The real meaning behind Jimmy’s cars

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Better Call Saul is full of intriguing details, such as the cars Jimmy drives through the Breaking Bad spin-off reflecting his character development.

Everything carries a deeper meaning in You better call Saul, including the cars that Jimmy McGill drives over the (soon to be) six seasons of the prequel. When Bob Odenkirk’s Saul Goodman swung into breaking Bad, viewers immediately realized there was a fascinating backstory lurking behind the garish costumes and cheap cologne. Vince Gilligan obviously agreed, and You better call Saul traces Jimmy’s beginnings as a con artist-turned-aspiring lawyer who, through a mixture of bad lack and poor judgment, gradually integrates himself into the New Mexico underworld.

Like its esteemed parent series, breaking BadJimmy McGill’s origin story is full of little details that offer deeper insight into You better call Saulcolorful characters. Jimmy flicking the “do not use” light switch at Davis & Main demonstrates an inner reluctance to comply, Kim Wexler’s eerily blue wardrobe potentially foreshadows her future death, and the glow sticks Mike and Jimmy carry in desert camping are color coded to reflect their respective characters. Given You better call SaulJimmy McGill’s meticulous attention to detail, it’s no surprise that the cars Jimmy McGill owns aren’t chosen at random.

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The first car we see Jimmy driving canonically (during flashbacks to his “Slippin’ Jimmy” days) is a 1977 Cutlass Supreme. class with its soft top. These qualities all speak to Jimmy’s time as a carefree crook, gliding through life carefree. That the car is still driving You better call SaulThe main timeline of is symbolic of how supremely self-assured Slippin’ Jimmy was, while its roof reflects younger brother McGill’s habit of misguided flashing. When You better call Saul season 1 begins, however, Jimmy McGill drives a peeing yellow Suzuki Esteem. The obscure vehicle is, in Jimmy’s own words, “a shit“, and unlike the old Cutlass, barely runs – a metaphor for how Jimmy fails as a lawyer when You better call Saul begin.



Jonathan Banks as Mike and Bob Odenkirk as Jimmy in Better Call Saul

Yellow in television and film often denotes cowardice or lack of confidence, and You better call Saul usually uses color when a character isn’t true to himself – Gus Fring when working at Los Pollos Hermanos, or Daniel the pill supplier’s outlandish truck/sneaker combo, for example. Driving a yellow car alludes to Jimmy running away from his “Slippin'” persona, desperately trying to land a decent job as a lawyer. The analogy is completed by the Suzuki’s unique red door. As confirmed by You better call Saul showrunner Peter Gould, red represents crime in breaking Badso the little splash (near Cutlass coloring) peeking through the Suzuki’s yellow exterior illustrates just how good Jimmy is trying going straight, but the old habits are not completely dead, whether they are hard or not. Even the car’s model name, “Esteem”, has a meaning. At this time in his life, Jimmy feverishly seeks the respect of Howard, Kim, Chuck, and the legal community as a whole.


When Jimmy McGill gets a decent job as a lawyer (at Davis & Main), he switches to driving a Mercedes-Benz. The reputable manufacturer recognizes Jimmy’s high social status in You better call Saul season 2, but the gray paint job literally sucked the color out of Jimmy’s personality, making him part of the machine he raged against (and playing into the aforementioned light switch scene ). The strongest Mercedes detail, however, is how Jimmy’s coffee mug doesn’t fit in the car’s cup holder – just like Jimmy doesn’t fit among the legal professionals at Davis & Main.


Jimmy McGill’s Suzuki Esteem meets its demise during You better call Saul season 5. The lawyer is attacked by Juan Bolsa’s men while transporting Lalo’s bail money to Salamanca, and the old bicolor is caught in the shootout. Pushed from a boulder to conceal the attack, the death of Jimmy’s trusty vehicle symbolizes the death of his old life – both Jimmy McGill the legitimate lawyer and Slippin’ Jimmy the occasional street trickster. Once the car is gone, he takes an unstoppable one-way road to become criminal lawyer Saul Goodman.

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