Better Call Saul - the final stretch

Jasper

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SPOILERS: DON'T READ THIS THREAD UNLESS YOU'RE ALL CAUGHT UP.

Independence Day Happy 4Th Of July GIF by Stan.


Better Call Saul is about to begin its final run of six episodes, so let's give it its own dedicated thread.

It's funny that a show featuring actors playing younger versions of their characters from Breaking Bad, which began airing 14 years ago, would take so long between seasons, but on the other hand, it's been very carefully crafted and of consistently high quality, so the tradeoff seems worth it. It has sometimes reached filmic heights, especially in some of those beautiful intros. There's really nothing else like it, and it will be sorely missed.

SPOILERS HERE. LAST WARNING.
I had already thought that Jimmy and Kim's plot to destroy Howard was very horrible and dark, so when it inadvertently led to what it led to, I was was shocked, along with everyone else. Apparently even the writers themselves had not initially known the ultimate result of this scheme, and I suppose that might have helped with it being even more of a surprise. I don't know exactly how things will go with the final six episodes, even though we know some of it via Breaking Bad, but I feel as though they've already stuck the landing, so to speak, even though it's not over.

I'd like to see this team of writers apply their meticulous craft to some other projects.
 

krishnanspace

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I’m excited for it too! The show is so well written. I wonder what’s happened to Kim during Breaking bad/ Post breaking bad. I have a feeling that she is dead, in prison or she too had changed her identity like Saul
 

Mr. Reindeer

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I had already thought that Jimmy and Kim's plot to destroy Howard was very horrible and dark, so when it inadvertently led to what it led to, I was was shocked, along with everyone else.
That reminded me very much of the ending of Breaking Bad season 2 (the plane crash and pink teddy bear in Walt's pool), with someone's immoral actions leading to a shocking outcome that was completely unforeseeable, and yet somehow feels weirdly karmic in terms of their chickens coming home to roost with a lot of collateral damage. Looking at it from a "morality play" standpoint, I guess the idea is sort of that when you undertake selfish actions, you can't possibly predict how the ripple effect will unfold...so just don't it.
 

Tulpa

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Do you guys think this would benefit from individual episode threads or is that overkill?

Would be a good way to beta test the episode thread system before locking in the remaining TP seasons/episodes. We haven't completed them til now because they're very fiddly to set up whole seasons at once, and any changes to titles or starter posts require starting from scratch. The system was designed with weekly episode releases in mind.


Edit: Interesting choice of image.

 
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Jasper

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Do you guys think this would benefit from individual episode threads or is that overkill?
I’d be on the side of just one thread for this one. Generally I’m more for consolidating and streamlining, with fewer, livelier threads/forums, and less clutter/sprawl and virtual ghost towns.

Edit: Interesting choice of image.


Very. It would be fascinating if a significant portion of the remaining episodes dealt with Jimmy's post-Breaking Bad situation. Anything could happen there, because it's beyond the BB timeline.


I’m excited for it too! The show is so well written. I wonder what’s happened to Kim during Breaking bad/ Post breaking bad. I have a feeling that she is dead, in prison or she too had changed her identity like Saul
In Breaking Bad, Saul/Jimmy makes a comment suggesting that a woman broke his heart, and that apparently became the seed for the Kim character. So I doubt that she dies, but obviously she is somehow separated from Jimmy. Jimmy brings out her latent character defects, so she might finally decide to get away from him, and I’m guessing, try to spend the rest of her life working to make up for all of the bad she did, especially what happened to Howard (after Howard had just made very accurate and damning observations about her).

One interesting wrinkle is that Kim knew that Lalo Salamanca was alive (because Mike told her), but she didn’t inform Jimmy. Jimmy was all the more shocked to see Lalo appear like a phantom (with the wavering candle flame), as he was totally unaware of the threat. He might have acted completely differently, and would have probably gone into hiding again had he known Lalo was alive, so he has cause to be upset with Kim for withholding this information.


Looking at it from a "morality play" standpoint, I guess the idea is sort of that when you undertake selfish actions, you can't possibly predict how the ripple effect will unfold...so just don't it.
Yes, and more generally be careful with how and where you focus your thoughts and energies.
 

Mr. Reindeer

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SPOILERS FOR EPISODE 8 (“Point and “Shoot”)



Great, moody episode that gave some solid moments to all the main cast. Rhea Seehorn is so phenomenal.

Vince got some really good suspenseful mileage out of the Lalo-Gus confrontation, pretty impressively since we can pretty much guess the outcome in advance, and of course we know that Gus’s life is never truly at risk. I’ve always found Gus’s presence on BCS a case of diminishing returns. It’s a lose-lose proposition because he has to be on the show (since Mike is), but what made the character great on BB is how mysterious and inhuman he is. So you can’t really flesh him out the way they’ve done with Saul and Mike or else you risk going the Hannibal Rising/Star Wars prequels route of demystifying the character, but by repeating the same shtick, the character also starts to feel stale and predictable. It’s tough to even remember back to when Gus could still surprise us (“Box Cutter”). The writers and Giancarlo have finally started to find a way to make the character compelling again at this late point in the series. His increasing anxiety-driven OCD earlier in the season was an interesting take on the character, and here Esposito got to play two colors we don’t see often in Gus: genuine terror, and venomous rage (when he calls Don Eladio a greasy pimp and other choice words). You really get the absolute all-consuming need for vengeance that fuels everything he does.

It feels like, aside from the emotional fall-out Jimmy and Kim will have to reckon with, we might be basically done with the 2004 era and potentially ready to move on to a time jump. I think back to when Breaking Bad’s final four episodes could each have worked as a series finale in different ways (shootout in To’hajiilee as Butch Cassidy/Sopranos-style “does Walt die?” ending; Walt on the run after “Ozymandias”; Walt dying old and alone in New Hampshire; and the ending we got). This episode of BCS felt like it could be a finale in a “life goes on” way, and it felt like the culmination of a lot that has gone before.
 
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Jasper

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This was a great episode (s6e8), with excellent pacing and a pervasive dark mood. In a way it almost had the feel of a standalone BCS film. Lalo’s last moment was very apt, with his blood-gurgling laughter at Gus.

They’ve really ratcheted up the intensity, and it may well be that it will remain elevated until the very end. If they do soon jump to the BB timeline, we know that the intensity is unlikely to diminish much there, and Jimmy’s post-BB plight of being made, and possibly planning to commit murder, is likewise set for maximum drama. Unlike Breaking Bad, this show, for the majority of its run, has shown incredible patience and restraint.

Speaking of standalone films, if Jimmy’s story doesn’t definitively end with the conclusion of season 6, I’d be happy to be treated to an actual standalone film (or films). It might not seem all that likely, but then again, El Camino appeared out of left field. Of course it goes without saying that the series could plausibly conclude with Jimmy dead or in prison for life, so I won’t get too attached to such hopes.

Again, this was a great episode and worth the wait. (y)
 

Mr. Reindeer

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I wonder how people would feel if the Gene flash forwards ended up being an elaborate six-season exercise in wheel spinning that amounted to nothing at all, and the show ends with Jimmy/Saul/Gene still in hiding, miserable at his low-paying job and in constant paranoia at being found? On some level, I’d find this really satisfying and realistic, but it would be a pretty ballsy move that would likely piss a lot of people off. I don’t see them killing Saul off at the end of the show, if only because it would be a repeat of the ending of Breaking Bad.
 

Jasper

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Jimmy could just be left scraping along in a dismal, paranoid existence, but I don't know how creative that would be. These writers seem as though they'd be inclined to get somewhat creative with things, putting some kind of twist in there, though I wouldn't expect a Sopranos style ending or anything remotely that radical.

As for the death of the lead, we could see it as a repeat of BB, but we could also just view it as part of a broader theme. It’s usually fatal to get pulled into the dark narrative core of the BB/BCS universe. In short order, BCS has dispatched Nacho, Lalo, and even Howard Hamlin of all people. Chuck died a bit earlier. BB left precious few major characters standing. None of this is to say that I’m expecting or predicting Jimmy’s demise. It's just that I see it as one of many possibilities. If I were forced to bet, I'd probably bet against it.
 

krishnanspace

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I loved the episode . I had earlier predicted that Gus would kill Lalo and that he would be buried in the lab. I also have a feeling that Kim is living in Nebraska or she is dead and her grave is in Nebraska and Gene is maybe visiting her
 

Jasper

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I’m more or less already at max hype for the rest of the remaining episodes, and as I mentioned before, I think that the dramatic intensity will possibly/likely remain very high through the conclusion. That said, these tweets are still exciting, kind of like the tweets before part 8 of The Return, although in the context of a very different show. Perhaps this is the episode where we discover the reason for the absence of Kim in Breaking Bad, or something else. I have no idea, but I’m ready to go. (y)

I’m going to watch it several hours after it airs, so that I won’t have any disruptions, but I'll just avoid any new posts in this thread until I've caught up.
 

Tulpa

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I’m more or less already at max hype for the rest of the remaining episodes, and as I mentioned before, I think that the dramatic intensity will possibly/likely to remain very high through the conclusion. That said, these tweets are still exciting, kind of like the tweets before part 8 of The Return, although in the context of a very different show. Perhaps this is the episode where we discover the reason for the absence of Kim in Breaking Bad, or something else. I have no idea, but I’m ready to go. (y)

I’m going to watch it several hours after it airs, so that I won’t have any disruptions, but I'll just avoid any new posts in this thread until I've caught up.

There's an interesting episode tagline for the one next week if you Google "Better Call Saul episodes".

S06 E10 · Episode 10 - 25 Jul 2022

A new player gets in the game.


I wonder what that's referring to..
 

Mr. Reindeer

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SPOILERS FOR EPISODE 9 (“Fun and Games”)




So five and a half seasons’ worth of slow build-up to Jimmy becoming Saul, and then after all that, they just rip the bandaid off and throw us right into it with a single cut. Brutal. Painful. But so right. Breaking Bad era Saul plays so differently now as a profoundly broken husk numbing himself with jokes and bravado and hookers and drugs and work. Inadvertently causing Howard’s death was horrific, but I think the moment when Kim truly realizes the relationship has to end is when she learns that they’ve also torched HHM—the place where they first met over a decade ago, the place where they worked together in the mail room and both began their aspirations to become attorneys. Symbolically, they’ve destroyed everything that their relationship grew out of. The writers weren’t kidding when they talked about Days of Wine and Roses as a major influence on this season. Although alcohol is the problem in that movie, the dynamic is the same: two deeply flawed people, completely in love, who feed into one another’s worst tendencies until it’s unsustainable.

We also really get a sense of why Saul is still terrified of Lalo when we first meet him in Breaking Bad. He learns in this episode that both Mike and Kim kept from him that Lalo was still alive once already, so why should he take Mike’s word now? On top of that, from Jimmy’s perspective, Lalo has ruined the greatest relationship of Jimmy’s life from beyond the grave. We got our once-a-year AMC-permitted F-bomb with Jimmy declaring, “It was that fucking Lalo!” to emphasize this (as great as that moment was, the immature part of me wished they’d instead used the judicious F-bomb to more comedic fashion during the later “screw the FCC!” line).

(Although I have to ask, what part of that radio ad did he expect to be in stereo? It’s just him talking!)

Poor Francesca. She must rank up there with the most tragic characters of either show. Watching her walk through that filthy waiting room of cigarette-smoking derelicts killed me.

We once again get a nice Gus moment that plays a slightly different shade of the character without revealing much of anything (the scene with the sommelier), which is exactly the right way to play Gus at this point (assuming that he needs to be in the show at all after this).

Really intrigued to see where we go from here. The LWYRUP registration sticker was 2005, so at the end of this episode we’re only a year or so after Kim leaves and about three years out from Breaking Bad. I anticipate the next episode maybe jumping to Breaking Bad era, and then...how many Cinnabon era episodes? Three? Two? Just one?

EDIT: I also wonder now, when Saul got “disappeared” by Robert Forster, did he deliberately choose Nebraska (and a public-facing service job) on the off-chance that maybe he’d run into Kim one day if she’d gone home to where she was raised? Fans had speculated that Kim was with him throughout Breaking Bad and maybe they chose Nebraska together. But now that we know that’s not the case, this leaves the much sadder possibility that he just went there out of desperation that maybe they would cross paths.
 
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Jasper

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I think the moment when Kim truly realizes the relationship has to end is when she learns that they’ve also torched HHM—the place where they first met over a decade ago, the place where they worked together in the mail room and both began their aspirations to become attorneys. Symbolically, they’ve destroyed everything that their relationship grew out of.

It’s extra terrible because they’ve destroyed the legacies of both Chuck and Howard, right down to the erasure of their names.

(Although I have to ask, what part of that radio ad did he expect to be in stereo? It’s just him talking!)

Maybe there’s supposed to be some subtle Lynchian sound design in one of the channels.

I hope that we’ll see some more of Kim, though it might not be much, as significantly reducing her screen time would be a very effective way to make us feel the starkness of her absence from Jimmy’s life. Also, her departure would lend more tragic dramatic impact to any interaction with Jimmy later on in the timeline, maybe right before he goes into hiding, or as has been suggested, in Nebraska. I suppose that if the writers were motivated to confound our expectations, they could leave out even a single additional peep from Kim, but I somewhat doubt that they'd do that.
 

Mr. Reindeer

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I just realised that Nachos father plays the cop who drops Dougie at home in The Return
Yeah! Great actor. He was also the corrupt priest in Richard Alpert’s flashback episode of Lost.

Somehow, I just put it together a few weeks ago that Jimmy’s go-to camera guy/film student is Phil Bisby from TR! I don’t know how I never put that together before.
 

Jasper

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I just realised that Nachos father plays the cop who drops Dougie at home in The Return
Somehow, I just put it together a few weeks ago that Jimmy’s go-to camera guy/film student is Phil Bisby from TR! I don’t know how I never put that together before.

These are both so obvious once pointed out. It’s amazing what a change in the context and the actor’s role can do.

On an unrelated note, I just had an interesting thought. Imagine if, perhaps while Jimmy is in Nebraska, the authorities for some reason excavated Gus Fring’s underground meth lab, and discovered bodies that are eventually identified as Lalo Salamanca and Howard Hamlin. I don’t expect it to happen, and the burial had a feeling of finality to it, though on the other hand, a site like that would realistically receive extensive inspection by authorities, and it's quite plausible that they might discover the bodies. (I'm not sure what the fire/explosion in Breaking Bad would do to the ground there.)

It became known that Jimmy represented Lalo (although he claims not to have known that it was Lalo), and Kim also went to visit Lalo in prison, though it’s the same situation, with Lalo using a false identity. Kim and Jimmy are the last people known to have seen Howard alive, and Lalo and Howard are buried together, obviously having been killed around the same time, connected by some mysterious element (Jimmy and Kim).

It’s interesting to think about. It could even make for the plot of a followup film, that is if the conclusion of the show leaves any possibility for such a thing.
 

krishnanspace

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Didn’t the lab get destroyed in breaking bad? I think Hank and his team did investigate it so I guess that case it closed. Maybe Saul/Gene feels guilty and goes to the cops and confesses and everything. But I guess even he doesn’t know where the bodies are
 

Jasper

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Didn’t the lab get destroyed in breaking bad? I think Hank and his team did investigate it so I guess that case it closed. Maybe Saul/Gene feels guilty and goes to the cops and confesses and everything. But I guess even he doesn’t know where the bodies are

I don’t know the extent of the destruction caused by Walt and Jesse. There’s a fire, and definitely some kind of explosion. Their main objective would have been to destroy any evidence that they were ever there, along with the unburied bodies of Gus’s henchmen. I can’t remember what’s said about it later on by Hank or anyone else, but it’s not hard to believe that bodies buried deeply by a backhoe and covered with a concrete floor would be shielded from the lab fire/explosion.



Like I said, I don’t expect it to happen, but if these writers wanted the bodies to be found, they’d find a way for the bodies to be found. For example, someone might come along and want to build an apartment building or initiate some other kind of construction project on that land, and that could in turn lead to the discovery of the bodies. Remember, the Breaking Bad writers came up with the discovery of offshore banking numbers inside Gus Fring’s picture frame in police evidence when Walt parked a van outside and turned on a gigantic magnet. :ROFLMAO:
 
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