Why Does Chuck Almost Open the Door at the End of the “Better Call Saul” Season 1 Finale?


The ending of Better Call Saul’s (2015) first season did not bode well for the future brotherly relationship between Jimmy (Bob Odenkirk) and Chuck (Michael McKean). Jimmy had just discovered that his arch-nemesis Howard Hamlin (Patrick Fabian) was not really to blame for his career issues and constant denial of employment with HHM - it was his brother pulling the strings all along. The reveal came in the form of a heart-wrenching scene where Chuck tells Jimmy he’s not a real lawyer, and that he has no faith in him.

Near the end of the episode, Chuck sees Jimmy outside his house talking to his caregiver. Chuck puts his hand on the door knob as if he were about to open it and say something to Jimmy, just as Jimmy starts to drive away. What was he going to say? Was he going to apologize? Was he going to further explain his stance? Did he have a change of heart?

It seemed impulsive. Chuck is a conflicted person. There’s more to his character than lies on the surface, but what’s clear is that he hides from his problems. He doesn’t leave his house, he has lost the ability to go outside and talk to people, he remains a partner of HHM even though he doesn’t work, and he lied to Jimmy for years about his fondness of him being a lawyer. Even when Jimmy was genuinely trying to turn his life around and become a good, honest, hard-working lawyer, Chuck saw him as nothing more than a two-bit watch-stealing criminal. It’s his way, making Jimmy the bad guy so that he doesn’t have to face the fact that he’s a weak man himself. Jimmy needs to be his personal villain so he can continue to feel useful and superior.

If Chuck had opened the door and attempted any form of reconciliation with his brother, it would be as good as admitting he was wrong. As it is, he doesn’t go there. He stays in his house, protected and safe, with Jimmy out of his life - just the way he wanted things to be.