In Season 4 Episode 3 of Better Call Saul, Jimmy finally read the letter that Chuck left for him. Kim had been debating about sharing it with Jimmy, but she finally did. The whole scene was a little odd, however. (Spoilers below for tonight’s episode.)
First, Chuck’s letter seemed very out of character for Chuck. By the end of Chuck’s life, he couldn’t stand Jimmy. But the undated letter was, instead, very complimentary of Jimmy. The letter mentioned Jimmy’s time in the mailroom and talked about how Chuck was in Jimmy’s corner and glad bout his contribution to HHM. This was obviously written in the past, because the sentiment of the letter and the circumstances bear no resemblance to Jimmy’s and Chuck’s lives at the time of Chuck’s death.
Jimmy seemed unaffected by the letter, or by Chuck’s decision to only leave him with $5,000. He’s learned how cruel his brother could be and that it’s a waste of emotion to let Chuck’s cruelty affect him deeply. But Kim began crying while Jimmy was reading the letter and was so upset she had to leave the room. Why was she so upset?
The show didn’t reveal exactly why she was upset, but fans have a few theories.
The first theory is that the letter showed how far Chuck’s mental state had deteriorated. Kim was upset because this was what Jimmy deserved to hear from Chuck, but never did.
Another theory is that Chuck did write this letter closer to when he died, but he was writing about what he hoped would have happened to Jimmy (perhaps a world where Jimmy always stayed under his thumb.) The cruelty (which would fit with Chuck’s intelligence), made Kim cry.
Another possibility is that Kim did read the letter before giving it to Jimmy, but what Jimmy read to Kim was not the letter that Chuck wrote. She’s upset because she knows that Jimmy is making up the letter.
A final theory is that Kim rewrote the letter herself. Chuck wrote something terribly cruel and Kim didn’t want Jimmy to see what Chuck really wrote. So being protective of Jimmy, as she often is, she wrote a different undated letter and left it for him. It seems an odd choice for Kim to write, but certainly a possibility.
I personally think this last theory or the third theory are likely. Kim might legitimately try to protect Jimmy by creating a letter that Jimmy deserved to hear, but which wouldn’t raise too many suspicions (so it would be from an earlier time period in Chuck’s life.) But it’s also possible that Chuck wrote a letter to the brother he wished he had, and left it as a cruel final message.
Jimmy’s comment about how Chuck was always good about writing letters indicates to me that Kim might have actually written this, because it would make Jimmy’s statement quite ironic when you rewatch the episode later after learning Kim wrote the note.
But it’s not very clear which theory is the right one.
Which theory do you believe about the letter, or do you have a different theory about why Kim was so upset? Let us know in the comments below.