‘Better Call Saul’: Saul Goodman’s Life Could Have Been Different If This Never Happened

Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould have done an excellent job with the prequel series to the brilliant Breaking Bad. But there’s one moment from Better Call Saul that could have prevented Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk) from ever embracing his alter ego, Saul Goodman. Find out which event changed Jimmy’s life forever and ultimately led to Walter White’s Heisenberg (Bryan Cranston). 

Bob Odenkirk as Saul Goodman
Bob Odenkirk | Lewis Jacobs/AMC

In the series premiere of ‘Better Call Saul,’ the scammer gets scammed 

Better Call Saul examines Saul Goodman’s life before becoming the criminal lawyer fans met in Breaking Bad. Jimmy’s past as “Slippin’ Jimmy” didn’t get him very far — it got his best friend killed — but it did give him the skills necessary to sniff out a scam.

In “Uno,” two skateboarding brothers, Cal (Daniel Spenser Levine) and Lars Lindholm (Steven Levine) tried to pull one over on Jimmy, but he knew better.

“I’m going to give you a 9.6 for technique and 0.0 for choice of victim!” Jimmy said after pretending to buy the skateboarder’s faux injury. “I’m a lawyer. Now, let’s talk about what you owe me for the windshield.” 

The skateboarders ran off, but Jimmy caught up with them later to orchestrate a scam against the Kettlemans. 

Jimmy wanted to win the Kettleman case back 

Betsy Kettleman’s (Julie Ann Emery) husband, Craig (Jeremy Shamos), was a thieving treasurer facing embezzlement charges. Just as they were about to sign a letter of engagement with Jimmy, the Kettleman’s backed out for fear of losing their riches. 

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To do what was right, Jimmy employed the help of the Lindholm brothers. His goal was to scam Betsy into giving up the money, but his plan went awry.  

Instead of getting hit by Betsy’s car, Cal gets struck by Tuco Salamanca’s (Raymond Cruz) grandmother’s vehicle, putting Jimmy in a jam.

If Jimmy McGill never hit the skateboarders with his car, his life might have been different 

As is often the case with Saul Goodman, one minor event ends up causing an avalanche of disaster. In this case, Jimmy’s getting scammed by the Lindholm brothers is what started his downward spiral and transformation into Saul Goodman. 

“Ever wondered how the [Breaking Bad/Better Call Saul] universe would be if these two punks hit the right car?” one fan asked on Reddit

Another fan pointed out how: “If Jimmy doesn’t hit the skateboarders with his car, he wouldn’t have pulled the scam with them.” 

If he doesn’t do the scam, he never meets Tuco. If he never meets Tuco, he never gets recommended to Lalo by Nacho.

He never works for Lalo, so he never makes Crazy 8 an informant. Hank never finds out about Jesse and Emilio cooking in the pilot. So, the ride along never happens, and Walt never starts cooking with Jesse.

This theme of Jimmy/Saul getting mixed up in scheme after scheme continues throughout Better Call Saul and, eventually, Breaking Bad — a show that might have never happened had Jimmy never been scammed by the Lindholm brothers.