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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 20 April 2020 at 9:48pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

“Something Unforgivable”.


Best show on TV, man. I’m both amazed and crushed that the season is already over. We can only hope that the production delays from corona- chan don’t delay the final season beyond its projected airing in the fall of next year.

After the amazing action and tension of the past few episodes, we end this season with a very somber and quiet finale (that amazing shootout in the final act aside). Great to see Nacho finally back in the spotlight. The game is definitely afoot, now. Not only is Lalo the sole survivor of the attempt on his life, but he’s surely now aware that Nacho was the inside man. Yikes. This guy may just be the most formidable villain—aside from Gus—in the entire Gilliganverse.

Seeing Don Eladio and his infamous pool (site of both Max Arciniega’s—the character, not the actor—and Don Eladio’s deaths) was a fun little bonus, complete with the ironic, act-ending “salud” from Eladio, which of course foreshadows his death at Gus’ hand.

The cartel stuff in this finale is all good and fun, but let’s talk turkey. In his review of the finale, Alan Sepinwall lays a good case to ask the question: Have we been wrong about Kim this entire time? We know a precious few snippets of her past. We’ve seen her relationship with Jimmy in great detail, and the lengths she’ll go to in order to double-down and maintain it. More importantly, we’ve seen again and again how intoxicating pulling cons with him is for her. 

Now, she seems to have finally turned into a mirror of Jimmy mixed with Walter White. She seems to have finally broken bad. Eager to rationalize heartless and criminal behavior for the supposedly greater good of starting a pro bono clinic. The entire sequence with Jimmy and Kim playfully coming up with mock cons while in bed felt like a preamble to a breakup. One last attempt to remember the good times before answering Jimmy’s question: “Am I bad for you?”.

Then, Kim bumps into Howard, who tells her about the bowling balls and the hookers. And she laughs. Compared to the cartel experience she’s just had (and Jimmy’s confession about picking up the money in the desert), that’s nothing. And, more importantly, it makes Howard (quite unintentionally) look like he’s being self-serving rather than altruistic, because he’s telling her about acts perpetrated upon him, personally. WE know that Howard genuinely felt guilty and was genuinely trying to make amends, but Kim has been poisoned by both Jimmy’s hatred of “the man”—the establishment—and perhaps also by her own experiences in rubbing shoulders with high-rolling lawyers and bankers. What if her moral compass was never as fine-tuned as we all thought it was? What if she’s the monster who unleashes the monster we know Saul Goodman will become?

So, in proper Walter White fashion, she lays out her plan to “set back” Howard’s career a little in exchange for getting that sweet, sweet common fund money from the Sandpiper case. A Chekhov’s Gun which has been set up and waiting patiently in the background since season one. It all ties together. And it’s absolutely chilling. The moment is a perfect mirror of the previous season finale, right down to Kim doing the finger-guns move Jimmy that did in the courthouse when he announced his professional name-change (“S’all good, man!”) to her. Except that now the shoe’s on the other foot, and this time we see Jimmy’s heart drop through the floor as he wonders just who the person he loves has become.

There are still many questions to be answered, but the endgame has most definitely been set up, now. What will push Jimmy over the edge into becoming everyone’s favorite criminal lawyer? What will Kim’s fate be? Or Nacho’s? How will Gus manage to proceed with construction of the Superlab? Where will Lalo end up? 

And, perhaps most importantly, what will be the final fate of one Gene Takovic, Cinnabon manager? 


One more season to go of this masterpiece. And I really do hope that it marks the proper and definitive end of the Gilliganverse, because I wouldn’t want to see any more follow-ups, reboots, or anything like that which could mess it up. Two genius shows (and one movie) which will have told tell one epic, long-form story—yet with each half working perfectly fine as an entity unto itself—over the course of nearly 14 years. Quite possibly the best long-form storytelling ever seen on television.

BREAKING BAD has few real competitors for the crown of Best TV Drama of All Time. THE SOPRANOS’ non-ending is still hotly debated, and disappointed many. GAME OF THRONES became a complete and utter disaster at the end. BETTER CALL SAUL now has a shot at reaching that upper-tier, although I really can’t pit the two sister shows against each other, since I view it all as one giant epic presented in two distinctly separate parts.


Here’s an brief interview with Gilligan (who, fittingly, will be much more involved with the final season) and Gould in regards to what’s coming down the pipe:

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 20 April 2020 at 10:17pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Odenkirk and Seehorn on the finale: 

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 20 April 2020 at 11:10pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

The Ringer provides an excellent take on Kim’s evolution and Seehorn’s performance:

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Steve De Young
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Posted: 21 April 2020 at 5:45am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Based on the finale, I want to add a fourth 'Kim's fate' possibility to the board.  The other three being:  Kim dies, Kim leaves Jimmy, Kim is off-screen in BB as Mrs. Saul Goodman.  My fourth:  Kim is in jail.  For something she and Jimmy do.  That blowing up and her taking the fall is what finally makes Jimmy go full Saul.  And that's the phone call that Saul wanted to make sure Francesca received.  Kim getting out of lockup.
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Christopher Frost
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Posted: 21 April 2020 at 6:20am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

"Am I bad for you?". That right there is the whole thing in a nutshell. Sure, Kim is a big girl and capable of making her own decisions but she is heading off the reservation here and she's doing so because of her reaction to everything that Jimmy is up to. Kim is very hard headed and doesn't like being told what's best for her so she is pushing back against what everyone (Jimmy and Howard) are trying to tell her is the smart move. Where this will ultimately lead, whether to death, jail, departure, etc., it's going to be a sad ending to a great character as she's on the verge of losing the good person she usually is. To make it a pun, this is the moment where she can either reign it in or break bad ;)

As for Nacho, things are looking very bad for him now that everyone thinks Lalo has been removed from the picture. I think the scene of Lalo finding the body of the dead housekeeper he respected so much is telegraphing what he is going to do to Nachos father for revenge.

Season six needs to start sooner rather than later, lol.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 21 April 2020 at 9:50am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Lengthy commentary from cast and crew on the overall season:

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 21 April 2020 at 9:56am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

"Am I bad for you?". That right there is the whole thing in a nutshell. Sure, Kim is a big girl and capable of making her own decisions but she is heading off the reservation here and she's doing so because of her reaction to everything that Jimmy is up to. 
++++++++

It’s a fascinating moment of growth and self-awareness for Jimmy to ask her the question. Last season, he angrily accused her of occasionally descending from the ivory tower to “roll around in the dirt” with him and get her jollies. This season, we’ve seen him increasingly resigned to his own dark destiny as a “friend of the cartel”, but also trying to protect her from it by compartmentalizing that side of his life and attempting to convince her to stay with Schweikart & Cokely. 

But, as it turns out, she wants all-in, and he’s horrified. 
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Brian Miller
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Posted: 21 April 2020 at 10:26am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

Wow. Kim is going all-in now. We may have all had her pegged
completely wrong. Steve may be onto something in that Kim could be
the actual push to Jimmy becoming full-on Saul.

Poor Nacho. Hell is going to reign down upon him, I'm afraid. And yeah,
his dad will get it before anything happens to him.

This show is straight up the best show on television. Bar none.
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John Harrison
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Posted: 21 April 2020 at 11:13am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Based on the finale, I want to add a fourth 'Kim's fate' possibility to the board.
The other three being: Kim dies, Kim leaves Jimmy, Kim is off-screen in BB as
Mrs. Saul Goodman. My fourth: Kim is in jail. For something she and Jimmy
do. That blowing up and her taking the fall is what finally makes Jimmy go full
Saul. And that's the phone call that Saul wanted to make sure Francesca
received. Kim getting out of lockup.


*********

I think the real bite in the ass may be that Jimmy taught Kim how to con and he
himself may be getting conned by her.



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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 21 April 2020 at 11:22am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

This show is straight up the best show on television. Bar none.
++++++

Yep. And it all comes down to that laser-focus on story and characters. We didn’t even need some BREAKING BAD-esque, violent cliffhanger for the finale. It all comes down to the characters’ internal conflicts and their relationships, and that’s far more compelling than shootouts and chases.

 All of the other nerd franchises that I love have been completely destroyed by idiots who pat themselves on the back for awful and insulting writing. But BCS comes along again and again to show how it’s really done. They are so far beyond everything else on TV in terms of structure, symbolism, logical characterization, and organic storytelling that it’s almost laughable to even try compare them to the various other shows that they effortlessly leave behind at the starting line. It’s my oasis in the desert, and I’m depressed at having to wait possibility as long as two years for the finale.

The thing I find fascinating, in terms of the overall arc of the series, is how Chuck and Kim were basically the Angel and the Devil on Jimmy’s shoulders. Chuck knew where Jimmy’s dark impulses could lead, and Kim continues to support Jimmy and serve as his occasional con partner. We always believed that Kim was virtuous, but with a wild streak that attracted her to Jimmy. We may have been gravely mistaken. In her own way, she may be just as damaged as he is. 

Chuck and Kim are both right and they’re both wrong about Jimmy. I think there was a chance that Jimmy could absolutely have ended up with a good life and a good career, but Chuck’s unwavering attitude (and, let’s be honest, jealousy) created a self-fulfilling prophecy which set Jimmy down the very path that Chuck always feared he’d go down. 

And maybe Kim isn’t so much of a tether or a moral compass for Jimmy as she is a victim of Slippin’ Jimmy who also serves as his enabler—and the catalyst for his final transformation into Saul Goodman. He drags her down into the mud with him, and the horror of watching that happen plunges him fully into the dark side. A cascade effect of moral degeneration set into motion by Jimmy and Chuck’s competitive and toxic relationship. And it’s accelerated by Kim’s emotional scars from childhood, which turned her into someone who stubbornly won’t stop trying to fix problems and people. We see now that part of her attraction to Jimmy is that he always tries to pull himself by his bootstraps—just like her. And unlike Howard Hamlin and Kevin Wachtell, who were born into an upper crust life. 

Admitting that Howard is right about Jimmy—and by proxy, that Chuck was right—would be too painful for her. So, she doubles-down again and again to try and force the relationship to succeed. But she only succeeds in destroying her own life, and birthing Saul Goodman. Maybe.

We’ll see.
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Brian Miller
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Posted: 21 April 2020 at 12:52pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

I'm wondering if he's actually "dragging her down into the mud with him"
at this point. Perhaps she's always had these tendencies and now
she's not having to hide them.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 21 April 2020 at 1:59pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

That’s the question, isn’t it? For the entire series, we’ve assumed that she was always trying to right the ship and get Jimmy to straighten up and fly right, yet in a supportive way (rather than Chuck, who surreptitiously held Jimmy back and undermined him at every turn). But maybe it was actually more about her trying to avoid unnecessarily dangerous waves, and to use their conning powers for “good”.

Either way, a rewatch of the series from the start (which I intend to do before the final season) is gonna prove very interesting.

From where I stand right now, I think it’s a case of Kim being emotionally vulnerable to damaged people like her mother and Jimmy, and being fixated on logical problem-solving. Which leads her down the same sort of road of good-intentions-turned-disaster which made Walter White into a monster. Fear of loss combined with being turned on by the thrill of the con.

We may just be headed toward a horrifying, show-changing revelation: As with Skyler White on BREAKING BAD, many fans hated Chuck for being the voice of reason in Jimmy’s life, and always saw Kim as the good girl who was destined to be dragged down by Jimmy. 

Now, though, I find myself wondering if Chuck really was the last bulwark against the collapse of Jimmy’s morality, and Kim was always an enabler at best, and co-conspirator at worst. In other words, that the loss of Chuck was the end of Jimmy’s last chance to have a good life, since he was the only person standing between Jimmy and Kim spiraling into codependent, self-destructive criminal activity. 

We always saw Kim as the strong-willed innocent, and feared her being killed, ruined, or tainted by Jimmy’s moral deterioration.In reality, it might be a wholly different story. She might just end up being a big can of kerosene that’ll get tossed onto the fire which rages at the core of Saul Goodman.
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