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Hey. Hey! It is you. I thought it was you. I wasn't all the way sure, but now that I'm seeing you up close... Sure. It's you. Come on, man. I just want to say hi. I'm a big fan. Y'know, back in the day, when I lived in Albuquerque with my ex, I used to see you everywhere. You were on the billboards, on the TV. I used to have one of your matchbooks.
― Jeff confronting Gene Takavic after recognizing him as Saul Goodman[src]

Jeff, also known as Jeffy, is an eccentric and suspicious cab driver from Omaha, Nebraska, previously residing in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He is the son of Marion and a friend of Buddy.

Jeff recognizes Jimmy McGill as Saul Goodman while Jimmy was under his Gene Takavic identity in Omaha. Jeff approaches Jimmy on his lunchbreak with a friend and asks Jimmy to do his iconic "Better Call Saul!" catchphrase and point. Although initially hesitant Jimmy gives in and Jeff tells him to ask for him whenever he needs a ride. After being recognized, Jimmy calls Ed Galbraith to request another identity change, but changes his mind and resolves to fix the problem himself.

Jimmy finds and befriends Jeff's mother, Marion, and she invites him back to her house. While there Jeff asks Jimmy what he is doing there and Jimmy offers to get him into "the game". Jeff, Jimmy, and one of Jeff's friends plan a robbery at the mall where Jimmy works. Jimmy creates a floor plan of the store they will be robbing and recreates it in an open field for Jeff to practice his route. When the day of the robbery arrives, Jimmy distracts the security guard while Jeff robs the store. All is going well until Jeff slips and knocks himself out, forcing Jimmy to fake a depressive episode until he can regain consciousness. Eventually, Jeff wakes up and completes the robbery. Afterward as the three of them are celebrating, Jimmy reveals that he purposely set up the robbery in such a way that if Jeff tries to snitch on his true identity they will both be arrested. As he leaves, Marion tells Jimmy that she thinks he is a good influence on Jeff.

Jimmy later resumes working with Jeff and his friend Buddy in a new series of scams involving identity theft. Buddy backs out when he learns their latest target has cancer; Gene cuts him out of the operation and forces Jeff to drive him to the man's house so that he can break in himself. While Gene is inside, Jeff panics when he sees a police car idling behind him and crashes his taxi into a parked vehicle, leading to his arrest. In addition, the homeowner came out and accused Jeff of robbing him, adding to his legal troubles. Gene promises to bail out Jeff and calls Marion asking her to accompany him, but Marion becomes suspicious and uses the laptop Jeff bought her with the department store money to discover Gene's true identity as Saul Goodman. When Gene is arrested, no mention is made of his crimes from Omaha so it's unclear what happened to Jeff afterwards, but Gene had told Jeff that there was no proof of Jeff having committed the robbery and he could likely get those charges dismissed.

History[]

Background Information[]

Jeff lived in Albuquerque at one point with his now ex-girlfriend. There he became a fan of famous criminal lawyer Saul Goodman, often seeing his advertisements around town. He later moved to Omaha, Nebraska with his mother Marion, and became a taxi driver. According to Marion, while they lived in Albuquerque, Jeff fell in with a bad crowd, and committed crimes such as public intoxication, public urination and resisting arrest.

Better Call Saul[]

Season 4[]

After leaving a hospital, Saul (then under the alias Gene Takavic) enters Jeff's cab and asks to be driven back to the mall where he works. Gene becomes worried upon seeing an Albuquerque Isotopes air freshener hanging from his rear-view mirror. Jeff recognizes Gene from Saul Goodman's days in Albuquerque and stares at him to the point that he doesn't drive through a green light. Gene asks to be let out in a residential neighborhood and Jeff stops the car. As he walks away—at one point kneeling down to pretend to tie his shoes—Gene sees that the taxi doesn't drive off.

Season 5[]

A few days after Gene comes home from the hospital, Jeff excitedly approaches him at the mall where Gene is on break. Having previously lived in Albuquerque, Jeff recognizes Gene as Saul Goodman and insists upon Gene's identity. Jeff brings with him a silent friend who he states wanted to tag along and continues to pressure Gene into doing his "Better Call Saul" catchphrase. After nervously spotting some cops nearby, Gene reluctantly does the catchphrase and then again when Jeff corrects him. Jeff introduces himself and tells Gene that if he ever needs a ride, to call the cab company and ask for him before Jeff leaves with his friend.

The encounter with Jeff rattles Gene to the point that he calls Ed Galbraith. However, Gene ultimately changes his mind and tells Ed that he will "fix it myself" before walking off. ("Magic Man")

Season 6[]

Jeff's mother Marion rides her mobility scooter around a supermarket, shopping for groceries. On her way home, her scooter becomes stuck in the snow. She attracts the attention of Gene, who is stapling missing posters around the neighborhood looking for a supposed lost dog named Nippy. He offers to help Marion, deftly disconnecting the wiring of her scooter to ensure that he manually wheels her all the way home. Jeff arrives home to find Marion, his mother, conversing with Gene in their kitchen. He is forced to sit awkwardly at the table as Gene effortlessly charms Marion, who tells her son that he will be staying over for dinner. Later that night, as they are taking out the trash, Jeff confronts Gene about appearing at his house. Gene tells Jeff that he knows why Jeff hasn't turned him in or blackmailed him: because Jeff wants in on "the game", i.e. the criminal lifestyle. Gene offers to give Jeff an opportunity to play the game for real; Jeff eagerly agrees. Gene returns to his apartment and mixes himself a drink, listening to the police radio frequency. After a few moments of rumination, he takes out his hidden shoebox and retrieves Marco's pinky ring. Upon putting it on for the first time in a while, Gene appears to gain newfound confidence as he turns off the radio.

The following night, after closing the Cinnabon, Gene ventures up to the mall's second-floor security office carrying a Cinnabon bag. There, he is greeted by Nick Evans, a distrustful security guard who recognizes him from an earlier incident involving a shoplifter. Gene is allowed into the office and meets Frank Danielsen, an obese guard who mans a surveillance station. Gene presents two Cinnabon samples to the guards in purported gratitude for aiding him during his fainting spell. While Nick leaves for a patrol, Frank talks to Gene about college football while eating his meal. Gene sets his watch to a timer, measuring how long it takes for Frank to eat. Thus begins a nightly routine for Gene: after closing the Cinnabon every evening, he takes out some food up to Nick and Frank, gradually developing a rapport with them. As time goes on, he calculates that it takes about three minutes for Frank to finish his meal. Meanwhile, Gene visits the mall's high-end department store and counts the paces between certain racks of items, jotting down his calculations in a small notebook. The data Gene collects allowed him to set up a grid in a remote field outside Omaha, where he has Jeff run to certain points within a three-minute window; the plan is for Jeff to shoplift a massive amount of expensive clothing after-hours, with Gene monitoring his progress through the surveillance monitors. Jeff expresses doubt that Gene's plan will work, thinking that it is "crazy"; Gene comments that what really seemed crazy was a 50-year-old high school chemistry teacher cooking meth to save money for his family and becoming a millionaire within the span of the year. He persuades Jeff to stick to the plan.

Kathy, the manager of the department store, asks for a scuff-marked floor to be polished as she is taking inventory before closing. She is notified that someone is making an unannounced delivery at the loading dock. She finds Ricky, a friend of Jeff's and an accomplice in the heist, with a large wooden crate apparently containing industrial equipment. Having not asked for the delivery, Kathy asks to talk to Ricky's supervisor. The number he gives her goes to a burner phone belonging to Gene, who plays the role of Ricky's boss while working in the Cinnabon. He manages to persuade Kathy to keep the crate at the loading dock for the night. After closing the Cinnabon, Gene again takes food up to Nick and Frank. Once he is alone with Frank, Gene sends a text message to Jeff, who is hiding inside the crate. Following his training, Jeff runs through the department store, retrieves certain expensive items, and deposits them inside the crate; Gene watches Jeff through the surveillance monitors while conversing with Frank. However, during his last run, Jeff slips on the newly-polished floor and knocks himself out. Desperate to keep Frank from turning around and catching Jeff on the monitors, Gene feigns an emotional breakdown in which he states that he is alone in the world and that no one will mourn him after he dies, He mentions that his parents and his brother are dead and that he has no wife, children, or friends. Gene's sob story distracts Frank long enough for Jeff to come to and put the remaining stolen items into the crate, then run into the department store's restroom. With the heist concluded, Gene leaves the security office and struggles to collect himself.

The following morning, Kathy opens up the department store; neither she nor the other employees or customers are the wiser to the night's events. Jeff emerges from hiding in the restroom and is briefly approached by Kathy as he pretends to browse for clothes. A smirk emerges on Jeff's face as he leaves the store, realizing that he has gotten away with the theft. In the outdoor garage of Jeff's house, he and Ricky open the crate and marvel at their loot, exhilarated at the thrill of the successful heist. Gene cuts the celebration short by blackmailing them into silence, letting them know that he will report them for the theft if they try to turn him in and warning them on the legal penalties for each state and federal offense they have engaged in. He tells both men that they are not friends, and warns them against trying to come near him or the mall again. When Marion comes by the garage on her scooter, the three men pretend to be looking at the engine of an old car to avoid drawing suspicion. Inviting Gene inside, she tells him that Jeff fell in with a bad crowd when they lived in Albuquerque and tells Gene that he is a good influence on her son. Prompted by her questioning, Gene tells her that the fictitious Nippy was found by relatives living nearby. ("Nippy")

Gene visits Jeff's house once again and is greeted by Marion, who shows him a new laptop computer that Jeff has given her using his proceeds from the mall heist, using it to watch funny cat videos on YouTube. Jeff returns home to find them together in the kitchen. Gene excuses Jeff and himself from the kitchen, perturbing Marion. In the garage, he asks Jeff to take the night shift at the cab company and to acquire barbiturates. Jeff is confused, as Gene had previously warned him against trying to contact him again. Gene nonverbally tells him that they are "back in business". The two men share a toast.

That night, Gene — using the pseudonym "Viktor" — performs at a karaoke bar. The mark in his latest scam is Alfred, an obnoxious patron who coaxes Gene into a series of bets. At one point, Alfred orders a drink on Gene's tab, which Gene dispenses with using a tube hidden in his sleeve. Outside, Jeff picks up Alfred in his cab, leaving Gene behind. Gene disposes of the drink from a hot water bottle hidden under his shirt. Meanwhile, Jeff gives Alfred a bottled water spiked with barbiturates and sends a signal to Buddy to begin the next phase of the scam.

Jeff drives Alfred to his home, a large house in an affluent neighborhood. As Alfred opens his front door, Jeff covers his lock with a strip of duct tape. When he drives away, Buddy and his dog enter the house. Leaving the dog at the foyer, Buddy finds Alfred asleep on the living room sofa. He removes Alfred's wallet from his jacket and takes out all of his state, credit, and banking cards, snapping photos of their front and back. He then goes into Alfred's office and snaps photos of his checkbook, his bank and tax forms, and his passwords. Buddy quietly leaves the house with the dog, almost forgetting to remove the duct tape from the lock.

Gene lies in bed hearing a knock at his front door. He goes downstairs in his residence and collects a package, which contains a Swing Master machine. With the aid of Jeff and Buddy, Gene starts a new routine: he befriends well-off bar patrons, sends them home in Jeff's cab, and has Buddy enter their homes to steal their financial information. Jeff sells the information to identity thieves in exchange for money and payments in whiskey; Jeff stockpiles his proceeds on top of his hidden shoebox. Gene indulges in some of his other old habits as Saul Goodman, going to strip clubs with Jeff and Buddy and having one-night stands with the strippers.

After settling in to watch TV, Gene receives a call on his old earphone from a frantic Jeff. He, Jeff and Buddy reconvene in Jeff's garage, which is seen by Marion from her bedroom. Inside, Buddy tells Gene that he can't go through with the scam on the cancer-stricken mark, explaining that his own father had cancer. When Buddy says that he removed the duct tape from the mark's lock, Gene angrily fires him and warns him to not talk about what they've been doing. He quickly enlists Jeff to drive him to the mark's house so that he can commit the break-in himself, dismissing Jeff's own misgivings. Gene breaks through a glass panel to unlock the mark's front door. ("Breaking Bad")

After breaking into the house, Gene finds the cancer-stricken mark laying asleep on his living room floor. He proceeds to take photos of the mark's bank documents and steal expensive watches from his rec room. The mark soon wakes up and uses the bathroom; Gene is prepared to knock him out with a cremation urn when he once again falls asleep. Meanwhile, Jeff pulls up in front of the house to pick up Gene. However, a police cruiser pulls up behind his cab as the two officers inside take a meal break. Assuming that the cruiser is there because of Gene, Jeff tries to speed away and crashes into a parked vehicle. The cops confront Jeff as he stumbles out of the cab. Gene leaves the scene.

Gene makes his way back to his residence. In the early hours of the morning, he receives a call from Jeff in jail via a burner phone. Jeff explains that he has been arrested for the robbery at the mark's house. Tapping into his skills as Saul, Gene tells him that because he wasn't found in possession of stolen items, he can't be linked to the crime. Gene then calls Marion to help him get her son out of jail. When Gene explains that bond declarations are looser in Omaha than in Albuquerque, something jogs Marion's memory; she performs a search on her new computer while he drives to her house.

Gene finds Marion in the kitchen. Hearing noise through her headphones, he seizes her computer and finds she has been watching his old commercials on YouTube; she says she learned his true identity by entering "con man albuquerque" into a search engine. Marion tries to call the police, but Gene rips the phone cord out of the wall and fashions it into a garotte, warning her against pressing her LifeAlert button. Marion says, "I trusted you", which throws him off long enough for her to press the button and tell the operator that the fugitive Saul Goodman is in her kitchen. Finally exposed, Jimmy flees the house and abandons his life as Gene. ("Waterworks")

It is unknown what became of Jeff after Jimmy was arrested, trialed, and sentenced to 86 years in prison. However, it is highly possible that he himself was also sent to prison for the crimes he committed while working alongside the, at the time, wanted fugitive. ("Saul Gone")

Personality[]

Jeff's personality varies based on the actor portraying him. When played by Don Harvey, Jeff is shown to be immediately passive-aggressive, domineering, commanding and rude. When first meeting Saul, he does not back down on wanting to hear Saul Goodman say "Better Call Saul!". Jeff heavily insists many times that Saul says the line, even to the point of making Saul very uncomfortable. Although Saul says the line a couple of times, Jeff is not satisfied until Saul says it loud and enthusiastic enough.

When portrayed by Pat Healy, Jeff is portrayed as less domineering and more passive and compliant. Jeff lives with his mother, whom he cares very much for. Saul is able to convince Jeff to take part in Saul's schemes, and although uncomfortable and hesitant over this, he still enjoys the money gained from these schemes.

Quotes[]

"Hey. Hey! It is you. I thought it was you. I wasn't all the way sure, but now that I'm seeing you up close... Sure. It's you. Come on, man. I just want to say hi. I'm a big fan. Y'know, back in the day, when I lived in Albuquerque with my ex, I used to see you everywhere. You were on the billboards, on the TV. I used to have one of your matchbooks. (...) Come on, man. That's not cool. I know who you are. You know who you are. Let's just get past that. Don't worry about him. He's cool. He just wanted to come along. Hey, you know who I had in my cab once? Sammy Hagar! He's even more famous than you. (...) I just want you to admit it. (...) Sure you do. Just say it. (...) Come on. Come on. Come on, man. Say. It."
―Jeff confronting Gene Takavic after recognizing him as Saul Goodman[src]

Jeff: "Dude, what the fuck?!"
Gene: "I know it's awkward, right? But you don't have to call me "dad." Yet."
Jeff: "I dunno what this is about... But all I have to do is pick up the phone and it's bye-bye, Saul Goodman."
Gene: "Yeah, but you haven't picked up the phone yet, have you? Or tried to strong-arm me for cash. And guess what? I know why. Because reward money, blackmail... That's not gonna tickle your pickle. I know what you really want."
Jeff: "Oh, yeah? What's that?"
Gene: "You want in the game."
Jeff: ""The game"? W-What... What game?"
Gene: "The game. The one you've been watching your entire life. You got your nose pressed up against the glass, peerin' in while the big boys play."
Jeff: "Man, speak English. What the hell are you talking about?"
Gene: "The game. It's right there... You can see it, but you can't touch it. The cars, the clothes, the cash. The ladies. It's about knowing all the angles, you know, putting it all on the line and winning big. But here you are, Jeffie. Standing outside with the suckers. Tryin' to pay off that cab, sweatin' the bills, gettin' older. It's so close, but, damn it, you just can't get in. Until now. I can make it happen."
Jeff: "You?"
Gene: "Saul Goodman. So, here's the deal. I will show you the game. And then we're done."
―Jeff and Gene's confrontation[src]

Jeff: "I don't know..."
Gene: "What don't you know?"
Jeff: "Just, this whole thing, it seems crazy!"
Gene: "Is this too hot for you?! Ju— You know what, just say so! You know what? Screw it. "Crazy." I'll tell you what's crazy! Fifty-year-old high school chemistry teacher comes into my office. The guy is so broke, he can't pay his own mortgage. One year later, he's got a pile of cash as big as a Volkswagen. That's crazy."
―Gene referencing Walt in a conversation with Jeff[src]

"Yeah, no shit "wrong tree", like wrong forest."
―Jeff during a phone call to Gene after being arrested.[src]


Trivia[]

  • Jeff ostensibly alleges that, at one point, he chauffeured Sammy Hagar in his cab.
  • Jeff was recast with a new actor (Pat Healy) for Season 6, due to original actor Don Harvey's contractual obligations to the show "We Own This City" rendering him unavailable.
  • Jeff and Buddy are the last characters shown on-screen to have entered "the game".
  • The ultimate fates of Jeff and Buddy following Jimmy's arrest are unknown as it isn't mentioned what happened with Jeff's charges regarding the robbery or if they ever faced charges for their crime spree while working with Jimmy.

Appearances[]

Better Call Saul[]

Episodes 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
Season 1
Season 2
Season 3
Season 4
Season 5
Season 6
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