The Saul Scene That Went Too Far On Better Call Saul
“Better Call Saul” has been lauded by fans and critics alike for being the rare prequel to a popular media property that isn’t worse than the original. In fact, the opinion that “Better Call Saul” is actually a better show than its predecessor, “Breaking Bad,” is not uncommon. Where “Breaking Bad” kept audiences on the edge of their seats with life-and-death stakes, dangerous criminals, and violent showdowns, “Better Call Saul” seems like it should be boring by comparison — a slow-burn legal drama filled with endless lawyer-speak about contracts, torts, and partnerships. Yet the prequel feels equally as high-octane as its groundbreaking predecessor, drawing viewers into the tragic world of Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk), the man who will go on to become Saul Goodman, criminal attorney.
Any show set in the world of “Breaking Bad” is bound to have its share of shocking moments ranging from the physically brutal to the psychologically devastating, and while “Better Call Saul” hews toward the latter, there are moments when it feels like Jimmy has finally gone too far and from which there is no way back. Jimmy has scammed and cheated his way through life, but even for him, one moment crosses the line more than any other.
Jimmy alienates an old lady from her friends in a truly cruel scheme
Jimmy McGill has no shortage of scurrilous schemes, but the events of Season 3, Episode 9, “Fall,” are hard to watch, as opined by several Redditors in multiple threads. With the class-action lawsuit against the Sandpiper nursing home stalling out, Jimmy is quickly running out of options. But when he realizes a settlement will net him a cool million, he embarks on a campaign to coerce the suit’s main representative, an elderly woman named Irene, to take it.
For Jimmy, the scam is an art form, and some of his plots are delightful to watch. This one, by contrast, was “incredibly heartbreaking and cruel,” according to u/itsasecretidentity. Jimmy’s first step is to intercept Irene’s mall-walking group and gift her with a pair of expensive walking shoes. Irene is grateful, but the shoes are a Trojan horse. Jimmy proceeds to point out the shiny new shoes to all of Irene’s friends behind her back, convincing them that she’s riding high on the settlement money she kept hidden from them.
As Jimmy really does seem to care for the elderly, it’s a break in character for him, another step down the slippery moral slope toward Saul Goodman. But he doesn’t stop there. Jimmy rigs bingo balls and gives Irene — whose friends have chosen not to sit with her — the winning board. When she inevitably wins, no one claps, and Irene runs from the room in tears. Jimmy follows her to her room and convinces her that taking the Sandpiper settlement is the only way to win back her friends.
Jimmy is so caught up in the thrill of winning that he doesn’t consider the damage he’s done to a sweet old lady. He buys a bottle of tequila to celebrate and asks Kim Wexler (Rhea Seehorn) to have a shot before reminding her to be on time for her meeting. As u/internetrando12 wrote, this was another example of how Jimmy was “on a roll” with his cruelty in the episode.