6 Reasons “You’re Not A Real Lawyer” Is Better Call Saul’s Best Scene In All 6 Seasons

Summary

  • Chuck’s rant pushes Jimmy to abandon ethical practices and embrace becoming Saul Goodman.
  • Howard’s sympathetic side is revealed, and his tragic story is influenced by Chuck’s actions.
  • Chuck’s hatred for Jimmy runs deeper than his disapproval of him as a lawyer, leading to long-lasting consequences and foreshadowing Jimmy’s eventual redemption.


Despite being a prequel to one of the most well-received television dramas ever, Better Call Saul managed to stand on its own merits, and it all started with the show’s very best scene in season 1, episode 9, “Pimento.” After Jimmy discovers that his brother and idol, Chuck McGill, has been stabbing him in the back since becoming a lawyer, he confronts Chuck on the matter. Revealing his true colors, Chuck then explains in full detail why he doesn’t respect Jimmy as a lawyer in the slightest, believing that his law career will only hurt people. Naturally, this inflicts irreparable damage to their relationship.

This is one of Better Call Saul‘s best scenes on shock value alone. Chuck begins to show who he really is, and his words have both immediate and long-term ramifications. His shouting match with Jimmy not only leads to a falling out between the two but also spawns an intense rivalry between them as time goes on that affects both of them. In fact, everything that happens in Jimmy’s story in Better Call Saul directly results from Chuck’s “tough love.”

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6 “You’re Not A Real Lawyer” Sets Up Jimmy Becoming Saul Goodman

Chuck’s Words Only Push Jimmy To Stop Trying Ethically

Up until Chuck’s confession, Jimmy had tried to go on the straight and narrow. Sure, he had run some cons to get ahead as a lawyer, but his efforts in the Sandpiper lawsuit proved that he could do it by the book. However, once Chuck tells him how little he respects how Jimmy got his law degree and how destructive he thinks Jimmy would be if he worked for Hamlin, Hamlin, and McGill, it’s Jimmy’s first hint that trying to make it as a lawyer ethically will never work. While he doesn’t become Saul right away, Chuck’s speech lights the fuse to Jimmy’s descent into becoming Saul Goodman.

5 Howard Hamlin Begins To Look More Sympathetic

This Would Be the First Example Of How Tragic His Story Is

Howard Hamlin and Chuck McGill in Better Call Saul

Beforehand, Howard initially appeared as Better Call Saul‘s first villain, as his outright refusal to hire Jimmy to Hamlin, Hamlin, and McGill for seemingly no reason makes him look like an irrational jerk. The contempt for Howard is at its highest when he refuses to hire Jimmy despite him bringing a multi-million dollar lawsuit to the firm and won’t explain why. It only makes less and less sense when Kim, who had already been established as Jimmy’s close confidant, sides with him on the matter.

When it’s clear that Howard was simply taking the fall for Chuck, his welcoming demeanor no longer comes off as a facade. It turns out he actually is a nice guy and was simply a company man first and foremost. It would also mark the beginning stages of his tragic story. If Chuck had either let Jimmy work for HHM or taken accountability for preventing Jimmy’s success as a lawyer, it’s very possible that Howard’s tragic death in Better Call Saul never would have happened.

4 Chuck’s Better Call Saul Rant Is Really A Lie

He May Not Respect Jimmy As A Lawyer, But That’s Not Why He Cut Him Off

Chuck’s rant sounds like he hates Jimmy as a lawyer because he’s “Slippin’ Jimmy with a law degree” who would use shortcuts to garner the same success as Chuck. That may be his rationale for his actions, but that’s evidently not his motive. Chuck’s issues with Jimmy are much deeper than practicing the same profession as him.

As time passes, it’s clear that Chuck cuts Jimmy off at every turn, not because of the sanctity of the law, but because of his deep-seated envy of how people took to his little brother instead of him. That includes his parents, who, according to Chuck, always held Jimmy in the highest regard in spite of his obvious character flaws. Chuck’s rant signifies the beginning of his embrace of how much he truly dislikes Jimmy. What made it worse was that there was potential for how well the duo would work together as lawyers, which Chuck never bothered to see through.

RELATED: Better Call Saul: Jimmy And Kim’s Relationship Timeline Explained

3 “You’re Not A Real Lawyer” Perfectly Encapsulates Jimmy’s Story

Jimmy’s Purpose As A Lawyer Is Very Different From Most

Bob Odenkirk as Saul Goodman in front of wall he's painting

Jimmy may have started out wanting to find success as a lawyer earnestly, but that’s not how he turns out in the end. The truth is, Jimmy’s not so much a lawyer as he is a criminal who passes off as a lawyer. Knowing his actions in Breaking Bad, like cutting corners, pulling strings, and being all-around willing to bend the law for his clients, he is a criminal first and a lawyer second. And all for the sole purpose of making a quick buck, and many of them, too, knowing who his clientele is. Hate Chuck or not, he’s not wrong about what his brother would turn out as a lawyer. It was riveting that Chuck knew what the future held.

2 Chuck Shows Why He’s Better Call Saul’s Villain (But Is Technically Right)

He May Be Correct, But That Doesn’t Justify What He Did

Chuck McGill in Better Call Saul

Chuck stands out among Better Call Saul’s cast and characters because of his intelligence, bitterness, and ego. All of that first shows up to the forefront when he tells Jimmy how he really feels about him as a lawyer, singling out his abilities as a con artist to exploit the law, which Chuck would later single out as “mankind’s greatest achievement.” Sadly, he is technically right about how problematic Jimmy will be as a “criminal” lawyer.

However, his deception in trying to avoid being the bad guy in keeping Jimmy down is what truly sets him up as a villain because of his manipulativeness and hypocrisy. Chuck proves he’s no better, if not worse, by trying to hurt Jimmy’s law career behind his back while making Howard take responsibility for all of it. On top of all that, he never gave Jimmy a chance to prove himself as a lawyer first. While he’s right about what Jimmy is capable of, it’s fair to wonder if that would have been the case if Chuck had let go of his grudge.

RELATED: These 10 Minutes Of Better Call Saul Reveal The Real Reason For Chuck McGill’s Downfall

1 This Better Call Saul Scene Foreshadows Jimmy’s Eventual Redemption

Jimmy Proved Chuck Was Wrong When He Confessed To His Crimes

Bob Odenkirk as Jimmy McGill doing finger guns behind bars in Better Call Saul's series finale

When Jimmy has the chance to serve a light prison sentence, given the severity of his crimes, he is initially all for it. However, with Kim attending his trial, Jimmy decides to confess to everything. In Chuck’s rant, he tells Jimmy that his practicing law is like “a chimp with a machine gun,” ruining the law’s sanctity. While Jimmy’s initial deal would have fulfilled the prophecy, when push came to shove, Jimmy’s confession, which led to a harsher sentence, proved that Chuck was wrong.

Jimmy’s confession proved that, despite all that he had done in Better Call Saul and Breaking Bad, Jimmy was a good person capable of respecting the law. Even if it comes at the expense of spending the rest of his life in prison, Jimmy proves that he has ethics as a lawyer that he values more than playing “the game.” Chuck’s rant playing a part in Jimmy’s choosing to redeem himself underscores why “You’re not a real lawyer” is Better Call Sauls best scene.

Better Call Saul can be streamed on Netflix.

  • Better Call Saul Poster

    Better Call Saul

    Release Date:
    2015-02-08

    Cast:
    Bob Odenkirk, Rhea Seehorn, Jonathan Banks, Patrick Fabian, Michael Mando, Giancarlo Esposito

    Genres:
    Comedy, Drama, Crime

    Seasons:
    6

    Season List:
    Better Call Saul – Season 1, Better Call Saul – Season 2, Better Call Saul – Season 3, Better Call Saul – Season 4, Better Call Saul – Season 5, Better Call Saul – Season 6

    Story By:
    Peter Gould

    Writers:
    Peter Gould, Vince Gilligan

    Network:
    AMC

    Streaming Service(s):
    AMC

    Franchise(s):
    Breaking Bad

    Directors:
    Vince Gilligan, John Shiban, Keith Gordon

    Showrunner:
    Peter Gould