- "Hey, I just talked you down from a death sentence to a six months' probation. I'm the best lawyer ever."
- ―Jimmy McGill after being accused of being the worst lawyer ever.
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. 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 Mrs. McGill and Charles McGill, Sr in the small city of Cicero, Illinois. He has an older brother, Chuck McGill, who graduated in 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 stole money from him while he worked there eventually leading to the bankruptcy of the store. Three months later, Jimmy's father died and according to Chuck nobody cried harder than Jimmy at the funeral.
Since he was a teenager, Jimmy used to play scams to get quick money, which granted him the nickname "Slippin' Jimmy" for those who were close to him. 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, Slippin' Jimmy (using the alias "Saul Goodman") works with his closest friend Marco Pasternak to trick others into trading cash for fake Rolex watches ("Hero"). Jimmy was married at one point, but his wife cheated on him and they got divorced. One day, Slippin' Jimmy decided to perform a "Chicago Sunroof" (defecating through the sunroof of a car) on the car of his ex-wife's lover, but he didn't realize that the man's children were on the backseat of the car and Jimmy was caught by the police.
Slippin' Jimmy is arrested, facing charges of property damage and assault and consequences including potentially being labeled a sex offender. Chuck travels from Albuquerque back to their hometown to visit Jimmy on Jimmy's requests through their mother. Jimmy pleads for Chuck to use his magic and make the charges disappear with the help of legal loopholes. Although originally reluctant, Chuck agrees to help after Jimmy says that if he does not get out of his situation his life is over. Chuck warns Jimmy not to make a fool of him if he gets back out and Jimmy vows to change and do anything for Chuck ("Nacho"). After saying farewell to Marco, Jimmy moves to Albuquerque on his brother's requests to be with him and make a living through legitimate ways, initially working in the mail room at Hamlin, Hamlin & McGill. The only time Jimmy returned to his hometown again was for his mother's funeral about seven years after he moved to Albuquerque ("Marco"). Jimmy eventually earns his law degree online from the University of American Samoa, but because of this, Chuck does not view Jimmy as a real lawyer. Frustrated that his younger brother earned a law degree so easily while he had to work hard his entire life to be where he is, Chuck secretly prevents Jimmy from becoming a partner at Hamlin, Hamlin & McGill ("Pimento").
Better Call Saul
Six years prior to the events of Breaking Bad, James "Jimmy" McGill is a small-time lawyer who is constantly looking to make a quick buck. Taking on difficult court cases and accepting clearly guilty clients, Jimmy finds himself at a loss in the law business. His mentally unstable brother Chuck puts a bigger burden on him by being a part of Hamlin, Hamlin & McGill, a highly successful law company of which Chuck no longer has a working position at due to his condition, which is now run by Howard Hamlin, a clear rival to James. James is trying to coerce Chuck to "Cash-out" of the company at an estimated $17 Million Dollar investment, of which Chuck has no interest. Strapped for cash and desperate to find a way out, James turns to a life of shady clients and illicit contacts that would eventually turn him into the Saul Goodman he is known for during the events of Breaking Bad.
When the series begins, Saul, who still goes by his birth name James McGill, is already a lawyer, only a lot less successful. He sleeps in his office, which is located in the back of a nail salon. He mostly works for the court as a court-appointed lawyer for $700 a case and his struggling with debt.
He takes care of his older brother Chuck who refuses to go outside, due to his self diagnosed Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity, a disease whose actual existence is unproven in reality.
While working in court he meets Mike Ehrmantraut who works there as a parking attendant.
Jimmy eventually decides to go into elder law and help old people. When he visits 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. 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 handily, 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 leave, angrily refusing to take the deal. After seeing Kim who urges him to accept, he goes to confront his brother, after realising that something was wrong with his phone.
At his house, Chuck confesses to be the one behind the fact that he was never hired at HHM, not Howard. He tell Jimmy that he never considered him a real lawyer. Heartbroken, Jimmy leaves the house after telling Chuck that he will not provide for him anymore. 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 suffer a nervous breakdown, while recollecting the time he take revenge to a man who owed him money and slept with his wife (the Chicago sunroof).
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 give him his ring as he was his best friend. He then receive a phone call from Kim telling him that a big Santa Fe law firm, Davis and Main want to hire him, as they're tking over the Sandpiper case.
Jimmy goes to the meeting but decline the position, and talk to Mike at his booth, wondering why they gave the Kettleman money back earlier. As Mike state that his was hired to do a job and simply did it, Jimmy declares that he knows what stops him but swear that "it's never stopping me again." He then leaves, humming the song "Smoke on the water" that Marco used to sing during their time together.
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. "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 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").
As a result of the Wayfarer Flight 515 aerial disaster, Saul began organizing a class-action lawsuit for victims of the crash. At one point, Saul says, "Victim's 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 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 has not been 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 first deal, 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 payment 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 result of their actions previously. Saul takes pictures of Jesse's state and jokes that Walt is now the "pretty one." Jesse plans to ruin Hank's life and maybe even give up Heisenberg's identity if he gets caught cooking again. Out of the 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 wouldn't make any sense. "Walt's a scientist," Saul replies, "scientists love lasers." They later drive to a car wash where Walt used to work before. Skyler comments that Walt has history with the proprietor of 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, it will be difficult to buy the car wash ("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 he is planning on killing them. They plan to get Jesse arrested, but Mike finds out about the plan and intervenes on Gus' orders, this plan is not going to happen ("Half Measures").
Jesse eventually attacks the dealers against Gus' orders and Walt saves Jesse's life 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; then he 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 surrounded by the suds from 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. Bogdan must replace his entire wastewater treatment system, and the state requires he cease operations until it's back up to code, the inspector-type says. 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 a kitchen island ("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. 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. 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 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 ("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 and hold it up to his arm. 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").
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.
- Robert Williams
- Mr. Globis
- Mr. Pearson
- Mr. Berger
- Mr. Edison
- Desmond Rojas
- Mrs. Strauss
- Irene Landry
- Daniel Warmolt
- Carl Bakins
- Emilio Koyama
- Walter White
- Skyler White
- Jesse Pinkman
- Vamonos Pest
- Mike Ehrmantraut
- "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
- "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]
- "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.
- 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 a book trilogy called 'Illuminatus!'. He is a police detective in this book trilogy.
- Marie Schrader, Gus Fring & Lydia Rodarte-Quayle are the only main characters who never met Saul Goodman.
- Saul Goodman's name, as well as his role as a problem fixing lawyer, might be play on the phrase "It's all good, man", pronounced in the vernacular "S'all good, man".
- 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 wich 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.
- This might be a mere coincidence, but the 5th track on the 1998 album, Infinity by Devin Townsend is called "Soul Driven Cadillac". Incidentally, Saul drives a Cadillac.
- Saul's vehicles include:
| Main: Walter White • Jesse Pinkman • Skyler White • Walter White Jr. • Hank Schrader • Marie Schrader • Saul Goodman • Gustavo Fring • Mike Ehrmantraut • Lydia Rodarte-Quayle • Todd Alquist
Supporting: Steven Gomez • Brandon "Badger" Mayhew • Skinny Pete • Christian "Combo" Ortega • Tuco Salamanca • Hector "Tio" Salamanca • The Cousins • Jane Margolis • Ted Beneke • Victor • Gale Boetticher • Jack Welker