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Vinny Valenti
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Posted: 13 June 2017 at 12:03am | IP Logged | 1  

I'll add more tomorrow, but you really nailed it, Rob. 
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 13 June 2017 at 7:44am | IP Logged | 2  

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.
++++++++

Of course, we already know where it will lead. By the end of BREAKING BAD, Mike, Gus, Hector, Lydia, Victor, Tyrus, and a whole bunch of other people will be dead, and Madrigal will be under Federal investigation for its ties to Gus and the cartel.

Not the best decision, on Mike's part!
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Vinny Valenti
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Posted: 13 June 2017 at 2:48pm | IP Logged | 3  

Ok, here's something you may find amusing......

Last night I was watching on the DVR around 1am, and nodding off here and there on my couch. I just happened to nod off for a second the exact same moment that Kim did. I have a 5.1 system set up in my mancave and the sound of the crash jolted me awake at the same instant that Kim did. Once I realized that I had nodded off, I rewound to see how much I missed, thinking I missed an entire scene somehow. Turns out I only missed about 2-3 seconds worth.


Edited by Vinny Valenti on 13 June 2017 at 3:18pm
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Rob Ocelot
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Posted: 13 June 2017 at 11:55pm | IP Logged | 4  

I was reminded of this article for some reason when I saw Kim's crash:


Vinny, funny enough -- I thought my PVR had glitched and jumped ahead!
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Steve De Young
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Posted: 14 June 2017 at 2:29pm | IP Logged | 5  

I dunno how terrible what Jimmy did is.  He certainly had selfish motives, and used some trickery, but, for example, I think him switching those documents on Chuck was equally selfish, also involved trickery, and was more immoral.

Why?  Well, everything Jimmy said to the women in the class was true.  It is true that if they had held out for another couple years, the settlement might have ended up much larger, but its also true, as Jimmy pointed out, that most of that money would have gone to the lawyers involved.  Its also true that at their age, a nice chunk of money now that they can enjoy is better than waiting two years for a little more, when some of them may be dead and others may be too infirm to make use of the money.  And as the class representative, Irene should have accepted the settlement if that's what the other members of the class wanted.

So its not like he swindled the old ladies out of money.  They're getting their settlement, that he helped them get, by the way, by putting the case together, from the people who took advantage of them.  He's getting his rightly earned percentage.  Davis and Main are getting paid.  Justice is served.  No one was really harmed, except Irene being ostracized because Jimmy pointed out what she was actually doing in refusing to settle.

On the other hand, when Jimmy made the document switch, he harmed his brother and his brother's firm, in reputation and financially by losing a major client, in order to make his girlfriend happy, because he cared about her, and was angry at them.  That's morally worse.


Edited by Steve De Young on 14 June 2017 at 2:30pm
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 14 June 2017 at 3:01pm | IP Logged | 6  


 QUOTE:
I dunno how terrible what Jimmy did is. He certainly had
selfish motives, and used some trickery, but, for example, I think him
switching those documents on Chuck was equally selfish, also involved
trickery, and was more immoral.


Extremely terrible. He caused an elderly woman, who considers him a
friend, to be ostracized from her group, all so that he could get a
payday early. Irene was a complete innocent and did nothing wrong but
follow her lawyer's advice. And keep in mind that he only needs this
money because he's too proud and stubborn to get rid of the office.


 QUOTE:
On the other hand, when Jimmy made the document switch,
he harmed his brother and his brother's firm, in reputation and
financially by losing a major client, in order to make his girlfriend happy,
because he cared about her, and was angry at them. That's morally
worse.


He did that for Kim, not himself. And as Kim was the attorney who
originated Mesa Verde as a client, HHM could've been more gracious in
letting them follow her, but Chuck personally got involved in convincing
them to stay because he heard that Kim was pooling resources with
Jimmy. Jimmy was just responding in kind.

I spent most of the episode concerned that Irene would become sick
from all the stress of losing her friends, or worse, kill herself. A big law
firm can survive losing one client to a departing attorney. That's a
matter of course for a law firm.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 14 June 2017 at 3:33pm | IP Logged | 7  

Extremely terrible. He caused an elderly woman, who considers him a 
friend, to be ostracized from her group, all so that he could get a 
payday early. Irene was a complete innocent and did nothing wrong but 
follow her lawyer's advice. And keep in mind that he only needs this 
money because he's too proud and stubborn to get rid of the office. 

+++++++

This. A sweet old lady, and he manipulated all of her friends into turning on her and ostracizing her. Even with the windfall of the settlement, it seems unlikely that those relationships would suddenly be repaired.

As with last season's Banking Commission hearing, it's amazing how this show can turn a friggin' Bingo game at a senior living facility into high drama! Pretty crushing that virtually no one applauds for Irene when she "wins".
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Vinny Valenti
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Posted: 14 June 2017 at 6:09pm | IP Logged | 8  

"Why?  Well, everything Jimmy said to the women in the class was true.  It is true that if they had held out for another couple years, the settlement might have ended up much larger, but its also true, as Jimmy pointed out, that most of that money would have gone to the lawyers involved.  Its also true that at their age, a nice chunk of money now that they can enjoy is better than waiting two years for a little more, when some of them may be dead and others may be too infirm to make use of the money.  And as the class representative, Irene should have accepted the settlement if that's what the other members of the class wanted."

To paraphrase THE BIG LEBOWSKI - he's not wrong, he's just an asshole.
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 14 June 2017 at 6:41pm | IP Logged | 9  

Inflaming the women's anger by giving Irene new shoes and suggesting
to them that she didn't need the money, as well as setting up Irene to
be humiliated at the bingo game, went beyond "telling the other women
the truth".
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Rob Ocelot
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Posted: 14 June 2017 at 9:15pm | IP Logged | 10  

Here's my (belated) thoughts on "FALL":

*In what way is Gus Fring more than just a drug dealer?  We know he's percieved as a community leader and a patron of the arts -- the best forms of social engineering involve fitting in -- in such a way that people don't question your presence or participation.  Gus hides in plain sight, shows up in person to manage the day-to-day of his legitimate business, and more importantly is *seen* by the right people and organizations (eg. Police and the DEA) doing this.   So what new information are we going to get about Gus that might make us look twice at certain scenes in BB?   

*In comparison to Gus, Hector is the 'old school' style of drug dealer -- the kind who hides in the shadows, whose legitimate business front is grudgingly run because he needs to do it.  I'd wager Hector knows zilch about the business of selling ice cream and doesn't care to know.  I have a feeling the Salamanca family will be out of the ice cream business by the end of BCS and will have moved to something more lucrative... 

 INVISO TEXT (Click or highlight to reveal):
I suspect they may get into... ding ding!  Investing in nursing homes.  Any bets the assisted living facility where Hector ends up is a Sandpiper Crossing?  They have locations in many states and ship goods like medical supplies and equipment across state lines in their own branded trucks. SC may be the series focal point where all the various threads of BCS begin to dovetail.   I feel a need to rewatch Season 4 of BB now. :-)

*Jimmy's payday is never going to happen, is it?  By the time things are settled there won't be an HHM left to pay the finder's fee.  Jimmy will likely not even realize that he inadvertantly sabotaged himself. 

*There were liberal splashes of "Jimmy yellow" all over this episode, including the inside of the HHM elevator and the inside of the pot that Chuck was stirring.

*Lydia's desk is transparent.  These types of desks always unnerve me because you can't hide things under them like a regular desk.  Got a coffee stain on your pants?  With a regular desk you could probably sit there all day and hide it.  Not so with a transparent desk.  Your 'bottom end' needs to look as neat as your 'top end'.   In a way this is symbolic of Lydia's appeal to Mike that nothing is hidden and if anyone comes looking for something there will be nothing to find.   When Mike squints at the employment forms he looks down, *straight through* the glass and then decides to sign them.

*The Madrigal letters on the window at one camera angle spell out MAD GAL (with the middle letters hidden -- perhaps a subtle reference to Lydia).   I suppose we will find out more about Lydia and Madrigal over the next few seasons, but Mike specifically points out the company's German roots (perhaps not surprising since his last name literally translates into english as "an honest man you can trust", and Mike definitely speaks his mind in these scenes).  The vibe I got from that exchange steers more towards the companies who were involved or got their start in Nazi-era Germany (eg. Volkswagen, or Hugo Boss) and how their 'diversified' brand images hold up today.

*The timing of Kim's accident throws a lot of wrenches into a lot of things, not to mention she may not have any medical insurance being self-employed.  It could literally bankrupt her and she may have to rely on Jimmy to pay the bills....



Edited by Rob Ocelot on 14 June 2017 at 9:16pm
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 14 June 2017 at 9:22pm | IP Logged | 11  

In the latest BCS INSIDER Podcast, the showrunners address this. It's not a black-and-white situation. Both sides are right AND wrong. In proper BREAKING BAD tradition, it's like a moral Rorschach test.

Hamlin's right, in that Jimmy's motivated by greed, with the seniors' welfare serving as both justification and secondary concern. Jimmy is right in that some of the seniors may not live to reap the benefits of the settlement.

The showrunners feel that this is the worst non-Saul thing we've ever seen Jimmy do, and I agree. He willfully exploited and manipulated his clients out of greed. It's not illegal, and it'll benefit a lot of people, but it still represents a serious moral compromise for James M. McGill, Esq., and is a definite sign of things to come. Just like Kim's rather metaphorical car crash, which is surely a sign of where things will go if she stands by her man.

Based on the discussion here, I'd say we're quickly heading toward territory which will make Jimmy less likable and sympathetic to some, but not to others. Still, let's not kid ourselves, or forget that Saul Goodman is a monster. A criminal, a liar, and someone who condones and employs murder, fraud, extortion, etc. He might even be a killer, himself. Maybe that's the final piece of the puzzle in Jimmy's transformation. Guess we'll see.

As with BREAKING BAD, it's remarkable that Jimmy McGill has become such a likable character. Unlike BREAKING BAD, we already know exactly where he's going, which makes our affection for him even more remarkable! 
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 14 June 2017 at 9:27pm | IP Logged | 12  

what way is Gus Fring more than just a drug dealer?  We know he's percieved as a community leader and a patron of the arts -- the best forms of social engineering involve fitting in -- in such a way that people don't question your presence or participation.  Gus hides in plain sight, shows up in person to manage the day-to-day of his legitimate business, and more importantly is *seen* by the right people and organizations (eg. Police and the DEA) doing this.   So what new information are we going to get about Gus that might make us look twice at certain scenes in BB?   ++++++++

While it was only hinted at during BREAKING BAD, the idea is that "Gus" is actually a former General from Pinochet's regime in Chile. He escaped to Mexico, created a new name and identity for himself, and began building a drug empire from the ground up, with his manipulation of Hector being part of a longterm plan serves as both power-play and revenge against Don Eladio and Hector Salamanca for killing his business partner/lover, Max.

I wouldn't be surprised if we got a few more hints about Gus' backstory in BCS.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 14 June 2017 at 9:29pm | IP Logged | 13  

As for your inviso-text, Rob, remember that Hector ends up at the Casa Tranquila facility, which is presumably unaffiliated with Sandpiper.
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Rob Ocelot
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Posted: 14 June 2017 at 9:35pm | IP Logged | 14  

As for your inviso-text, Rob, remember that Hector ends up at the Casa Tranquila facility, which is presumably unaffiliated with Sandpiper.

Thanks for pointing this out, Greg.  

I'll add that it's still possible that Casa Tranquila may be what Sandpiper becomes after being financially gutted (perahps, by a class-action lawsuit).


Edited by Rob Ocelot on 14 June 2017 at 9:35pm
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Rob Ocelot
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Posted: 14 June 2017 at 9:39pm | IP Logged | 15  

Based on the discussion here, I'd say we're quickly heading toward territory which will make Jimmy less likable and sympathetic to some, but not to others. Still, let's not kid ourselves, or forget that Saul Goodman is a monster. A criminal, a liar, and someone who condones and employs murder, fraud, extortion, etc. He might even be a killer, himself. Maybe that's the final piece of the puzzle in Jimmy's transformation. Guess we'll see.

Interesting that you should point this out, as Vince Gilligan has said originally Saul was conceieved to be both a lawyer and a 'cleaner' (one stop shopping!).  Odenkirk apparently wasn't available for the shooting for one episode so they created the character of Mike to be the 'cleaner'.  I think it worked out for the best. :-)
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 14 June 2017 at 9:40pm | IP Logged | 16  

With this show--and these show runners--you can't count anything out. Always expect the unexpected.

By the way, the season finale is NOT being screened in advance for critics. They've never done that, until now. Something big may be up, next week...
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 14 June 2017 at 9:44pm | IP Logged | 17  

Interesting that you should point this out, as Vince Gilligan has said originally Saul was conceieved to be both a lawyer and a 'cleaner' (one stop shopping!).  Odenkirk apparently wasn't available for the shooting for one episode so they created the character of Mike to be the 'cleaner'.  I think it worked out for the best. :-)
+++++++

Absolutely.

Mind you, I don't necessarily think that Saul Goodman makes a casual practice of killing (or having people killed), but I do think it's within the realm of possibility that a murder (perhaps even an unintended one) may well be the final break between Jimmy and life on the good side. Something that robs him of his soul and his compassion. Or, perhaps it'll just be a gradual process of immorality and cheating people becoming the norm, for him.
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Rob Ocelot
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Posted: 15 June 2017 at 5:19am | IP Logged | 18  

While it was only hinted at during BREAKING BAD, the idea is that "Gus" is actually a former General from Pinochet's regime in Chile. He escaped to Mexico, created a new name and identity for himself, and began building a drug empire from the ground up...

I'll leave it up in the air whether there's a connection because Madridal's German roots and the possible post-WWII havens for Nazi war criminals in parts of South America.

If Gus is actually who they are hinting at then we may have a Superman/Clark Kent type of situation where someone may recognize him, yet can't square the public image of mild-mannered Gus with this other person.  A bit of a parallel to the Jimmy/Saul/Gene dichotomy (because we can't help but LIKE Jimmy and have sympathy for Gene and yet be somewhat repelled by Saul)


Edited by Rob Ocelot on 15 June 2017 at 3:22pm
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Vinny Valenti
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Posted: 15 June 2017 at 9:48am | IP Logged | 19  

"his last name literally translates into english as "an honest man you can trust"

--

Well, there's something I'm embarrassed to only be learning about today....
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Vinny Valenti
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Posted: 15 June 2017 at 9:50am | IP Logged | 20  

Aside from giving Jonathan Banks a job, I'm also glad it worked out that Mr. Odenkirk was not available to "clean up" Jane because even from what we knew about Saul up to that point, it just seems out of character for him to be that "hands on". He's the guy that "knows a guy*", and I'm glad they kept it that way.


*That knows another guy :)
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Steve De Young
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Posted: 15 June 2017 at 4:07pm | IP Logged | 21  

Something that robs him of his soul and his compassion.
-----------------------------------------------
I suspect he may end up having to choose between Kim, and saving his own skin, and he'll choose his own skin.

Vis a vis Irene v. HHM, I think there's some ideology going here.  The fact that they're a big company and wealthy doesn't make it okay to defraud or rob them.  Kim made her pitch to Mesa Verde, HHM made their pitch, and Mesa Verde freely chose to stay with HHM.  Then Jimmy committed theft and fraud to benefit his girlfriend.  That is morally unconscionable.  It may not have hurt Hamlin much, but it damaged Chuck's reputation, and the loss of revenue, etc. harmed all the people who work at HHM, not just the rich ones.  In fact, if the bottom line takes a hit, its Jimmy's old co-workers in the mail room who are going to be out on the street, not the senior partners.  Kim had no 'right' to that account, and she could have, and was willing to, go out and bring in new clients for her own practice.  Jimmy essentially stole money...a lot of money...from HHM and gave it to his girlfriend (which also benefitted him) through a fraud (perpetrated on the court no less).

Irene is an old lady, so yeah, she's more sympathetic on the surface.  Jimmy exploited that in the commercial.  But the truth is, once again, the only thing hurt were her feelings.  If we can get past the emotional resonance of a crying elderly woman, the show gave us no real information to evaluate her.  Maybe she was a completely innocent emotional victim.  Maybe she really was being selfish and holding out for more money even though the other people in the class needed that money asap.  Either interpretation is possible, and yeah, Jimmy went with the interpretation that benefited him, and he pulled some chicanery to get others around to his way of thinking.  But unlike with what he did with Mesa Verde, none of this chicanery was illegal.

Also, while yes, Jimmy benefitted from getting the settlement, does he not have the right of self-preservation?  He just got conned out of his livelihood for the next year by Chuck.  How is he supposed to live and pay his bills?  His need for the money is no less valid than that of the other members of the class.  He's the one who invested his time and effort, countless hours of it, dumpster diving, travelling from state to state, to try to get these elderly people the settlement they deserved.  The money he's getting isn't stolen.  He earned it.  And now he needs it.  If Irene doesn't care if Jimmy ends up out on the street because she wants to get some more money, that's selfishness on her part, not Jimmy's.
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 15 June 2017 at 5:38pm | IP Logged | 22  


 QUOTE:
Vis a vis Irene v. HHM, I think there's some ideology going
here. The fact that they're a big company and wealthy doesn't make it
okay to defraud or rob them. Kim made her pitch to Mesa Verde, HHM
made their pitch, and Mesa Verde freely chose to stay with HHM.


It has nothing to with HHM's wealth and everything to do with how they
treated Kim. Yes, Jimmy's actions were illegal, and I'm not saying that
he was right, but his actions satisfy a lex talionis morality, whereas
his actions with Irene are purely selfish.


 QUOTE:
But unlike with what he did with Mesa Verde, none of this
chicanery was illegal.


As her former attorney, Jimmy still had a fiduciary duty to Irene, which
he violated. And if you want to claim financial damages to HHM for
losing Mesa Verde, then you have to acknowledge the financial
damages to HHM and the plaintiffs with settling for a smaller
settlement.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 15 June 2017 at 8:44pm | IP Logged | 23  

It should be noted that, no, what Jimmy did wasn't illegal. And, it's probably best in the long run for the Sandpiper residents.

But, on a fundamental moral level, it was wrong. For the first time, he was looking out more for himself than for his clients. He's currently not a lawyer. His expenses are tied up in the office that he shares with Kim. He's determined to keep up his payments so that he and Kim can stay in the office. But for his drive to keep his dream of working with Kim in that office alive, he wouldn't be too badly off, financially. 

Hamlin's assessment was spot-on. Jimmy wanted a quick handout, and he went above and beyond to manipulate his own clients to get the outcome he wanted, which had the bonus side-effect of benefitting said clients. And he broke an old woman's heart in the process. We're given no reason to think that Irene was deliberately holding out from settling the suit. It's clear that the legalese of the situation was beyond her, and that she was taking Erin at her word that waiting was the best option. 

The bottom line is that Jimmy betrayed the trust of innocent people in order to get himself a huge payday. That's a pretty big moral line for him to cross.


See, now we're getting into that classic BREAKING BAD territory, where issues are gray instead of black-and-white, and characters' choices can be interpreted in different ways, with no one interpretation being wholly right or wrong. Did Walt let Jane die to save Jesse, or to save his own skin from Jane's blackmail? Or both? That sort of stuff. Love it.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 15 June 2017 at 9:15pm | IP Logged | 24  

Great interview with Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould:

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Rob Ocelot
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Posted: 16 June 2017 at 5:38am | IP Logged | 25  

Either interpretation is possible, and yeah, Jimmy went with the interpretation that benefited him, and he pulled some chicanery to get others around to his way of thinking.  But unlike with what he did with Mesa Verde, none of this chicanery was illegal.

Except Jimmy read her mail (with her permission) and saw the size of the rejected settlement.  If he didn't have that knowledge he may not have acted in the way he did.   It's akin to insider trading in a way.  Jimmy's 'peanut pile' explanation to Irene's friends that a bunch of lawyers were holding up the process to get a bigger payday conveniently omits that technically he's a lawyer trying to expedite the process for a fast payday.  

His manipulation of the situation borders on what in 2017 is recognized as bullying -- egging on or joining a group in ostracizing a peer.  In some countries there's legislation now designed to discourage this.  Keeping in mind BCS takes place circa ~2002 perhaps that's why only a portion of the audience feels squidgy and the rest seem to have no issues with it.  It can take time for what's considered criminal in the eyes of the law to catch up with what the community at large considers to be immoral.
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