Walter White might have been the big bad wolf in the Breaking Bad mythos but many of his most intricately concocted heinous masterplans would not have been possible without a criminal lawyer– the criminal lawyer, Saul Goodman. Heck, Saul Goodman was such a central character in Breaking Bad that he even got his own spin-off show which is now in its fifth season.
As expected, Saul Goodman, or Jimmy McGill, is no stranger to bad deeds even before he became a criminal lawyer. In fact, we’d even wager his honest portfolio during his law tenure would have more criminal activity than accomplishments. Some of these were necessary as a means to a reasonable end while others are just plain exploitative and selfish. Here are 10 of the worst things both James McGill and Saul Goodman did.
Saul Goodman’s very existence is detrimental to law enforcement. He’s even notorious among the police because he makes their jobs way too difficult. Saul Goodman’s law firm caters to felons who want to reduce their sentences to the bare minimum, essentially giving them some form of “free pass” when it comes to crime.
This entry in the list might seem like a cop-out but Saul has made way too many criminals’ lives much easier and more insulated from the law. Basically, they all add up to one huge negative accolade for Saul Goodman given how many people he has “helped.” Of course, it’s not just petty criminals he deals with but also underworld scum.
BREAKING THE LAW TO CUT CORNERS
Again, these are the small things that Jimmy McGill does in frequent doses that all add up. Even before the became a law practitioner, Jimmy always had a penchant for breaking rules and cutting corners in order to reach a goal faster or to produce more immediate results that he wants. Sadly (or not), this carried over even when he became a bonafide lawyer.
As a result, we have a lawyer who constantly breaks the law and knows how to take advantage of a legal loophole likely better than anyone else in the show. Still, that doesn’t make Jimmy McGill a good character. If anything, it merely demonstrates how loose his morals are (or lack thereof) going as far as to scam his own clients in order to achieve the most favorable legal result.
WORKED WITH DRUGLORDS
Speaking of clients, Jimmy or Saul has some which he can and will likely never trick, they’re the ones involved in the drug trade. His most notable client, of course, is Heisenberg or Walter White whom he helped immensely in building one of the most impressive (but short-lived) drug empires ever in the U.S. soil.
Such a feat would have made even historical figures like Pablo Escobar green with envy. Apart from Walter White, Saul back then as Jimmy has also worked many times with the Mexican Cartel and some of their cronies, namely Tuco Salamanca and Ignacio Varga. He’s a big shot alright, only, he rubbed elbows with the wrong people.
Those who have watched and witnessed all five seasons of Better Call Saul and remembered how Saul Goodman behaved in Breaking Bad can likely point out a huge difference in character. Jimmy McGill was rather tame and still had some vestiges of decency about him whereas Saul Goodman was outright corrupt.
He even extended this downtrend to some of his colleagues at work, namely Francesca whom he insisted on calling “Honey Tits” come Breaking Bad. It’s worth noting that Francesca didn’t like this term for her and that she was a lot happier and more upbeat in Better Call Saul. Needless to say, it’s workplace harassment.
SUGGESTED KILLING JESSE PINKMAN
Jesse Pinkman, along with Walter White, is also one of the most frequent and persistent clients of Saul Goodman. As cheesy as it sounds, all three of them have been together through thick and thin, usually because of money. However, Saul has made it clear he has no qualms or reservations on taking care of a loose end, namely Jesse Pinkman.
This happened in the fifth season of Breaking Bad where Saul suggested to Walter White that Jesse Pinkman be completely eliminated like a “rabid dog.” That very suggestion did incite Walter White’s anger and thankfully, he didn’t listen. Still, it was one of Saul’s coldest recommendations, killing a former client.
RUINING KIM’S CAREER
While it’s clear that Kim Wexler and Jimmy McGill’s friendship was special and nearly unbreakable, it was also rather detrimental for Kim’s growth in the law industry. Kim worked hard from being a small country girl to become a lawyer and she was already beelining for a compelling law firm position, having many great offers left and right.
Then, Jimmy just had to step in and invite Kim to be independent on their own and to start their own joint law firms. Kim, being a good friend, obliged and the two of them became law partners… until Jimmy was forced to stop pulling his own weight due to his brother’s machinations.
We did mention before that Jimmy McGill never shied away from small criminal cases, that’s because he frequently did it before. Prior to his being a lawyer, Jimmy was a con man or professional scammer who made his bread and butter fooling people with fake Rolex watches among many other modus operandi.
Even as he became a lawyer, Jimmy still scammed people but this time to richer people. One of the most notable ways he did this was with Kim where he fooled an entrepreneur into giving him a bank check worth thousands of dollars. It goes to show just how smooth he is in tricking others.
Irene is the sweet old lady whom Jimmy helped in a prior case for the Sandpiper Crossing retirement home. Jimmy discovers that a big payout awaits him because of the case which was quite an opportune reward for him as he was broke back then. The problem was, Irene was holding back the payout in order to make the amount larger.
Jimmy, being impatient and opportunistic went out on a limb in order to manipulate Irene into releasing the payout earlier so he could benefit right away. It even got to the point where Irene became depressed since all her friends had left her after Jimmy made up some gossips. Thankfully, he rectified his wrongdoing, but not before the damage was done.
CAUSES CHUCK’S SUICIDE
Sure, Charles/Chuck McGill was one of the worst enemies Jimmy ever had since he’s his brother but he’s out to put him down in life, but at the end of the day, they’re still family. Jimmy sadly forgot about this and went out of his way to make Chuck look like a crazed old man, which negatively affected his psyche.
Eventually, it led to Chuck burning his own house down and practically committing suicide. Prior to this, Jimmy also dragged his brother down some more by having him removed from his own law firm just to pay for an insurance bill. That, plus many other legal transgressions from Jimmy led to Chuck’s demise.
BECOMES SAUL GOODMAN
Last but not least is one of Jimmy’s coldest and most heartless acts yet– heck, it’s probably not even an act at this point. He took advantage of Chuck’s death and Kim’s concern for him just to fast-track his reinstatement as a lawyer.
When the dust had settled, even Kim was perplexed that Jimmy’s remorse and mourning for Chuck was all a play. It was at this point that Jimmy died and Saul Goodman was born. The cost? Only his brother’s life, his best friend’s love, and his own soul– a small price to pay to be in Breaking Bad.