Better Call Saul

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cdnchris
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Re: Better Call Saul

#51 Post by cdnchris » Tue Apr 19, 2016 5:31 pm

therewillbeblus wrote:
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I watched Talking Saul after the episode (something I never do) and they stated that there's a hidden message via an anagram by taking the first letter of each episode's title spelling out "Fring's back" which Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould claimed was no accident, and they heavily hinted that someone employed by Gus left the note on Mike's car.
I never watch Talking Saul (or any of those Talking shows) so I missed that one, but what they revealed isn't too surprising and pretty much what I (and I'm sure most everyone else) figured. But I totally missed the anagram.

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Re: Better Call Saul

#52 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Tue Apr 19, 2016 6:25 pm

cdnchris wrote:
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I think my fear is it getting more tangled into the drug world from Breaking Bad already. Based on what happened to Mike at the end of the last episode I'm guessing that Gustavo will be showing up next season. I liked that, for the most part, it was staying out of that for the time being, only dipping its toes in the water and just letting Jimmy, Mike, Kim, et al. do their own thing. Though I guess at some point it's going to have to get back into all of that. Still, with where it left off with Chuck, there's still going to be plenty of drama around that.
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I never minded that it was going into Fring/Salamanca territory, as long as they were kept separate which they have done so far. I want to see where the two worlds collide, and we may have seen a little of that already. Someone has suggested that Ernesto might be a relative of Gus'.

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Re: Better Call Saul

#53 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Sat Jan 14, 2017 10:51 pm


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Re: Better Call Saul

#54 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Tue Apr 11, 2017 3:34 pm

I'll never think of fuel caps the same way again

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Re: Better Call Saul

#55 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Thu May 04, 2017 12:32 pm

Is the enthusiasm that low for this show around here? I know it's moving at a snail's pace, but I'm still hooked.

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Re: Better Call Saul

#56 Post by DarkImbecile » Thu May 04, 2017 12:47 pm

I really enjoyed the first two seasons, but I've only caught up with each after they made their way to Netflix; other than a very few shows where each episode feels like an event (GoT, that first season of True Detective) I would guess that there will be less and less conversation around TV seasons as they air. Even Netflix/Amazon/etc. series that debut in their entirety only rarely feel like something that must be watched immediately after they are made available.

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Re: Better Call Saul

#57 Post by mfunk9786 » Thu May 04, 2017 3:45 pm

flyonthewall2983 wrote:Is the enthusiasm that low for this show around here? I know it's moving at a snail's pace, but I'm still hooked.
It's a great show, but I can't say "I'll never think of fuel caps the same way again" is much of an impetus for a substantive discussion. You should consider sharing your thoughts if you think interest is so dire.

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Re: Better Call Saul

#58 Post by oh yeah » Fri May 05, 2017 3:46 am

I think BCS is possibly my favorite drama currently airing (The Americans may be better in some ways, and it's a great show, but I find it a tad cold - BCS might be slightly more emotionally engaging to me, honestly). Since all-time greats like Mad Men and Rectify ended in the past year or two, we haven't had any serialized drama quite on that level, but this is still something that fits snugly in the second tier.

I thought the latest episode was very fine and one of the most beautifully-directed in a little while. Then again, this show always excels in that aspect. Visually, it is less showy than Breaking Bad (whose overuse of timelapse shots, jittery musical montages, Snorricam shots, and "impossible" POV shots got a little gimmicky). But it still retains the same general visual style - minus the somewhat unnecessary constant use of handheld cameras, which is another plus. Thus BCS has a slightly more classical aesthetic than BB -- but it's still just as eye-popping in its dramatic use of color, gorgeous and painterly in its arrangement of shadow/light, and thoughtful and exacting in its framing, as its predecessor was... perhaps even more so. Even if one were to find BCS weak or uninteresting on a dramatic level, its formal intelligence is hard to deny -- or take your eyes off of.

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Re: Better Call Saul

#59 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Tue May 09, 2017 9:06 pm

Heartbreaking turn by Michael McKean on last night's episode.

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Re: Better Call Saul

#60 Post by mfunk9786 » Wed May 10, 2017 10:21 am

I thought it was one of the weaker episodes of the show - the machinations that Jimmy went through in order to entrap Chuck seemed largely unnecessary, and I find it hard to believe it would've been allowed to continue beyond a certain point. In that respect, it felt dramatized in the fashion of a 50s teleplay (which... hey, it's on television, I guess) instead of as something that was believable within the confines of an already sort of heightened, absurd series (and universe, pulling in Breaking Bad). Also becoming troubled by the amount of winking references to Breaking Bad at this point in a show that avoided them altogether for the most part and created its own universe at times better than that series did. At any rate, this show once felt more mature and adult than it does now as far as I'm concerned, and now it's just a matter of strapping in for overlapping plotlines as they presumably bring it in for a landing in the next season or two. Considering how strong it's been up to this point, it'll be disappointing if it never reaches the heights that a show not bogged down by that sort of baggage would.

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Re: Better Call Saul

#61 Post by oh yeah » Wed May 10, 2017 2:40 pm

I was tremendously riveted by the episode, the way it ping-ponged our sympathies between characters as usual and of course how incredible the main cast continues to be... though I do admit that the BB/BCS writers's insistence (in both shows) on Huell being some kind of Houdini-like agile trickster is a little silly. Oh well, at least his stunt here wasn't nearly as improbable as the whole cigarettes thing in BB (don't even get me started on that whole plotline/convoluted web of offscreen events which we're supposed to swallow without question, ugh).

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Re: Better Call Saul

#62 Post by mfunk9786 » Wed May 10, 2017 3:59 pm

I don't mind him being a sleight of hand artist (because he actually did make the cigarette swap if you watch it slowed down, and I'm sure he did the one from this episode, too), but I do mind relying too much on old plot devices and cameos.

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Re: Better Call Saul

#63 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Wed May 24, 2017 4:20 pm

"Expenses" has, for my money, probably Odenkirk at his best, in the entire run of this show so far.

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Re: Better Call Saul

#64 Post by starmanof51 » Thu May 25, 2017 2:26 pm

I don't know if the show is getting better, but Odenkirk is.

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Re: Better Call Saul

#65 Post by mfunk9786 » Thu May 25, 2017 3:19 pm

Yeah, if anything, the show is getting worse. But that's okay - it had a solid run centered around Jimmy's rivalry with his brother. Now that it's dried up, I don't know if it's possible to do anything nearly as compelling. It feels like the show is winding down, which is never really what you want from a drama series, which usually build anticipation consistently until their series finales. We still don't know when Better Call Saul's finale will be, but I worry that it'll be sooner rather than later unless this season can rustle up some kind of new tension.

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Re: Better Call Saul

#66 Post by starmanof51 » Thu May 25, 2017 4:46 pm

I keep hoping this is the first (quickly ending) half of the series - and we're going to flip forward to present day Omaha and see Jimmy remake himself again

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Re: Better Call Saul

#67 Post by John Shade » Tue May 30, 2017 4:28 pm

I went through the entire series during the last month and am now completely caught up. In some ways I've enjoyed season three the most, though I think mfunk has some good points. The slow world-building and focus on character is very appealing to me. It's been a good way to create a show where you know how things end up for many of the main characters. I rarely watch tv series and started this almost out of a tribute to Breaking Bad. The early fears of the show being an unfocused silly comedy about Saul's hijinks didn't come true; and yet my favorite scene from the entire series is Jimmy finding inspiration from the inflatable blowup doll at the car dealership.

It was interesting to read over this thread over the course of some years as I watched the show in a matter of about three weeks. I tend to think that overall the Breaking Bad references have been appropriate and not a gimmick. It's a nod to the fans, sure, but Jimmy's downfall is much different than Walter. As far as the rivalry between Jimmy and Chuck, I tend to think it's the best thing from the show thus far too.
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What I liked most about their showdown in court is that it highlighted everything we like about both and dislike about both: Jimmy working hard and striving for his brother's approval, along with Jimmy's tendency to lie and shortcut. Chuck's intelligence and reverence for the law, along with his excessive condescension and unfortunately deteriorating mental state. Even with some of the gimmicks mfunk mentions, this was a fine episode.
As far as where does the show go next? I think the current timeline is '03, so when does Walter enter the picture?

Personally, I'm hoping the plan is to give us some sort of season in Omaha, all in black and white. They've gotten away with quite a bit with this show, and I'm sure they could pull off something new and interesting there.

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Re: Better Call Saul

#68 Post by mfunk9786 » Wed Jun 14, 2017 10:39 am

In a show (well, two shows if you include Breaking Bad) marked by peerlessly great editing, the penultimate episode of Season 3, "Fall," had the high point in that department:
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Depicting the actual experience of being in a car accident (particularly one involving falling asleep at the wheel or at least losing control of one's concentration) in as horrifyingly realistic a way as I can ever remember seeing in any television show or film. Sure, we've seen the old "car comes careening down the intersection and we see it while the character doesn't" trick, or the surprised "whoa whoa whoa!" face, or droopy eyes drifting off to sleep, but absolutely nothing prepared me for the way the cut was constructed here. I could see it actually being triggering for someone who has been in a similar scenario - I haven't (though I've been in a couple of car accidents) and I never, ever want to see it again if I can avoid it. Something truly nightmarish about it. Bravo.

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Re: Better Call Saul

#69 Post by Roger Ryan » Wed Jun 14, 2017 11:41 am

mfunk9786 wrote:In a show (well, two shows if you include Breaking Bad) marked by peerlessly great editing, the penultimate episode of Season 3, "Fall," had the high point in that department:
SpoilerShow
Depicting the actual experience of being in a car accident (particularly one involving falling asleep at the wheel or at least losing control of one's concentration) in as horrifyingly realistic a way as I can ever remember seeing in any television show or film. Sure, we've seen the old "car comes careening down the intersection and we see it while the character doesn't" trick, or the surprised "whoa whoa whoa!" face, or droopy eyes drifting off to sleep, but absolutely nothing prepared me for the way the cut was constructed here. I could see it actually being triggering for someone who has been in a similar scenario - I haven't (though I've been in a couple of car accidents) and I never, ever want to see it again if I can avoid it. Something truly nightmarish about it. Bravo.
I'm afraid I was anticipating it (I'm always conscious of editing rhythms when watching any dramatic TV show or film so I knew there would be some surprise), but it was still well-handled...
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...and foreshadowed nicely by her losing control of the car in the oil field earlier in the episode.
I was most intrigued by the slow-build of Jimmy's plan to persuade Mrs. Landry to do what her "heart tells her to do"; enough time was spent to make it seem dramatically plausible. More than the earlier seasons (and the majority of Breaking Bad), this season has devoted a lot of time to dialogue-free depictions of mysterious procedures with long-delayed pay-offs, but they've all been pretty well-done.

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Re: Better Call Saul

#70 Post by cdnchris » Wed Jun 14, 2017 11:53 am

mfunk9786 wrote:In a show (well, two shows if you include Breaking Bad) marked by peerlessly great editing, the penultimate episode of Season 3, "Fall," had the high point in that department:
SpoilerShow
Depicting the actual experience of being in a car accident (particularly one involving falling asleep at the wheel or at least losing control of one's concentration) in as horrifyingly realistic a way as I can ever remember seeing in any television show or film. Sure, we've seen the old "car comes careening down the intersection and we see it while the character doesn't" trick, or the surprised "whoa whoa whoa!" face, or droopy eyes drifting off to sleep, but absolutely nothing prepared me for the way the cut was constructed here. I could see it actually being triggering for someone who has been in a similar scenario - I haven't (though I've been in a couple of car accidents) and I never, ever want to see it again if I can avoid it. Something truly nightmarish about it. Bravo.
I had the same reaction. It really shook me. I knew it was coming but was still surprised when it did happen. I felt a little nauseous.

It actually left me dreading the season finale because now it feels like things are really going to start spiraling (obviously they are going to have to at some point).

I'm also surprised by one other aspect: I feared once Gus and his operation became more anchored to the show it was going to take away from everything else but that's not really the case. Some episodes had more focus on him and Hector obviously but it's still very much Jimmy's story and the stuff around Gus, Mike, and Hector are just interesting little sub plots that will eventually tie I to the main narrative.

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Re: Better Call Saul

#71 Post by mfunk9786 » Wed Jun 14, 2017 12:08 pm

Also worth mentioning: It was a very wrenching experience to see the cruelty toward Irene. Like the other thing we were discussing, the show has to veer dark at some point, but a happy old woman being shunned by her friends is the definition of the sort of thing I don't have the heart to see much of on television or anywhere else.

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Re: Better Call Saul

#72 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Wed Jun 14, 2017 2:48 pm

The bingo scene was wrenching for those reasons, especially considering the last time on the show we saw Jimmy announcing numbers.

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Re: Better Call Saul

#73 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Tue Jun 20, 2017 8:41 am

Well...
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That was haunting

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Re: Better Call Saul

#74 Post by mfunk9786 » Tue Jun 20, 2017 3:00 pm

flyonthewall2983 wrote:Well...

That was haunting
I've un-spoilered this because I need to make a point for posterity (and also because it isn't a spoiler so it doesn't matter) - I feel like a broken record, but can we please avoid the practice of posting completely context-less sentence fragments about TV shows and films here? Particularly with television, it seems like the assumption is made that everyone is watching TV shows at the same time and know exactly what is being referred to when someone wants to fire off 4 words about that week's episode. This post already makes no sense, but it really won't when someone is browsing through here in 3 years when they're working their way through the series.

Please refrain from posting the kind of stuff that mods would reject if it was from a new user because it doesn't make a contribution to the ongoing discussion at hand. The same rules should (and do) apply to long-time users.

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Re: Better Call Saul

#75 Post by oh yeah » Tue Jun 20, 2017 10:22 pm

That was a great episode but I really feel like this season was scatterbrained and not nearly as well-structured (or eventful) as S2. I know this is a slow show, but S2 still built perfectly towards a shattering climax (even if one that would be nothing compared to most series's melodrama). But S3 felt more like the flawed S3 of Breaking Bad, where it's more about the fall-out of previous things and is only lifted up by various strong episodes throughout (here, for example, the courtroom episode and the finale).

Dunno - just didn't feel nearly as assured this season, especially after the halfway mark or so. Still one of the very best currently airing.

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