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Characters / Breaking Bad: Jimmy McGill / Saul Goodman

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Saul Goodman / James Morgan "Jimmy" McGill / "Gene Takóvic"

Portrayed By: Bob Odenkirk, Blake Bertrand (young, "Inflatable"), Cole Whitaker (young, "Lantern")

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    Saul Goodman
"Better call Saul!"

"If you're committed enough, you can make any story work. I once told a woman I was Kevin Costner, and it worked because I believed it."

Saul Goodman (real name James McGill) is Walt and Jesse's attorney. "You don't want a criminal lawyer... you want a criminal lawyer," Jesse explains to Walt early in their partnership. Such is Saul, who operates out of a strip mall office and runs late night TV ads advising potential clients they'd "Better Call Saul" when in trouble with the law.

  • Affably Evil: Sure, he might be involved in a massive drug operation that involves extortion, intimidation, money laundering, theft and even murder... but he's also a nice and jovial fellow who's hard to dislike, even if he is sleazy.
  • Anti-Villain: Despite mostly being an Amoral Attorney, his refusal to betray a client, which includes making sure to feed Mike false information to protect them as well as the standards mentioned, makes him qualify as a Noble Demon.
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Saul certainly isn't too proud to beg, as evidenced several times in both shows, such as when Walt and Jesse kidnap him and later when Mike threatens to beat him. After Jesse figures out that Walt poisoned Brock, he beats a confession out of Saul at gunpoint. The entire time, Saul is begging for mercy and trying to say that he didn't know what Walt was planning.
  • Ambulance Chaser: Oh, yes: on the surface, at least. But, his practice is also waaaay more complex than just using frivolous lawsuits and compensation claims as business streams, though. His image of simply being one of these is carefully cultivated, as he plays up his sleazy attorney persona to hide the fact that he's an intelligent, very savvy conman.
  • Amoral Attorney: As Jesse puts it, "Seriously, when the going gets tough, you don't want a criminal lawyernote . OK? You want a criminal lawyernote , know what I'm saying?" Played With: Saul may play fast and loose with the law, but he never betrays a client.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking:
    Saul: Is there a God? How could He let this happen? Who did this to me? Who can I sue?
  • Artistic License – Law: Invoked in-universe. Saul, who definitely knows better given his prior attempts to go straight before Chuck derailed him, will do things like put people at ease by claiming that attorney-client privilege prevents him from betraying his clients. This in real life is not true, since he's aiding and abetting an ongoing criminal enterprise. Ironically, his clients are safe from betrayal, not because of the meager legal protection of handing him a dollar as a "retainer" (and theatre), but because Saul actually is loyal to his clientele, and not just to his pocketbook.
  • Berserk Button: Don't even think about lighting up in his office.
  • Breakout Character: Is popular among fans for his humorous honesty and surprising amount of depth and loyalty, to the point that Vince Gilligan got him his own spin-off show. Thanks to that show, he's actually now appeared in more episodes of the show's world than Walt or Jesse.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Saul comes off like a sleazy, cheap, two-bit lawyer, but he's actually a sleazy, cheap, surprisingly competent one. His legitimate (not respectable) lawyer business has him deal with frivolous lawsuits and class-action suits, sure, but behind closed doors he's connected and savvy like no one's business. He's the one that basically allows Walt and Jesse take the first step into creating an actual drug empire instead of merely selling their product however they're able. When he first meets Skyler, Walt has to reassure her afterwards that Saul is a lot more competent than he seems to be.
  • Catchphrase: "Better call Saul!"
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: "I once told a woman I was Kevin Costner, and it worked because I believed it additionally ."
  • The Consigliere: Saul is more than just a lawyer. He acts as Walt and Jesse's advisor and handles all of their business arrangements. He even lampshades it:
    Saul: What did Tom Hagen do for Vito Corleone?
  • Deadly Euphemism: As of "Buried", he now refers to killing people as sending them to Belize. In "Rabid Dog", he even refers his suggestion to put down Jesse as "an Old Yeller type situation".
    Walt: You're full of colorful metaphors, aren't you, Saul?
  • Deadpan Snarker: If there's a sarcastic line said, there's a ninety-seven percent chance Saul is the one saying it.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Saul was unwilling to give up Walt and Jesse to Gus, only doing so when Mike threatened to break his legs. Even then, he feeds Mike a false location, protecting his clients. In late Season 4, he puts himself in harm's way and agrees to tip off the DEA to the threat on Hank's life. In the Season 5 premiere "Live Free or Die", he is upset when he finds out that his participation in Walt's schemes led to Brock being hospitalized. He's dealt with a lot of criminal clients and has done a lot of amoral things for them, but it seems he draws the line at children. In his final appearance in the series, he attempts to convince Walt to give himself up to the DEA because otherwise, they'll use Skyler as their scapegoat.
  • Fallen Hero: He used to be a public defender who scraped by, then got a job at Davis & Main, scraped by through advertising commercials and now is an ambulance chaser working out of a strip mall office.
  • Friend to All Children: Seems to like kids and gets along well with Brock.
  • Fate Worse than Death: It's rather clear that neither Slippin' Jimmy, James McGill nor Saul Goodman would ever have voluntarily chosen to live the highly regimented, routine life of Gene, manager of a random Cinnabon, Nowheresville Mall, Omaha unless there was no other option (and, even then, he's regretting it). The grayscale is the first hint; his hangdog expression when hitting the bottle the second.
  • Gilded Cage: With his law firm up in smoke, the extractor gives him a new identity as "Gene", manager of a Cinnabon in Omaha.
  • Hero of Another Story: And that story is now being told.
  • Honest Advisor:
    • Part of what makes him so effective as a lawyer is his willingness to tell hard truths.
      Saul: Look, let's start with some tough love, alright? Ready for this? Here it goes: you two suck at peddling meth. Period.
    • In "Granite State", he tells Walt that it's probably better for everyone if he doesn't disappear.
  • Honest John's Dealership: If CMOT Dibbler ever chose to go into law, he'd basically be Saul Goodman. From the frivolous injury claims taken up on behalf of those who really should know better to tide him over to helping a promising little meth business get off the ground so he can jump on the bonanza bandwagon... Saul is Dibbler all over. Including in his sense of what is appropriate advertising. He might mitigate the careers of crooks (and be very good at that), but Saul manages to not take a direct part in anything truly heinous himself — which just saves him from being the lawyer equivalent of the Friend in the Black Market. Just, though: he's very good at what he does and gives you value for (a lot of) money. He can hook you up with a guy who is that guy, though — and, may nudge you in that direction, off the record, like. For a percentage.
  • I Fight for the Strongest Side: After negotiations with Walt over how much of a cut he'll get from Walt's 3 million deal with Gus...
    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.
  • Ironic Name: Goodman. And it's not even his real name.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Saul may be a sleaze and a boor but he really does care about Jesse underneath his layers of sarcasm and greed. He also tries hard to get through to Walt and stop him from going too far, even though it usually falls on deaf ears. The prequel show establishes that he also has a soft spot for elderly clients and does not want kids involved in his business.
  • Karma Houdini: Saul is the one character in the series to make it out in the end with his life and not emotionally damaged from the events that happened. His big consequence is having to now live the life of a Cinnabon manager. Compared to the suffering of all the other characters, Saul makes it out good. Granted the Immediate Sequel opening in the premiere of Better Call Saul does show that he's grown justifiably paranoid.
  • Knows a Guy Who Knows a Guy: ... Who knows another guy.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: Knows when to beg and plead, knows when to seemingly give in and compromise (and often, how to without actually giving core ground), knows when to get out of Dodge. Admit it, you probably thought he'd be the most likely one to jump ship once it started sinking the moment you first saw him on screen. Although, he never turns out to do it in the way you'd might've expected, does our Saul, what with not being your common or garden rat.
  • Large Ham: His outfits' color choices say a lot about his personality.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: While he survives the series, his fame in New Mexico comes back to bite him in 'Granite State' due to having to pay extra for a new identity, even though Walt's technically the bigger target. This also means he can't practice law anywhere again, rendering his skills useless. A millionaire from assisting in Walt's drug empire, he expects to spend his remaining days destitute and anonymous.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: Along with being Walt's Lawyer and Consigliere, Saul also tends to serve as the guy Walt vents to about his operations. Walt is ironically more honest with Saul than he is with Jesse or with Skyler.
  • Lovable Coward: In the Season 3 finale, he insists he won't give Jesse's whereabouts to Mike and stands his ground... for about five seconds. Of course, there was never any question that Mike couldn't beat the information out of him eventually. Though, to his credit, the address he gave Mike was fake, protecting his clients.
  • Lovable Rogue: Oh, yes. He ticks all the boxes... especially the rascally ones. Good luck not liking him, though.
  • Mean Boss: For a lawyer, Saul is surprisingly fearless of sexual harassment charges, probably because Francesca is too wrapped up in his criminal schemes and reporting him to the cops would just lead to complicity charges against herself.
  • Meaningful Name: "S'all good, man."
  • Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: Saul never technically betrays Walt, but after Walt's cancer returns and he loses his intimidation factor, Saul is no longer scared into being loyal to him.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: Saul is not above this when it involves being put at risk of being arrested.
    • He casually mentions to Walt and Jesse that they should just have Badger killed when he's arrested.
    • When Jesse threatens to give up Heisenberg if he ever gets caught, Saul tells Walt that they might need to go over options.
    • He mentions if Walt has given any thought to sending Hank on a trip to Belize.
    • In "Rabid Dog", he recommends this for Jesse, describing it as "an Old Yeller type situation".
  • Noodle Incident: When he is initially kidnapped by Walt and Jesse he begins screaming something about "No! It was Ignacio! He's the one you want!" before realizing they aren't the guys he thought were after him. Ignacio and whatever he did were never referenced again in the series. Better Call Saul introduces the character Ignacio "Nacho" Varga in its second episode. Nacho is a common nickname for Ignacio. The Noodle Incident may find resolution in the prequel.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Saul treats even deadly situations with levity, and is generally out of the firing line when it comes to drug empire conflicts, so on the few moments when even he is fearing for his life, you know that the characters are in serious danger.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity:
    • His outrageously crooked lawyer persona belies his extreme intelligence. This is lampshaded in Season Five, where Walt finds that Saul wears a bulletproof vest under his flashy pink attorney shirt.
    • It's played up almost from the moment of his introduction — comments peppered throughout the series strongly suggest that the Bunny-Ears Lawyer aspect to his character is entirely a sham, to get people to underestimate him instantly. Notably, he's the biggest name in the cast never threatened with arrest.
  • An Offer You Can't Refuse: When Jesse's parents try to sell the house for 800k, Saul counter-offered for a mere 400k. They are disgusted and about to leave when Saul reminds them that he knows there used be a meth lab in the basement and they can either take his offer or he will encumber the property indefinitely. Jesse's parents cave only to find out who Saul's client is: Jesse himself.
  • Only Sane Man: A rare beast for this show: he's this played as straight as a die. It might sound zany, but whatever he suggests? Has common (if twisty and criminal) sense behind it. And keeps it after Walt's downfall, by ending contact with Walt once and for all.
  • Out of Focus: He appears less than ever before in season 5B, showing up in just two scenes in the last four episodes. Luckily, they more than made up for it with the spin-off.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: His disguise as "Gene" is nothing more than a hat, glasses and mustache. And on top of that, he looks a lot more like Walter White, the meth kingpin, because of this.
  • Pet the Dog: As corrupt as he is, in the penultimate episode, Saul attempts to convince Walt to face the music if only so Skyler doesn't get used as The Scapegoat. He also gladly helps Jesse deliver money to Andrea.
  • Phony Degree: His law degree is from "The University of American Samoa".
  • Plucky Comic Relief: Despite being a surprisingly skilled lawyer, pretty much every other word out of Saul's mouth is hilarious. Invoked by the writers. Vince Gilligan explained that part of the reason why Saul was introduced was because they knew the series would continue to get darker and they wanted to still have some levity.
  • Properly Paranoid: When things get tense at the send of Season 4 and midpoint of Season 5 he cracks down on security at his office and really wants Walt and Jesse out of his hair. Considering the shanking of Mike's lawyer in the "Gliding Over All" montage, this isn't a bad idea. Also in the very first scene of the premiere of Better Call Saul, he becomes paranoid of people recognizing him after being given a new identity and relocated to Nebraska. Given his minor celebrity status in New Mexico, this isn't that exactly unreasonable.
  • Punny Name: His name sounds like "[It]'s all good, man."
  • Put on a Bus: Literally, to Nebraska, as of "Granite State."
  • Sarcastic Devotee: Towards Walter.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: By "Granite State", Saul has finally had it with Heisenberg, and heads to Nebraska using his identity eraser guy. It's not clear if this was him having enough of Walt, and/or him wanting to avoid prosecution for his involvement with Walt's drug empire, since he's almost certainly facing charges of money laundering and criminal conspiracy.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: Escapes ABQ with the help of his coveted vacuum cleaner repairman before the series finale.
  • Shoot the Dog: Makes this suggestion a few times when he suggests doing it to Jesse, he even refers to it as an Old Yeller type situation.
  • The Social Expert: Saul is very good in tense, social situations where a glib tongue and people-reading skills are must-haves. Not his fault Walter's dramatic metamorphosis voided his original judgement of what he was capable of.
  • Tragic Keepsake: He wears a fake Rolex watch and ring that he got from his late friend Marco.
  • Vanity License Plate: LWYR UP
  • Villainous Breakdown: He goes through this in 5B. Jesse assaults him having after having found out about Brock, Huell goes missing, and Walter is exposed. Deciding it is too much of a risk, he opts out for a new identity in Nebraska.
  • You Have to Have Jews: Subverted; he's actually an Irish-American whose real name is James McGill, but he uses the name "Saul Goodman" professionally because he believes criminals will be more likely to hire a Jewish defense attorney.

    Jimmy McGill
"Thing you folks need to know about me? I got nothing to lose. Christ, you should see my office."

"I've been trying to be the person someone else wants me to be for... I don't know how long."

Before he became Saul, he was Jimmy McGill, a hardworking attorney struggling to make ends meet. He may not have a Cadillac or a degree from an Ivy League university, but Jimmy's buoyant optimism and quick wit make him a forceful champion for his downmarket clients. Jimmy's a legitimate lawyer, an underdog fighting to make a name for himself, but his moral compass and his ambition are often at war with each other.

  • Ambition Is Evil: Anything unsavory he does is motivated by a desire to better his lot. And it backfires on him spectacularly.
  • Amoral Attorney: Zig-zagged. Although we know that Jimmy will eventually become Saul Goodman, he starts out fairly gray. As a former con-man, he's not above using amoral tactics and outright breaking the law to further his career. However, he's often presented opportunities to do something underhanded, or to put his own needs ahead of his client's, but instead takes the high road. His motivation to break the law are sympathetic (stopping the elders from being scammed, avoiding a stupid crook way over his head to get killed by the cartel or do jail time and gaining fame so he can reach his clientele instead of going bankrupt) but they should have gotten him reprimanded and outright disbarred after a point.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis:
    • Uses a single detail about the crime to deduce the Kettlemans are behind their own kidnapping. The detail? The daughter's beloved doll is missing.
    • A single word gets his major scam-detector jangling when he visits the nursing home: "allowance". Awesomeness ensues as he follows the rest of the trail like a bloodhound.
    • He can guess someone is a drug dealer and has thousand hidden in his socks just by looking at him.
  • Anti-Hero: An Unscrupulous Hero for the time being, he's a tad self-centered and fails to completely shake off the sleaze, but also true to himself and a likable enough fellow with usually good intentions and an asset to elder law. Even Chuck admits that for all of Jimmy's flaws he means well. Seems to be heading into Nominal territory with his insistence on going after Chuck when he's still down through his con on the insurance lady.
  • Anti-Villain: Has shades of Noble Demon with a Well-Intentioned Extremist side dish, has lines he wont cross such as scamming the elderly - although even then he scammed the elderly in Season 3- and has a few morality pets to watch over such as Kim Wexler. To say his Mesa Verde scam to 'help' Kim was extreme would be like saying tornados are more violent than normal wind.
  • Badass Boast: After talking down Tuco from executing the skateboarders, instead convincing him to break their legs instead:
    Lars: You're the worst lawyer ever!
Jimmy: Hey, I just talked you down from a death sentence to six months probation. I'm the best lawyer ever.
  • Badass Pacifist: What else can you call a Non-Action Guy that takes on Tuco with nothing but words and cunning alone? He doubles down when he bluntly calls out Nacho on his stupid strategic mistakes with the Kettlemans leading to him getting caught in response to the latter threatening to kill him for, "ratting on him".
  • Batman Gambit:
    • For all his sleaze and bastardly-ness, Jimmy is very good at pulling these off against everyone. He's not perfect in getting away totally Scott-free, but just how often he does mostly get away with it is telling, given the oddball, and downright dangerous, nature of the jams he finds himself in.
    • He pulls a savage counter-gambit on his brother in court, Jimmy hires Huell to secretly plant a cell phone battery in Chuck's pocket. He then secretly has Chuck dig his own grave when he has him describe his electromagnetic sensitivity in detail — claiming that his body will physically detect any electronic device — before revealing Chuck is carrying the battery, proving that all of Chuck's claims about his condition were either pathological lying or signs of mental illness. Chuck then goes into an enraged tirade against Jimmy in public, basically destroying any credibility as a witness.
  • Because I'm Good at It: Not vocalized, but by the end of Season 1, after having his good intentions and hard work dumped in the garbage, and spending a week working cons with his old buddy, Jimmy decides no, he's not going to play by the rules anymore, he's going to do what he loves doing and does best. In season 2, he tells Kim that he doesn't need to be a lawyer for doing what he likes. The points he listed are all things a con man can do.
  • Being Good Sucks: A lesson Jimmy learns. Over and over...
  • Benevolent Boss: Towards Omar in Season 2 as well as Francesca. A far cry from his Mean Boss harassment tendencies as Saul in Breaking Bad.
  • Berserk Button: Whenever shit happens to Kim, like getting put in doc review, or getting a client stolen from her by Chuck, it's gloves off for Jimmy.
    • In Season 4, feeling sorry for Chuck after his death or even acknowledging his big brother gradually becomes one for Jimmy, eventually leading to a blazing row with Kim.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Flies off the handle when he realizes Chuck's tape. His schemes can be downright vicious, especially when the person on the receiving end very much deserves it.
  • Big Brother Worship: At the start of the series he sees Chuck as the smartest man he knows and tries to clean up his act so he can be proud of him. The reveal that his brother repeatedly sabotaged his career as a lawyer and always resented Jimmy for being (in Chuck's eyes) the prodigal son is a devastating blow for Jimmy and the first step toward embracing his Saul Goodman persona.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Well, not a surprise if you've seen Breaking Bad, right? It's got a pretty significant twist, however: most of his incredibly, Saulishly bunny-ears traits as a lawyer started getting deliberately invoked, if not outright overblown to bouncy-castle levels (that juicer!), to try getting himself fired, as it turns out.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: As Slippin' Jimmy, despite having intelligence and planning skills rivaling those of his brother Chuck's, he engaged in lots of short term cons, doing just enough work to keep himself in beer and weed money, something he backslides into for a short while at the end of Season 1 and the beginning of Season 2.
    • It's Played With in his identity as Jimmy McGill, Esq. Jimmy will happily put hours of work and extensive planning into doing things his own way, but he still wants success to come quickly and inevitably stops trying to do things the right way in favor of seeking immediate gratification. More generally, whenever he's presented with a legitimate opportunity, his first impulse is to bend the rules and take shortcuts even though more patient, meticulous work would create fewer complications for himself. Essentially, Jimmy has plenty of short-term work ethic and can even keep a scam going for quite awhile if he enjoys it, but he lacks the sort of patience and perseverance needed to build a solid, dependable career. This is shown most clearly during the year after he is suspended by the bar and Kim is injured; Jimmy goes for the quick buck with his phone scam and keeps getting into trouble with criminals and the police, while Kim patiently builds a career that offers her job security and personal fulfillment.
  • Brutal Honesty: When dealing with Nacho. And, later on, with Howard.
  • Cain and Abel: Jimmy and Chuck's relationship and rivalry is an underlying the theme for the entire series. It's up to you to figure out which brother is which. It's arguably a Deconstructed Trope given the emphasis on how psychologically damaged this rivalry leaves both McGill brothers, as well as the way both "Cain" and Abel" sink to similar depths over the course of the show.
  • The Cassandra: In regards to the Kettlemans faking their own kidnapping.
  • Catchphrase: "Let's get down to brass tacks here."
  • The Charmer: Toward elderlies, in particular. Sure, it's predominantly to sell his service; but, he is really nice to them and they are clearly glad to see him. That he genuinely cares more than most comes across about as loud as his Lovable Rogue-ness does. This gets horrifically deconstructed when he's able to charm the elderlies into turning against Irene so as to pressure her into settling the Sandpiper case early, speeding up Jimmy's pay day.
    Jimmy: FYI, old people love me.
  • Chronic Villainy: An Invoked Trope. Chuck sees Jimmy as an addict who just can't stop conning people or looking for a quick score. He is right as Jimmy believes he can play loose with the law to get results and doesn't seem to see the problem.
  • Character Development: He genuinely wanted to reform but after too many heartbreaks he realized he wanted to reform for other people's sake, first Chuck then Kim, but being a crook is one of the few things he truly enjoys. There are many situations in the early episodes where Jimmy could have taken shortcuts to get rich fast but wanted to do the moral thing instead, in later episodes he forced his Benevolent Boss to fire him with his bonus by being a pain in the ass and threaten to ruin a military man's career over a commercial.
  • Character Tics: Will often put his hands out and move them up and down when trying to make a point.
  • Con Man: Slippin' Jimmy is a scam artist turned lawyer. Even in a legit line of work, he keeps a short con mentality, using his great people skills and his capacity to bend the truth for his own benefit.
  • Consummate Liar: He is a natural at grade-A bullshitting.
  • Contrasting Sequel Main Character: Of Walter White.
    • Jimmy and Walt have both wasted potential due to silly choices they made in life. A big difference is that while Walt builds his criminal empire through pride and self-delusion that he has it under control, Jimmy builds his career by embracing the truth, and the truth is that no matter how hard he tries to do otherwise, at heart he always will be Slippin' Jimmy.
    • It goes deeper. Where Walt would try to use moral excuses to justify his amoral actions, Jimmy tries to convince himself his moral actions are being done only for the sake of himself.
    • Walt was an ok-ish guy trying to be a bad guy, and succeeds. Jimmy is a former bad guy trying to be a good guy, and fails a lot of the time but is a lot more Affably Evil compared to Walt's Faux Affably Evil nature towards Skyler. He also takes less pleasure in his revenge towards his opponents, especially Chuck whilst Walt is more vindictive.
  • Cynicism Catalyst:
    • Jimmy declares that he will not let "doing the right thing" get in his way again after the death of one of his friends Marco, which hit him even harder because it came at the heels of his seemingly-trustworthy brother secretly holding him back because he doesn't trust Jimmy to be an honest lawyer.
    • The end of Season 3 offered another turning point to Jimmy's outlook with Chuck's suicide.
    • Season 4 presented the gradual disintegration of his relationship with Kim as the final nail in the coffin, which leads him to con the bar association (and Kim in the process) into reinstating his law license, and deciding to no longer practice under his own name afterwards.
  • David vs. Goliath: Has a habit of jumping into these situations. Guess which role he usually gets to play.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Like we're even a little surprised...
  • Determinator:
    • When Jimmy suffers a huge financial loss and has to, for the foreseeable future at least, abandon his ambitious plans, he throws a brief tantrum and breaks into tears. And then he picks himself up and answers the next client calling.
    • He WILL find proof that Sandpiper is bilking its residents, even if it means dumpster-diving into a pile of soiled adult diapers to get the evidence. Even if all the evidence is actually in the recycling bin right next to it.
    • After escaping the wrath of an Ax-Crazy kingpin he unwittingly crossed, Jimmy goes back to save the two idiots who threw him under the bus with the kingpin — they're his clients, after all.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Has this as a main flaw, he often has clever ideas that backfire on him.
  • Dirty Coward: Bails out of Davis and Main for fear of losing his bonus as opposed to doing the honorable thing and staying on for the rest of the year. Averted when showing Nerves of Steel up against Tuco.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Okay so Howard and Chuck take Kim's clients back best way to retaliate is to conduct a forgery scheme and throw all of HHM into chaos and humiliate them.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: He rants about this to Howard when he brings HHM the case of a lifetime and still can't get a job with them. Unfortunately, the roadblock he should be mouthing off at is Chuck...
  • Establishing Character Moment: Worriedly taking his time in a court bathroom practicing his speech to the jury, pacing around anxiously and quietly talking to himself. He then enters the courtroom confidently and does a stellar job at defending his clients. He loses the case anyway.
    • The pilot offers another one later one: when Jimmy can't get the Kettlemans as clients because they see him as "the kind of lawyer guilty people hire," his first move is to try to force them to retain his services with an elaborate con. It demonstrates both his barely suppressed past identity as Slippin' Jimmy and his need for immediate success and gratification.
  • Everyone Has Standards: In general, Jimmy refuses to go after people who don't consent to get involved. For example:
    • Jimmy does not want kids involved in his business.
    • Smarming business (for things they may not desperately need in the here-now, for all they will get both attention and value with him down the line) out of the elderly is one thing. But, the industrial-sized, naked and outright neglectful scamming of them to the point that they can barely afford anything extra in their lives at all ground his gears when he found Sandpiper doing that. Heck, targeting people who really can't afford the loss bugs the hell out of him in general, but this broke the scale. In fact, this seems to carry into Breaking Bad since there seem to be a lot of elderly people in his waiting room at different points, suggesting that even after he becomes Saul, he still dabbles in elder law.
    • After deliberately getting fired from a promising legal job in order to keep his bonus, Jimmy feels some regret after it's pointed out that he was given a great opportunity and hardly mistreated before he started playing fast and loose.
    • Jimmy absolutely refuses to ever take or give handouts, given how he saw his father get used by grifters.
  • Evil Is Petty: Now broke thanks to his practice being shuttered, and learning that the premiums for his malpractice insurance will go up when his suspension finally ends, Jimmy decides to spread the misery by making sure the insurance company goes after Chuck when Chuck is already down. It's the first time in the series where we are expected not to side with Jimmy as it's Jimmy's turn to be the petty one, not Chuck.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Kim had to explain him you don't build fake evidence and even less talk about it, Chuck says that in a twisted way Jimmy thinks he is doing good since his con doesn't have an obvious undeserving victim.
  • Evil Virtues: Jimmy's not the most ethical person ever, but damn it if he is not creative, tenacious, determined, resourceful and stunningly loyal to a load of oddballs. It takes an awful lot of kicking to get him to turn on somebody he cares about, whatever their morality might be.
  • Face–Heel Turn: What will ultimately become of him once he fully embraces his 'Saul Goodman' persona, becoming an Amoral Attorney involved in a crystal meth empire.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: In the beginning, absolutely nothing seems to go right for Jimmy. We later find out that Chuck actively stacked the deck against him, so there's a reason beyond Ex-Con Syndrome. Although, that certainly doesn't help.
  • Fatal Flaw:
    • His need for showmanship and going for the quick score leads to some very Wrong Genre Savvy decisions and costs him his job at Davis and Main. This also leads to his nasty Batman Gambit with Irene.
    • His impulsiveness, as Jimmy often doesn't quite think through the long term effects of his short-term gratifying actions. In other words a good tactician but a weak strategist. Case in point, in Season 3, despite Kim's advice to stay calm and wait to see what Chuck does with the tape recording of Jimmy's confession, Jimmy rushes over to Chuck's house to destroy the tape. In doing so, Jimmy basically implicates himself in breaking and entering, destruction of private property, and potential assault, all according to how Chuck predicted Jimmy would act.
  • Foil:
    • To Walter White; as a protagonist, Jimmy is a man with a good heart buried under crooked schemes, who is forced again and again onto the low ground. Walter White is a man from an average upstanding life with a dark side, who repeatedly refused to take the moral path out of pride.
    • To Chuck. Both brothers are skilled as lawyers, but what differs is where their personalities affect them most: Jimmy is a good person at heart when off-duty, but he's an Amoral Attorney. Chuck is a good, honest lawyer on-duty but is a dishonest, judgmental person behind the scenes. Jimmy is Nice to the Waiter and offers Omar a drink as well as money on top (which Omar politely refuses) whilst Chuck straight-up fires Ernesto once he's no longer useful to him.
    • By Season 4, he's clearly one to Kim, as she spends the nine months following her car accident and his disbarment figuring out how to keep her lucrative job with Mesa Verde while doing the fulfilling legal work she wanted, to, while he falls back into cheap con games and seems to believe he and Kim will go right back to the way things were before his license was suspended, right down to the side-by-side offices and Wexler-Mc Gill logo. She responds to misfortune by growing as a person, while he stagnates.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: The Foolish to Chuck's Responsible. Jimmy is working his tail off to rise above his crooked past, though. And Chuck is secretly undermining Jimmy's struggle, believing him unworthy of practicing law, and angered by the shortcuts Jimmy has taken along the way.
  • Forced to Watch: He tries not looking at the skateboarders getting their legs broken but Nacho non verbally tells him to look.
  • Freudian Excuse: When he was little, Jimmy had to help his father at their family business while Chuck was out making something of himself. While he did, he watched his father get repeatedly scammed by drifters due to his good nature.
  • Go-to Alias: Before he adopted it as his professional name, "Saul Goodman" was the name Jimmy would give whenever he didn't want to reveal his identity.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: It's implied Jimmy is extremely bitter about the success of all those around him while he himself suffers the indignity of being pretty much paid by the hour. Then came The Reveal.
  • Guile Hero:
    • Displays Nerves of Steel and great resourcefulness when he manages to talk Tuco into sparing the lives of his two captives.
    • Despite being a down-on-his-luck loser with minimal contacts and resources, he still manages to play cops and criminals of all stripes like two-dollar banjos with nothing but fast thinking and even faster talking when Nacho is arrested.
  • Hard Work Hardly Works: One of Jimmy's tragic flaws. He works hard when he needs to and is very intelligent, but he's always too aware of how much easier it would be to cut a few corners to get where he wants to go. In the legal profession, this can create a lot of opportunities and also a lot of problems.
  • Heel–Face Door-Slam: What Jimmy's career usually gets on top of his manfully trying to practice the straight and narrow(ish) way, despite his own baseline instincts undermining him: repeatedly. When it's not directly due to fallout caused by his own decision to cut corners giving weight to the swinging of the door, it's others slamming him in the face. The Kettlemans do it by insulting him and turning him down for rather petty, cosmetic reasons. Howard ostensibly did it when he tried to leave the mailroom (he didn't have to be quite such a prick about it, either). But, by far the worst and most terminal is what Chuck does with the regular doses of slow poison. Is it any surprise Jimmy gives up on the straight dream and goes all Dark Side turning into an Honest Saul?
    • In "Lantern" he patches things up with everyone, apologizes for scamming the elderly, and seems to be on the road to redemption... and then his brother kills himself.
  • Heel–Face Turn: He was a real slimeball as Slippin' Jimmy, but agreed to turn his life around if his genius lawyer brother got him out of serving prison time.
  • Heel Realisation: Jimmy has had several of these in his time. And, he's honestly tried to change his ways. But, time and again, he backslides. One time you can see him wince and realise he's gone way too far is when he realises just how badly his wish to score the big one (and stick it to his brother) has impacted Irene and her friends in Sand Piper. He goes out of his way to, if not fix things, than at least give them a face-saving, sellable narrative they can move forward together as friends on. While deliberately painting himself as nothing but that no-good rogue, Saul Goodman, in the process. Specifically to help them as a group.
  • Heroic BSoD: Spends most of the Season 4 premiere in a depressed funk, barely saying anything, after learning about his indirect role in Chuck's death.
  • Hidden Depths: Despite his lovable coward persona, Jimmy can be pretty hardcore when he needs to be.
  • Hypocrite: He admittedly does cross into this from time to time.
    • He's annoyed he can't get ahead being a lawyer, and that Howard won't hire him at HMM. Then Howard and Kim help him land a better lawyer position than he could have ever reasonably hoped for. What does he do? Make a huge error in judgment, then decide almost immediately that he doesn't like it there, and act like a complete jackass so he gets fired but gets to keep his signing bonus.
    • He can't stand how spiteful and cruel Chuck is towards him. He thinks Chuck is being immature and feels he's being treated unfairly. After Chuck's suicide, what does he do? Let Howard think he's to blame.
  • Hollywood Tone-Deaf: In "Winner", his attempt to sing the titular 'Winner Takes it All' is painful. Given that he was trying to convince Chuck to get up and sing the entire time, it's entirely possible he was intentionally invoking this so Chuck would sing in his place.
  • Innocently Insensitive: For someone who is so good at reading people, Jimmy is either completely oblivious to how uncomfortable (and upset) telling blood-sucking lawyer jokes to his brother's wife seemed to make Chuck, or he's doing it on purpose.
  • It's All About Me: To a fair extent, yes, but not to his brother's levels at least.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Although he committed a felony when doctoring the Mesa Verde addresses, he does have a point that Chuck's hard on to catch him for petty reasons is unhealthy.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: If he gets you into trouble, he tries his damndest to get you out. And, if he cares about you, he'll fight for you. In his own way, and even if you don't agree. But there are limits. He does mean well and is not quite jerky as he will wind up being as Saul. Yet.
  • Kick the Dog: In order to get fired so he can keep his bonus, he makes Davis & Main's office a living hell culminating to him playing bagpipe in his office. While funny this was a complete dick move on a law firm that was more than accommodating toward him. The only silver lining is that it wasn't prolonged compared to Chuck's actions.
    • It's pointed out that Jimmy's forgery of the Mesa Verde documents hurt not only Mesa Verde and its employees by delaying their plans to open a new branch office, but also Howard and HHM as a whole, all in the name of his own conflict with Chuck. After screwing up at Davis & Main (a job that Howard helped him get) and then outright humiliating both him personally and his firm, Howard understandably seems furious and betrayed. However, Howard arguably started it by misleading Chuck that Jimmy and Kim were working together to "steal" Mesa Verde, even though those clients are Kim's by right as she did do the legwork in bringing them on board whilst working for HHM.
    • He threatens to ruin Bauer's military career if he doesn't let him keep his commercial, blaming him for being fooled by Jimmy the same way the Grifter from his flashback blamed his father's gullibility for his behavior.
    • Further in Season 3, Jimmy starts brusquely dismissing all suggestions to help or pity Chuck and deliberately tries to sabotage his legal career in vengeance. The reason this example qualifies as this trope as well as Kick the Son of a Bitch is because Chuck is already incapacitated after his Anti-Villainous Breakdown in court, so Jimmy relentlessly going after him comes across as overkill to say the least.
    • You thought that was bad, try manipulating the elderly so that they turn on Irene just so Jimmy can make loads of money and Irene becomes a social pariah through no fault of her own. Not so much Kick the Dog as smashing the Moral Event Horizon!
    • When Howard indirectly reveals how Jimmy getting HHM in dutch with the insurance company over Chuck's mental problems triggered Chuck's relapse and suicide and blames himself for what happened, Jimmy quickly deflects blame and piles on the guilt onto Howard. Kim is visibly shocked when he does it.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: When on his good behaviour he tends to target the greedy or the obnoxious in his con games:
    • He scams Ken Wins and would have made an attempt at the Kettlemens had the skateboarders and Tuco not fucked him over.
    • Gaslighting his older brother was a controversial and illegal move, but his brother did steer the Mesa Verde clients from Kim in an underhanded way to spite Jimmy.
    • Starts fighting back truly against his brother in Season 3 when his back is against the wall. He gets Mike to bust out a power drill as part of his handyman to do the repair work. Naturally, this results in Chuck running away to the upper floor. You have to also imagine Jimmy told Mike to bring the loudest drill he could possibly find.
    • His Flopsy against the two obnoxious music store owners wasn't exactly his greatest sin.
    • Neither was threatening to sue the community service supervisor for being a Mean Boss.
    • Even though his insurance scam targeting Chuck was overkill, the latter was still a complete Ungrateful Bastard towards Jimmy uncovering the Sandpiper case and looking after him all those years.
  • Leitmotif: Smoke on the Water seems to be his. Ironically the guitar riff fits the syllables of, "No! Good! Deed! Goes - un- PUN -ished!".
  • Lovable Rogue: Very much. Jimmy may have been a crook and conman before trying to clean his act up, but even then, you get the impression he was always affable with it. And, he tried not to fleece those who, in his mind, couldn't afford it (also a sound business/ beer money move). All in all, at different points of his life, he's shifted the weight between "lovable" and "rogue" without being able to fully drop either. Even when he's tried to go straight.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Even before becoming a full-fledged Amoral Attorney, he is a stone-cold prodigy at manipulating people. His big hurdle is his air of desperation and a lack of credentials. Hell, he is even trying to get his brother back to form by dropping off case files for "storage", fully knowing he would go through them. This ends up being a problem: his manipulations can get him outright disbarred if they're found out... and, he genuinely doesn't seem to understand that this is an unnegotiable fact. The show increasingly hints that Jimmy can't stop manipulating people, even people he cares about, in various ways. His fraud with the Mesa Verde documents puts Kim in the unenviable position of either protecting him from Chuck or losing her career as a solo legal practitioner, for example. Chuck may be right when notes that Jimmy "has a good heart, but he can't help himself."
  • Motor Mouth: His tongue is his weapon and he wields it well and has many gears to use.
    Tuco: Wow. You got a mouth on you.
    Jimmy: Thank you?
  • The Movie Buff: He's made a reference to one movie or another at least Once an Episode so far.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: When he realises his attempts to fix Irene's friendship with the other elderlies due to the mess he created are failing, he ultimately goes through with a Zero-Approval Gambit and comes clean.
  • Nice Guy: In Season 1, he's closer to this than the Jerk with a Heart of Gold we all know and love in Breaking Bad, more than willing to save two knobhead skateboarders even though it went against his personal interests to do so as Tuco had let him go. He more often slides into solid Jerkass territory in subsequent seasons, however, especially as his feud with Chuck escalates.
  • Nerves of Steel: Which prove to be an invaluable asset when talking Tuco down.
  • Non-Action Guy: Though he makes up for it with sheer bravery, such as in the episode where he successfully talked Tuco down from executing two skaters who made him angry.
  • Nothing Personal: After spending an extended period of time making life at Davis and Main miserable in order to get Cliff Main to fire him, when Cliff finally does it Jimmy tries to say this and that he considers Cliff a good man and boss. By that point, Cliff is far too furious at Jimmy to go for it, and tells Jimmy off.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: On the wrong end of this trope when Chuck refuses to let him into HHM despite bringing them the case of a lifetime. Bear in mind it was only after doing all the hard work (including diving into dumpsters with soiled diapers) that Jimmy suggested that HHM consider hiring him, not because of nepotistic reasons.
  • Not Quite the Right Thing: Despite the friction between them, it's clear that Jimmy puts in a lot of time and effort caring for Chuck. Unfortunately, he spends more time caring for his brother the way Chuck dictates, rather than face the fact it's not actually helping. Even when outright told that psychiatric evaluation and a therapy plan needs to be done, he shies away from committing Chuck to get it because it upsets his brother, and him, to even contemplate it.
  • Pet the Dog: Jimmy tanking his reputation with the elderly by "accidentally" confessing to being a huckster that was using them, just so that Irene's friends would stop hating her. Since Jimmy's specialty is elder law, this basically destroys his firm and namesake, and is most likely the reason he changes his name to Saul Goodman.
  • Phony Degree: Averted, the University of American Samoa is accredited, Jimmy was taught by correspondence and traded some credits of past courses he took who were unrelated to Law but the point is the the degree is legit if unremarkable and he did pass the Bar exam. This is a point of resentment for Chuck, as a famous lawyer he finds such a degree preposterous and refuses to see Jimmy as a peer.
  • Protagonist Journey to Villain: Just like Walt before him, which sets them up for some rather interesting parallels (and contrasts)...
  • Pyrrhic Villainy: This being a Vince Gilligan show, Jimmy's bad behavior will inevitably leave him worse off than before. Congratulations, Jimmy: you get to keep your bonus after being fired from the best job opportunity a law graduate from the University of American Samoa could hope for because you just couldn't play by the book.
  • Reformed, but Not Tamed: He can clean up his act and be a good lawyer but he prefers showing off and deep down he can never shake off his sleaze and past as a con man. The rejection below By his big brother does not help.
  • Reformed, but Rejected: Jimmy is trying as hard as he can to be a good, honest attorney, but many people (including Chuck) will never see him as anything more than Slippin' Jimmy the con artist no matter how much good he does.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Jimmy loses it when he learns that Chuck secretly taped his confession to doctoring the Mesa Verde files. He breaks down Chuck's door, pries open his desk drawer, threatens to burn his house down, destroys the tape in his face, and seemingly comes within inches of straight up assaulting his brother. Unfortunately for Jimmy, this plays into Chuck's Batman Gambit.
  • Sanity Has Advantages: He knows Chuck is smarter than him but if he really wants to Jimmy can just exploit his condition to destroy him, Jimmy is a sane but bitter con man compared to the rest of the cast. As the show goes on, Jimmy's own chronic inability to do things patiently and legitimately starts to undermine him personally and professionally as well.
  • Saved by Canon: Being a major and successful character on Breaking Bad it's guaranteed that he'll make it out okay here. That doesn't mean he'll have it easy, though.
  • The Social Expert: He's usually pretty quick to say the right thing under pressure. A good example is when he assesses the situation in Tuco's home while Tuco has him at gunpoint, right down to referring to the obvious bloodstain on his rug as "salsa", the same excuse Tuco himself made earlier. Another good example is when he wants to get into elder law, he make sure to have the Matlock look because he wants to convey the right image. That's probably why he is such a good lawyer despite his lack of funds.
  • Start of Darkness: After Chuck tape a confession by playing his worries Jimmy drops any standards he had, disowns his brother and his schemes are way more severe and costly to the mark. It gets even worse after Chuck tells Jimmy that ruining things is in his nature, that Jimmy should just lean into it, and that Chuck doesn't care about him at all during their last conversation before Chuck's suicide.
  • Then Let Me Be Evil: Jimmy is constantly denied advancement and great opportunities because people don't trust him despite his hard work, and eventually declares that he won't let doing the right thing stop him again. "The kind of lawyer guilty people hire" indeed...
    • The Season 1 finale deals with the aftermath of Chuck's betrayal. Jimmy talks with Mike about why he hadn't fully reverted to his "Slippin' Jimmy" ways.
      Jimmy: Yeah, well, I know what stopped me. And you know what? It's never stopping me again.
    • Inverted in the season 3 finale. Chuck tells Jimmy that he always ruins things and will never change, so he ought to stop having regrets.
  • Thrill Seeker: Ultimately, Jimmy proves himself to be this. As Slippin' Jimmy, the danger involved in conning people was obviously part of what made being successful at it feel so good. And, as Jimmy McGill, Lawyer... this has not changed one bit. It's just been transmitted into loving doing twisty things with the rules to either help others, or to get out of jams. He's always most animated when matching wits with dangerous people in high-stakes situations (even after things go horribly, he still gets back on that horse), and he's just as clearly completely unhappy with dull routine.
  • Poisonous Friend: A Downplayed Trope, but still present. Jimmy gets people to like him, even to become very loyal to him through his natural charm, but between their efforts to help him out the jams he gets himself into and his attempts to help them through his illicit stunts, he ends up making others complicit in his schemes. This is shown especially effectively in Seasons 2 and 3, when Jimmy's fraud with the Mesa Verde documents, along with Chuck's determination to catch him out, ends up getting Kim and Ernesto involved in helping him escape responsibility with the result (so far) that Kim is wracked with guilt about how she got the account and Ernesto gets fired because he disobeys Chuck's orders to help Jimmy out. Although in Ernesto's case, Jimmy never MADE him cover for him or tell him about the tape, those two actions were Ernesto's choices alone.
    • It's further played up in Season 4, when his antics start to directly threaten the substantial, fulfilling career Kim has built up, even as Jimmy's motivation is to get together enough money for them to become law partners again.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Not overtly in personality but he's much shadier in his lawyer tactics in Seasons 2 and 3 compared to 1. He mostly cleaned up his Slippin' Jimmy attitude at the start of the series and only relied on cons because he was desperate, after reuniting with Marco he starts conning because he likes it. Jimmy becomes noticeably colder and more cynical in Expenses. First in the scene in the bar where Kim becomes unnerved at his proposed con with the rude customer, followed by his dismissal of her concerns about what they did to Chuck. Then, when Jimmy meets the insurance agent, he uses Crocodile Tears while letting slip that Chuck was purportedly "screwing up numbers" for his clients so that the agent will jack up Chuck's premiums and maybe have him investigated. He's also more aggressive and opportunistic in his usage of Slippin' Jimmy tactics such as screwing over the obnoxious music store owners, the community service supervisor, and Irene Landry. As his probation and disbarment stretch on, however, he becomes more and more like Saul Goodman, and eventually starts using the name for his street dealings, proudly selling untraceable phones to known drug dealers and unloading his residual guilt about Chuck's death onto Howard, leaving the latter a broken wreck.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Now that Jimmy's back is against the wall, his Slippin' Jimmy tactical claws come out in full force when enacting the Flopsy, whether it's against the asshole musician clients or the mean community service supervisor.
  • Tranquil Fury: Chillingly calm when he lays out Chuck's fate if he keeps up his behaviour.
    Jimmy: Here’s what’s gonna happen: one day you’re gonna get sick, again. One of your employees is gonna find you curled up under that space blanket and take you to the hospital, hook you up to those machines that beep and whir and hurt. And this time it’ll be too much, and you will... die there. Alone.
  • Tragic Keepsake: The ring on his little finger and the gold Rolex that he sported in Breaking Bad? Both were from his old friend Marco, who died of a heart attack during their last con job together. The Rolex especially was the last of its kind for their signature con.
  • Technician VS Performer: To Chuck. Jimmy uses the human aspect, trying to make his clients look benign (including trying to have an old lady passing as their "darling, loving mother" to get point in front of the judge) and jokes around to bring sympathy from the jury and the other lawyer. Chuck puts the facts first while pulling the acumen and gravitas out... but, since his illness, he doesn't have enough confidence to look as intimidating as he once did. That's why Jimmy comes across as a varnished Ambulance Chaser, while Chuck looks like a solid professional who is, unfortunately, clearly past his prime.
  • Ungrateful Bastard:
    • Jimmy did take the job at Davis & Main just to make Kim happy, (even though it was more than clear by that point that he didn't even want it) but that hardly excuses his unwarranted, reckless behavior at the firm regarding that commercial - the clients being attracted is no excuse, which ends up making Kim and Howard look like fools for recommending him. Cliff even gives him a second chance out of sheer benevolence, when he could have just as easily fired him... only for Jimmy to take advantage and try to get fired just so he could keep his signing bonus.
    • Goes further with this trope when you realize the Mesa Verde scheme with Chuck affects Howard as much as it affects Chuck, whilst Jimmy's anger at Chuck stealing Kim's client may be justified as Chuck did do it for a petty reason, his blanket-scale reckless revenge towards HHM isn't justified considering Howard had a hand in recommending Jimmy to Davis and Main, a job which Jimmy screwed up.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: By tipping off the insurance company about Chuck's mental illness, Jimmy starts a series of events which snowball and end in Chuck's suicide.
  • What You Are in the Dark:
    • Faces down Tuco Salamanca and persuades him to spare the lives of his two accomplices, convincing him to merely break one of their legs each instead of torturing and killing them. It was his fault that they were there to begin with, but he had nothing to gain and everything to lose by risking Tuco's wrath for their benefit and did it anyway.
    • Later an even more literal example takes place - Jimmy's offered a bribe to cover for the Kettlemans, it's dark and the words "no one will ever know" are uttered. He accepts, but it takes surprisingly long to convince him.
  • Zero-Approval Gambit: Convinces Erin from Davis and Main to help him out himself to the residents of Sandy Piper as the Manipulative Bastard he was to them in a last ditch effort to reconcile Irene with her friends, after his previous attempts failed. He was fully aware of how much he meant to them, and that he would miss out on a massive paycheck for the settlement from the lawsuit.

    Gene Taković
"It's — it's a green light..."

With the help of an identity-eraser, James McGill has been living out his later life as the manager of a Cinnabon in an Omaha strip mall. Given the past he has chosen to run away from, he becomes an unassumingly-paranoid shell of a man trapped in a drab, monotonous existence.

  • Break the Cutie: In contrast with his real identity, there is absolutely nothing left of his cheery, snarky, and larger-than-life attitude as Saul or Jimmy; now, all that remains is a timid, anxious, and, frankly, depressed man.
  • The Paranoiac: Trusts nobody to the point of having absolutely no meaningful relationships in Omaha. Even having to recite his social security number is an arduous process. The stress brought on by this may also be a reason for his health problems, as shown in the Cold Opening to "Mabel".
  • Properly Paranoid: Gene does have a justified reason to be scared of interacting with anybody, given that he has authorities that could still be looking for him as much as they are for Jesse Pinkman. Given that his criminal connections, both with and against him, have been all but exterminated, that worry is more unjustified, even if he is unaware of it or not.
  • This Loser Is You: Gave up his family, friends, and profession as a means of running away from his problems, and now has nothing left of want to make him happy or satisfied in any way his paranoid life.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: Considering that the other choice is to be arrested by New Mexico authorities for his close connections to the Heisenberg empire, there's not much else that he could have done for himself.


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