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How Better Call Saul's Kim Wexler Held Way More Power Than We Realized

AMC's "Better Call Saul" takes viewers back to Albuquerque several years before Walter White (Bryan Cranston) even thinks about cooking meth in "Breaking Bad" to follow the path of Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk), many years before his metamorphosis into sleazy lawyer Saul Goodman. In order to pull this off, executive producers Peter Gould and Vince Gilligan created a host of new characters to populate Jimmy's world and bridge the gap between members of Albuquerque's legal community and the city's underground criminals. In many ways, the new characters created for the prequel — Nacho Varga (Michael Mando), Chuck McGill (Michael McKean), Howard Hamlin (Patrick Fabian), and Kim Wexler (Rhea Seehorn) — are what makes "Better Call Saul" stand out from its predecessor.

While each of these characters have a significant impact on Jimmy, Kim proves a driving force. As the series moves on and Jimmy and Kim grow more romantically intertwined, "Better Call Saul" grows into Kim's story, too. Kim stands by Jimmy's side as he ultimately decides to offer his legal services to the city's criminal underbelly, and by the time Season 5 rolls around, Kim doesn't just tolerate Saul Goodman's existence — she actively encourages it. 

"[Kim] took care of herself as a super power at one time and it turned into a character flaw because she truly believes that she can manage everything," Seehorn told Deadline about the character. That flaw takes a while to come to light, but when it does, it results in devastating consequences for Kim, Jimmy, and Howard.

Kim is digging a hole she and Jimmy can't get out of

By the end of "Better Call Saul" Season 5, Kim initiates a plan to ruin Howard's life, an undertaking that requires serious effort on her and Jimmy's parts throughout the first half of Season 6. As they execute this intricate plan, Kim also advises Jimmy not to back out of their frightening association with Lalo Salamanca (Tony Dalton) and the cartel, even after Albuquerque Deputy District Attorney Suzanne Ericsen (Julie R. Pearl) urges Kim to tell Jimmy he won't receive backlash for admitting he helped the cartel protect Lalo. 

Throughout their plan, Jimmy and Kim unknowingly dig a deeper hole for themselves. Though they successfully tarnish Howard's reputation in "Plan and Execution," things take a turn for the worse when both Howard and Lalo visit their apartment at the same time. Lalo murders Howard in cold blood, raising the stakes to life-or-death for two lawyers who just scammed their way to a considerable payday.

"I mean, this is the embodiment of what Kim and Jimmy have been pretending is not true this whole season — that there are no consequences to their actions," Rhea Seehorn told Deadline in response to Howard's shocking death. Seehorn further noted that while she thinks Kim is smart enough to understand how this could happen, her reaction in the moment is simply driven by shock. 

Lalo pulls the trigger, but, in many ways, Howard's blood is also on Jimmy and Kim's hands. By Season 6, the lawyers have given up on the straight and narrow path — and it's Kim, not Jimmy, who leads them into the dangerous unknown.