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Everything posted by JFParnell

  1. JFParnell

    The Little Drummer Girl

    I guess not many people made it through all 3 nights judging from how quiet it is in here? I thought the last installment was fantastic. (Do wonder if 2 hr 40 minute episodes scared away some potential viewers who might have stayed on, were it not for it feeling like a practically-3-hour commitment just when you're traveling to be with family or preparing to host family or making a giant food-coma meal for said family. But audiences aren't strictly real-time anymore, so I hope lots of people will catch it on-demand. It deserves not to be missed.) Anyway, yeah. Loved it. This was one of those rare modern examples of really feeling like you're seeing a spy novel brought to life, in a time and place, in a way that feels like real espionage -- no superhuman fight sequences, very few explosions; just weary and wary people whose jobs task them with choosing between the tragic and the merely terrible. Ha - I was wondering about that too! Maybe to show there was a new, enjoyable normalcy to his life? Maybe, by long habit, he doesn't like leaving things with his fingerprints on them? (That was my initial thought when I saw it.) Or maybe ... he just really wanted some tea? I think it does imply Gadi and Charlie will end up together.
  2. JFParnell

    The Little Drummer Girl

    Ack, I still have no idea how this story ends! I get AMC through Sling TV and Roku. Social obligations with people who don't live inside the television made me miss the third night, and it is STILL not posted to Sling. No idea whom to blame -- Sling or AMC -- but it's as if they don't want anyone to see the conclusion, and to watch the advertising that you can't fast-forward through. Ah well. SMH, as the kids would say ... Now I have to avoid this forum until I see the conclusion. :)
  3. JFParnell

    The Little Drummer Girl

    Tiny bit surprised by the lack of Previously people talking about this absorbing series! I'm enjoying it -- the performances are really strong; Skaarsgard, Shannon and Pugh are fantastic portraying three wildly different people. And you really do feel yourself cast back into the late 1970s. Just a good, intelligent production. It really is right up there with The Night Manager, which they've taken pains to remind us. Though a fan of Le Carre's, I've never read this book, so I have NO idea what will happen tonight in the conclusion, but looking forward to finding out. Also looking forward to getting some sleep. As an early riser, I'm not used to staying up past 11 o'clock. :)
  4. JFParnell

    S04.E09: Wiedersehen

    Well, now. There it is. That ep picked up steam, didn't it? I didn't realize it was another of those 1-hr ... PLUS MORE! ... episodes, and then more things kept happening. LOL! Perfectly stated. Too funny. He'll be the Gale Boetticher of BCS. We haven't seen Mike fully "turn" down the darkest path yet, have we? I've been as curious about that as I have been for Jimmy. Maybe Mike whacks PSSD Werner, and then the remorse -- he does/did like the guy -- sends him to the (mostly; there's still Kaylee) dark side once and for all? Now don't hate me ... !! ... but ... I have to say I just didn't give a rip about the origin story of Hector's bell. I'm sitting there thinking, "C'mon! Penultimate episode -- time's a wastin'! -- and we're gonna watch Hector hunched over and drooling for like 9 minutes??!" Raise your hand if you were never all that curious about How Hector Got His Bell. :) [OK, sorry; that was mean. Now that's out of my system!] Otherwise loved it. Werner's desperation didn't seem all that forced to me -- he was showing signs of cracks in his armor in prior eps. But he's clearly not thought this through. Mike is trouble enough, but the poor man has NO idea how supremely pissed Mike's BOSS, the Chilean, is going to be. Jimmy's blow-up after the board rejection got the pulse pounding and while his and Kim's scene was well done, etc., Jimmy's accusations felt a teeny TINY bit forced and convenient. Could be I'm being too picky! Or maybe I just don't like seeing them fight :) I wonder, and hope, Howard will somehow be involved in getting Jimmy's appeal rushed along -- IF that appeal even happens this season. And hope it does: They are running out of time to let Saul take charge. Besides his Dad, does Nacho have any allies at all? I wonder if he makes it to season 5. Can't believe we're almost finished again. Bleh.
  5. JFParnell

    S04.E04: Talk

    Going to watch this one again, as I end up doing all of them (it's actually a 20-episode season that just looks strangely repetitive every other episode). I confess the judge-Kim scene caught me off guard, and it was good in that "OK, judge is a bit unto himself ... where is this going?" kind of way. Kind of funny how judges can boss around lawyers whenever they want -- even lawyers who aren't in a case before them. It was an interesting way for them to backfill Kim's emotions so we will understand better why she does whatever comes next. As I think (??) Bannon noted above, so many shows take so little care to do that. Good job, show. The cousins are surreal, indestructible creatures (er, for now anyway) who defy all natural and physical laws. Wonder what they do for fun on a day off from work. Ping pong tournaments? Golf? Watching it in the moment, I thought the trigger for Mike's slow-burn was less about the whole purpose of the group than about Stacey expressing gratitude that for periods of time she was able to not think about Matty. His dear Matty. I think in Mike's world view you never forget such a thing -- you let it haunt you because it's the honorable thing to do. Easier still when you're guilty about why he's dead. He's old school - we've all become too good at "moving on" from things to preserve our precious psyches. Then liar guy started in with his next sob story and everything went kablooey. That was my first impression anyway. Jimmy who? He was almost a background character this ep, but because it's BCS we know there's more; they don't waste a single frame of footage, a single moment of storytelling, visual or dialogue, even if it seems like they might be. So it's hard to know now how cell phones and Hummels will play out into the future -- good catch above about Saul's drawer full of cell phones in BB -- but it's a safe bet these events will matter. You know who will want a "big brother-free" cell phone? The gun dealer, Lawson, that's who. Not to mention drug dealers. The hole is getting deeper for Nacho, and his poor Dad. He's written and played like a character who accepts he is likely a goner. He's no angel and never has been, but he does elicit sympathy somehow - which means they created a layered, non-cardboard character. And what do we think Gus's ask of Mike will be? Kill Nacho himself? That doesn't seem right, since Gus could do that himself anytime. Obviously something only Mike can do for him but what? Gus is always playing the long game so using Mike for something merely brutal and bloody seems unlikely. But whatever it is, it's big enough to justify the high-drama face-to-face. I'm too tired, and not enough coffee yet, to make some guesses :) Random: I can't be the only one who misses Pryce the baseball-card guy can I? I'd hoped for another scene or two with him but I fear his story is played out. He cracks me up.
  6. JFParnell

    Season 4 All Episodes SPECULATION AND LIVE CHAT

    Ex-cop Mike shredding the witness's story. Good scene. I've been wondering what sort of tipping point will send Mike on to what he becomes in Gus's crew. If anything in particular. He hasn't entirely crossed over yet, but he's getting there.
  7. JFParnell

    Season 4 All Episodes SPECULATION AND LIVE CHAT

    The cousins remind me of Anton Chighur from no country for old men. They seem almost outside of reality. Agree about the cinnabon/CC Mobile vibe.
  8. JFParnell

    Season 4 All Episodes SPECULATION AND LIVE CHAT

    2 cousins = 1 small army.
  9. JFParnell

    Season 4 All Episodes SPECULATION AND LIVE CHAT

    Is Fran allowed no occupational upward mobility?
  10. JFParnell

    S04.E03 Something Beautiful

    Bah. I didn't get to watch the ep until last night! So you guys have long since picked the carcass clean. Well done! I think (??) we're meant to think the bland lifeless letter WAS from Chuck. Without Jimmy as a devil on her shoulder -- for the occasional lark -- Kim seems otherwise a draw inside the lines kind of person. And I can't see Howard being capable of thinking around enough emotional corners to even conceive of doing such a thing; not from what they have shown us of him. We shall see! Nice to see Gale! And Lane Kim. Wait, I mean Viola. Wait, I mean Keiko. Gus, you sneaky Pete! Your "Who, me?" routine even fools your own partners in crime! It was interesting to be reminded, in the Mike/Jimmy meeting, that Jimmy has no idea what Mike's been up to lately, since their worlds have yet to fully mesh. Almost comical how Jimmy was presenting this grand opportunity for ... a $4,000 split. To a guy whose biggest current problem is cleaning a boatload of stolen cartel cash. Poor Jimmy just wants to pay off his Mastercard. Though in fairness Jimmy's motive for the Hummel caper doesn't seem to have been entirely about money. Anyway it put me in mind of Dr. Evil's famous $1 million ransom demand.
  11. JFParnell

    S04.E02: Breathe

    I think I'm with @Bryce Lynch on Howard/Kim. I loved Kim's fierce defense of Jimmy. And it was shocking to see b/c she's always seemed, to me anyway, guarded about how close she wants to let herself get to him. But she seems to be all-in now, which, as we've all suspected, probably won't end well. She's fallen for a guy who is never not conning someone, even if just a little. Even her, someone he loves. I'm not throwing Howard overboard. I think he's just kind of an emotionally tone-deaf fellow and you get a sense he doesn't really like himself all that much. I sort of hope they expand on him a bit, though there's probably not much room on the stage for him going forward.
  12. JFParnell

    S04.E02: Breathe

    I can't wait to hear Mike's reaction to Jimmy: "Hummels...?"
  13. JFParnell

    S04.E01 Smoke

    This, and that he was bored out of his mind sitting home watching baseball, and he's Mike! He's very literal. lol. He likes to earn his keep. If you hire him as a security consultant, don't be surprised if he decides to consult on security. Remember in season 1 finale, Jimmy asks him something like "why didn't we each keep 800K tax free?!" And Mike replies that the way he saw it he was paid to do a job, so he did it and that's where it ended for him. That was beautifully put. I'm fine with the episode and just relieved that we weren't subjected to too much post-Chuck anguish and tortured reflection (well maybe Howard a little - but that won't last); I should have trusted that these showrunners would try to avoid the usual well-trodden paths. In each season, these Cinnabon Gene scenes are so good, leave you wanting so much more of that world, that they threaten to deflate the regular storylines. But then you're back color and in time, back to ABQ, and the moment passes. Some table-setting, but that was to be expected. Especially after the long slumber between seasons (%%$##!). I need to watch it again -- was trying to catch everything at once, and in doing so likely missed all kinds of things.
  14. JFParnell

    Season 4 All Episodes SPECULATION AND LIVE CHAT

    Finally the worlds are merging! I hope we don't have to spend half the season mourning and de-/re-constructing Chuck and that all that stuff in the trailer won't happen until ep. 9. He's finally dead -- let's keep it that way. OK, that was mean. I'm sorry, Chuck; and Mr. McKean. No offense. :)
  15. JFParnell

    Better Talk Saul: BCS Only!

    Zombies. Not enough zombies. Not ANY zombies. Everyone on BCS is either alive or dead. Which is a capital crime in AMC world. If they'd arranged for Chuck to come back as a walker, AMC would have given it the whole marathon treatment. Wow, yup. That long sequence as the house slowly comes apart, along with its owner, is SO unsettling -- they really captured what the tipping point of madness must look like. I appreciated it more on re-viewing than on first airing.
  16. JFParnell

    S03.E10: Off The Tit

    Smurf makes my skin craaaaawwwwl. It kind of sucks to know that she's a top-billed person -- we know she's never going to, you know, oh what's the word, die a horrible and well-deserved death. lol. They finally stopped showing Billy as a quasi-comic-relief character this ep. (And it was still almost a little funny watching Pope tune him up; maybe a little anyway?) But trying to rough up J, stealing Deran's cash (thanks, upthread, to the person who noted the birthday was the combo -- I missed that; I'm as dumb as Craig). Are he and Frankie off the show now? Methinks we'll hear from them again, after Billy puts all his cash in his veins. J wants to be the new Smurf -- lining up new ways to clean the boys' cash. But nothing short of killing her will keep Smurf in line -- does J have that in him? I actually think he has it in him to try! (Which, if it happens, will fail -- for reasons above; Ellen Barkin, top billing. I wonder if J the character knows that. Hmm, probably not. lol) Pope is one tormented soul! Good scene in the DCFS cubicle farm. So I guess he's not even a suspect anymore in that string of 40 banks he robbed in like one day?? So the mask is fully pulled away on Lucy! She's gonna be a tad pissed off when she finds out about Marco (yeeeeow!! that was brutal -- and which one of Pete's goons had the job of rounding up the rats to put in that tiny cage?? Probably lowest man in the gang). They seem tougher than the surfing stealing Codys. Trouble ahead... stay tuned.
  17. JFParnell

    Better Talk Saul: BCS Only!

    I just hit that scene last night in MY re-watch. So true. So well done. I know Michael McKean really nailed that role because I have never despised a fictional character as much as Chuck in my entire life. Surpassing even Dana Brody and Tony Soprano's mother! lol. That said, even though Chuck was just a fake person in the TV, it's sa bit uncomfortable to be happy that someone is dead. :)
  18. JFParnell

    Better Talk Saul: BCS Only!

    I got tired of waiting for AMC to rerun its own show on its own network and caved to a pretty darn good Amazon Prime Day deal on season 3. Time to start prepping! I'm more excited about this than I should be. lol
  19. JFParnell

    Better Talk Saul: BCS Only!

    I'm getting MORE hyped up by the day, which is a problem, because I want to rewatch Season 3 to get back up to speed -- it was so long ago, indeed! -- which is a problem because I don't have Netflix, and I don't want Netflix. I DO have Sling TV, though, and keep waiting, and waiting, for AMC to start putting BCS seasons up on demand so we can prepare. But, nooo ... they seem not to want fans. Or ... what's that other word? ... viewers. C'mon, AMC: Be a nice guy -- at least toss us a marathon weekend.
  20. JFParnell

    S03.E05: Prey

    That sequence with the old woman was exxxxcrrrrrrruciating! Seriously -- even for these characters I thought it was too jarring a choice for them to write it that way. Took me right out of the story, to the point I thought, "I can't watch this show anymore. There's no one to care about and these people are cold, lowlife scumbags." lol. I get that J et al have been raised by wolves, have massive social/moral blind spots, etc., but yeeeow! That poor demented woman. And gray cat! Tough to watch, and I'm not generally squeamish. I dunno. Just something about it felt WAY way off, even for this show and these characters. Oddly, for all his own flaws I find I'm caring most about Pope's story. That scene with Lena where he's just barely holding it together -- he knows he WANTS to hold it together but feels it's all slipping away -- was sad. And well acted. Pope needs to clean house -- I think literally! lol. Especially that pool. I mean, someone noted above that it's become Dennis Leary's bathtub. But, let's be honest: It's probably his part-time toilet too if the need calls. Bleccchhhh.
  21. JFParnell

    S03.E02: In The Red

    It did just kind of bounce all over the place. Seems like it was one of those "table setter" episodes where they needed to move people around -- eg get Craig back from Mexico, the poor dumbass -- and set up some situations so they can manipulate us for the next 11, or however many, episodes :) I wonder when Leary will appear. They keep saying he's on and then he's not. lol Was Craig being literal? Did he really make it back with just the shirt on his back? That would sound about right for him. J and Pope have one thing in common, that thousand-yard vacant stare. Though Pope's TYVS is much scarier. J's is more like "sh**, I can't remember my next line." Mia is smarter than Nicky and seems to have that grifter's sense that there is more money to be made from this mark. Wonder if Ellen Barkin will be in jail all season. I've never seen the movie so I have no idea what some viewers might already know who have.
  22. JFParnell

    S03.E01: The Killing

    That "no way they're cutting him up" (or whatever the exact lines were) was just beyond weird -- a weird piece of writing, and, yeah, it didn't come off, did it? I've only just caught up on this terrific series after binge-watching on Amazon Prime. And Craig cracks me up -- just such a big doofus. But he's at least self-aware enough to realize he IS a dumbass and total screw-up. Which earns him some sympathy. I dunno. He hasn't stood out to me as a uniformly bad actor, but agree he wasn't able to bring those strange lines to life. Maybe no one could? lol. Seemed like a good start to season 3. So curious to know where J really stands in all of this. And, while Pope's character grated on me for awhile (might be in the minority on that!) I'm starting to come around to him. A vengeful Pope is going to be a force to fear this season.
  23. JFParnell

    S06.E10: START

    So that happened. What do we do now? To quote the Police, "there's a hole in my life." (Did they ever use Every Breath You Take in this show? Cant remember! Might have worked well.) Watchable, I guess. Muted. No deaths. I need to watch it again to more thoroughly decide what I think. lol Did they ever again match the pilot episode? For my money they didn't. But that's just, like, my opinion, man. Poor Stan has only one thing that's pure left to hold onto: Henry. Being his surrogate father. It's the one thing left he can do and get right, IF he gets to do it at all. (And the poor oaf will probably mess that up too.) Speaking of ... Noah Emmerich's note left behind in the writers' room, after his last day on set: "Next time, make me smarter. Or maybe, you know what? Just don't call me at all. Thanks for nothing. Sincerely, N." Not sure I agree with those up yonder in the thread who said Philip "mind f***ed" Stan in the garage. I'm buying what we were meant to think: that Philip WAS largely truthful. He WAS out, done, sick of it, a failed travel agent; Stan WAS the closest thing to a friend he'd ever had, etc. I didn't hear him telling Stan about Renee as an FU but as a last gesture, possibly a decent one in his mind. I wanted conventional justice to be served -- for all the murders, especially poor mail robot warehouse woman. But we were probably never going to get that from this show. How did Claudia not drink that vodka herself, before she split town? Paige jumping the train caught me off guard, gotta confess. But right when they DIDN'T show the border guard checking HER passport it was, "Hmmm, ruh-rohhh...." Paige will be fine. No jail. She'll end up on the Phil Donahue show plugging her blockbuster memoir: "Kid KGB: My Life as a Teenage Spy" Would have liked a closer-up view of Henry's reaction to finding out; but that would have been a long scene with too much ground to cover, and most shows seem to cheat such scenes with just a long shot and some deeply ominous body language, instead of writing any dialogue. (And maybe that's not a cheat at all -- who knows?) And Renee..? Oh f'er ... What-ev-errrrr. Imo that was just "wtf?" from the start. What was the point? So their plan for her was really just unresolved Ambiguity? Okie dokee. OLEG!! Well that sucked. You poor SOB. If this were The Shield, I guess he'd be Ronnie. My dream ending of Philip and Oleg opening a bar in South America shall not come to pass.
  24. JFParnell

    S06.E09: Jennings, Elizabeth

    While you are right in general, in this case I doubt it matters. Everyone who watches knows next episode is the series finale. This is true. We do know. I guess what surprised me was that I've never seen a television network that didn't want to yell at you about something in capital letters :) Come to think of it, maybe it's admirable that they didn't.
  25. JFParnell

    S06.E09: Jennings, Elizabeth

    Thought it was an odd oversight when, at the end of the episode, the FX voiceover robot was just casually intoning, "Stay tuned for scenes from the next episode of the Americans" Huh? Is someone asleep at the switch at FX? Why weren't they in hyper-hype mode: "Stay tuned for scenes from the SHOCKING -- YOU'LL-NEVER-BELIEVE-WHAT-HAPPENS -- SERIES FINALE of The Americans on FX!!!" Weird... maybe they don't want anyone to watch.