[Spoiler Alert: Spoilers ahead for Better Call Saul, Season 5, Episode 7]
All along during Better Call Saul, we’ve been watching James McGill slowly become the sleazeball lawyer Saul Goodman we loved to despise in Breaking Bad. The road from Jimmy to Saul is not straight and narrow, however — and it’s filled with poignant moments along the way. The whole journey is made even more tragic because we know exactly where Jimmy will end up.
Jimmy’s transformation is bad enough. But fans are equally sad about his girlfriend Kim Wexler, who’s notably absent by the time we reach the Breaking Bad timeline. Now fans are noticing how a gift from Kim is highlighting the difference between who Jimmy was versus who he’s becoming.
Kim bought Jimmy a briefcase when his law license was reinstated
After having his license to practice law suspended, Kim purchases Jimmy a beautiful leather work bag to celebrate finally having it reinstated a year later. She has it custom monogrammed with Jimmy’s initials, JMM for “James Morgan McGill,” and assumes that everything will go back to the way it was. But that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Instead, Jimmy immediately changes his professional name to Saul Goodman, which makes things super awkward when Kim gives him the briefcase later. Jimmy jokes that JMM can stand for his new law motto, “justice matters most.”
Jimmy is being drawn into the cartel
After Kim and Jimmy get married, he admits to her that his recent clients are members of a Mexican drug cartel. When Jimmy shows up to meet with Lalo, who was recently arrested on murder charges, Lalo asks about the inscription on his briefcase.
Instead of “justice matters most,” Lalo suggests that Jimmy’s new motto should be “just make money.” Unfortunately, his words serve as a prediction of what’s coming in Jimmy’s future.
He’ll need to choose between justice and money
Though he’s usually on his game in the courtroom, Jimmy’s conscience bothers him as he sees the slain Travelwire employee’s family crying in the spectator section. Lalo has already promised that Jimmy stands to make a lot of money working for him and didn’t flinch when the judge sets bail at $7 million. But will money make up for not doing the right thing?
Later, Jimmy and Kim jokingly peruse extravagant property listings, but Kim doesn’t realize that Jimmy is more serious about it than she is. In bed, Kim cautions Jimmy about working for the cartel, and he agrees that it’s a bad plan. But fans already know he’ll eventually give in to the temptation.
Kim still hopes Jimmy will do the right thing
Getting married was a business decision but that doesn’t change the fact that Kim loves Jimmy and hopes he’ll stop lying and cheating his way to success. The briefcase is a physical representation of that belief in his inherent goodness. However, we’ve already seen that even something good — like a heartfelt gift — can be twisted for nefarious purposes.
Justice matters most will morph into just make money as Jimmy’s priorities change from delivering justice to making money.