When Better Call Saul returned for season 4 last month, viewers saw the strange and disturbing way in which Jimmy seemed to be processing the death of his brother, Chuck. Charles McGill (Michael McKean) was a daunting and critical presence (in more ways than one) in his little brother’s life, someone of whom corner-cutting Jimmy (Bob Odenkirk) sought approval, to little avail. And with Chuck now six feet under (but still a haunting figure in Jimmy’s life), Jimmy is knowingly or unknowingly placing increasing weight and import on the other influential person in his life, sharp fellow attorney and girlfriend Kim (Rhea Seehorn).
Is this relationship — the earliest stages of which were shown earlier this week in a flashback to their law-clerking days — now one of the only things standing between him and troubling transformation into the decidedly dubious Saul Goodman, as seen on Breaking Bad? Sure, you know that (d)evolution is inevitable on this Breaking Bad prequel — we even previewed it the week before in a flash-forward scene — but you’ve undoubtedly been wondering if Kim can help to stave it off for a while. Well, Better Call Saul co-creator Peter Gould hints that you may want to ask another question, one that doesn’t necessarily position Kim in a savior role.
“There’s still a lot to be said about how Jimmy McGill becomes Saul Goodman,” Gould tells EW. “One way to look at it is to say that Kim Wexler’s love and decency keeps Jimmy moored and keeps him from becoming Saul Goodman. But there’s another way to look at it, and something that I’ve been thinking about more as we’ve worked on season 4: maybe Jimmy never would’ve become Saul Goodman without Kim.”
The character is not only layered and complex, Kim is someone who has dabbled in scammery with Jimmy — and proven herself to be rather adept at it. “She’s not a person who’s just there to be the voice of reason, or the voice of good, or the voice of balance,” continues Gould. “She is damn complicated in her own right, and these two people do things together that neither one of them would’ve done individually, and going back to Breaking Bad, there’s something about chemistry. These two elements mixed together make something new.”
Season 4 of AMC’s Breaking Bad prequel just might show you another new side of Kim that is complicit in the illicit. (Notes Saul co-creator Vince Gilligan of one scheme that will be run later this season: “It’s one small slip for Jimmy, one big one for Kim.”) “Her lines in the sand are bizarre,” Seehorn hints to EW, adding: “Not only does it never seem like foreign territory to her, she seems to recognize that in others. It’s not like she loved Jimmy despite him being a con. There’s something to her backstory.”
Odenkirk agrees, and he’s eager to explore her past. “The question is: is Jimmy this Svengali who’s making her do things she wouldn’t normally do? Or is it who she really is?” asks Odenkirk. “I believe she very much has this side of her. I’m always curious about her before we met her. What kind of crazy s— did she get up to? Because she was a natural and clicked into so quickly when Jimmy first came to her.”
To read more from Odenkirk on becoming Saul Goodman, head over here.