Welcome back to our weekly breakdown of the minutia of Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould’s Better Call Saul. While Alan Sepinwall provides his always excellent coverage of the series (here’s his write-up of the most recent episode), here we will look at some of the details viewers may have missed, callbacks to Breaking Bad, references to other shows or movies, and theories on the direction the series is heading. We scour Reddit threads, Twitter, listen each week to Kelley Dixon’s Better Call Saul Insider Podcast, and attempt to curate the best intel about each episode.
In this week’s episode, “Fall,” Jimmy scams Irene, and it’s probably time to worry about Kim Wexler.
Jimmy McGill’s Transition Into Saul
Last week, Bob Odenkirk pinpointed the exact difference between Jimmy McGill and Saul Goodman. It’s not about the clothes, the schemes, or even the name. He explained that “it’s the growth of the character to an awareness that people get hurt by his schemes and then not caring. A choice to be mercenary.”
In other words, it’s when Jimmy starts to realize that not only do his schemes hurt other people, but when he doesn’t care about the consequences.
That behavior is on full display this week in the way Jimmy treated Irene. He hatched a plan specifically designed to ensure that Irene would get her feelings hurt. He meticulously turned her friends against her knowing that exact outcome, and he showed no remorse for it. In fact, he celebrated with shots. That’s as Saul Goodman as we have ever seen Jimmy McGill. He made an evil choice “to be mercenary” to a senior citizen who trusted him.