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Better Call Saul


SeanF
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1 hour ago, Mark Antony said:

Actually wondered what the remaining Cartel affiliated people would think of Saul. I guess he’s probably not well known in those circles anymore. But yeah I wasn’t trying to say him being fine in prison was unrealistic just that the way they went about telling us that was the cheesiest over the top say possible. 

I don't think there are supposed to be any left of that cartel. But if there were they're probably fine with him. He worked for the guy who killed the guy who wiped out the cartel. I don't see that as a problem.

I do kinda wonder if anyone has that recording of Jessie cooking in Mexico. Presumably you could follow that step by step and get decent blue meth.

I wonder which lawyer Jimmy sent Francesca to in the opening of season four, episode five ("tell him Jimmy sent you.") I suspect it was supposed to be Howard, since Oakley was still with the DA at that point.

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3 hours ago, Mark Antony said:

I definitely think the implication of the bus scene was that our protagonist is actually gonna be okay in prison because of his celebrity status amongst the criminals. Just did not seem realistic to me 

Yes, on reflection, I think that's why I'm underwhelmed by the ending.  What is the show trying to say?  That Jimmy will be fine, even if he spends the rest of his life in gaol, because the prisoners respect him?  Or that he's going to spend forty years of utter horror,  in some Supermax hellhole?  Or that he'll only survive by the skin of his teeth by performing legal and illegal services for guys like the Aryan Brotherhood?  Where is the possibility of redemption in any of that?  What was achieved by throwing away the rest of his life in that manner?  

Edited by SeanF
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1 hour ago, Mark Antony said:

Actually wondered what the remaining Cartel affiliated people would think of Saul. I guess he’s probably not well known in those circles anymore. But yeah I wasn’t trying to say him being fine in prison was unrealistic just that the way they went about telling us that was the cheesiest over the top say possible. 

Saul never ratted on anyone as far as I know, so I don't see why they'd have any reason to really care about him one way or the other.  And basically everyone he was remotely connected with in the cartel is dead anyway so there's no one left for him to rat out.

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7 hours ago, Spockydog said:

Not having that ending at all. 

The idea that Jimmy McGill/Saul Goodman deliberately fucks himself like that, for the reasons they gave, is patently absurd. It made no sense. None whatsoever. 

I mean, he may as well have transformed into an octopus and started playing My Way on a trombone made of cheese. 

Very poor. 

 

IMO it makes sense. The one person he respected and wanted love and approval from was Kim. He didn't know she confessed and once he found out his whole demeanor changed. He did this to take the wrap so she would be ok. To me that tracks with Jimmy.

As to the prisoners, Saul was a hero / friend to exactly the people he is locked up with so why would he be a target? He is someone they respect because he followed the criminal code and never ratted on anyone. Plus, he can help with legal advice and bake a tasty loaf of bread!

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Sauld didn’t take the rap though, nothing he said in his testimony helps Kim, Cheryl Hamlin will still wreck her life with the civil suit. I wonder if it is even possible that Jimmy’s referencing the missing lawyer in court could push the DA to actually seek some kind of charges against Jimmy and Kim. As it stands, Jimmy just made sure both of them suffer in different ways. 

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Thought the finale was alright. Had some good moments like Saul displaying his acting skills to the prosecutor and Marie, and his goodbye to Kim was nice. Maybe not a goodbye, but see you way later. 

This was never going to end like BB with a storm of bullets, had to remind myself that. Hats off to a great show. Gonna miss Albuquerque. 

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Season 6 was a good deal better than Season Shit of GOT.

But, there was a similar dishonesty at the end of trying to frame a nihilistic ending as a happy ending.

In GOT, of the two idealists among the main characters, one was murdered by her boyfriend, who got cast into the wilderness for the rest of his life.  The country is now ruled by a creepy teenager, a corrupt sellsword, a kinslaying traitor, an unqualified Grand Maester, and Cersei 2.0.  And,  there's a chance that the slavers will return to power in the East.  Yet, somehow, that's meant to be happy!

Saul threw his life away for no good reason, but we're expected to believe he'll be okay because the other prisoners respect him.  This, despite that the sort of people who end up in Supermax prisons are utterly terrifying - people like the Salamancas or Gus.  And, the show depicted very well just how frightening such people are.  They're not people like Skinny Pete or Badger. Members of drug cartels, organised criminals, the worst serial killers and most ruthless terrorists are who you'll meet in there.  They're the kinds of people who post videos on social media of their victims being dismembered or going head first into buckets of acid.

 

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12 hours ago, SeanF said:

Yes, on reflection, I think that's why I'm underwhelmed by the ending.  What is the show trying to say?  That Jimmy will be fine, even if he spends the rest of his life in gaol, because the prisoners respect him?  Or that he's going to spend forty years of utter horror,  in some Supermax hellhole?  Or that he'll only survive by the skin of his teeth by performing legal and illegal services for guys like the Aryan Brotherhood?  Where is the possibility of redemption in any of that?  What was achieved by throwing away the rest of his life in that manner?  

I think it was just trying to get the balance right. If we were left with the thought that Jimmy is going to be living his life in utter misery, that really is pretty hard on the audience. 

I don't think he needs redemption at this point, him accepting to himself the things he has done in the past was the redemption we needed to see. It felt like Jimmy thought he deserved to be locked away, that he needed to be taken out of society because he's not a good person. 

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4 hours ago, SeanF said:

but we're expected to believe he'll be okay

I highly doubt that is the intention of the show runners. I'm not sure why you think so? How do you see this as a "happy ending? Compare this ending to Breaking Bad, where Walt does whatever the fuck he wants, including killing like 8 Nazis. Jimmy is the only person the the BB to actually pay the price for his crimes. 

Edited by Relic
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7 hours ago, SeanF said:

Season 6 was a good deal better than Season Shit of GOT.

But, there was a similar dishonesty at the end of trying to frame a nihilistic ending as a happy ending.

In GOT, of the two idealists among the main characters, one was murdered by her boyfriend, who got cast into the wilderness for the rest of his life.  The country is now ruled by a creepy teenager, a corrupt sellsword, a kinslaying traitor, an unqualified Grand Maester, and Cersei 2.0.  And,  there's a chance that the slavers will return to power in the East.  Yet, somehow, that's meant to be happy!

Saul threw his life away for no good reason, but we're expected to believe he'll be okay because the other prisoners respect him.  This, despite that the sort of people who end up in Supermax prisons are utterly terrifying - people like the Salamancas or Gus.  And, the show depicted very well just how frightening such people are.  They're not people like Skinny Pete or Badger. Members of drug cartels, organised criminals, the worst serial killers and most ruthless terrorists are who you'll meet in there.  They're the kinds of people who post videos on social media of their victims being dismembered or going head first into buckets of acid.

 

Jimmy has already survived Walt, Tuco, Lalo, Mike and Gus.  There is no reason not to think he will thrive in prison, where his two primary skills, grifting and lawyering, are both highly respected and valued.

I agree though that the show was trying to basically have it both ways.  They wanted to be true to the universe they created where your bad deeds always catch up with you one way or the other; but also give the audience a hopeful ending that wasn't too depressing.

 

 

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3 hours ago, Relic said:

Jimmy is the only person the the BB to actually pay the price for his crimes. 

In the legal system, maybe. But in addition to killing Nazis Walt lost the love of his family and 90% of his precious money, then died. Jessie was imprisoned and tortured for eight months. plus they shot his girlfriend in front of him. It's not like he's in the clear either.

Unless I'm misremembering, everyone we met from the Cartel and Gus' organization is dead. The only people I can think of who may have gotten away with anything are Huell, Kuby, Franchesca maybe if you consider her a criminal, vacuum guy, and the squat cobbler.

These two shows combined may have the highest % of dead major characters of anything I've watched. 

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I loved the finale. It's not a happy ending. Jimmy will face real consequences for all the terrible things he's done. But it's powerful because he chooses it for himself, finally clawing back some of his humanity after years of hiding in his terrible persona. And yes, there is some hope: the writers show you that Jimmy is doing ok in prison, and the Cinnabon fakeout is meant to show that even this is more of a life for Jimmy than what he was doing as Gene.

The big difference between Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul for me is that there was always something likeable and admirable at the core of Jimmy, and you could feel invested in his genuine attempts to become better or resist the worst parts of his nature. This is something you couldn't say for Walt, who revealed himself very quickly to be a horrible, rotten, human being. So I think the tone for the finale is perfect.

I teared up a few times - first when he spoke about Chuck and said his name was McGill, but then especially when he and Kim shared a cigarette, mirroring the first episode of the show. I also thought the flashbacks were all really well done and perfectly summed up the themes of the series; they felt necessary in a way that Jesse and Kim didn't last week.

Ok, but the bus scene was pretty cheesy.

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30 minutes ago, Caligula_K3 said:

But it's powerful because he chooses it for himself, finally clawing back some of his humanity after years of hiding in his terrible persona.

The big difference between Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul for me is that there was always something likeable and admirable at the core of Jimmy, and you could feel invested in his genuine attempts to become better or resist the worst parts of his nature. This is something you couldn't say for Walt, who revealed himself very quickly to be a horrible, rotten, human being. So I think the tone for the finale is perfect.

I agree 100% here. Jimmy lost himself in his multiple personas via a long road of lies and lying. His true and core nature lay in his Jimmy persona, the one we see at the start of this series. Mischievous, a bit of a criminal to be sure, but also an intelligent dude who cared deeply for a brother that treated him like shit. Seems to care about the elderly, in general. Over the seasons Jimmy slowly morphs into the full on criminal Saul (a man with seemingly little to no remorse), and then is forced to don the face of defeated Gene. We see all three men in this finale, with Gene in the dumpster, Saul taking charge and coming out on top, and then finally, Jimmy, who genuinely loves Kim and chooses the only path available to him to keep her in his life somehow. 

The "happy ending" is Jimmy choosing to be a real human being. In order to do so, however, he has to face his many sins, and pay the price for them.

The Shield spoiler below - 

Spoiler

Jimmy sort of gets an anti Vick Mackey ending. Vick owns up to his crimes to save his own ass, giving up his friends and family by doing so. By the very end you feel like he still hasnt learned any lessons, and while he is in a prison of his own making, he's a free man with a gun and a badge. Jimmy is behind bars for life, but he manages to keep Kim and prove Chuck wrong. 

 

Edited by Relic
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I caught up with the episode. Great stuff and a reminder of the different ways people can look at a story like this. I had predicted the prison resolution, and I was happy to see it all play out this way.

For me, the ending for Jimmy was definitely a happy one. Obviously you can have questions about the hellhole prison he's being sent to and the long arduous years ahead of him, but I feel like the show indicates that you can handwave these

Spoiler

(as demonstrated by the strange bus ride, his Cinnabon skills on full display in the kitchen and his tease of good behavior perhaps helping him to shorten his sentence)

and that the prime focus should be on Jimmy's reverse Kunta Kinte moment were he turns his back on the Saul persona once and for all.

It's actually quite powerful. It doesn't make up for all the crimes he has committed, but as there is no time machine, redemption needs to be found via another path. Rejecting the plum deal Saul brought him and speaking from the heart about Chuck, Howard and all the rest put our Jimmy back on the road to finally being at peace with himself. I'd argue that that inner peace, even when enjoyed within the walls of a shitty prison, is worth more to our Jimmy than anything else.

I will agree about the bus scene though. It didn't struck me as false as some of you, but it is definitely the weakest part of the episode.

 

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Perhaps one final addition, I don't think I'd rank the ending for BCS as one of the all-time greats (it is hard to beat the likes of The Shield or Justified) but more so because I agree that the final episodes were more like coda's while the real ending happened at the time of Howard's untimely demise. If I count that as the finale, than I'd give BCS actually a pretty good ranking.

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Vince Gilligan stuck the landing….again. Low-key finale but a logical ending that stayed true to what came before without needing to resort to some shitty left-field twist. I was sceptical when this show was first announced but BCS definitely exceeded all my expectations.

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They should have shot a flashback with Gus as a joke. That one time they met when Mike sent him into Pollos Hermanos, Jimmy gets his watch back and it's revealed that before he walked out he randomly turned around and asked the manager what he would do if he had a time machine.

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On 8/19/2022 at 1:07 AM, Relic said:

The "happy ending" is Jimmy choosing to be a real human being. In order to do so, however, he has to face his many sins, and pay the price for them.

Exactly. It's a happy ending only in the context of what has come before it. I think it's perfectly in keeping with how the show has developed.

The ending Jimmy chose wasn't out of self-interest or his love for Kim. It was out of his (belated) commitment to justice and how, ultimately, he faces up to it without flinching.

Here's a good interview on Peter Gould's thoughts on the final episode:

https://variety.com/2022/tv/news/better-call-saul-peter-gould-interview-ending-finale-1235341919/

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Re: the bus scene. To me, it sounded a bit Monty Python. Like "always look at the bright side of life", etc. :D

But yes, there were other ways to tell us that Saul is gonna get along with prisoners. 

As an example, when Saul walks out of the kitchen, he could interact with other prisoners in many ways. We would understand he's the boss, and this would make the ending a bit funnier.

He could even have a shot with the prisoners playing basketball, in the last scene. This wouldn't have been very Jimmy, but still better as a last picture, than the farewell he bids to Kim.

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