Mild spoilers for the entirety of Better Call Saul Season 4 are below, so be warned.
Better Call Saul gave fans a lot of insanely great Breaking Bad call-forwards in Season 4. We met Lalo Salamanca, watched the superlab’s construction, and heard Hector’s dinging bell. No dice for fans hoping to catch a glimpse of Aaron Paul’s Jesse Pinkman, but co-creator Peter Gould says that Rhea Seehorn’s Kim Wexler is basically Saul‘s version of Jesse. Here’s how he put it to the show’s writers:
I said, ‘In some ways, Kim Wexler is this show’s Jesse Pinkman,’ In that Jesse, for all his faults, never lost his humanity, and as the show went on, I think a lot of us felt more worried about Jesse than Walt. Walt, at certain points, felt like a lost cause as a human being. I mean, he was fascinating, you could not take your eyes off him and you were always wondering how far he was going to go to next. But mostly I was worried about Jesse and I think… in some ways the dynamic is very different, obviously. But I think there’s a little bit of that in this show.
Peter Gould’s words are definitely worth chewing on, especially since he has the most authority to say such things other than Vince Gilligan. Kim and Jesse couldn’t be more different in many ways — he’s a druggie turned meth cook, and she’s a successful, self-made lawyer. On a broader level, though, the two characters do cover a lot of the same ground.
In sticking with Jimmy, Kim has allowed her morals to be diluted, but would never drop to his level. She’s loyal to a point, but also isn’t subservient for the sake of it. Kim is also smart in ways that Jimmy isn’t, further strengthening their pairing.
Similarly, Jesse clearly got invested in major criminal behavior working with Walt. He saw it as a means to an end, though, and not a springboard to becoming a drug kingpin. Jesse maintained his core personality and mindset, while Walt (like Jimmy) kept pushing the envelope further and further. And “Magnets, bitch!” proves that Jesse also had a unique form of intelligence.
I seriously don’t think we’ll see Kim’s story panning out in the same way that Jesse’s did, which is good news for all. She will almost definitely have to make an absence though, considering Kim doesn’t have a major presence on Breaking Bad. That doesn’t mean viewers should suddenly be ready to bid her farewell, though.
Speaking with IndieWire, Peter Gould soothed any worries that Jimmy’s transition to Saul Goodman will immediately push Kim away.
I don’t think Kim is through with Jimmy at this point, but I’m worried about what happens to her if she sticks with him as he goes down the path that he’s headed.
Kim is amazing enough that I really do find myself wanting her to extricate herself from anything Jimmy/Saul has going professionally. I’m perfectly happy with them carrying on their romance and friendship and everything else that doesn’t involve her putting her career at risk just to keep one of Jimmy’s compadres out of prison.
Peter Gould also noted that having Kim stand out to fans among all of the Breaking Bad-related hubbub was really something. In his words:
We started off in the shadow of Breaking Bad‘ Now we’re an extension or a variation, but it’s in the same universe. So the fact that people are so attached to Kim is really meaningful.
Now that we know that at least someone on the Better Call Saul creative team thinks of Kim as Jesse, we can start speculating about a scene where they meet. Maybe he bums a cigarette off of her while she’s standing outside a store waiting for Jimmy/Saul. Maybe Kim is related to Jane somehow. The options could go on for hours.
Just because Kim may be Jesse’s surrogate, though, don’t go thinking that Jonathan Banks’ Mike works as a proper stand-in for Bryan Cranston’s Walter White. When CinemaBlend spoke with Banks about the possible connection, he was not in agreement.
Most Better Call Saul fans would probably agree that Kim rocks, and we can’t wait to see more of her in Season 5. Stay tuned for more info on when that’ll hit AMC, and bookmark our fall TV premiere schedule to see when everything else will be debuting soon.