The Breaking Bad prequel series Better Call Saul has done a tremendous job with filling in many of the blanks in the backstory of Saul Goodman, aka Jimmy McGill, but there are still some questions that fans want answered. When Odenkirk first debuted as the character in the second season of Breaking Bad, the creators had no idea at the time that this would be the person to eventually get his own spinoff series. And there’s one line of dialogue in Odenkirk’s debut episode that still doesn’t sit right with fans.
The moment comes after Saul Goodman is hired by Walter White (Bryan Cranston) and Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) to represent Badger (Matt Jones) following a drug dealing arrest. Odenkirk added some sleaze to his portrayal of the lawyer in this first episode, as there’s a scene where Saul makes a lewd comment to his assistant, Francesca (Tina Parker), after the two close the office at night.
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“How about I follow you home,” Saul says to Francesca. Clearly not interested, Francesca declines and proceeds to walk away to her car. That’s when Saul utters to himself, “God, you are killing me with that booty.”
Fans now know a lot more about Jimmy “Saul Goodman” McGill thanks to Better Call Saul, and this line does not seem befitting of what fans have come to learn about the character. He has certainly had his moments of debauchery, which includes tricking a woman into bed by convincing her he’s Kevin Costner, but for many fans, and even Bob Odenkirk, it still seems out of character for Saul to hit on Francesca in that way.
“The one thing that doesn’t fit yet is when his assistant is walking away in the first scene, and he makes some wisecrack about wanting to grab her ass,” Odenkirk told Variety in 2020. “Why would he do that? I don’t understand.”
Jimmy McGill Has Become Saul Goodman
Fans have yet to see what happens with Jimmy’s wife, Kim Wexler, in the upcoming final episodes of Better Call Saul. At the very least, it would seem that Jimmy making these comments suggests that Kim is no longer in the picture, which could be seen as a bad sign for her fate. While it could also be stated that Jimmy McGill was simply making these comments while suited up as his “Saul Goodman” persona, in which he intentionally goes over the top to be shocking, some fans still question the “booty” comment, as Francesca had walked away and no one else was around to hear it.
For Better Call Saul director and writer Thomas Schnauz, there’s actually a very simple explanation here. One fan asked Schnauz on Twitter if he had an explanation for why Jimmy makes that particular comment about Francesca. It comes down to becoming so deeply embedded in this slimy “Saul Goodman” character that he remains in that mindset even when no one else is around, perhaps just to amuse himself. As Schnauz puts it:
“It’s 4 years later of being ‘Saul Goodman,’ and as we like to say, ‘The mask becomes the man.'”
It is made clear in the series that Jimmy McGill loves being Saul Goodman. Even when he’s living under a new identity as a Cinnabon manager, he takes the time to watch VHS tapes of his commercials from the past, longing for the days he was the criminal lawyer. It was a persona that he lived and breathed for many years. Jimmy’s comment to Francesca may just be what he figures Saul Goodman would say in that moment, even if nobody else was listening.
Better Call Saul returns to AMC and AMC+ with new episodes on July 11, 2022.