When we left Better Call Saul’s brothers McGill, Chuck the elder (Michael McKean) had dealt Jimmy the younger (Bob Odenkirk) a one-two punch of heartache, handing over Jimmy’s big nursing home case to Chuck’s own firm, while letting his baby brother know just what he thought of him as a jurist, if not a person altogether.
And while Jimmy got a shot at redemption via a job offer from another prestige firm (and some clarity into the real reason Howard Hamlin was such a shmuck to him all these years), a return trip home and the loss of Marco — the one guy who saw him as a hero — led to a shift in perspective.
S’all good, man. Ain’t that right, Jimmy McGill?
Though Odenkirk has hinted that the newly flush Jimmy’s ready to ditch Chuck’s long shadow and become his own larger-than-life man (whether that’s Saul Goodman just yet or not), is Jimmy completely done with his brother as Season 2 dawns? After all, we did see him parked curbside at Chuck’s house, making sure his housebound brother’s supplies were delivered on schedule. And we did see Chuck spot him and reach for the door kn0b.
“It’s very complicated, and hopefully you saw that on the screen — the question mark. Which is all I intended you to see,” McKean chuckles. “Listen, that moment in Episode 9 last year, everyone talks about that being this betrayal, and it has nothing to do with that, to me. To me, for Chuck, that was something that needed to be done. You can love someone, you can believe in the possibility of their redemption, but that doesn’t make them deliver all the time. They can fall short as people — and I don’t want that happening in a building where I’m the first call: ‘Hey, your brother’s in trouble!’
“I don’t think it’s evil,” McKean continues. “And I don’t think it has to do with their past relationship — a lot of which will become clearer this year. Crystal clear. But there are still secrets. At the end of these next 10 episodes, everyone’s going to understand a lot better. They still might not like Chuck, but they’re going to get it.”
McKean says the root — and resolution — of Chuck’s electromagnetic hypersensitivity is not quite as crystal clear. “I will say this much: You will see a little bit of his past, and there might be indications, but nothing specific,” he offers. “I can’t go any further than that, because it should stay mysterious. I have a feeling that he’s a person who could beat this — but then again, he might be the kind of a person who says screw it, touches a live wire and goes out with a flash!” Which, in either instance, ostensibly leaves Jimmy to shoulder up with his nemesis turned confidant Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks), whose relationship with drug peddler Nacho Vargo (Michael Mando) may tighten, as well.
“Jonathan and Michael, their stuff is about moving the product, being the muscle, getting away with as much as they can get away with, and getting rich on the street,” McKean says. “With Bob and me, it’s a little more complex, because it is about these relationships. … It’s a good thing for people to feel a little bit anxious about it. Alfred Hitchcock made a lot of money making people feel anxious!”
Better Call Saul Season 2 premieres Monday Feb. 15 at 10/9CT on AMC. Check back soon for our exclusive interview with Rhea Seehorn!