Better Call Saul: Rico
March 23, 2015 9:17 PM - Season 1, Episode 8 - Subscribe

Jimmy's deep dive into "elder law" gets messy.

We learn more about Jimmy's entree to a legal career. Hamlin reveals himself a bit more, and we also see where Kim stands vs. HMM after the Kettlemans get handed over.

Mike offers some financial advice to his daughter in law and inquires about some professional opportunities.

Chuck steps in to take Jimmy's case to the next level and seems like he's back in his element. But something's not right.
posted by mandolin conspiracy (67 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Sorry. HHM.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 9:37 PM on March 23, 2015


I'm officially running out of superlatives for this show when talking to friends.

I also think this might be the most Breaking Bad-like episode of the season, with Jimmy and Chuck teaming up in an almost Walt and Jesse kind of way to work the Sandpiper case.

Gilligan's team's cinematography is always outstanding, but this one was really special. I felt like I could smell the garbage when Jimmy was in the dumpster, and the shot of him getting out and then seeing the recycling bin was just perfect.

I'm not totally sure about the ending -- it looks like Chuck just get so engrossed in the work that he forgot about his condition, but does that mean he was faking it and he'll have to try to explain it, or that he simply recognizes he's "cured"? I also wonder if his code being used to do all the printouts is going to set up some kind of big season-ending showdown with HHM.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:40 PM on March 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


tonycpsu: "with Jimmy and Chuck teaming up in an almost Walt and Jesse kind of way to work the Sandpiper case"

absolutely, i felt reminded of those two as well.
plus the hug they shared and jimmy's elation seeing they will be working together really gave me a fuzzy feeling in my stomach. <3
posted by bigendian at 10:25 PM on March 23, 2015


This show is just so good. It's quality from front to end. What I think I like most about it is that it commits to the "long scene." I don't have a good way of explaining this except to say that it isn't a bunch of short clips linked together like the MTV generation, but it commits to a scene and really digs into it. It drags out a scene in a good way, asking you to see through to the end a lot of little moments that generally have a great payoff. These payoffs are all linked together to make a great show.
posted by SpacemanStix at 11:24 PM on March 23, 2015 [9 favorites]


I loved how they shot that scene in which Hamlin was telling Jimmy there wasn't a place for him at the firm, and all you could hear was the copy machine. Well, that and my heart breaking for Jimmy, who is clearly very talented and would have made an amazing hardworking associate.

This show really hits the nail on the head about the frustrations of the business of law, particularly the prestige whoredom.
posted by Dr. Zira at 5:46 AM on March 24, 2015 [18 favorites]


This show really hits the nail on the head about the frustrations of the business of law, particularly the prestige whoredom.

I also thought the little kerfuffle over "whose billing code do we use" was a nice added touch of versimilitude.

Obviously, we know the significance of Howard's, at least for Jimmy, but I was looking through important events in 1868 to see what the significance of Chuck's is. I've seen people suggest the ratification of the 14th amendment to the US constitution.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 7:38 AM on March 24, 2015 [5 favorites]


Jimmy has a complicated relationship with trash receptables.
posted by isthmus at 9:00 AM on March 24, 2015 [7 favorites]


Abon Sapi: that scene was in a flashback, when his brother hadn't left yet.

Anyhow, this was a great episode! It was nice to see Mike get to hang out with his grandkid, Chuck accidentally bask in the sunlight, and to see how Jimmy passed the bar exam (even if it didn't work out for him how he wanted).
posted by destructive cactus at 9:21 AM on March 24, 2015


Was that 'The Truth,' the Handsome Boy Modeling School instrumental, or 'Coffee Cold,' the Galt McDermot song it samples? Sepinwall said the former, and then amended it to the latter--me, I'm not sure.
posted by box at 11:00 AM on March 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


This episode made me feel so sad for Jimmy, knowing that it has to go wrong one way or another. Up until the end, my guess was that HHM would take over the case and push Jimmy out because it's so big. The end, though, made me wonder if Chuck will drop out of it, leaving Jimmy over his head -- JImmy's better than people give him credit for, but with Chuck's settlement demand and its RICO scope, this is way more than Jimmy is prepared to handle. And I can see Chuck dropping out in one of two ways, both with him being effectively incompetent. Either he relapses into an extreme reaction from being outside, or this makes him realize that he needs some psychiatric care. Honestly, though, the opposing firm surely would have objected to Chuck's competency as counsel to the court, regardless.

The dumpster scene made me more uncomfortable than almost anything else I've watched on television. Equal even to the scene on The Americans where they show them breaking the bones of a corpse to fit it into a suitcase. I don't feel like I'm that fastidious, but I must be more than I think I am.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 2:40 PM on March 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


Screaming (internally) over Jimmy going out to see Chuck. Jimmy knows that Chuck's condition is something that he's convinced himself of, right? And that Jimmy's behavior has an effect on how well or poorly Chuck's doing? So once he lets Chuck see him, it was like gravity suddenly acting on a cartoon character who realizes belatedly that he stepped off a cliff.
posted by vaghjar at 2:48 PM on March 24, 2015 [8 favorites]


My heart breaks for both hyper-competent Chuck and our somewhat inept, yet earnestly hardworking Jimmy and the inevitable outcome of their class action lawsuit against Sandpiper. It's already been telegraphed 8 ways to Sunday, and I dread/look forward to watching the whole thing unravel.

My husband and I were remarking on how every character in this show is somehow doomed, and yet, each individual scene is like the finest steak, the rarest wine, the richest slice of chocolate cake we've ever savored. It's not schadenfreude, empathy or pity we feel, but some rarefied combination of emotions that makes this show so addictive.

It better rain Emmys on BCS when the time comes, because obviously. Plus it's not sci-fi or horror, though if by some miracle Orphan Black gets nominated against BCS in any category? [Sophie's Choice reference goes here]
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 4:11 PM on March 24, 2015 [18 favorites]


Yeah and the tragedy of Chuck waking up at that moment, because we know it will go south again. Jimmy was set to collect as much as he'd got from the Kettlemans only effortlessly and totes legit when Chuck came up from his coma to go for the big game. They left it very open how it will pan out now that Chuck has realized he's out in the sunlight without the "reaction." Next ep will be big.
posted by localroger at 4:29 PM on March 24, 2015 [6 favorites]


This was a great episode. Really great moments. I loved the slam-you-over-the-head contrast between Jimmy in the dumpster, pretending to be at the opera, talking to the fancy lawyer in his fancy office. It's like that thing that comedy shows like to do a lot lately which is come up with a premise, introduce it mildly, and iterate over it several times ramping up until you're at the most extreme possible version of it. We have been iterating over various iterations of Jimmy's schtick and now hit the most extreme version yet.

I thought it was great how they used the absence of the sound cues to tell us that Chuck was okay and not freaking out. I was sitting there bracing myself for the BRRRRAAAANNGGGGGGGGAANNGGGG.

I realized that I thought last week when he left the boxes at Chuck's that he was just establishing that he had legit jobs going on. I missed that he was actually conning Chuck into processing them. Did anyone else pick up on that last week?

I had 2 questions though:
1. Wouldn't Chuck know it was improper to use his code for the printouts? It doesn't seem like a detail he would miss. But then they did note that he missed all these odd billings in the wills he processed for Jimmy, setting up that he was starting to miss things? But why would the invoices be a part of the paperwork in the wills?

2. The daughter-in-law said she told the Philly cops about the money, so why didn't they confiscate it as evidence? Why does she still have it? And couldn't she get in trouble for spending it?

3. Did Breaking Bad viewers already know what set Mike down this dark path (feeling responsible for his son's murder so doing evil henchman freelance work to support his daughter in law)?
posted by bleep at 9:53 PM on March 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


Also, I wish Kerry Condon was doing her actual accent. It's distracting because every time she talks I can only think "I know you're doing an accent and it's so pointless..."
posted by bleep at 9:58 PM on March 24, 2015


I missed that he was actually conning Chuck into processing them. Did anyone else pick up on that last week?

We picked up on that in our house, though we figured it was less conning Chuck and more giving him something to work on. Jimmy definitely cares a lot for Chuck, and, as we saw in this episode, Chuck seems to do a bit better when he's working on something.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 10:45 PM on March 24, 2015 [5 favorites]


Additionally, since Chuck went through and processed Jimmy's papers and reassembled the shredded documents (not to mention the attempts to train himself to withstand being outside his home), it looks like he really wants to be productive, to feel useful and capable again.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 10:49 PM on March 24, 2015


Oh ya, definitely agree that Chuck was doing it willingly out of boredom and a real desire to be useful/get better. I guess I just missed that they were unfinished and Jimmy knew Chuck would finish them.
posted by bleep at 11:10 PM on March 24, 2015


I love how they did a whole montage suggesting Jimmy spent all night with the shredded documents, and he has about 5 pieces lined up in the end. It's not until Chuck gets to work on them that they see any real progress...
posted by mmoncur at 1:48 AM on March 25, 2015 [5 favorites]


Was that 'The Truth,' the Handsome Boy Modeling School instrumental, or 'Coffee Cold,' the Galt McDermot song it samples?

On the podcast they say it was Coffee Cold.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 3:21 AM on March 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Again with the sound editing - the screech of the mail cart, the thunder of the copier, the intense silence in Chuck's house. So good! So good! I also love the setup of so many of the shots. At the end of the parking lot scene when Mike takes the call from his DIL (and waves a customer through, which was a lovely callback and hilarious in its own right), the camera pulls way back and holds on him in the background, focusing on the yellow concrete ramparts and poles in the front. I wanted to take a picture of the TV, it was so beautiful.

When Chuck went outside without thinking (as often happens with deep-seated fears), my heart leapt, and I thought the cliffhanger - will he revert? Accept that he's better? - was brilliant.

And how awesome was it to see Jimmy get kissed? Squeeeee!

I can't remember the last time I enjoyed a TV show this much. I was an avid BB fan, but this is in a whole other league. It's magnificent.
posted by flyingsquirrel at 4:42 AM on March 25, 2015 [12 favorites]


3. Did Breaking Bad viewers already know what set Mike down this dark path (feeling responsible for his son's murder so doing evil henchman freelance work to support his daughter in law)?

In interviews, Jonathan Banks has said that he came up with the idea that Mike was motivated by guilt over something that happened to his son. It was just his own backstory for the character, and it was never directly addressed in BB. Gilligan and/or Peter Gould expanded on the idea for BCS.
posted by gimli at 5:02 AM on March 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


Again with the sound editing - the screech of the mail cart, the thunder of the copier, the intense silence in Chuck's house. So good! So good!

The cold open of the last episode was like that, too! The hum of the vending machine. Nothing says "waiting in the hallway of an institutional public building you'd rather not be in" like that sound.

It's pretty fabulous. Great sound editing that's as remarkable for what they decide to leave out as it is for what they decide to include.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 7:13 AM on March 25, 2015 [5 favorites]


One thing that keeps confusing me: why is Michael Mando still in the opening credits? It seems like they wrote the part for him in the first couple episodes and then when in another direction. Unless he's going to come back in the finale, which I suppose is possible.

I find his name there to be a distraction, like I'm expecting him to show up in every episode.
posted by bondcliff at 8:09 AM on March 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm thinking we'll see a lot of Mando in the next two episodes. He's definitely been established as a main character.
posted by zixyer at 8:54 AM on March 25, 2015


Interesting tidbit: Hydrox cookie production was suspended between 1999 and 2008. It's likely an unintentional anachronism for the 2002 setting, but Jimmy's client giving him stale/stockpiled cookies wouldn't be out of character either.
posted by cardboard at 9:28 AM on March 25, 2015 [11 favorites]


I'm looking forward to the episode entitled "Nando", where Jimmy and the gang just have interesting non-sequitur conversations over a platter of piri-piri.
posted by mrjohnmuller at 9:46 AM on March 25, 2015 [5 favorites]


I thought the Hydrox were a nice touch. They're a knock-off Oreo, the exact sort of thing my elderly mother would buy because she had a coupon and because they're "just as good" as the name brand. Just like all that god-awful Stop and Shop brand soda she used to buy.
posted by bondcliff at 10:02 AM on March 25, 2015 [4 favorites]


This show is arcing to such a tragic place. Jimmy so, so badly wants to be a good person. That scene where he won't take the lady's last $40? Heartwrenching. And the stuff with his brother is so sweet, and it's going to be so hard to watch it all implode, which it absolutely has to do.

Unless ... just like there are multiple Marvel universes, what if Gilligan & co. wrote this show in a universe where Breaking Bad never happens? Not the case, of course, but that would be an interesting thought experiment.
posted by jbickers at 10:11 AM on March 25, 2015 [4 favorites]


Actually, Oreos are a knock-off of Hydrox.
posted by ShooBoo at 11:40 AM on March 25, 2015 [13 favorites]


I thought the Hydrox were a nice touch. They're a knock-off Oreo, the exact sort of thing my elderly mother would buy because she had a coupon and because they're "just as good" as the name brand. Just like all that god-awful Stop and Shop brand soda she used to buy.

Treats at my grandmother's house were always Hydrox cookies, the store-brand ice cream that came in a square box, and RC Cola. Hydrox in this episode seemed exactly right to me, even if they were three years old. The character probably grabbed them off the discontinued/discount rack.

I like this show more and more every week. It's hard not to love a guy a did an entire JD via distance learning while working in a mail room and then passed the bar with no help from his hotshot attorney big brother. Jimmy McGill is a great character.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 12:04 PM on March 25, 2015 [11 favorites]


I like Mike's daughter-in-law, Stacey, less and less every time I see her. The manipulative "drop in the bucket" statement to Mike immediately after he tells her to spend the ill-gotten money really rubbed me the wrong way. She knows he's so desperate for redemption and a real relationship with his granddaughter and she uses that information to set the stage for future cash requests. Doesn't she have death benefit money as well as her husband's pension funds? I suppose we need a motivating factor for Mike to return to a life of crooked dealings, but I'm really starting to detest her. She's so unsympathetic.

I'm worried that we're going to start seeing how Kim and Saul's friendship starts to crack once she's forced to safeguard her own career and be used as a pawn to convince Saul that he needs to be a team player for the benefit of his brother's firm. Of course, I hope I'm wrong in my reading of upcoming scenes, but I can't help but feel that the other shoe is getting ready to drop with their relationship. Plus, that flashback kiss when she reads Saul's bar exam results letter. This is sure to be a heartbreaker.

I'm happy that Jimmy has figured out a way to encourage a cure for his brother through Tom Sawyer antics rather than forced hospitalization. He's got such a good, sweet heart under all of the other complications.
posted by quince at 12:20 PM on March 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


This brilliance of this show's production is opening my eyes to the power of the story teller over the story content. When I was watching Breaking Bad, I knew the story-telling goal was the slow rise and fall of Walter White as he turned "bad." And while I knew I loved the show for the acting and writing as well, I attributed a lot of it's brilliance to the content of the story. But Better Call Saul is showing that with the VG team, their writing staff, and their ability to find great actors, it almost doesn't matter what the original concept of the story is- it will be awesome to watch anyways. That said, I think the underlying story of BCS is starting to take shape, but I would be hooked even if it was still just Jimmy McGill futzing around senior homes.
posted by p3t3 at 4:58 PM on March 25, 2015 [5 favorites]


So how's he going to get screwed? We know he's getting screwed somehow. Case fails, or HHM somehow takes it over -- Kim maybe being the one to do it? -- because they used Chuck's code?
posted by jeather at 5:48 PM on March 25, 2015


I wonder if Chuck will decide he's well enough to go back to work and take the RICO case with him back to HHM, cutting Jimmy out.

Ten episodes feels very short, too short.
posted by gladly at 6:24 PM on March 25, 2015 [4 favorites]


I like this show more and more every week. It's hard not to love a guy a did an entire JD via distance learning while working in a mail room and then passed the bar with no help from his hotshot attorney big brother.

"Well, are you proud of me?"

Man, that hit me right in the heart.
posted by SpacemanStix at 6:29 PM on March 25, 2015 [15 favorites]


"This brilliance of this show's production is opening my eyes to the power of the story teller over the story content."

The writing is very, very good and I think it's very rare that the rest of the creative team can overcome bad writing. In this case, that's not an issue.

But, yeah, I'm just flabbergasted at how consistently excellent are the photography, direction, editing, and sound design -- and not just in a workmanlike way (which is impressive but often underappreciated), but in a deep, creative way. This is a very high quality show; prestige quality.

How much of the production team is BB alumni? I have the impression of talented professionals who have honed their craft within the context of a specific working environment and vision.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 6:39 PM on March 25, 2015 [5 favorites]


Gosh, everything about this episode was amazing and spectacular and wonderful, and there's a lot to be said about all the Jimmy/Charles interactions, but nothing made my heart thrill with the pleasure of anticipation like the scene where Mike is idly chatting with the vet about the dog, and you know they're both beating around the bush until the subject of Work comes up, and it's like watching a lonnnnng string of mozzarella stretch from a pizza and wondering when it's going to finally separate and snap back and send tiny spatters of sauce all over your shirt
posted by Greg Nog at 8:30 PM on March 25, 2015 [9 favorites]



The writing is very, very good and I think it's very rare that the rest of the creative team can overcome bad writing. In this case, that's not an issue.


Yeah, I didn't choose the best metaphor in "story-telling" vs "story," because I think the writing is a part of their magic. But perhaps another way to look at it is the macro/premise level of the show vs the micro/dialogue level. I think the latter is where Gilligan's team really excels, although they have a great track record for the former as well. I'm convinced they could make a compelling show out of any given premise at this point.
posted by p3t3 at 8:40 PM on March 25, 2015


I see their lawsuit shitting the bed in the following order:

1. Sandpiper goes to trial, and HHM see Chuck may be competent to practice law again.

2. They tell him as much, and use Kim doing all the casework printing for Jimmy under Chuck's billing code for leverage. Either Chuck comes back full time as partner or HHM gets a cut and junior prosecutor from the firm added -- sadly, this will probably be Kim -- and thus Jimmy is delivered the one-two betrayal punch.

3. The case is a lock but something ruins it (any number of skeletons in everyone's closet could trigger this outcome, even the Kellermans).

4. Kim is made partner, Chuck dies or is institutionalized and the scandal hits the paper.

5. Jimmy somehow ducks media infamy by quitting the trial before it goes down in flames, but must renounce the McGill name forever professionally.

6. Everyone loses -- except us viewers profit!
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 9:46 PM on March 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


She knows he's so desperate for redemption and a real relationship with his granddaughter and she uses that information to set the stage for future cash requests. Doesn't she have death benefit money as well as her husband's pension funds?

Maybe she had a death benefit, but she moved across the country to start over (which is not cheap). She bought a house and a car (neither of which she probably had in Philadelphia), both pretty modest. Now she's a single mom raising her daughter alone.

Kids are expensive. Daycare in my small Midwestern town costs me more than my mortgage.

Not saying that I'm a big fan of the character, but honestly it's the actress I don't like too well. Which is too bad, given that she's only one of a couple of female characters on this show with a name.
posted by aabbbiee at 7:50 AM on March 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


Did Breaking Bad viewers already know what set Mike down this dark path

No; Mike was presented in media res, with only a couple of sketches of Philly-cop backstory. (He tells Walt a "back when I was a cop" story in Half Measures that suggest he was on the hard-nosed/possibly-dirty shade of policing; and Hank and Gomez's questioning of him suggests that he left the force under somewhat of a shadow.)

He's stashing money away for his grand-daughter in Breaking Bad, but again without any backstory explanation: at least in part, I suspect, because they quite enjoyed filming scenes of hard-nosed Mike playing Hungry Hungry Hippos.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 8:08 AM on March 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


She knows he's so desperate for redemption and a real relationship with his granddaughter and she uses that information to set the stage for future cash requests.

Or, you know, she's actually desperate for money. I'm not sure if it's that the writers make their female characters somewhat unsympathetic (at first, or sometimes the entire time) or if it's just that as a culture we are inclined to give male characters a pass on things that we wouldn't give female characters a pass for.
posted by jeather at 8:26 AM on March 26, 2015 [9 favorites]


My problem with Stacey isn't that she may legitimately need money, it's that she chooses to be manipulative and leverages Mike's wounds when she could just as easily be honest about her needs and ask for help directly. Clearly Mike wants to devote himself to the well being of his granddaughter, why not just be direct in asking for what is needed instead of doing a manipulative end run?

I also find it upsetting that there aren't more female characters who are well-developed or written in a more nuanced way so that they are sympathetic, or at least offer a point of identification even if they're problematic. Maybe it's also a casting issue. I'm hanging every hope and dream on Kim even though it's been clearly telegraphed that her friendship with Saul is doomed.
posted by quince at 10:37 AM on March 26, 2015


Or she just found out that her father-in-law was on the take, that her husband had agreed to do the same but too slowly and so his partners killed him, so her FIL killed them in return, and she's shocked and a bit scared about what might happen next. Maybe she isn't wording things in the exact best way, but we've got way too little information to say "she's deliberately manipulating Mike into working for criminals because she wants money". Maybe this will turn out to be the case, but it's putting an awful lot of negative light on someone who actually hasn't done anything wrong.

Something terrible will happen with or to Kim -- not sure what yet, but I'm hoping it doesn't make her entirely unsympathetic. Stacey seems too tangential to be that important in the future, and we just don't have any female characters (again) to fill out other roles.
posted by jeather at 11:05 AM on March 26, 2015 [4 favorites]


I'm not calling anyone out here, but going by some of the grumbling I've read elsewhere, I can't help but be reminded of how people reacted to the female characters in BB when they acted like actual complex human beings. Stacey's in a horrible situation, still grieving, and just starting to process what Mike revealed to her. I have a feeling that when Kim is faced with a horrible set of choices and opts for one that works best for her instead of Jimmy, she's going to end up almost as hated as Skyler on most message boards, even if the writers do a great job of presenting her perspective.
posted by gimli at 3:25 PM on March 26, 2015 [5 favorites]


I loved Skyler! I didn't understand why there was so much hate for her on BB. I think Kim will remain sympathetic. They've done a good job of developing her and I can't see how they could undo all of that now.
posted by quince at 3:46 PM on March 26, 2015


Well, that and my heart breaking for Jimmy, who is clearly very talented and would have made an amazing hardworking associate.

See, I'd argue this episode says the opposite. Watch the present-day scenes, and you see that Jimmy doing legwork = Jimmy getting frustrated and worn out and crashing on the couch a lot. Chuck reassembling the documents = hours of patient, focused, painstaking work. Even the climactic scene relies on Chuck, who's clearly spent the day working the case, still having the juice to get the documents from the car himself rather than wait on his worn-down brother. And consider why Jimmy has his awful trip into the dumpster: he just didn't take a moment to look around properly and notice the recycling bin only a few feet away. Jimmy is still used to the flashy, short-term, ego-boosting moment where showmanship and semi-improvisational planning pay off *fast*.

Stacy and Mike strike me as a similar dynamic, but with an added twist. Stacy probably does have a vague sense of what Mike will do, but my reading is that she sees him as guilty (much as the Kettlemans saw Jimmy as "the kind of lawyer only guilty people hire"). She is also probably honestly in need of the money, so she's making a compromise. If Mike says spend the money, that's on him, not her. If Mike does something she doesn't *quite* know about and it keeps her child housed and clothed and fed, then that's what needs to happen. As long as she doesn't really know about it, she's not doing anything wrong. It might not even be conscious in that sense.

One of the brilliant elements of this show, for me, is that the lawyers are generally honest in their professional dealings and speak the truth....it's everyday life where people lie as a matter of routine, to themselves and to others. It's the opposite of what every lazy joke tells us. Jimmy going straight and being honest is Jimmy becoming a real lawyer; Jimmy slipping is Jimmy only playing at being a lawyer and really pulling a con. And part of why Hamlin seems so sleazy is that he's much more of a businessman and a self-promoter than a practicing lawyer. (Indeed, we haven't seen him actually do any legal work other than defending his own trademarks.) It's not so much that lawyers are righteous folk as that *the actual practice of the law* -- which works in part to signify something other than "legal work" -- will not sustain anyone's fantasies for very long.
posted by kewb at 4:31 PM on March 26, 2015 [11 favorites]


Indeed. I suspect the thing that will go wrong is that although Jimmy wants to help people, he will just end up making their lives messy and painful, and hopefully his clients will get away without being evicted. What Sandpiper are doing is probably standard practise (at least in BCS-world) - there was some debate on the wrongness of it, and it's just the RICO aspect that has got anyone interested. Even the victims don't seem to be that concerned - the old lady's need for $140 to pay Jimmy was, as she pointed out, very unusual. She has everything she needs, and no real use for more money. The case is a technical conundrum - like a cryptic crossword - rather than an out-and-out injustice.

If it does go to high-profile trial, I agree that HHM will be all over it like ants on a discarded lolly, and that Chuck's final betrayal will be that he demands that Jimmy no longer trade under his own name. By which time Mike will have a need for Saul's help.

The delirious jump-cut when Kim spontaneously kisses Jimmy was a wonderful touch. I suspect that it's a moment that Jimmy comes back to a lot.
posted by Grangousier at 4:58 PM on March 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


I loved Skyler! I didn't understand why there was so much hate for her on BB.

There may be some perceived personality traits that some people pushed back against. But I wonder if one reason Skyler wasn't liked wasn't because we wouldn't feel for her in real life (or think that she was justified in her responses to the unfolding tragedy), but because Walt, in the midst of his misguided desires, was still very much the primary protagonist that we felt a need to root for, or at least develop sympathies for. And we had to sympathize with Walt more than anyone else initially, as part of the story telling device, in order to feel as much conflict as possible in his eventual downfall when we really start to dislike him.

This setup creates a viewer response that sees opposition to that as being counter to where our sympathies lie. We could understand Walt, but Skyler could not. With our omniscient knowledge of the actual events, and the way that Skyler seemed to be drawing ill founded conclusions that were meant to put Walt in his place as a lying and conniving husband and father without all the information (and in this way, displays to the viewer a possible lack of imagination that could have tried to put Walt in a better light but didn't), it rankled against what we wanted to protect as observers of the drama. This set her up as being an unsympathetic antagonist to Walt's plans, while perhaps also mirroring things that we often don't like in our own relationships (lack of benefit of the doubt, etc.).
posted by SpacemanStix at 8:29 PM on March 26, 2015


She has everything she needs, and no real use for more money. The case is a technical conundrum - like a cryptic crossword - rather than an out-and-out injustice.

They were clearly overbilling for stuff, with zero oversight. That's her money, it doesn't matter if she "needs" it or not. If they weren't doing anything wrong they wouldn't have been shredding everything.

I think I will have to watch it again because I really did not pick up that Stacey was manipulating Mike to go do evil deeds for extra cash. To me she was just confiding in him that she was having a not so easy time; and why wouldn't she confide in him? She's totally alone out there and scared and he's the only ally she has. She's supposed to know that just because he was a shady cop that he's now going to go to his shady vet friend looking for henchman work? I think most normal people who aren't entrenched in these sick criminal systems wouldn't make that logical leap.
posted by bleep at 8:44 PM on March 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


I really did not pick up that Stacey was manipulating Mike to go do evil deeds for extra cash.

Yeah, it didn't read to me as some Machiavellian thing either; if anything, that she hung onto the money for so long, unsure if it was even okay to spend it, says to me that she was and is uncomfortable with spending questionable money. His conversation with Stacey seemed a little clunkily written compared to other parts of the episode, but Mike's choice to go to the vet struck me as something he did of his own accord.

Chuck and Jimmy are adorable together, and I really want to know what happens now that Chuck has gone outside without an issue. (Although out of pure curiosity - wouldn't Chuck have ancillary health problems at his age just from being housebound all the time? Maybe he runs up and down his stairs out of boredom?)
posted by tautological at 9:19 PM on March 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


Mike's a corrupt ex-cop who admitted murdering two cops, being responsible for the death of her husband and Stacey's the unsympathetic character?

Didn't you learn anything from BB?
Gilligan has form for this, you're being Skylered.
posted by fullerine at 3:52 AM on March 27, 2015 [8 favorites]


I agree with bleep and tautological- I don't think that Stacy was knowingly asking Mike to do unsavory things for money. I do think, though, that she was absolutely shaking him down. She kept his secret when the Philadelphia cops went to talk to her again, and he knows she did. I think that the subtext there was that Mike needs to help her financially because he owes her.

The thing is, though, that Mike wants to help out his family. He has resisted doing dirty work so far, but his desire to provide coupled with her awkward shakedown is what it takes for him to go back to the crooked veterinarian to find some work. And that, ostensibly, is what will lead him to Gus Fring at some point in the future.
posted by Shohn at 5:55 AM on March 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


As a tinnitus sufferer, I really hope we've seen the last of Chuck's electro-magnetic freakouts. The high-pitched tone that signifies "Chuck is having an episode" is painful.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 3:43 PM on March 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


Grangousier: Even the victims don't seem to be that concerned - the old lady's need for $140 to pay Jimmy was, as she pointed out, very unusual. She has everything she needs, and no real use for more money. The case is a technical conundrum - like a cryptic crossword - rather than an out-and-out injustice.

bleep: They were clearly overbilling for stuff, with zero oversight. That's her money, it doesn't matter if she "needs" it or not. If they weren't doing anything wrong they wouldn't have been shredding everything.

The people in the rest homes have everything they "need," but that's not the issue in question.

I'll give you that hospital costs can be "wildly overinflated," and as assisted living is in the broad realm of medical care, so you can expect items to cost more than they would if you bought them in a store. This is similar to the fact that you can pay $5 for a milkshake at a restaurant that is simply a few cold ingredients poured together and blended together, which you could make yourself for less than a dollar, but you aren't paying yourself for the labor, or factoring in the cost of distribution of ingredients, rent, utilities, and business licenses.

Still, Sandpiper went above and beyond by charging as much as they did when they have bulk purchasing power (12 facilities x however many residents per facility), and to hide that fact, they obscured the product/service being bought in cross-referenced fine print. The shredding makes it blatantly obvious they do not think their own practices would withstand public scrutiny.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:37 AM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


A key difference between BCS and BB is in the very idea behind BB, as declared in its title - Walter White is "breaking bad," a slow-motion version of Falling Down, while the transition from Jimmy to Saul not the descent from quiet, unassuming upright citizen to narcissistic drug kingpin (in his own mind) but a transition from Slipping Jimmy the con-man of clearly shady dealings to Saul Goodman, the lawyer of somewhat questionable practices, with detour into the territory of actual honest and above-board lawyer for a while.

He turned down the Kettleman's bribe, he did the grind as a public defender and is now doing a different grind as a quick turn-around will-writer and provider of basic legal services to the elderly, which also has the potential for him to turn scummy in overbilling and general duping of people who are easy to con. But he didn't - he even followed up on a concern about "allowances" for his client, which got him into this next mess, but again as an honest lawyer, not out for a quick buck from some slight-of-hand. His first dip into "criminal" law was averted by coming face-to-face with real, hard-core criminals and realizing that was not his scene (yet).
posted by filthy light thief at 7:47 AM on March 30, 2015


fullerine: Gilligan has form for this, you're being Skylered.

Fantastic point. With Walt, you're with him in his descent. Like a frog in water that slowly boils, you don't really notice the change, and accept it. You see Skyler as the irrational one, who won't embrace all that Walt is doing for his family. Part of the problem is that you don't spend as much time with her, so you don't ease into her shoes as you do with Walt.

Same here with Stacey, who is seen from the outside, while we walk with Mike, following his logical conclusions to the next bad move with him, rooting for him.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:50 AM on March 30, 2015


I gotta say I'm 100% on Stacey's side here. I think Mike is a tiresome creep.
posted by bleep at 10:32 AM on March 30, 2015


I had a nightmare that this show had been canceled.
"Shepardize as if the wolves were at the door!"
Aw what good lawyering
posted by angrycat at 11:21 AM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


he's so desperate for redemption

I couldn't help notice that in the scene with Mike in the booth there's a large sign that says "NO GRACE PERIOD."

No grace. Period.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:36 AM on March 31, 2015 [14 favorites]


the exact sort of thing my elderly mother would buy because she had a coupon and because they're "just as good" as the name brand.

(Besides, as noted upthread, Oreos being in fact the knockoff, another reason a certain subset of grandmothers bought Hydrox is that until some time in the 90s Oreos contained pig fat.)
posted by nobody at 11:16 AM on March 31, 2015


(Just before I watch this week's episode, I wanted to say that I wasn't really clear in my earlier comment - I realise that what Sandpiper are doing is wrong, and Jimmy knows it and the woman behind the desk knows it, which is why she starts shredding. But I suspect that the system is designed to let that sort of thing pass with a legalistic gesture (unless there's a technical reason not to, such as a RICO incident), and in the long run the only people who will be punished are Jimmy's clients and possibly the woman working at the desk. Sandpiper will get away with it not because they're in the right - which they're not in the least - but because they will find circumstances to get anyone litigating against them to settle. I think that what it will amount to is a lesson for Jimmy that the law isn't about right and wrong but about technicality, which will be another step closer to becoming Saul. And now I'll make a cup of tea and watch the new episode and find out I was even more wrong than usual.)
posted by Grangousier at 12:30 PM on March 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


I just rewatched this and I'm pretty sure Mike let two different cars exit the car park without payment (or stickers) while he was talking to Stacey.

I like the idea that he's not that strict at all, he just thought Jimmy was fun to mess with.
posted by mmoncur at 12:19 AM on October 3, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'm watching for the first time via Netflix and I wanted to say I'm really enjoying these threads. It's rare (at least among the shows I watch) to have a show like this that has both a sizeable Fanfare following and the element of NO ONE HAS ANY CLUE WHAT IS GOING ON. It's fun.

On a related note, I'm about 10 minutes into "Pimento," and staying away from that thread for now, obviously, but the huge uptick in comments has me thinking something big is going to happen. 68 comments on this thread, 131 on the Pimento thread.

Loving the anticipation, while wishing I had just binged it all in a weekend. Instant gratification, please.
posted by terilou at 8:19 AM on March 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


Welcome to BCS, terilou! It's such a great show. It's one of what I consider the three best series on television right now (the other two, if you care, are Fargo and Rectify).

We are not totally ignorant about what's going to happen in the show, though -- we know where Saul ends up and big parts of his story there at the end, assuming you watched BB. It's extremely impressive, though, just how much the writers have managed to create something that is, for the audience, still relatively a blank slate. We know where he ends up, but we actually have very little clue as to where he came from and how he gets there, at least when the show begins.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 8:58 AM on March 9, 2016


It's extremely impressive, though, just how much the writers have managed to create something that is, for the audience, still relatively a blank slate.

That's very true, and I think some of the magic of that is that it's examining questions that were completely outside the scope of Breaking Bad, but which nonetheless turned out to be absolutely fascinating. It's a very keen eye for where there's a story worth telling, lurking offscreen.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 1:32 AM on February 18, 2020


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