Does Breaking Bad’s Saul Goodman have a partner working in the background? Is that partner Kim Wexler? Join us for a deep dive into this Better Call Saul theory.
One of the biggest mysteries of Better Call Saul is the eventual fate of Kim Wexler. Most fans believe that her and Jimmy will have a falling out, and this will usher in Jimmy’s permanent transformation into Saul Goodman. I once believed this as well, at least right up until Kim asked Jimmy to give her a dollar.
The moment, from this season’s episode Witness, set a light bulb off for me. What if that wasn’t just a cute little reference to Saul’s famous line? Maybe that was a clever hint, foreshadowing what is ahead for Kim’s future. That scene planted an idea, and after a bit of research, that idea has become a full-blown theory.
The Silent Partner Theory
This theory, goes that Kim Wexler is a behind-the-scenes silent partner to the Saul Goodman law firm before and during the events of Breaking Bad. Jimmy puts on his Saul persona to handle the clients, while Kim handles the business side from a safe distance.Kim Wexler (Rhea Seehorn) and Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk) in Episode 3 Photo by Ursula Coyote/Sony Pictures Television/AMC
Impossible you say? Let’s examine a few possible clues before you decide.
Ice Station Zebra Associates
What is it? Ice Station Zebra Associates is the name of Saul Goodman’s loan out. Anytime a client pays Saul they make the check out to this loan out. When Saul pays his clients they get a check from his loan out. We see him tell Badger to make the check out to ISZA, and we also see Saul hand a check to Skyler White from ISZA. The purpose of this loan out is likely to avoid taxes and launder dirty money.
What does this have to do with Kim though?
In the Better Call Saul episode Amarillo we see Jimmy and Kim watching a movie together. The name of that movie is Ice Station Zebra. Kim picked it because her Dad loves this movie. Later in the season, Kim runs a con on a business man at a bar. He writes her a check for $10,000 made out to ISZA
Now, why didn’t Vince Gilligan have Jimmy say that ISZ was his favorite movie? If he had everything would have made perfect sense. I believe the reason for this is because it gives Kim a connection to Breaking Bad. Skyler White once held a check from ISZA. If you’re Vince or a writer for this show and your plan is to have Kim break bad and join Saul, you would want to have a connection between Kim and Breaking Bad. ISZA was the only possible connection they could make due to how little we actually know about Saul’s personal life in Breaking Bad.Kim Wexler (Rhea Seehorn) and Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk) in Episode 7 Photo by Michele K. Short/Sony Pictures Television/AMC
How does Saul’s loan out get this name? It’s possible that maybe he and Kim split and he names it that because he misses Kim. I find that unlikely though. I don’t think Vince would shoot this scene so that two seasons later he could use this to show Jimmy missing Kim. That would fly right over most viewers heads.
I think we will see Jimmy and Kim form ISZA, and I feel like this will be Kim’s role in the operation. A loan out, especially a dirty one, takes constant maintenance to avoid scrutiny. This will take someone adept in business law, which just so happens to be Kim’s forte. She could handle this from her office while also handling her legit clients like Mesa Verde and no one would have a clue.
Great Cinematography or Symbolic Image?Kim Wexler (Rhea Seehorn) and Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk) in Episode 107 Photo by Ursula Coyote/AMC
Every Better Call Saul fan should remember this image. They used this shot in the very first episode, and several more times in the first two seasons. It was consistently staged the same way every time. Jimmy’s face was always seen in the light. Kim’s face was always hidden in shadows, but they are always side by side. If this theory turns out to be correct, I suspect Vince will confirm that this was our first clue and it was there from the first episode.
Kim’s Bad Behavior
It’s easy to get stuck on first impressions. The first impression we have of Kim is that she has a strong moral compass and is a stickler for the rules. Let’s have a little refresher on some of her bad behavior to get a clearer picture.
- Con #1 Jimmy initiates a con on the stock trader. Kim is reluctant until she see it’s working, then she orders the Zafiro Anejo at $50 a shot. She then sleeps with Jimmy after the con is successful.
- Con #2 Kim initiates this con herself on the businessman. She then calls Jimmy at Davis and Main to tell him she has a live one on the hook. Jimmy shows up to help close the deal. The businessman writes them a $10,000 check to Ice Station Zebra Associates. Once again she sleeps with Jimmy after the successful con.
- She hides the truth from Chuck when he accuses Jimmy of altering the Mesa Verde documents. She knows Chuck is telling the truth and she chose not to fess up and instead benefit by gaining Mesa Verde as her client.
- Kim calls every handyman in town so that she can cancel Chuck’s appointment. She did this so Jimmy could send in Mike under false pretenses. This is the type of illegal activity we can expect from the Saul Goodman Law firm.
- She stood in front of the bar association and helped Jimmy with his deceitful actions. If something would have gone wrong here it could have ruined her career.
- When she started feeling a bit of remorse for what they did to Chuck, Jimmy cheered her up by taking her to the bar so they could talk about how to hypothetically con different people in the bar.
Kim Wexler does have a strong moral compass, but it seems her loyalty to Jimmy is even stronger. Jimmy’s bad behavior should push her away, but it seems to have a funny way of drawing her in closer instead.Kim Wexler (Rhea Seehorn) and Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk) in Episode 5 Photo by Michele K. Short/Sony Pictures Television/AMC
Bits and Pieces
- A desk from Saul Goodman’s Breaking Bad office currently sits in Kim Wexler’s office. This was confirmed by Vince Gilligan.
- We see Kim wearing a Kansas City Royals shirt in one scene. Later we see Gene, post Breaking Bad with a Royals lunch cooler. Maybe this is a clue that Kim is with him. It’s just too far out to really get a grasp on what it means.
I suspect that if this theory is correct we will see Kim keep dipping her toes in the water until she finds that she is in over her head. If the theory is wrong then we should see them part ways soon. Regardless if Kim is involved or not, we should be seeing Saul Goodman’s lawyering in action before long, and it’s going to be fun to watch either way.