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Greg Kirkman
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Joined: 12 May 2006
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Posted: 24 March 2020 at 3:33pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

But what does going all-in with him mean? She's gonna become a two-
bit shyster like he's becoming?
++++++++++

Hard to say. Turning a blind eye to his schemes, maybe. Using spousal privilege to avoid incriminating each other, probably.

Kim’s moral compass has been slipping for quite some time. Her attempt to abort the commercial plan (especially in light of Schweikart getting wise to the collusion) was clearly a panicked attempt to cut her losses and right the ship. But that last conversation with Jimmy clearly laid out her emotional conflict, which she usually keeps tightly under wraps. Walking the line between saint and sinner is ripping her apart. Jimmy does it with ease, but his own descent has accelerated with the random attacks on Howard and being hired by Lalo and Nacho. He’s stopped caring about people and consequences. She hasn’t.

Jimmy is a conman who tried and failed to straighten up and fly right, and Kim is a straight arrow who likes getting the occasional taste of the con. They’re both addicts of the con. That’s the middleground where they spark off of each other, but neither can go fully in the direction of the other. This is not going to end well.


Edited by Greg Kirkman on 24 March 2020 at 3:34pm
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Brian Miller
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Posted: 24 March 2020 at 5:24pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

This is not going to end well.

******

I think we've all been saying this for a while, now.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 24 March 2020 at 7:47pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

You never do know, though. Both BB and BCS are excellent examples of how to properly...*ahem*...”subvert expectations”. Because the storytelling is always rooted in the characters. The writers are always asking, “Where is Kim’s head at, right now?”, and so on. The seemingly obvious choice from a writing stance may not actually be the right one for the characters.

Maybe Kim will actually get a happy ending to contrast with Jimmy/Gene’s pathetic life in Omaha. 

And, remember, there’s still that mystery regarding Saul’s recommendation to Francesca during the cold-open of “Quite a Ride”—“Tell ‘em Jimmy sent ya.”. Maybe Kim and Jimmy will eventually split, and she’ll have a legitimate career at her own firm, to which Saul will send Francesca when Walt’s outing as a drug lord drags Saul down with him.
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Rob Ocelot
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Posted: 25 March 2020 at 3:46am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Jimmy's glee at seeing Howard squirm was rather disturbing -- and Howard's gotta suspect Jimmy is behind this (and likely the earlier property damage too).   The more Howard insists he doesn't know who those hookers are the more guilty he looks to his peers.   The icing on the cake is that Howard is there with Cliff Main -- though I bet Cliff will suggest that this looks an awful lot like the work of Jimmy, having been the recipient of similar antics back in Season 2.   Cliff was Jimmy's warm up for the full Saul treatment that Howard is getting in Season 5.   
Jimmy also appears to be getting his jollies watching the ants scurry  He's practically parked across the street from the restaurant in his yellow Esteem.   Compare that to Jimmy watching Chuck interrogate the copy place attendant from earlier in the series.   It's only after torturing Howard that Jimmy then decides to double down on escalating the Mesa Verde case and doublecross Kim.   We are deinitely in full Saul mode now.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 26 March 2020 at 1:03pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

https://www.rollingstone.com/tv/tv-features/better-call-saul -rhea-seehorn-interview-971200/
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Joe Zhang
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Joined: 16 April 2004
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Posted: 26 March 2020 at 5:28pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

In one of the black-and-white flash forward scenes of season 1 or 2 it was revealed that Jimmy had a box of mementos from his past. Photos and a videotape of his Saul Goodman ads, but nothing of Kim. Will we find out what derailed their relationship this season, or the next final one? 
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Brian Miller
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Posted: 26 March 2020 at 5:35pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

I'd say next season.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 30 March 2020 at 11:21pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

“JMM”.


Another powerhouse episode. First things first, we learn immediately that Kim’s wedding proposal was solely intended as a legal defense mechanism to avoid incrimination. Or was it? We’ll see.

Also, we finally get the answer to Saul mentioning his second wife in BREAKING BAD, since his two prior dissolutions are mentioned here. Which makes Kim his third wife.

Lots of fun to see Herr Schuler, again. As you’ll recall, he had a very memorable death-by-portable-defibrillator in BREAKING BAD, after mindlessly munching on Franch-dipped nuggets in the wake of Gus Fring’s operation being exposed. Here we learn that he was already extremely nervous and on edge about Gus’ operation, which neatly sets up his eventual suicide in BB. There’s also another fun continuity nod, with Lydia saying that she’s not knowledgeable about prison killings, which of course is ironic foreshadowing for season 5 of BB.

Meanwhile, it’s ominous to see Mike happy (or as close as he can get) by admitting out loud that he’s “playing the cards he was dealt”...by serving as Gus’ fixer.

Great moment when Kim marches back into the meeting room to show Kevin her spine and get her job back by telling him the truth.

The sequence with Gus willingly sacrificing the Los Lunas location of Los Pollos Hermanos in order to maintain Nacho’s cover is a lot of fun.

The core of this episode, however, is most definitely Jimmy’s continued moral erosion. It was a joke at the beginning of this season when he came up with the “Justice Matters Most” slogan for his personalized “JMM” suitcase. Now, Lalo lays out Saul Goodman’s future by giving him a new motto: “Just Make Money”. And we get those lingering moments where Jimmy really and truly struggles with his guilt over watching the Whalen family suffer as he knowingly presents a fake family for Lalo and the evidence of Mike’s witness tampering is order to get Lalo out on bail.

It’s no accident that the key scene of the episode—the final scene— occurs during one of those silent moments of reflection, as Jimmy silently watches the family and again struggles with his guilt. And that’s when Howard walks up, and Jimmy, as is now his way, deflects his pain and guilt into righteous anger aimed at hurting someone else. It’s a credit to the show’s writers that Howard has put two and two together, and already knows that Jimmy was responsible for the bowling balls and the hookers.

And then we get an incredible acting moment for Bob Odenkirk, as Jimmy explodes at Howard, focusing all of his frustration and pain on an innocent man who genuinely wanted to make amends and offer him a job. It’s become increasingly apparent that Saul Goodman is the persona which Jimmy uses to mask his pain and guilt, and no scene thus far has underlined that more than this one. Howard comes up to him at exactly the wrong moment, and he flat-out says “you killed my brother”, because he can’t emotionally handle both his guilt over the Whalens AND his continued guilt over his own role in Chuck’s death (which, of course, was the real trigger, not Howard). 

This amazing final scene stands in direct contrast to the other (more subtly amazing scene), where, in a real and tender moment of vulnerability, Jimmy tells Kim about Lalo asking him to be “a friend of the cartel”. These two scenes really do show the two sides of the character, and makes Jimmy’s inevitable shift to full-time Saul that much more tragic. As with Nacho, he’s become a pawn in the cold war between Gus and the cartel, and things are going downhill fast.

Three more to go. Things are getting serious, now.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 30 March 2020 at 11:38pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Alan Sepinwall’s always-insightful commentary on this episode includes a particularly excellent observation—Jimmy’s rant at the end is very much his version of Walter White’s famous “I am the one who knocks” speech. It’s exactly the same thing: An insecure man putting on a show of anger and strength in order to lay out his ambitions (more to himself than to the person he’s actually talking to). 

I’d already made the connection with the NETWORK speech from the pilot, but this particular reading of the moment hadn’t occurred to me, and it’s perfect.

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Brian Miller
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Posted: 31 March 2020 at 1:29pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Nacho was sure taking some frustrations out, wasn’t he?
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Vinny Valenti
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Posted: 31 March 2020 at 3:11pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

I picked up on that also. He waited until he was out of sight from Gus, too. I love little touches like that.

Edited by Vinny Valenti on 31 March 2020 at 3:11pm
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 31 March 2020 at 9:53pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

One of the many great things about both BCS and BB is that the writing is smart, and that the creators trust their audience and respect its intelligence. SO much goes unsaid. So many little details are there for the viewers to discover upon multiple viewings. There’s no wasted time with recaps, and no dumbed-down, “Well, you see, Timmy...” moments of explanation that you see on network procedurals. 

These are shows which reward patience, intelligence, and paying attention. The attention to detail is meticulous on every level, and everything, from costume choices to camera angles, is expressive of character and story. Brilliant.
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