When Walter White hired Saul Goodman as his attorney in the second season of Breaking Bad, we got a sense of the elaborate schemes he could pull to get his clients out of trouble. In Better Call Saul, as Saul’s history as small-time crook Slippin’ Jimmy and fledgling public defender Jimmy McGill has been explored, we’ve seen the full extent of his conniving genius.
In his own words, lightning bolts shoot from his fingertips. From entire corporations to his own brother, there’s no limit to who Jimmy will con. So, here are Jimmy McGill’s 10 best schemes from Better Call Saul, ranked.
The Fake Watch Gambit
This is one of Slippin’ Jimmy’s favorite scams. He’ll go out drinking, bump into a guy, and take him down an alley, where they’ll happen upon a wallet full of cash next to a drunk guy who’s passed out.
They take a Rolex from the guy’s wrist and Jimmy explains that the watch is worth a lot more than the cash, convincing the guy to give him some cash in exchange for taking the watch. The drunkard turns out to be Jimmy’s buddy Marco, and the watch turns out to be a fake of which they have a few.
Switching The Numbers On Mesa Verde’s Address
When Chuck and Howard nabbed Mesa Verde back from Kim, Jimmy was outraged that they couldn’t let Kim have one single corporate client. So, he took some documents from Chuck’s house and meticulously switched the numbers around in the bank’s address. This led them to drop H.H.M. and return to Kim.
As perfectly as this scam worked, it had really dire consequences as it drove Chuck deeper into his insanity and eventually led to his suicide as he lost the ensuing legal battle against Jimmy and got ousted from H.H.M. out of Howard’s own pocket.
Posing As A Terrible Father To Get A Filing Clerk To Cut Kim Some Slack
When Kim messed up some filing for Mesa Verde, it was looking like she’d have to go through a lengthy appeal process that could lead to the bank dropping her as their legal representative.
So, she got Jimmy to pose as a terrible father who left her child in the car on its own to get the filing clerk to cut her some slack.
Throwing Himself Under The Bus To Win Back Mrs. Landry’s Friends
Jimmy’s attempts to get Irene Landry to settle the Sandpiper case made her an outcast in the retirement community. To make things right, he arranged for a Davis & Main clerk to angrily accuse him of ripping off the residents while his bingo mic was on, winning Mrs. Landry’s friends back.
Delaying Construction On Mr. Acker’s Property
When Kim took a liking to Mr. Acker, she didn’t want to have to kick him off his property to make room for Mesa Verde’s corporate greed. But she couldn’t represent him while also representing Mesa Verde, so she tasked Jimmy with getting Acker to hire him and delaying construction on his property.
From planting artifacts in the ground to faking a miracle, Jimmy stopped at nothing to keep Mesa Verde from breaking ground on Acker’s land.
Using A Lookalike Defendant
In season 5, Jimmy is allowed to begin practising law again, and he offers a 50% discount for defense against all non-violent felony charges. He represents an armed robber who hit a convenience store and suggests that the clerk might not recognize the robber, since the robbery took place late at night.
The clerk stubbornly insists that he knows who robbed his store and he’s sitting next to Jimmy. And that’s when Jimmy reveals that the man sitting next to him isn’t actually the defendant, but rather a lookalike. The real defendant was sitting in the gallery the whole time.
Convincing The Panel That Chuck’s Death Affected Him
After his 12-month suspension was up, Jimmy went before a panel to determine whether or not he should be allowed to continue practising law. The panel determined that he was disingenuous, because he failed to mention Chuck’s death.
So, he “anonymously” donated a law library in Chuck’s name and appeared before the panel in an appeal to give a teary-eyed speech that convinced even Kim that Chuck’s death had affected him – and it was all an act!
When Jimmy takes out a billboard that’s identical to an H.H.M. billboard featuring Howard, and even uses Howard’s copyrighted “Hamlindigo Blue” color for his “J.M.M.” logo, Howard is outraged and tells him to take it down.
Before taking the billboard down, Jimmy recruits his favorite film students to shoot footage of him talking in front of the billboard. The guy taking down the ad falls, and Jimmy hurries up the ladder to rescue him. It seems like a spontaneous act of heroism, but of course, it was carefully planned.
Threatening Mesa Verde With Libelous PSAs
Kim was in on this scam, but she called it off in “Wexler v. Goodman” before putting it into action. Unsurprisingly, Jimmy went ahead with the scam anyway.
In order to protect Mr. Acker’s property from Mesa Verde’s call center, Jimmy made a bunch of PSAs featuring libelous claims about the bank and recycled footage of CEO Kevin Wachtell’s father. Suffice to say, Kevin wasn’t impressed.
Planting A Fully Charged Cell Phone Battery In Chuck’s Pocket
Season 3’s “Chicanery” is widely considered to be one of the best episodes of Better Call Saul. Chuck takes Jimmy to court over the Mesa Verde address switcheroo. Jimmy hires Huell to plant a fully charged cell phone in Chuck’s jacket pocket to reveal that his sensitivity to electricity is entirely psychological.
When Jimmy reveals the battery in the middle of Chuck’s testimony, Chuck has a meltdown in which he reveals his true motivation for trying to bring Jimmy down and blows the hearing.