Better Call Saulfollows the transformation of Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk), a former con artist that is trying to become a respectable lawyer, into the personality of the flamboyant criminal lawyerSaul Goodman(a play on the phrase "[it]'s all good, man!"), over the six-year period prior to the events ofBreaking Badspanning from approximately 2002 to 2008.Jimmy is inspired to turn his life around from his past "Slippin' Jimmy" con-man approach by his older brotherChuck McGill(Michael McKean), a senior partner alongsideHoward Hamlin(Patrick Fabian) in the Albuquerque law firm Hamlin, Hamlin & McGill, as well asKim Wexler(Rhea Seehorn), one of the firm's legal associates who also becomes Jimmy's romantic interest.
Jimmy's initial pursuits during this period are focused on the public defense and earnest attempts to fight for proper justice while trying to get ahead, but soon his life and career starts to intersect with the illegal drug trade in the region, featuring characters and story arcs that continue intoBreaking Bad. This includes the uneasy truce between the Salamanca family that serves theJuárez Carteldrug interest and later led byLalo Salamanca(Tony Dalton) when their patriarch falls ill, andGus Fring(Giancarlo Esposito), a restaurant entrepreneur that uses his stores as a front for the drug trade. Among those caught up in these events includeIgnacio "Nacho" Varga(Michael Mando), an enforcer for the Salamancas who only wants to protect his father from harm, andMike Ehrmantraut(Jonathan Banks), a former police officer who becomes afixerfor Gus.
The show also includes flash-forwards at the start of each season's premiere following the events ofBreaking Bad, where Saul has paid to take on a new identity as Gene Takovic, the manager of aCinnabonstore inOmaha, Nebraska.