Saul Goodman's story begins at a Cinnabon store in Omaha, Nebraska. He eyes everyone suspiciously. After work he pours himself a drink and sits down in his La-Z-Boy to watch television while the snow falls outside. He retrieves a VHS from a box under the counter and watches commercial from his life as an attorney.
Six years prior, Jimmy McGill is a young criminal defense attorney who can't be bothered to show up to court on time. When he does show up, after giving himself a peptalk in the men's room, he gives his closing statement and then waits while the prosecutor shows video of his clients' actions: they broke into a mortuary and dismembered a corpse.
Jimmy meets Mike as he attempts to leave the courthouse parking lot. He does not yet know how important Mike Ehrmantraut will become.
Jimmy meets with potential clients at a cafe. The husband is suspected of stealing $1.6 million dollars from the county treasury. Just as the man is about to sign a retainer contract, his wife stops him and says they should sleep on it. Jimmy seems to have struck out.
As he's ordering flowers to send to the potential clients--while driving--a skateboarder slams into Jimmy's car and his brother says he has it on film. When the boys ask for $500 so they won't call the police, he realizes they're scamming him and they run off.
Jimmy's office is in the utility closet of a Vietnamese nail salon. He has no messages, no clients, and no money. His bills are past due and his situation is dire. Then he opens a letter containing a check from Hamlin, Hamlin, and McGill for $26,000. He rips it up and throws it away.
He visits the firm who mailed him the check and finds out the money was for a man named Chuck, his father. The firm's leaders won't pay Chuck out of the firm despite the fact that Chuck is incapacitated. The firm is fancy and financially solvent and it seems that a seat at the table is Jimmy's birthright. After beating up a trash can, he shares a cigarette with one of the women who was sitting at the table.
Jimmy puts his phone, watch, and a lock in the mailbox outside his house before going inside. He lives in a house with no electricity and his father who fears electromagnetic fields and eschews modern technology. Jimmy tries to convince Chuck to cash out his partnership in the law firm but he maintains he's going to beat his agoraphobia.
After arguing, Jimmy says that Chuck is broke and needs to cash out because he can't keep the both of them afloat. Then he learns that Howard has been to visit his father and the law firm is sending Chuck checks for living expenses, effectively keeping him on the payroll. Chuck demands he will get better and then tells Jimmy he might want to think of a different name for his law firm. Using "McGill" might be misleading.
To build his practice, Jimmy visits the skateboarders and propositions them to go into business with him. He wants them to get hit by a car so he can entice Betsy to hire him on retainer. Their scam becomes a felony but Jimmy can't convince the boys to let him represent them in order to get them all more money.
A maid was driving the car instead of Betsy. The boys follow her to a house and ask for money. Jimmy arrives moments later and a man opens the door and puts a gun in Jimmy's face. It's Tuco Salamanca.