Breaking Bad prequel Better Call Saul documents the long, slow, poignant and painful spiraling of resourceful lawyer Jimmy McGill into scumbag attorney Saul Goodman.
The man who plays both characters, Bob Odenkirk, has made no secret of his affection for the former, and his distaste for the latter. In fact, he has been dreading bidding adieu to Jimmy as transition time looms. “I’m having to confront the fact that he is becoming Saul, and I don’t like Saul,” he recently said. “If he was my friend, I would say, ‘Don’t go that route.’”
The road to hell may be paved with good intentions — or more likely, ill-advised scams — but it sounds like Odenkirk wants it to end without Kim by Jimmy’s, er, Saul’s side. (Breaking Bad never established whether Saul was married — or much of anything about his personal life.) “I wouldn’t want her to be with Saul,” he tells EW. “In the end, she couldn’t be with Saul. Saul is dangerous sleazy. He’s not some low-end lawyer who is helping drug dealers but also helping people with no money who have a bad rap. He’s a bad guy. He’s looking to screw the world. With the law. And to come out on top.”
Regardless of how he gets there, he gets there. And like that flawed “protagonist” on the mother show, Jimmy also feels victimized and aggrieved. “[Jimmy] is gonna come up with excuses now for why he has to choose this thing,” explains Odenkirk. “He’s been forced into this box. But it’s not unlike Walter White saying, ‘I have cancer, I need to raise money. What am I gonna do? I got no money, and my f—in’ partner cheated me.’ And then the more you watch, you’re like, ‘He didn’t really f— you. He offered to help you. He wanted to share. It was all you. It was all your little weird psychosis, and coupled with bad choices. I mean, there’s no question about it that this character, Jimmy, he makes choices to f— s— up, when he could let stuff go.”
Given that Kim has shown herself to dabble in shady activity — in Monday’s episode, she enlisted Jimmy to run a scam on a low-level government employee in Lubbock to secure a 13 percent larger bank branch for her employer — she may not be the savior that some viewers believe/hope she is. (As co-creator Peter Gould recently told EW, “maybe Jimmy never would’ve become Saul Goodman without Kim.”) And even if the couple seem to make up at the end of Monday night’s episode, their relationship seems to have absorbed an irrevocable blow on that parking garage roof when they aired out their frustrations with each other (“Kick a man when he’s down.” “You’re always down, Jimmy”).
While Odenkirk shudders at the thought of Saul with Kim, he would certainly root for a world in which Jimmy could end up with the girlfriend who doubles as his support system. “I would love that outcome,” he says. And he can imagine a colorful, opposites-attract vision of their alternate future. “I would love them to be together and him to be the most low-end lawyer in town, still doing good work, and her to be the highest-class lawyer in town, and everyone to laugh about it,” he says. “They go to dinners and everyone goes, ‘How do you guys do it?,’ And they go, ‘I don’t know!'”
The season 4 finale of Better Call Saul airs next Monday at 9 p.m. ET/PT on AMC. For much more from Peter Gould on Jimmy and Kim, head over here.
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