Better Call Saul Theory Reveals Jimmy Wants To Get Caught By Howard
Is Jimmy intentionally trying to get caught in Better Call Saul season 6? The criminality of Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk) and Kim Wexler (Rhea Seehorn) has gradually intensified throughout Better Call Saul, and season 6 brings their con crusade to its crescendo. The husband and wife partnership are targeting former boss (and former friend?) Howard Hamlin, partly out of revenge for always being a condescending and insufferable idiot, and partly because damage to Howard’s professional reputation will force his law firm to settle a long-standing case in which Jimmy has a stake. A $2 million stake, to be precise.
Thus far, Jimmy & Kim have planted fake drugs among Howard’s possessions, falsified complaints of “incapacity” from disgruntled clients, and staged an uncomfortable altercation with a sex worker. The ploy is working. Howard’s fellow legal bigwig, Clifford Main, is now convinced he’s working alongside a drug addict, and the next phase of Jimmy & Kim’s plan seemingly involves impersonating a retired judge called Rand Casimiro.
During Cliff Main’s intervention in Better Call Saul season 6’s “Black & Blue,” Howard Hamlin figures out Jimmy McGill is framing him – the drugs, the accusations, the Wendy incident – all of it points McGill-ward. Howard secretly arranges to confront Jimmy at a boxing gym, and it’s here he drops the line, “You didn’t even try to hide your tracks… You want to get caught.” Jimmy is too busy mocking Howard’s offer of a fight to answer… but is there merit to Howard’s theory?
Does Jimmy Want To Get Caught Because The Howard Plan Was Kim’s Idea?
If Jimmy McGill secretly wants his Howard scam exposed, maybe that’s because he felt skeptical about the operation since day one. Even though we’ve watched Jimmy’s moral line slowly decay over Better Call Saul‘s 5 seasons, Bob Odenkirk’s shady lawyer hasn’t moved entirely out of the sun. His scams – with or without Kim – have typically targeted institutions (the Huell Babineaux stunt), large companies (Mesa Verde bank), or organized criminals (Lalo Salamanca). When Jimmy does choose a specific victim, his scams border on pranks – the tequila guy from Better Call Saul season 2, for example. Jimmy’s only properly cruel con came against his brother, Chuck, as part of a long-standing sibling feud. When Kim Wexler suggests destroying Howard Hamlin in Better Call Saul season 5’s finale, therefore, Jimmy is shunted from his comfort zone.
At first he brushes her plan away as fantasy pillow talk. But when Kim raises the Howard and Sandpiper issue again over ice cream, Jimmy actually attempts to deter his wife, describing her designs as “scorched earth” before optimistically asking, “You’re sh*tting me, right?” Kim doesn’t give a firm answer, but her sinister scheming bubbles to the surface yet again in Better Call Saul season 6’s premiere, where she once more argues that Howard Hamlin’s reputation is a fair price to pay for a lucrative Sandpiper windfall. Jimmy registers his reluctance, reticently replying, “So… er, we’re doing that?” but eventually concedes, and the plan begins in earnest.
If the Howard Hamlin “psych 101” from Better Call Saul‘s “Black & Blue” is correct, and Jimmy McGill is trying to get caught, maybe it’s because he never truly agreed with Kim’s plan. Jimmy might hope if he leaves enough clues for Howard to figure out who’s responsible, the plug’ll get pulled on his and Kim’s chicanery. Jimmy has made several efforts to dissuade Kim and failed each time. Does Jimmy think a courtroom slap on the wrist from might finally make her see sense? He’d then smooth things over with a cute, “Well, we tried our best…” while breathing an inward sigh of relief.
Proof Jimmy Secretly Wants To Get Caught In Better Call Saul Season 6
To some, Howard Hamlin accusing Jimmy of wanting to get caught are the inane ramblings of a privileged imbecile lost in his own ego. But a glance over Jimmy & Kim’s progress throughout Better Call Saul season 6 might prove that imbecile has a point.
Winding back to phase 1 – the golf club drug plant – Jimmy really doesn’t attempt to cover his tracks, proving Howard right. He arranges a tour of the prestigious club under the name “Saul Goodman” but why not concoct a completely new moniker? Then there’s no record Saul ever entered the establishment. Even more damning proof arrives in the locker room itself. Kim texts Jimmy an abort mission order, warning him that Howard and Cliff Main ended their golfing early and were heading inside. Rather than heeding Kim’s advice, Jimmy presses on regardless. Maybe that’s just Slippin’ Jimmy having confidence in his confidence tricks, but on a subconscious level, perhaps Jimmy hoped Howard would catch him, and the scam would be blown before it properly began.
Jimmy once again risks being rumbled in Jimmy & Kim’s Howard scam part 2: The Kettlemans Strike Back. Though Jimmy successfully manipulates the swindler couple into reporting Howard for malpractice, the plan’s success is dependent on obtaining their silence afterwards. Jimmy takes the “carrot” approach, bribing the Kettlemans to keep quiet, but Kim intervenes and threatens them with judicial investigation – the “stick.” The difference in their methods perfectly demonstrates how Kim is more ruthless than her husband, but maybe Jimmy secretly went easy on the Kettlemans so they’d run straight to Howard and come clean. Kim’s brutal blackmail puts paid to that idea.
Perhaps the most convincing proof of Jimmy’s subconscious desire to get caught is pointed out by Howard Hamlin himself. When confronting his tormentor in Better Call Saul season 6’s boxing gym sequence, Howard accuses Jimmy of sending “ANOTHER prostitute.” Here, Howard is referencing how Jimmy pulled exactly the same trick twice. In Better Call Saul season 5, Jimmy paid two sex workers to accost Howard in a fancy restaurant and pretend they knew him – just for kicks. For phase 3 of he and Kim’s big con in Better Call Saul season 6, Jimmy pays Wendy the sex worker to pretend Howard solicits her services, then get shoved from his Jaguar onto the street. It’s the sex worker connection that tells Howard who’s orchestrating this character assassination. Maybe Jimmy chose Wendy because he wanted Howard to figure out the truth.
Jimmy Wanting To Get Caught Makes Him More Like Walter White
As detailed above, Jimmy McGill leaving breadcrumbs may be his way of halting an idea he never fully agreed with, and preventing from Kim walking a dark path. Another explanation, however, brings Jimmy closer in spirit to his Breaking Bad counterpart, Walter White.
Once Walt transformed into a bona fide meth kingpin, he became consumed by ego. For Bryan Cranston’s character, the hardest part of being Heisenberg was keeping his genius hidden. He’d evolved into an obscenely rich, internationally renowned businessman sitting upon a mammoth empire… and couldn’t tell a single soul. In his darker moments, Walt’s inner desire to have his greatness recognized prompted egotistical outbursts such as “I am the one who knocks.”
Maybe Jimmy McGill is suffering the same repressed ego syndrome in Better Call Saul season 6. Howard Hamlin still perceives Jimmy as a lowlife, bottom-of-the-barrel lawyer – a small-time player who’ll never amount to anything. Secretly, however, Jimmy McGill’s Saul Goodman persona has brought him wealth, powerful friends, and more sway than Howard has ever given him credit for. And we know this eats Jimmy up inside thanks to season 5’s massive, “You’re a teensy-tiny man in a teensy-weensy little bubble” speech. As Better Call Saul‘s season 6 scam continues running like clockwork, maybe Jimmy wants Howard to know who the architect of his downfall is. To make Howard feel foolish for underestimating him. Like a serial killer from a crime thriller, Jimmy McGill might be leaving subtle clues and hallmarks to ensure the genius of his masterplan with Kim doesn’t go unappreciated.
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