Better Call Saul

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Roger Ryan
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Re: Better Call Saul

#26 Post by Roger Ryan » Thu Feb 12, 2015 9:53 am

I, too, am a little surprised that the show retains the same tone as its predecessor which forces an unflattering comparison. While its fun to spend more time in this universe with Odenkirk's character, the first two episodes felt desperately padded out to fill an hour time-slot (or the 75 minute and 64 minute time-slots respectively). I'll forgive the very long ugly-looking prologue to the pilot, but that interminable ALL THAT JAZZ homage and bar scene in the second episode really had me checking my watch. So far, McGill is the center of every scene and I'm reminded that much of the success of BREAKING BAD was its wealth of auxiliary characters who seemed to have real lives outside of their interactions with Walter White. I can predict Mike picking up the slack again in future episodes, but it feels strained to have McGill/Goodman carrying the whole show right now.

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Cameron Swift
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Re: Better Call Saul

#27 Post by Cameron Swift » Thu Feb 12, 2015 8:51 pm

I have to agree. Saul's schtick was fun in Breaking Bad because it was in small doses. Here, having him ramble on in his usual manner, tends to get overbearing quickly.

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Re: Better Call Saul

#28 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Thu Feb 12, 2015 11:29 pm

The "take off the space blanket" scene veered into uncomfortable territory.

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ShellOilJunior
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Re: Better Call Saul

#29 Post by ShellOilJunior » Mon Feb 16, 2015 8:53 am

Give it some time. The writers are not rushing Mike. He's set to be in at least 10 episodes so there's plenty of time for his character. Also, Nacho looks to be a "business" partner with Saul. I'd like to see where this going because I like what I see from Nacho so far. He's a crook but he's not crazy like Tuco.
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I've read on boards that in BB Season 2 Saul mentions Nacho when he's held at gun point by Walt and Jesse. Does anyone remember this?

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PfR73
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Re: Better Call Saul

#30 Post by PfR73 » Mon Feb 16, 2015 11:02 am

ShellOilJunior wrote:
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I've read on boards that in BB Season 2 Saul mentions Nacho when he's held at gun point by Walt and Jesse. Does anyone remember this?
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It's possible. At about 00:15 into this clip from that scene, Saul says "It wasn't me, it was Ignacio." There was no other Ignacio in Breaking Bad and Nacho is often a nickname for Ignacio. However, we don't know for sure yet that Nacho is Ignacio & depending on how things shake out in the Better Call Saul series, whether there'd still be a reason for Saul to mention him 7-8 years later when Walt & Jesse kidnap him

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Re: Better Call Saul

#31 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Thu Feb 19, 2015 2:54 pm

You would have thought my favorite sports team won the big game when Mike's big moments happened in the third episode.

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Re: Better Call Saul

#32 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Tue Mar 10, 2015 10:32 am

Holy shit.

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Feiereisel
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Re: Better Call Saul

#33 Post by Feiereisel » Tue Mar 10, 2015 11:53 am

flyonthewall2983 wrote:Holy shit.
Haha.
maybe not quite a spoiler, but still...Show
I love the way the show quietly digressed to Mike toward the end of the fifth episode--not just that it did it but how it did it--and then ceded it almost entirely to Mike in the sixth hour.
A bold, immensely satisfying, bit of plotting and storytelling.

Novelistic, even. Reminds me of Elmore Leonard, which--yes, more please.

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Roger Ryan
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Re: Better Call Saul

#34 Post by Roger Ryan » Wed Mar 11, 2015 8:10 am

This week's episode was so easily the strongest that I'm starting to think the show should have centered on Mike all along with McGill/Goodman relegated to a supporting character. Banks was outstanding and it was a real pleasure watching him get a chance to take this character far beyond what we had seen in BREAKING BAD. The previous week's episode was the first one I felt completely satisfied with so I'm hoping the show has now found its footing regardless of whether Mike is central to the story or not.
Last edited by Roger Ryan on Fri Mar 13, 2015 7:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Better Call Saul

#35 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Wed Mar 11, 2015 8:28 am

I have a bias because I loved the Mike character on BB, but I think the rest of the show holds up fine against this episode. There's a way I could see this working with other characters as well, and that Saul/Jimmy is more or less just the center of the storm.

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Re: Better Call Saul

#36 Post by cdnchris » Tue Apr 07, 2015 11:14 am

I've been really up and down with this show all season. I was pretty much sold after the first few episodes but became unsure as it went: I found each episode entertaining, and with the last half of the season I felt a bit of disappointment when the episode ended, but I still felt the season didn't have much of a focus and was going all over the place. I stayed patient with it figuring it would all tie up somehow. It also doesn't hurt I like Odenkirk and more Jonathan Banks is always welcome (especially Mike), but I was feeling the best episode of the season may have been the one solely about Mike, which also probably relied more on the Breaking Bad connection than any other episode other than maybe the first one. It was also the one episode that had very little Jimmy/Saul, which probably isn't a good sign.

I'm glad I stuck with it, though, because the last two episodes really paid off. Most everything comes together: Jimmy's brother, the money that family embezzled, the old age home, etc., it all finally clicked together and the season felt like a whole instead of the scattershot mess I frequently felt it was. I was getting frustrated with McKean's character, but then that scene between him and Odenkirk in the second-to-last episode made up for everything. The ending was a great punch line I thought, especially after things looked to be finally going his way: after Jimmy was constantly trying to do the right thing, trying to be a good person
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he basically says "fuck it" and from now on it's all about money and him. The last exchange between Mike and Jimmy was great, showing their differing philosophies and I'm really looking forward to the two of them working together again.
The only thing sort of hanging is Nacho: he was built up but disappeared until the second to last episode, so I wonder if there will be more of him to come.

I was most pleased that the show was trying to be its own thing, breaking away from Breaking Bad. I feared after the first episode that it would rely too heavily on that link, especially in how it introduced Tuco, which screamed "Hey! Remember this guy? You loved him in Breaking Bad! Remember!?" But if I recall that was the only character (other than Jimmy/Saul and Mike) that was carried over, and he disappears after the second episode. I thought it successfully creates its own world and I actually forgot about Breaking Bad through most of the episodes (usually a shot, or an Easter Egg for fans like Jimmy mentioning "Belize" in the finale would remind me).

I still think it has some things to iron out and am hoping next season's storyline is a bit more focused: I guess I forgive this season because they were obviously trying to really lay out the ground work to Jimmy becoming Saul, and the last couple episodes wouldn't have worked as well if all of the previous material hadn't been set up. Maybe it could have been done in a less roundabout way, but at least it was entertaining. And, most importantly, by the end it also solved one of my bigger problems: Despite the fact I really like Odenkirk in the role, and get a kick out of him and the character, I found myself wanting more Mike, meaning I was finding the secondary character more interesting than the primary. By the last few episodes this wasn't an issue for me any longer. Though Mike got a great bit in the previous episode, I didn't find myself (entirely) missing him when Jimmy or any other character was on screen.

Also, am I understanding correctly that they plan on the show taking place before and during the timeline of Breaking Bad, with some flash forwards? It might be interesting to have them take a few Breaking Bad episodes and have them solely from Saul's point of view. I think it's set up its own identity enough that episodes like that would work.

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Re: Better Call Saul

#37 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Tue Apr 07, 2015 11:44 pm

I like that it ended not with any major shootouts or any kind of violent conclusion that BB did from time to time and was hinted at very early on in the show. It ended with a cut and dry decision that I imagine we'll see snowball throughout the show.

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Re: Better Call Saul

#38 Post by ShellOilJunior » Wed Apr 08, 2015 7:24 am

Season 1 feels like a prologue to me.
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I like how Gilligan didn't rush anything in S1. It took 10 episodes before Jimmy decided to become Saul. The moment he does decide it's understated - Jimmy hesitates on his way to meet with Mayne and Davis and thinks "You know what? No matter I do I'll always be Slippin' Jimmy to my brother. What's the point?"
The best is yet to come. It's too bad we'll have to wait a year for Season 2. It would be nice to have S2 to arrive in July.

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Roger Ryan
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Re: Better Call Saul

#39 Post by Roger Ryan » Wed Apr 08, 2015 8:42 am

While I got a kick out of Jimmy's extended bingo monologue, I found the season finale to be one of the flatter episodes. Episodes 5 - 9 were all pretty strong with the Mike-dominated sixth episode far superior to the rest, but the finale had that unfocused quality of the early part of the season. I think the thing that I found most disappointing about the resolution...
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...was that the betrayal by Chuck should have closed the door on Jimmy's aspiration to be a legitimate lawyer. That he was miraculously offered a potential partnership in a respected firm (arranged by a woman he's clearly in love with) and decides to walk away from it only makes the character look stupid and self-destructive. Up until this point in his story (and as the character was portrayed in BREAKING BAD), Jimmy/Saul has taken advantage of every opportunity, legal or illegal. To be offered a lifeline and decline it seems out-of-character for him.


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Re: Better Call Saul

#41 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Sat Mar 19, 2016 11:45 am

Who else is up to date? I think it's continuing to be excellent, though going at admittedly a slower pace than I expected.

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Re: Better Call Saul

#42 Post by Feiereisel » Sat Mar 19, 2016 1:18 pm

flyonthewall2983 wrote:Who else is up to date? I think it's continuing to be excellent, though going at admittedly a slower pace than I expected.
I'm caught up and enjoying it as well. The best bit for me is the shift from season one's righteous-underdog sensibility to this season's more active--and insidious--disregard of authority. (Illustrated most succinctly in the scene with Jimmy and the light switch.)

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Re: Better Call Saul

#43 Post by oh yeah » Sun Mar 20, 2016 3:32 am

I think it's the best drama currently going (until Rectify comes back anyway), and I say that as someone who finds Breaking Bad pretty great but heavily overrated. I like the slower pace of Saul -- it did seem a bit aimless in the first season at times, but the second season has been near-perfect, just fantastic television in every respect. I think the show has the potential to better its predecessor because of its interest in character over exposition and action, how Saul (and others) really feels like a three-dimensional person whereas BB dealt a lot with comic-book-level cutouts.

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Re: Better Call Saul

#44 Post by Roger Ryan » Mon Mar 21, 2016 7:25 am

I'm very pleased with the second season as well...and happy the producers heeded my advice (!) and had Jimmy change his mind about the law firm offer. The show definitely feels like it has found its footing and offers a nice balance between Jimmy's storyline and Mike's.

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Re: Better Call Saul

#45 Post by mfunk9786 » Mon Mar 21, 2016 11:39 am

Every bit of this shouldn't work, too - I still can't believe the Mike and Jimmy storylines are even taking place on the same show, and they should feel a lot more disparate than they actually are. Just adding myself to the chorus of people giving this full support, even though we inevitably know where it's headed.

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Re: Better Call Saul

#46 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Mon Mar 21, 2016 7:51 pm

For me I know where it's headed as well but, how it gets there seems a bit mysterious to me still. It's been a slow build thus far, which is playing a part in making me all but forget Breaking Bad. Added to that the new characters who are definitely making their own mark. This is probably Michael McKean's best dramatic work, and Rhea Seehorn is fabulous as Kim. I don't even hate Howard as much as everyone else seems to, he has a point of view and a stake in all this.

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Re: Better Call Saul

#47 Post by oh yeah » Mon Mar 21, 2016 8:44 pm

Yeah, Seehorn really is doing great work as Kim -- last week's episode was her chance in the spotlight, and it worked beautifully (loved that montage set to the Gypsy Kings' "My Way" cover). I'm eagerly awaiting tonight's episode partly because it's just such an unpredictable show where it feels like anything can happen -- I feel that it being a prequel to BB somehow doesn't do anything to lessen the suspense. Sure, we know where Saul and Mike will end up, but there's still a huge fascination in how they get there -- not to mention what happens to everyone else, Kim and Chuck et al.

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Re: Better Call Saul

#48 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Tue Apr 19, 2016 4:57 pm

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Great season, but I have mixed feelings on how slow they've kept the pace. For where it's at now, shit REALLY has to go down in S3 now.

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Re: Better Call Saul

#49 Post by cdnchris » Tue Apr 19, 2016 5:09 pm

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I think my fear is it getting more tangled into the drug world from Breaking Bad already. Based on what happened to Mike at the end of the last episode I'm guessing that Gustavo will be showing up next season. I liked that, for the most part, it was staying out of that for the time being, only dipping its toes in the water and just letting Jimmy, Mike, Kim, et al. do their own thing. Though I guess at some point it's going to have to get back into all of that. Still, with where it left off with Chuck, there's still going to be plenty of drama around that.
Still, I thought it was a good season, and at this point, in comparison to Breaking Bad by its second season, I'm feeling that I'm liking this show more.

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Re: Better Call Saul

#50 Post by therewillbeblus » Tue Apr 19, 2016 5:26 pm

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I watched Talking Saul after the episode (something I never do) and they stated that there's a hidden message via an anagram by taking the first letter of each episode's title spelling out "Fring's back" which Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould claimed was no accident, and they heavily hinted that someone employed by Gus left the note on Mike's car.
I agree that this season had a very slow-burn pace, and while I was hoping for more action I still think it's one of the best shows on TV currently. This season had some great character development
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and nicely set up the third season to be full of conflict.

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