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I Love Kim on Better Call Saul, and She Needs to Die

Saul can't be himself with his conscience around

Kat Rosenfield

Of all the great, never-before-seen characters who populate Saul Goodman's pre-Breaking Bad backstory on Better Call Saul, the greatest is arguably Kim Wexler (Rhea Seehorn): the fellow attorney with whom the show's anti-hero shares a complicated, surprisingly tender rapport (and the occasional cigarette.) With her gritty work ethic and perma-perfect ponytail, Kim is the closest thing to a partner Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk) has -- in business, in life, and occasionally in crime. She's the only person who accepts Jimmy as he is while simultaneously believing that he has it in him to be better. She's the best cool-girl foil and friend that a con man going straight could ever want.

And man, does she ever need to die.

I know, I know: It's terrible. And mean! But the truth is, Kim's death within the Better Call Saul universe is as inevitable as it is necessary, and here's why.


She doesn't need to see Jimmy become Saul.

Three seasons into Better Call Saul -- and four years after the conclusion of Breaking Bad -- it's easy to forget what an absolute bastard Saul Goodman actually was... or will be, as far as Kim is concerned. For all his flaws, Jimmy McGill is still a long way off from the sleazy criminal lawyer with a drawer full of burner phones who casually suggests that Walt and Jesse solve their problems by murdering their associate. The unfortunate truth is that Saul is a great character, but he's not a good guy. And for Kim to watch her friend's transformation into a venal sleazeball is an agony that neither she nor we, the Better Call Saul audience, deserve.

...And he wouldn't want her to.

Although Jimmy obviously had ulterior motives when he broke down in front of his malpractice insurance agent in "Expenses" earlier this season, those were real tears in his eyes when he said, "My gal is disappointed in me." Kim has always been Jimmy's best reason to be his better self -- an external conscience where his own falls short -- and even now, he doesn't like to let her down. In fact, considering how much he cares about Kim, it's literally incredible at this point that he'd let himself get even halfway to Saul Goodman-hood while she was still around to see it.

Plus, the Better Call Saul train can't enter Breaking Bad territory with Kim still on it.

The fact that Kim is such a significant part of Jimmy's life in the Better Call Saul timeline makes it that much stranger and sadder that she's utterly absent from Breaking Bad. And while Saul Goodman makes occasional references to his past ("I once convinced a woman I was Kevin Costner!"), he's also clearly cut himself loose from it. Saul doesn't have a family; he doesn't even have friends, just associates. Is there anyone left in his life -- or in the state of New Mexico -- who even remembers when "Better call Saul" was "Gimme Jimmy"? It seems unlikely, as much as Saul's shameless embrace of sleazedom seems unlikely in a world where Kim Wexler still exists. It's only logical: by the time Better Call Saul catches up to Breaking Bad, Kim pretty much has to be a goner.

...Unless she's married to Howard Hamlin, of course -- in which case, as far as Jimmy is concerned, she might as well be dead.

Better Call Saul airs Mondays at 10/9c on AMC