Much like in the world Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul has no shortage of backstabbing, lies, and ugly betrayals, often from those we least expect.
It’s tough for lawyer Jimmy McGill to know who to trust in the dangerous underworld and his sleazy law career. Indeed, he can’t even trust Saul Goodman. The critically acclaimed Better Call Saul is the prequel to the iconic series Breaking Bad.
The characters can’t trust each other no matter how tight their bond might be. Of course, betrayal in Jimmy’s world usually means a broken heart, loss, pain, or death. Breaking someone’s trust often has disastrous results in the world of Saul Goodman.
Chuck Secretly Prevents Jimmy From Joining His Law Firm
Before Saul Goodman, Jimmy McGill gained a reputation as Slippin Jimmy. He spent most of his time pulling scams on unexpecting bystanders. At one point, he lands in some serious trouble and faces jail time. Luckily, his older brother, attorney Chuck McGill, bails him out. Jimmy eventually makes some significant changes and pursues a career in law.
Of course, Chuck was a founding partner at Hamlin, Hamlin & McGill. Chuck spent years secretly preventing Jimmy from joining the firm. Indeed, Chuck feared Jimmy having a law degree and compared it to a chimp with a machine gun. Ultimately, Jimmy finds out the truth and feels incredibly betrayed. It sends Jimmy on his path towards becoming Saul Goodman.
Nacho & Mike Set Up Tuco
In Albuquerque, New Mexico, Tuco Salamanca is one of the most feared and volatile Juárez Cartel members. He’s unpredictable and has a short temper. Tuco’s right-hand man Nacho Varga realizes that associating with Tuco is a risk that could end badly for him. Therefore, Nacho decides to betray Tuco and enlists Mike Ehramantraut’s help.
Of course, turning on Tuco is a considerable risk that few are willing to take. Indeed, Nacho’s also betraying the Salamanca family, which has dire consequences. Nacho ends up betraying several members of the family despite being the most trusted ally.
Jimmy Betrays His Parents
Jimmy and Chuck’s father, Charles McGill Sr. was an old-fashioned hard-working man. He owned a popular local convince store. According to Jimmy, he watched people come into the store and take advantage of his father’s good nature. Before he became Slippin Jimmy, he was pulling scams on his father.
Indeed, Jimmy stole roughly $14,000 from the store, which eventually caused it to go bankrupt. Jimmy’s betrayal had dreadful results as his father passed away six months after the store closed. Jimmy stealing from his parents was his first significant betrayal.
Nacho & Hector
As noted, Nacho Varga double-crossed Tuco Salamanca and helped send him to prison. However, that only created more problems for Nacho. Indeed, Tuco’s uncle Hector Salamanca took over the operation. Of course, Hector is even more feared and brutal than Tuco. Hector first appears in Breaking Bad as Tuca’s ruthless uncle who suffered from a stroke.
In Better Call Saul, Hector is still a healthy man running his business. Nacho quickly becomes Hector’s most trusted confidante; however, Hector decides he wants to use Nacho’s law-abiding father to move his illegal products. Therefore, Nacho betrays Hector to protect his father. He switches out Hector’s pills, which causes him to have a stroke.
Jimmy Manipulates Irene
Initially, Jimmy tried to be a legit lawyer and follow the rules. At first, he decided to focus on elder law and took on Irene Landry as a client. He realized that the Sandpiper Community home was scamming Irene and the other residents. Jimmy brought attention to the case, but a different law firm took it over.
Later, Jimmy needed the money he’d get from the settlement but couldn’t wait. He manipulated Irene to get her to take an early settlement. Jimmy tricked all of her friends to hate her until she took the payment. She was very nice and sweet to Jimmy, but he turned everyone against her. Of course, he realizes his mistake and corrects it in the end.
Jimmy Tricks Chuck
Jimmy McGill would do anything to make his brother, Chuck, happy. Of course, there is one person that Jimmy loves more, Kim Wexler. Kim worked tirelessly to bring in a new prestigious client, Mesa Verde Bank, to HHM. Later, Kim leaves HHM to start her own law office and tries to bring Mesa Verde. However, Chuck uses his influence to steal the case from Kim. Jimmy became furious with Chuck and decided to help Kim.
He sabotaged Chuck’s case by painstakingly changing the address of the bank’s location. Indeed, Jimmy publicly embarrassed Chuck, and Mesa Verde went back to Kim. Jimmy took advantage of Chuck’s mental health. Jimmy’s betrayal crossed a line for Chuck, and the brothers were now at war.
Chuck Secretly Records Jimmy
Chuck and Jimmy betrayed each other in an endless circle. Indeed, Chuck couldn’t let Jimmy get away with betraying him again. He devised a plan to set up Jimmy to get him disbarred. Chuck didn’t only want revenge on Jimmy, he also wanted to end his law career.
Chuck pretended to have a mental breakdown and tricked Jimmy into admitting the truth about Mesa Verde. Of course, Chuck secretly recorded Jimmy and uses the recording to fool Jimmy into physically attacking him. Chuck then uses the incident to get Jimmy disbarred.
Werner Ziegler Betrays Mike & Gus
Engineer Werner Ziegler was one of the few people that Mike Ehrmantraut ever trusted. In the end, trusting Ziegler ended up a mistake for both of them. Ziegler and his crew helped to build Gus Fring’s Superlab secretly. However, Ziegler felt restless and desperately missed his wife. Mike warned him not to reveal any info about the superlab.
Ziegler didn’t think it was a big deal and escaped to spend some time with his wife. Of course, Ziegler betrayed Mike and inadvertently told Lalo about the superlab. Unfortunately, Mike had no choice but to eliminate Ziegler for his betrayal.
Nacho Double-Crosses Lalo
Lalo Salamanca made the same mistake that his uncle and cousin made. He trusted the wrong person. Indeed, Lalo trusted Nacho just like Hector and Tuco did. Of course, Nacho turned on Lalo as well.
In the season 5 finale, “Something Unforgivable,” Lalo treats Nacho like family and even puts Nacho in charge of the business while he hides in Mexico. Lalo is unaware that Nacho already betrayed Hector and Tuco. Indeed, Nacho’s even working for Lalo’s bitter rival Gus Fring. Nacho deceived Lalo and lets Fring’s people into the secret hideout. However, Lalo survives the sneak attack in the middle of the night. Unlike Hector and Tuco, Lalo might be aware that Nacho betrayed him.
Jimmy Betrays Chuck One Last Time
Jimmy betrayed Chuck one last time, but this time it had disastrous consequences. Jimmy exposed Chucks’s illness during his disbarment trial. Jimmy lost his law license for a few years, but he wanted to gain some more revenge. Indeed, Jimmy purposely informed the insurance company about Chuck’s illness.
However, Chuck’s mental health significantly improved during this time. Of course, Jimmy undid all of Chuck’s hard work. Chuck lost his insurance and had a falling out with Howard Hamlin. Eventually, Chuck couldn’t handle his illness and took his life. Jimmy realizes he played a part in pushing Chuck over the edge but doesn’t admit it. Indeed, he lets Howard live with the guilt.
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Better Call Saul Complete Series