Better Call Saul: Chuck's Letter, When It Was Written & What It Really Means

The latest episode of Better Call Saul ends with Jimmy reading the late Chuck's letter to him, and we break down its contents and meaning.

This post contains spoilers for the Better Call Saul episode "Something Beautiful"


The latest episode of Better Call Saul reveals what Chuck wrote in his letter to Jimmy. Much of the early part of the drama's fourth season has dealt with the aftermath of the elder McGill's death, and how that tragedy affects those who were closest to him. Jimmy, who had a tumultuous relationship with his brother to say the least, seems pretty unmoved by everything. He was borderline annoyed by all the people expressing their condolences at Chuck's funeral, and was completely dismissive of Howard's theory that Chuck committed suicide once he was forced out of HHM.

In last week's "Breathe," audiences learn what Chuck left behind for his younger sibling. Jimmy inherited $5,000, which is a slap in the face since it's the lowest amount one can receive to ensure they won't contest the will. Additionally, there was a personal letter. At the end of "Something Beautiful," Kim gives Jimmy the letter and he reads it. Chuck's words and the immediate reaction to them are very interesting. Here's the letter in full:

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Dear Jimmy,

I have left many things unsaid in our relationship through the years. Rather than allow these unspoken thoughts to die with me, I’ve chosen to record them here for you. I hope you will take my words in the spirit in which they are intended.

I remember quite clearly the day you came home from the hospital. You can’t imagine the joy on mom’s face. I can honestly say I never saw her happier than she was on that day. You brought a shine to our life that nothing else ever did and I’m glad of that.

We have not always seen eye to eye. I expect that will continue to be so in the future, however, nothing will ever change the fact that we are brothers - flesh and blood. And though we are very different people, I want you to know how much I respect what you have made of yourself in these last few years. You have taken the opportunity I gave you in the mailroom and you have run with it, becoming a valued member of the HHM family. For all the problems in your past, I’m proud we share the name McGill. I sincerely admire your energy and resilience. I used to worry about you finding a place in the world, but I’m not worried about that anymore. I’m certain now that no matter what the future may bring, you’ll land on your feet and I hope when you read this, you remember me not only as your brother, but as a person you knew was always in your corner.


Chuck and Jimmy Argue in Better Call Saul

The letter is undated, so viewers have to try to deduct when it was written. Based on the text, it appears to be before Jimmy received his law degree from the University of American Samoa, as it mentions his time in the HHM mailroom and career at the firm. Better Call Saul makes no qualms about Chuck outright despising the fact Jimmy became a lawyer - so much so that he blocked Jimmy from getting a job at HHM (despite the gumption and ambition Jimmy demonstrated by putting himself through law school). By the time the series picks up, Jimmy is a solo practitioner and is no longer a "valued member of the HHM family." Given all that transpired over the first three seasons of the show, it's highly unlikely Chuck wrote the letter during its events.

As for the meaning, the letter contradicts Jimmy and Chuck's final conversation in season 3, where Chuck told his younger brother, "you've never mattered all that much to me." The irony isn't lost on Jimmy, who has no discernible emotional response and sarcastically says to Kim, "The man could write a letter." It's as if Jimmy sees through the feigned sincerity of the letter, which Chuck only intended to give Jimmy in the event of his death. A possible interpretation is that Chuck only tolerates Jimmy when the latter is at the bottom and scrapping for a living. He didn't see the Brothers McGill as equals, regardless of what he says in the letter. And since we knew going into the season Chuck's death helps further Jimmy's transformation into Saul, these words should only embolden Jimmy more by the time he's reinstated by the bar.

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