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Topic: BETTER CALL SAUL, season 3 (Topic Closed Topic Closed) Post ReplyPost New Topic
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 16 May 2017 at 7:42pm | IP Logged | 1  

Harry says it's a turning point for Chuck but it is also for Jimmy. As Rebecca says to him: "You got what you wanted. Now it's time to do what's right." To which Jimmy answers: "Yeah... no." 
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Odenkirk's delivery of that line gave me a bit of of a chill, because of what it signifies. He sounded like Saul Goodman in that moment. Not the clownish huckster Saul Goodman that people remember from BREAKING BAD, but rather the Saul Goodman seen in more quiet and grim moments--the one with a heapng amount of cynicism and sarcasm in his voice. Up until now, Odenkirk has given Jimmy's vocal performance a lot of life and optimism, even in his darker moments. Those two words really do seem to signify a shift toward the more world-weary and morally-bankrupt character that we knew so well on BREAKING BAD.
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Nelson Zeppilli
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Posted: 16 May 2017 at 7:53pm | IP Logged | 2  

It's fascinating how BCS manages to be enjoyable on two levels at the same time. As a completely satisfying show in itself about a good-hearted small-time crook and simultaneously as a pure tragedy when you think about what happened next.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 16 May 2017 at 7:54pm | IP Logged | 3  

Lydia's appearance was a good surprise but, at the same time, felt a bit gratuitous, in the sense that, for someone who wouldn't have watched Breaking Bad, the shot of her wouldn't mean much at this point.

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It all depends on whether or not they do more with her, but I don't find it gratuitous. As noted, she was established as having worked with Gus during BREAKING BAD, but only came to the forefront of the story when Walt literally blew it all up. 


One of the great things about BCS is that it doesn't at all require one to be familiar with BREAKING BAD. It's a much richer experience if you are, but it's not necessary. Each of the BB characters who have popped up have had legitimate BCS story functions, and who they are and why they're involved in the story has been explained (even if only gradually).


More and more, I think it would be possible to watch BB after BCS, and it would all feel like one coherent narrative, rather than a parent show and a prequel spin-off. The shows are intimately connected, but they also stand up perfectly as independent entities. The BB cameos in BCS have all served story purposes, and are a logical and organic part of the storytelling. This only makes sense, because both shows take place in the same city, and within (relatively) the same timeframe. A significant degree of overlap is to be expected, especially on Mike's end. Mike leads to Gus, who leads to a whole bunch of others, including Lydia. It took Gus several years to get his $8 million superlab up and operating, after all, and seeing the beginnings of that--and how Mike became involved--is pretty much inevitable, given Mike's major role in BCS.


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Rob Ocelot
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Posted: 16 May 2017 at 11:57pm | IP Logged | 4  

 I get the feeling that he may end up having something to do with Hector ending up in that wheelchair, rather than Gus, as everyone has assumed. Looks like he's gonna find out what Hector's taking pills for, and exploit that weakness, especially now that Hector wants to drag Nacho's civilian father into the business.

I think once this aspect of the story plays out you'll view a very specific scene in BB in a completely different light...

... and that's all I'll say on the matter since I think it might spoil too much.


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Nelson Zeppilli
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Posted: 17 May 2017 at 5:23am | IP Logged | 5  

Me

Lydia's appearance was a good surprise but, at the same time, felt a bit gratuitous, in the sense that, for someone who wouldn't have watched Breaking Bad, the shot of her wouldn't mean much at this point.

Greg Kirkman

It all depends on whether or not they do more with her, but I don't find it gratuitous. As noted, she was established as having worked with Gus during BREAKING BAD...

Gratuitous might not have been the proper word. Let me rephrase my thinking. I will take Francesca's return as an example. For a non-breaking bad viewer, it makes total sense that Jimmy and Kim would hire a secretary and it's obvious that her personality phases very well with Jimmy's. Her scenes work by themselves. Having seen Breaking Bad only adds to it. Now, when Lydia appears in BCS, she's just a woman in a car with Gus. It's not clear who she is and why she is here. She might be the owner of the factory or she even might be his wife. A non-breaking bad viewer wouldn't have enough information (at this point, like I said) for her presence to be truly meaningful. But, for the writers, explaining her character again might feel redundant for BB's viewers. In short, her scene works for BB viewers but not as well for newcomers.

Anyway, I'm only nitpicking there, I know. I enjoyed the scene.



Greg Kirkman
More and more, I think it would be possible to watch BB after BCS, and it would all feel like one coherent narrative, rather than a parent show and a prequel spin-off.


Indeed! I can hardly wait to watch Breaking Bad again after the end of Better Call Saul. I think BB will have gained as much depth (if not more) than BCS gains from referencing its predecessor.


Rob Ocelot
I think once this aspect of the story plays out you'll view a very specific scene in BB in a completely different light... and that's all I'll say on the matter since I think it might spoil too much.


You really piqued my curiosity.
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Bill Collins
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Posted: 17 May 2017 at 7:33am | IP Logged | 6  

Like i said,i`m re-watching BB in conjunction with this
series of BCS,i`m looking forward to spotting little
details in both!
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Steve De Young
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Posted: 17 May 2017 at 8:12am | IP Logged | 7  

I recently re-binged BB after rewatching BCS season 2, in preparation for season 3.  Its amazing the level of detail and interweaving if you watch closely.  The jerk whose car Walt sets on fire is the same jerk Jimmy and Kim con at the bar.  The expensive tequila they con him into paying for is the same expensive bottle of tequila that Gus brings to Don Eladio as a gift.  It goes on and on.

While I think the "Yeah...no" moment was significant in terms of Jimmy mentally disconnecting from Chuck, I don't see it as particularly dark or chilling.  I have family members who I basically don't speak to because they've crossed one too many lines with me, and they haven't done half to me what Chuck has done to Jimmy in three seasons of BCS.  Yes, Chuck helped Jimmy out of legal trouble several times.  But Jimmy spent several years of his life, as Kim revisited this episode, taking care of Chuck.  And Chuck repaid that by playing on his love and concern to try to screw Jimmy out of his law license.  After doing everything possible to keep him from finding a job.  I don't think Jimmy has any moral obligation to Chuck anymore whatsoever.  I don't think letting Chuck work out his own problems is bad or wrong.  In fact, Jimmy coddling Chuck and playing into his mental illness may have been doing more harm than good in enabling Chuck and not forcing him to seek the help he needs.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 17 May 2017 at 8:14am | IP Logged | 8  

Now, when Lydia appears in BCS, she's just a woman in a car with Gus. It's not clear who she is and why she is here. She might be the owner of the factory or she even might be his wife. A non-breaking bad viewer wouldn't have enough information (at this point, like I said) for her presence to be truly meaningful. But, for the writers, explaining her character again might feel redundant for BB's viewers. In short, her scene works for BB viewers but not as well for newcomers.
++++++++

Her introduction isn't really different from that of any number of characters throughout BB and BCS, though. There tends to be an air of mystery around just about every character in the show, until we (gradually) find out more about them. For example, Hector's ice-cream truck driver is given a lengthy introductory sequence in the second season, as he's shown going through the U.S./Mexico border checkpoint. It isn't at all clear--at first--if he's some major new character, or if the sequence is just showing us the process of how Hector is smuggling drugs over the border. Eventually, we see the driver robbed by Mike, and executed by the Salamanca cousins after being questioned by Hector, so...no. He wasn't a major new character. But, he could have been.

This sort of thing happens a lot, with episodes teasing out the story fucfions and importance of just about every character who appears. There have been tons of red herrings and misdirections (...remember the ominous and mysterious flash-forwards to the plane collision during season 2 of BREAKING BAD?), and they all serve to maintain tension and viewer interest. You just never know which characters and what moments will become crucially important, so you have to pay attention to everything and everyone. 

I have little doubt that Lydia's presence and connection to Gus will be explained for new viewers in some manner or another, over the next few episodes, even if she doesn't end up playing a major role in the story.


Really, just about the only BB cameo that would be gratuitous would be Walter White, who had clearly never met (nor even heard of) Saul Goodman until Jesse suggested the use of Saul's services to get Badger out of jail. 
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Nelson Zeppilli
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Posted: 17 May 2017 at 8:21am | IP Logged | 9  

I have little doubt that Lydia's presence and connection to Gus will be explained for new viewers in some manner or another, over the next few episodes, even if she doesn't end up playing a major role in the story.

You're probably right. The writers are good enough to deserve more trust from me. And if it's the only "flaw" (more of a "not as satisfactory as everything else" moment) I found in there, I shouldn't complain.


Edited by Nelson Zeppilli on 17 May 2017 at 8:22am
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 17 May 2017 at 8:23am | IP Logged | 10  

While I think the "Yeah...no" moment was significant in terms of Jimmy mentally disconnecting from Chuck, I don't see it as particularly dark or chilling. 
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While I agree that it likely wasn't intended to be "dark", I couldn't help but be reminded of Saul Goodman's selfishness and lack of compassion in that moment. It felt more like foreshadowing than a dark moment unto itself. Just something about Odenkirk's delivery of the line was particularly
un-Jimmy-like. As if a line has been crossed, and he really means it. It was obvious that making Chuck wig out in the courtroom was not something he particularly enjoyed, of course, but "Yeah, no." really makes it seem that his trust and respect for Chuck has been irreparably damaged. Especially when taken in conjunction with his speech about letting Chuck die alone in the hospital, a few episodes back. It's a step,in the direction of Saul's cynicism, as opposed to Jimmy's optimism.
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Steve De Young
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Posted: 17 May 2017 at 8:38am | IP Logged | 11  

(nor even heard of) Saul Goodman
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I don't think it was Walt who said it, but as I recall, one of the first mentions of Saul Goodman on BB was responded to with, "The TV guy?"

After the most recent episode, that response has added context.
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Michael Arndt
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Posted: 19 May 2017 at 1:30pm | IP Logged | 12  

Darn. Only 4 episodes left this season.

Show is firing on all cylinders. Fun to see all the pieces come together. Hats off to the writers and actors. I am loving this series.
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Brian Miller
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Posted: 19 May 2017 at 2:00pm | IP Logged | 13  

Hey Greg, or anybody really, was there ever a scene in BB where Saul/Jimmy explained Saul Goodman was s'all good, man? I know there has been in BCS, but I swear it happened before on BB. 
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Vinny Valenti
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Posted: 19 May 2017 at 2:41pm | IP Logged | 14  

On the DVD/BluRay extras for BB (probably Season 2), there are extra mock Better Call Saul commercials, including Badger (as a customer testimonial of course) uttering that phrase.
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Brian Miller
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Posted: 19 May 2017 at 3:30pm | IP Logged | 15  

Well, I've not seen them on discs, so it's not that. Thanks, tho. 
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 19 May 2017 at 7:25pm | IP Logged | 16  

Greg, or anybody really, was there ever a scene in BB where Saul/Jimmy explained Saul Goodman was s'all good, man? I know there has been in BCS, but I swear it happened before on BB. 
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The only acknowledgement during BB that "Saul Goodman" was an alias was when he said, "My real name's McGill. The Jew thing I just do for the homeboys.".

The wordplay ("S'all good, man!") wasn't formally acknowledged in an episode until the first season of BCS, although the producers had mentioned it before in interviews and whatnot.
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Vinny Valenti
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Posted: 19 May 2017 at 7:35pm | IP Logged | 17  

I *think* those extras were also available as web videos on AMC's site....could you have seen it there?
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Brian Miller
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Posted: 20 May 2017 at 6:18am | IP Logged | 18  

Thanks for trying, Vinny. I only saw it on Netflix. 
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Brian Miller
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Posted: 20 May 2017 at 6:19am | IP Logged | 19  

Dammit! Thanks, Greg. Now to eat crow. 
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 22 May 2017 at 11:29pm | IP Logged | 20  

"Expenses".


Another low-key, "moving the chess pieces" episode, but one which is surely setting up some major developments. Kim's guilt over Chuck's breakdown is getting to her. Mike is enjoying the simplicity of helping out at the church, but can't stay out of the game. Pryce (!) is reluctantly back in the game. Nacho's been backed into a corner, and is terrified enough to put himself in grave danger.

And, Jimmy McGill just can't catch a break. We may well be seeing the seeds of the disintegration of his relationship with Kim, here, as he maliciously plots out cons against people in the bar. His vindictive side clearly scares her, and she's already seen the results of it--Chuck's breakdown at the Bar hearing--despite his justifications for their course of action.

Of course, it all leads to that amazing final scene, a tour-de-force from the always-excellent Mr. Odenkirk, in which you think that Jimmy might just be breaking down from all of the stress he's under...only to gradually be revealed as mercilessly throwing Chuck under the bus out of pure spite and revenge. Kind of chilling to watch, considering what a caring guy Jimmy's been established as, these past 2 1/2 seasons. It almost feels like a move out of Walter White's playbook: use the truth of a situation to lure someone in, then subtly bend and twist the truth in a certain direction in order to meet a desired goal.

It doesn't take a genius to see where this is all likely headed. Jimmy is strapped for cash, and is being beaten down on every front. He knows how lucrative the con game can be, and has become more and more morally flexible. It's just a matter of finding a way to make these situations work in his favor by not playing them straight.


Two weeks until the next episode, dagnabbit!
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Bill Collins
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Posted: 23 May 2017 at 12:26am | IP Logged | 21  

2 weeks? I thought it was on a weekly schedule?
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Rob Ocelot
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Posted: 23 May 2017 at 1:02am | IP Logged | 22  

*Chuck not being professionally insurable would definitely cause some problems for him and HHM, potentially forcing a dissolution of the partnership.  Outside of practicing law it may also cause problems for home ownership if the insurance company gets wind of the condition and/or potential fire hazzard of his house.   Of course, those around him (including Jimmy when he was taking care of him) all looked the other way for the past few years. 

*It almost hurts to see how much Pryce is going to be a loose end in Nacho's scheme.   






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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 23 May 2017 at 8:26am | IP Logged | 23  

2 weeks? I thought it was on a weekly schedule?
+++++++

Memorial Day is next Monday, so they're just doing a marathon of the season up 'till now, instead.
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Bill Collins
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Posted: 23 May 2017 at 9:16am | IP Logged | 24  

Oh right,we get it Tuesday here!
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Steve De Young
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Posted: 23 May 2017 at 1:00pm | IP Logged | 25  

throwing Chuck under the bus out of pure spite and revenge.
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I still lack sympathy for Chuck.  If Chuck hadn't made that tape to try to stick it to Jimmy and get him disbarred, Jimmy would currently be happily, and completely above board, helping elderly people write their wills.  Jimmy has made several attempts to go straight and get on the up-and-up, which is supposedly what Chuck wants, and Chuck has blocked him every single time.  He doesn't want Jimmy to be an embarrassment, but he doesn't want him to really be successful either.

It would be good if Jimmy were the bigger man, and returned Chuck's spite with kindness.  But him playing tit for tat at this point is understandable.
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