How the Toxicity of Their Relationship Lit the Spark to the Demise of Brothers McGill in ‘Better Call Saul’

In another one of their highly insightful video essays, Debra Minoff and Susannah McCullough of ScreenPrism shone a light on the highly toxic relationship that existed between brothers Jimmy and Chuck McGill of the sublime series Better Call Saul. They specifically focus on how the audience is brought into the relationship at the time when Jimmy appears to be a benevolent sibling taking care of his annoying older brother, yet it was actually Chuck who took care of Jimmy since childhood. In the finale, however, these tables were turned. During their very last argument, Chuck openly rejected Jimmy’s apology, encouraged him to embrace his faults and pushed him away for good, leaving room for Saul Goodman. Chuck, who was unable to bear the pain of hypocrisy, deliberately knocked over a lantern to set fire to his own house with him in it.

We’ve spent a lot of the series paying attention to how Chuck has hurt Jimmy through his resentment, his underhanded sabotage and his fundamental refusal to believe in his brother but the finale forces us to wonder how much Jimmy is to blame for the sad deterioration of Chuck.