Breaking Bad has an abundance of treasured characters, and one of them is Saul Goodman, the talkative attorney who is popular with criminals in the Albuquerque underworld. As one of Walter White’s most trusted associates, Saul not only helps him build his drug empire, but he also gets him out of trouble on countless occasions.
As a man who interacts with criminals every day, the actions of his clientele seem to have rubbed off on him, and he unapologetically manipulates and schemes his way through various situations. However, his positive traits are much more prominent, making him one of the few characters on the show that audiences can learn a thing or two from.
He Is Creative
The best example of Saul’s creativity is seen when Badger gets nabbed for selling meth to an undercover cop. The DEA is keen on getting Badger to expose Heisenberg so Saul talks to “Jimmy In-‘N-Out,” an ex-convict who enjoys being locked up more than being free. The deal is for “Jimmy In-‘N-Out” to pretend to be Heisenberg and get himself arrested.
It’s a brilliant plan from Saul, since, at that point, the DEA has no idea how Heisenberg looks like. Word on the street is that he is a bald man, but that’s about it. It’s also a plan that doesn’t hurt anyone. “Jimmy In-‘N-Out” is a career criminal who wants to be in jail. The move also kickstarts a long and adventurous working relationship between Saul, Walt, and Jesse.
He Is Charming
Saul is a very charming person, and, as a result, he has such a wide network of friends that “I know a guy” becomes one of the best running gags in Breaking Bad. The lawyer even has a hacker friend in Belarus. He also endears himself to the no-nonsense Carmela by indirectly praising her beauty when he tells Walt that his taste in women is as good as his taste in lawyers.
Saul’s charming nature has made those around him very willing to do favors for him. His secretary Fransesca sees no problem in helping him shred incriminating documents even though it’s illegal. He is also the first person Carmela approaches when she gets the car wash idea. Even when in danger, he charms his way out of trouble by offering great ideas to those seeking to harm him. Such is what he does with Jesse and Walt when they kidnap him.
He Is Ambitious
Saul is willing to do anything to be successful. To market himself as a lawyer, he keeps paying for billboards and TV commercials. He is very quick to spot an opportunity for expansion in Walt and Jesse’s meth business, too.
Saul’s ambition has pushed him to the top of the food chain. When Walt first shows up at his office, it’s very full, meaning his marketing strategies are working well. He is not only the go-to lawyer for some of the biggest criminals in Albuquerque, but he is a business partner to some, too, all while appearing as innocent as possible.
He Is Comical
None of Saul Goodman’s best quotes isn’t hilarious. Whether he is addressing law enforcement officers or the most ruthless of criminals, Saul makes sure to crack a joke or two.
Saul’s jokes help light up serious situations such as when Jesse has been assaulted by Hank; instead of ranting about the action, Saul labels Walt the new “cute” member of the group. Saul’s sense of humor was so appreciated that, as per CheatSheet, series creator Vince Gilligan even considered making the spinoff Better Call Saul a half-hour sitcom.
He Is Fashion Savvy
Not everyone might agree with Saul’s outfit choices, but fashion has never been a one-suit-fits-all thing. The lawyer understands the power of image so he always dresses to impress.
Dressing well is low in the priority list of other characters and by taking it seriously, Saul quickly differentiates himself from the show’s money-hungry and violent crowd. His bright shirts and expensive ties scream “crooked lawyer,” but his 24/7 suit routine portrays him as someone who takes his work very seriously and doesn’t care much about casual activities.
He Has Some Integrity
Even though Saul deals with the dirtiest of criminals, he doesn’t lack integrity. The first time he meets Walt and Jesse, he is shown to be keen on the ethical concerns of the law profession. He asks the duo to pay him so as to protect their secrets via the attorney-client privilege. He attempts to cut off Walt, too, when he poisons Brock because that’s crossing the line to him.
Though it might appear that Saul is immoral, he is only doing his job as a criminal lawyer. He has mastered how to be friendly to criminals and make them trust him, but it’s clear that he doesn’t tolerate anything that involves violence. Saul’s integrity is also displayed during his first scene with Walter White where he refuses to take a bribe in order to help Badger avoid jail time.
He Is Cautious
Walt comes up with one of the best aliases in Breaking Bad when he steps into Saul’s office for the first time. He introduces himself as Badger’s uncle “Mr. Mayhew.” It’s a convincing disguise, but Saul does his own investigations just to be sure. He shows up at Walt’s school and discovers that he is indeed a Chemistry teacher.
The Alburqarqee underworld is full of dangerous individuals, and no one understands this better than Saul. Before doing any further business with “Mr. Mayhew,” he wisely engages in the important task of digging up information about him. By doing so, Saul makes himself a valuable associate to Walt. Since Saul is one of few people who know his identity, the meth cook has no option but to keep him close.
He Has Foresight
Saul’s ability to plan ahead is remarkable. The lawyer has an emergency contact known as Ed “The Disappearer” Galbraith who gives people new identities and sets them up with new homes when they are being hunted down by authorities or their lives are in danger.
Saul isn’t just being a prophet of doom by predicting that things might go terribly wrong for either him or his clients one day. That’s what happens to not only him, but also Jesse and Walt. By the end of the series, Saul is hiding in Omaha where he has become the mall attendant Gene Takavic. Jesse is also taken to Alaska by Ed while Walt dies because he couldn’t resist returning to Albequrqie and settlings his remaining scores.
He Is A Life Tutor
There’s nothing Saul enjoys more than showing others how to do things. After learning that Walt only has $16,000 left but still has a whopping 32 pounds in unsold meth, he teaches the Chemistry teacher how business is done. He not only advises Walt on how to make more money, but also how to launder it.
Though the award for ‘best money-laundering idea” goes to Skyler, it’s Saul who initially shows Walt the ropes by suggesting he uses Walter Jr’s SaveWalterWhite.com website to launder money. Overall, Walt owes his criminal career to Saul, as he’d never have met Gus or any of his other influential associates if it wasn’t for the sleazy lawyer.
He Is Cunning
Among the smartest things Saul does in Breaking Bad is the phone call to Hank. Just as the DEA agent is about to arrest Walt and Jesse in the RV, Saul has his secretary Fransesca call Hank and lie that his wife Marie has been involved in an accident. Hank takes off, giving the duo a chance to escape.
Saul’s quick thinking saves Walt from being discovered by his relentless brother-in-law. Jesse suffers the consequences of this particular action when Hank assaults him, but there’s no denying that the bigger problem has been avoided. Saul’s other schemes, like tricking Bodgan into selling the A1A Car Wash and lying to Ted that he has a $621,552 inheritance, also benefit Walt in his criminal career.