Jimmy McGill’s top 5 moments from Better Call Saul’s first season

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The top five pivotal moments for Jimmy McGill during the first season of Better Call Saul.


Better Call Saul has introduced fans to Saul Goodman’s predecessor, Jimmy McGill. We know that McGill eventually has Goodman overtake his identity in full force. Here are the top five moments from the first season of Better Call Saul that encouraged the transition from McGill to Goodman.

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1. Tuco Salamanca on “Uno”

Tuco Salamanca delighted both Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul fans with his appearance on the premiere. Jimmy had accidentally gotten caught up with the drug cartel king after he tried to hustle his abuelita.

Things escalated and Jimmy was forced to cool down Tuco in the middle of the Albuquerque desert. The hot-head was ready to kill off both of McGill’s accomplices for what they had done.

After intense interrogation, Jimmy was walking away with his life when he realized he could not leave the Lindholm twins to be killed. The raging Tuco was not enough to scare off the rookie lawyer. He struck a deal with Salamanca, two broken legs as repentance instead of paying the ultimate price.

Jimmy’s first major run-in with a criminal demonstrated just how crafty his is with negotiation. He was able to talk himself out of a tough spot and it had benefitted his partners in crime. We know how laid-back Goodman was while associating with dangerous individuals on Breaking Bad. The sand of this Albuquerque desert was a sort of proving ground for Jimmy McGill.

2. Cook County Jail on “Nacho”

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Jimmy McGill was not always a struggling attorney in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He made the move from Cicero, Illinois to the unforgiving heat of the Southwest, but why? Fans got the first taste of the reason behind migration during the opening scene of episode three.

Saul Goodman was on the other side of the law. He was in police custody and desperate for help. He petitioned his older brother to get him out of the interrogation room and back to freedom.

Chuck reminded his younger brother that there are consequences that come with pulling off a Chicago sunroof. He also told him he was in need of major life change. Slippin’ Jimmy was not going to survive if he continued down the same path. He definitely wouldn’t be getting any help from his older sibling.

The string of events is what triggered Jimmy to leave Chicago and make the move to Albuquerque. Jimmy began working at his older brother’s law firm, Hamlin, Hamlin and McGill, but never as an attorney.

He supplemented his day job in the mail room with harsh studying. He eventually obtained his law degree without Chuck’s knowledge but even this was not enough for him to earn a coveted spot at the law firm.

Jimmy McGill’s criminal past is present in his future as Saul Goodman. His future brings him an entirely different role in police interrogations, he’s the lawyer defending his clients. He would have never made it to this point without this crucial flashback.

3. Jimmy saving the billboard worker on “Hero”

The down on his luck lawyer took drastic measures to gain fame on episode four. In “Hero,” Jimmy tried to play the hero. His stunt in which he saved a man from falling off a billboard drew attention and business. Jimmy had set up the entire scheme and the man happily agreed to assist the crooked law practitioner.

The billboard stunt brought in client phone calls and seven voicemails! Jimmy began exploring his business leads on episode five and quickly found his niche in elder law. Somehow he passed on advancing the cause of Tony the Toilet Buddy.

The billboard caused more than business, however. Chuck was shocked by the actions of his younger brother. He knew Jimmy was trying to hide something once he realized Jimmy had not brought one specific newspaper. Chuck did some investigating which involved him stealing the neighbor’s newspaper. Chuck paid for his crime after he was tasered by the police that responded to the report of a missing newspaper.

This caused Chuck to have a brief stay in the hospital and Jimmy felt the guilt of his wrongdoings. It reflected how much Jimmy valued Chuck’s approval. He decided to set out on a straight path and keep pursuing elder law, without the help of any of his elaborate schemes.

This set Jimmy to stray away from his Goodman side a bit but also built up to a series of events that would push Jimmy to Goodman more than ever.

4. The Sandpiper Case on “RICO”

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Jimmy’s focus on elder law made him a master on crafting wills for his clients. He began marketing in retirement homes and slapping his face on Jell-O cups. He had been leaving one of his client’s residences after enjoying some Hydroxes when his suspicions got the best of him.

He asked his client, Mrs. Landry, to elaborate on why she had such a large amount on her invoice from Sandpiper Crossing Assisted Living. With a deeper look into her circumstances, Jimmy found that Sandpiper had been wrongly charging its clients.

Jimmy brought his findings back to Chuck and the two began heavy work on the case. They built a credible lawsuit. The case appeared to be so huge that it was something the brothers could not handle themselves.

Jimmy and Chuck put in hours to build a slam dunk case. For the first time on the series Jimmy and Chuck were partners on a case. Jimmy appeared to be Chuck’s equal, a legitimate practicing lawyer working with a promising case.

Chuck convinced his brother to pass off the case but with the way things played out, he would have to abandon it entirely. Jimmy later found out the truth as to why he was never included in Hamlin, Hamlin and McGill, aside from his role in the mail room. Chuck, not Howard, is what kept him from having an office at HHM.

5. Marco’s Death on “Marco”

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After Jimmy felt the shock of Chuck’s words he resigned his case and returned to his hometown. He reunited with his old friend, Marco, in a dimly-lit dive bar.

Jimmy went back to his Slippin’ Jimmy ways as the two old partners pulled off another scam on a bar patron. They enjoyed some Old Styles and had a wild week. One morning Jimmy woke up next to a woman that thought he was Kevin Costner. So…it was one of those kind of nights.

Jimmy checks his voicemails and realizes he had to hurry home to continue his work in elder law. Marco convinced him to have one last hoorah before his trip home.

The two attempted to pull off the Rolex scheme that fans saw on the beginning of episode four. Only this time Marco was not saying “butthole” to the tune of “Smoke on the Water.” He had suffered from a heart attack, leaving Jimmy to attend his funeral later on in the episode.

Although Jimmy had lost part of his past, he had a different part of it revive itself once he returned to Albuquerque. He strapped on Marco’s ring and told Mike Ehrmantraut during the last moments of the finale that there is nothing to hold him back now.

There’s no judgment from Chuck to contain Slippin’ Jimmy. He will develop into something even more notorious, Saul Goodman.

Better Call Saul will return for its second season in early of 2016.