Better Call Saul: Wine and Roses
April 18, 2022 10:51 PM - Season 6, Episode 1 - Subscribe

Nacho runs for his life. Jimmy and Kim hatch a plan. Mike questions his allegiances.
posted by adept256 (40 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Return of the glass blocks!

I doubt this is a deliberate callback to the Wexler/McGill office. You can hold a blowtorch to one side of those glass blocks and you wouldn't feel it on the other. Perfect for New Mexico when you want natural light + insulation. I imagine they're all over the state.

Besides, DID YOU SEE THE TEQUILA CAP? and DID YOU SEE THE YELLOW MUG? They're hardly being subtle with their visual cues to Kim and Jim's history.
posted by adept256 at 10:57 PM on April 18 [2 favorites]


I have questions about a major plot point but I don't want to post spoilers here, unless that is OK. Thoughts?
posted by marguerite at 5:29 AM on April 19 [1 favorite]


I may have enjoyed it more if I remembered anything at all about the 5th season. I'd been thinking of re-watching it but never got around to it so I was basically lost last night.

I hope Nacho turns out ok. Who was he talking to on the phone? It sounded a bit like Mike but I wasn't entirely sure.

marguerite, I think spoilers are ok as long as they're not for anything down the road. I think it's assumed that anyone in this thread saw the episode.
posted by bondcliff at 6:23 AM on April 19 [2 favorites]


But in the case of this show, "down the road" means "Breaking Bad." I guess it depends on whether we're talking about spoiling Better Call Saul in a thread about Better Call Saul, or spoiling Breaking Bad in a thread about the prequel to Breaking Bad.
posted by emelenjr at 6:28 AM on April 19


I think Breaking Bad spoilers are fine, maybe as a courtesy indicate it at the start of your comment. I'm not in charge around here though.

Loved this episode and glad to be back to our show. Really felt just like the show all along; some of these Covid delayed productions have suffered a bit but this one seems fine. Unfortunately my memory has suffered and I'm having a hard time both remembering what happened in previous seasons of BCS but also the stuff in Breaking Bad that this is all a prequel to (but with dramatic irony, we already know).

There's an official season 5 recap video 15 minutes long I plan to watch soon. Here's a a short text summary of it and a better season 5 summary (with some casting / character spoilers for season 6). What I really need is an investigation-board style roundup of who all the major players are, I've forgotten the various alliances between Nacho, Mike, Lalo, the Salamancas, and Fring.
posted by Nelson at 7:13 AM on April 19 [2 favorites]


I hope Nacho turns out ok. Who was he talking to on the phone? It sounded a bit like Mike but I wasn't entirely sure.

I think it's Hank, since Mike was deliberately rejecting his calls. But then the fact that the voice is having him watched and seems to be leaking info to the cartel made me wonder if the DEA has a mole.
posted by fiercekitten at 8:20 AM on April 19


But in the case of this show, "down the road" means "Breaking Bad." I guess it depends on whether we're talking about spoiling Better Call Saul in a thread about Better Call Saul, or spoiling Breaking Bad in a thread about the prequel to Breaking Bad.

I've read every single fanfare comment about Better Call Saul, and I think it's safe to say bringing Breaking Bad plot points into this discussion is firmly ALLOWED. At least, no one has ever complained about it here. It'll become more of a thing as this show wraps up, as they're clearly going for continuity into S1 of BB (and post-BB with Gene.)
posted by neustile at 8:30 AM on April 19


Also, I am confused as hell by the cold open -- and what, no Gene? -- because isn't the Saul persona mostly a front for Jimmy? But the tacky Trump-inspired palace makes it seem like Saul has entirely taken over by the end. Is this where we're heading?

(And also, Saul in Breaking Bad doesn't seem that affluent; his day-to-day of crappy office / lowlife clients doesn't jibe against that house? but I guess again the office is a front; the gold-bathroomed home is what his cut from Walter's business bought him?)
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 9:24 AM on April 19 [1 favorite]


I hope Nacho turns out ok. Who was he talking to on the phone? It sounded a bit like Mike but I wasn't entirely sure.
The subtitles said Mike. But it really didn't sound like him to me, so I'm confused.
posted by chill at 9:28 AM on April 19 [2 favorites]


This reminder has more details on the cartel alliances. Also this was helpful. Reading that I think I remember it all now. This is things as they stand at the end of S06E01; more happens in Breaking Bad in the future.

Lalo and the twins are Salamancas along with Hector and Tuco. Eladio Vuente is the Salamanca cartel leader. Lalo was supposed to be murdered by Gustavo's men at the end of Season 5 but escaped. Everyone thinks Lalo is dead although Gustavo is starting to guess the hit failed.

Gustavo Fring is openly a Salamanca rival. Hector killed Gustavo's lover Max and so Gustavo has a long game of demolishing the Salamancas. He interfered in Hector's medical care to torture him. He arranged the assassination attempt on Lalo, it's the aftermath we see in this episode.

Nacho is the complicated character playing both sides; nominally a Salamanca lieutenant but working against them as a mole. Hector is in a wheelchair because in season 3 Nacho spiked his pills (for his own reasons, not Gustavo). Season 5 ends with Nacho about to be elevated within the Salamanca organization, but he was actually there to open a door so Gustavo's assassins could kill Lalo. He escapes and we see his flight for safety in S06E01. It's not clear whether Nacho is compromised or could still keep acting as a double agent inside the Salamanca organization. He doesn't know Lalo is alive yet.

Jimmy/Saul and Kim also have interactions with this whole Salamanca mess but mostly as outsiders. Mike is also in deep working for Gustavo and helped arrange attacks on Lalo. He also seems to personally be looking out for Nacho.

I'm pretty sure it's only Mike who has been helping Nacho escape; I just rewatched and it sure sounds like his voice on the phone.
posted by Nelson at 9:40 AM on April 19 [3 favorites]


I've come to look at Better Call Saul as a much more well-told version of how Anakin Skywalker became Darth Vader. All through season 5 and in these first episodes we see Jimmy struggling with what becoming Saul means. We see him frequently silhouetted, having doubts about working with Lalo, having doubts about the plan to go after Howard.

The opening montage is meant to tell us that, yes, Saul will almost completely take over by season's end. But Kim's place in the future is ambiguous at best. The photo of the Mesa Verde cowboy, and obviously the bottle-stopper falling to the ground at the end, suggest that Kim might have stayed to the end of Saul at least. But that bathroom looked very much like it belonged to an ageing bachelor who doesn't need to keep his various toiletries contained to a particular corner of the counter (and I don't remember seeing any women's clothes in the closet) and the huge tub and shower suggested a lothario who entertains a lot of casual hookups.

To me it was foreshadowing that Saul is going to lose Kim and disappear into Saul Goodman and all his trappings as a way of numbing himself to the loss, and that bottle-stopper is one of the few mementos he couldn't let go of.
posted by dry white toast at 9:46 AM on April 19 [5 favorites]


(apologies; AMC aired 1+2 together and without a separate title/credits sequence for 2, so the boundary was a little fuzzy; I had remembered that scene as coming earlier than it did)
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 9:47 AM on April 19


No worries, it's not a big spoiler, mostly I was confused and spent 30 minutes trying to figure out how I'd missed this scene. Watching episode 2 tonight!

As for why no glimpse of Jimmy/Saul's black and white future as Gene, this article discusses it. I like the theory that watching the Trump palace being confiscated is a Gene scene, albeit without Gene actually in it. We are seeing the transition where Saul Goodman disappears and becomes Gene. Would have been clever if they desaturated to black and white at the end of the opener scene to drive that home.
posted by Nelson at 9:50 AM on April 19 [3 favorites]


Lalo casually separating the scissor blades immediately after a nice "and how are your goats doing?" conversation: chilling.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 9:51 AM on April 19 [4 favorites]


Ah, people are discussing episode 2 in this thread. Please don't do that.
posted by Pendragon at 10:00 AM on April 19


In the opening flash forward sequence there's a shot of a copy of "The Time Machine" by H.G. Wells lying around. When it showed up again on Jimmy's night table towards the end of the second episode (when Jimmy gets the aggravated call from the Kettleman's, I immediately thought of this, and wondered if Vince Gilligan was trying to reiterate his fellow AMC show-runner's meta-observation about the stories you can tell using television.
posted by dry white toast at 10:00 AM on April 19 [1 favorite]


Mod note: A few comments deleted for containing spoilers.
posted by loup (staff) at 10:15 AM on April 19 [5 favorites]


To me it was foreshadowing that Saul is going to lose Kim and disappear into Saul Goodman and all his trappings as a way of numbing himself to the loss, and that bottle-stopper is one of the few mementos he couldn't let go of.

Yeah, I'm starting to think that Kim gets murdered by the cartel and that pushes Jimmy fully into Saul... especially since Kim is much better at being Saul than Jimmy is. But that seems too predictable for this show.
posted by rhymedirective at 11:09 AM on April 19


A few comments deleted for containing spoilers.

Sorry about that! Episodes 1 and 2 blurred together as a long episode 1 in my mind.
posted by marguerite at 11:49 AM on April 19 [1 favorite]


As for why no glimpse of Jimmy/Saul's black and white future as Gene, this article discusses it. I like the theory that watching the Trump palace being confiscated is a Gene scene, albeit without Gene actually in it.

Hey that's a Temple of Justice!
I liked how in the opening shot of the ties falling it transitioned from b&w to color, letting us know the future isn't in black & white anymore. It's almost here!
posted by bleep at 11:58 AM on April 19 [4 favorites]


I think that Kim is Saul. Yes, Jimmy changes his name to Saul and runs his business as Saul. Yes, Jimmy is absolutely a fast-talker and a smart guy who takes chances and is willing to be unethical. But Kim is a smarter person who is willing to risk even more. I think she comes up with a lot of the key Saul-isms ("better call Saul" is way better than "speedy justice for you"), the vehicle with the plate, etc. And most importantly, she knows the law way better than Jimmy does. To pull off victories in court, you have to have a pretty good knowledge of the law. I used to think that she secretly did the research and legwork for Saul. I now think that she has the ideas and strategies that make Saul Goodman. When Walter White comes wandering into the office, Kim doesn't like him. He is too risky. He is in way over his head. He is going to get people killed. Jimmy sees dollar signs, and he sees it as a way for him to be more of an equal partner with Kim under the Saul Goodman moniker. They wind up having a falling out over it. Kim wants to take a pass on Walter, and Jimmy does not. Jimmy chooses the big fish over Kim. Ultimately, Kim is proven right with her concerns about Walter.

And that is why Gene reaches out to her when things start to blow up on him in the future.
posted by flarbuse at 12:09 PM on April 19 [8 favorites]


Yeah, I'm starting to think that Kim gets murdered by the cartel and that pushes Jimmy fully into Saul

Kim dying would be so predictable. I don't think Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould want to be predictable.
posted by Pendragon at 12:59 PM on April 19 [1 favorite]


Kim dying would be so predictable. I don't think Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould want to be predictable.

I know, I said as much. :)
posted by rhymedirective at 1:25 PM on April 19


My closed captioning said that Nacho was talking to Tyrus--that's who was in the room with Mike and Gus, right?
posted by QuakerMel at 2:42 PM on April 19 [4 favorites]


Ep 1 and 2 were aired as one long episode on AMC so if you watched it on air it's not obvious what happened in what episode. Can we combine them?
posted by fiercekitten at 2:48 PM on April 19


I'm glad this is back. Few thoughts yet, other than that it was bold to open with such a long sequence of deconstructing the remains of Saul's life after he flees.
posted by wierdo at 3:35 PM on April 19


If you watched it live the cold open of episode 2 is the tweakers at Nacho’s house
posted by shothotbot at 4:41 PM on April 19 [4 favorites]


Can we combine them?

No.
posted by Pendragon at 10:47 PM on April 19 [2 favorites]


Days of Wine and Roses as the theme was a stroke of genius. That movie is about a man in the grip of alcoholism (played by Jack Lemmon). It drags him down, makes him behave in ways he's ashamed of but ultimately can't control. His pretty blonde girlfriend (Lee Remick) starts out as an innocent but is gradually sucked into his addiction - and at the end of the movie he is able to pull himself out, but she is not. Given that everything about this series is so well thought out, I'd like to think that the choice of this music for the opening sequence was not a coincidence and may be a portent of things to come. (It was also an almost-unbearably beautiful arrangement of the theme too.)

There's an unanswered question for me: am I right in assuming that Lalo got the goat man to shave his beard (leaving just the moustache and soul patch) because he bore enough of a resemblance to Lalo that he could then kill him and his wife and plant his body at the scene? If so, how would he have got the body into the compound, given that it was crawling with Federales at that point? This confused me.

I have other questions too, that will go in the Ep 2 thread.
posted by essexjan at 4:24 AM on April 20 [5 favorites]


My closed captioning said that Nacho was talking to Tyrus--that's who was in the room with Mike and Gus, right?

Yeah, Tyrus is Gus' guy; that's who Nacho's been talking to on his cell.

We see Nacho trying to reach Mike by phone at one point, and Mike not picking up. Based on their conversation in this episode (and Mike's sentiments regarding Nacho last season), it seems pretty clear that Mike is not happy with whatever plans Gus has for Nacho (extract and kill? leave him in the wind?).

Watching E1 on Prime last night included one of those quick-look teases of future episodes and it sure looks like this is going to come to a head at some point. Maybe Nacho ends up ordering a vacuum-cleaner part.

And poor Howard. You could really see Jimmy twisting on Kim's continued revenge plans at the dinner table.

Glad to have this show back.
posted by jquinby at 5:02 AM on April 20


That opening shot with the falling ties going from B&W to color. We're not in Kansas anymore, and Gene's timeline isn't some sort of flashforward coda no more neither.

What other teevee show could make such a simple transition so portentious? Welcome back indeed!
posted by whuppy at 7:17 AM on April 20 [3 favorites]


am I right in assuming that Lalo got the goat man to shave his beard (leaving just the moustache and soul patch) because he bore enough of a resemblance to Lalo that he could then kill him

Yes. Chillingly, we learn he paid for the man's expensive dental work... so the dental records match Lalo's, so this was a long term plan (not specifically for this, just if thi gs went south and Lalo needed people to think he was dead.

We also know the federales are bought and paid for - the twins walk all over a crime scene and the feds just flinch in fear, so smuggling a corpse in oughtn't to have been too hard.
posted by deeker at 3:34 PM on April 20 [6 favorites]


My mother and I were trying to remember if Albuquerque CC has bathroom attendants. If I recall, Kevin mentioned in a previous episode "getting a round in" at Four Hills CC, too. The ACC area is where Chuck's house was, and Jesse's parents' and aunt's. It's down near Old Town, close to the zoo and the river.

The "goat man's" kitchen evoked strong sensory memories for me: the smell of the fresh air, the heat outside, mexican cooking, the shade and coolness inside the thick adobe walls. That was before the murderin' part, of course.

The cinematography in this show is an absolute joy, especially in 4k with HDR. I'm really curious about that ant-on-a-thumb zoom-out shot.

Jimmy had a bite of a sopaipilla but didn't put any honey in it. I get it, though: the honey somehow gets everywhere no matter how careful you are. Wikipedia's description:
Sopaipilla (or sopapilla)—a puffed fried quick bread with a flavor similar to Indian fry bread. The New Mexico version is very large. It is served as a standard table bread at New Mexican restaurants with a squeeze bottle of honey or honey butter. Prior to the Great Depression in the 1930s, they were served with jelly or jam, and honey was used as a substitute and from then on became the traditional accompaniment. They can also become an entrée by stuffing them with savory ingredients such ground beef, shredded chicken, and refried beans.
They're not a dessert here; they are served with the meal and when sweetened with honey make a nice counterpoint. This seems to really confuse everyone from out-of-state.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 9:18 PM on April 20 [5 favorites]


There's some fun extra content in American Greed: James McGill, a 10 minute video AMC released back in April as a teaser for the show. It's a recap of Jimmy McGill / Saul Goodman told in the style of a crappy American true crime show, mostly as a clip show. It's not great but I enjoyed watching them mimic the documentary style.
posted by Nelson at 8:00 AM on April 21 [1 favorite]


The American Greed spoof suffers from having to be a teaser — it’s told in the past tense, and it includes what the audience knows about the fate of almost all the Breaking Bad characters, but it brings up Kim without being able to talk about her story in retrospect.
posted by mubba at 7:30 PM on April 21


Saul has to run out of town so fast he leaves his meds and his momento of his and Kim’s relationship but he gets the Better Call Saul ad tapes? Were they at the office?
posted by shothotbot at 3:20 PM on April 22


He was keeping a few things at the office; he cut that hole in the wall to retrieve stuff before he went to the vacuum cleaner guy.
posted by azpenguin at 3:45 PM on April 22 [1 favorite]


I'm going to also assume those weren't his regular prescriptions.
posted by bleep at 3:49 PM on April 22


Remarkably for a show about lawyers, we are 6 seasons in before we get a scene in a golf club. But it’s a good one.

I love the discrepancy between Kim’s description of what Saul’s office should be like - and what we know he ends up with in BB.

Ants seem to feature as a symbol of natural entropy at several points in the show- see also the previously used shots of them crawling over a dropped ice cream.
posted by rongorongo at 5:19 PM on April 23 [1 favorite]


This was great; particularly the cinematography!

I'd just like to add, that most of the transitions in the show were quick cuts to tableaux oozing with dread. SUPER effective.
posted by lalochezia at 4:10 PM on May 16 [2 favorites]


« Older Movie: Choose or Die...   |  Outer Range: The Land... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments

poster