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Better Call Saul!


Captain Kelsten
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1 hour ago, Benny said:

Many random scattered thoughts...

 

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Also, for a moment I thought it WAS clips from BB. And I think know why: not just because it was in colour in contrast to the "present", but I think they must have used different cameras to Better Call Saul by the looks of it, as it "felt" different visually to Better Call Saul. So it would not surprise me if they used the cameras they used for Breaking Bad specially or something like that.

 

Phew. It's SO DENSE.

 

 

It was

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handheld, which was the fashion at the time. I suspect they were wobbling it about quite a bit and keeping WW/JP toward the back of the van to try to disguise how old they now look. They might have pulled it off too if it wasn't for Aaron Paul's completely different voice. At least they came up with a better solution for disguising Walter's hair than the rather ludicrous effort in El Camino.

 

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I don't think those are filler episodes, Adam. Unless I missed one where Saul, Mike and Francesca go to a beach party, where they talk about the biggest laughs they've had among the way. The episode is interspersed with the funniest clips from Better Call Saul.

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6 hours ago, Benny said:

Another thing that is very apparent:

 

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Notice how there isn't anything "fun" about Jimmy's current scam either. It's simply making money from identity theft. Nothing that elaborate in planning, just drugging people and potentially ruining their lives.

 

In the cold light of black and white reality, he's just a seedy confidence trickster.

 

 

Indeed. There's also the suggest that the most recent victim of Gene's new scam,

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the cancer sufferer, is going to be killed as a result of it: either indirectly, from overdosing on the barbiturates he's been drugged with, or from some sort of complication with the multitude of pills he's already taking; or directly, as the original dose will have worn off and he'll have woken up, so Gene will have to deal with him once he goes in.

 

I get the impression that the bulk of the next episode will focus on Gene having to deal with the fallout of drugging his latest mark. It'll go wrong, the guy will end up dead somehow, and Gene will have to enlist Jeff to help him get rid of the body, then Jeff's mum will figure out that something has gone wrong and this seemingly nice man has got her son mixed up in murder, so Gene will have to deal with her as well. It's gonna be an arse clencher of an episode, either way.

 

I had hoped that there would be some redemption for Jimmy/Saul/Gene, but, with two episodes to go, it doesn't look like that'll be the case. I'm also hoping the overall moral of the story will be different from BB's 'Crime doesn't pay' message. Something a bit more nuanced would be more in keeping with the series.

 

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There is no way ‘Jimmy McGill’ would have gone through with the scam after what he learned at the bar, not even the Jimmy we knew just a few episodes ago - this is really the Saul from BB now, and I guess it’s mostly happened because of that phone call we didn’t get to hear.

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I expect we'll see it from Kim's POV or maybe not. I doubt she wants anything to do with him if the world sees him as Heisenberg's mob lawyer. I could see her visiting him in jail for a final scene.

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the next episode is called Waterworks and she apparently works for a sprinkler company. Although I'd expect Gene to do the crying :lol: 

Thinking about how it would have been portrayed in the media 'in universe' are the prison killings the worst thing Walt orchestrated? Other than general 'being a drug lord' stuff? 

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When Gene

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breaks the glass to get into stuarts house from the big bang theory (christ, he looks old as hell too) at the end, followed by the hard cut to credits, I wonder if that's a play on the the title of the episode as well - nothing good can come from him going in there, I think he knows it too, but he does it anyway.

 

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1 hour ago, Popo said:

The thing about the phone call is, it’s unclear who he spoke to, much less why the conversation made him so angry. 

 

There's a post on Reddit that clarifies the phonecall, as it was clearer on the German dubbed version.

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34 minutes ago, Capwn said:

Now I'm curious why the German version is more audible? You never hear vocals do you? Just SFX.

It's something to do with most dubs being done in a recording booth with a proper sound set-up. Whereas the original scene probably had somebody pointing the microphone in the direction of Odenkirk in the booth.

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41 minutes ago, Wallace said:

 

There's a post on Reddit that clarifies the phonecall, as it was clearer on the German dubbed version.

 

Care to elaborate?

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33 minutes ago, ckny said:

 

Care to elaborate?

 

Assume this is the thread @Wallace mentioned on Reddit.

HTH

 

Transcript of the call from that thread:

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German: „Du hast keine Ahnung was ich getan, oder nicht getan habe, okay? Wieso stellst DU dich nicht, auf mich musst du keine Rücksicht nehmen, ich kann nur EINMAL gehängt werden. Okay, hör zu, Kim, wieso reden wir überhaupt darüber. Wir beide sind zu clever…

 

English translation: (The beginning is inaudible…but it’s mid-sentence and he is already upset about what Kim must have said): “(…) you have no idea what I did or didn't do, okay? Why don't YOU turn yourself in, you don't have to be considerate of me, I can only be hanged ONCE. Okay, look, Kim, why are we even talking about this. We're both too smart...“

 

Someone has tried to clean up the audio in the payphone scene if you want to hear it:

Spoiler

 

 

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Feels to me like they're trying to land something a little different with the conclusion to this, normally in most shows the final series builds and builds and builds to some climactic outcome (well maybe not in The Wire) but they're not going with that at the moment.

 

My thoughts watching this weeks after the previous episode is that I almost wonder if they want the audience to feel like Gene in the b&w footage, we're almost frustrated/bored after all the scams and excitement with the cartel and what went previously. Small town scams and cinnabun just aren't enough after all that and we want the old life back.

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Kim has to be his downfall, or his first step to redemption. Or both.

 

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Jimmy has gotten away with almost everything in BCS, since he was a kid. Chuck and Howard are obviously the biggest examples, plus he flew the coop after Walt was exposed and left other people behind to take the heat. Kim might be the only person left who can put an end to his behaviour.

 

Cliché as it sounds, I think he'll visit Kim and she'll either convince him to turn himself in or she'll do it for him by phoning the police. Just to get him to stop, because his involvement with Walt had shown how far he's willing to go and how out of control he's become.

 

About the phone call:

 

Spoiler

He very specifically asked for Kim Wexler. Without reading about the German transcript, my hunch was that she's not Kim Wexler anymore.

 

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Really strange how the German dub apparently clears up the phone call. I thought it was deliberately ambiguous. In my head it was

 

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the business telling Saul that she no longer worked there and didn't know where she'd gone or something, so he had no way of contacting her and no leads.

 

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I also assumed the phone call was

 

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deliberately muffled. The sound mix and Foley artistry in the show is always absolutely incredible, so for something to be difficult to make out, that can't have been an accident.

 

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6 hours ago, Gotters said:

My thoughts watching this weeks after the previous episode is that I almost wonder if they want the audience to feel like Gene in the b&w footage, we're almost frustrated/bored after all the scams and excitement with the cartel and what went previously.


It’s working.

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23 hours ago, Benny said:

Many random scattered thoughts...

 

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The black and white for the "present" is still such a brilliant stylistic choice

 

When Jimmy's ex employee said Kim asked about him: it was like a shot being fired directly out the screen into our hearts.

 

The barely heard argument on the phone with presumably Kim was such a tease though.

 

Then the relapsing to slipping Jimmy, but harder, harsher...

 

That shot that morphed from the empty grave to Jimmy lying on the bed, holy shit: couldn't be more obvious of what they're trying to make you think. But the thing is they also love misdirection in this show. They might have put such a big visual metaphor to throw us off, like they often do. Like we now see he's going off the deep end, with the episode laying on that relapse and sense of despair, but Kim hasn't shown up yet, it's all basically waiting for her

 

Kim is now filling the role of Lalo in some ways: when he was looming over so many episodes at the start of the season despite not actually being in them, but maybe as an "angel" in waiting this time rather than a devil. She represents the light for Jimmy, Lalo was the dark.

 

I think Lalo being mentioned in this as well and Jimmy going "that's not important" is partly so that they show it was still a major event for Jimmy that he hasn't forgotten about in Breaking Bad, but ALSO to poke fun at all the people online who got obsessed with trying to fit events to a throwaway line in Breaking Bad.

 

Also, for a moment I thought it WAS clips from BB. And I think know why: not just because it was in colour in contrast to the "present", but I think they must have used different cameras to Better Call Saul by the looks of it, as it "felt" different visually to Better Call Saul. So it would not surprise me if they used the cameras they used for Breaking Bad specially or something like that.

 

When Mike in the past tells him to not bother with Walter White, you see him get that look that means Jimmy wants something like a dog with a bone. Great subtle acting

 

I think the most interesting bit of the episode is that guy with the dog might be the first person I remember doing one of these scams and just going, nope, I'm out. Like, Jimmy hasn't exactly been surrounded by people who might have a conscience. Lawyers, lol.

 

Oddly enough this is now more like a side of Jimmy he showed once in a much earlier episode: he's brooding a bit and goes off on one about what they should do to a real asshole who is being a dick in a bar and to staff. And it starts to sound very dark, so Kim pulls him back from his daydream and says "but we'd never do it, right?"

 

For Jimmy it's an addiction, but he was often a functioning addict. When Kim got involved it was like someone who was just as wildly into the drug as he was, sometimes more so, but not an addict, she went off the deep end but was able to stop. For Jimmy he's an alcoholic who will always have the problem

 

So it's a good contrast when they were both scamming, in the sense that he knew his limits, she did not. But unlike him she didn't have this lifelong problem.

 

And now it's reaching breaking point. Breaking Bad.

 

Phew. It's SO DENSE.

 

Breaking Bad has that "wobble" movement to the camera. It's constantly moving slightly. Better Call Saul has as far as I can remember a pretty static camera. They used that style in the Breaking Bad scenes. It's subtle but it makes it feel familiar.

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This approach is clearly divisive and I want to love it more, but I'm just waiting for the end now.

 

I know that they're doing an excellent job of conveying Gene's descent into the mundane, but that feels like they're throwing it in our faces too. Ultimately, I think one of the bigger problems for me is that, in contrast to the high stakes chaos of the past, none of his modern day hijinks feel stressful or tense to me.

 

We've been blasting down the motorway for too long, and now pootling around on a B road doesn't feel fast.

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I think the point of it is that after all he's gone through, he's still Slipping Jimmy. Even in the relative safety of a mundane life. A mundane life he needs to survive. He can't not be Slipping Jimmy.

 

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For me the Breaking Bad cameos were a brilliant parallel - we are reminded that Walter White broke bad for some laudable reasons. But we know that he starts to throw all those good intentions away, and he continues down a dark path to the end. Walter is fundamentally a monster.

 

In a similar way Saul has had some redeeming qualities. But he seems fated to walk the same path. Now he's scamming a dying man, even though he doesn't need the money and there's no other upshot to it. He's scamming a man with the same disease that he saw wreck a person in a similar position to himself. Kim did some awful things, but she caught herself just in time, self-preservation kicked in. But Saul can't seem to.

 

The question for me now is will Kim redeem him? Or is Saul's inevitable conclusion coming? The fantastic thing about this show is that we really don't know. The signs point one way, but the showrunners know how to show you something unexpected.  

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I think there is an important difference between

 

Spoiler

Jimmy and Walt

 

Walt is fundamentally touched by evil, based on the flashbacks you see of him even in the past and the way he interacts with people and treats them. He does greater and greater evil over time ultimately because he wants to. He enjoys the power trip.

 

Jimmy on the other hand is more like an addict. He has good days and bad days, but he'll "slip" back into Slipping Jimmy when he's in a bad patch, just as surely as any alcoholic. But, like an addict, he's not a bad person, he just has a lifelong problem, and this series is showing the results of his self-destructive nature.

 

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On 03/08/2022 at 12:54, Capwn said:

Two filler episodes in a row and only two left. This is more like the uncharted 4 epilogue act.

First you give us your insane film rating system and now this?

 

Did you take a knock to the head?

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