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The Better Call Saul Thread - Guilty as Cinnabon

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
Dude, new season... IN TWO MONTHS!


Literally in time for my birthday.

Seriously, I've just been watching random clips online and I swear there isn't a trace of fat on this show.
 

conchobhar

What's Shenmue?
I finally, finally got around to watching this show last year; I'm in the middle of season 4 right now. If Netflix gets the fifth season up soonish, I might even be caught up in time to watch the final season as it airs!

I hardly need to say it, but this show is great. I was always a little skeptical about whether Saul Goodman had the depth, and Bob Odenkirk the chops, to carry a show, but do they ever. Watching Jimmy's fall from criminal lawyer to criminal lawyer is so much more tragic and gripping than Walt's descent, just for how Jimmy really started with good intentions and got beaten down by the world. And his supporting cast— Kim, Howard, fucking Chuck— are all excellent too. The conflicts between Chuck and Jimmy are just delicious; "Chicanery" (S3E5) is some of the very best television I've ever seen.

But, that said… I wouldn't agree that the show doesn't have fat. I'd say that the Mike/Nacho/Cartel side of the show is actually quite fatty, spending a lot of time spinning its wheels, faffing around or just trying to figure out what story it's even trying to tell. Gus' arrival really gives it a shot in the arm and it becomes quite entertaining thereafter, but I won't lie, there's part of me that thinks the show would be even better if it just never left Jimmy's story at all.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
My guess is mini-series to be released on April fools. So kind of all of the above. I bet it will be similar to the Kim Wexler teaches law and Pollos Hermanos training videos.
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
Those characters were drawn exactly once for all three of those promo images, so I wouldn’t get one’s hopes up for a lot of actual animation.
 

SpoonyBard

A Bard Named SPOONY
(He/Him)
Just a reminder that Season 5 was back in February 2020, in the before-lockdown times. I still haven't seen it since Netflix hasn't gotten it yet, though it looks like that's finally happening shortly before Season 6 premieres, so hey! There might be a few short days when I'll be on the same page as everyone else.
 

Purple

(She/Her)
It's also on U.S. Netflix, I'm caught up for the first time in forever. It's definitely been way too long since I saw season 4 though and I feel like there's a couple major events I totally forgot about. Like, what the hell (if anything) did Howard DO to set all this stuff up this season!?

Also was Lalo always this likeable? I seem to recall more of an ominous looming menace vibe to him previously. Not so much with the you guys are all great, have whatever you want and come hang out at my barbeque.

Also, for real- Why the hell didn't Mike have a car? Did someone just drop him off in the middle of nowhere with a sniper rifle, no working phone, and just kind of figure he'd work something out when the coast was clear? It took me out of it a little.[/spoiler]
 
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Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)

This is cute but obviously not a lot of actual insight into the world of Gilligan's ABQ save that the Kettlemans are actually doing fine.
 

karzac

(he/him)
Also, for real- Why the hell didn't Mike have a car? Did someone just drop him off in the middle of nowhere with a sniper rifle, no working phone, and just kind of figure he'd work something out when the coast was clear? It took me out of it a little.

Just finished my rewatch in time for Season 6 and I have to say, this moment is even stranger than you're letting on, because Mike did have a car. You see him drive it down toward Jimmy after the shootout. I have no idea why they didn't take Mike's car instead of Jimmy's. It doesn't make sense that Mike would want to have Jimmy arrive back in his own car for the lie, because the bullet holes give up the game. And even if that were the case, why didn't they go back for Mike's car once Jimmy's broke down. Very odd.

Another thing that didn't occur to me until just today is why didn't they bring Hector back to Mexico when he got sick? I get maybe staying in Albuquerque when he was in a coma, but once he's awake, why put him in a nursing home that he clearly finds torturous. I'm sure he has an estate like Lalo's he could live at with a live-in nurse. Anyway, he was only in the States because Tuco went to jail, right? I mean, I know the reason he's in the home is because that's where he is in Breaking Bad, but it makes no sense in the context of the show.
 

R.R. Bigman

Coolest Guy
Lalo is so prepared that he has his own “kill decoy to fake death in case of emergency” on standby. Recommending him to go to his dentist to get his dental records was an evil touch.

I though both episodes were great. The successful juxtaposition between Jimmy’s scheme paint to Howard as a coke addict and Nacho’s desperate fight to survive getting killed by everyone but Mike is astonishing.
 

karzac

(he/him)
Really love how much this has become Kim and Nacho's story. It's a smart decision, given that we know what happens to most of the rest of the characters.
 

zonetrope

(he/him)
Great opening, though my mind is definitely not the steel trap for every tiny character and plot thread that it was during the Breaking Bad days. I had completely forgotten about those embezzlers from season 1.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
This show is still great. Thr Kettlemans are so awful, I have a hard time feeling any level of bad the way Saul does but I like that because it's in character for him... at thus point, few of his cons involving directly tearing people down, even his victims. He doesn't usually have to see them in pain and when he does he tends to hate it.

Also, while the show continues at its deliberate pace, you get a ton of scams and games of cat and mouse in over two hours of show.
 

Rufferto

(anh/他/él/он)
Just finished my rewatch in time for Season 6 and I have to say, this moment is even stranger than you're letting on, because Mike did have a car. You see him drive it down toward Jimmy after the shootout. I have no idea why they didn't take Mike's car instead of Jimmy's. It doesn't make sense that Mike would want to have Jimmy arrive back in his own car for the lie, because the bullet holes give up the game. And even if that were the case, why didn't they go back for Mike's car once Jimmy's broke down. Very odd.

Another thing that didn't occur to me until just today is why didn't they bring Hector back to Mexico when he got sick? I get maybe staying in Albuquerque when he was in a coma, but once he's awake, why put him in a nursing home that he clearly finds torturous. I'm sure he has an estate like Lalo's he could live at with a live-in nurse. Anyway, he was only in the States because Tuco went to jail, right? I mean, I know the reason he's in the home is because that's where he is in Breaking Bad, but it makes no sense in the context of the show.
I just rewatched this today too to prep for season 6, and you get a quick shot of
Mike's car leaking a bunch of fluids, so his car was likely taken out in the last shootout as well.

Also, watched first two eps of the newest season. Still a great show. I liked the reintroduction of the
Kettlemans, though I would've assumed Craig would still be in jail. Forget how long his sentence was supposed to be. Found it really funny how amiable Craig is with Jimmy and Kim. Also saw a weird parallel with Craig and Jimmy - Craig has done criminal acts, but it's heavily implied that it was done under the wife's orders since she literally controls what he says or does whenever they're on screen together.

As for Jimmy, with Kim also breaking bad, he's essentially reached a point where he would have hit a limit but is now reluctantly following along as Kim goes deeper off the rails. He had no motivation in ruining Howard outside of pleasing Kim. Also, just like when Jimmy initially takes point on leading the Kettlemans, he initiates with the premise that they're going with the carrot instead of the stick. Even after Kim flips the script and goes bad cop, he gives the money to the Kettlemans, which I feel Kim interprets as a sign of weakness when she asks him. He's soft for giving them the money. It's contrasted with Craig helping Kim to call out when she's about to report them to the IRS.
 
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karzac

(he/him)
I just rewatched this today too to prep for season 6, and you get a quick shot of
Mike's car leaking a bunch of fluids, so his car was likely taken out in the last shootout as well.

Ah that makes sense. I remember that shot, but didn't realize that's my what it was communicating.
 

JBear

Internet's foremost Bertolli cosplayer
(He/Him)
Strong "eat the rich" energy from Kim in these openers. She's somehow making a descent into deceit look intensely moral. She clearly enjoyed making that phone call, but I don't think it was the thrill of the con this time: she genuinely hated those two.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
She's somehow making a descent into deceit look intensely moral.
I think that's kind of the brilliance of the show and the complexity of the characters. We have characters we can rightfully either hate or roll our eyes at like Chuck and Howard (respectively) have actual words of wisdom and good advice that is tainted by who they are while some characters make questionable decisions from places that aren't always simply base. Kim is definitely the most complex, with her plans for this season based on a slight in the last season, one that is deeply loaded.

I'm talking about this scene, which I love (from the last ep of season 5)
Some season 5 Spoilers
Howard is still kind of a douche, in a clueless Ned Flanders way. He's not wrong that there's a hurt in Jimmy that's altered his judgment and perceptions of morality over the course of the series. Kim is pretty understandable in the condescending way that he implies Kim has less agency and needs to be "saved" (apparently behind the scenes Patrick Fabian was still hopeful that Howard could "save" Kim and Rhea vehemently disagreed with that being a possibility, which Patrick had to, to his embarrassment, admit was the right call). But there is something about their relationship that bring out the best and worst in the two and Kim tends to react very strongly when confronted with that too.

One of my favourite details that I never considered until I watched in interesting video essay about it is that while Kim has a set of moral values, they aren't as simple as you might think. Early on, it would be easy to see Kim as the one saying "you can't do it, it's wrong." But she never does. When she warns Jimmy off a scheme, it's almost invariably "you might get caught." And that's a fear that's faded as she finds doing things the safe way isn't going to help anyone. It never helped at HHM, she gets work with Mesa Verde and drops that when going with the flow is too costly and now she wants to have basically unlimited funds to do pro bono work and is willing to step on someone who was trying to help her, albeit in a unpleasant, condescending way. There's some much going on with these characters and while I liked Breaking Bad a lot, I find it a lot knottier than "good guy turns bad" in the best possible way.

I feel 100% confident that the show won't kill Kim. But I'm curious if the dark ending she's heading toward is "complete disgrace from the profession" or "has ruined many lives for her cause and doesn't look back."
 
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