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Villain Overview

Hi, I'm Saul Goodman. Did you know that you have rights? The Constitution says you do, and so do I. I believe that until proven guilty, every man, woman, and child in this country is innocent. And that's why I fight for you, Albuquerque!
~ Saul Goodman's most famous quote and introductory line.
You know why I didn't take the job? 'Cause it's too SMALL! I DON'T CARE ABOUT IT! IT'S NOTHING TO ME! IT'S A BACTERIUM! I travel in worlds you can't even imagine! You can't CONCIEVE of what I'm capable of! I'm so far beyond you! I'm like a god in human clothing! LIGHTNING BOLTS SHOOT FROM MY FINGERTIPS!!
~ Saul Goodman exploding into a rant toward Howard Hamlin.
So, yeah, I wasn't there when the meth was cooked. I wasn't there when it was sold. I didn't witness any of the murders, but I damn well knew it was happening. I was more than a willing participant, I was indispensable. I kept Walter White out of jail, I laundered his money, I lied for him, I conspired with him and I made millions! If he hadn't walked into my office that day, Walter White would've been dead or behind bars within a month... and Agent Schrader, and Agent Gomez, and a whole lot of other people would still be alive. The fact is, Walter White couldn't have done it without me. You got that?
~ Jimmy McGill about his true involvement about being in Walt's drug empire, taking responsibility for his actions.

James Morgan "Jimmy" McGill, better known as Saul Goodman and later Gene Takavic, is a major character in the crime drama series Breaking Bad and the titular main protagonist of its prequel/sequel series, Better Call Saul.

Once a charismatic con artist, Jimmy decides to abandon his past to become a lawyer, just like his brother and eventual arch-enemy, Chuck McGill. However, his life would get worse at every turn, whether through his brother killing himself; becoming affiliated with the Cartel; gaining trauma from various events; or his wife, Kim Wexler, leaving him. Deciding to hide his trauma, insecurities and loneliness rather than facing them, Jimmy becomes "Saul Goodman", a corrupt lawyer who becomes Walter White's most important ally, playing a crucial role in his rise as a drug kingpin by introducing him to bigger players as well as keeping him out of prison.

He was portrayed by Bob Odenkirk, who also played The Devil in Hell and Back and Chase Kaminsky in Bob’s Burgers.


Saul has extensive connections to the criminal world, serving as a contact for drug distributors, evidence disposers, impersonators, and other criminals for hire. Despite his flamboyant appearance and mannerisms — accentuated by his low-budget television advertisements — Saul is a highly competent lawyer capable of solving problems and finding legal loopholes to protect his clients. Furthermore, he is a person of integrity, which is seen when he honors the ethical standards of his profession (particularly the attorney-client relationship), and refuses to associate with violence or murder unless absolutely necessary. . He has served as a counselor to Walter, Jesse, Mike and even Skyler, whom he helped obtain a car wash location to launder Walter's money.

With a repertoire that includes small-time drug arrests, fraudulent insurance claims, and fat cases, Saul can easily be found in Albuquerque's yellow pages. With a peculiar appearance that is sometimes somewhat comical, he has a bad reputation with police officers and certain other lawyers. However, Saul is a highly skilled worker, adept at finding loopholes and negotiating deals that benefit his clients. Although there are many who do not like him, for most he consists of a savior (who asks for money in advance). Saul is aided by his private investigator, Mike, who respects him for who he is and carries out Saul and Gus' often illegal orders, such as cleaning up crime scenes or bugging locations.

Saul doesn't exactly have a moral balance: even murders don't faze him unless they endanger his interests. For a fair price he is willing to put the interests of one client above those of another. However, his ethical limits can be glimpsed when he tries to separate from Walt after discovering that he had used him to put a child in the hospital.

His name is a play on words designed to attract more customers: the phrase "it's all good, man" becomes "Saul Goodman." Saul drives a white Cadillac with a personalized license plate, "LWYR UP," in reference to the American expression "lawyer up," used to describe the act of an individual delegating representation of him in legal matters to a law.


Better Call Saul[]

Hey, I just talked you down from a death sentence to six months probation. I'm the best lawyer ever.
~ Jimmy praising himself for saving Cal and Lars Lindholm from Tuco Salamanca.
Here's what's gonna happen. One day, you're gonna get sick again. One of your employees is gonna find you curled up in that space blanket, take you to the hospital, hook you up to those machines that beep and whir and hurt. And this time, it'll be too much. And you will die there. Alone.
~ Jimmy to his brother Chuck.
I've been trying to be the person someone else wants me to be for... I don't know how long.
~ Jimmy deciding to do what he likes.
You wanna know why God made snakes before he made lawyers? He needed the practice.
~ Jimmy McGill.
Did you see the backyard? His microwave, his stereo, his lights... dishwasher, all the kitchen stuff... everything electric is back there. The firemen didn't do that. He did that. I saw him five days ago. He was listening to jazz. All the lights worked. He was himself. Something must've happened. Something made him relapse.
~ Jimmy about Chuck's death.
Hi. You didn't get it. You were never gonna get it. They... They dangle these things in front of you, they tell you you got a chance but, I'm sorry, it's a lie. Because they had already made up their mind and they knew what they were gonna do before you walked in the door. You made a mistake, and they are never forgetting it. As far as they're concerned, your mistake is just... It's who you are. And it's all you are. And I'm not just talking about the scholarship, I'm talking about everything. I mean, they'll smile at you, they'll pat you on the head but they are never ever letting you in. But listen, listen. It doesn't matter, it doesn't. Because you don't need them. I mean, they're not gonna give it to you, so what? You're gonna take it. You're gonna do whatever it takes, do you hear me? You're not gonna play by the rules. You're gonna go your own way, you're gonna do what they won't do. You're gonna be smart, you are gonna cut corners and you are gonna win. They're on the 35th floor? You're gonna be on the 50th floor. You're gonna be looking down on them. And the higher you rise, the more they're gonna hate you. Good! Good! You rub their noses in it! You make them suffer! Because you don't matter all that much to them, so what? So what? Screw them! Remember, the winner takes it all.
~ Jimmy explains to a girl what she has to do to become a lawyer.
Jimmy McGill: You're sorry? You're sorry? You kill my brother, and you say you're sorry? Let me tell you something. The job offer, it didn't upset me. It amused me. Ooh... big job at the illustrious HHM. A chance to play at the palace! With little old me? You have no idea what's going on! You're a teensy, tiny man in a teensy-weensy little bubble!
Howard Hamlin: Oh, Jimmy-
Jimmy McGill: Oh, don't you
f-cking "Oh, Jimmy" me! You look down on me, you pity me!? [Howard starts walking away] Walk away. That's right, Howard! You know why I didn't take the job? 'Cause it's too SMALL! I don't care about it! It's nothing to me! It's a bacterium! I travel in worlds you can't even imagine! You can't conceive of what I'm capable of! I'm so far beyond you! I'm like a god in human clothing! Lightning bolts shoot from my fingertips!
~ Jimmy taunting Howard.
Eighty six years. But with good behavior, who knows?
~ Jimmy's last spoken words.

Breaking Bad[]

What are you doing, detective, what are you doing talking to my client without me present? You sneaky Pete! Which is which? What-what, did the academy hire you right out of the womb? You guys get younger every--(to Badger) What'd you say to baby face, huh? Did you say anything stupid? By "anything stupid," I mean anything at all. Look at you. Mouth open, vocal chords a-twitter. We'll talk about it later. (to the detective) Right now, you out. Ten minutes ago! Go on. There are laws, detective, have your kindergarten teacher read them to you, right? Go grab a juice box. Have a nap. Go on.
~ Saul's introductory scene.
Son. I promise you this: I will give you the best criminal defense, that money can buy.
~ Saul to Badger.
Come on, just tell me what you want-hey! OOH! OH NO, NO, NO, NO! NO, IT WASN'T ME, IT WAS IGNACIO, HE'S THE ONE! Oh no... Oh no, no, no! [...] Lalo didn't send you!? No Lalo!? (Jesse: Who?) Oh, thank God!
~ Saul after being kidnapped by Walt and Jesse.
Right now, you're Fredo. But, y'know, with some sound advice and proper introductions, who knows? I'll tell you one thing: you've got the right product. Anything that gets the DEA's panties in this big a bunch, you're onto something special. And I would like to be a small and silent part of it. Food for thought, yeah? So, if you want to make more money and keep the money that you make... Better Call Saul!
~ Saul partnering up with Walt.
I caught my second wife screwing my stepdad. OK? It's a cruel world, Walt. Grow up.
~ Saul to Walter.
There's no honor among thieves... except for us, of course.
~ Saul to Walter.
That's what the kids call "epic fail".
~ Saul.

Quotes About Saul[]

You're the type of lawyer people guilty people hire.
~ Betsy Kettleman to Jimmy.
My brother is not a bad person. He has a good heart. It's just...he can't help himself. And everyone's left picking up the pieces.
~ Chuck about Jimmy.
Jimmy, you are always down.
~ Kim to Jimmy.
Seriously, when the going gets tough, you don't want a criminal lawyer... You want a criminal lawyer.
~ Jesse explaining to Walt what kind of lawyer Saul is.
So, you were always like this?
~ Walter White upon hearing Saul's "slip-and-fall" story.


  • James McGill uses the name "Saul Goodman" because he thinks his clients feel more confident with a Jewish lawyer; this name is also homophonous with the expression "[it]'s all good, man".
  • It's unknown just when the Gene scenes takes place in, although it's clear that it's at the very end of the timeline, following both Walt's death and Jesse's escape to Alaska. The earliest date possible is late 2010, and the latest is somewhere in 2012.
    • In the Season 2 episode "Switch", the cleaner that frees Gene from the garbage room is listening to a podcast from October 21, 2010. The finale episode of Breaking Bad took place during September 7th, 2010, while El Camino takes place mere minutes afterwards. While accidental anachronisms have happened during the series, it was confirmed the date for the podcast was deliberately selected.
    • In the Season 4 episode "Magic Man", the license plate of Gene's car is shown to have 2012 sticker tags on it.
    • Dialogue in the Season 6 episode "Nippy" that mentions Nebraska Cornhuskers games with Bo Pellini as a coach and Taylor Martinez as freshman quarterback confirms that the Gene timeline occurs in mid-to-late October 2010. Also mentioned are the Huskers' plan to join to the Big Ten Conference and the impending renovations to Memorial Stadium.
    • The opening of the Season 5 episode "Quite a Ride" is a flashforward set during Breaking Bad's "Ozymandias" and shows Saul directing Francesca to take a call on November 12. This call is shown in the Season 6 episode "Breaking Bad".
  • Vince Gilligan originally considered to bring Saul Goodman back in El Camino due to being one of his favorite characters and narratively being an ideal choice due to his connection with Jesse Pinkman, but ultimately desisted due to not being aware of Peter Gould's plans for Saul in Better Call Saul, as Gilligan had left the writer's room of the show by then and didn't return to it until the sixth and final season.
  • Due to being sentenced to 86 years in prison in 2010, Saul would technically be released in 2096. However, given that he would be 136 years old by then, it's very clear that Saul would be already dead by that date, which means he will die behind bars unless he is offered the chance of parole for good behavior.

External Links[]


            BreakingBadLogo / Better Call Saul logo Villains

Heisenberg's Empire
Walter White | Jesse Pinkman | Skyler White | Jimmy McGill/Saul Goodman | Mike Ehrmantraut | Todd Alquist | Lydia Rodarte-Quayle | Badger | Skinny Pete | Combo | Huell Babineaux | Patrick Kuby | Declan | Declan's Crew | Vamonos Pest

The Cartel
Don Eladio | Hector Salamanca | Juan Bolsa | Lalo Salamanca
Salamanca Family
Hector Salamanca | Tuco Salamanca | The Cousins | Lalo Salamanca | Joaquin Salamanca | Gonzo
Nacho Varga | Krazy-8 | No-Doze | Tortuga | Gaff | Arturo Colon | Ximenez Lecerda | Carlos | Blingy | Benicio Fuentes | Miguel | Mouse | Sticky | Arlo | Ron | Dealer | Turk | Javier

Los Pollos Hermanos
Gus Fring | Mike Ehrmantraut | Peter Schuler | Max Arciniega
Walter White | Jesse Pinkman | Lydia Rodarte-Quayle | Nacho Varga | Victor | Tyrus Kitt | Rival Dealers | Tomás Cantillo | Gale Boetticher | Chris Mara | Duane Chow | Nick | Arthur | Gabriel | Dennis Markowski | Dan Wachsberger | Ron Forenall | Harris Boivin | Raymond Martinez | Kai

Neo-Nazis/Jack Welker's Gang
Jack Welker | Todd Alquist | Kenny | Matt | Frankie | Lester | Neil Kandy | Casey

Jimmy McGill's Contacts
Chuck McGill | Kim Wexler | Francesca Liddy | Saul Goodman Productions | Ed Galbraith | Lawson | Ira | Betsy and Craig Kettleman | Cal and Lars Lindholm | Marco Pasternak | Lance | Klitch | Genidowski | Caldera | Jeff | Buddy

Emilio Koyama | Thug Buddy | Tweaky Dude | Spooge | Spooge's Lady | James Kilkelly/Jimmy In-'N-Out | Old Joe | Gordie | Scary Skell | Tucker | Hoffman & Fensky | Daniel Wormald | Clarence | Sobchak | The Con Man | Espinosa Gang | Rocco, Zane and Jed | Gangbangers | Mrs. Wexler | Colombian Gang

See Also
Metástasis Villains