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Topic: BETTER CALL SAUL, season 3 (Topic Closed Topic Closed) Post ReplyPost New Topic
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Rob Ocelot
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Posted: 23 May 2017 at 4:56pm | IP Logged | 1  

It would be good if Jimmy were the bigger man, and returned Chuck's spite with kindness.

I think Jimmy did that for the better part of two years.  We had one, if not two times already in the series where Chuck admitted to Jimmy he was the one who nixxed any partnership opportunity he had at HHM (the "chimp with a machinegun" scene).  You can only take so much of that disappointment and abuse for so long.

Put another way: 

Chuck was 100% willing to rat on his brother to teach him a lesson.  He put the law before family.  While he's technically in the right, the minute you treat your familiars like they were a stranger you will lose them for good.  Chuck also leveraged his considerable goodwill among the legal community, which probably will make more problems for Jimmy down the line.  A pretty low move dragging outsiders into a family argument. 

When a member of your close family commits a crime -- a petty one, would you turn them in?  How about if it was a heinous crime like rape or murder?  Those are two extremes of a very large continuum and you may give two different answers.  Where does white collar fraud land in there?  I'm not saying what Jimmy did was excusable but Chuck really only pursued this because of a compulsion to always be right and a need to always be one rung of the ladder higher than Jimmy.

So when Jimmy has nothing to lose, he turns around and teaches Chuck a lesson about what his obsession is doing to both himself and his family.  Jimmy had repeatedly refused to have Chuck committed.   He chose family before the letter of the law and was not repaid in kind. 

 I'm sure Jimmy will eventually regret taking things too far.  The bigger question is, will Chuck have any of the same regrets?


Edited by Rob Ocelot on 23 May 2017 at 4:58pm
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Nelson Zeppilli
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Posted: 23 May 2017 at 5:54pm | IP Logged | 2  

Wonderful episode again.

Some comments:

The many outfits Jimmy is wearing in this episode are a great way of conveying how he's at a point where he doesn't know who to be. He can't be James McGill the lawyer (from a legal stand-point but also in character, as is showing his failing tirade in front of the "little Hitler"). He can't be Slippin' Jimmy, as it would disappoint his girl. And his plan of becoming Saul Goodman the director is also falling flat. Frustrated, angry and in desperate need of money, who can he become? This is obviously the moment for Saul the bad guy to come to life.

It was nice to see Mike falling for the navy guy's wife but it also had a bitter-sweet taste of tragedy. We know she won't be there later on. And whatever happens between them can only end badly.

Also, I loved how the writers prepared us for the amazing last scene by having Kim similarily breaking up and showing her vulnerability in front of her friend at Mesa Verde. When Jimmy begins to cry (and damn was it moving), we expect the same kind of vibe which only adds to the power of the "twist".
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 23 May 2017 at 8:58pm | IP Logged | 3  

The tragic inevitability of Jimmy's transformation into Saul is what differentiates BCS from BREAKING BAD, I think. Walter White had an any number of ways and opportunities to get out of the meth business--as early as episode six, when Elliot and Gretchen Schwartz offered to pay for his cancer treatment, and he turned them down.

With Jimmy McGill, well, the universe keeps working against him. He's tried and tried to build himself up into a respectable and moral person. He's just trying to make an honest living and to do right by his loved ones. But, he keeps getting betrayed and beaten down. He really hasn't had the opportunities that Walt had to turn his life around, to CHOOSE to not go down the path of criminality. There's a terrible, tragic sense that Chuck's jealousy and resentment are what really pushed Jimmy down this path, in a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy. Yes, Jimmy is a conman at heart, but his heart was still in the right place, until Chuck broke it.

If BREAKING BAD was all about Walter White's totally voluntary transformation into a monster, then I'd say BETTER CALL SAUL is more about Jimmy McGill asking himself, "Who am I?", and trying out one ill-fitting identity after another. Even at the end(?) of the story, chronologically speaking, he's still hiding behind a false identity, and is suppressing his true self (out of necessity, since he's on the lam from the law). 

We're not quite there, yet, but it very much seems that Saul Goodman, the self-made "criminal" lawyer, IS his true self, his ego unleashed. The worst parts of himself, perhaps, but an honest version of Jimmy McGill, given the emotional damage and frustration he's suffered. Sort of like bullied and belittled Peter Parker becoming a self-involved jerk after gaining great power. Saul Goodman is Jimmy's McGill's "great power" and "they'll be sorry they laughed at me" identity, but without the lesson about great responsibility to balance it out.


Edited by Greg Kirkman on 23 May 2017 at 9:02pm
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Nelson Zeppilli
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Posted: 24 May 2017 at 3:52am | IP Logged | 4  

Well put, Greg. BB and BCS have in common that they both show the tragedy of their main protagonist transforming into his bad self but Walter revealing to be, in the end, evil at heart while Jimmy being, at his core, a very lovable guy.

However, as lovable as he can be, Jimmy was never a good guy. He was a conman and, presumably, didn't only stole from bad people (and even that wouldn't equal to being a good guy). But he did not commit his crimes because he was evil but rather out of weakness. And he tried very, very hard to overcome his flaws, out of love for Chuck and Kim, which makes his failure even more sad.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 24 May 2017 at 9:39pm | IP Logged | 5  

Coincidentally, the question of whether or not Jimmy's destiny is the result of nature or nurture came up on the latest BCS Insider Podcast. The creators said that, while they have their own ideas about the matter, the show is very much about exploring that question. They might also even be surprised by the answer they end up with, if there can be a definitive answer.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 05 June 2017 at 10:38pm | IP Logged | 6  

"Slip".

Well, Slippin' Jimmy is back, and extorting people left and right. On the flipside, Chuck seems to be making a legitimate effort to acknowledge and deal with the reality of his condition. It would be truly tragic if recent events led served as Chuck's wake-up call and put him on the road to recover, but ended up sending Jimmy into a tailspin of criminal behavior, as seems to be happening. 

Kim continues to overtax herself. And, man, those scenes with Nacho preparing and executing his plan were wonderfully tense. Brilliant acting from Michael Mando, and, as with other sequences this season, a masterclass in visual/cinematic storytelling and suspense.

Lots of subtle references in this one, too. Aside from the obvious appearance of Marco in the flashback teaser, that Band-Aid box was seen in Gene's memento stash in the BCS pilot.

If previous experience has taught us anything, next week's episode is gonna be one to watch, since both BB and BCS traditionally have major events and/or a shocking cliffhanger in the episode just prior to the season finale. 
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 05 June 2017 at 10:45pm | IP Logged | 7  

I was freaking out during the scene where Nacho switches out the pills.
That was intense.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 05 June 2017 at 11:54pm | IP Logged | 8  

That's one of the great things about this show. We know that Hector's not gonna die as a result of this assassination attempt, but it's still incredibly tense. Again, phenomenal acting from Mando. Only a few lines of minimal dialogue, with SO much communicated through body language and facial expressions, particularly his shaking hands.

And, we don't know if Nacho's still around during BREAKING BAD, so...
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 06 June 2017 at 12:40am | IP Logged | 9  

Jimmy's coin collection adds another layer to the Chuck-Jimmy feud.
Last season's flashback to their father's store gave credence to Chuck's
accusation that Jimmy skimmed $14,000 from the till, as Jimmy was
seemingly inspired by a grifter's advice that people are either wolves or
sheep. But Jimmy's description of his father to Marco made it sound
like he was a regular target of con men and sob stories. And was a kid
who resorted to hiding rare coins in the store ceiling really responsible
for stealing that much cash?
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 06 June 2017 at 7:30am | IP Logged | 10  

Yep. This is all shaping up to be a tragedy based upon Chuck's misinterpretation and jealousy, and Jimmy's determination to be a wolf rather than a sheep.
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Steve De Young
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Posted: 06 June 2017 at 9:23am | IP Logged | 11  

Not discussed yet:  I think the material with Mike this episode was brilliant in showing us how the Mike who cares most about his family and doesn't want to see innocent people get hurt ends up working for Gus.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 06 June 2017 at 10:13am | IP Logged | 12  

I also love how the writers continue to both misdirect and provide only the most necessary clues for viewers to piece everything together. This episode makes it all clear: Mike's chat with Anita about her lost husband is what drives him to meet with Nacho, so he can find out where the Good Samaritan was buried and give his family some sense of peace.

Flash-forward to BREAKING BAD, and Mike's casual suggestion about murdering the freight train crew when planning the robbery with Walt and Jesse, and his subsequent involvement with the coverup of Drew Sharp's murder. It's a chilling difference from the man we're currently watching.

Edited by Greg Kirkman on 06 June 2017 at 2:55pm
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Steve De Young
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Posted: 06 June 2017 at 12:55pm | IP Logged | 13  

In addition to Mike's handshake with Gus, I think this episode was also a pivotal moment for Jimmy.  So far, he's been torn between the 'easy' route of being a con man from his past, and trying to be on the up-and-up as a lawyer.  Even when things went bad at Davis and Main, it was because he chafed at trying to play it straight in the corporate world.  In this episode, putting in his community service hours, I think Saul Goodman, attorney-at-law was born when Jimmy realized he could combine the two.  He realized that he could be Slippin' Jimmy, lawyer.
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Michael Arndt
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Posted: 06 June 2017 at 1:47pm | IP Logged | 14  

Another great episode.

*Michael Mando was fantastic. Preparing, practicing the switch, and then executing it. Bravo all the way around. Was on edge the whole time.

*Kim and Hamlin's discussion. Both characters have been growing on me from day one. Enjoying their talks. Looking forward to seeing where they turn up in this series.

*Glad to see Marco. Always enjoy visits to Jimmy's past.

*The last shot of Gus and Mike shaking hands was good way to end the episode.

Next weeks looks good (as usual). Only 2 left. What a season so far.
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Bill Collins
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Posted: 06 June 2017 at 3:01pm | IP Logged | 15  

Just watched new ep,and followed it with season 3
finale/season 4 premiere of BB,which linked nicely as even
Mike was shocked by Gus's meticulous,calm ruthlessness.I
bet he was regretting that handshake.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 06 June 2017 at 3:04pm | IP Logged | 16  

In addition to Mike's handshake with Gus, I think this episode was also a pivotal moment for Jimmy. So far, he's been torn between the 'easy' route of being a con man from his past, and trying to be on the up-and-up as a lawyer. Even when things went bad at Davis and Main, it was because he chafed at trying to play it straight in the corporate world. In this episode, putting in his community service hours, I think Saul Goodman, attorney-at-law was born when Jimmy realized he could combine the two. He realized that he could be Slippin' Jimmy, lawyer.
++++++++++++

This is a brilliant observation that hadn't quite occurred to me! He just has to realize that he doesn't have to be one thing OR the other. He can find a middleground, instead of trying to go all the way in one direction. Slippin' Jimmy-as-lawyer with the unsullied brand-name of Saul Goodman.

Even the use of "Mug Mealer" was typical Saul Goodman-speak.
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Brian Miller
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Posted: 07 June 2017 at 6:25pm | IP Logged | 17  

Giancarlo Esposito was on FRESH AIR today and gave an incredible interview. 
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Rodrigo castellanos
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Posted: 11 June 2017 at 12:37am | IP Logged | 18  

The pill switch was unbelievably tense. I root for Nacho so bad, but knowing he doesn't appear in Breaking Bad doesn't give me much hope for his future.
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Vinny Valenti
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Posted: 11 June 2017 at 8:45am | IP Logged | 19  

Nacho's actual name is Ignacio, which is name-dropped during Saul's premiere episode of Breaking Bad. Could end up being a different guy, but you never know.
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Vinny Valenti
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Posted: 11 June 2017 at 9:15am | IP Logged | 20  

Gotta give a shout-out to the twist of Chuck's courtroom chicanery actually putting him on the path to recovery. I was assuming that it was going to drive him even further down the path of mental illness.

Given his positive attitude this last episode, it's entirely possible that Chuck actually would have let it all go regarding Jimmy. But once he finds out about Jimmy screwing up his malpractice insurance.....it's probably going to be all bets off. And Jimmy hasn't yet had to deal with Chuck's legal acumen with his full faculties about him. Talk about unintended consequences!
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 11 June 2017 at 9:19am | IP Logged | 21  

It has been confirmed by both Michael Mando and the BCS showrunners that the "Ignacio" Saul refers to in his very first appearance on BB is indeed BCS' Nacho Varga. 

So, if Saul is under the impression that Nacho is alive at the time of BB, then there's a likely chance that he still is. Some fans have theorized that Nacho will get the deluxe treatment from Robert Forester's character (Ed, the disappearer) and leave town with a new identity, after his failed attempt to kill Hector.

I've really come to love Nacho. A criminal with a brain and a heart, not unlike Mike. 
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Rob Ocelot
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Posted: 12 June 2017 at 5:00pm | IP Logged | 22  

Does anyone here really think Nacho's medicine switch is going to be as straightforward as it's being shown?

I don't.  This is the Breaking Bad Universe after all.  It's going to be more complicated. :)

I think Hector is far sharper than anyone gives him credit for.  Underestimate him at your peril.   

In fact,  I suspect the cause of Don Hector's paralysis will be something completely unrelated to his current medications.  

Red Herring flag raised.




Edited by Rob Ocelot on 12 June 2017 at 5:01pm
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Rob Ocelot
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Posted: 12 June 2017 at 5:11pm | IP Logged | 23  

Gotta give a shout-out to the twist of Chuck's courtroom chicanery actually putting him on the path to recovery. I was assuming that it was going to drive him even further down the path of mental illness.

If it is a true path to recovery will he even acknowledge Jimmy's part in it?

Chuck has an obsessive disorder.  His obsession with his illness and it's triggers is more likely to graduate to an equally obsessive desire to prove to the world that he's "well". 
 
He was publically embarassed, his lawfirm is in damage control mode and he's lost a lot clout he had as a lawyer.   He now needs to prove he's "all right" to the rest of the world, as fast as he possibly can.


Edited by Rob Ocelot on 12 June 2017 at 5:14pm
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 12 June 2017 at 10:46pm | IP Logged | 24  

"Fall".


Yeah, Chuck definitely wants to prove that he's well...to the point of burning down his own firm. Yikes.

Meanwhile, Jimmy's plan to divide and conquer the elder residents of Sandpiper Crossing in order to get his 20% is both hilarious and horrifying. Chronologically-speaking, we've never seen quite this level of cruelty and greed from him, before. And crowing about his victory to the overworked Kim comes off as rather disturbing and grotesque. As if he doesn't think he's done anything wrong. 

It was inevitable, of course, but you can see the subtle changes in Odenkirk's performance, as he moves more and more toward the mannerisms and casual cruelty of Saul Goodman. And it comes off as a sad thing, rather than the long-delayed arrival of the criminal-but-fun character we all thought we wanted to see, back when this show began.

"B9! I hope that biopsy comes back be-nign!"


Speaking of poor Kim, I'm delighted that we didn't get some kind of cliffhanger ending in which her life was in danger. I certainly saw some sort of car accident coming, but the surprise was that it wasn't a typical cliffhanger. Perhaps it'll serve as a literal wake-up call for her. We've been slowly watching her disintegrate under guilt and stress, this season. It seems clear that a big, underlying chunk of what's going on with her is her growing realization of what Jimmy McGill is capable of, and her inability to accept that reality. She's clearly thrown herself more and more into work to avoid just what and who she's been involved with.

And, Nacho seems to think that his plan to kill Hector has failed, and feels compelled to admit the truth to his father. There's an interesting history hinted at, here--Nacho's dad knows that he worked for the Salamancas in the past, but had been under the impression that it was over and done. Wonderful acting from Michael Mando, here. Nacho's basically risking the end of his relationship with his father because he's more terrified of what Hector will do when his father says "no".

Great episode. One more to go, then another painful year of waiting. 
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 12 June 2017 at 11:53pm | IP Logged | 25  

This is the absolutely worst thing that we've seen Jimmy do.

Speaking of lines being crossed, mention should be made of Mike
signing on a consultant for Madrigal. He knows that once his name is
on the books somewhere, he'll be tied to Gus, wherever that may lead.
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