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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 17 September 2018 at 11:45pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

https://variety.com/2018/tv/news/better-call-saul-recap-seas on-4-episode-7-rhea-seehorn-1202942387/
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 17 September 2018 at 11:45pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

https://ew.com/tv/2018/09/17/better-call-saul-creator-jimmy- saul-goodman-kim/
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 18 September 2018 at 4:52am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

One of the endearing things about Jimmy and Kim's relationship is that Kim seems to accept the con artist side of Jimmy and places no moral judgment on that. Going back to "Cobbler", when Kim finds out that Jimmy faked the pie video, she didn't really seem offended that he behaved unethically. She was more upset because she thought Jimmy was risking his job at Davis & Main over some silly pro bono case. Kim clearly felt guilty over both her ill-gotten gains with Mesa Verde and her part in Chuck's takedown, but she didn't put that on Jimmy. Even her reaction to Jimmy's admission that he'd been selling burner phones to criminals was more bewilderment rather than judgment.

I can see how her acceptance of Jimmy's dark side might have enabled Saul Goodman to come into being.

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Vinny Valenti
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Posted: 18 September 2018 at 7:53am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

"Even her reaction to Jimmy's admission that he'd been selling burner phones to criminals was more bewilderment rather than judgment."

My instinct was to be bugged about that. But I faith in the payoff.
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Vinny Valenti
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Posted: 18 September 2018 at 7:55am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

BTW, as was discussed before, their attention to detail is impeccable - note how Gus' hair is grown out ever so slightly due to the passage of time.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 18 September 2018 at 7:57am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Appropriately, it feels more and more like we’re moving into BREAKING BAD territory, in that the audience’s expectations and loyalties are being toyed with. It’s like we’re drifting away from “How did Jimmy become Saul?”, and more into “Will Kim get away before he drags her down with him?”.

For all intents and purposes, we’re already seen the origin of Saul Goodman, in that throwaway shot of the business card in the opening montage. Now, it just comes down to Saul getting his law license back and fully committing to the practice of criminal criminal law. 

What is actually being given weight and importance here is the slow and painful death of the relationship that we’re been invested in for four seasons. The beginning of Saul Goodman’s career is almost an afterthought, a mere byproduct of that disintegration, rather than the central focus.

I don’t think anyone was expecting that to be the case, four years ago!
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Trevor Krysak
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Posted: 18 September 2018 at 8:28am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

I expected a fast forward through most of the 10 months of Jimmy's suspension but I don't think I expected it to be done like that. Great way to show us the life and slow death of a relationship as two people become two different people.

Kim is on such a great career track. I doubt Jimmy is going to lead to any great downfall for her. So at this point I just picture her moving onward and upwards and Jimmy going to his eventual exile. I think Kim is potentially going to shift over to a judge position or politics. I think her encounter with Ethan Phillips wasn't just some interesting way to get a good guest star. I think she might get to move into a different aspect of the law. We'll see.

As for Jimmy. He's such a good organizer. He can build a business in months. Or come up with winning ideas for a corporate retreat. Charlie hustle has so many moves left to play. He can show up at their parties but he'll never be a part of that world. Ever. He can see that now.

As we get to the back half of the season I'm to the point where I'd say this is as good or possibly even better than season three. And that's saying something. I can't imagine the last few will be anything but incredible. With the amount of build up this show has given us I know the season will end with a solid payoff.

And hopefully this time next year BCS is winning a few Emmy's instead of missing out due to timing issues
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Bill Collins
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Posted: 18 September 2018 at 1:29pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

What`s Kim`s play? Buying crayons and pens to organise a
mass protest, or a devious play to imply Huell is a bit
simple and didn`t realise what he was doing?
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 18 September 2018 at 2:12pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

"Even her reaction to Jimmy's admission that he'd been selling burner phones to criminals was more bewilderment rather than judgment."

My instinct was to be bugged about that. But I faith in the payoff.

-----

I go back to "Cobbler". Kim doesn't seem bothered at all that Jimmy violated legal ethics by making up the squat cobbler story. In fact, she seems impressed by it. It's not until he tells her that he had his client make a tape that she gets upset. Not because it was wrong, but because someone might be able to figure out that he manufactured evidence and Jimmy would lose his Davis & Main job over it.

Thinking back on Kim's PD work, she risked losing Mesa Verde over one of her indigent clients. Jimmy is her biggest hard-luck case, and I get the feeling that she's going to end up disbarred while helping Jimmy with one of his schemes.
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 18 September 2018 at 2:14pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

What`s Kim`s play? Buying crayons and pens to organise a 
mass protest, or a devious play to imply Huell is a bit 
simple and didn`t realise what he was doing?

-----

It wasn't clear to me whether Kim was shopping in order to execute some plan for Huell or if she was just stress shopping and then some idea popped into her head.
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Steve De Young
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Posted: 18 September 2018 at 2:17pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

I thought her reaction to the reveal about the burner phones was really well done.  Jimmy told it to her as just a piece of bare information, and when she stops at it, he tries to just gloss over it.  He basically revealed he's been lying to her for months.  But Kim isn't the type who has a breakdown and yells and screams.  I thought the rest of her reaction in that seen, including when she has her associate shoo Jimmy out the door because she couldn't even speak to him at the moment was brilliant.  And shows the core problem:  Jimmy wasn't worried about how she felt about him at that moment, he just wanted to make sure that she'd get Huel off.  Revealing just how over the relationship is.  It makes his plan with the office space really sad.  Sort of a desperate attempt to turn the clock back to a better point in their relationship.

To me the key 'Saul' element that emerged in this episode was in his conversation with the cop.  He's now able to separate himself from what his 'clients' might do, despite his being fully aware of it.  What he's doing is technically legal, and so if people are using his services to facilitate selling drugs or arranging hits...that's not his problem.  Which means he'll have no problem whatsoever being a lawyer for those same people and getting them off through schemes and technicalities.
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Rob Ocelot
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Posted: 18 September 2018 at 8:59pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Fantastic and momentous episode. 

I think we've been saying that for almost every episode this season.   They just keep dropping these bombs.   It's amazing to see each week unfold.

The opening montage is pure genius, and that’s saying something, because this show is the king of TV montages. So much important information is crammed into this short sequence. 

I think the most amazing thing were the split screens that turned out to be the same room at the same time.   Dare I say it, it was almost akin to how some modern comics play with the panel borders. 

And what a lovely twist it is to see Gus make certain that Hector is still in there before putting the brakes on his treatment, so as to further torture him.

I think this has been telegraphed all along.   Gus is very calculating, obsessive, and cruel.   What makes it all the more chilling is his polite and calm demeanor.  Hector's substitute caregiver is an enormous loose end and I'm sure she'll not make it to the end of the season.   'Quiet dinner at Gus' place' is like a shorthand for the chop.  It's just like Gus to build her a hospital ward and she'll never get to see it, just like how I think every single person involved with the construction of the Superlab isn't going to make it out alive.  Except Mike.  He fully respects and trusts Mike which is an interesting twist.

Re: Hector.   I'm amazed to see just how far this character has come.   I doubt even Vince fully understood how this character -- who seemed at first to be slotted into an episode for some almost Twin-Peaks-esque weirdness/comic relief has become something else entirely.   Given that BB originally had more black comedic elements -- it's most evident in the BB pilot but I think Hector's introduction in season 2 also comes from the same black comedy well.

Am I right in thinking this is the first episode without Nacho or am I misremembering?

Very cool to see the beginnings of the superlab. I have the sneaking feeling that Kai is a red herring, and that Mike’s growing friendship with Werner will actually be the cause of his final turn to the dark side.

I can see that.  Mike and Werner are getting too cosy and chummy which in BB terms is pretty much a death sentence for Werner.  I agree with Kai being an obvious red herring but I think there's a point to Kai's story.   One Redditor made an offhand joke about Kai being the father of Lydia's child -- and once the laughter died down someone said "hey, waitaminute... that actually fits...".  This now seems to be gaining traction.  We'll see.

A couple other comments:

*Big Boy Pants.   'Nuff said.  Best BB callback ever.

*An interesting exploration of the German meaning of Mike's family name.  It harkens back to the colour meanings of the names in Breaking Bad (White, Pinkman, Schraeder -- all are Germanic derived names).

*I think this is the first time another lawyer has referred to Jimmy without referencing his brother.   That's a pretty major shift but it's so subtle you don't even realize it.


Edited by Rob Ocelot on 18 September 2018 at 9:09pm
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Thomas Woods
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Posted: 18 September 2018 at 9:03pm | IP Logged | 13 post reply

Is it possible this show will end with him getting
busted and at court, Kim shows up to defend him ... the
end.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 18 September 2018 at 9:39pm | IP Logged | 14 post reply

Am I right in thinking this is the first episode without Nacho or am I misremembering?
++++++

Nacho’s been out of the picture for the last three episodes. Looks like we’ll be seeing him—and how the time-jump has affected him—next week.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 18 September 2018 at 9:51pm | IP Logged | 15 post reply

Is it possible this show will end with him getting 
busted and at court, Kim shows up to defend him ... the 
end.
+++++++

I’ve considered that, but it seems a little too obvious. 
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Michael Arndt
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Posted: 19 September 2018 at 11:40am | IP Logged | 16 post reply

My feelings from SOMETHING STUPID:

*Great opening with the split screen. Love the time jump.
*Kim's reaction to Jimmy's cell phone selling and scheme to save Huell.
*Mike and Werner talking over a beer. (I also think that Werner will be the catalyst for Mike's turn)
*Jimmy's tour of his proposed office space with Huell. Pacing off and then doing the same at Kim's office.
*Mike speaking German.
*Gus deciding to end treatment for Hector.

ARGH!!! Only 3 episodes left.

And it looks like next week we get to meet Lalo. That should be interesting.
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Bill Collins
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Posted: 19 September 2018 at 12:02pm | IP Logged | 17 post reply

Gus as he halts Hector`s therapy...acting masterclass!
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Vinny Valenti
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Posted: 20 September 2018 at 7:01am | IP Logged | 18 post reply

"Hector's substitute caregiver is an enormous loose end and I'm sure she'll not make it to the end of the season.   'Quiet dinner at Gus' place' is like a shorthand for the chop.  It's just like Gus to build her a hospital ward and she'll never get to see it, just like how I think every single person involved with the construction of the Superlab isn't going to make it out alive.  Except Mike.  He fully respects and trusts Mike which is an interesting twist."

---

That doesn't sound like Gus to me. He doesn't have "innocent" people killed, or anyone that did their job faithfully, as the caregiver had done. I'm sure part of the reason why he picked foreigners for the job was that once they are done, they leave the US, and there's no easy way to trace back to them if there's ever an investigation. I don't think he hires anyone with the intent on killing them in the end. Victor was killed in "Box cutter" because he messed up and threatened the entire operation, and to serve as a message to Walter and Jessie in case they thought to ever get out of line again.*

*Though Walter kept insisting to Jessie (and the audience) that Gus was a threat to their lives after that point, I don't believe it. If they had just continued doing their jobs, I think that he would have left them alone. I took it was Walter finding an excuse to try to take over. 
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Vinny Valenti
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Posted: 20 September 2018 at 7:10am | IP Logged | 19 post reply

BTW someone on Reddit had taken note that the prosecutor that called Jimmy a "Scumbag lawyer" was the same prosecutor that was prosecuting Tuco in season 2, and Jimmy represented Mike when he retracted his statement about the gun. I can't check now, but if that's true, that's another amazing little detail.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 20 September 2018 at 9:44am | IP Logged | 20 post reply

Though Walter kept insisting to Jessie (and the audience) that Gus was a threat to their lives after that point, I don't believe it. If they had just continued doing their jobs, I think that he would have left them alone. I took it was Walter finding an excuse to try to take over. 
+++++++++

One of the fascinating things about BREAKING BAD is how, at least on first viewing, Cranston’s performance really sucks you in, and so you find yourself believing many of Walt’s lies.

In situation after situation, Walt passionately tries to convince Jesse (and us) that desperate and extreme actions must be taken for the sake of their survival. Killing Tuco, killing Gus, killing Gale, etc. But, when you actually stop and look at the facts, Mike is absolutely right when he tells Walt that he got what he wanted, and should just take “yes” for an answer after Gus kills Victor and tells Walt to get back to work. Mike also is correct in telling Walt that Gus’s operation worked perfectly until Walt came along and blew it all up because he “just had to be the man” to satisfy his pride and his ego. And Walt impulsively kills Mike for it in a fit of rage.

Whether consciously or not, Walt turns Gus’ murder of Victor from a warning into an imminent threat to his and Jesse’s lives, and so they therefore “must” kill Gus. He justifies everything he does in service of his ego.
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Vinny Valenti
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Posted: 20 September 2018 at 10:15am | IP Logged | 21 post reply

One major clue is the "I will kill your infant daughter" scene. Gus has Walt bound and gagged out in the middle of the desert, and yet he doesn't kill him right then and there - he had Jessie under his wing and had no need for Walt anymore. Gus considers Walt to be a nuisance, but not a threat. Of course, that ended up being a fatal mistake.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 20 September 2018 at 10:54am | IP Logged | 22 post reply

Yeah, I kinda get the vibe that Gus wouldn’t go so far as to kill Walt’s kids. He’s ruthless, but not a monster. It seemed more like an attempt to scare him Walt into obeying until Jesse would give the okay to kill Walt.

Walt, on the other hand, poisoned Brock Castillo—an innocent child—as a chess move against Gus.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 20 September 2018 at 11:01am | IP Logged | 23 post reply

Meanwhile, the INSIDER Podcast is up, and gets into the challenges of creating that opening montage. Very interesting stuff.

Upon rewatch, I noticed some very interesting callbacks. The montage begins with Kim and Jimmy brushing their teeth, which is an echo of when their romance really began (with Jimmy sweetly using Kim’s finger to brush his teeth). And, at Schweikart & Cokely, there’s a shot where the camera tilts down beneath the table to show Kim holding a stress ball, which echoes a very similar shot in season two, where the camera tilted down below a HMM table to show Kim playing footsie with Jimmy.
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Steve De Young
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Posted: 20 September 2018 at 3:46pm | IP Logged | 24 post reply

There's now a scene I'm anticipating and dreading, where Kim realizes what is happening to her around Jimmy, and tells him that Chuck was right about him, and that he poisons everyone around him.  And Jimmy dies to be replaced by Saul.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 20 September 2018 at 4:22pm | IP Logged | 25 post reply

That’s very possible.

Also, I found myself wondering about the writers’ positioning of both Kim and Howard, this season. Kim is ascendant, and Howard is descending. Maybe they might meet in the middle. Could it be that the lawyer(s) Saul sends Francesca to are Kim and Howard, now working together? As in Hamlin-Wexler? That would be an interesting payoff to the rocky relationship between Kim and Howard.

By the way, it’s also discussed in the latest INSIDER Podcast just how emotionally-involved the cast and crew are in this show. For them, it’s all about the story, the characters, and emotionally engaging with the audience. And that passion really comes across in the final product. It’s also why both BCS and BB are superior shows, and among the all-time best. They’re not mired in politics or snarky social commentary or race-relations or anything like that. It’s pure storycraft, and it’s brilliant. A bunch of talented, like minds collaborating on something they all really believe in and care about.


Edited by Greg Kirkman on 20 September 2018 at 4:23pm
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