Better Call Saul: Breaking Bad
August 1, 2022 5:51 PM - Season 6, Episode 11 - Subscribe

The partners escalate their enterprise to new levels.

(Not to be confused with Breaking Bad S2E8: "Better Call Saul")
posted by Rhaomi (100 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Augh! So! Much! I! Want! To! Know!
posted by tiny frying pan at 7:13 PM on August 1 [1 favorite]


I couldn't remember if the stuff in the RV was just clips from BB or new material. Some of the lines sounded familiar. I know the part where Jesse asked about Lalo was new.

What happened with Kim? What was all that about? So frustrating to not know!

I don't really care about the two new guys doing the capers. I wish they'd spend less time on that and more on the other stuff.

Seemed like the scene with Mike was just a way of saying "Oh yeah, we forgot to tell you how Mike worked for Saul and how Saul knew Gus."

Arrrg, two more episodes and I'll be on a plane when the finale airs!
posted by bondcliff at 8:07 PM on August 1 [1 favorite]


Hard to imagine that is the last we hear from Kim. I guess you could say we know she is alive and we are pretty sure she is out of the game but I wonder if the show is still making us feel her absence like Saul does

I know the black and white capers appear to be off topic but I think Saul is the one breaking bad (ala the title) and maybe it will go pretty poorly for him?
posted by shothotbot at 8:14 PM on August 1 [3 favorites]


I mean, on a different show, Jimmy would get caught and Kim would come riding out of the sunset to defend him in court. Doesn't seem super probable here.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 9:06 PM on August 1 [1 favorite]


Ok, I love that they named the first mark at the bar Alfred Hawthorne Hill. I kept waiting for them to play Yakity Sax.
posted by holborne at 9:27 PM on August 1 [2 favorites]


I enjoyed the BB fan service, but aside from that this was a depressing episode. I enjoy watching a good con, but this was just drugging people and stealing their stuff (albeit in a clever way where the victims won't notice for a while.)

And I know Saul became an asshole after Kim left, and he went through a lot before becoming Gene, and I know this show has different rules of morality than I have... but it feels like all Jimmy learned from five years of Breaking Bad was that people with cancer can also be assholes.

At this point I'm kind of unsure whether I want Kim to come back, for her sake.

And what does Jimmy want? It sure seemed from the conversation with Francesca that he wanted to come back to Albuquerque, but what's left for him there?
posted by mmoncur at 10:34 PM on August 1 [4 favorites]


Gene has taken such a dark turn. He’s gone from a small time scammer to someone who is draining people of everything they’re worth. He’s gone full ahead, damn the torpedoes, he’s all in. The slip-n-fall con artist who really did have a good heart underneath the scams is all gone now, the light is gone from his soul. He’s also become much more reckless. He’s not only gotten the guys heavily involved in the scams, he’s out in public a bunch now. His greed will be his undoing.

The BB scenes were woven in so perfectly. Mike warned him to not get involved with Walter. The kid told Gene they should leave the guy with cancer alone. Saul pushed full speed ahead into working with Walt despite the warnings. Gene is going full speed ahead to scam this victim.

My guess is the kids rat him out to Marion and she turns him in. I think he ends the show in prison. Whatever goes down, it’s probably going to be very ugly.
posted by azpenguin at 10:42 PM on August 1 [7 favorites]


I love that the unheard conversation with Kim is what caused Jimmy to backslide. I think she agrees with Chuck! Always slippin jimmy.

He's an addict. He's got another bender in him but he doesn't have another recovery. His lifelines are gone and he's alone. He doesn't like these new caper buddies any more than we do. These two bit scams are nothing compared to what he was pulling in Albuquerque.

Saul's choice to confront Walt at the school seems more reckless the second time around. First time, from Walt's perspective, Saul seems in control. From Saul's perspective it looks impulsive, especially since Walt just tried to kidnap him and the cancer diagnosis could make a man reckless. The same sort of impulsive behavior that lead Saul to break into the house in Nebraska, or do a "Chicago sunroof" or whatever.
posted by Hume at 10:55 PM on August 1 [7 favorites]


I really loved the 'fake out' where Gene first learned that his last mark had cancer. The show put us into the position that Chuck or Kim had been in, so many times in the past.

"Oh, he's going to call it off because he's a decent person. Right? Right...?"
posted by destructive cactus at 11:00 PM on August 1 [4 favorites]


Not looking, not looking; I held my hand over the screen just so I could scroll down and say, I am only 14 minutes in and I am HERE FOR every second of this, so far. Love it. Fourteen minutes in and already a thousand times more interesting than last week's entire ep. And that cold open!!

(Wouldn't it be hilarious if that were the cameo of Jesse and Walt that we were promised? lol)

Alright, back to it. Think I just needed a moment to pause and digest. I love Francesca. Totally knew Kim was going to come up in that phone call of course!

Carry on all y'all!
posted by torticat at 11:19 PM on August 1 [1 favorite]


The BB scenes were woven in so perfectly. Mike warned him to not get involved with Walter. The kid told Gene they should leave the guy with cancer alone. Saul pushed full speed ahead into working with Walt despite the warnings. Gene is going full speed ahead to scam this victim.

Yeah and not only that. Gene is breaking bad (after being given a new life) on a path almost exactly parallel to Walt's. Starting off small (last week's minor heist), ramping up this week, refusing to take "no" for an answer... the kid defending the cancer guy says, "We're doing well, aren't we? We're rolling in it"--which are words that could have come straight out of Jesse's mouth (and probably did, at some point).

But Gene, like Walt, has gotten obsessed, and cannot let go of even just this one mark. Also, like Walt, he makes it all about him "Do you know how much work I do?!" Also, like Walt, it seems he's willing to go as far as murder at this point to keep the cash coming in. (I assume that was what the last scene was about. He knew the guy might be waking up; he made no effort to enter quietly; and he expected to be done in 20 minutes. He was gonna put a pillow over that guy's head. Dying of cancer anyway, amirite?)

There was even a point when Gene adjusted his glasses in a way that looked exactly like Bryan Cranston. Have no idea whether that was intentional though!
posted by torticat at 12:40 AM on August 2 [3 favorites]


(Wouldn't it be hilarious if that were the cameo of Jesse and Walt that we were promised? lol)

BTW my comment there makes no sense, now that I've watched the whole thing, oops! I was assuming that the cold open (when J&W were only shown masked) would be just a teaser, a jump to BB time, in color no less, that wouldn't be repeated during the rest of this episode.

Regarding this question, bondcliff...
I couldn't remember if the stuff in the RV was just clips from BB or new material. Some of the lines sounded familiar. I know the part where Jesse asked about Lalo was new.

I think it was all new material, filling in gaps from BB but now from Saul's perspective.

Among other things, Aaron Paul looks SO much older! Also I feel like there were a couple little call-backs there. I think in BB, it's Jesse who picks up the expensive flask, and Walt tells him to put it down. In BCS, Saul picks it up--to make a joke about his fish having a vacation. Also I do not believe that Saul was ever trussed up in the RV like a ham waiting for delivery, and nor was he ever there with W&J when they had trouble starting the RV. In fact in BB did we ever see Saul inside the RV at all?

My memory is extremely faulty though, so take all that with a grain of salt.
posted by torticat at 1:20 AM on August 2 [2 favorites]


Another disappointing episode, with writing decisions that feel like they have very few interesting ideas left about how to end the show, or what to do with these characters. Another caper set to cool music! With new characters we don't give two shits about! Yay? Reminds me of the Jesse movie, with it's inexplicably dumb decision that surely what us viewers wanted most was to spend lots more time watching Todd torture Jesse. Sigh. Some cute fan service can only go so far, and the silent tease with Kim just had my eyes rolling.

These last few episodes...nowhere near the level of quality that made me fall in love with this show. I guess that's understandable.
posted by mediareport at 4:45 AM on August 2 [8 favorites]


Yeah, this was an episode I would have enjoyed if it was a season ago, but when I know there are only a couple left, it feels like wasting time we could be spending seeing what Kim is up to. (What if there was an entire post-BB episode that focused on what she's been up to for 5 years?)

Also, that phone call: Maybe I'm cynical but I didn't imagine Jimmy was talking to Kim. I imagined him talking to a frustrated shop owner who's sick of this crazy guy calling about a woman who worked there for a week a few years ago, trying to ask him where she is now...
posted by mmoncur at 4:57 AM on August 2 [9 favorites]


He’s gone from a small time scammer to someone who is draining people of everything they’re worth. He’s gone full ahead, damn the torpedoes, he’s all in. The slip-n-fall con artist who really did have a good heart underneath the scams is all gone now, the light is gone from his soul. He’s also become much more reckless. He’s not only gotten the guys heavily involved in the scams, he’s out in public a bunch now. His greed will be his undoing.

And all for money he can't spend. Maybe he thinks if he makes enough he can re-vacuum-extract himself somewhere else? It all seems pointless except for the thrill of the game. It's all he has left.
posted by tiny frying pan at 4:59 AM on August 2 [3 favorites]


I love that the unheard conversation with Kim is what caused Jimmy to backslide

Did he actually have a conversation with Kim though? I would think any "bad" conversation with Kim would have him more sad/desperate versus the rage we saw during the conversation.

My take was that whoever was on the phone told him that Kim was no longer at that company and refused to give him any further info on where she went/how to contact her.

Is he suddenly going all in with these crimes for the money? He finds out the rest of his secret money is gone, yet it is also implied he fled with a fair amount of money (and we have previously seen his diamond stash). Probably enough to live as Gene for the rest of his life. If Gene is just a temporary stop in his escape plan then what is the end goal?

And I don't get why he would then throw away all the meticulous planning and break a window to get this guy instead of just writing this one off as a loss. So now instead of a victim weeks later wondering how/when their identity was stolen, we have a victim who is going to wake up the next day (assuming he is not dead by barbiturates and alcohol interacting with the cancer meds or not killed by Saul while he is there) and call the police because they find a broken window.

(Also firing the other guy and having to find a replacement is just as irrational, but in reality that is a moot point since whatever is going to happen next week will mark the end of running this particular scheme).
posted by mikepop at 4:59 AM on August 2 [5 favorites]


Also: we don't know that he spoke with Kim.
posted by tiny frying pan at 5:01 AM on August 2 [3 favorites]


I think this is still an extraordinary show, but I don't think the choice to make these last few episodes a sequel to Breaking Bad is really...working...100%. Somehow, for one thing, even after literally sixty hours of BCS (!!!), we don't quite see how Jimmy became Saul; we know he did because we all watched Breaking Bad, but BCS doesn't really take us there so much as it drops it off down the block from there and points at it. I don't entirely buy this as the character we've been watching. I guess that Howard's murder and Kim leaving might have pushed him to this point, but the show kind of tapdances around the how. Straight up, I don't think BCS exactly built toward Breaking Bad, probably because it was made by people who are older and wiser and, in many ways, made a better series. I'm in it to win it, I'm not going anywhere, but yeah.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:02 AM on August 2 [14 favorites]


Cool insights in this article.
posted by tiny frying pan at 5:14 AM on August 2 [3 favorites]


I think I’ve assumed since season 1 that we were eventually going to get some kind of coda on Jimmy’s whole life that would involve some sort of modest redemption, and now in this one episode, that seems to have been rejected. Kim is now our only hope. I think next episode we’re going to see things from her point of view, and see how making the right decisions have cost her. Then that will be contrasted with Gene, and what making the wrong decision has cost him. In the end, morality takes its toll either way. Is that BCS’s ultimate message?

The heavy connections they’re drawing between Saul and Walt make me think they’re trying to foreshadow Saul’s death, which makes me think that he’s going to prison instead. No major character in BCS has ended up in prison long-term, right?

Anyway, I’m enjoying this, but I’ve consistently felt that the episodes later in the season of BCS have been weaker from a character point of view, we get shifts in behavior that I don’t think are earned, and I see that here, as well. I definitely agree with kittens for breakfast, the Jimmy-Saul shift never really seemed to make sense.
posted by skewed at 5:59 AM on August 2 [3 favorites]


I feel like we might not see Kim ever again. I want to see her, but the show is about Jimmy. I think she's in the wind.
posted by tiny frying pan at 6:33 AM on August 2


I heard Peter Gould on The Watch after episode 9 (Fun and Games) and he said: "we took big risks with the last 4 episodes. We love it, but we know not everyone will at least at first so I wanted to come on the show and talk about episode 9" because in some ways that is the end, or an end, to the series. It was a great listen
posted by shothotbot at 6:53 AM on August 2 [3 favorites]


The heavy connections they’re drawing between Saul and Walt make me think they’re trying to foreshadow Saul’s death, which makes me think that he’s going to prison instead. No major character in BCS has ended up in prison long-term, right?

That's what I'm thinking. Nobody paid for any crimes. Maybe in the end Saul finally does.
posted by bondcliff at 7:00 AM on August 2 [5 favorites]


Without any references to Chuck, we see in this episode that he's right: All Jimmy does is hurt people. "In the end, you're going to hurt everyone around you. You can't help it. So stop apologizing and accept it."

We see that all the death is on Jimmy/Saul's doorstep: Had he been able to take Mike's advice, left well enough alone with Walter, no connection to Gus Fring. No connection to Gus, Mike doesn't die by Walter's hand. Hank doesn't die, etc. So much of the drama and death in Breaking Bad might've been avoided.

And he can't stop even now. He's broke bad for good and on a road to self-destruction.

I'm almost certain we'll see Kim again and it'll be a worthy goodbye one way or another. I'm curious what's going to happen with Marion. They didn't waste screen time with her viewing the goings-on in the garage to drop it, and I'm pretty sure they didn't bring in Carol Burnett just for the cameo/comedic value. (Though what a treat it is to see her here.)

My guess, which will probably be wrong, is that Jimmy/Saul/Gene end up going to prison for good. Chuck regretted getting Jimmy out of legal trouble and ultimately, it put Jimmy on the path that ended up destroying Chuck. My hope is that Kim defies the odds and lets Jimmy get put away.
posted by jzb at 7:12 AM on August 2 [8 favorites]


Oh - my one annoyance with the last few episodes. As we have spent more and more time with Gene in the present, the black and white is getting a little tiresome. I might be alone on that, but I'm really hoping there will be a snap where we fully catch up and return to color. (How are they going to split the difference between sepia tone and B&W if Gene goes to Mexico in the present?)
posted by jzb at 7:13 AM on August 2 [6 favorites]


I really think people should brace themselves for not seeing Kim again. I hope I'm wrong but I'm thinking of the fury of viewers if I'm right.

This show is not kind.
posted by tiny frying pan at 7:18 AM on August 2 [8 favorites]


(I'm worried!)
posted by tiny frying pan at 7:29 AM on August 2 [3 favorites]


I think we're going to see Kim visit Saul in prison, or perhaps be waiting for him when he gets out.

Has anyone ever successfully predicted anything that happened in any of these shows?

I agree with others who suggested Saul was not actually talking to Kim on the phone. His anger didn't make sense.
posted by bondcliff at 8:41 AM on August 2 [2 favorites]


If he goes to prison, he is NOT getting out.
posted by tiny frying pan at 8:44 AM on August 2 [2 favorites]


First, I was happy to get some closure on Francesca; she put up with enough of Saul's shit so that the hang-up was richly deserved. And the BB scenes were very well done, totally what could have taken place off-screen in the original series.

I do think that there are very clear parallels between Walter and Jimmy/Saul/Gene here; just as Walter was finally able to admit to Skyler, in the very last episode of BB, that it wasn't really about taking care of his family, but about his feeling some sense of power over his life, here it's Gene admitting (although not out loud) that for him it's all about the hustle. Even if he ends up with a pile of money the size of a Volkswagen himself, that's really beside the point.

And if that's true, then what would Kim have to come back to? Being Giselle? She made it out with some sliver of her soul intact, and it would be risky (not to mention sadly indicative of the ongoing problem with women expected to do emotional labor for men) for her to try to save Jimmy. Maybe he will go to prison, but I wonder if he'll ever be able to deal with his past, to stop being the Bad Child of his family. I'd like him to at least try; we don't need another Walter White.
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:00 AM on August 2 [7 favorites]


And all for money he can't spend.

Howard was right about Jimmy: it was never about the money. He just gets off on it. And this is just an extension of the way in which right Chuck was about Jimmy.

In fact in BB did we ever see Saul inside the RV at all?

Not in S2E8 ("Better Call Saul"), which I rewatched prior to this episode. The scenes involving Saul and Walt/Jesse are: 1) first meeting between Walt and Saul in the law office; 2) "It was Ignacio!" which was an entirely exterior scene; 3) Saul going over the plan with Walt/Jesse to get Badger off the hook; 4) Saul showing up at Walt's high school. It was really striking how Bryan Cranston didn't seem to have aged here; he looked and acted exactly like S2 Walt. Aaron Paul though seemed much more aged and acted more like S5 Jesse than S2 Jesse.

It was very interesting to compare Gene's reaction to the hitch in this latest scheme with Jimmy's reaction to the hitch in the scheme against Howard, when Casamiro showed up with his arm in a cast. That time, it was Jimmy who wanted to call it off, while Kim was the one who pushed them to keep going. This is part of a broader pattern I've noticed of Jimmy adopting Kim's actions/gestures as his own after she leaves him (most famously, the "Put a dollar in my pocket" trick was originally Kim's, can't remember which ep). One way to read this is as Jimmy's attempt to come to terms with losing Kim from his life; many people unconsciously end up adopting mannerisms from their parents after their parent's deaths, partly as a way to internalize something to maintain the link. And not for nothing, but it was his failure to reconnect with Kim at the start of the episode that seemed to give him the final push in choosing to break bad (again).

Gene doing karaoke by himself was poignant and sad - compare this to S4E10's opening, which was a flashback to Jimmy's celebration party after passing the bar. He was up there with Chuck, who sure overshadowed him in typical Chuck fashion, but Jimmy also had Kim and Ernesto and his other mailroom buddies. He wasn't alone; he was a human being with foibles and bad choices made, but he was still human then. But in this episode, in the comparing, shows how he has lost all of that. There is nothing really which tethers him to humanity, generally speaking or to his own; all he has left is the thrill of the scam. And even that seems to be dulling by the day.
posted by obliterati at 9:06 AM on August 2 [13 favorites]


I feel like Marion is going to stop watching cat videos and do some googling about her son's Albuquerque days, and then the shit will hit the fan.
posted by wheek wheek wheek at 9:17 AM on August 2 [17 favorites]


This episode was ... weird. The Gene scam scenes went on for too long. It's been such a long time since I watched BB that I'd forgotten all the context with Saul/Mike/Walter. I didn't get the impression he was talking to Kim, his frustration was because he wasn't able to speak to her or find out where she was.

I, too, didn't understand why, after being so terrified of discovery, Gene would take such a huge risk with his last mark. But that's the nature of addiction, never knowing when to stop and making decisions that get increasingly more reckless. I have a feeling Carol Burnett will play a pivotal role in Gene's ultimate downfall.

I think at the end we'll get a coda showing Kim living a new life, with a husband and kids, happy yet still slightly wistful about how things turned out.
posted by essexjan at 9:22 AM on August 2 [6 favorites]


Yup. All you gotta do is ask the computer and by gum, you find out what you want to know. I'm guessing she learns about the strange case of the disappearing lawyer who happens to look uncannily like Gene.
posted by 2N2222 at 9:29 AM on August 2 [3 favorites]


It was really striking how Bryan Cranston didn't seem to have aged here; he looked and acted exactly like S2 Walt. Aaron Paul though seemed much more aged

Aaron Paul was babyfaced when he was in his 20s but he's in his 40s now and so it's much harder for him to play someone in his early 20s than for Bryan Cranston in his mid-60s to play a man 15 years younger. Bryan Cranston has one of those faces where he's looked 50 since he was 30 and he'll probably look exactly the same when he's 75.
posted by essexjan at 9:32 AM on August 2 [19 favorites]


I don't think Jimmy would have yelled at Kim over the phone like that. I don't think he was speaking to her at all.

I loved this episode, just like I loved the previous one. I think they're doing exactly what they need to be doing here, from my perspective. Just because we "don't care" about Jeff or the corn-fed accomplice (and I don't) doesn't mean their story can't be worth watching. The long sequence where the first mark gets taken is beautiful. The whole episode is a compressed arc for Jimmy and while some of the cuts to Saul were corny (the empty grave to the bed was downright eyeroll-inducing) it all wove together to give us a pretty good idea of the story they're trying to tell here.

And yeah, Aaron Paul, his voice especially, has really aged, but the march of time is like that.
posted by uncleozzy at 9:33 AM on August 2 [4 favorites]


Bryan Cranston has one of those faces where he's looked 50 since he was 30 and he'll probably look exactly the same when he's 75.

I think this is known in the business as Steve Martin Syndrome.
posted by jzb at 9:34 AM on August 2 [14 favorites]


I wonder whether what Jimmy finds when he gets into the house is a situation not unlike Walt and Jane - an abreaction of the pills and the alcohol and whatever was put into the water - and he has to make a similar choice. I don't think it will go down any better, but I think it will go down differently - It was made clear when the kid with the dog was entering the houses that he was wearing gloves, for example, but Jimmy is too excited to think of that. I suspect he'll go to jail for the murder of cancer guy, even though he won't directly murder cancer guy.

What we also see is that Jimmy is telling himself a story about only conning assholes, but it's clear that cancer guy - I should really go back and check his name, as I'm feeling uneasy about calling him cancer guy - isn't an asshole. Jimmy is lying to his team, but he's also lying to himself. He still thinks he's fighting for justice, but he's just ripping off a dying man.

Carol Burnett didn't really turn up on UK TV when I was young, or at least not in any of the programmes I saw, so I'm new to her. I heard the name, but never saw anything she was in. One way she's astonishingly good is that we know who Marion is very quickly, and I think like her very quickly. The moment Gene turns is when he abandons her to go to the garage with Jeff, and we like her well enough to find that harsh.

Marion, incidentally - is the name of the female lead in The Music Man, another story about a worldly con man who comes to the Mid West, who lied to himself about what he was doing in order to stem his conscience ("There's always a band").
posted by Grangousier at 9:55 AM on August 2 [11 favorites]


I, too, didn't understand why, after being so terrified of discovery, Gene would take such a huge risk with his last mark. But that's the nature of addiction

It is, and past a certain point of addiction, the subject knows (even if unconsciously) that they are not able to stop themselves but will die if they don't. So they call forth the External World to stop them, by doing more of the same, only more intensely, more transgressively, more dangerously. I think Jimmy is doing some version of this, which is why probably the "happiest" possible ending for him at this point is if he gets arrested and imprisoned. The worst possible ending for him is if he were able to somehow get away with it and keep doing this, but I suspect the show is not going to go that way.
posted by obliterati at 10:05 AM on August 2 [2 favorites]


Something that occurred to me: what if Jimmy ends up saving Cancer Guy? (Well, not from cancer, but you know.) There's no plausible reason for him to be in the house, so it would probably fall to Jeff to take the credit. Maybe that would be the turning point for Jimmy, and a nice contrast to Walter, who stood and watched Jane Margolis die of a drug overdose without intervening.
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:34 AM on August 2


The crux of the episode is that moment in the RV. What a canny choice, to show Walter White at this moment: so early in his career that everyone sees him as a pathetic nobody instead of a danger to everyone around him—a waste of time and money, as Mike says, and little more—but already so fixated on this idea that he alone knows what's right and what's best, with that dangerous glare in his eyes even when he's helpless and coughing.

To go with broad, sweeping religious metaphor, Breaking Bad always felt like it was a take on Catholic notions of damnation and hell, and Better Call Saul—which I binged the whole of just a couple of months ago, to be here for the ending—feels like a kind of purgatory. The deranged genius of Breaking Bad is that, Walt's every action yields a violent reaction, forcing him into a place where only one option is possible (unless he's willing to accept jail time, death, and his family losing everything). There are only a couple of moments where he could flat-out step away, nobody would come after him, and he'd have more than he started with; I think the one genuine moment happens at the start of season 3, and even then he's arguably just lost Skyler and is looking for a way to revert that to the norm too. At no point, in his mind, is there any other option—and at no point is the "option" in question anything but another step towards hell.

Jimmy, on the other hand, is in purgatory, haunted by the past and the future in what feels like an eternal present. He's an addict, yes—but a part of what defines addiction is that it creates reinforcing loops of behavior, wherein consequences have a way of cycling back, locking people in, and keeping them from not only taking but believing in other options.

Jimmy, unlike Walt, has made many efforts to get on a better trail—and every time, something from his past pops up to make sure he can't do it. At which point, he reverts back to mean with a vengeance (and with an emphasis on "mean"). Because we've known the end from the beginning, and because Gene has always hovered at the edges of our consciousness, we know that his future matters as much as his past does here. The question, even running through "Nippy," has been: is there a way out for Gene? Is there finally a light at the end of the tunnel? Or is his curse to remain forever locked within this eternal now?

Here's where I'll disagree with other people here and say that I liked both the last episode and this one, and (so far) think their placement in the final season has been brilliant. Because the moment Kim walked out the door in the penultimate scene of "Fun and Games," the past collapses—not just the long past of Slippin' Jimmy, but the near past that's defined this entire show. All at once we have the purgatory of Saul Goodman, which is never seen at length, only hinted at in that episode's coda. (And really, isn't that one brief glimpse enough?)

"Nippy" gave us what could have either been a last hurrah, a moment where Gene uses his past as Jimmy to escape the cycle, or the latest reversion to mean. And it's not as easy as saying, well, Gene ran one con, and now he's back to his old ways. It wasn't just hearing that the feds found all his hideyholes. It was Kim, of course. Because it was always either Kim or Chuck, so now it's only ever Kim.

The injections of Breaking Bad were kept constrained to these minor notes for a reason, I think. Maybe we'll build to something more dramatic with Walt and Jesse going forward, but in this episode, the choice to keep it to Saul's convo with Mike, and to that encounter in the RV, feels as meticulous as the show's ever been. Because Saul's not Walt. Saul at his worst isn't determined to drag the world to hell just to prove a point—instead, he's cynical to the point where he doesn't believe in humanity.

In that RV, he's content to sit by and quip about Walt and Jesse while placing his stake in their budding business; in that convo with Mike, he's pooh-poohing the human-behavior element and focusing purely on business potential. (Though he's human enough to be genuinely affected when he hears about Walt's cancer diagnosis.) As Gene, though, he not only keeps the con going with the cancer man (to borrow another BB title), he actively shows frustration with his underlings for caring about the cancer. "You know which other mark had a sob story? Every one of them."

Why does he care, when there've been dozens of other marks? It's not about the money, or the con. It's about the suggestion that there's something higher worth considering. And if Gene's going lower, it's because he needs to actively reject that higher and more human sensibility just to remain just where he is. In part because, if he reaches towards anything higher in himself, he's just going to find that ache where Kim used to be.

The moment in the RV centers the episode, like I said. It takes place after the first scam and before the montage of scams, ending on that match cut of the grave Saul dug for himself and the bed Gene's made for himself to lie in (I do not apologize for that reach), but the moment in it that gets the most intimate cinematography happens when Jesse gets his major line in the scene, and asks about Lalo. Saul, who says nothing of his personal life in the scene (and who we gather never shares any of that with the duo), gets a haunted look in his eye, though the night is too dark for anyone to notice. We know what Lalo did to him, and we know what Walt and Jesse does: that while Lalo is, inadvertently, what led to Criminal Lawyer Saul Goodman, it's not because Lalo gave him a chance to be a criminal. It's because Lalo removed the only reason he had to be anything but.

The defining shot of the episode, though, isn't that match cut. It's the shot we get twice, of the mixer in the Cinnabon. We see it once just after the attempted call to Kim, just before Gene starts the new con, and once during the montage later. Dough and sugar, tasty and sweet, being mixed and mixed and mixed until it's featureless and generic, nice for a treat but unhealthy and devoid of nutrient. A nice stand-in for Gene's and Saul's and Jimmy's own life.

But there's a trick to that shot. The first time you see it, you'd be forgiven for thinking that it represents the vapid life Gene's made for himself, the one he turns to crime to escape from. And if he was Walt, maybe that would be the entire line of thinking. The second time we see it, though, during the montage, it becomes clear: this is the life of crime, the fruitless fruits of this unseemly labor. This is sitting in the back of strip clubs, running the scam on yet another interchangeable money guy, lying on your Sharper Image foot massager because you don't even go to the nail salon for that brief moment of human contact anymore. This is addiction: what was temporarily stimulating and exciting done so many times that you can't taste it anymore, at once nauseating and flavorless and hard to give up. You crave it, not because everything else is empty, but because this itself gives rise to an emptiness; the more you give into it, the more desperately you find yourself turning to it, because it's given you a craving for itself.

Past and future, and the torment of a potentially-endless present. Purgatory in a mixing bowl.

It'll be curious whether the next two episodes go up or down or leave us right here. You can make a case for the series ending on any of the three.
posted by Tom Hanks Cannot Be Trusted at 10:42 AM on August 2 [29 favorites]


I think at the end we'll get a coda showing Kim living a new life, with a husband and kids, happy yet still slightly wistful about how things turned out.

Ugh, I hope not. She is responsible for Howard's murder. Her story shouldn't end all neat and happy.
posted by tiny frying pan at 10:44 AM on August 2 [3 favorites]


There's a lot of comments to read up there to hold on to something like this, but my prediction is that Kim hates him and wants nothing to do with him, and that Gene dies in the end. I think there will be some more color, which I suppose would have to be flashbacks, since color only exists in the past.

I was waiting for a barbiturate death, so I'm betting my scones on that one, and for it being a possible route to Gene getting nicked. It would be weird if a violent crime is what he goes down for, but what brought about Badfinger's "Baby Blue" at the end of BB was a good surprise too.

I had mixed feelings about this episode in general, like it was deeper than I perceived because it bounced around quite a bit. It's more scene-setting, so that's nice. I do think Marion is going to be involved in -- and win -- the big showdown. She was so sad watching the secret garage club carrying on!
posted by rhizome at 11:10 AM on August 2 [1 favorite]


I wonder if the misdirect is that the man with cancer is actually no push over, and Jimmy is running a huge risk by breaking in - he could be shot and killed. Walt dies by the gun...so it would be a parallel in several ways.
posted by tiny frying pan at 11:14 AM on August 2


There's still an empty grave out in the desert, waiting to be filled either figuratively or literally. The fade-out that superimposed Gene in it was pretty ominous. First though, I think Jimmy/Saul will have one last moment of closure with Kim, the same way Walt appeared in Skylar's kitchen, like a ghost.

At first I thought the barbiturate-water scam was about raising funds for some larger scheme. But, as others have pointed out, Gene still has money (at least one last stash of diamonds). Are we supposed to think Viktor's just addicted to the con? In the past, there has always been an endgame, and I'm guessing what it's going to be. . .
posted by abraxasaxarba at 11:46 AM on August 2 [2 favorites]


Yeah, the inside-the-RV stuff is all new, and I do wonder also if they reshot the scenes of Saul at the graveside and Saul at the school for consistency of Bob's facial appearance?

Also consistent with Breaking Bad: the RV set continues to be a lot bigger on the inside than it should be.

It'll be curious whether the next two episodes go up or down or leave us right here. You can make a case for the series ending on any of the three.

...and that feels like another thing carried over from Breaking Bad: depending on how I feel in the moment, any one of Ozymandias (all the consequences all at once), Granite State (Walt in purgatory) or Felina (all tied up in a bow) could be a satisfying ending.

I do think Marion is going to be involved in -- and win -- the big showdown. She was so sad watching the secret garage club carrying on!

And she was introduced as fiercely independent and sharp. Jimmy may have under-estimated her.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 11:49 AM on August 2 [4 favorites]


And she was introduced as fiercely independent and sharp. Jimmy may have under-estimated her.

Jimmy is adept at playing people, especially older ones, and it would be fitting if she was his downfall, even if it would be his fault ultimately for starting down this road again. Shades of pretty much every other character on these shows, except for Kim and (maybe) Jesse.
posted by rhymedirective at 11:53 AM on August 2 [9 favorites]


I think something far worse happened on the phone than Jimmy just finding out that Kim didn’t work at that business anymore. His reaction to the call, and everything that follows, is far too dramatic a response to simply hearing that he can’t talk to her right then. After all, he presumably hasn’t spoken to her at all in five years, so why would he be that upset at not talking to her now? I think it’s far more likely that he found out she had died or taken her own life, and that’s why he slides definitively into complete nihilism after that.
posted by holborne at 12:31 PM on August 2 [8 favorites]


It was made clear when the kid with the dog was entering the houses that he was wearing gloves, for example, but Jimmy is too excited to think of that.

Going back to that last house is reckless, but they show him putting on a glove right before he breaks the window.
posted by snofoam at 12:54 PM on August 2 [3 favorites]


I think it’s far more likely that he found out she had died or taken her own life

Jimmy knows Kim, though, and if someone thinks she died, he knows she could have just skipped town and changed identities.

And I know it happens all the time in real life, but BB / BCS is a morality play, and having a character randomly die of a non-violent cause off camera is NOT their style.
posted by mmoncur at 3:03 PM on August 2 [2 favorites]


I will admit that I want this to end on a lighter-than-Breaking Bad note mostly because I keep imagining Chuck watching an ending where Jimmy wound up rotten through and through and smirking a tight little smirk, as if he'd been right all along, and fuck that tbh
posted by Tom Hanks Cannot Be Trusted at 3:48 PM on August 2 [18 favorites]


Yes! Also Heisenberg ended being pretty happy he did what he did, as he was dying, if I remember correctly. It would be a flip if Jimmy regrets his life - what was all that grift for? As Kim spits, derisively, "FUN?!"
posted by tiny frying pan at 3:59 PM on August 2


Yeah, I can see why Jimmy and Kim might feel guilty, but they're certainly much less guilty than Walt or Jesse*, both of whom seemed pretty okay with their life choices. I think BCS is in many ways a more realistic show than Breaking Bad, and definitely in terms of real life shit, Jimmy and Kim have done some pretty bad things. In the larger moral universe of these shows and El Camino, though, Jimmy and Kim are practically innocent bystanders. Jimmy may have helped Walt launder his money, but he didn't kill anyone, and I don't think laundering Walt's money made anything happen that wouldn't have happened otherwise; Walt was a smart guy, he would have figured something else out. He definitely wouldn't have stopped making meth.

*There's a lot I liked about El Camino, but ultimately it seems to "redeem" Jesse's character through violence, which feels absolutely contrary to the place where we leave him at the end of Breaking Bad, where he outright refuses to kill Walt. I guess that could be interpreted simply as Jesse refusing to take any more orders from Walt, but I read it as him turning his back on the path of violence that had so traumatized him when he was forced to kill Gale. Apparently, though, he just needed to get his, uh, balls back, I guess, because the film sure seems to think it's pretty great when he goes full Heisenberg and kills a garage full of dudes. I found this all very weird and suspect on the part of the filmmakers, and have not revisited the film since.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 4:40 PM on August 2 [3 favorites]


Tom Hanks Cannot Be Trusted said: Because the moment Kim walked out the door in the penultimate scene of "Fun and Games," the past collapses—not just the long past of Slippin' Jimmy, but the near past that's defined this entire show. All at once we have the purgatory of Saul Goodman, which is never seen at length, only hinted at in that episode's coda. (And really, isn't that one brief glimpse enough?)

And it's not only the past of the show, but, in a sense, the pop culture the show is a part of. It's hard to think of an episode that dropped as many references as this one, from James Whale's Bride of Frankenstein to Betamax to Hitchcock (in a fez!), the episode seems more determined than ever to place the characters ad their dialogue in conversation with the world of all culture available all the time -- no accident for a streaming darling like this show.

On the most direct level, all those Frankenstein references echo that marvelous, attention-getting dissolve from the mock grave Jesse an Walter dug for Saul Goodman a few years ago to Gene Takavic, now truly Saul resurrected, awake in bed, jolted back to life by the buzzy anticipation of the pleasures of Saul Goodman's glee at the successful scam.

But this is also in conversation with the other thing everyone knows about the movies' Frankenstein: that the monster is a mockery of life, an abhorrent mess of corpses stitched together, not a single, whole human brought back. Here, the most familiar bits of the "past" -- interpolations that fit between the scenes of Breaking Bad -- are likewise stitched to the scenes of the black-and-white present, where Saul is back mostly as a cheap mockery of himself, trying to bring back the ...dare we say, chemistry? Yeah, the chemistry of his glory days as Heisenberg's Tom Hagen/Colonel Parker.

But this time not to guide a burgeoning drug empire, just to use some cheap drugs for an identity theft scam with two partners who don't do the Laurel-and-Hardy or the Bickersons routines Saul references back in the much-anticipated Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston guest spots. No, Jeff and Buddy are so flat, Buddy's name is also practically the description of his role -- he's just Jeff's Buddy. Even Saul is not using flash and surface sleaze to be underestimated, but rather working with Gene's mousy nondescriptness, once again calling himself Viktor but getting none of the romantic thrill out of the scams he got back when Kim was his Giselle.

This is also in conversation with that VCR opening, the one in which the tapes are played, stop, and finally seem to be recorded over. (Or maybe it's a Betamax?) Saul Goodman, flamboyant consiglieri and showboat lawyer, really is gone and over, and at best all this leftover Gene guy can do is stop reminiscing and try to overwrite his sad, bland end with a new story...only the tape's worn, and he's more likely to fully erase the last bits left of himself in the process.

The collapse of the past into the present -- which covers over it -- is also signaled with both that sad pair of phone calls, in which the seemingly big questions about the old show's supporting cast get mundane, realistic, and deflating answers, and the reunion of Jimmy and Kim clearly doesn't happen or doesn't change anything. It seems apposite that Fancesca drives past a prominently placed "No U-Turns" sign; you can't just swing around and get back to where you were on a whim.

Indeed, the one question this show has most invested in, the Jimmy-Kim relationship and its fallout, is the one bit of information connecting past and present that's withheld, since we don't hear that conversation the way we did hear Jimmy's pathetic little chat with Francesca Liddy. (And how telling is it that Francesca's well-being is literally the last thing Jimmy asks about, and how great that she treats him exactly as perfunctorily as she should?)

Certainly his decision to push forward to hurt that nice guy mark signals the end of any of what Kim would recognize, or even, I'd suggest, of the morality of the Saul Goodman from Breaking Badwho balked at poisoning a child and would never sell out a client. Another bit of referentiality -- the mentions of financial scammers, including Bernie Madoff and the Enron crews -- at once reminds us of the real economic injustices perpetrated by scammers and of the "Ken Wins" arrogant stockbroker types that were marks in Jimmy McGill's early, sympathetic schemes. In the present, however, those reference points are thin justifications Saul uses to permit himself his scams. And when his latest victim doesn't fit that profile, he pushes past the objections of others and goes for the scam.

Hume said: He's an addict. He's got another bender in him but he doesn't have another recovery. His lifelines are gone and he's alone. He doesn't like these new caper buddies any more than we do.

and Tom Hanks Cannot Be Trusted said: This is addiction: what was temporarily stimulating and exciting done so many times that you can't taste it anymore, at once nauseating and flavorless and hard to give up. You crave it, not because everything else is empty, but because this itself gives rise to an emptiness; the more you give into it, the more desperately you find yourself turning to it, because it's given you a craving for itself.

And this is the crux of the matter: with all his past emotional and even professional connections severed, all Jimmy has is his addiction to the scam. I think it's not an accident that there are two similar scenes of Gene atcing the beaters stir the Cinnabon dough. As Tom Hanks Cannot Be Trusted notes, Cinnabon is itself empty, sweet calories like addition; last episode's security guard put a point on that.

But the beaters also reflect the grinding, mundane routine of every day at Cinnabon, a place of mass-produced, homogenous treats. The first time we see the beaters going, gene lets them go, and the camera frames him behind them, so that they frame his image like prison bars that come and go. He's stuck, feeling trapped and alone, but he can imagine the trap vanishing. And so to the identity theft scam, the ersatz power trio that we see.

The second time, after a montage in which we see the clockwork precision of the scam play out many times, Gene stops the beaters. Like any addiction, the pleasure gives way to need; now, having built up a tolerance to that old thrill, Saul finds a worse and still more painful emptiness in Gene's routine. Now the scams are the routine, the same basic steps, week after week, always with the same conclusion. The repetitive motion of the beaters at Cinnabon is now those repetitive motions. Saul even looks bored in bed at the strip club and with the sex workers he brings home. Yes, he's sleeps with them and pays them, but mostly because that's what Saul Goodman used to do.

What's happening here is a final loss of self, a dissolution in addiction and repetition. It makes the identity thefts an especially apt choice of crime. And it make smuch of Saul's deflection, in the Breaking Bad days: "who's Lalo?" "He's nobody."

Lalo Salamanco's escape from justice, we might recall, was the work that made Saul Goodman's reputation in the criminal underworld of Albuquerque. By the time of Breaking Bad, not long after, only Saul really seems to remember who Lalo was (not to mention poor Ignacio). Stop the tape. Hit REC.
posted by kewb at 4:45 PM on August 2 [12 favorites]


The ache where Kim used to be.


Yup





Betamax — Mike mentioned Betamax in this episode but those are vhs tapes and the quality and shite are about on with the degradation — but with the appearance of REC I wonder who is taping over them and why?

Destroy them physically or magnetically, there is still some recovery possible. Tape OVER — harder.

The stuff they’d use at the station (and eventually for the college students) would be 3/4 tape and the final would be given to Jimmy as a vhs conversion.
posted by tilde at 5:29 PM on August 2


I hadn't realized just how much the Walt of Breaking Bad was basically a realization of Jimmy's vision for him - Jimmy as Dr. Frankenstein, losing control of Monster Heisenberg. I wonder if we'll keep seeing these BB-era scenes threaded throughout the remaining episodes.
posted by nightcoast at 5:50 PM on August 2 [2 favorites]


B&W Omaha is a strange place to spend so much of these last episodes! The end of an ABQ world that ranged from vibrant to garish color. Hopefully, if it isn’t quite what we wanted, it will be bold and interesting. Being a prequel series, the whole thing has kind of been working it’s way towards a narrative trap. But ever since BB, the team has allegedly used traps, like the plane crash, to drive creativity. I guess we will see.
posted by snofoam at 6:05 PM on August 2 [1 favorite]


I think I would prefer the Saul scenes in black and white, and the Gene scenes in color. But it’s all been pretty bland for the past two episodes. Here’s hoping.

I have been listening to the BCS podcast, and of course it’s very self-congratulatory. When I thought the shows were excellent, this was fun. But it’s as hard to make a bad episode, technically, as it is to make a good show, apparently. And one could never say they were a bit disappointed in how it came out.

Nacho dead, Lalo dead, Kim missing—Saul by himself just isn’t that interesting, especially, as someone noted, we never really got a good understanding of why Kim’s leaving leads inevitably to full-blown Saul.

Sorry to complain. This is one of only two shows I watch. It, and For All Mankind, are disappointing me in the end.
posted by willF at 7:19 PM on August 2 [2 favorites]


Having just binged Better Call Saul far more quickly than is strictly healthy, I think that the show generally struggles to marry "compelling plot work" and "compelling character work" in a way that Breaking Bad didn't. On the whole, it hits more varied and colorful notes than Breaking Bad did, but there are stretches where the plot's compelling but the character work is flat (like Gus and Mike hitting 2-3 character notes total across 2-3 seasons) and other bits where the character work is fascinating but the plot is mechanically sound rather than bona fide gripping. The latter bits feel more "tone poem" than "plotted story" to me, in a way I can appreciate but occasionally got very impatient with.

I read these last two episodes as tone poem more than compelling plot. The Jerry Gergich heist was fun to see and cleverly-arranged, but that episode and this one felt more like moods with a little bit of plot-rearranging than like story drivers. Which I'm okay with, because the three episodes before these were extremely intense and pushed a lot forward very quickly.

My suspicion is that the next two episodes are going to end with a bang, and that this much set-up is just pushing things into place for whatever craziness is coming our way. But I'd bet that you could divide BCS viewers into camps of "hates when the plot falls flat," "hate when the character work is lacking," and "doesn't mind either." (Relatedly, I crept through the BCS archives here while I was watching, and there's been a kinda funny seesawing over the years between which folks were disappointed by the show at which times.)
posted by Tom Hanks Cannot Be Trusted at 7:43 PM on August 2 [3 favorites]


Also, a prediction for the next episode, based on its title:
"Waterworks" -> Kimmy works at a sprinkler company, so maybe we'll get a Kimmy-focused episode

posted by nightcoast at 8:28 PM on August 2 [4 favorites]


Huh. I saw a couple of those side-arm martini glasses at the thrift store this past weekend. Might have to go back.
posted by porpoise at 8:28 PM on August 2


It is easy to overlook that this is the first time a chronological time viewer of the show will have seen the phrase "Breaking Bad". The episode does a good job of conveying the ambiguities about what this might mean, I think.

When we see this phrase, are we thinking of the notion of breaking through to enter the world of "bad"; becoming a criminal/getting in the game as we see with Walter - or with Jeff and Buddy? Or are we talking about breaking out of something - managing to quit the cycle: Buddy's reluctance to go after a mark suffering cancer, Mike's invocation to Saul not to get involved with the Chemistry teacher? Maybe we might be speaking of doing something irrevocable: Gene breaking the glass on the mark's door - in his zeal to get his money at any cost - and thus eliminating any chance of his crime being undetected. When we talk about "bad" are we talking about making the transition from light stakes scams to proper heavyweight crime where people die and fortunes are make? Or is it about crossing a moral threshold: the point where a scheme stops being fun and starts to maim or kill?Finally, there is the idea of entropy: the whole cycle of evil being broken just by the march of time, as with the degrading VHS video in the opening scene. Everyone gets old and addicts get old faster than most.

The episode ends with a cliff-hanger of Gene's entry to the mark's house: but to me that could almost be a finale for Jimmy/Saul/Gene: we see he has chosen the lure of completing his scam over practicality, humanity or necessity. Before this there was maybe a possibility of redemption for the character: after years in Omaha he maybe goes back to running small time and fun scams, maybe even re-unites with Kim. Not now, I think.

A few plot tie ups from the conversation with Francesca: we hear that Skyler got a deal with the authorities (so I guess that lottery ticket with the GPS co-ordinates must have led the location of Hank and Gomy's bodies) - and also Huel got away back to New Orleans after having being held on false pretences.

I like how we see aspects of Kim and Jimmy's life together get woven into this episode: everything has moved to black and white - not just to show a time difference but also to enhance the quotations made from those old movies: I like the Hitchcock-like soundtrack for the first part of Gene's scam, for example. Even Jimmy's goldfish is quoted in Saul's reaction to Walter's condenser flask.

Saul's device is a Chi Machine, by the way - don't knock it till you've tried it!
posted by rongorongo at 11:58 PM on August 2 [5 favorites]


There is a video of Rhea and Bob reading fan theories for Vanity Fair, released in the last couple weeks. They react to them in ways that are not spoilers but are still thoughtful and engaging; I enjoyed it. Anyway, during the discussion, Bob says something along the lines of “Jimmy and Kim’s relationship is the heart of the show.” We are seeing Kim again. And there is absolutely no way he actually talked to her on the phone. Gene doesn’t shout at Kim in presumably their first conversation in years.

The question that has not been answered for me is: how does a man who treats Kim as his equal and partner (I mean, enough; we moved past “you don’t save me, I save me”) transform into someone who objectifies women so much? And maybe it’s just my own personal lack of getting it re: strip clubs and the like generally, but this feels like a big question to me. A couple episodes ago there was the shot of the sex worker who “looked like Kim”; I didn’t see that but whatever. He’s not looking to replace her, he knows that’s impossible.

I was starting to agree that Lalo’s escape from the criminal justice system established Saul as a criminal but he was Something De Guzman and I am highly skeptical that the whole truth of that situation is known publicly. It makes Bernalillo County look so incredibly inept that the incentive to keep that close to the vest is big. Saul would have gotten disbarred for that, I think, if *Lalo* is established as de Guzman publicly enough for it to make a difference to Saul’s practice. (Unless I’m misreading and you meant Lalo *as* de Guzman, kewb.)

I too tire a little bit of how much time we’re spending in Omaha but I suspect it will all make a lot more sense when we’ve seen the entire season, so I’m willing to give the benefit of the doubt.
posted by emkelley at 1:08 AM on August 3 [4 favorites]


Yeah, I am very much giving it the benefit of the doubt. Some of the best BB/BCS moments have had a slow often frustrating build up, manoeuvring pieces in to place. The episode where Kim left was the season 6 finale. This seems to be a new mini series following on, and like all series starts slow and is a bit baffling.
I don’t think they’ve done themselves any favours in how this has been aires. Given they had a mid season break anyway, our expectations might have been better managed if the break was after Fun and Games and Omaha was touted as a whole new chapter. We’re used to all story lines converging and surfacing in a rush by this stage of a series but here we’ve gone back to a sedate pace.
posted by chill at 1:24 AM on August 3


This show is not kind.

Yeah, I’m half worried that we’ll get one more shot of Kim, only for it to be her showing her boarding pass and walking down a jet bridge to board an airplane.
posted by blueberry at 1:55 AM on August 3 [6 favorites]


There's no way Kim doesn't come back in a major way. Just like there's no way that her two-episode absence isn't being used here to keep us on tenterhooks.

If this was David Lynch (or even Matt Weiner) I'd be worried, but this writing team has never once gone the route of "show less, not more."
posted by Tom Hanks Cannot Be Trusted at 3:07 AM on August 3 [2 favorites]


emkelley said: I was starting to agree that Lalo’s escape from the criminal justice system established Saul as a criminal but he was Something De Guzman and I am highly skeptical that the whole truth of that situation is known publicly. It makes Bernalillo County look so incredibly inept that the incentive to keep that close to the vest is big. Saul would have gotten disbarred for that, I think, if *Lalo* is established as de Guzman publicly enough for it to make a difference to Saul’s practice. (Unless I’m misreading and you meant Lalo *as* de Guzman, kewb.)


Back in the first half of Season 6, we have the episode in which Saul is an outcast at the courthouse, because everyone there knows he helped Lalo Salamanca get away with murder using a false identity.

The depressed, ostracized Saul returns to his practice at the nail salon, only to find a huge crowd of prospective clients.

One of them, the meth addict nicknamed Spooge, explains that everyone is there because Saul is now known as "Salamanca's guy." The irony being, of course, that Lalo has utterly lost his trust in Saul by this point, and Saul thinks Lalo is dead when he's not (yet), and so is comfortable trading on his connection.

Link to the scene on Youtube.

Saul doesn't get disbarred because he can plausibly claim to the authorities that he didn't know de Guzman was not his client's real name, and Lalo seems to have arranged the decoy family on his own. We see him saying as much to the ADA who tried to grill him.
posted by kewb at 3:42 AM on August 3 [2 favorites]


Tom Hanks Cnnot Be Trusted said: Having just binged Better Call Saul far more quickly than is strictly healthy, I think that the show generally struggles to marry "compelling plot work" and "compelling character work" in a way that Breaking Bad didn't. On the whole, it hits more varied and colorful notes than Breaking Bad did, but there are stretches where the plot's compelling but the character work is flat (like Gus and Mike hitting 2-3 character notes total across 2-3 seasons) and other bits where the character work is fascinating but the plot is mechanically sound rather than bona fide gripping. The latter bits feel more "tone poem" than "plotted story" to me, in a way I can appreciate but occasionally got very impatient with.

I think a lot of this is down to the intersection of two things:

1) The plot-as-you-go model that the writing team has been using since Breaking Bad, which snofoam rightly describes as writing themselves into a "narrative trap," then trying to write their way out of it.

2) The fact that the driving question of Better Call Saul is not the same thing as the driving question of Breaking Bad.

In BB, the elevator pitch was "Mr. Chips becomes Scarface," so the driving question was always "How and why does a meek schoolteacher become a drug kingpin?" Now, most of that question is character work stuff, at heart, but there's a driving plot setup in it, too, one that has Walter White get further and further into a business he never expected to be a part of. That premise also means that there's a clear "rise and fall" arc modeled on the gangster film embedded in the show's premise. The writers can improvise a bit from episode to episode or season to season, but there's a way in which the larger narrative arc is known from the start.

This means that Breaking Bad can be structured around the obstacles to and facilitators of "becoming Scarface," and, in the final episodes, it gets to be a show about how it all falls down around him. Characterization, in Breaking Bad, is intertwined with plot. Walter's motivations can develop in tandem with the plot, from the sympathetic motives that spark his decisions in the pilot, and the less sympathetic, deeper character traits the show develops to explain why he keeps at it despite the costs an the alternatives.

Even so, the earlier seasons of Breaking Bad have some real unevenness, largely because the writers are modifying their sense of the pace of that arc on the fly. The show has a much more sitcom-like, "back to square one" plotting approach in its first season and a half to two seasons, as they hold back on how deep into the game Walt will get, whether Jesse is truly useful or is just a dolt holding Walt back, and so forth. In Season 1 of BB, they were also deciding whether Jesse would live past Season 1 and whether Walt would become a coldblooded killer faster than he did.

BCS, on the other hand, has a different setup: becoming Saul Goodman, and where Saul winds up, are predetermined. So instead, the driving question for the writers became, "What sort of problem is solved by becoming Saul Goodman?" (They've said as much in interviews earlier in the series's life.) And, to prevent the show from just retreading old ground, and to add suspense and a sense of "more to come," they also set up a second question, "What happens after you can't be Saul Goodman anymore?"

The thing is, you can't answer the second question until you've answered the first. And unlike the Walter White plot arc, "becoming Saul Goodman" doesn't have a defined starting point. There's no "Mr. Chips" archetype to build on, transform, and subvert.

As a result, BCS spent its first season trying to invent that starting point, and made the interesting -- and difficult -- choice to say that the starting point is not innocence, but failed reform. So early in the show, it's a series about Jimmy McGill sincerely trying to make good, being stymied by an uncaring world that won't trust him, and partially relapsing into his old criminal habits.

That would get repetitive very quickly, so, partway through Season 1, the writers figured out that the "problem" to solve couldn't just be "the establishment won't give me a chance." Instead, they hit upon the idea that "becoming Saul Goodman" also has to be "rejecting Jimmy McGill," wanting to disconnect from who you were. And that requires the path to being Saul Goodman to be a story of why being Jimmy McGill becomes so empty and so painful that you have to reinvent yourself as a flashy sleazebag like Saul Goodman.

In other words, it has to become a story about how Jimmy McGill loses his attachments, and that means a long series of personal betrayals and breaks, the better to explain why becoming an even nastier version of Slippin' Jimmy is so attractive, or at least less painful, for Jimmy.

From that, we got the emphasis on character work and character dynamics, much more than plot dynamics, which did a few things. First, it meant that the transformation into Saul was a much slower burn, so the show became much more of a meditation on how Jimmy feels betrayed and embittered by some people, loyal to others, but impulsive and ultimately kind of childish in ways that prove both destructive and self-destructive.

Second, it turned the show into more of an ensemble piece, the better to develop lots of relationships that could define Jimmy's attachments, and the way losing them or corrupting them produces Saul Goodman. So the show now provides an occasional focus on Mike, on Kim, and on Gus. This has to balance against "getting to Breaking Bad," too, so the legal plots and the criminal underworld plots end up split off by the start of Season 2. And now you're writing a fairly complex show...and trying to improvise, to some extent, around all of that complexity and around two plotlines taking place, essentially, in distinct "worlds" of their own, but which have to eventually tie back together.

That explains a lot of the stagnation of the Mike and Gus plots at certain stages of the show. They're not in a working relationship with Jimmy, so they aren't speaking to the central question. And they haven't caught up to Breaking Bad yet, so there's not a lot of plot setup they can do.

By inventing new characters and fleshing them out -- Nacho, Lalo, Kim, Howard, Chuck -- the series has been able to create some direction for its unusual plot structures and some interesting new character beats for Jimmy/Saul and Mike, not to mention the possibilities of surprise and suspense, but this also sometimes means diverting from what is the central question of the series.

Oh, and there's also a requirement to check in on "Gene" from time to time, so that the whole sow isn't an obvious foregone conclusion that finds its real resolution in another, earlier series. This has left the show's final episodes with a really odd structure, where they end up serving as a very extended epilogue to two series and another epilogue movie.

But the unevenness and "tone poem" structure were early developments. They've led to some really interesting TV and some exciting choices about how to handle time and development, but that also means that the show's pace and focus are uneven, because the writers keep reinventing not only what's happening but also how they answer the show's driving question. And all while having to avoid contradicting what they've done before.
posted by kewb at 5:01 AM on August 3 [17 favorites]


Back in the first half of Season 6, we have the episode in which Saul is an outcast at the courthouse, because everyone there knows he helped Lalo Salamanca get away with murder using a false identity.

I never thought it was established that everyone knew it was LaLo. Only that he helped a cartel member get away. I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop with the prosecutors on that after he slipped and said Lalo but I don't remember they ever explicitly stated it. If they did, I missed it.
posted by tiny frying pan at 5:03 AM on August 3


I never thought it was established that everyone knew it was LaLo. Only that he helped a cartel member get away. I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop with the prosecutors on that after he slipped and said Lalo but I don't remember they ever explicitly stated it.

It's shown early in Season 6 that the courthouse officials know that Guzman was Lalo, as in this scene (SYTL). The DA office isn't out to prosecute Jimmy because they think they can make a deal with him, getting him to say he was tricked by Salamanca and thereby get dirt on the cartel. It's also clear that they have pretty much all of it figured out, including Lalo's real identity.

Kim rejects this deal on Sal's behalf.

Then, in the next episode, episode 4, this scene, we see everyone at the courthouse seems to have heard the story. Indeed, hapless defense attorney Bill Oakley directly says that Saul "scammed the court...to get a murdering cartel psychopath back on the street." In other words, everyone at the courthouse seems to have heard the story the DA's office is laying out. But, as Oakley says, that doesn't mean they can meet a legal standard of proof that Saul was in on Lalo's deception.

It is after this that Jimmy returns to his nail salon office and finds that he is now known - to quote Spooge -- as "Salamanca's guy," and therefore as a well-connected. corrupt lawyer who can help criminals escape justice.

So the timeline is: the DA's office figures things out almost complete, but thinks they can turn a cartel lawyer. Saul won't rat out the cartel. They're unable to prosecute Saul directly, since Saul could simply claim Lalo had him fooled, too. But the authorities are convinced that Saul is a drug cartel lawyer, and are willing to spread the story and make him radioactive. ironically, that same "radioactivity" in legitimate circles is valuable as street cred with the lowlife clientele that Saul Goodman ends up representing for most of his later career.
posted by kewb at 5:16 AM on August 3 [3 favorites]


Got it, thanks. Now I kind of remember. It's been awful this season not being able to rewatch everything. AMC+ takes away the episodes fairly quickly.
posted by tiny frying pan at 5:20 AM on August 3 [1 favorite]


That should be "Hapless prosecuting attorney Bill Oakley." He isn't a defense attorney at that point in the timeline! D'oh!
posted by kewb at 5:23 AM on August 3 [2 favorites]


We were floating a theory around here that, at some point, Kim calls the vacuum cleaner guy and disappears that way. A moment earlier in the season, she glanced through the vet's black book and clearly handled the shop's business card.

Jimmy asking for her by name on the phone sort of lays that idea to rest. Also, he's been keeping tabs on her since he knows (generally) where she is.

My current theory is that Gene's activities will get him back on law enforcement's radar since we learned last night that the feds are still looking for him in a big way.
posted by jquinby at 6:19 AM on August 3


Yeah, I’m half worried that we’ll get one more shot of Kim, only for it to be her showing her boarding pass and walking down a jet bridge to board an airplane.

Gene's extreme reaction on his apparent phone call to trace Kim, comes over a fury - but it is not impossible that it is grief about the news of her demise/apparent demise.
posted by rongorongo at 7:43 AM on August 3 [1 favorite]


https://www.oakley4defenselaw.com/
posted by angrybear at 8:53 AM on August 3 [5 favorites]


Fun! I wonder what kind of email response you get when you email him, might have to do that. The supplemental materials are cute in this show.
posted by tiny frying pan at 9:11 AM on August 3


HTTPS:// ?

Anachronistic, I suppose, but necessarily so if people are going to go and visit it IRL.
posted by Grangousier at 9:15 AM on August 3 [3 favorites]


I loved the moment in the RV when Saul says something like, "are you still taking me home or are they going to find our bones out here, buried in the desert?" straight up a reference to Ozymandias, the OG poem, that is.

Something about the "Jimmy is an addict who can't help himself, and Chuck was right all along" framing really bothers me. Chuck was an abusive person who stoked his own ego by tearing Jimmy down every chance he got. He THRIVED watching Jimmy fail. He ATE IT UP when he bailed Jimmy out and got him that job in the mail room, just to show Jimmy what a big impressive lawyer he was every stinking day, and make him know his place. I see a lot of Jimmy's regressions as part self-fulfilling prophecy and part childish overreaction to being deeply hurt.

Jimmy painstakingly took care of Chuck for years. I did a rewatch somewhat recently and watching Jimmy follow Chuck's every rule (put the cell phone in the mailbox, use oil lamps), never ONCE get angry at Chuck for his mental health condition or claim that he was faking it to his face even after the doctor tried to have him committed, and tenderly change coolers full of ice and put in hot dogs and bread broke my heart. Jimmy worked tirelessly to impress Chuck, to show him he could do better, but it was never good enough for him. Jimmy brought in the Sandpiper case with shady tactics but Chuck had absolutely no scruples about stealing that case out from under him and taking it to HHM, then telling Jimmy in no uncertain terms that his University of American Samoa law degree was beneath his contempt.

I can't help but believe that if Chuck had had faith in Jimmy, Jimmy could have had faith in Jimmy. "If people are going to think the worst of me, then I might as well be the worst I can be."

Anyway, this episode just made me deeply sad. Jimmy/Saul/Gene is a story about shouting a lie ("my dad was a sucker for being kind," "trusting people deserve to be ripped off," "we can pretend Howard's murder never happened," "it doesn't matter if we rip off a man with cancer") to cover up your conscience. You could see in Gene's eyes that the man at the bar having cancer tripped something in him, but he's so broken from an inability to be vulnerable that he lashes out in the opposite direction to crush any kind instincts. I would love to see an ending where Gene finally allowed himself to feel things and interact with people authentically, and I think prison may be a good place for that.
posted by petiteviolette at 4:30 PM on August 3 [18 favorites]


Something about the "Jimmy is an addict who can't help himself, and Chuck was right all along" framing really bothers me.

[...]

Jimmy/Saul/Gene is a story about shouting a lie ("my dad was a sucker for being kind," "trusting people deserve to be ripped off," "we can pretend Howard's murder never happened," "it doesn't matter if we rip off a man with cancer") to cover up your conscience.


I dunno. I think it's more that Jimmy is an addict because everyone in his life, from his perspective, lets him down in the end, so he becomes both a cynic and a hedonist. Walter White wanted everyone to admit he was better, but Jimmy seems to want everyone to like him and validate him.

I think the show could support this argument. It starts with his dad ignoring his warnings as a child, and proceeds in his adult life through Howard, Chuck, and Davis. And there's the way people like the Kettlemans, Mike, and others consistently dismiss him or diminish him.

The final catalyst for becoming nothing more than Saul Goodman here seems to be that Kim, the one person he really thought "got" him and was in his corner, leaves him because she feels they're "poison" when they're together. The person he let in more than just about anyone else walks away, and does so saying, essentially, that what links them is what's wrong with them. Hearing from Chuck that he's born to be bad and that he doesn't matter is one thing; hearing from someone that they love him, but that he contributes to toxicity is worse.

There's also Marco, probably the one positive relationship he ever had...but Marco was his buddy because they were running cons together, and Jimmy tries to model his relationship with Kim on that to some extent. So Kim's response cuts even more deeply; the way his other mutually affirming relationship worked is suddenly toxic and wrong?

The other thing about Jimmy is that he tends to respond to what he sees as betrayal or invalidation by using the con to express his anger in the form of contempt. By making other people his mark, he not only gets his own back, but degrades the person he's mad at. So he starts as a kid by stealing from his dad, since his dad seems to almost want to be stolen from. When the Kettlemans reject him as a lawyer and talk down to him, his first move is to orchestrate a con game to force them to take him on as their representative.

So when he was mad at Chuck for hurting him deeply, he targeted Chuck, and then every member of the "respectable" legal establishment he met. And in the case of Kim, he can't quite bring himself to be mad at her, so his hurt is redirected into a general contempt aimed at the world instead, in the person of Saul Goodman. He takes what he was already mad at -- the "legitimate"legal establishment that kept him down, in his eyes -- and he goes fully to war with it, making it a mockery as much and as often as he can.

Saul is also Jimmy without any capacity to form or want to form a real, emotionally intimate bond ever again. When has that ever worked out for him? He hires sex workers because it's ultimately a transaction, and so it's safe. (Notably, he's generally pretty professional and polite to sex workers, too.)

So while Jimmy is addicted to the con, it's because the addiction is his way of fixing a different problem while denying that deeper problem is there. And Chuck is not right, in no small part because he's a big part of what caused the underlying emotional problem, which is what made Jimmy an addict in the first place.
posted by kewb at 4:50 PM on August 3 [6 favorites]


Re: "was that Kim he was talking to on the phone" question, I was recommended this Youtube video today which has a cleaned up audio version of the things you almost hear during that scene. Don't want to give it away if you consider this a spoiler.
posted by neustile at 7:19 PM on August 3 [5 favorites]


Does anyone know if there's an updated BB/BCS timeline like this one, but maybe even more intricate?
posted by blueberry at 9:26 PM on August 3


The end of an ABQ world that ranged from vibrant to garish color.

I've been thinking about how after Gene's first scam at the department store he looks longingly at a florid and colorful Saul-type shirt and tie- and then rejects them. The audience is left thinking okay, he's not going back to Saul and his cons, but instead what we get is Gene not only rejecting Saul and his sort of twisted service to the little guy, but going to an even darker place. He's not ripping off department stores (a victimless crime), but actively ruining the lives of ordinary people by drugging and stealing their information. It's not clever or amusing, and he's definitely not Sticking It to The Man. Saul's lost all his investments, it's possible any hopes of reuniting with Kim have been dashed, and Gene really doesn't give a fuck any more.
posted by oneirodynia at 10:34 PM on August 3 [4 favorites]


On the most direct level, all those Frankenstein references echo that marvelous, attention-getting dissolve from the mock grave Jesse an Walter dug for Saul Goodman a few years ago to Gene Takavic, now truly Saul resurrected, awake in bed, jolted back to life by the buzzy anticipation of the pleasures of Saul Goodman's glee at the successful scam.

Courtney's Reviews has a nice summary of all the (many!) the Frankenstein/Golem/Ozymandius references in this episode. We have the idea of somebody turning into a monster, the idea of a monster made from the sum of parts come to life - but also of monsters that seek improvement and betterment. Myself, I always like the entomology of "monster" which is largely "the thing that we warned you about" - hence the importance of the relationship between a monster an its creator. Saul/Gene/Jimmy is both the creator and the monster here.
posted by rongorongo at 12:22 AM on August 4 [6 favorites]


So while Jimmy is addicted to the con, it's because the addiction is his way of fixing a different problem while denying that deeper problem is there. And Chuck is not right, in no small part because he's a big part of what caused the underlying emotional problem, which is what made Jimmy an addict in the first place.

I wholeheartedly agree with this statement, and I don't think our takes are mutually exclusive. Jimmy's behavior is an unhealthy coping mechanism taken to extremes. I don't believe he can never change. The most hopeful ending for Gene, to me, is for him to want to change and for someone to believe that he can. I wonder what could have happened for him if he had seen the therapist Kim recommended? What if he'd never run into Howard in that bathroom at the courthouse? (He thought to himself, ugh, Howard is in therapy, and I never want to be like him. Let's just rip up this post-it!)

"Men will run an elaborate multi-month con instead of going to therapy."
posted by petiteviolette at 9:00 AM on August 4 [5 favorites]




I would not be surprised if the phone call was withheld because we'll hear it from Kim's viewpoint.

I've enjoyed the last few episodes. I think these episodes feel necessary because throughout this show, no matter how dark Jimmy gets, it makes you feel like - he might be redeemable, this isn't truly who he is. That maybe Saul was an act or Gene might be an escape. Or that Kim's absence is to blame. I think these last few episodes have been necessary to hammer home that this is, in fact, who Jimmy is and chooses to be, all on his own.

I think the contrast it will ultimately make with Kim is that both characters have dark impulses but she's the one who was able to stop deluding herself and say, no more. Jimmy knew scamming the guy with cancer was wrong, you can see him realize it, but he chooses to do it anyway. Told himself, "it's just a sob story." It's true the call with Kim triggered him, but in the same way he lashed out against Howard because he couldn't otherwise acknowledge his grief at Chuck's death. The same way he tried to delude himself that Howard's death wouldn't haunt them. His capacity for self-delusion is extremely strong... makes sense as a tragic flaw for a character with a silver tongue.
posted by Emily's Fist at 3:58 PM on August 4 [6 favorites]


Something about the "Jimmy is an addict who can't help himself, and Chuck was right all along" framing really bothers me.

As the person who left the comment that (I think!) you're referring to, I want to make it clear that this isn't how I see Jimmy, which is why I'd rather the show not end on a note that even hints that that's the case.

Personally, I'd like this to end on a good note, partly because I thought the whole idea of purgatory is that eventually you get to suffer your way into heaven—at least, that's the interpretation I like the most—and partly because "people can't change" is my least favorite cynical TV trope. (Not least because David Chase and Matt Weiner, the two people who most get credited for "inventing" the idea, have both vehemently protested the idea that their characters hadn't changed.)
posted by Tom Hanks Cannot Be Trusted at 4:59 PM on August 4 [2 favorites]


His capacity for self-delusion is extremely strong... makes sense as a tragic flaw for a character with a silver tongue.

To quote William S. Burroughs, who knew from addiction: "Hustlers of the world, there is one mark you cannot beat: The mark inside."
posted by kewb at 5:24 PM on August 4 [6 favorites]


Sure the identity theft operation is heinous, but that tiny sliver of the BB timeframe damns Saul for creating the monster Walt became and for all the death and destruction in its wake (which continues to the Gene timeframe). Comparatively speaking, ruining the credit rating of a cancer patient is practically shoplifting.
posted by whuppy at 8:25 PM on August 4 [4 favorites]


Outstanding episode discussion!
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 11:13 PM on August 4 [2 favorites]


wow, I just heard that last part of my comment in Saul's voice. Somebody help me.
posted by whuppy at 7:11 AM on August 5 [3 favorites]


and partly because "people can't change" is my least favorite cynical TV trope

Exactly. I think we agree. Believing that goodness is innate or easily definable is a really harmful way to look at humanity, and since life imitates art, it can have real world consequences to believe this even about fictional characters.

I was not referring to your comment, btw, it's just an attitude I've seen in the fan sphere that bothers me. Some want to reduce Jimmy's character to "Chuck was right about him all along" and I think that says something really unpleasant and untrue about people who do bad things or make bad decisions. Anyone can change with help and time. Even Jimmy.
posted by petiteviolette at 9:41 AM on August 5 [1 favorite]


Sidebar: kittens for breakfast wrote: [El Camino] sure seems to think it's pretty great when [Jesse] goes full Heisenberg and kills a garage full of dudes.

But he doesn't, though; he fires at the two dudes that are shooting at him (after waiting for the innocents to leave). Then he lets the other guys go. And I don't think the movie treats any of it as great.
posted by transient at 6:20 PM on August 5 [1 favorite]


Does anyone know if there's an updated BB/BCS timeline

the Ringer’s Johanna Robinson has said she was assigned to write a timeline of breaking bad in the final season, couldn’t do it, somehow talked to Gilligan and he was like: yeah things might not add up.

One thing I hear the writer of this exposed say is that this episode was 8-10 months after Saul leaving Abaqurque, a bit shorter than I had thought.
posted by shothotbot at 9:41 PM on August 5 [1 favorite]


Scam detail plots don't interest me at all. Disliked Squid Game for the same reason.

I noticed a similar falling-flat with Breaking Bad in the last season as well, except for the kidnapping of Holly and Skyler's magnificent Anna Magnani moment running after the fleeing Walt.

I'll still watch till the end because I noticed some dramatic tension toward the end of the episode that is interesting, and because this is my favorite show ever. Hope the Carol Burnett-as-whistleblower possibility bears fruit.
posted by Sheydem-tants at 1:12 AM on August 6 [1 favorite]


Also: did anyone else notice that the DP (or perhaps postprod) replaced Breaking Bad's Albuquerque of brilliant blue skies and intense sunlight with a landscape rendered in a much duller, autumnal palette?

The "natural light" is almost like what you'd see at the Getty in LA at the end of the day, but more somber.
posted by Sheydem-tants at 1:26 AM on August 6


Hi folks, just a quick plot question - did Kim ever face in blowback for not showing up to the meeting that Cliff Main was talking about to help set up a criminal justice non-profit type thing which she ditched when the Howard plan was going wrong? I would have assumed that that would have looked a little fishy, especially given what happened to Howard; Howard and eventually Howard's wife voiced suspicions to Cliff about Jimmy's involvement in what was happening to him, so wouldn't that have been a bit of an uncharacteristic detail for Kim?
posted by nightcoast at 3:58 PM on August 7 [3 favorites]


Late to this episode but finally watched it. And frustrated at another Omaha caper episode. I appreciate the discussion here, all the insight into what this says about Gene's character. The parallels to Walter White's journey are nice. (For me it was the way Gene has a mustache similar to White's, coupled with the BCS flashback of Saul making fun of that mustache). But mostly I just don't care. At least we got a little update on Kim; she's alive!

Shout out to the cinematography though, they are doing a very nice job with the black and white exposures. Also lots of Hitchcock-style angles and shadows. It feels a little self indulgent but it's fun.

Very mystified by the break-in guy. Who brings a dog into a home when they're breaking in? And what an incredibly well trained dog; sits quietly, not at all flustered to be in a strange house. It's lucky none of the marks have a dog or a cat of their own. But that's the silliest question on the cons. How is Viktor finding these marks? How does he convince them to go out for drinks; he's not playing like a potential client. And how many dive bars where Viktor is sure he won't be seen does Omaha have?
posted by Nelson at 7:17 PM on August 8 [2 favorites]


And what an incredibly well trained dog; sits quietly, not at all flustered to be in a strange house. It's lucky none of the marks have a dog or a cat of their own.

It’s not impossible for a dog to be trained that well. I live in a country where that kind of obedience is expected of all dogs. I walk my cat on a leash and have seen dogs being walk off leash that absolutely obey their owners, even when they see a cat, even fairly close.

Still, impressive dog and dog owner.

Anyways…I don’t like that they kind of skipped the slide into the Saul we know. Someone above said it’s like they stopped a block away and that’s exactly it. Instead of more Slippin Jimmy capers, I would have liked to see him “break bad” into Saul after Kim left.
posted by LizBoBiz at 12:29 PM on August 9 [1 favorite]


I forgot to celebrate learning that Huell is not still waiting!
posted by rhizome at 12:58 PM on August 9 [1 favorite]


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