Better Call Saul: Gloves Off
March 8, 2016 8:16 AM - Season 2, Episode 4 - Subscribe

Mike has a beer and frozen carrots. Jimmy admits he made a mistake, but why should others have to pay?
posted by sylvanshine (102 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I would like Mike to have his own show too.

Me: "aren't you technically getting fingerprints all over someone else's gun Mike? Maybe it's a minor thing because this is just a TV show." Mike: wipes gun down after "sampling" it.
posted by sylvanshine at 8:23 AM on March 8, 2016 [10 favorites]


I'm enjoying how it's not just Saul's backstory, but Mike's as well. Also Tuco, Crazy Eight, and whoever else shows up. I'm guessing the drug world in ABQ is relatively small so maybe we'll run into Badger, Combo, and Skinny Pete one of these days.
posted by bondcliff at 8:34 AM on March 8, 2016 [4 favorites]


This was such an uncomfortable episode to watch. Shit's really getting real for Mike and Jimmy both.

At some point, Mike will decide that he'd rather pull a trigger than take a punch after all. And, likewise, at some point Jimmy will either decide he's okay with the collateral damage he causes to the people he cares about, or realize that those people aren't around any more.
posted by Shohn at 8:36 AM on March 8, 2016 [6 favorites]


Bondcliff, I'll go with you on that ride. I'd love to meet younger versions of all those guys!

The tears in both Odenkirk's and McKean's eyes during that "wallow in the mud with me, Chuck" extortion speech were just... transcendent. That visceral pain looked SO real, I couldn't help but tear up too. It better rain Emmys on this cast, because they're earning it in spades. The sibling resentment that bubbled, unspoken for decades, is finally out on the table, and Chuck's still pretending he's holding a Flush when Jimmy flat-out throws down a winning hand and admits he's sick of running the bluffing game with his brother. I have a grudging admiration for them both (work ethic for Chuck, ingenuity for Jimmy), but Chuck KNOWS he's an asshole and won't admit it. At least Jimmy knows what he is and admits it with the chosen few, behind closed doors.

And he sat there all night, even quietly making sure that Chuck had some water first and was okay before he laid into him. God damn, Chuck doesn't deserve a brother like Jimmy. Part of me wishes we'd get a flashback of them together as kids, and a quick look at what their folks were like. Ah well, it probably won't ever happen.

Chuck's weaselling crap with "It's not me, I swear! It's HIM!" and all this blame-directing at his partner Howard... Christ. I almost feel sorry for Howard; at the beginning of season 1 I hated Howard, then reluctantly grew to respect him for essentially taking the brunt of Jimmy's ire in order to protect Chuck and his law firm's reputation. And now, feeling pity and thanking God I'm not stuck in Howard's position, playing a chess game he clearly isn't ever allowed to win? Masterfully done, Gilligan. Masterfully done.

I was truly afraid for a minute that the local cops wouldn't show up in time to keep Mike alive, but of course the cold open reassured us that Mike was going to away battered but for the most part, relatively unharmed. Was anyone else nervous about the police response time to Mike's call?

For anyone who hasn't yet watched Breaking Bad, Tuco appears there as well.

Can't wait for the next ep, and I'll probably binge-watch the whole season again once it's over.

PS: Oh my god, Kim, I'm SO sorry these assholes are ruining your career. And it's all basically down to a dick-measuring contest between two brothers that ended up putting you in that basement. Just, damn, Kim. The breakup is inevitable, but I weep for her and all the good she tried to do for Jimmy backfiring on her instead.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 9:46 AM on March 8, 2016 [11 favorites]


Dare I say it ? Yes, this TV show is better than Breaking Bad.
posted by Pendragon at 10:17 AM on March 8, 2016 [22 favorites]


Dare I say it ? Yes, this TV show is better than Breaking Bad.

I'm in that camp too. It's just as well-crafted, but having two deeply sympathetic characters at its core makes it easier to watch.

Right now, Jimmy has deeply fucked things up for Kim, but I still feel for him. Unlike Walter White, he appreciates that his actions have the potential to hurt the people he cares about, and that the harm is his responsibility even if he didn't mean it. This episode, I feel a whole lot worse for poor Kim, but I get what she saw in him. The whole thing feels more tragic, because it really could've gone another way.

Mike's my favorite character in the entire Breaking Bad universe. (Vid contains extensive Breaking Bad spoilers.) Seeing him before he became the guy in the video is absolutely fascinating.

Can't wait for the next ep, and I'll probably binge-watch the whole season again once it's over.

Me too.
posted by mordax at 11:30 AM on March 8, 2016


I guess that's the difference, I never really liked Walter White.
posted by Pendragon at 11:32 AM on March 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


This episode showed me how much Jimmy doesn't even want the cushy job and that he's basically doing it for Kim. I have been re-watching Breaking Bad and I gotta say, the actor who plays Tuco is downright chilling. Out of a roomful of crazy, creepy psychopaths, Tuco stands out as the scariest! That laugh when he realized Mike had tricked him and he was busted, and then he punched Mike again?? Ahhhh so creepy! And how about the lie detector test? I feel like it would actually work - there's no way I'd be lying to Tuco.
posted by areaperson at 11:36 AM on March 8, 2016 [4 favorites]


Also: shout out to Emilio, who we got to see in his early drug dealing days!
Is it ok to post things we notice from the Breaking Bad universe? I don't want to post spoilers but I also think BCS viewers have already watched Breaking Bad?
posted by areaperson at 11:40 AM on March 8, 2016


To me watching Breaking Bad feels like a prerequisite for watching BCS. Also, I think Gilligan and Co. are telling us the BCS story knowing we know what's coming. Imagine if there were no Breaking Bad and this was just a show about an up-and-coming lawyer who would one day become a criminal lawyer. Don't you think it would be told differently? Of course it would.

This show is made better because of Breaking Bad. It's better because we know what's coming for Jimmy, Mike, Tuco, and whomever else might show up.

Even the name of the show makes no sense without Breaking Bad.

Also, finding the little Easter eggs from Breaking Bad is part of the fun of BCS.
posted by bondcliff at 11:46 AM on March 8, 2016 [6 favorites]


This show is made better because of Breaking Bad.

Yes, I guess that's true.
posted by Pendragon at 12:06 PM on March 8, 2016


Breaking Bad

here reprising the "other-half-of-the-face reveal"
posted by sylvanshine at 12:47 PM on March 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


I love the Easter eggs too. Maybe this was obvious, but the strip mall with the nail salon is the same one where Saul's office is, right?! And the nail salon is the same one he tries to convince Jesse to buy!
posted by areaperson at 12:47 PM on March 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


Hey, how did you guys read the scene with Howard and Chuck in the conference room? Chuck says something like, "What are you going to do?" Was that neutral or was he telling Howard he has to "do something" to punish Kim? My dislike for Chuck makes it hard for me to consider him fairly.
posted by areaperson at 12:51 PM on March 8, 2016


The twist on "I need him to go away" was a clever way of dealing with the Tuco problem that the show had made for itself: he's too powerful an antagonist for Mike and/or Jimmy at this point, and he's invulnerable because he appears in Breaking Bad. Parking Tuco in jail takes him off the table until then.

I could actually do with fewer Breaking Bad easter eggs. At this point it feels like they're being over-used and the effect is to take you out of this show's moment by nudging you in the ribs with "hey, remember this, eh, eh?" Gould and Gilligan talk on the podcast about having a board of Breaking Bad references -- actors, places etc -- that they pull from when they're writing stock characters and scenes; I kinda wish that they wouldn't, that they'd let the show breathe by itself a little more.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 1:10 PM on March 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


I assume they're done with Tuco. He's in jail now, never to be heard from again in the BCS world. But, if for some reason they do use him again, and he's in Jail, I bet Skinny Pete will also be there, since he introduced Jesse to Tuco after sharing a cell block with him.

I think they're pulling out just enough BB references. It's a show largely about the criminal underworld in ABQ, so the same people are going to show up here and there. It would almost feel wrong if they had a whole bunch of people we'd never even heard of.

To me they're very much the same show, just focusing on different times.
posted by bondcliff at 1:18 PM on March 8, 2016 [5 favorites]


It was surprising (in a good way) how long the final scene with Mike and Tuco was. They really gave it room to breathe, and something about that made it feel almost like a supervillain origin story to me.

Somebody on Facebook pointed out that Krazy 8 is wearing a Tampico furniture shirt/driving a Tampico delivery vehicle, which is a pretty nice touch.
posted by usonian at 3:38 PM on March 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


Krazy-8 appears! This seems like a tiny cameo, but he's probably going to show up more. In Breaking Bad, Walt and Jesse approached Saul for the first time because Jesse had heard that Saul had got Krazy-8 and Emilio off a bunch of charges.

That rumor might not be true, as Krazy-8 is a DEA informant. But there probably still has to be some sort of Saul/Krazy-8 connection in order to get those rumors off the ground. Maybe Saul convinces him to flip.
posted by painquale at 3:52 PM on March 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


This episode was so painful, in large part because Jimmy is being such a bonehead. Up until now, you feel as if the tension is between Jimmy's nature and his various personal alliances (or lack thereof). This is the first time that you feel that Jimmy really, really should have known better; not simply about the rightness or wrongness of it, but that he should have been able to foresee the partners' displeasure, and that this wasn't the right mountain to plant his flag. I don't think he was taking a dive, I think he really thought that he could talk his way out of it.

It's the first time I've felt, yeah, I probably wouldn't have been wanting to work with Jimmy, either, and that stunt would have gotten on my nerves. And I didn't anticipate that happening at all. So I also got a sinking feeling that Chuck may have been right in his concerns all along (and I really didn't want to feel that way). So in that sense, Jimmy becomes a tragic character in a different way. Before, his cunning made him ultra aware of how to play the meta-game, but he was conflicted in his allegiances. Now he seems to be somewhat blinded to people too smart to get taken in by his moral flexibility, and it's taken some of his power away.
posted by SpacemanStix at 9:10 PM on March 8, 2016 [6 favorites]


Definitely a painful episode. Jimmy's actions ended up hurting Kim more than Jimmy. (Jimmy has "2 strikes" -- Cliff Main is definitely a softie -- but he doesn't value the career the way Kim does.)

I expected Jimmy's "extracurricular activity" to get Kim in trouble but here we see he can get in trouble just by trying to do a good job at D&M. Saul's your man if you have only one objective, but if you need a team player who will work with the partners to keep up the firm's good reputation....

Loved the Mike story, you can see he's not the cold Mike that works with Gus Fring yet.

As for the Breaking Bad references, I actually like "Saul" better too, but if Jimmy's next client is a local pianist turned drug dealer named Skinny Pete, I'll be very happy.
posted by mmoncur at 11:20 PM on March 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


I was as surprised as you, SpacemanStix, but because I was dead certain that the show would allow at least a few episodes of peace and real success at Davis & Main. Instead, Jimmy struggled and boned things up almost immediately. So I wonder how long he'll even be there. My imagined 'schedule' for his transformation is useless because this show keeps surprising me, yay.

Like BB, this show keeps having characters mirror each other, and in this episode it was persevering and daring to ask for more punishment. (Mike can take another punch, and even Kim isn't done with Jimmy yet.) I wanted so badly for Chuck to agree to extort Jimmy. But of course he wouldn't; he's playing by a different set of rules, sees himself as succeeding at life already, and would have to abandon his superiority if he agreed to play by Jimmy's instead and openly admitted that he wants to grind his brother into the dirt. Damn good scene.
posted by heatvision at 5:03 AM on March 9, 2016 [5 favorites]


First thoughts:

It was surprising (in a good way) how long the final scene with Mike and Tuco was. They really gave it room to breathe, and something about that made it feel almost like a supervillain origin story to me.

And this was another episode that had zero dialogue for the entire two minute cold open.

and I gotta say, the actor who plays Tuco is downright chilling.

Raymond Cruz is so good. I was not a fan when he was on The Closer, but that's more about the character than disliking the actor or his skills. Also, Tuco's grill is grill-less; I hope we see more of him and his journey (which is probably short but intense.)

Was anyone else nervous about the police response time to Mike's call?

I was. You knew that Mile had a plan, but up until a moment or two before you hear the sirens I still want sure if this was the entirety of his plan, and if maybe the plan went sideways because the cops didn't show up in time. My question is, Did anyone here see it coming before the fight?
posted by Room 641-A at 6:22 AM on March 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


I don't think that they're nearly done with the BB references; in fact, this ep kind of set up something whereby Nacho said that there was a good chance that Tuco would come after Mike once he got out of jail. Not only does that mean that there's probably going to be some resolution of that down the pike (how far down I'm not sure, since we don't know how long Tuco was in jail, and not that much time has passed on the show; for that matter, BB only took place over two years), but I think it's likely that we get at least a glimpse of Skinny Pete, and at some point Mike will also meet Gus Fring, which may be how the Tuco thing gets resolved. Plus, hopefully, Huell and Kuby.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:33 AM on March 9, 2016


Room 641-A, as soon as I saw him hit Tuco's car I knew Mike was baiting him into a fight. My heart started racing as soon as Mike parked in the "dealer space" and got out. (I get the feeling Mike's actually pulled this move before -- Jonathan Banks is just SO GOOD. He's my favorite Murder Grandpa!)

And to Tuco's credit, even on meth, he didn't flip out immediately. The confrontation scene was relatively quiet compared to what we know of Tuco from Breaking Bad, and I could see the mental machinations of someone who didn't want to draw the cops' attention, but sure as hell wasn't going to get fucked over or disrespected from some old man who dinged his car.

I was really more surprised there wasn't additional collateral damage -- Tuco didn't shoot anybody or get busted with a giant bag of money, for starters. Really the main thing that's going to screw him when the guys get him down to the station is the baggie of drugs in Tuco's pocket, assuming he didn't swallow it in the squad car (I didn't see them pat him down, because our last look at the situation was Mike's blackout punch).
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 8:02 AM on March 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


I think it's likely that we get at least a glimpse of Skinny Pete, and at some point Mike will also meet Gus Fring, which may be how the Tuco thing gets resolved.

Gus is very likely, but Skinny Pete is really pushing the limit of how young of a character they can revisit. Even Tuco was pushing it. Skinny Pete was supposed to be in his 20s during Breaking Bad... he looked old for his age given that he was a methhead. Charles Baker, the actor, is now 45. I don't think he can play a teenager.

Similarly, Aaron Paul has said he'd love to be on BCS, but there's not a chance: Jesse Pinkman was 13 during the events of the show.
posted by painquale at 8:16 AM on March 9, 2016 [4 favorites]


Mike's decision to bait Tuco into a fight was really risky for Mike, even BCS-era Mike. Not just the risk to his physical person in a physical fight (knowing that Tuco was on crystal, not to mention younger and stronger and armed), but also the fact that Mike is now known to the police as having been in a public fight with a drug dealer. It seems out of character that Mike would choose to be in that situation with the cops.
posted by aabbbiee at 8:55 AM on March 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


Mike's decision to bait Tuco into a fight was really risky for Mike, even BCS-era Mike. Not just the risk to his physical person in a physical fight (knowing that Tuco was on crystal, not to mention younger and stronger and armed), but also the fact that Mike is now known to the police as having been in a public fight with a drug dealer. It seems out of character that Mike would choose to be in that situation with the cops.

I think Mike wouldn't have shared his true identity there, and probably counted on Tuco's meltdown to divert him from being any sort of a person of interest beyond the immediate moment. I thought it was too risky because it was timed too exactly to know that the cops would be there at just the right time, and Mike is a stickler for those kinds of details. Also, you can die from getting beat in the head too much.
posted by SpacemanStix at 10:11 AM on March 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


Also, you can die from getting beat in the head too much.

By Tuco specifically, even.
posted by snofoam at 10:14 AM on March 9, 2016 [4 favorites]


Mike is a retired cop, he's one of them and law enforcement is not going to look too closely at him for being an assault victim. He knows exactly how that situation will play out, there are fewer unknowns and loose ends going that way than Nacho's plan or the sniper option. That's why he took the beating, he knew how it would end. It's why he ends up with Fring; a corporate security job is perfect cover for a retired cop in a drug organization, he knows how law enforcement works and they're not going to be too skeptical of him.

The BB character I'm waiting to show up in BCS is Victor. When Gustavo did his boxcutter thing, Mike had a pretty subdued reaction. Then, maybe four episodes later, Mike explodes at Jesse with the "you are not the guy, I had a guy and now I don't" speech. So there's lots of potential with a Mike and Victor backstory, plus that actor did the cold and creepy thing pretty well.
posted by peeedro at 10:14 AM on March 9, 2016 [10 favorites]


Oh! Tuco's teeth! That's what was missing. Or, uh, more present, I guess.

I like this show so, so much more than Breaking Bad. Like Pendragon, I didn't like Walter White. (But, like bondicliff said, this show doesn't work without BB, so I am grateful for what came before.)

I felt last week like Jimmy was going to start to struggle a lot more fairly quickly, and here we are. Poor Kim.
posted by minsies at 11:17 AM on March 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


This did not quite sink in the first time I watched it:

"You just set things right for Kim. You get her back into her office and out of doc review, everything back to normal, and I quite the law for good. No more Jimmy McGill, Esq. Poof! Like he never existed."
posted by Room 641-A at 2:11 PM on March 9, 2016 [10 favorites]


haha yeah, Slippin' Jimmy giving Chuck the Monkey's Paw version of two weeks' notice only to return as Saul Goodman. I caught that too, Room 641-A.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 2:55 PM on March 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


Another easter egg: Jim Beaver the arms dealer was the same one who sold Walt the snub-nose revolver and, fatefully, the M60 from season 5. I always found his world-weariness and affability to be interesting little character details in light of his occupation, so it was good to see him have another little moment this episode.
posted by invitapriore at 3:39 PM on March 9, 2016 [10 favorites]


A-ha! I had that question about the gun dealer hanging out in another tab. I didn't even think to look it up. He's great in Justified, too.
posted by Room 641-A at 4:17 PM on March 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


This show is amazing.

I think Season One went so far to establish what a major asshole Chuck is just to spin things around and have him be totally right this season. I actually believe him when he says that he had nothing to do with Kim's punishment. I understand why Jimmy believes that Chuck was responsible, but I really don't think he was at all.

Kim vouched for Jimmy to Howard, Howard vouched for Jimmy to Cliff, Jimmy screwed up, Cliff chewed out Howard, Howard took it out on Kim. It's a perfectly logical chain of events that does not require Chuck's interference in any way.

I also love how Chuck refusing to commit a felony is being spun as another sign of his assholishness. It's Skyler all over again, guys. (Except I doubt anyone is gonna start harassing Michael McKean.)
posted by tobascodagama at 6:38 PM on March 9, 2016 [7 favorites]


I agree about Chuck's part in this. He seemed genuinely surprised to learn that Kim really didn't know anything, and seemed more angry that Jimmy's lie got Kim in trouble than the lie itself. And right, of course he would blame a Chuck.

That's a very interesting observation about Skyler.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:55 PM on March 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


I find it fascinating that Vince Gilligan keeps writing these characters who everyone hates for standing in the way of his protagonists even though they're totally right to do so. Not only is a great source of drama in the Greek Tragedy sense, it's also a very sly commentary on the way other modern media treats their protagonists.
posted by tobascodagama at 8:04 PM on March 9, 2016 [10 favorites]


Request: Someone splice the Curb Your Enthusiasm lie detector test music into the Tuco scenes.
posted by Drinky Die at 11:08 PM on March 9, 2016




Perfection. I will not be convinced that timing wasn't intentional.
posted by Drinky Die at 11:15 PM on March 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


The gun dealer was also Ellsworth in "Deadwood."

I'm finding myself quite intrigued with how Howard fits between Chuck and Jimmy. ls he walking a tightrope? Is he the equalizer who realizes, "dude ur both lawyers cut it out?" Chuck is so, so paternalistic that there has to be a backstory. Who is the second "H" in "HHM?"
posted by rhizome at 11:58 PM on March 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


The gun dealer

He's a good business man: "I make my living on repeat business. When you need what I'm offering, you know how to find me"

I thin that's a value that resonated with Mike, and you can almost hear him saying this at some point.
posted by SpacemanStix at 12:20 AM on March 10, 2016 [4 favorites]


Really thought Mike was gonna buy the Marine sniper rifle once he got all nostalgic for it, some lesson about picking the right gun for the job. It was stripped down, simple, and bare compared to the alternatives. Instead, of course, the lesson was why bring a gun when you don't need it? Of course.
posted by Drinky Die at 12:35 AM on March 10, 2016


Yeah, I think holding that familiar rifle reminded him that he really didn't want to start using those again.
posted by isthmus at 12:54 AM on March 10, 2016 [7 favorites]


Isn't Krazy 8 about the same age as Jesse Pinkman in BB? Shouldn't he be 13 too?
posted by mmoncur at 5:18 AM on March 10, 2016


That's a good point. It's conceivable that he's five or six years older than Jesse. That would make him an older teenager in this scene in BCS. The actor looks really young and they did a good job with makeup, so I guess it's plausible. If they could get Skinny Pete's actor to look similarly young, maybe it would work.

They probably don't care too much about fudging the timeline a bit. Mike's granddaughter is exhibit A. Still, bringing in Aaron Paul would be way too jarring.
posted by painquale at 5:48 AM on March 10, 2016 [5 favorites]


It was so distracting to me to see Tuco. I kept waiting for him to say, "Tight, tight, tight."
posted by fuse theorem at 6:00 AM on March 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


Do we know for a fact how much earlier BCS takes place before BB?

I was watching an episode of Breaking Bad last night and there's a scene when Saul is complaining about money laundering. He says something like "It was so much easier in the 80s.'

Now, it was a very minor line, so the writers for BCS could have chosen to ignore it, or it could have been written off as Saul just bragging. I don't think Slipping Jimmy was a big enough crook to require money laundering. I did find it an interesting line though and it made it sound like Saul had been Saul a long time.
posted by bondcliff at 6:03 AM on March 10, 2016


It's very possible that line was written before the idea of a BCS spin-off was a reality, or at least fully-formed. And since the original idea was for it to be a sit-com (or at least a full-blown comedy) then they may not have been thinking about his backstory in that kind of detail. On one hand, it seems weird to imply that VG isn't in complete control of his characters but on the other hand he's said many times that they like to write themselves into a corner.

From the gun scene, are we supposed to infer that Mike was in Vietnam? I don't recall if this was ever mentioned.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:13 AM on March 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


I think Season One went so far to establish what a major asshole Chuck is just to spin things around and have him be totally right this season. I actually believe him when he says that he had nothing to do with Kim's punishment. I understand why Jimmy believes that Chuck was responsible, but I really don't think he was at all.

Howard took it out on Kim AFTER Chuck asked what Howard was going to do about it. It was heavily implied that Howard should do something about it, and Howard's grimace meant that he took the full implication and that he would be required to punish Kim.
Howard Hamlin is the son of Chuck's original law partner, the other Hamlin in the name HHM. Chuck and Howard have a father/son bond in many ways- Chuck is paternalistic and condescending, and Howard feels compelled by that connection to carry out Chuck's missives even when Chuck won't dirty his own hands by saying the missives aloud.

Chuck is an asshole. Chuck was never wrong, technically, but that's Chuck's character in a nutshell. He's always right but he's just a total asshole about being right. Being right doesn't give you the excuse to be an asshole. Chuck is right that Jimmy takes shortcuts like soliciting the elderly on the bus in Texas, but it's an asshole move to call Jimmy out in front of the whole room of lawyers. Chuck's right that Jimmy would not be an appropriate partner at HHM, but it's an asshole move to make Howard give the bad news. Chuck's right that Jimmy's use of the McGill name would cause confusion within the law community (the Sandpiper lawyer directly asks Jimmy if he's related to Chuck), but it's an asshole move to hide behind the HHM cease & desist. Chuck is right and Chuck is an asshole, both things.

We know Chuck won't extort Jimmy, but we also know the only reason that Chuck won't extort Jimmy is because it's not legal. Chuck will use any legal means, whether immoral or unethical, to bring Jimmy down. And while he's not wrong, because we've seen the chimp-with-a-machine-gun Saul Goodman, there are far less assholey ways of doing it than what Chuck will eventually do. We know whatever it is, it will be legal and right and also a total asshole move.
posted by aabbbiee at 7:26 AM on March 10, 2016 [17 favorites]


In the BCS podcast for this episode they mentioned that they were "strongly inferring" that Mike was a vet, very possibly a Marine sniper. They (Gilligan and some writers on the podcast) weren't actually sure if they ever brought that up in BB but I'm pretty sure they didn't.

It's very possible that line was written before the idea of a BCS spin-off was a reality

Yes, I think it was at the end of S3 or the beginning of S4. I'm sure they weren't planning on the spin-off at that point, though I'm also pretty sure they reviewed every line of Saul's dialog from BB before writing BCS. I think it was an easy enough line to ignore.
posted by bondcliff at 7:26 AM on March 10, 2016


Do we know for a fact how much earlier BCS takes place before BB?

BCS starts in May 2002 and BB starts in September 2009.
posted by aabbbiee at 7:30 AM on March 10, 2016 [4 favorites]


Oh, wow, that means this thing could go on for years!
posted by Room 641-A at 7:34 AM on March 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


Any other writing team could have made BCS a gimmicky spin-off with maybe two or three seasons of dumb jokes. This team could easily pull five good seasons out of the idea, with the finale ending with Walt and Jesse walking into the office.
posted by bondcliff at 7:38 AM on March 10, 2016 [8 favorites]


with the finale ending with Walt and Jesse walking into the office.

Hope this isn't too spoiler-y, but in Breaking Bad Walt first walks into Saul's office alone to talk about the Badger situation. In Saul's first scene with Jesse, Saul is on his knees in the desert next to a freshly dug grave with a gun on him and he pleads, "It wasn't me, it was Ignacio, he's the one." Is that Ignacio the same guy as Nacho?
posted by peeedro at 9:27 AM on March 10, 2016 [4 favorites]


Ignacio "Nacho" Varga.

Not 100% confirmed, but it seems likely at the moment.
posted by tobascodagama at 10:24 AM on March 10, 2016 [5 favorites]


I really liked how post beating Mike refuses to answer the question Nacho put to him. He just wanted to get home and ice his poor face. I had dental implant surgery the day before so I was like go home to your carrots
posted by angrycat at 10:29 AM on March 10, 2016 [4 favorites]


That wiki is really confusing wth their references to "Jimmy." I actually had to click to see who it was they were talking about. If I cared 1% more I'd check the revisions to see if it's always been this way, because I don't recall people referring to Saul as "Jimmy" in BB. Totally happy to be corrected on this, though.
posted by Room 641-A at 10:34 AM on March 10, 2016


Saul mentions at one point that his real name is "James McGill", but that's it. Nobody in BB called him anything but "Saul".
posted by tobascodagama at 10:41 AM on March 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


That's right, we learn just enough to know that he isn't Jewish!
posted by Room 641-A at 11:13 AM on March 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


In the BCS podcast for this episode they mentioned that they were "strongly inferring" that Mike was a vet

Wait, are those the exact words the writers used? If so, that might go some ways toward resolving something that has bugged me for a long time. In a late season of Breaking Bad, there was a scene where Hank and Marie were speaking on the phone, and Hank said, "wait, are you inferring blah blah blah?" and Marie said "I am strongly inferring it." It's really stuck with me because I could not decide whether that was an intentional misuse of the word for comedic effect, or whether it was a genuine mistake on the part of the writers.
posted by painquale at 2:28 PM on March 10, 2016 [6 favorites]


What's the misuse? The construction is intended to be somewhat ironic, because obviously if someone is "strongly inferring" something they might as well just be saying it outright, but that's different from being incorrect.
posted by tobascodagama at 4:03 PM on March 10, 2016


It's not the modification of "inferring" with "strongly" that's a misuse, it's the use of "infer" instead of "imply." That's actually kind of disappointing if it's a mistake on their part...I mean, they're obviously very talented in all the right ways, and I could understand one person having made it to that rung without having been apprised of the difference, but an entire room full of writers?
posted by invitapriore at 4:49 PM on March 10, 2016 [6 favorites]


It's entirely possible I was the one who used the wrong word. I do that quite sometimes.
posted by bondcliff at 5:49 PM on March 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


"It was so much easier in the 80s."

I remember that too, I was thinking maybe he was just running his mouth; or he was around enough con artists/criminals to know it was easier back then.
posted by stoneandstar at 8:16 PM on March 10, 2016 [3 favorites]


Man, at first I thought this episode was a little heavy on the b-plot, but the more I think about it the more I like it. If Chuck was in fact not responsible for what happened, I like it even more. The whole time Jimmy was in Chuck's house getting him water and so on I was just yelling "ugh, leave him! Let the jerk suffer!" And by the end of the scene, you realize that as much of a jerk as he was in Season One, he is currently right. In general, he's doing the right thing. As far as Jimmy's charisma as the main character, it's a subtle thing; like when you meet someone a mutual friend hates, and you think "they're not so bad?" or they're charming, but then as you get to know them... you realize why that person couldn't put up with them anymore.
posted by stoneandstar at 8:20 PM on March 10, 2016 [3 favorites]


I kept waiting for him to say, "Tight, tight, tight."

The meth in ABQ won't get that good until Walter White goes into business.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:32 PM on March 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


it's the use of "infer" instead of "imply."

"Infer has been used to mean “to hint or suggest” since the 16th century by speakers and writers of unquestioned ability and eminence: The next speaker criticized the proposal, inferring that it was made solely to embarrass the government.Despite its long history, many 20th-century usage guides condemn the use, maintaining that the proper word for the intended sense is imply and that to use infer is to lose a valuable distinction between the two words.
Although the claimed distinction has probably existed chiefly in the pronouncements of usage guides, and although the use of infer to mean “to suggest” usually produces no ambiguity, the distinction too has a long history and is widely observed by many speakers and writers."
Dictionary.com
posted by Saxon Kane at 10:12 PM on March 10, 2016 [5 favorites]


Me: "aren't you technically getting fingerprints all over someone else's gun Mike? Maybe it's a minor thing because this is just a TV show." Mike: wipes gun down after "sampling" it.

I thought the same thing when he was at the phone booth. "Oh, you're holding the receiver with a hanky, but you've pressed the buttons with your fingertips."

Then he wipes down the buttons when he's done the call.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 9:19 AM on March 11, 2016 [6 favorites]


Was wondering about this one:

In the off-chance that viewers didn’t recognize the boxing charms Mike was holding in the teaser, we saw Tuco wearing those when his character was introduced back in the sixth episode of the first season of Breaking Bad. That was the writers tipping us off to the fact that Mike had been beaten by Tuco before we’d even gotten a glimpse of him in the episode.


and...

The beating that Mike took from Tuco was inspired by Raging Bull, and a scene where Robert De Niro’s Jake LaMotta stands in a corner and takes a beating as penance for what he did to his brother. Mike is still paying penance for his role in the death of his son.


I was thinking about peedros' comment:

Mike is a retired cop, he's one of them and law enforcement is not going to look too closely at him for being an assault victim. He knows exactly how that situation will play out, there are fewer unknowns and loose ends going that way than Nacho's plan or the sniper option. That's why he took the beating, he knew how it would end. It's why he ends up with Fring; a corporate security job is perfect cover for a retired cop in a drug organization, he knows how law enforcement works and they're not going to be too skeptical of him.

...and I was thinking also that taking the beating like that reinforces Mikes, uh, "personal brand," to use some marketing-speak.

Not only did he come up with a cleaner solution to Nacho's problem, he did so in a way that paints him as one tough old motherfucker.

This will likely fill his dance card soon with inquiries for both odd jobs and steady work from the local underworld.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 9:59 AM on March 11, 2016 [4 favorites]


But the boxing glove thing also means that Tuco gets the charms back from Mike at some point, too. (I am not sure what that means, if anything.)
posted by minsies at 10:04 AM on March 11, 2016 [8 favorites]


But the boxing glove thing also means that Tuco gets the charms back from Mike at some point, too. (I am not sure what that means, if anything.)

It's spine-tinglingly tantalizing.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 10:49 AM on March 11, 2016 [3 favorites]


Although the claimed distinction has probably existed chiefly in the pronouncements of usage guides, and although the use of infer to mean “to suggest” usually produces no ambiguity, the distinction too has a long history and is widely observed by many speakers and writers.

Fair enough! I defer to common usage, I'd just always thought it was a common malapropism, since I've never seen it in written language.
posted by invitapriore at 10:52 AM on March 11, 2016


Breaking Bad: Full Measure (S3 E13, 2010)

Mike Ehrmantraut: Mmmmm yeah...Funny how words can be so open to interpretation.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 11:05 AM on March 11, 2016 [4 favorites]


Of course, we don't see how Mike got the charms, which Tuco was still wearing when the cops arrived and Mike got (presumably) knocked out.
posted by rhizome at 11:09 AM on March 11, 2016


Of course, we don't see how Mike got the charms, which Tuco was still wearing when the cops arrived and Mike got (presumably) knocked out.

Up to and including that point, Mike had a pretty tight grip on them (this is a clip of the fight scene). He was using Tuco to stay standing so the beating could continue until the cops rolled up.

I guess we're left to infer that even when it was lights out and he went down, he kept a death grip on Tuco's shirt/the charm.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 11:18 AM on March 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


I feel like Mike is about wisdom and accuracy. BCS and BB have a lot of characters who are either self-deceiving or great at lying (and in some cases, both, god help them). I love it because it makes for such rich, nuanced character development. A lot of people hated the BB airplane thing, but I thought it was amazing afterwards--Walts sits around for days, wracked with guilt, reading the news and crying in his bathrobe, and then he gives that speech to the whole school about how insignificant it actually was. That was a classic scene this week too, when Davis & Main told Saul to stop trying to sell to them, and he immediately tries again, so hard, like it's a burned-in instinct triggered by loss of face.

Anyway, Mike is a great foil on both shows because he's the opposite of that. He seems to know himself and the world of crime from end to end and makes everyone else look like a bumbling fool. I wonder how and how often he could even be wrong and still be Mike.
posted by heatvision at 11:38 AM on March 11, 2016 [3 favorites]


I agree, heatvision. I’ve always thought that a key theme of the New Television (… bear with me) is the futility of growth or personal change, and/or futility of personal honesty. Partially by form—the show must go on, so if you fixed your character’s whole life last week, you better break it again— but also, so clearly in this show, by function. Even while I was kind of bored/turned off by the machoness of BB at times, the palpable sense of (sometimes comic, sometimes tragic) doom balanced things out, at least a little. People can’t save themselves, can’t change themselves. Jimmy knows SO OBVIOUSLY that he needs to run the tape by Clifford, because duh and also because it’s Kim’s ass on the line, but you can tell during the screening of the mesothelioma tape that he’s just not gonna do it. There’s nothing on this earth that could make him, because it’s almost like he doesn’t know how.

It’s a similar frustration you hear in places like the emotional labor threads on Metafilter, where women are frustrated that their partners just. won’t. do the thing. It’s like some people (particularly men? maybe it’s a macho thing, maybe it’s a fear of humiliation thing?) have a constitutional inability to do these certain things, even though everyone around them is depending on them. It’s fear, also.

It also reminds me of Weeds, a show I loved and which obviously parallels BB. There was always a sense at the beginning of every new season that right away, things were fucked up. Not plot wise, but character-wise. No one learns their lessons, or at least not for more than a few months. That boredom or ennui with the idea of self-help is fascinating to me and I love it in BCS.
posted by stoneandstar at 12:30 PM on March 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


I guess we're left to infer that even when it was lights out and he went down, he kept a death grip on Tuco's shirt/the charm.

Sorry if this was discussed elsewhere and I missed it. Were the gloves an indication that Tuco was a boxer? Because it seems pretty important to Mike that he had those at the end. He seemed proud that he was able to take a substantial beating and win. Earlier, you get the sense that Mike didn't use a gun because he felt it was dangerous. But he also seemed to have pride in the fact that he didn't use the gun when he was talking to Nacho, even though it cost him $25,000 as a result. It makes me think that it Mike's mind, he took the high and much more difficult road, took his lumps, and came out on top. Perhaps he felt that this was a mode of self-punishment, and it cost him something significant. He has been living with a lot of guilt, so perhaps it was redemptive for him.
posted by SpacemanStix at 1:13 PM on March 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


The beating that Mike took from Tuco was inspired by Raging Bull, and a scene where Robert De Niro’s Jake LaMotta stands in a corner and takes a beating as penance for what he did to his brother. Mike is still paying penance for his role in the death of his son.

Oh hey, I just read this higher up after posting. For what it's worth, I like this theory a lot.
posted by SpacemanStix at 1:15 PM on March 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


It makes me think that it Mike's mind, he took the high and much more difficult road, took his lumps, and came out on top.

I think he's just playing it cool, "cool" originally meaning "behaving in a way that does not attract the attention of the authorities." Of course the authorities are involved in the scheme, but not being their antagonist when they arrive is a way for Mike to retain his freedom, and the situation the cops have to deal with is much simpler than if someone had been killed by a sniper.
posted by rhizome at 1:31 PM on March 11, 2016


" Were the gloves an indication that Tuco was a boxer?"

I don't think it matters what the charm actually was. It could have been a rabbit in a magician's hat, or a pair of fuzzy dice. The important thing is that eagle-eyed viewers of Breaking Bad would recognize them as something that belongs to Tuco without a doubt. Do a Google image search for 'tuco salamanca' and you'll see them in almost every screenshot.

So when we see Mike holding those at the beginning of the episode we know:

A.) he must have gotten them from Tuco (a man who he was just hired to take out)
B.) somehow Tuco gets those back, because he's wearing them years later in Breaking Bad

And sure, the boxing gloves charm leaving Tuco's possession and going into Mike's plays nicely with the episode title 'Gloves Off' but I feel that's mainly a reference to Jimmy and his brother.

Anyway, in Breaking Bad they may have given him the charm as a way to give history to the character without having to say it explicitly, but I don't think that this potential history factored into the scene per se. They were just a shorthand for "Tuco got beat and ... oh man, look at those bruises. Mike paid the price. God, I can't wait to see how that played out" all without a word spoken in the cold open.
posted by komara at 2:26 PM on March 11, 2016 [4 favorites]


Amd lets not forget that somehow Tuco gets those back could be as simple as he has a jeweler recreate them when he gets out of prison.
posted by LizBoBiz at 6:43 PM on March 11, 2016 [3 favorites]


That doesn't seem like Tuco's style.

(Who knows, though. Maybe it's tied to the acquisition of his grill in some terrible/fantastic [territastic?] way.)
posted by minsies at 11:59 PM on March 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


it also feels like a call back to Fring's bringing Hector (?) the chain/charm thing and taunting him with the destruction of the family Salamanca
posted by angrycat at 5:53 AM on March 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


I really wanted to say DING! so I looked it up, and in Salud, Mike rips an evil eye necklace off Don Eliado. I hope there's a different scene, though, because I like saying DING! (But either way, good memory! I totally forgot about that, and at least now we know that Mike ripping necklaces off people is his thing.)
posted by Room 641-A at 6:18 AM on March 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


Anyway, Mike is a great foil on both shows because he's the opposite of that. He seems to know himself and the world of crime from end to end and makes everyone else look like a bumbling fool. I wonder how and how often he could even be wrong and still be Mike.

Though Mike is still self-deceptive in one respect; he's convinced himself that he can do this kind of work without crossing a particular line. (In the longer run, he's convinced himself that he can be doting grandpa in one part of his life and a professional criminal in the other, and through sheer professionalism and careful compartmentalization can thus put dirty money to good use. We see how well that works out in Breaking Bad.

Last season, I started thinking that Walter White was destroyed by pride, and Jimmy McGill will be destroyed by sloth. I feel like this season is hammering that home, from Jimmy's aimless turn in "Switch" to his accelerating desire for shortcuts and quick payoffs here. He's ambitious, yes, but very sloppy and hasty in his efforts to achieve those ambitions.

It's not sloth in the usual sense of torpid inactivity, but rather sloth as a sort of impatience, an unwillingness to do slow methodical work because he imagines he can coast on people skills, ingenious improvisation, and flashes of inspiration. (Listen to the dialogue in the conference room scenes with the Davis and Main and HHM people. Listen to how every other character speaks, in dry, professional language. Then listen to the way Jimmy speaks. This isn't the right cupholder for the cup.) These are really, really lousy traits for a legitimate lawyer to have; it's a painstaking, long-hours, slow-burn job.

Notice that we always see Jimmy getting restless while doing paperwork before he jumps up and pitches something showy; it's a repeated shot pattern whenever we see Jimmy in his office, and in contrasts both with Chuck's greater endurance for document reassembly in the last season and with Kim's long hours of doc review in this episode.

It's easy to miss, because Chuck is driven by envy and pride when it comes to Jimmy, and his behavior seems so much more treacherous. But Jimmy's impulsivity may already be undermining the Sandpiper case. (Chuck is right about solicitation, since Jimmy has a captive audience on the bus and is clearly pitching to them, and this is without anyone knowing about Jimmy bribing the bus driver.)

Now, this is not to say that Jimmy is a bad person the way, say, Chuck is. But he's sloppy and thoughtless; event he incident that got him under Chuck's thumb (or supervision, as Chuck might put it) was Jimmy doing something impulsive without scanning the scene first. It's also part of why Jimmy/Saul and Mike make such good foils for one another.
posted by kewb at 12:28 PM on March 12, 2016 [8 favorites]


I agree that he's sloppy and thoughtless, and in a sense, lazy-- but I think the real conundrum is that he's legitimately talented at doing things the wrong way. He's an A+ con man. It pains him to put that to waste. Doing things the right way is not necessarily too much "work" for him-- he worked hard on the paperwork for the Sandpiper case in Season 1-- but it's like Mario Andretti calling a cab to get to work.

A lot of creatives are the same way-- they drop out of college on their way to making it big. They're good at commanding an audience and turning the tide their way. Directors, actors. In way, Jimmy is both. (And yes, that makes him simultaneously an amazing and terrible lawyer, or in other words... Saul Goodman.)
posted by stoneandstar at 1:19 PM on March 12, 2016 [6 favorites]


Speaking of the bus, I thought it was a nice callback to the train heist.
posted by Room 641-A at 1:26 PM on March 12, 2016


I get the feeling I'm going to start rewatching BB this week.
posted by rhizome at 1:43 PM on March 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


Are you suggesting a BB rewatch? I would try to keep up with that.
posted by Room 641-A at 2:47 PM on March 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


I've been wrestling with it the past couple of months, but man it seems like an undertaking.
posted by rhizome at 4:35 PM on March 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


From the gun scene, are we supposed to infer that Mike was in Vietnam?

I think that's pretty obvious from the scene, particularly the gun dealer's recognition that Mike was familiar with the weapon and their discussion of the switch from a wood stock to fiberglass because the wood warped when it got wet. "You'd think someone would have thought of that before sending it into a jungle," Mike says. I don't know how they could have made it more obvious, except with something like, "So you were in the shit back then, huh?"

I think it's also clear that Chuck is faking his sudden onset of illness when Jimmy comes by at night to talk about Kim. Watch both parts of that scene again - when Jimmy first shows up to find Chuck moaning in the dark, and the next morning, with Chuck waking up to say, "you're still here?" - and it seems obvious Chuck knows Jimmy will be stopping by to argue about what happened to Kim, and Chuck knows his best strategy for avoiding that argument is faking a relapse. The last shot of Chuck as Jimmy leaves is classic fakery. There's a broad range of possible causes for and expressions of Chuck's psychosomatic illness, of course, but that night? He was bullshitting.

On a similar note, Chuck knows exactly what he's doing when he oh-so-casually scratches his hand as he quickly asks Howard, "So what are you going to do?" with regard to Kim. God, this show is so good.
posted by mediareport at 6:54 AM on March 13, 2016 [8 favorites]


On a similar note, Chuck knows exactly what he's doing when he oh-so-casually scratches his hand as he quickly asks Howard, "So what are you going to do?" with regard to Kim. God, this show is so good.

Reading the current discussion of privilege on the Blue, I'd argue that Chuck has created a situation in which he doesn't have to "know" what he's doing.

His whole "I'm not going to commit a felony" conversation with Jimmy strikes me as strong evidence that he's very good at rationalizing away his behavior so he can keep thinking of himself as a "good man." It's his socially sanctioned version of "I'm Kevin Costner;" it works because he believes it.

And what Jimmy will take from it is that the rules are always rationalizations, and all you need are different ones if you don't like the rules or need an easy shortcut.

Kim, on the other hand, doesn't necessarily buy in to the idea that "the rules" are fair or just, but she knows very well that she will suffer the consequences, not least because she's a woman trying to play a game run by and designed for people like Chuck.
posted by kewb at 3:17 AM on March 14, 2016 [3 favorites]


Unicorn on the cob: I could see the mental machinations of someone who didn't want to draw the cops' attention, but sure as hell wasn't going to get fucked over or disrespected from some old man who dinged his car.

Alternate read: Mike goes in knowing he can get by on playing the Slightly Oblivious Old Man card, first with Tuco and then with the cops. I'm not sure he knows how much weight Tuco puts on respect, especially respect for your elders. But we know that, from Tuco taking care of his abuela and hiding his violence from her, and if you've seen BB, from how he treats his uncle. But he also wants respect, and to be called a liar is to disrespect him, which trumps his respect for elders.

And Mike assumes he can slip away from the crime scene, largely unnoticed, because police will be responding to a call about drug dealers with guns, and there see a known drug dealer assaulting an old, white man, then they'll find the old man's wallet and a gun under the car, with Tuco's prints all over it, which makes the attack/robbery an instant felony.


tobascodagama: I also love how Chuck refusing to commit a felony is being spun as another sign of his assholishness. It's Skyler all over again, guys.

Except it's different, because 1) Chuck has more power and leverage that Skyler did (he's partner at a major law firm, while she has generally held lesser office jobs, even if she is a good accountant), and 2) his actions are always shielded by The Law and how you can interpret it, where Skyler is generally looking out for the good of her family.

aabbbiee: Chuck will use any legal means, whether immoral or unethical, to bring Jimmy down.

Exactly - Chuck is using the law both as a weapon and a shield. I don't think Jimmy went in looking to get Chuck to extort him into no longer being a lawyer, but he was happy to push that angle. Which makes Chuck an asshole, even if he's right. Remember, he goaded Jimmy into leaving by tell him he was already going to be late for work, after Jimmy had been there all night, getting him water and another space blanket, then getting him tea in the morning. He could have said "thanks for staying with me, but you better leave because you'll be late as it is. I can call Clifford Main to tell him you were helping me through a tough night," but no - Chuck doesn't think Jimmy even belongs there in the first place, so he's definitely going to be helpful today. But beyond that, he chose to be an asshole to get his brother to leave.


The partners at Davis & Main and HHM treat law and their practicing of it as an elevated practice. It can, and has been, tarnished by ambulance chasers and other low-life types. Neither practice would have the big billboards trying to get clients from car crashes by referencing the millions they've collected for their clients - that's crass. Jimmy's ad wasn't quite that level, which is why he wasn't fired out-right. Jimmy just views the law as a job and a means to the end. He likes helping people, and was never, and will never be, that kind of lawyer. He worked out of a closet behind a nail salon and faked a British accent to pretend he had a fancier secretary-type to answer his calls.


mediareport: I think it's also clear that Chuck is faking his sudden onset of illness when Jimmy comes by at night to talk about Kim.

I don't think so - his "declines" have generally come when Jimmy slips back into his old ways, as Chuck sees it. I think it's psychosomatic - the better Jimmy does, the better Chuck does, but when ever Slippin' Jimmy comes back, so does the electro-magnetic sensitivity. I think Chuck really believes it all - otherwise, why would he be on the couch in the first place? He doesn't know Jimmy will come to talk to him, unless he's gambling that Jimmy will try to get Chuck to help Kim, and I didn't get that from the scene.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:03 AM on March 14, 2016 [4 favorites]


bondcliff: In the BCS podcast for this episode ...

... Did they mention the wind and dust at the end? My wife and I were trying to figure out if it was just another night shot in Albuquerque, or big fans. The departure into the swirling dust was beautiful, and only felt a bit staged. (New Mexico is beautiful, but is quite often windy and generally dusty, being a high desert and all.)
posted by filthy light thief at 8:06 AM on March 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


They did talk about it, though I was only half listening, but I'm pretty sure they said it was just something that happened.
posted by bondcliff at 1:18 PM on March 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


I just watched the preview for the new episode airing tonight, and I felt downright anxious. I think it's going to be a good one.
posted by SpacemanStix at 4:53 PM on March 14, 2016


Late to the discussion, but want to share my admiration for this episode. Also wanted to call out the excellent writing and acting for Nacho. He's an interesting character, the rational student of the drug business to Tuco's force of nature insanity. His respect for Mike is fantastic.
posted by Nelson at 7:52 AM on March 15, 2016 [5 favorites]


bondcliff: They did talk about it, though I was only half listening, but I'm pretty sure they said it was just something that happened.

Yup, I finally listened to the podcast for this episode, where they do say that the dust blowing in and clearing completely out was all natural (and Jonathan Banks really drove the car), as compared to using Fuller's earth or some other "movie magic." The wind was picking up, and the crew put on their goggles and masks (being used to the sudden and serious wind and dust), and they caught that magical moment.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:33 AM on March 31, 2016 [1 favorite]


Another note from the podcast: Mike's busted face was partially makeup, but largely done with post-production CG because Jonathan Banks had some issue with the usual material used for adding bulk and other visual body modifications.


Nelson: Also wanted to call out the excellent writing and acting for Nacho. He's an interesting character, the rational student of the drug business to Tuco's force of nature insanity.

Yes - they pair so well. The menacing OCD of Tuco's money counting and organizing was scripted (per the podcast), but played better than imagined by Raymond Cruz, while Nacho and his slightly youthful appearance belie his ruthless nature.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:42 AM on March 31, 2016 [2 favorites]


That was a classic scene this week too, when Davis & Main told Saul to stop trying to sell to them, and he immediately tries again, so hard, like it's a burned-in instinct triggered by loss of face.

I really liked that scene because it showed the limits of what Jimmy can do. I feel like we've only really seen Jimmy succeed in his cons, but the Davis & Main partners were having absolutely none of it, and that leaves him with nothing. I also thought it was interesting to see just how much he doesn't get it. Sure, they made him feel like a big shot when he came over, but they can get rid of him at any time because he's not that important to them and, honestly, neither is the Sandpiper case. That's just not how law firms at that level work. There's no number of additional clients he could add to this class action that would justify him, but he can't really understand that.

There are echos of not getting it in his conversation with Kim and his confrontation with Chuck. He's always trying to convince people of things or to find the magic combination of words and emotions that will get him what he wants and for everything to be OK again, and he hasn't figured out that sometimes that doesn't exist. Even if Chuck had taken him up on the deal, that wasn't going to fix much of anything, certainly not with Kim, and probably not with Howard. It's an odd kind of narcissism, really, where he doesn't quite believe that anyone else truly has motivations and goals 100% independent of him.
posted by Copronymus at 4:02 PM on April 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


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