Better Call Saul finally found a way to solve a plot hole created during the Breaking Bad era. In the most recent installment of Better Call Saul season 5, “JMM,” Kim and Jimmy tie the knot in distinctly unromantic fashion, exchanging (shortened) vows in a quick and joyless legal ceremony one morning before work. Their intention was to protect the couple from testifying against each other if Jimmy’s illegitimate shenanigans as Saul ever caught up to him, but despite the cold and clinical wedding, the spark between Jimmy and Kim was still very much alight, even after the former admitted to working with the cartel.
Despite the cut and dry nature of their nuptials, one interesting character detail cropped up during the documentation stage of the ceremony: Jimmy’s 2 previous marriages. Although further details aren’t explored in “JMM” and Kim’s non-reaction proves that she was well aware of being Jimmy’s “third time’s the charm,” this subtle addition to the episode actually clears up an inconsistency Vince Gilligan had been mulling over ever since settling down to work on the Saul-focused prequel.
In Breaking Bad, Saul ruefully tells Walter White that he caught his second wife cheating with his own step-dad, establishing at least 2 marriages in the sketchy lawyer’s past. When Gilligan later decided to base a spinoff around Saul, his extensive marriage history created a lot of questions. What happened with the wives? Was Kim one of them? Was Jimmy still married? Etc. The showrunner himself admits that the original Breaking Bad line was a throwaway addition and proved prohibitive during the writing of Better Call Saul. The only reference to being married so far in Better Call Saul came in season 1, where Jimmy describes getting revenge on his first wife (who also cheated on him) via the nauseating “Chicago Sunroof” incident. But this only partially explains the missing chapter of Jimmy’s history.
With Jimmy handing over evidence of his previous “dissolutions,” Better Call Saul has successfully navigated around the ex-wives plot hole. Both of the former spouses set up by Breaking Bad came and went long before the events of Better Call Saul, Kim is a completely separate character, and neither of the women had a role in the progression of Jimmy’s on-screen story.
This plot hole highlights the pitfalls of retroactively writing a prequel to an existing character, and Gilligan admits that he didn’t anticipate the issue when first diving into Better Call Saul. Nevertheless, the spinoff deals with the missing wives remarkably well. The “dissolutions” line confirms that both wives actually existed (Saul was known to tell the odd untruth) and approximately places them in Jimmy’s personal timeline. But “JMM” simultaneously renders the nameless exes unimportant to the story when both Jimmy and Kim fail to elaborate on the reference. This quashes any lingering speculation that the ex-wives could play a part in Better Call Saul‘s narrative, and allows the focus to stay firmly on Kim, as Jimmy’s current partner, as well as the far more vital question of how their relationship comes to an end ahead of Breaking Bad, in which Kim is suspicious by her absence.