Mayhew," hires Saul to keep Badger out of prison. Citing rumors that Heisenberg's associate crushed a man's head with an ATM, Walt asks if Badger should fear reprisals if he snitches. "The guy who got his head smooshed used to be a client of mine. His wife killed him," Saul replies. He plans to get Badger "singing like a canary." "Ten thousand dollars," Walt blurts out before succumbing to a coughing fit. He doesn't want Saul to throw the case, but "no talking to the DEA," he says. Saul then kicks Walt out of his office for trying to bribe him.
That night, Jesse and Walt don their ski masks, kidnap Saul, and haul him to a freshly dug shallow grave in a desert wasteland. "This afternoon, an associate of ours offered you ten thousand dollars," Jesse tells him. "You shoulda taken it." Saul informs them that he doesn't take bribes from strangers. Jesse, gun aimed at Saul, instructs him to give Badger "the best legal representation ever," but says that Saul is dead if anyone snitches to the DEA. "Why don't you just kill Badger?" Saul suggests, but Jesse insists that's not an option. Walt doubles over coughing and Saul recognizes him as the "Mr. Mayhew" from his office. Saul instructs Walt and Jesse to remove their masks and "put a dollar in my pocket - both of you." Now protected by attorney-client privilege, they hear Saul's assessment of their situation: "Somebody's going to prison. It's just a matter of who."
In an interview with Hank, Badger describes Heisenberg as an older bald man. Back in Saul's office, Saul hands Walt the dossier for a bald ex-convict known as "Jimmy In-'N-Out," who will go to jail as Heisenberg for a fee. "Conscience gets expensive, doesn't it?" Saul comments when he outlines the cost: $80,000 - $50,000 of which Saul takes as a finder's fee - plus a pound of meth. The next day, Albuquerque police and the DEA stake out the bus stop bench where Badger was busted. After some maneuvering to get Badger to sit next to the correct bald man, Jimmy's arrest goes down as planned.
Later, Saul visits Walt in his classroom, chiding him for being so easy to locate. Walt asks if Saul is blackmailing him, but Saul says that he isn't. Referencing The Godfather, Saul offers to play Tom Hagen to Walt's Vito Corleone. "I'm no Vito Corleone," Walt says. "No shit," Saul replies. "Right now, you're Fredo." Walt has the right product but not the right connections and strategy, which Saul can provide. "If you want to make more money, and keep the money that you make," Saul says, adding his TV flourish, "Better Call Saul!" ("Better Call Saul")
Later on, Saul gives Walt a tutorial on money laundering. After all the costs associated with Badger’s arrest, he only has $16,000 left. "Congratulations," cracks Saul, "You've just left your family a second hand Subaru." Walt lets on that he might not have much longer to live, but he intends to cook a lot more. "Make hay while the sun is still shining," Saul agrees ("4 Days Out"). Some days later, one of Jesse's dealers is shot dead. Saul, Walt and Jesse have a meeting to decide what their next move is going to be. Walt reveals to Saul that they've got thirty-eight pounds of meth and no distribution. Saul tells them that "You're sitting on a gold mine!" Walt and Jesse "suck at peddling meth," he concludes, but he offers to put them in touch with a cautious, low profile businessman who'll buy their product in bulk ("Mandala").
After successfully selling the thirty-eight pounds to Saul's contact, Walt complains that he cannot make use of the money. Luckily, Saul knows of a hacker in Belarus who could launder Walt's money through his son's "Save Walt White" website. It would look like thousands of people were donating to "Mr. Walter H. White… Cancer Saint," Saul explains. "I'm getting a warm and fuzzy feeling just thinking about it" ("Phoenix"). When Jane Margolis dies, Saul sends one of his employees, Mike Ehrmantraut, to clean up her apartment from any evidence linking her and Jesse with the use of drugs. Later on, Saul also informs Walt about Jesse living in a place called "The Shooting Gallery" ("ABQ").
In the wake of the Wayfarer Flight 515 aerial disaster, Saul began organizing a class-action lawsuit for victims of the crash. At one point, Saul says, "Victims' families would be great, but I'll take anyone on the ground who suffered emotionally." It is possible that Saul gained a great deal of publicity from representing victims (under a very loose definition of the term). Saul also began wearing the Wayfarer 515 blue ribbon to show his support for the air crash victims.
Following the success of the large sale to Gus – which leads to Saul buying better suits – Saul pushes Walt to take Gus’s lucrative offer to continue cooking. He also accepts a job from Jesse, using Jesse’s half of the earnings to purchase his aunt’s house at a dramatically lowered price – strong-arming Jesse’s parents and attorney with a potential lawsuit over the undisclosed meth lab Jesse was running out of the basement.
After Walt reveals Skyler White has threatened to expose him, Saul hires Mike to bug the White house as insurance. Forced to leave early when Walt comes home, Mike witnesses the Cousins entering with an axe, and quickly places a call to Gus to call them off. Per Gus’s direction, Saul is not informed of this threat to Walt ("Caballo Sin Nombre"). Saul visits Jesse's house later on, asking Jesse to try to convince Walt into going back to cooking meth ("I.F.T.").
Mike later brings Walt to Saul after Walt creates a disturbance at Skyler’s office, and attempts to talk Walt into cooking meth again. Admitting that he bugged Walt’s house and making an off-color comment about Skyler, Saul is attacked and subsequently fired by Walt. Furious, Saul shuts down the laundering of Walt’s drug money.
Jesse then approaches Saul with two bags of meth he has cooked himself using Walt’s procedure, and asks to set up a deal. He meets Victor under a bridge to make the exchange, only to see he has been given half of the money – the other half went to Walt ("Green Light").
Saul sets up an intervention between Walt and Jesse, offering to give Walt a percentage of Jesse’s future deals. Walt returns Jesse’s half of the deal's money, coldly informing both of them that he has now accepted Gus’s offer and will be cutting Jesse out of the business. Quickly dumping Jesse in favor of the much higher profits Walt can produce, Saul is once again hired to launder money for Walt – this time for a dramatically-reduced fee of five percent ("Más").
When Hank successfully deduces the existence of the RV, Walt calls Saul in a panic. Saul is at a loss, and scolds him for not having a "self-destruct" mechanism like the Starship Enterprise. After Hank locates the RV with Walt and Jesse trapped inside, Walt calls Saul for assistance. Saul has his secretary Francesca masquerade as a law enforcement official to make Hank believe his wife has been severely injured in a car accident. Saul appears regretful of his part in the cruel ruse and discards the phone used to make the call, while Francesca tells him she should be paid more for this sort of work ("Sunset").
Saul visits Jesse at the hospital after the latter is brutally attacked by Hank in retaliation of their ruse to lure Hank away from the junkyard. Saul takes pictures of Jesse's injured face and jokes that Walt is now the "cute one of the group." Jesse plans to ruin Hank's life and maybe even give up Heisenberg's identity if he gets caught cooking again. Out of the hospital room, Walt tells Saul that Jesse will eventually calm down, to which Saul replies "If he doesn't, there may come a time to talk options" ("One Minute"). Saul later tries to convince Jesse into buying a property to launder his money earned selling drugs, but Jesse declines the offer ("Kafkaesque").
Walt later introduces Skyler to Saul as they have a meeting in Saul's office trying to think in a scheme to launder their money. Saul suggests that they buy a laser tag franchise, but Skyler comments that Walt buying a laser tag arcade wouldn't make any sense. "Walt's a scientist," Saul replies, "scientists love lasers." They later drive to a car wash where Walt worked for four years. Skyler comments that since Walt has history with this car wash, it would make even more sense for him to buy it. Saul thinks otherwise, since they don't have an inside man, and it will be difficult to use the car wash for money laundering ("Abiquiú"). Later, Walter comes to Saul to inform him that Jesse found out that the men who killed his dealer and friend some weeks earlier are actually working for Gus, and Jesse is intent on killing them. They plan to get Jesse arrested, but Mike finds out about the plan and intervenes on Gus' orders ("Half Measures").
Jesse eventually attacks the dealers against Gus' orders, and Walt saves Jesse's life by killing both dealers. Mike starts a manhunt for Jesse, but Saul helps Walt by hiding Jesse in the laser tag arcade. Mike forces Saul to give him information on Jesse's whereabouts, even threatening to severely injure Saul in case he doesn't collaborate. Saul gives Mike a fake address to keep him away for some hours and then drives Walt to meet Jesse at the arcade. He warns them that it's just a matter of time before Mike realizes that the address is fake, but he is dismissed by Walt ("Full Measure").
Following Gale Boetticher's murder, Walt and Jesse are taken to the superlab and held there by Mike and Victor until Gus Fring arrives to deal with the situation. Meanwhile, Saul searches his office for bugs, believing that Walt and Jesse were murdered by Gus and he would be next. He receives a call from Skyler asking where Walt is. Returning her call by payphone, Saul lies and assures her Walt is fine. He then tells his new bodyguard, Huell Babineaux, that they might need to leave town ("Box Cutter").
Later, after Skyler's unsuccessful attempt to buy the car wash from Bogdan for money laundering purposes, Saul touts a nail salon as the best way to launder money as he meets with Walt and Skyler at the condo. "Ya bombed. It happens," Saul says about Skyler's attempt to purchase the car wash. Bogdan just needs an "attitude adjustment," contends Skyler, though she rules out instigating an IRS audit, INS raid, or any violence.
While watching the draining soap suds from washing Holly's baby bottles, Skyler is struck by an idea and calls Saul. Outside the car wash, a man wearing a Bluetooth headset who appears to be some kind of environmental inspector (Saul's associate Patrick Kuby) shows water samples to Bogdan and declares they're full of contaminants. He tells Bogdan that he must replace his entire wastewater treatment system, and the state requires he cease operations until it's back up to code. Skyler, feeding lines to Kuby, is eventually successful and purchases the car wash ("Open House"). Meanwhile, Walt tells Saul he fears that Hank will connect Jesse to Gale's murder. Saul says there's nothing to worry about, but Walt catalogs his woes: Gus wants to kill him, Jesse is out of control, and Gus will eventually perceive Jesse as too big a risk. There's also "this stupid car wash" he's buying with Skyler, who naively thinks Walt can walk away after his contract with Gus expires. Saul mentions that as a last resort, Walt can pay to have a "disappearer" vanish his family off the grid and set them up with new identities. Walt rejects the idea, and they're stuck at an impasse ("Bullet Points").
Later, when Walter learns Jesse is off somewhere with Mike, Walt races through Albuquerque, dodging traffic while shouting instructions to Saul on his cell phone. If Walt doesn't return within 24 hours, Saul is to deliver all of Walt's money to Skyler ("Shotgun"). On a later date, Walt slumps in a chair at Saul's office while Saul handles the fallout from his client's "little joy ride" (racing around recklessly, doing doughnuts with, and ultimately setting on fire the Dodge Challenger Skyler made him return). Walt admits that the pressure of knowing Gus wants to kill him is getting to him, and then inquires about hit men. "Wrong answer!" blurts Saul, pointing out that any for hire assailant would likely know Mike, and have to outmaneuver him. Walt tells Saul that he tried to kill Gus himself but couldn't get near him. "Why not ask your partner?" suggests Saul ("Problem Dog"). Saul visits Andrea Cantillo at a house she's just rented in a nice neighborhood and delivers cash from Jesse. Afterward, in Saul's car, a concerned Jesse asks about the house and Andrea's son, Brock Cantillo. Saul then prods Jesse to check on them himself ("Hermanos").
In his office, Saul mumbles to himself, "This is a bad idea," before Ted enters. Saul then informs Ted that his long-lost "Great Aunt Birgit" from Luxembourg has left him $621,552.33 -- almost precisely the amount of his debt to the I.R.S. Saul visits the car wash and shows Skyler a credit report indicating that Ted leased a Mercedes three hours after receiving Walt's money. He won't be able to pay the income tax bill in full -- and clearly wasn't going to do so anyway ("Salud"). At his home, Ted returns Skyler's money to her because paying off the IRS with Walt's gambling winnings "feels wrong" and in any case won't solve Ted's other money woes. Skyler accuses Ted of blackmailing her for more cash. Stung by the charge, Ted emphatically denies it but still refuses to pay the IRS. After leaving Ted's house, Skyler calls Saul.
By phone, Saul informs Skyler that Ted doesn't own a gun or have a panic button on his alarm system. Skyler replies that she doesn't want anyone hurt, just for Ted to write the IRS a check. Saul tells Skyler that he'll assign his "A-team" to deal with Ted and sends Kuby and Huell. The two visit Ted at home, order him to write the check, and tell him they'll be staying until it clears. After signing the check, Ted tries to make a run for it but ends up tripping on a throw rug and knocking himself out on the island in his kitchen ("Crawl Space").
In Saul's office, Huell is describing the mishap with Ted when Walt storms in, saying that he needs to contact Saul's connection who can "disappear" the White family and give them new identities. It'll cost at least half a million dollars, says Saul, and everyone must be packed and ready before Walt makes the call ("Crawl Space"). Walt asks Saul to inform the DEA that Gus has a hit out on Hank. "My brother-in-law doesn't deserve to die because of this," pleads Walt. Saul reluctantly agrees to alert the DEA about the hit but refuses to finger Gus. Walt tells Saul to make the call in an hour ("Crawl Space").
After finishing a cook, a laundry truck drops off Jesse at his car, which he now parks in the desert to avoid arousing DEA suspicion. Jesse calls Walt, who doesn't answer, then listens to increasingly frantic messages on his own voicemail from Saul. One of which urges Jesse to come to the law office, pronto. When Jesse arrives he is aggressively patted down by Saul's bodyguard, Huell, until Saul interrupts. Saul declares, "They're here, the end times," and stuffs Jesse's meth money in a duffel bag for him. "I'm outta here," says Saul, at least until things cool down. Confused, Jesse asks what's going on and learns that Gus threatened to kill Walt and his family ("End Times").At the hospital where Brock is being treated, two Albuquerque Police Department detectives then approach Jesse and summon him to police headquarters to question him about his theory that Brock might have ricin poisoning, which the boy's doctors think might actually be the case. Jesse says that he must have seen it on TV. "Sometimes your brain makes these connections," he explains. When the detectives press him further, Jesse stops talking and demands his attorney, Saul Goodman. At the law office, Saul's secretary, Francesca, busy shredding documents, doesn't respond to Walt banging on the office door. He then shatters the glass door with a piece of cement and enters. Francesca, furious about the mess, refuses to provide Saul's whereabouts unless Walt pays her $25,000, well more than he has on him.
At police headquarters, Jesse stonewalls the detectives until Saul arrives. Privately, Saul tells Jesse that he'll have to remain in police custody pending a toxicology report on Brock, but that it might be just as well because someone tried to kill Walt in his own home. Following their meeting, Walt rendezvous with Saul, who relays information from Jesse about Gus' visits to Hector Salamanca, also known as "Tio." Walt doesn't recognize their significance until Saul says that Gus gloated about Tio's family line ending and later told Jesse that Tio killed someone close to him. "They're enemies," Walt deduces. This information supplied by Jesse through Saul later becomes vital in Walt's plan on getting rid of Gustavo Fring ("Face Off").
Season 5Saul visits Skyler at the car wash and cryptically and solemnly warns her the police may call her about Ted. "Ted's dead?" she asks, tearing up. "No, he just woke up," Saul says. Later, at Saul's office, Walt scolds Saul for giving Skyler $622,000 to pay off Ted's tax debt. Saul reminds Walt that he put himself on the line by participating in Brock's poisoning (Saul had Huell lift the ricin cigarette from Jesse). Thrusting the ricin cigarette at him, Saul tells Walt that their business relationship is done. Walt bridles at that, backing Saul into a corner of the office. "We're done when I say we're done," he says ("Live Free or Die").
After deciding that they will continue to cook, Walt and Jesse visit Saul to discuss finding a new venue for the lab, preferably nearby and not in an RV. Saul says an in-town venue will be difficult, but Walt snaps, "If Gus can manage it, then so can we." Jesse reports that he was able to find all the precursor chemicals except for methylamine. Walt encourages Jesse to keep looking for methylamine, but Jesse doubts he'll be able to scare any up. When Saul advises they pull out of the meth business, Walt snaps back that he's broke. "Does that seem like an acceptable stopping point to you?" ("Madrigal").
Mike waits outside Saul's office while Huell guards the door. Inside, Walt and Jesse assuage Saul's doubts about working with Mike again, who threatened to break Saul's legs. They let Mike in and he lays down ground rules: He runs the business, Walt and Jesse cover production. Saul privately asks Walt if he's okay with the arrangement, but Walt's unfazed: "He handles the business, and I handle him." Saul takes the team on a tour of potential new lab venues, but Walt, Jesse, and Mike nix them all, spotting logistical problems with each. Jesse and Mike are ready to dismiss the final venue, a pest control business, but Walt demurs, declaring, "It's perfect." The next day, the four watch the pest-control team as it tents an infested home. Walt explains his plan: If they cook inside houses undergoing fumigation, no one will bother them or question strange smells. They can hide in plain sight. Saul says the pest crew, run by a man named Ira, runs a burglary operation on the side and knows how to keep secrets. Mike suggests a vote. "Why?" asks Walt: he's already convinced, and so is Jesse ("Hazard Pay").
Later, tending to his errand, Mike visits the DEA offices with Saul. Saul tells Hank and Gomez that their ongoing surveillance of Mike is tantamount to stalking, and that he's filed for a Temporary Restraining Order with a sympathetic judge. Afterward, Saul tells Mike that the TRO won't hold up long, and Hank will be back on his tail with a vengeance within twenty-four hours. "It's enough," Mike says ("Buyout"). Even after Saul's efforts, Mike is eventually caught by the DEA and is on the run. In his office, Saul worries that Mike will flip if captured. "He won't flip," Jesse insists, but Walt worries that one of his nine men will. Mike then calls, asking Saul to fetch his go-bag. With the police watching Saul's movements, and Jesse out of the business, Walt volunteers to retrieve it ("Say My Name"). Later, Jesse admits that Saul told him that Walt "took care" of Mike's men in prison ("Gliding Over All").
Jesse later visits Saul's office with the two bags of $5 million in cash - his pay for selling his share of the methylamine - given to him by Walt. Jesse, horrified by the "blood money," wants Saul to give the half the money to Kaylee Ehrmantraut (he fears the worst about Mike and wants his granddaughter to be looked after) and the other half to the parents of Drew Sharp, the young boy who was killed as a result of their methylamine train heist. Saul is quick to point out the flaws of this plan - how it will merely raise more questions - and Jesse leaves his office. Saul then calls Walt to inform him of the situation, and after a conversation with Walt, Jesse is saddened and guilt-ridden but nonetheless comes to terms with Saul's reasoning. Desperate to get rid of the money, he resorts to throwing stacks of money into peoples' yards as he drives by ("Blood Money").
When Hank discovers that Walt was Heisenberg the entire time, Walt goes to Saul's office so they can discuss what to do with this problem. Saul later suggests that Walt send Hank on "a trip to Belize" like he did with Mike. Walt refuses and angrily rebukes Saul for even thinking of that. Saul has Huell and Kuby collect Walt's money from the storage bin, and Walt gives Saul a cut of the earnings, and a little extra that's meant for Walt as "insurance" in case Walt needs Saul later on. ("Buried"). Saul later bails Jesse out after Jesse gets arrested for throwing money out of his car window, and scolds him for not calling him sooner. He calls Walt, which leads to the three of them meeting in the desert, where Walt convinces Jesse to leave New Mexico, using the disappearer Saul mentioned to Walt earlier. While making the final preparations for Jesse's leave, Saul scolds him for smoking weed, and orders him to give him the rest of the drugs. When Jesse refuses, Saul has Huell pickpocket it from Jesse. Later, when Jesse discovers it missing, he realizes that Huell must have pickpocketed it from him, and realizes that Huell pickpocketed the ricin cigarette from him too. Walt is the one behind Brock being poisoned, and Saul helped him. Jesse returns to Saul's office, and brutally assaults him. Saul tries to grab a gun from his desk drawer, but Jesse grabs it first and points it at him, accusing him of having had Huell steal the ricin cigarette from him, and helped poison Brock. Saul admits that he helped, but tells Jesse that Walt didn't tell him of his motives, and that he wouldn't have done it if he knew what Walt was going to do. Jesse leaves, and Saul calls Walt to warn him ("Confessions").
That evening, Saul and Kuby meet Walt in the parking lot of the hotel the White family are staying at to discuss their next move. Kuby says that he's doing everything he can to find Jesse. Saul suggests Walt 'put Jesse out to pasture' but Walt rules this out immediately, telling Saul to never hand out this idea again ("Rabid Dog"). The next day, Saul meets Walt at the car wash. He's concerned that Huell has gone missing and is wearing a bullet-proof vest. Walt assures him that Jesse is not on a killing spree and everything is going to be fine ("To'hajiilee").
Several days later, after Heisenberg's real identity is finally exposed and Walt is on the run as one of the most wanted criminals in the country, Saul avails himself of the disappearer's services, knowing that the DEA will hunt down all of Walt's associates as well, especially if they can't get Walt himself. The disappearer, a man named Ed, starts the process of setting him up with a new identity in Nebraska, to Saul's obvious displeasure. Until he can be safely moved, he has to hole-up in the basement of the extractor's shop. To Saul's surprise, he shares the basement with Walt, who is also waiting to be extracted out of New Mexico. Walt tries to convince Saul that they need to stick together so they can plot their revenge on the the people that killed Hank, but Saul refuses, trying to explain that he is no longer a lawyer, only another civilian trying to make a living. He does offer Walt one last bit of legal advice, to turn himself in in order to save his wife from prosecution. However, Walt refuses. Walt even tries to intimidate Saul, but erupts into a severe coughing fit due to the cancer. "It's over," Saul says, and he sets off to Nebraska to start his new life ("Granite State").
After Breaking Bad
Assuming a new identity as "Gene," Saul Goodman is seen working behind the counter at a shopping-mall Cinnabon located in Omaha, Nebraska. He becomes tense when a customer seems to be staring at him, but is instantly relieved when the man passes by him to greet a friend. Later, inside an old, modest home, Saul pours himself a glass of liquor and watches TV, flipping through channels. He then rummages around for a VHS tape inside a shoebox and pops it in the VCR. The tape's contents are revealed to be a copy of his TV advertisements back in the days when Saul was still an esteemed lawyer. As the ads play, Saul begins to weep, heartbroken at the knowledge that he can never be a lawyer again and the reminder of the man he used to be. ("Uno")
At the end of another work day, Saul and his co-workers are cleaning and locking up for the night. He tells them to get home safe while he takes out the garbage. In the garbage room, the door (only being able to open from the outside) shuts, locking Saul in the room while he throws the garbage in the dumpster. Saul yells and calls out for anyone for several minutes until he decides to use the emergency exit. However, opening the door would trigger the alarm and the police would show up. Still paranoid, Saul decides not to open the door and resumes kicking and yelling for someone to open the door. After several attempts, Saul sits against the wall and finds a rusty nail. A couple hours later, the custodian (who is also taking out garbage) finally opens the door and Saul walks out right past him. On the wall, it has "S.G. was here" carved in the wall by Saul. ("Switch")
Another day at the mall: Saul is taking his lunch break on the second floor, away from the hustle and bustle, when a young man passes by him and proceeds to duck into a photo booth. As he does so, Saul notices a couple of DVD cases falling from the boy's coat and immediately realizes the kid has been shoplifting. When a security guard and police officer show up hot on the boy's heels, they immediately ask "Gene" if he has seen the accused, Saul can only nod wordlessly in the direction of the photo booth. Watching helplessly as the shoplifter is pulled out and cuffed, Saul's old instincts flare up, and he suddenly shouts at the boy to say nothing and hire a lawyer. Realizing he has just acted out of character for a simple fast-food manager, Saul manages to make it back to the Cinnabon and begins prepping more food before the shock overwhelms him and he passes out in a dead faint. ("Mabel")
Personality and traits
- "Better safe than sorry. That's my motto."
- ―Saul Goodman
Dressed in flashy suits, Saul maintains extensive connections within the criminal underworld, and serves as a go-between connecting drug distributors, evidence removers, impersonators, and other criminals-for-hire. Despite his flamboyant appearance and mannerisms — punctuated by his outrageous low-budget TV commercials — Saul is a highly competent lawyer who is able to solve problems and find loopholes in order to protect his clients. He is also not without integrity as he is shown to honor the ethical concerns of his profession, particularly the attorney–client privilege, and is reluctant to be associated with violence or murder unless absolute necessary. He has served as an adviser for Walter, Jesse, Gus, Mike, and even for Skyler, whom he also helped acquire a car wash in order to launder Walter's drug money.
With a repertoire that includes small-time drug busts, fraudulent insurance claims, and fat people class actions, Saul is easily found in the Albuquerque yellow pages. With a sleazy manner that is sometimes bordering on comical, he might seem disreputable to police and certain other lawyers. Despite his fantastically shady appearance, Saul is indeed a highly competent extra-legal operator, adept at sniffing out legal loopholes and able to negotiate cherry deals on the behalf of his clients. Many, especially those in law enforcement, are presumably unhappy with him, but for most he is a savior (who takes cash up front). His slick legal savvy keeps him on the right sight of the law, but he has been known to dabble in the criminal arts. He also employs the services of a veteran private investigator named Mike, who respects Saul for just what he is and executes often illegal commands from Saul and Gus, such as cleaning up crime scenes and bugging homes.
Saul doesn't have much of a moral compass, however; even murder doesn't faze him unless it somehow endangers his interests, and he's always happy to put one client's interests above those of another, for the right price. However, Saul's ethical limits are glimpsed when he tried to cut ties with Walt after learning that he had been used to send a young boy to the hospital.
Saul's made-up name is a play on words to better attract clients, "it's all good man" becomes "Saul Goodman". Drives a white Cadillac with a license plate that reads, "LWYR UP," referring to the expression "lawyer up", used to describe the act of delegating one's representation in legal matters to an attorney.
After receiving his new identity, he kept his old ads in a VHS well hidden to prevent people from discovering his identity.
- Three Kids who pretended to have sex with a severed head.
- Robert Williams
- Mr. Globis
- Mr. Pearson
- Mr. Berger
- Mr. Edison
- Desmond Rojas
- Nacho Varga
- Mrs. Strauss
- Irene Landry
- Daniel Wormald
- Spooge †
- Carl Bakins
- Emilio Koyama †
- Walter White †
- Skyler White
- Jesse Pinkman
- Vamonos Pest
- "Hi, I'm Saul Goodman. Did you know that you have rights? The constitution says you do! And so do I."
- ―Saul speaking in one of his TV commercials.
- "My real name's McGill. The Jew thing I just do for the homeboys. They all want a pipe-hitting member of the tribe, so to speak."
- ―Saul explaining his real name to Walt.
- "I caught my second wife screwing my stepdad. OK? It's a cruel world, Walt. Grow up."
- ―Saul talking to Walt.
- "Seriously, when the going gets tough, you don't want a criminal lawyer... You want a criminal lawyer.""
- ―Jesse explaining Saul to Walt.
- Walter: "I don't understand. What exactly are you offering to do for me?"
- Saul: "What did Tom Hagen do for Vito Corleone?"
- Walter: "I'm no Vito Corleone."
- Saul: "No shit! Right now you're Fredo. But, y'know, with some sound advice and proper introductions, who knows? I'll tell you one thing: you've got the right product. Anything that gets the DEA's panties in this big a bunch, you're onto something special. And I would like to be a small and silent part of it. Food for thought, yeah? So if you want to make more money and keep the money that you make, better call Saul!"
- ―The beginning of Walter and Saul's partnership.[src]
- "Look, let's start with some tough love, alright? Ready for this? Here it goes: you two suck at peddling meth. Period."
- ―Saul explaining the situation to Walt and Jesse.
- Jesse: "What in the hell just happened? You're MY lawyer, not his!"
- Saul: "It's the way of the world, kid. Go with the winner."
- ―Saul explaining his worldview to Jesse.[src]
- "Actually, it's getting arrested that makes people look guilty, even the innocent ones, and innocent people get arrested every day. And they find themselves in a little room with a detective who acts like he's their best friend. 'Talk to me,' he says. Uh, 'help me clear this thing up. You don't need a lawyer, only guilty people need lawyers.' And boom! Hey, that's when it all goes south. That's when you want someone in your corner, someone who will fight tooth and nail. Lawyers, you know, we're like health insurance. You hope you never need it. But, man, oh, man, not having it, no."
- ―Jimmy during his pitch to the Kettlemans
- "No, not on your abuelita. Not on you! There's a woman named Betsy Kettleman. I mentioned her. She's married to Craig Kettleman — he's the treasurer of Bernalillo County. He stole $1.5 million from the county; he's going to be indicted any day now. This is a good case for me, a lot of publicity. I'll get my name out. Anyway, I thought if I had these two run their skateboard hustle on Mrs. Kettleman, I could rescue her, come in and throw some oil on troubled waters, and I'd get their business. That was the plan, but it turns out your lovely abuelita, she drives a car that's a whole lot like the Kettlemobile. So these two geniuses ran their little stunt on the wrong one. So joke's on me… ha! Simple as that."
- ―Jimmy attempting to reason with Tuco.
- "I'm not starting over! I'm busting my nut here every day for $700 a throw, inhaling your BM, which is straight from Satan's bunghole, and you can't tell one defendant from another? 90 days with good behavior, we're doing this! Yeah, okay?"
- ―Jimmy arguing with the assistand D.A.
- "Hey, if somebody warned the Kettlemans, it was probably somebody who was worried about those kids. You know how much trouble you caused me? You didn't need any help getting caught, okay? The neighbor IDed you. You were sloppy. Any trouble you might have: that's on you. Not to mention the blood in your van. Here's a thought: Ajax! Formula 409! You have no idea the tap-dance I had to give those cops to get you out of here. You gave them probable cause out the wazoo. Now, and whoever the somebody is who may have warned the Kettlemans, got them out of there before you did anything even more stupid. You should be thanking this good Samaritan. Because whoever he is, he did you a favor."
- ―Jimmy chastising Nacho over his attempt to abduct the Kettlemans
- "Hey, you know what? I hope you do make a fortune, 'cause Chandler's gonna need it to help pay for his therapy!"
- ―Jimmy to Roland Jaycocks over "Tony the Toilet Buddy"
- "You want a good turn? Here's your good turn, okay? I'm gonna behave like an honest-to-God, law-abiding, licensed attorney, 'cause, clearly, you need one with whatever the hell is going on here. Now, those two jokers out in the hallway? I'm gonna make sure they dot their i's and cross their t's - everything square and above board. That's what I'm gonna do, and you're gonna be happy as hell that I'm here. But this little Juan Valdez bump-and-dump? No. Not gonna happen."
- ―Jimmy to Mike about his plan to acquire Detective Abbasi's police notes
- "I - I can see how upset you are, and, even on a good day, you and logic are: [whistles]. But think about what you just said. Criminals have no recourse. And you two: you're criminals, big-time."
- ―Jimmy to the Kettlemans over their threat to have him arrested for theft
- "This is a demand letter informing Sandpiper Crossing of pending litigation for defrauding my clients through systematic overcharging. You're shredding in there! I'm not deaf! I can hear you! Stop right now! This here, this makes it official, right? If you don't stop shredding right now, that's destruction of evidence - spoliation! That's what it's called, and it's a felony! So call your lawyers right now and tell them I said that! Me! James McGill, Esquire!"
- ―Jimmy serving Sandpiper Crossing with a summons written on toilet paper
- "If you want us working together. You can make it happen easily. I mean, hey, that reception you got yesterday at HHM how about that, right? The whole lobby of HHM applauding for you. They love you! Now, you threaten to pull out, Hamlin would be insane to screw with you. You've got the nuclear option! Launch the doomsday device! Game over! If working with me is what you really want, RIGHT, Chuck? [a beat] YOU called him. You called Hamlin. I always turn my phone off before I put it in your mailbox. Two nights ago, it was left on. Battery drained. I was so damn sure that I turned it off, you know. Because I always do. It's a habit, right? So it was nagging me. It was nagging me. So I called the phone company. Turns out there was a deleted call at 2 a.m. when I was asleep right there. And you know whose number? Hamlin's. The only person who could have made that call and deleted it is you, Chuck. Boy, that phone, huh? Phone must have felt like a blowtorch in your ear. All that electricity. All those radio waves right up against the side of your head. My God. What was so important that you had to call Howard before our meeting? The only thing I can think The only thing that makes sense is you told him not to hire me. It was always you, right? Right back to when I passed the bar and tried to join the firm. You didn't want me. [a beat] Speak up! Tell me why! It's the least you can do for me now. I'm your brother! We're supposed to look out for each other!"
- ―Jimmy confronting Chuck
- "Now, Chet was connected, see? Like, uh, Cicero connected. So, usually, I'd be looking at malicious mischief, public intoxication, disorderly conduct, maybe, but he's got the D.A. saying indecent exposure, calling me a sex offender. What? One little Chicago sunroof, and suddenly I'm Charles Manson?!? And that's where it all went off the rails. I've been paying for it ever since. That's why I'm here! I don't You know what? Any of this stuff you want, come get it. Kitty-cat notebooks for everybody!"
- ―Jimmy ranting at the bingo game
- " Look, um, I'm a lawyer, and this is what I do all day, every day, so h-how about this? I-I won't fly jet planes; you, uh, stay out of court. Does that sound good?"
- ―Jimmy, confronted by Air Force Captain Bauer over his TV commercial
- "You pulled that heartstrings con job on me??? You piece of shit! [IMITATING CHUCK] "Oh, my brain used to work. "I'm sick. I don't know what to do." [IN NORMAL VOICE] Asshole! No wonder Rebecca left you. What took her so long? There it is! Here we go. Here we go. Here we go. [He rips open the drawer, grabs the tape and breaks it in half] Is this it? Is this it? Is this it? Huh? For this, you destroyed our family? You happy now? For what? For nothing! Is that all there is, Chuck? It's all the all there is? Or did you make copies? Huh, Chuck? Huh? You tell me, or I'll burn this whole goddamn house to the ground!"
- ―Jimmy confronting Chuck over the cassette tape
- "Here's what's gonna happen. One day, you're gonna get sick again. One of your employees is gonna find you curled up in that space blanket, take you to the hospital, hook you up to those machines that beep and whir and hurt. And this time, it'll be too much. And you will die there. Alone."
- ―Jimmy condemning his brother
- " I fucked up. Chuck bamboozled me again. That tape? He made sure that Ernie heard it, right? Because he knew Ernie, bless him, would tell me about it and I would come over to try to destroy it or steal it or whatever. Howard was there, and a P.I., if you can believe that, just waiting for me to lose my shit and bust in. Chuck played me like a fiddle! And schmuck that I am, I fell for it! Moron. [Breathes sharply] I'm sorry. And then, I didn't call you, which is stupid, and I'm sorry about that, too. But I didn't call you for a reason, okay? 'Cause this is my screw-up. I own it, okay? It's my responsibility to fix it. And I know you want to help. Of course you do, 'cause you're wonderful. But y-you're up to your ears in Mesa Verde. And I can't, I won't load this onto you, too. We have worked too hard to let Chuck's bullshit vendetta threaten everything that we're building! I won't allow him to endanger our business! No! I will fix this. Myself. Me. Jimmy McGill. Okay? You have gotta let me do this on my own."
- ―Jimmy to Kim about the cassette tape incident
- "It comes down to this In order to understand what I was thinking, you need to see Chuck through my eyes. You need to know if I believed that tape was evidence. And I say it was evidence of only one thing: My brother hates me. Now, he claims that he lied to me to get me to tell the truth. And I'm telling you: I lied to my brother to make him feel better."
- ―Jimmy at his bar hearing examining Chuck's testimony
- A real telephone number, (505) 503-4455 based in Albuquerque, New Mexico was created for Saul's law firm and when called it consists of Saul on an automated switchboard system with various options. It is made clear on the Better Call Saul website (www.bettercallsaul.com) and on the Breaking Bad Facebook page that this telephone number is a long distance telephone call and not toll-free.
- Saul Goodman is also the name of one of the main characters in The Illuminatus! Trilogy. He is a police detective in this novel trilogy.
- In Better Call Saul, Saul is the only character to meet all main characters. He is also the only one to side the characters on both sides of the law: law enforcements and criminals. Gustavo Fring met Saul Goodman at the Los Pollos Hermanos restaurant in the episode "Witness".
- Saul Goodman's name, as well as his role as a problem fixing lawyer, is a play on the phrase "It's all good, man", pronounced in the vernacular "S'all good, man". This is reinforced in the Better Call Saul episode "Hero", in which he introduces himself as Saul (including the play on words) during the flashback in which he and Marco Pasternak scam an out-of-town partygoer in Cicero. He first use his alias in a TV commercial on the episode "Off Brand", after he got suspended as a lawyer for a year.
- Saul Goodman is the only main character to survive the show that wasn't in the first season.
- In the episode "Uno", Jimmy relates the tale of 'Slippin' Jimmy' to two would-be crooks. Illinois, McGill's reputed birthplace, is in fact Bob Odenkirk's actual birthplace, although they were not born in the same city, but the same state.
- In the episode "Nacho", it is revealed through a flashback that he was arrested and imprisoned once with the charge of assault, property damage, and the risk of being labelled as a sex offender. He seeks help from his older brother Chuck, who as a lawyer agree to help him.
- In the episode "Amarillo", Jimmy and Kim watch the movie "Ice Station Zebra" together. In Breaking Bad, Ice Station Zebra Associates is the name of Saul's company through which he receives his payments.
- The nursing home where Jimmy hosted his bingo games is the same nursing home where Hector ends up in Breaking Bad.
- In the episode "Marco", he receives the pinky ring he still wears in Breaking Bad from Marco's mother.
- Saul's vehicles include: