Breaking Bad’s Walter White is smarter than Jimmy McGill on Better Call Saul

One thing that Better Call Saul‘s Jimmy McGill has that Walter White did not need on Breaking Bad.


Many fans loved Breaking Bad for Walter White’s outstanding intelligence. The series was based off his instantly famous meth recipe but running a drug ring is a dangerous game. We saw many characters die at the hand of Walter White.

He took down notorious drug lords, cartel leaders, and anyone else that got in his way. White had to meticulously plan each murder. Leaving a trail for authorities to sniff him out would’ve brought an end to his game.

The prequel Better Call Saul follows White’s shady lawyer, Saul Goodman. Taking place six years before Breaking Bad, the spin-off’s main character has a lot of ground to cover before he reaches his BB self. Jimmy McGill is a down on his luck Albuquerque lawyer scrounging up any work he can find.

Criminals don’t come knocking on Jimmy McGill’s strip mall office door to get themselves off the trail of the police. Jimmy McGill undertakes multiple marketing efforts to bring in customers. He slaps his face on some jello cups and hosts a bingo night at a retirement community.

Jimmy is finding his own success but he doesn’t rely on his intelligence as much as Walter White did throughout Breaking Bad. Instead McGill works his butt off. Daniel Walters with Inlander expands on this distinction between Walter White and Jimmy McGill.

“He works hard enough to pass the bar after three tries, and gets his celebration immediately doused by the law firm that hired his brother.

He rolls around in the garbage, writes legal letters on cardboard and toilet paper, tries to piece together shredded invoices to bring justice to the nursing home cheating his elderly clients. Yet, there’s a sense all this will collapse around him, showing Jimmy the straight and narrow is long, hard and full of dead ends. It can feel unfair, and you can already see Jimmy aching to rebel against unfair rules, to just start cheating.”

Jimmy McGill’s desire to do the right thing at this point on Better Call Saul is likely something that will not survive. Saul Goodman’s morality is shattered on Breaking Bad, he doesn’t think twice when committing a crime.

Eventually Jimmy’s sense of what is right will be significantly altered. As his ethical standards plunge he’ll see the money pour in with his high paying shady business. This will cause him to take on the life of Saul Goodman and never look back.

Keep tabs on the actions of Jimmy McGill and watch his story play out on the latest episodes of Better Call Saul. Episode nine will premiere on Monday, March 30th at 10 PM ET. Catch “Pimento” on AMC and check out the sneak peek before the big debut!

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