They say it is about who you know not what you know. Networking is the driving force behind career growth. It is a lot like Survivor in fact. If people don’t like you then you don’t stand a chance.
Sometimes who you know is a curse. If who you know is so great at what they do then you are forced to live in their shadow. Being close to someone who is a big success can hinder your ability to think and act independently. If you see your brother become a successful lawyer then why wouldn’t you try to become a successful lawyer?
Jimmy McGill loves his brother and he has always fought for his respect. And because of this, Chuck is the last thing that is holding Jimmy back from becoming Saul.
Throughout the series we have witnessed Chuck attempting to guide Jimmy on a respectful path. Meanwhile we have seen Jimmy try his best to listen to his brother’s advice. Jimmy is trying so hard to do things the right way that he is giving senior citizens discounts on their wills.
And despite all of this Jimmy is at his best when he is doing things his way. Whether it is hunting down the Kettlemans or setting up a heroic rescue atop his billboard. Jimmy has potential to do great things but his morals, his brother, are holding him back.
It all started with Jimmy secretly putting himself through Law School (Go Landcrabs!) and passing the Bar exam without ever cluing Chuck in. His first act of doing something on his own is remarkable but he is doing it for the respect of his brother. He did it because his brother did it and it was what he should do.
When Jimmy gets turned down for a job at his brother’s firm, Jimmy faces his first obstacle on the path of doing the smart thing. Here he has worked hard in the mail-room, shown initiative by passing the Bar with no help and he is related to one of the partners of the firm. Yet he still comes up short.
In the present Jimmy shows his dependence on his brother by leaving a bunch of wills that need to be done in Chuck’s home. Jimmy knows Chuck won’t be able to fight the temptation to do the work for him. Heck, Chuck knows he won’t be able to fight the temptation. And when Chuck does the work and Jimmy displays some faux-surprise it is obvious that Jimmy has done this before.
Even more telling of Chuck holding Jimmy back is when Jimmy learns about fraud in an assisted living home he literally runs home to his brother and asks for advice. Jimmy knows this will pique Chuck’s interest in the case. He is laying the groundwork for his brother’s help.
Later Jimmy falls asleep attempting to piece together some shredded documents. I suspect he knows that Chuck will not be able to resist the urge. And lo and behold when Jimmy wakes up the next morning the work is done for him.
Chuck is Jimmy’s crutch. But Chuck has done many great disservices to his brother. He couldn’t, or wouldn’t, get Jimmy a job at his firm. He is attempting to guide Jimmy away from his natural skill sets and onto a more righteous and honest path. And he has been forcing Jimmy to help him deal with his “disease”. While Chuck’s intentions were in the right place, he has been holding Jimmy back from becoming something great.
As Chuck is slowly wading into the world again and as the world is slowly turning Jimmy away, something big is brewing. Some event centered around Chuck will be the catalyst behind the death of Jimmy and the birth of Saul. Chuck is the last piece in the puzzle of Saul Goodman.