The Season 3 premiere of “Better Call Saul” is right around the corner — airing Monday (April 10), to be exact — and as we can’t wait to dive back into Jimmy McGill’s world, it’s hard not to reflect on the criminal lawyer alter-ego that Walt (Bryan Cranston) and Jesse (Aaron Paul) end up partnering with in “Breaking Bad,” Saul Goodman.
The series is taking its time revealing the pieces of this transition: Jimmy’s failing relationship with his brother Chuck (Michael McKean) could easily be the catalyst that turns McGill into Goodman, for example. The spinoff’s proven enlightening and portentous, as we’ve watched Jimmy’s backstory unfold: His “Breaking Bad” descent into the criminal underworld is coming… But we’re not quite there yet.
From Jimmy to Saul to Gene (his future Cinnabon General Manager persona), this journey still has a slew of ups and downs coming. To help you gear up for “Better Call Saul’s” return, let’s take a trip down memory lane. Here are six “Breaking Bad” reminders of Jimmy McGill’s criminal fate.
‘Better Call Saul’
Season 2, Episode 8
Saul’s crimes: Stalking & criminal conspiracy
Bob Odenkirk’s iconic character first entered the “Breaking Bad” story in Season 2. Once Jesse’s associate Badger gets arrested for dealing Walt’s blue meth, Saul Goodman comes to the young man’s rescue.
By the episode’s end, Badger’s DEA problem goes away — Saul sets up a patsy to take the fall as Heisenberg, putting Walt and Jesse in the clear. Goodman then coerces the two to hire him as their lawyer, guaranteeing him a cut in their meth-cooking business.
Season 2, Episode 11
Saul’s crimes: Incitement, money laundering & criminal conspiracy
“Mandala” finds Saul hooking Walt and Jesse up with a “cautious, low-profile” businessman interested in buying a large amount of their product. “You’re sitting on a gold mine,” Saul tells the two in reference to their 38 pounds of blue meth.
And that mysterious investor? Gustavo Fring (Giancarlo Esposito) eventually comes into view — setting the events in motion that will ultimately lead to the crumbling of Walt’s drug empire.
Season 2, Episode 12
Saul’s crimes: Money laundering & criminal conspiracy
“Phoenix” finds Goodman using an unexpected avenue to launder Walt and Jesse’s copious amounts of cash: Walt Jr.’s (R.J. Mitte) website, SaveWalterWhite.com, originally created to raise money for Walter’s cancer treatment. Saul’s plan works, and the crew disguise their drug money as thoughtful donations to the cause.
Later in the episode, Jesse’s girlfriend Jane dies of a heroin overdose — right in front of Walt — which leads Saul’s fixer Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks) to enter the story in the following episode, “ABQ.”
‘Caballo Sin Nombre’
Season 3, Episode 2
Crimes: Incitement, real estate fraud, extortion, blackmail, illegal surveillance, stalking & criminal conspiracy
If ever there’s an episode of “Breaking Bad” that perfectly showcases Saul Goodman’s versatility, it’s “Caballo Sin Nombre.” After Walt’s divorce, Goodman pounces on the opportunity to talk the man into cooking meth again. He also comes to Jesse’s rescue, purchasing the Pinkmans’ house at half its selling price — identifying the building’s former meth lab as a negative mark against the property’s value.
Adding insult to injury, Saul sends Mike to bug the White household — adding illegal surveillance to his growing list of skills.
Season 3, Episode 6
Crimes: Impersonating a police officer, falsely reporting an accident & criminal conspiracy
In “Sunset,” Walt’s DEA agent brother-in-law Hank (Dean Norris) tracks Jesse back to the duo’s RV meth lab — and unbeknownst to Hank, Walt is right on the other side of the door.
With nowhere else to turn, Mr. White makes a frantic call to Saul for help — prompting Goodman’s secretary to pose as a police officer in a phone call to Hank. Thinking his wife Marie (Betsy Brandt) suffered a car accident, Hank quickly leaves the scene.
Season 5, Episode 15
Saul’s crimes: Criminal conspiracy
Saul Goodman makes one final appearance in “Breaking Bad” — in the penultimate episode, “Granite State.” It’s here that we see a bit of Jimmy McGill seep through the criminal lawyer’s manipulative exterior.
Waiting for relocation and a new “low profile” identity, Goodman tells Walt their partnership is over. The character’s final scene paves the way for Saul Goodman’s transformation into Gene, mild-mannered manager of a Cinnabon store — presumably located somewhere in Nebraska.
“Better Call Saul” Season 3 premieres Monday, April 10, at 10 p.m. ET/PT on AMC.