In Season 3 of Better Call Saul, Jimmy ‘Saul’ McGill’s elder brother, Chuck, killed himself in a house fire and the show sets up various reasons behind his suicide. His illness, insecurity, and complicated relationship with his brother were major reasons behind his suicide.
A prequel to the universally acclaimed Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul focuses on Walter White’s shady lawyer, Saul Goodman. When the decision to make a spinoff on Saul Goodman was taken, many had doubts about whether his character was strong enough to support an entire show.
After an incredible run of six seasons, there remains no doubt that the answer to that question is an absolute yes. Better Call Saul is different from Breaking Bad in many ways, and that’s for the best. However, just like Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul introduced its own set of flawed supporting characters. One of them is Charles M, McGill, played by veteran actor, Michael McKean.
Though Jimmy once loved his brother Chuck, he ended up becoming a sort of villain in his life. Chuck did not believe that his formerly criminal brother deserved to practice law on a higher level. Ultimately, Chuck himself steps out of this feud by deciding to kill himself in the Season 3 finale.
There were various reasons behind Chuck killing himself. To begin with, Chuck had high self-esteem and took great pride in his knowledge of legal abilities and intellect. He also could not accept defeat easily.
So, when Jimmy managed to beat him in court and embarrass him publicly to boot, it was not easy for Chuck to accept it. Jimmy took advantage of Chuck’s insecurity and managed to force him out of the firm he co-created, HHM.
While all of this makes Jimmy himself look like a villain, it is also worth remembering how much Chuck had betrayed Jimmy and tried to sabotage his law career previously. Nevertheless, all of this emotional turmoil contributed in pushing Chuck towards his own death.
Chuck already did chronic electromagnetic hypersensitivity which forced him to remain confined to his home for long periods of time. Chuck realized that his illness is actually heavily psychosomatic and a result of his non-acceptance of a conclusion that was inevitable.
After Chuck is forced to retire from HHM, he has another fight with Jimmy and cuts ties with him for good. But by this time, he is already on the edge and a final push of his illness compels him to take such a drastic step.
Though Chuck killed himself in the Season 3 finale, his death and life continue to shape Jimmy’s life and have an impact on the next few seasons. Chuck’s death serves as a catalyst for Jimmy’s full transformation into Saul Goodman.
After Chuck’s death, Jimmy is able to continue his criminal activities in earnest. So, Chuck McGill’s suicide in the series is a major turning point in both the show and Jimmy’s life.
About Better Call Saul
Better Call Saul is an American crime drama television series created by Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould. It is a prequel and spin-off to the popular award-winning franchise “Breaking Bad”.
Set in the early to mid-2000s in Albuquerque, New Mexico, ‘Better Call Saul’ follows former conman Jimmy McGill’s journey to becoming a sleazy criminal defense lawyer under the moniker of Saul Goodman.
The series premiered on February 8, 2015 on AMC. The series finale aired on August 15, 2022 after a successful run of six seasons.