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John Harrison
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Posted: 04 March 2020 at 7:03am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

This one left me kinda cold I liked seeing Lalo and Jimmy play off each other
and the scene w Nacho and his papa.    
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Vinny Valenti
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Posted: 04 March 2020 at 7:44am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

I thought for sure that Hank and Saul never met before his BREAKING BAD debut, but I re-watched that episode and it looks like their exchange could be interpreted either way. Hank clearly knew about his commercials but there was no indication that they had interacted before.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 04 March 2020 at 9:46am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

I had a different reading to the scene.   I think Kim was bullshitting about her background -- trying to pull a 'Jimmy' by stringing a story together on the spot.  
+++++++++++

I got the vibe that Kim was legitimately telling her backstory, but Acker didn’t believe her because he lumped her in with those he saw as soulless, corporate lawyers who would say anything to get him to move. Which is one more painful reminder of how unsatisfying her banking work is. She puts herself out there as a negotiation tactic, and ends up getting slapped down because she’s seen by Acker as part of the evil establishment. In contrast to Jimmy, who’s completely given up trying to be part of the establishment. Kim is part of the establishment—the elite which Jimmy once aspired to—, and is becoming increasingly unhappy.


Edited by Greg Kirkman on 04 March 2020 at 9:48am
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 04 March 2020 at 9:53am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Some interesting thoughts on the scene and question and Kim in general:



Not that I give a flying fig about Hollywood or its awards, anymore, but it would be nice to see Ms. Seehorn finally nab a well-deserved Emmy. Wonderful actress, wonderful character.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 05 March 2020 at 4:34pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

INSIDER Podcast is up. The ants in the teaser (which were real ants filmed on a real set, not CG) were intended as a metaphorical stand-in for Jimmy: Tempted by something sweet (in Jimmy’s case, making money from working with criminals) that’s also sticky and dangerous. Cool.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 09 March 2020 at 10:54pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

“Namaste”.


Well, this episode was...quietly unsettling.

The scene with Proto-Saul talking to the “50% off!” duo in jail really did lay out the future methodology of Saul Goodman, with Jimmy slowly exhibiting more and more flash and ego in order to retain his clients, and convincing them to hire him in exchange for his setting them up with a rehab they won’t actually have to attend. And, more importantly, he mocks the notion of them turning to a free “public pretender” instead of him. A “public pretender” like Kim Wexler, who is getting a sense of fulfillment from her pro bono PD work. 

On a similar note, we’re seeing more and more Saul Goodman-esque methods across the board, now. Jimmy pulls the “misidentified defendant“ stunt in court specifically to cause a mistrial, and convinces Mr. Acker to retain him as his attorney with a photo of a man banging a horse. Yikes.

Another brilliant little—yet important—scene in this episode is Jimmy’s meeting with Howard, which, for me, is sort of the bookend to Walter White declining Gretchen and Elliot Schwartz’s offer of financial aid and a job waaayyyy back near the beginning of BREAKING BAD. Having regained his footing, Howard Hamlin offers Jimmy a job. Which is all Jimmy had ever wanted, back when he was a struggling mail clerk-turned-lawyer. Chuck was always the wet blanket, of course, and Howard acquiesced to his desire to keep Jimmy out of HHM. 

So, now, with that job offer finally handed over to him on a silver platter, Jimmy is not only horrified, but he goes so far as to give the petty (and criminal) response of throwing bowling balls at Howard’s car. Because he’s long past the point of wanting to be part of the establishment that’s held him down for so long. Sticking it to the man and gleefully rolling around in the mud are his sole aspirations, now. This is a wonderful little payoff to five careful years of character and story development. 

Nice to see Hank and Gomez for what may well be the final time, since it’s been said that they’re only aboard for a two-episode arc, which is neatly tied up here. Gus tricks them into arresting a trio of fall guys, but also loses nearly a million dollars for it. And Gus subtly taking his anger out on poor Lyle is very amusing.

Meanwhile, Mike is clearly still simmering with anger and guilt, to the point of willingly putting himself back in harm’s way because he wants to be punished. Looking forward to seeing who his mysterious rescuer is. 

And, just as Jimmy’s morality is slowly eroding, Kim’s is becoming stronger and stronger. She guiltily cleans up the shattered bottles from the end of last episode, and tries as hard as she can to steer Kevin and Paige away from evicting Mr. Acker. It’s not entirely surprising that she’d go to Jimmy when that fails, but I have the sneaking feeling that she’s unknowingly unleashed Pandora’s Box. She may well be setting up a situation where she actually has to face Saul Goodman in court. 
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Vinny Valenti
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Posted: 10 March 2020 at 6:48am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

I was expecting Kim to be upset (or at least very uncomfortable) after witnessing Saul's chicanery in action for the first time, but was surprised that she wasn't.
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Brian Miller
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Posted: 13 March 2020 at 8:08am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

Remember, Kim has been shown to go along with Jimmy on more than
one con and has even used his tactics on her own clients.
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Steve De Young
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Posted: 13 March 2020 at 8:54am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

The way Howard was played in this episode was super subtle.  It's honestly a matter of interpretation what's behind his offer.  On one hand, it could be that he really was always in Jimmy's corner and now that Chuck is gone he really sees him as a potential asset.  On the other, it's entirely possible that he just feels he somehow failed Chuck and is just patronizing Jimmy out of a sense of guilt.  I also read it in parallel with the Gretchen and Elliot scene, in the sense that the motive could have gone either way.  Jimmy interprets it as the latter option and so finds it insulting.

Though I also have to say, if I saw a luxury car with a 'NAMAST3' personalized plate, I'd be tempted to bust a window without even knowing the guy.
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Vinny Valenti
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Posted: 13 March 2020 at 11:30am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

It's definitely his "Gretchen and Elliot" moment, since he was presented with a way out of his downward spiral, but the ride is too fun to get off of it now. So everything that happens from this point forward is all on him - just like it was with Walt.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 13 March 2020 at 12:29pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Just finished listening to the INSIDER podcast. Patrick Fabian’s take on the lunch scene is that Howard really does feel guilty about not taking Jimmy under his wing (because of Chuck), and is legitimately trying to make amends. It’s noted that the second take was the one used in the episode, and that Fabian added that little catch in his voice when he calls Jimmy “Charlie Hustle” because he genuinely regrets the way things have gone down.

Peter Gould and episode writer/director Gordon Smith also mention Jimmy’s “white-hot ball of rage”, which his grief has sort of “compacted” into, and how Saul Goodman as seen in BREAKING BAD had a certain undercurrent of bitterness and anger to him. After all, Jimmy makes the choice to go and buy the bowling balls and randomly attack Howard’s car after he gets Mr. Acker to sign up with Saul Goodman. He should be feeling great, but his lunch with Howard—and Howard’s healthy processing of his grief over Chuck’s death (unlike Jimmy’s unhealthy processing)—causes him to randomly lash out. Just because he can, with nothing to be gained from it.

If Howard had stood up to Chuck and actually given Jimmy a chance, things likely would have turned out very differently. As it stands, Jimmy is handed what he thought he wanted on a silver platter, and instead gets petty, spiteful, and destructive. The establishment has caused him nothing but grief, and he’s now dead-set on “sticking it to the man” at every level. 


Edited by Greg Kirkman on 13 March 2020 at 12:30pm
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 16 March 2020 at 9:12pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

“Dedicado a Max”.


Man, this one was a lot of fun, despite those unsettling undercurrents that keep popping up.

First things first—it’s great fun to see Jimmy going full-Saul Goodman with his constant schemes and scams to keep Mr. Acker from being evicted. The Jesus spraypaint gag was my favorite. Seeing Mr. X again (he was the guy easily disarmed by Mike in the parking garage waaaayyyyy back in the first season, when Pryce was looking for a bodyguard to go with him to meet Nacho) was also a pleasure. I’m just waiting for Bill Burr to pop up as Kuby.

I see that they’ve retained the BREAKING BAD trick of using that golden-yellow color grading for scenes set in Mexico. And, of course, we again get to see JB Blanc as Gus’ Doctor, which is always a pleasure. Mike’s recovery lends itself to a few good laughs, too, and we again see that he seems most at peace with himself when he’s doing home repair and construction work. 

Of course, the title of the episode comes from the fountain/pool, which is obviously a reminder for Gus of how Max Arciniega (the character, not the actor) was murdered by Hector Salamanca. Another example of just how obsessed Gus is. And now it seems we’re finally headed toward the point where Mike will make his deal with the devil and seal his fate.

Speaking of which, it’s quite unsettling to see the direction Kim is headed in. Sure, the scene where Jimmy (as Kim) and Kim (as Kevin) play-ac is funny and sweet and genuine, but Jimmy gives her every chance to bow out and not enlist full-Saul Goodman. And yet she goes there. If Jimmy is serving as the voice of reason, here, that’s not at all a good sign for Kim’s judgment.

The scene where Schweikart confronts Kim—and then she confronts him, in full-view of their firm—is quite shocking. Kim almost looks to be on the verge of a panic attack after he leaves her office, and then she impulsively makes a public spectacle of herself by going after him, presumably to help lend credibility to her cover story of not colluding with Saul Goodman. Or is it because she’s literally losing emotional control of herself and making bad choice on top of bad choice, and not a mere attempt at maintaining her story?

That being said, I can’t shake the feeling that there’s more to it than what’s on the surface. That silent moment alone in her office after Schweikart walks out indicates that there’s a lot going on in her head. She could easily take Schweikart’s “suggestion” and bow out from the case. But she forces the matter, and very publicly. Is it about her desire to win, even at all costs? Is it about her guilt over Acker being evicted? Could it maybe, just maybe, be that she feels like Jimmy is slipping away, and her being quietly desperate to continue pulling this scam with him, just so they can stay close? Whatever the case may be, Rhea Seehorn is wonderful in this episode.

As with the address number transposition in season 2 (which snatched Mesa Verde away from Chuck, and managed to turn a meeting of the New Mexico Banking Commission—the most boring thing in the world—into high drama), I have the sinking feeling that this minor land dispute is going to have major consequences for our characters. 

More importantly, the Mesa Verde subplot has been moseying along for FOUR seasons, now, seemingly without major import. Initially, it served as a storyline to explore Kim, and then Chuck and Jimmy became involved. After that, it’s just sort of been background noise which helped to illuminate Kim’s character and her relationship with Jimmy, as well as highlighting the fact that helping the “little guy” in her pro bono cases (the same sort of “little guy” Saul Goodman claims to want to help, but doesn’t actually care about) is what most satisfies her as a lawyer.

Now, however, it’s all slowly merging together with the story of Saul Goodman’s birth, and with whatever will become of Kim by the end of this series. When all is said and done, it may well be that Mesa Verde has been a sort of ticking time-bomb that we never knew about until it snuck up on us. We’ll see. 
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