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  1. I know Rhea Seehorn is hard to spell but getting it wrong six times has to be embarrassing. Delighted for Giancarlo though.
  2. I think they just managed to write Chuck out before he had gone too far. The nature of the character was such that the back and forth between him and Jimmy would become repetitive and almost was. But as it turned out, Series 3 gave us an incredible climax to their hatred and then his rallying and crashing out in the last five episodes was absolutely gripping. I agree this is the height of the show. I was sad that Chuck wasn't in Series 5 at all.
  3. I don't know how I felt about this one. Lalo's not that interesting a character in his own right and having a bunch of nameless assassins fail to kill him just doesn't feel all that compelling. The drama was with Nacho and Nacho is now... I don't know where his plot is. Even if Lalo were killed, how does he explain running? Surely his family are vulnerable to reprisals? The fact that his escape plan has cost the death of an innocent also complicates the situation with his father and the extent to which he can ever be redeemed. I'm interested to see where it goes but it's very open-ended indeed. It was good to see Eladio and I did like Lalo's little ruse to ingratiate Nacho. It tied up a loose end about BB I hadn't even considered which is where the biker gangs we've seen in BCS went as they were never an issue for Walt and Jesse. But we know where Eladio ends which does take a little of the excitement off this one. Otherwise... Mike and Gus seem to be kind of in a holding pattern. Gus has some idea which I guess we'll see to fruition and Mike is now just Gus' man and doesn't feel like a major player in his own right any more. I expected more on these characters for the finale but I guess all their chips were in the Lalo plot. And that leaves... Jimmy and Kim. Which, at this point, is mostly about Kim. I really expected Jimmy to leave her this episode and that would have been the point at which I could see Kim breaking -- knowing how she hates to be patronised and controlled. But Jimmy is too weak and Mrs Goodman is too much all his dreams come true for that to work so we're left with Kim doing a very abrupt and seemingly under-motivated heel turn. There were scenes that showed Kim's path. I loved the scene about "burners" which make it feel like Kim isn't on some shockingly new path of discovery but is fitting into a lawyer cliche. I also think the sheer scale of the task facing her obviously made her have to rethink her ambitions, hence the wish to poach some of the best she's worked with (though why on Earth any of them would want to join her I can't see). And of course, while I don't think we're meant to see her response to Howard as remotely proportionate (or, frankly, sane), there is some precedent in her being put in dock review, refusing Howard's money and then the way she turned on Kevin. Still, it feels very hard to reconcile this Kim with the Kim of even the beginning of this season. S4 of BB had a very drastic turn for Walt but it felt like it emerged out of where he had been before. I'm just not sure I see Kim's progression. They really do need a very clever bit of selling to make this work as currently it's... a real stretch. I wonder if we're going to meet Kim's father. It feels like as well as an issue with authority there's a real hatred of control figures. The problem is, it feels very late in the game to be trying to pin down who Kim is. More generally, it just feels very fragmented at the moment. That was fine in earlier seasons where it had time to cohere and last episode certainly looked like we might see these plots starting to converge but going into the final stretch, everything seems scattered to the wind. It seems clear we're going to get a "Gliding Over All" episode in which a huge amount happens in a short space of time. I always thought BB shortchanged itself by not exploring Walt at the very top of his game more. Still, very excited for the final season, whenever it might be. A little anxious in some respects -- this season has had some real highs (episodes 7-9 especially) but some flaws too. We've found out very little about Gus, I'm not completely convinced by Mike's turn but I guess we're supposed to accept that he's basically at the end of his moral journey except for possibly wanting to intercede over Nacho. Nacho's spelt all but his final minutes in the same status quo more or less. And Kim's arc feels very difficult to pin down. I always thought that BCS had a far stronger first few years than BB's first few years but BB by this point was stratospherically good, BCS is feeling a little less sure-footed. I just hope they can really stick the landing.
  4. This is brilliantly explained. Knowing how obsessive these writers are, I really hope they haven't lost track of the timeline as this sort of thing infuriates me more than it should. I mean, Kayleigh's age is a continuity nightmare so a certain amount of this stuff just needs to be overlooked. But in this case I can absolutely see a montage where the cartel are relying on Tuco getting out and he keeps getting months added to his sentence. Indeed, given what an evident lunatic Tuco is, I can see Jimmy being sent into prison based on his reputation as the "Tuco whisperer" to coach him on how to pass a parole board (and even then probably requiring some Huell-style oiling of the wheels of injustice). I don't know how this software works and what the cost is but I wouldn't want them to mess around too much. Ultimately, this a well-established issue with Vince Gilligan's series: if you go back to BB Season 1 there's a scene where they're straining every sinew to show Bryan Cranston in his 20s. I also think it's one of the biggest issues with "El Camino" that Jesse Plemons and Aaron Paul have aged hugely out of the roles. And of course it will only get worse with the delay to S6 filming as any scenes they're trying to set at the beginning of the BB timeline will require performers to rewind the clock 13 or 14 years. However... I feel at this point, they may as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb. This is one of those -- quite rare on this show -- "don't think about it too much" moments where you have to suspend disbelief. Spending money on expensive technology that may end up with uncanny valley performances would be far worse, I think. If the technology improves in the next couple of decades to the point where you can adapt existing footage without too much of an issue, it would be lovely (though unlikely) if they were to do a "director's cut" of BB/BCS/EC, for the 30th anniversary of "Breaking Bad" or something, in which they tidy this sort of thing up. I know "George Lucasing" past work gets a bad reputation but I always feel it's fine as long as the fixes are to get the scene closer to its intention rather than just to add for the sake of it. Probably though, it's just one of those things to which you just have to turn a blind eye.
  5. I agree but I'm not sure Gus would perceive it this way. Or Mike helps Nacho escape but Gus decides that Mike is too useful to punish perhaps. It also occurs to me that if Mike could engineer a situation where Nacho's father was safe from the cartel (if not from Gus) then Nacho could work for Gus out of love for his father and a wish to protect the status quo rather than fear -- an improvement Gus would have time to warm to. Prising Manuel Varga away from his shop, particularly if he suspects it's to protect him from the consequences of Nacho's actions, won't be easy but it is an unambiguous good if he's kept safe. Saving a stubborn old man, the little guy between giant forces... isn't this exactly the kind of work Kim is looking for?
  6. Shadowfacts -- it's a really interesting point and links to another puzzle... why did Gus choose to threaten his father at all in 502? For the past season, Nacho had been loyal with the threat of being exposed to the Salamancas which would certainly have ended his life. My guess is that Gus upped the pressure at this point because what he was asking would be so dangerous that his own life might not be persuasive enough, but it's not really clear if anything changed. Objectively though, Gus is right on his assessment of Nacho. Nacho betrayed his father to go in with the Salamancas, betrayed Tuco by running the cons with the Kettlemans and Wormald, betrayed Wormald for a quick buck, helped Hector betray Eladio's decree of peace by invading Pollos in 304, betrayed his father again by letting Hector use his father's business, betrayed Hector by poisoning him (Gus' deepest of red lines) and now is trying to weasel out of his role with Gus before Lalo is fully dealt with, let alone before the rest of the Salamancas are dealt with. Moreover, from "you are mine" onwards, Gus has always viewed Nacho as an animal akin to the coati he talks about to Hector in 406. While Mike (in Gus' eyes) betrayed him by not telling him what Nacho was planning, Mike also has proved a resourceful and, in his own terms, loyal ally. Gus may not like every choice Mike makes but he respects and understands his code of honour. Very different from Nacho. Yes, we know that Nacho has changed. Mike knows that Nacho has changed. But I can completely see why, from Gus' perspective, Nacho is too dangerous to let free or to let live and frankly isn't worth any modicum of respect. I also think that this is pipework for Mike's endgame. Because Mike dies in BB, there's no chance of a Gene-era plot for Mike and there's not much heroism in his final weeks with Walt or even in leaving him working for Gus. But just like Walt had an ending that had some amount of heroism, taking down the Nazis and saving Jesse, I think Mike's last big stand in BCS will be to face down Gus to rescue Nacho and his father -- a thematic answer to "Five-O" where the father and son get a second chance. At least, that's my hope for them.
  7. Couple more thoughts having watched it through again. I struggle to think that the $7m plot won't have consequences even though the fact that Lalo was (1) released and (2) made it to the border suggests he isn't being tailed. The show paid off Fred's death and they had another ADA speak to Jimmy. Between his public blow-up at the courthouse, his reputation with the DA's office for selling drop-phones to crooks (as per 408) and now this, I imagine a lot of eyes are going to be on Jimmy, especially after his client slips bail. Jimmy's really interesting in this though for two scenes. At the end, he repeats the "bad choice road" speech to Kim. This is at least the second time he's repeated something that someone else has told him -- all his arguments to Chuck for why he should go into elder law are basically Kim's. Now he's parroting Mike's speech to Kim. This is quite normal but rarely do you see it on television and I think it says a lot about how easily-swayed Jimmy is. He's constantly trying to be other people and we've seen him echo Kim, Howard (by dressing himself in Hamlindigo blue no less!), Chuck (by trying to become a lawyer) and now Mike. Also I'm fascinated by the exchange where Kim says "no judgments" and Jimmy repeats it almost aggressively. For one thing, Kim is positioned as really the polar opposite to Chuck in every way -- where he would do nothing but judge, she does nothing to intercede. She is completely enabling his behaviour. But Jimmy's reaction is interesting -- he's clearly angered by it. Is it because it reminds him of Chuck and Chuck's judgments and he's naturally assuming that Kim would take that role? Or is it that he thinks Kim should stand in judgment over him because he is guilty, he knows he's guilty and he doesn't see how she could fail to condemn him for what he's done? Is it that he actually needs her to be more of a Chuck than a Kim; after all, despite how his relationship with Chuck ended, Chuck kept Jimmy from veering too far off for a long time because Jimmy knew that every trick would be pounced on by Chuck. It really feels like if someone Jimmy admired had stepped in to guide him at an earlier point, a middle road between Chuck's all-out judgment and Kim's all-out permissiveness, he would never have been on the bad choice road.
  8. I agree that the age gaps in BB are more obvious examples of this trope but I think the Jimmy/Kim gap is just a function of the show being a prequel. If you assume that Saul in S2 of BB was Bob Odenkirk's age then (46) then Jimmy should be about 40 in BCS Season 1. In BCS S1 Rhea Seehorn was 41. I know age and looks at different things but I don't think we're meant to see it as an age gap and I think this is just an extension of "the El Camino problem" that even the greatest actors can't de-age themselves. Ironically, the one person in the series who looks substantially younger than her actual age is Rhea Seehorn who could easily pass for 15 years younger than she is and so, next to Bob Odenkirk who is actually 15 years older than his character and struggling to sell that, there's a pronounced difference. Nevertheless, I do think the foundations of their relationship are well-laid. Jimmy and Kim formed the roots of their relationship in the mail room. The fact that he was bootstrapping his way from near-prison must have made her feel more of a kinship with him on her way up than with nice-but-dull wholesome plodders we've seen like Omar and Ernesto. She goes to huge lengths to hide her past and even where she's from but she doesn't need to do that with Jimmy because Jimmy's past is plenty checkered already. She's clearly not very social whereas Jimmy is magnetic enough to bring even Chuck out of his shell in 410. Even with Jimmy, while they clearly had some kind of relationship prior, they didn't get together until S2 and then when she had a lot of tequila and had been in role as someone else. And this was after knowing Jimmy just short of ten years according to the show's timeline (as per her meeting with Rich in 207). That's an incredibly long time to warm to someone. We've never seen any other friends, she barely even addresses issues even with Jimmy... there's nothing here to suggest that, temperamentally, she would find it at all easy to form a relationship whereas for Jimmy he just needs to believe he's Kevin Costner and the universe provides! Now of course it's objectively true that Kim should be able to do much better than Jimmy but the fact that she doesn't is a huge part of her hamartia. Just like Jimmy, just like Mike, just like Gus, she can't let go of the past and move on. She's trying to fix something that cannot be fixed.
  9. My theory is that Lalo's death will be roughly concurrent with BB S3. Clearly in S2 Saul considers Lalo a very real and curent threat but by S4 Gus says the Salamacas are all dead. Bolsa has been in BCS before (304 at least) but I mean his men last episode were new to the show. Introducing a completely new element, especially this late in the game, isn't like BCS (unlike BB which introduced characters like Victor, Lydia and the Nazis relatively late on). However, typing the crew to Bolsa is very elegant as it actualluy expands and deepens the character of Bolsa. Jimmy got the juicer as part of his plot to get himself fired from Davis & Main (207 I think?). It's been in the kitchen since and he's used it quite a bit. There's no more story per se. However I do think water imagery is very significant to the show. Very roughly, it seems to me that snow or pure water is linked to respectability and decency or at least the appearance of it -- Gene in his ice box prison, the water running down the drain after Chuck's death in 401, the dripping tap in Gene's house and Chuck's, Kim's shower on the day she goes to (try to) become Jimmy's white knight in 303, the soapy water overflowing in 401 as Gene seems overwhelmed by the pressure of this new, "decent" life, Jimmy trying to save water as he leaves Davis & Main while he is holding back on his ethical choices. Whereas coffee, juice and waste or contaminated water usually show impurity and corruption -- the money in the culvert, Jimmy dumping the coffee beans after telling Howard Chuck's death was Howard's cross to bear, the overfeeding of the fish so it drowns in his own excrement, the juicer, Chuck obliging Kim to make coffee for him in 205(?). And of course, Jimmy goes from using clean water to clean his shoes to drinking his own urine in 508. 208? "I feel sorry for him. And I feel sorry for you."
  10. Well, that was incredible. And while it was distinctively BCS it did feel more of a cloth with "Breaking Bad" than any prior episode with the last-minute decision at the drop point, the gunpoint tension, the change of clothes after a trauma. I struggled with Kim throughout this but I was mesmerised as well. As much as she's the show's best character, they're just barely keeping the insane stuff she's swallowing believable. I think her determination to be non-judgmental is admirable in its own way and I love the fact that she sees straight through Jimmy's lies -- and with the prop of the mug which both symbolises Jimmy's love for Kim and the danger they now both face. I also loved the abrupt but, in that moment, somehow inevitable way that she ended her involvement with S&C and Mesa Verde. I really hope we get the conversation with Paige in a flashback at some point because I feel like that's such a huge moment and given how good the show is at playing out even excruciatingly small details, this felt like a big omission although the right choice for the flow of this episode. And of course her squaring up to Lalo was absolutely fantastic and of a piece with her past takedowns of Howard, Chuck, Rich and others. But then again we have her feeling judged by Jimmy who just can't understand Kim's moves and lashing out. The fact that she still doesn't understand Saul Goodman after all this time feels like something that needs to be addressed -- as does the fact last mentioned in 506 that Jimmy duped her 'again', referring I guess to 410. Kim's laconic nature is part of her brilliance but I really want to see some of these issues aired. The use of props remains absolutely superb. I've always looked at the juicer as a kind of metaphor for the ugly side of Saul -- Jimmy used it to basically scam Davis & Main and it featured prominently when he was getting ready to pull the Hummel heist last year. What a pay-off for that darkness to cause him trauma now. The scene also called back heavily Kim tending to Jimmy's wounds after being mugged. But mostly the breakfast scene felt like a complete reversal of 310 -- Kim's compulsion to work without end nearly cost her her life. Now Jimmy's compulsion to make money at nearly any cost has had a similar effect on Jimmy, down to the wrecked car. And the fish which Jimmy happily overfeeds when he's at his most Saul-like and vindictive, such as in 401, now feels like a real victim of a more apex predator. And still more callbacks -- a curtailed reprise of the 407 which in its own way foreshadows Kim quitting. Where once she had her own life in parallel to Jimmy's, now she's just at home and worrying about him. But perhaps it also foreshadows further that Saul will be out in the sun whereas Kim will be working in the shadows. Definitely seems like her destiny more than ever is as one of the associates of Saul Goodman & Associates. Mike had some great moments too but now that he's made his choices with regard to Gus, there doesn't seem as much to say about him. What's interesting is how he's sticking up for Nacho. The conversation with Gus was revealing and I am so intrigued to see how it plays. Speaking of Nacho, I just love how Michael Mando takes scenes where he has almost no lines and makes them windows into Nacho's soul. This is another such episode. The constant cartwheeling of hope and horror as he's sat as Lalo's driver was played to absolute perfection. The less he says, the more we feel. No Howard again though - not that there would have been room for him. I do feel bad for Patrick Fabian that basically his entire arc this season could have been squashed into a B-plot in a single episode. Just as Michael Mando was hugely underused in the first... well, two and a half seasons really... Howard's role seems to have become a footnote. I just really hope they find a big role for him in S6. Lalo -- unlike the rest of the cast, Lalo doesn't seem to have the complexity or depth of others but we did see a little of that here. The scenes with Hector are so degrading to him -- frankly, I think more degrading than they need to be. I can't imagine Hector has done anything to suggest he enjoys either the vitamin juice or the birthday parties. Lalo's "family is everything" showed a morality of some kind at least. Presumably at the end he's taking a different route to Mexico because he's still not completely confident there wasn't trouble at the border. But does he suspect Bolsa, I wonder? It would be a surprise if he suspected Nacho at this point but Nacho's plotline has been one long fuse all year so maybe the finale will be the boom. Speaking of Bolsa, I loved his role in this episode. It surprised me last week that they brought a new party into the mix so late on, and so against the way BCS has handled the cartel plot which is very much about fleshing out characters we have already met. But this really made Bolsa's situation interesting. Jimmy might be a friend of the Salamancas but he's no friend of the cartel. And Jimmy... he really is a puzzle. The long scenes of his recovery and the pain he feels were brilliantly done. This is what BCS does better than any other show I can think of -- yes, it has those moments of high-octane drama but it spends at least as long mining the tiny moments of recovery afterwards and they're usually the most interesting. The fact that Fred weighs so heavily on the season and on both Jimmy and Mike's consciences is one terrific emblem of this. And we definitely see with Mike how disgusted Jimmy is at himself for what he's doing, even though with Kim he goes to huge lengths to lie. I think Jimmy's incredulity at Kim's actions reflects the fact that he seems to see all the carnage he's created on some level as a moral judgment for killing Chuck (as he seems to see it) whereas he sees Kim's choices objectively. The fact that everything he said about Kim could be said about him... I'm not sure if he's even aware of the irony at this point. And yeah, it's painful to think we're most likely well over a year and perhaps more than two years from the finale although equally a part of me hopes they don't rush this show back into production, as reliant as it is on sensational senior male actors like Jonathan Banks and Mark Margolis (and a good number of relatively-old actors like Bob Odenkirk, Giancarlo Esposito, Lavell Crawford, even Bryan Cranston), to say nothing of the crew who by all accounts have been with the BB and BCS quite loyally for a long time and so I guess would skew older. Plus, I'd hate to think that the capper to this absolute tour-de-force of a series had to be creatively compromised to lose scenes with extras, have more green-screening and camera trickery due to filming restrictions or not having the same density of people supporting on set. I'm sure it will be a very difficult and painful task for the producers to figure out how to keep their crew in work, keep their crew safe and also maintain the show's artistic integrity but I'm confident they'll do a terrific job.
  11. What an episode. It felt like BCS's answer to "Two Days Out". A terrific nearly two-hander and the kind of substantial episode with its two leads together that the show has been waiting a very long time for. Highly unusual for the show to introduce a new party, especially just for the sake of what seems to be a one-off incident. We're so used to the show colouring within the lines of the BB world as established but clearly this required a third party. That said, it seems very late in the day to introduce yet another player into this so I'll be interested to see how it's handled -- I assume, being the kind of series it is -- this group won't be a one-and-done. Obviously the direction was stunning -- the mirrored scene behind Saul is the second shot highlighting his duality in as many episodes and the scenes in the desert were amazing. Now I know what Bob Odenkirk was talking about in press about the scenes that nearly killed him. And of course he chooses to work for Lalo -- having him be pressured into it wouldn't fit at all (although I do agree that Lalo's opt-out option would not have ended well for Saul), especially while he had information about a drop-point. Great spot thuganomics85 -- I'd spotted the Davis & Main bottle and the World's Best Lawyer mug but hadn't clocked the significance of the foil blanket and why Jimmy would refuse to use one. I think this episode is a masterclass in the symbolism of props. The long payoff to the Esteem metaphor is particularly excellent although I was sad to see the portentous death of the "World's 2nd Best Lawyer Again" mug. What's interesting is that there was very little conversation of any meaning in this episode. Whereas usually having two characters together, they pour their hearts out and we get scenes like the one between Jesse and Walt about his cancer, Mike's character precludes that -- except, ironically, that Mike himself explained his motivation. Which is consistent and works. But of course the big stuff was Kim -- I gasped when I realised where Kim was and being called "Mrs Goodman" really brought it home. That said, when Jimmy returns, I think they've got their most difficult sell with Jimmy and Kim. Surely Kim at this point will want out but knowing this show it won't be the external threat of Lalo that keeps her in. Kim may have come a long way over the series but this is still big stuff to sell. It also occurs to me that revenge has been such a big theme of the show. Jimmy's revenge against Howard, Gus's revenge against Hector, Mike's revenge against the Salamancas even Kim's plot against Mesa Verde seems to be driven by slights against her and people she feels a need to protect. So far we haven't seen a vengeful streak to Lalo but we know from Saul's BB debut that this is a fear of Jimmy's -- it's just a question of when we see this emerge. One logistical question... why on earth would the court want $7 million to be delivered in cash anyway? Surely if someone is raising bail for a murderer and arsonist, you'd want to be able to trace where the money came from. What's the benefit to the court of a cash transaction?
  12. Some more things on a second watch: The episode is even more gorgeous than I thought. The reflection of Kevin in the photo of his parents, Gus sitting in the car while the flames glitter in the glass behind him - these are iconic shots. Kim refers to "Everything we talked about" as the reason why they're marrying. But we saw absolutely none of that conversation. It feels like a missed opportunity -- or perhaps it's setting up a flashback scene later in the season. Poignant that Mike's story with Kayleigh included a discussion about the word "ephemeral"... Mike says it better that Saul doesn't know who Lalo's opponent is. Kim will never stand for that. I'm going to be surprised if Kim isn't in a room with at least one of Gus or Lalo by the season finale. Moreover, if Kim does get involved with the cartel, I can see her rationale ironically being a mirror of the one Acker claimed she had in visiting him: wanting to do her bit for charity to make up for the bad she's done. On Fring's wages, she could do an awful lot of good. I'm not sure Howard is trying to prosecute Jimmy so much as save him -- almost to make up for the fact that he couldn't save Chuck. Assuming he's not yet done, and if this is his mission then Jimmy's meltdown may only have strengthened his feeling that Jimmy needs saving, presumably his next port of call would be Kim... who is as negligent in tolerating Jimmy's flaws for her own benefit as Howard was in tolerating Chuck's for the same reason... It also kind of paints Howard as trying to be the heroic saviour Saul proclaims to be. Seven episodes and no Chuck. I hope Michael McKean has at least one flashback this year. He's still so much a part of the DNA of this show.
  13. Another great episode, if a hard one to watch. We're into the tailspin now. One particular strength of the episode is the directing - and I love to see that it's producer Melissa Bernstein behind the camera. BCS has always been one of the most beautiful shows on TV but this year it doesn't feel like it's always had quite the same flair -- it's often looked quite murky which, granted, fits the show thematically. But the beautiful location of the Nacho/Mike meet and the incredible shot of two-face Jimmy in the courthouse really captured the flair of the series at its best. Mike -- I loved the scenes with Kayleigh and Stacey and I think they make sense of a fundamental problem with Mike which is why such an essentially decent person would stoop so low. But it's clear that every time Mike steps away from picking fights with the Salamancas he explodes. Like all the best BCS/BB characters, it's completely internally motivated. I enjoyed him with Nacho -- Nacho/Mike scenes are actually fast becoming my favourite combination -- and I like the hint that he has a play to get Nacho's dad to safety. Gus -- The stuff with Madrigal was interesting and very different and I guess it's good to see how Schuler was involved. I really want them to get to this Santiago business. Gus only had 2 and a half seasons of BB (longer seasons granted) -- he's now coming up on his third in BCS and we've learnt a tiny fraction about him. We need his "Five-O" sooner rather than later although I feel like it's being saved for the final season. The scene of he and Nacho destroying the restaurant was surprisingly moving and really paid off the scene with Lyle. I did wonder whether there was a message meant in using a chicken -- granted, it is a chicken restaurant. Kim -- Sigh. The wedding scene was just awkward as hell and her accepting that Jimmy is representing cartel clients, while it came at a perfect moment in terms of both their vulnerability, really does feel like the screw turning on her morality. The scenes with Kevin were great and I particularly enjoyed how unsettled Rich was by the whole thing. And Kim's face when he gave her advice on Jimmy! Comparing the judgment of Kim's world with Gus's "I am what I am"... I don't know how or why or when but it feels like at some point Kim is going to end up as Gus's lawyer. Howard -- Thank goodness they've finally moved his plot along. It's amazing that Howard has probably averaged less than a scene an episode for two seasons now and yet his character has changed as quickly and as dramatically as any of them. He was right to call Jimmy on... well, everything. The accusation that Howard killed Chuck was shocking both in that it's unfair and that Jimmy knows it must speak to Howard's own guilt but also that I wonder if this is how starkly he feels about his role in Chuck's death. There's so much here and I really want to see the Howard plot become a very major part of the show again. Lalo -- I felt he'd taken over the show a bit too much in the first two episodes but I enjoy his role here a lot more -- very tied into the Jimmy/Mike plotlines, not quite as prominent but incredibly dangerous. I also love that the real human cost of his actions are followed through -- often with the cartel people, the victims of the violence is almost an afterthought. Did we ever know anything about the guys the Cousins killed in 404? But the death of the clerk really has power and the effect on Jimmy is particularly excellent. Lalo's cavalier attitude towards $7 million is expected but brilliantly played. I also liked how he's incapable of softening himself in court. I did think that by using "Dave" to discredit the witness, Mike has really opened himself up. I'm also confused by what exactly Mike's play is here -- why put Lalo behind bars only to find a way to get him out again? As for Jimmy... oh man. The meltdown was an absolute masterclass from Odenkirk. So much going through his face and his body at once. Talk about an Emmy reel. The JMM motif was effective with its three meanings but much more prosaically, it felt like Lalo asking about "James M McGill". It's no secret he couldn't have found out on his own but it's the first direct sign of the danger that seems to be hurtling towards Kim and Jimmy. There's not much that Jimmy can do to shock me these days but how seemingly tempted he was by "just make money" surprised me. He and Kim live such simple lifestyles that I don't see why Jimmy would be attracted to money; however, it's clear that Saul sees money as an emblem of his power, including his power over the Hamlins of the world. Of course, we know that Saul was incredibly money-hungry so this is a transition I hope they play out carefully. Also great to see Huell. I expected to see more of Huell and Francesca by now. It was brilliant to see Mike and Jimmy share a scene at last. Phone call notwithstanding, I think it's been about 13 episodes since they were in the same plot. In that time, both characters have completely changed. Last time, Mike seemed genuinely sympathetic for Jimmy's loss and wouldn't indulge in even a basically victimless crime. Now they're in much deeper, darker waters. I really hope we get more of the two of them to explore how that change affects their relationship. And I literally can't wait now for the first Kim/Mike scene.
  14. Few things I noticed on a second rewatch. The Detective Tim scene was joyous. I love the oxygen the show gives to even these minor characters and moments. Kim says "you played me again" and Jimmy, before getting sidetracked, responds to "again" with mystification. I assume this refers to 410. This seems like an unexploded land mine in their relationship and I'm curious to see when it's going to go off. I'm going to be surprised at this point if Rich isn't gathering evidence against Kim now. The plan-switch on the Lubbock branch surely has to be paid off at some point. And Jimmy's switcheroo with the address of the house in 505 is eerily reminiscent of 1261 and 1261 in Season 2 (a nice touch because now we recognise it as a quintessential Jimmy trick in the same way Chuck obviously recognised the 1216 con as a quintessential Jimmy con). My guess is that he will, very abruptly and out of the blue, lay it all out to force her to cut ties. Whether she goes down without a fight though, I wonder... I do wonder how Kim will explain marrying Jimmy to Kevin and Paige. I think Kevin might understand more readily the idea that Jimmy will do whatever it takes to get a victory as that's how he sees Kim. But Paige has several times seen another side to Kim. I've long thought that it would be Paige, not Kevin, who would be Kim's biggest problem. What's most interesting though is that in Breaking Bad, Saul was part of "Saul Goodman & Associates". Associates plural. Now maybe that was just a grand way of referring to people like Huell and to give himself a touch of class. But assuming Kim is one of the associates... who are the others?
  15. This was a fantastic episode -- difficult to watch in some ways but mesmerising. I think the key thing is that the balance of all the key players was right. Lots of Mike doing what he does best. Lots of Jimmy AND Saul. Plenty of Kim. A good dash of Nacho and Howard. Not too much of Gus and Mike. (Although I do find it strange how Giancarlo Esposito is in every episode but almost always just for one scene). Firstly, Howard... I just don't know where this plot with Jimmy trying to prank him is going but I hope we get past it soon. Howard had a great character arc last year out of maybe seven or eight scenes all year. This year, he's similarly underused but the scenes aren't adding up to much. I do feel like Jimmy is going to accept his offer although goodness knows where that will end up. Nacho... absolutely perfect scene. I love the Nacho/Mike relationship. I feel like the end of this is going to be that Mike betrays Gus to save Nacho but continues working for Gus as a kind of pay-off -- Gus would see that as a more than acceptable bargain. Mike... again, it's a joy watching him do this procedural stuff. I like the hint that he will help Nacho and also that his method of bringing down Lalo isn't anything extravagant but simply letting justice be done. And, of course, it's got to lead to Jimmy and Lalo being pitted against Mike and Gus which is going to be... explosive. Jimmy... I kind of get his play. It was what Kim wanted, it just was in a way that made her look even worse professionally. I loved the moment where he really cared for the hookers... and then made them complicit in a scam. Odenkirk is playing so many different layers here and to see the swirling between Jimmy and Saul is incredible. And the boardroom scene was amazing, perfect, vintage Saul -- takes me back to Jesse buying his aunt's house. This is where the character is at his most brilliant. And that leaves Kim... Oh boy. First of all, I LOVE that we got a Kim flashback. It was too short and about three seasons too late but I hope we get more. Still, it bookended it enough to make some sense of what we ended up seeing. I also loved how she tried to pull the plug and seemingly had come to her senses, plus her scenes with Rich (who is one of the most awesome characters in this whole thing right now) were gold. I want to highlight a couple of posts which I think are spot on: The bookend point is perfectly made, as is this: I think this helps make sense of it for me (and I love the quality of analysis from the site). I didn't expect the proposal until about twenty seconds before because of the plausible deniability thing. But it's classic Kim. I also think it's very significant that the threat Kim's mother posed was drink driving. Kim's workaholism was what led to the sharp decline in her dedication to Mesa Verde. Her instincts to go back to work in 310 when Viola managed to move some appointments -- the instincts she blocked by going to Blockbuster -- was her rejecting the temptation to be like her mother and insist it's just one drink. I don't think this seemingly irrational hatred for Mesa Verde is because Kevin is a rich jerk -- that's the world Kim has always existed in. It's because she's running from just another kind of addiction and the thing she needs most is control. I always assumed she would have a wild past like Slipping Jimmy but clearly that's not the case. She has never acted out, never taken a risk because the consequences are too great. But Jimmy is showing her a world where there are no consequences -- not really. He's a magic man. All his scams work, or so it seems. The scam in 501 worked. The whole thing with taking down Kevin worked perfectly. And married, they don't have to worry about testifying against each other so she gets to retain the control that she desperately needs. It's kind of horrific to watch but also amazingly brilliant. And yes, Rhea Seehorn needs all the Emmys, basically ever. Just back up a truck and pour them over her fence.
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