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Topic: BETTER CALL SAUL, season 4 Post ReplyPost New Topic
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Trevor Krysak
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Posted: 28 August 2018 at 5:50am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

It's been pointed out that at this point Jimmy, Mike and Gus are all people that haven't fully processed grief they have for loved ones. And the baggage they carry may have put them on the paths they're on or later take on BCS and BB.

Walt's path, on the other hand, was due to his own impeding death. But ended up ruining the lives of those three. Among others.

Seeing everything that Mike has been through his death scene seems far more poetic now. It likely wasn't written with it as a consideration but it's hard not to picture him reflecting on the path he took since his son died and wondering if he'll be with him shortly after. No wonder he wanted Walt to shut up and let him die.

We're basically mid-way through the season and it's hard to say where we'll be by the end. At this point last season we were close to Chuck's big public downfall. We could see Jimmy wasn't going to be a lawyer for a while. We've got another 10 months in their time frame to get to the Saul days. Or the public legal aspect at any rate.

Is a time jump coming? Or would they build up to a good blow out and pick up the pieces next season with Jimmy further down the road? I'm not sure.

The series is able to get a lot out of so many little moments. It's one of the shows I could see going 8-10 seasons and still have more to cover. But I don't know how quickly they're going to accelerate everything And how patient AMC is. BCS is not exactly a big earner in terms of ratings. I'm hopeful we get a sixth season for sure. Fortunately season five is already a lock so we know they've got another 10 episodes to flesh things out.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 28 August 2018 at 8:26am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

These first four episode have featured most of the cast emotionally adrift, and the various plotlines in something of a holding pattern. I have a feeling that a shifting of gears will be coming very soon. This all feels like the calm before the storm, to me.

At the very least, we have a sense of where things are going. Mike is dealing with bubbling rage and guilt, and is reaching a point of just not caring. Jimmy looks to be taking his innocuous new job and using it as a means to attract criminals who can make use of burner phones. Kim is becoming disconnected from Jimmy, and is uninterested in Mesa Verde’s desire to expand for the sake of expansion. And Nacho is stuck in an impossible situation which keeps getting worse and worse.
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Steve De Young
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Posted: 28 August 2018 at 11:33am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

What Kim is going through could be a healthy thing.  She's been a workaholic since we met her, subordinating everything in her life to her career.  It might be interesting if the writers flip expectations on their head, and instead of Kim meeting some kind of horrible end, she finds fulfillment somewhere else, and just outgrows Jimmy.  Maybe she goes to work for some charitable cause overseas and has a great life.  That would certainly heap a lot more self-loathing on Jimmy's head, and confirm what so many people have already said to him, that he's just a lowlife and not good enough.  And then he decides to just embrace that.
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Steve De Young
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Posted: 28 August 2018 at 1:03pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Also, I think its important that while Mike took out all of his anger on Mr. Phoney, I don't think that's really what the anger was coming from.  He was gritting his teeth the whole time his daughter in law was talking about moving on and forgetting about Matty.  And we saw in the open that it was Matty that he was thinking about.  Its worth noting that in BB, he never said much of anything about his daughter-in-law.  Just his granddaughter, who is the last piece of Matty he has left.  He had all that cash set up to go to the granddaughter when she turned 18, as if he wanted to make sure that the daughter-in-law didn't get her hands on it.  Mike made some furtive attempts at the beginning of BCS to form the daughter-in-law and granddaughter into a family, before realizing the daughter-in-law was basically using him.  He likely sees her moving on as a betrayal of Matty's memory.  So just like Jimmy is losing, one by one, the things that tether him morally and ethically, so is Mike.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 28 August 2018 at 8:28pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

What Kim is going through could be a healthy thing.  She's been a workaholic since we met her, subordinating everything in her life to her career.  It might be interesting if the writers flip expectations on their head, and instead of Kim meeting some kind of horrible end, she finds fulfillment somewhere else, and just outgrows Jimmy.  Maybe she goes to work for some charitable cause overseas and has a great life.  That would certainly heap a lot more self-loathing on Jimmy's head, and confirm what so many people have already said to him, that he's just a lowlife and not good enough.  And then he decides to just embrace that.
++++++++

Exactly. I can see that happening. That would be the best-case scenario, really. Kim regretfully accepts that Jimmy is fundamentally broken inside, and is becoming toxic. So, she chooses to save herself and do something good with her life, and, as a result, Jimmy embraces his inner sleazebag for good.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 28 August 2018 at 8:37pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Also, I think its important that while Mike took out all of his anger on Mr. Phoney, I don't think that's really what the anger was coming from.  He was gritting his teeth the whole time his daughter in law was talking about moving on and forgetting about Matty.  And we saw in the open that it was Matty that he was thinking about.  Its worth noting that in BB, he never said much of anything about his daughter-in-law.  Just his granddaughter, who is the last piece of Matty he has left.  He had all that cash set up to go to the granddaughter when she turned 18, as if he wanted to make sure that the daughter-in-law didn't get her hands on it.  Mike made some furtive attempts at the beginning of BCS to form the daughter-in-law and granddaughter into a family, before realizing the daughter-in-law was basically using him.  He likely sees her moving on as a betrayal of Matty's memory.  So just like Jimmy is losing, one by one, the things that tether him morally and ethically, so is Mike.
++++++++

Jonathan Banks’ performance in that scene is amazing. Just watch his face as Stacey talks about not thinking of Matty. The anger, the discomfort. Mike’s clearly stewing in a mix of his own guilt over Matty’s death and genuine rage over Stacey actually beginning to move past it. Because he can’t. It’s eating away at his soul.

I often find myself thinking of how my inevitable rewatch of BREAKING BAD is going to go, once BETTER CALL SAUL is fully in place. Even before BCS, I found the opening of “Buyout” particularly chilling, since Walter White—a father—was engaged in the process of disposing of the corpse of a child, Drew Sharp. Having Mike’s backstory as a guilt-ridden father now added to the mix will make that sequence even more grotesque and disturbing than it already is.


Sort of amazing to think that this whole thing came from an offhanded suggestion by Banks during BREAKING BAD that whatever broke Mike had something to do with his son. This whole BCS plotline has stemmed directly from that one suggestion made by the actor, which wasn’t even directly relevant to the show that he was working on at the time.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 28 August 2018 at 11:02pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Very interesting Podcast interview with Peter Gould:

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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 29 August 2018 at 4:38pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

Michael Mando just did a Reddit AMA. TIL, he’s a Québécois

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 30 August 2018 at 4:49pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Gilligan and Gould have come up with a trivia code-puzzle as a clue for an upcoming development in BCS, which can be found on BCS’ Facebook page. Something a little bit harder than the “Fring’s Back” episode-title-first-letter-anagram puzzle which fans figured out before the second season was even over.

Hard-working fans have already deciphered this new puzzle, of course. I won’t spoil the result here, but I will say that I’m both pleased and not at all surprised, since this was hinted at back in the third season of BCS. Very cool.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 03 September 2018 at 9:57pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

“Quite a Ride”.


Three seconds into the teaser, and I knew exactly what I was seeing. Man, oh, man. What a thrill.

After three-and-a-half seasons, the show titled BETTER CALL SAUL has finally—finally—given us Saul Goodman. But not quite how we expected. The opening teaser is a brilliant flashforward (or flashback, depending on your point of view) to a previously-unseen moment, set in-between BREAKING BAD’s “Ozymandias” and “Granite State”, with Saul and Francesca frantically cleaning house as Walt and Saul prepare to go on the lam. All the familiar details are there, right down to the bandage on Saul’s nose where Jesse punched him in “Confessions”. This marks the first time that Bob Odenkirk has played Saul Goodman since “Granite State”, five years ago. So cool. 

There’s also an interesting tease in this teaser, with Saul directing Francesca to tell an as-yet-unknown lawyer that “Jimmy sent you”. Who might this be, I wonder? Kim? Howard? Bill, the ever-wacky prosecutor who appears later in this episode, and is perhaps a defense attorney by the time of BREAKING BAD?


Anyway, this is a fantastic episode, and will no doubt prove to be a vitally important one in terms of where things will end up going.

Of course, aside from the glorious fanservice of the opening scene, the teaser also serves as an important (and pathetic) bookend to the rest of the episode: We see the end of Saul Goodman as he makes the fateful phone call to Ed The Disappearer on one of his many burner phones. The episode then goes back in time to show Jimmy McGill selling burner phones to the criminal element. Saul’s call to Ed depicts the end result of that bad decision from years prior...

...except that Jimmy reconsiders using his talents in this particular endeavor after he’s mugged. Instead of selling untraceable phones to criminals, he sets himself on the path we’ve known from the start that he must embark upon: after his PPD is over and done, he’s going to be a lawyer. But, the way in which Jimmy describes his aspirations clues us in on just what kind of lawyer he’s going to be. He begins by talking about how he’s going to work with Kim, again, bigger and better than before. However, his bitter little rant about how people are going to see him tells the real story. This is definitely a guy who’s broken inside.

And then there’s poor Howard, who’s completely unraveling because of Jimmy’s coldheartedness. That great little scene in the bathroom tips off yet another domino on The Road To Saul: Jimmy sees how badly Howard is doing—even with therapy—and so throws the number Kim gave him in the toilet.


Meanwhile, we get the fun B-plots with Mike screening candidates to discretely build the zuperlab underneath the laundromat, and Kim finding her groove again as a public defender. Great stuff.


But, man, this show is making me legitimately sad. There’s a heavy cloud of tragedy hanging over everything, now. It’s a testament to the talents of everyone involved that what could so easily have been a cash-grab BREAKING BAD spin-off has proven to be so moving and so enthralling on its own terms. They’ve spent three years carefully building up Jimmy McGill and his world, and now they’re demolishing it all. Early on, we all probably thought that we wanted to fast-forward to Saul Goodman and his wacky antics, but now that inevitable conclusion feels like something truly horrible and tragic. Which it is, of course.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 03 September 2018 at 10:07pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Interview with Odenkirk:

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Trevor Krysak
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Posted: 04 September 2018 at 8:06am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Chuck really was dead on about Jimmy. He does just corrupt or destroy anything and anyone he comes into contact with. Even Kim has fallen for his schemes on a small scale. She's a strong-willed person so his influence has only reached so far. Howard on the other hand, has been run through the ringer by them McGill boys. Season one Howard seems like such a long time ago.

Good episode. Between the fall of Saul and the behind the scenes of laundry lab being put in place we have another big step to BB. I loved Gus speaking German to the potential engineer of the lab. He suddenly went from hesitant to on board with the job. Only a show like this could make me excited to see how they remove all the debris from their construction.

 Greg Kirkman wrote:
There’s also an interesting tease in this teaser, with Saul directing Francesca to tell an as-yet-unknown lawyer that “Jimmy sent you”. Who might this be, I wonder? Kim? Howard? Bill, the ever-wacky prosecutor who appears later in this episode, and is perhaps a defense attorney by the time of BREAKING BAD?

It wouldn't be Kim. They've met and worked together. Howard seems unlikely. Especially if he continues to flame out. We may have another "criminal" lawyer out there for Jimmy to encounter.

Is anyone here reading the AV Club reviews of BCS? Donna Bowman started with BB and often has some really good insights into the episodes. Good place for reviews and occasionally interviews.
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