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    • Jay

      Donate to JWFan, win a CD!   05/30/17

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Jay

BETTER CALL SAUL

1154 posts in this topic

I wonder how many of the framing and photographic ideas are down to Gilligan and how many are Arthur Albert's.

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2 hours ago, Jay said:

But after talking to a coworker, his interpretation was that Jimmy was being SO obvious, Gus didn't take anything from the guy because he observed Jimmy observing the guy, and that seems more likely.

 

That was my exact interpretation as well. Gus would almost certainly have a 'tell' in those scenarios. Clearly there was a signal that he didn't make to his guy, perhaps asking him how his meal was? Once no signal was made, the guy knew something was up and left immediately.

 

When you think about it, the sweeping is actually a clever metaphor; Gus is doing a literal 'sweep' of the surroundings to ensure the coast is clear before proceeding with any transactions. In this instance, Jimmy was being way too obvious and Gus caught on.

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Yup!  Quite clever indeed!

Of course, the whole thing is a bit on the silly side to begin with; Couldn't the guy with the backback just like, drop it off at Gus's house or something?  Or just drive around behind the store and leave it there somewhere?  Having the exchange take place in front of  store full of potential witnesses seems... un-Gus like.

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Hey, I count only six episodes on Netflix! Don't tell me they are splitting it in two parts!

 

 

 

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We know that Gus is seriously prepared and also paranoid; there's a greater chance of cameras or surveillance outside the store monitoring any suspicious activities or 'transactions'. Less opportunity for that inside LPH other than people watching, hence the sweep.

 

I'd argue that doing a subtle exchange in a restaurant full of people busily eating/chatting would be far less noticeable than in a near-empty restaurant, or somewhere else with less people around.

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Alexcremers said:

Hey, I count only six episodes on Netflix! Don't tell me they are splitting it in two parts!

 

All 3 seasons of Better Call Saul are 10 episodes long airing over 10 consecutive weeks.

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3 minutes ago, Alexcremers said:

Hey, I count only six episodes on Netflix! Don't tell me they are splitting it in two parts!

 

No, it's ten episodes.

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1 minute ago, crumbs said:

We know that Gus is seriously prepared and also paranoid; there's a greater chance of cameras or surveillance outside the store monitoring any suspicious activities or 'transactions'. Less opportunity for that inside LPH other than people watching, hence the sweep.

 

I'd argue that doing such a thing in a restaurant full of people chatting amongst themselves would be far less noticeable than doing it in a near-empty restaurant, or somewhere else with fewer people around.

 

Yea, good point.  If you think about it, his strategy actually worked: Neither Mike nor Jimmy have any reason to suspect the OWNER if the restaurant is involved in any way, just that it was a random drop off spot.

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1 minute ago, Jay said:

 

All 3 seasons of Better Call Saul are 10 episodes long airing over 10 consecutive weeks.

 

Well, Netflix doesn't go that far yet. They only show six episodes (of which 4 still have to be aired).

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Who cares what Netflix says?  Two of us have already told you the actual situation.

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2 hours ago, Jay said:

 

Yea, good point.  If you think about it, his strategy actually worked: Neither Mike nor Jimmy have any reason to suspect the OWNER if the restaurant is involved in any way, just that it was a random drop off spot.

 

So much of what happens on Better Call Saul parallels what happened on Breaking Bad.  On BB, when Walter and Jesse were looking for a new distributor for the meth, Saul set them up to meet with a guy at Los Pollos Hermanos....they went and nothing happened, since Gus was watching them and saw that Jesse was an obvious junkie.  They also never considered Gus to be anything but a fast food manager.

 

Also, when Kim says to Jimmy, "Give me a dollar," and he says "I've only got a twenty!" that's almost exactly how Saul became Walter and Jesse's lawyer, when they took him out to the desert to scare him, but he realized who they were.

 

 

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7 minutes ago, Matt S. said:

Also, when Kim says to Jimmy, "Give me a dollar," and he says "I've only got a twenty!" that's almost exactly how Saul became Walter and Jesse's lawyer, when they took him out to the desert to scare him, but he realized who they were.

 

Yup!  That was a detail I didn't remember at all, but a coworker pointed it out to me.


I think once BCS is over, I'll re-watch Breaking Bad.

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8 hours ago, Jay said:

I think once BCS is over, I'll re-watch Breaking Bad.

 

I wonder which timeline BCS will finish in? The pre-Breaking Bad timeline or post-BB with 'Gene' at Cinnabon?

 

The former gives closure to the story of BCS, the latter provides closure to the entire Breaking Bad narrative (especially if any character from Jimmy's past shows up to discover him).

 

If the use of flashbacks in BB is any indication, I'd say the finale for BCS will be set in the post-BB storyline and could involve 'Gene' returning to face unfinished business with Chuck/Kim... assuming they aren't dead or something.

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I think it will end right before BB begins. After all, BB had a kind of poetic ending (sure, some unresolved narrative lines, but they were not relevant to Walter's own timeline).

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Well I suppose we'll get two endings, right? The main narrative (color scenes) will end either before Walter's 50th birthday (BB pilot), or we'll see the events of seasons 1-2ish of BB from Jimmy's point of view, who knows really. And the future narrative (black and white scenes) will continue on from where we are now (Jimmy passing out) into who knows where ; as mentioned it could include a resolution to Kim and / or Chuck storyline, or something else. Probably something that will tie into season 4 or 5 storylines. 

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1 hour ago, Jay said:

Well I suppose we'll get two endings, right? The main narrative (color scenes) will end either before Walter's 50th birthday (BB pilot), or we'll see the events of seasons 1-2ish of BB from Jimmy's point of view, who knows really. And the future narrative (black and white scenes) will continue on from where we are now (Jimmy passing out) into who knows where ; as mentioned it could include a resolution to Kim and / or Chuck storyline, or something else. Probably something that will tie into season 4 or 5 storylines. 

 

I don't know if the show will take us all the way to BB....after all, BCS starts six years beforehand, and so far through 2+ seasons I don't really think that much time has passed.  A year tops?  BB was on for five seasons (six if you count the two parts of the extended season 5) and that entire series only spanned two years.  So unless there is a jump in time at some point, assuming BCS airs for a similar length of time I don't see them taking us through six years.  They will probably get us to the point where he is firmly entrenched in his new life as Saul Goodman (and Mike as Gus's top enforcer), and then the final scene will be a flash forward to the Cinnabon "present" time, at which point Jimmy/Saul/Gene's story will come to some kind of conclusion, good or bad...

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There's no reason why Chuck or Kim couldn't be around during the BB timeline 

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Breaking Bad covers from Walter White's 50th birthday in 2008 to shortly after his 52nd birthday in 2010.


Better Call Saul begins in 2002, but its unclear how much time has passed from the first episode until now, and there's really no way to tell how far beyond 2010 the Cinnabon Manager Gene scenes we've seen are taking place in.

 

 

EDIT: Holy poop, this wikia page says his birthday is September 7th, same as me!

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Holy poop, it says his deathday is the same as his birthday! You have a 0.27% chance of that being true for you too! 

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Better Call Saul 3x03 Sunk Costs

 

Loved the cold open, even though I had no idea what it meant at the time - was it a reference to Breaking Bad?  Something from a prior BCS episode?  Or was I not supposed to understand it yet?  In retrospect, it was showing us the sneakers Mike shot the hole through, sometime later (years? months?) when Gus is bringing meth into the US instead of Hector.  Neat!

 

Loved the way Act 1 started with the pulsing music and the immediate return to the phone call Mike gets in the street.  The "confrontation" between Mike and Gus was so well done!  Two meticulous professionals discussing their business and morals, vague but clear threats from Gus.  Loved it!  Gus looks WAY older than he does in BB though, but there's really nothing you can do about it.  Then came Jimmy outside Chuck's house.  I was not expecting such a low key, passive Jimmy after the explosive way episode 2 ended!  He really calmed down quick!  It was actually pretty surprising he was willing to be arrested instead of running away.  I don't even think he has a big plan, he just wants to accept his fate here.  Interesting.  His warning to Chuck about how he will die, surrounding by electronic machines, was a nice little attack.

 

The montage of Kim getting ready that opened act 2 was incredible!  Another great montage in a show full of great montages.  Loved how she recognized Ernie's car as soon as she came outside.  Jimmy's scenes in the courthouse were great, I liked the other lawyer character he talked to (I think we've seen him before, right?).  When Kim showed up to defend him, my heart was tugged; She loves him despite everything, and is only going to get hurt.  I love how Mike has a drug buying contact in Mexico, because of course he does.

 

Jimmy with that lawyer again was a nice little scene, really liked the burger and how it played into their conversation.  Mike with the sneakers, I love the way this show is constantly introducing things that you have no idea what they are all about then it gets explained later in the episode.  So the case worker that visits Chuck, and we start to see his plan.  He's really revealing himself to be just as underhanded as Jimmy can be, the way he was talking about Jimmy and setting things up the way he wanted.

 

The desert sequence with Mike was another wonderful Mike sequence, with another great Dave Porter cue.  I loved his plan!  Gus's only thought was to basically just rob a truck again ; I love how Mike either on the fly came up with, or already had in the back of his mind, a plan to get Hector's guys arrested instead.  The shooting of the sneakers with meth in them to sprinkle over the back of the truck was so smart!  I didn't really understand why he was shooting in the air before that, though?  Was it just so they wouldn't stop the truck when they heard the shot that hit the sneakers?

 

The end of the episode where Kim and Jimmy discuss their options was great.  Jimmy realizes Chuck only wants him to be disbarred, and they discuss the best ways to fight it.  I LOVED the hand holding moment, it was perfectly executed.  Kim is willing to help Jimmy out, but at what cost?  Will something slip in the Mesa Verde case..... or will a piece of her soul be the price?  Off we go another week to ponder!

 

BTW, the final shot of the episode was incredible!

 

 


e1QWx8t.jpg

 

 

Does this show quietly have the best cinematography on TV?

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2 hours ago, Jay said:

love how Mike has a drug buying contact in Mexico, because of course he does.

 

That's the doctor who works for Gus; he's the same guy in BB who saves Gus and Mike after they kill Don Eladio and his men with the poisoned tequila.  Also; when that scene in the clinic started, the bell rang as the door opened and then there was the shot of an empty wheelchair; tell me that's not foreshadowing what eventually happens to Hector!

 

So many little things are starting to come together and tie in with BB, I love it!

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2 hours ago, Jay said:

The shooting of the sneakers with meth in them to sprinkle over the back of the truck was so smart!  I didn't really understand why he was shooting in the air before that, though?  Was it just so they wouldn't stop the truck when they heard the shot that hit the sneakers?

 

Precisely. Mike needed the smugglers to not react suspiciously at a single gunshot. But a few of them far away that were not aimed at them or tied to their specific actions would not raise alarm. Otherwise they might stop the truck and definitely see the drugs raining down. 

 

Sometimes I consider how alarming it is to hear gunshots in an urban or residential neighborhood. Some crime has been committed. Gunshot in the country? Probably someone shooting a groundhog. 

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I'm sure there's a obvious explanation that I can't think of, but why is it not in Gus' interest to kill Hector?

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7 hours ago, Jay said:

Does this show quietly have the best cinematography on TV?

 

It's certainly up there (like you, I also loved that Victor Fleming-like shot).

 

It's not on the level of UTOPIA (see below for a sample), which IMO is the alltime greatest when it comes to TV cinematography (with TWIN PEAKS on second), but among the shows running right now, it might very well be. No offense to GAME OF THRONES, HANNIBAL, TRUE DETECTIVE, PENNY DREADFUL, THE WALKING DEAD and all other 'lavishly' photographed series.

 

utopia-scenes.jpg

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23 hours ago, Matt S. said:

 

That's the doctor who works for Gus; he's the same guy in BB who saves Gus and Mike after they kill Don Eladio and his men with the poisoned tequila.  Also; when that scene in the clinic started, the bell rang as the door opened and then there was the shot of an empty wheelchair; tell me that's not foreshadowing what eventually happens to Hector!

 

So many little things are starting to come together and tie in with BB, I love it!

 

Oh, gotcha. So Mike discussed his plan with Gus offscreen, and Gus told Mike to contact this doctor to get meth. Gotcha. 

 

I'll never recognize these minor BB characters, watched it too long ago now. 

 

And yea, definitely noticed the doorbell. 

 

 

17 hours ago, Alex said:

I'm sure there's a obvious explanation that I can't think of, but why is it not in Gus' interest to kill Hector?

 

He wants to take away his drug empire and kill his family while Hector is alive to revel in his grief in retaliation for what Hector did to him (which we saw in BB flashback episode). 

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On 4/27/2017 at 2:29 AM, Alex said:

I'm sure there's a obvious explanation that I can't think of, but why is it not in Gus' interest to kill Hector?

 

20 hours ago, Jay said:

He wants to take away his drug empire and kill his family while Hector is alive to revel in his grief in retaliation for what Hector did to him (which we saw in BB flashback episode). 

 

11 hours ago, Alex said:

Ah yes, of course

 

 

I just read this interesting discussion about the various reasons Gus might have said that:

 

https://www.reddit.com/r/betterCallSaul/comments/67z8nr/major_spoilers_s3e3_can_someone_explain_why_gus/

 

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Witness

 

Catching up after a busy week.

 

Directed by Vince and features some outstanding camerawork. From the many vistas during Mike's stake-out to the dark atrmosphere of Chuck's house as he checks the locks.

 

Mike's story get's more time here than Jimmy's. We see him following the tracker through the night as it passes several drop-offs, eventually ending at Los Pollos Hermanos (great music for that scene)

Mike than recruits Jimmy to stake-out a bag drop in the restaurant itself. Leading toa scene that's both tense and hilarious. Jimmy is so obviously tryint to look casual he stands out. Gus is introduced to the show and senses something is wrong.

It's interesting why Jimmy would even agree to do this. He's running a seemingly booming practice now. He could go 100% legit, but for some reason he can't. 

 

Jimmy's story. He and Kim hire a new secretary even though Kim isnt sure she's suitable for her practice. Another example of Jimmy basically pushing though his opinion over the far more deliberate Kim.

Kim gets a call from Ernesto (who drives either a Subaru Impreza or an Evo! Crazy!) Ernie tells her about the tape.

The sequence that follows brilliantly illustrates the difference between Kim and Jimmy.

Kim weights both the legal and non-legal options Chuck might take and attempts to come up with a strategy, while Jimmy hauls ass to Chucks place and demands the tape back. Sadly Howard and a private-eye are present and function as witnesses.

 

Great scene with Howards btw as he tried to sneak into Chucks house from the back and has to scale a wall. He's clearly not amused by Chucks plans.

 

Simply a great episode with a hell of an ending. Superb acting from Odenkirk and especially McKean in the final scene. His expression as he essentially nails Jimmy red handed has both triumph and deep sadness in it.

 

 

Sunk Costs

 

Jimmy gets banged up for the night after breaking in and assaulting Chuck.Good character scenes between him and the slimy DA as he tries to find out who's gonna be handling the case. 

We find out Chuck really doesnt want his brother to go to jail. Despite all that has happened he has a soft spot for him. Like Kim does, like Ernesto (who got fired). But he wants Jimmy to stop practising law. Jimmy can get out of doing jail time by pleading guilty and submitting his confession to the bar association, which would most likely take away his license. Jimmy, and Kim chose to take on Chuck despite the odds.

Low key compared the the previous ep, but full of good character scenes. Especially for Kim, who once again gets herself involved more than she should.

 

The Mike story is good too. Finally Mike and Gus meet face to face in one of those classic Breaking Bad scenes of a bunch of guys in black cars meeting in the desert. 

Gus convinces Mike to stop trying to kill Hector but encourages more robberies. Something Mike isnt looking for

Mike's solution is essentially another half measure, but rather brilliantly set up. We see the pair of shoes in the teaser and all the time I was wondering what Mike's game was. 

The execution was rather brilliantly done.

 

Another good one!

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On 27/04/2017 at 1:24 AM, Jay said:

Loved it!  Gus looks WAY older than he does in BB though, but there's really nothing you can do about it.  

 

Agreed, this is just something I've decided not to let bother me. The only way to fix that would be make-up or CGI, and on a TV budget I doubt either would be convincing enough.

 

 

On 27/04/2017 at 1:24 AM, Jay said:

I love how Mike has a drug buying contact in Mexico, because of course he does.

 

 

My interpretation of it was that it was Gus why arranged that. Mike did say an associate of his called ahead.

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Yes, we already covered that in a later post.  I definitely wasn't thinking when I originally said that.

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5 hours ago, Stefancos said:

It's interesting why Jimmy would even agree to do this. He's running a seemingly booming practice now. He could go 100% legit, but for some reason he can't. 

 

Yea, that's just it.  He just can't help himself.  No matter how many amaze legit opportunities present themselves to him, he just can't help himself from going the other way.  I can relate, really.

 

5 hours ago, Stefancos said:

Kim gets a call from Ernesto (who drives either a Subaru Impreza or an Evo! Crazy!)

 

Why is that crazy?

 

5 hours ago, Stefancos said:

Great scene with Howards btw as he tried to sneak into Chucks house from the back and has to scale a wall. He's clearly not amused by Chucks plans.

 

It was hilarious seeing the perfectly suited up and tailored Hamlin going through all that.  Great idea they had to show that.

 

5 hours ago, Stefancos said:

Superb acting from Odenkirk and especially McKean in the final scene. His expression as he essentially nails Jimmy red handed has both triumph and deep sadness in it.

 

Yea, a mixture of triump and sadness is a great way to describe it

 

5 hours ago, Stefancos said:

Sunk Costs

 

No mention of the brilliant Kim getting ready montage?  Bah!

 

5 hours ago, Stefancos said:

Mike's solution is essentially another half measure, but rather brilliantly set up. 

 

Is it really a half measure, though?  Isn't getting two of Hector's drivers arrested actually MORE damaging than just robbing another truck?  

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That was brilliant actually. I dunno what I was thinking to not mention that.

 

On 20/04/2017 at 8:26 PM, Jay said:

 I did think that the final music stinger as the Los Pollos Hermanos sign was shown was a bit much, though; It's not like we didn't all know it was coming with AMC hyping both Gus and LPH so much between seasons.

 

I get your point but I disagree. Most people will be watching this on Netflix not AMC. Internationally anyway.

Also, who knows when the episode was edited and scored, might have been long before the adverts. And Porter probably doesnt have anything to do with them.

 

In-universe, it worked.

 

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I was thinking about that teaser:  As someone who watched BB first, you see the Los Pollos Hermanos truck and you understand what it means later, that Gus has taken over the distribution of Mexican meth into the US, with his trucks now driving the same route that Hector's trucks used to.  

 

But say someone is watching BCS without knowing a thing about BB.  The road conversation between Mike and Gus is when you learn that Gus isn't just manager of the chicken restaurant that helped Jimmy get his watch out of the trash, he's a competitor in the drug game.  And that teaser is really how a non-BB watcher learns that Gus uses his legit company's trucks in his drug ring.  Neat.

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Is it me of is Porter's music more prominent again this season (so far)?

I didnt notice it as much on season 2.

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I think the reason is the lengthy Mike montages in episode 1 and 2 featured no dialogue, so the music took center stage, and Porter really came up with something extremely effective for them.


But yea, I've enjoyed his cues so much this season, it makes me want to go back and see what he was doing in seasons 1 and 2 because I wasn't paying much attention to it

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3 minutes ago, Jay said:

I think the reason is the lengthy Mike montages in episode 1 and 2 featured no dialogue, so the music took center stage, and Porter really came up with something extremely effective for them.

 

True. The first half of Witness is basically Mike following a car, looking at stuff. The great camerwork and the music really elevate what could have been a dreary scene. Also helps that Banks can hold the viewers attention by literally doing nothing.

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Yea.  Banks' acting, Porter's music, and Gilligan's directing (and the cinematopher and editor he oversaw) really came together to make some extremely watchable TV there

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