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Mike

Better Call Saul

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Season 1 finale spoiler...

 

I didn't really like the ending. If Chuck screwing Jimmy was the reason why Jimmy decided to become a crooked lawyer, I'd be okay with it and it would make sense but the way it happened didn't make much sense. All of Jimmy's hard work had finally paid off and he was about to catch his big break. Why decide to throw that all away now and become the crooked lawyer that he'll end up being? Is it become Kim apparently helped him get the interview with the new law firm? I don't think that's it so I'm not sure why he decided to go down this path.

 

Overall I was happy with this season and look forward to season 2.

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Yeah, really good first season and also looking forward to season 2. I am not sure if he's truly "gone crooked" just yet. There's still more story to that I think. We'll see what they do in the next season. It is sad that he tried so hard only to have his brother screw him over, but Chuck doesn't seem to really be all there with his other issues either, so who knows. I get his jealousy because it seems to have come easy for Jimmy, but still sucks for Jimmy and I can see that breaking him if he doesn't take that interview or things don't work out for whatever reason.

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Did Chuck really "screw" his brother though? He just didn't want him working there. The guy at work and I had this Xmas argument and personally I see see a guy who didn't want to have his brother work at his company but didn't want to break his heart and have him know he was the reason.

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How? He didn't want his brother to work at his firm. How is that screwing him?

Well lets follow the thought train. WHY didnt he want Jimmy to work with him?

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Because of his past as Slipping Jimmy. And he also wasn't crazy about his online lawyer degree.

Do those seem like good reasons to deprive your brother of his dream job?

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If he ruins your practice, yes.

Given that we watched him bust his ass for 10 episodes trying to be legit any way he could, one would expect his brother to have more faith in him than that.

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Given that we watched him bust his ass for 10 episodes trying to be legit any way he could, one would expect his brother to have more faith in him than that.

True but he grew up with him. He made been in jail a few times and had to have his brother bust him out. There could be other stuff we haven't seen that has happened in the past as well. Also, he doesn't consider his law degree "legit" as his.

Speaking of when Jimmy was busting his ass: He made $700 a case and was taking a lot of cases a day to get as much money as possible. I don't get how lawyers getting that much and then complain About the pay. Lol A lawyer can make a decent living just doing those court cases. I understand that being a lawyer can get you alot more money but when he was complaining about the pay it made me laugh.

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So this was very good.

What I got out of the end was Jimmy doesn't believe in himself to be the great lawyer everyone else now thinks he can be. Hearing him run himself down when Kim was telling him about his interview crushed me. He looked up to Chuck so much and needed so much to know that he was proud of him, I think his betrayal (and Jimmy's time back in Illinois) broke his belief in himself. All of this time and insane hustle dedicated to proving himself to his perfect older brother, and what did it get him? His spirit is broken and suddenly that big case doesn't have the appeal it used to. 

I wasn't crazy about the ending itself (the last line and then driving away to that song) but the character motivation seems on point to me. I would've preferred they played it a bit darker than they did because Jimmy is ultimately a tragic figure and seeing him give up didn't really feel like it should've been a "fuck yeah" moment with a one liner and rock music as he drives down the road. 

 

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I just watched the first episode and a half of this and man, I really want to see Jimmy win. I think that's a big thing that sets this apart from Breaking Bad: you often rooted for Walter when he was doing awesome crime stuff, but watching Saul, watching Jimmy fail or lose is brutal. You really don't want him to get clowned, or worse yet, corrupted.

And the dorky guy Mike's dealing with is hilarious. I laughed out loud when that ridiculous fuck-ugly Hummer was revealed.

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Also it's remarkable how quickly Kim went from being a tertiary character to potentially the best one on the show. 

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Gotta say, I'm enjoying these first two seasons far more than the first two seasons of Breaking Bad. Though, I still think something REALLY bad is going to happen to Kim by the end of this show that will put Saul in a completely different light. Remember the movie Lord of War? Something similar to that ending.

 

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16 minutes ago, Matt said:

Gotta say, I'm enjoying these first two seasons far more than the first two seasons of Breaking Bad. Though, I still think something REALLY bad is going to happen to Kim by the end of this show that will put Saul in a completely different light. Remember the movie Lords of War? Something similar to that ending.

 

It's really clever how they've adjusted things to make the show more suspenseful--instead of relying on my interest on how Jimmy becomes Saul Goodman (which still seems a hell of a long way off on his character arc, which is a good thing) or how Mike comes to be fully entrenched in the crime world.... and just to say, those are two very interesting stories, but the inevitability and relatively low stakes of them both keep it from packing the punch of tension BrBa had--I'm now terrified for Kim's career the more and more stock she puts in Jimmy. We know (think?) she's not in regular contact with Saul Goodman, which is hardly surprising given that he's going by a completely different name at that point, but beyond that, her fate is entirely a mystery. Maybe Jimmy eventually drives her away and she goes on to do her own thing. Or maybe he drags her down and ruins her life. Hats off to the writers for building something of a center for the show in her, someone for the audience to truly invest in. Near the end of the show I bet a scene where Saul, shortly before he's repackaged as Gene from Omaha, calls Kim and apologizes or says goodbye or something.

Also, as for your comparison, I think S1 as a whole is better than Breaking Bad's first season (though the hilarity of some of BrBa's earlier episodes makes that a tough call to make), but I don't think I'd go that far with season two just yet. I suppose it all depends on your perspective--some people consider Breaking Bad's second season the best one, others think it's the worst. I'm still of the mind that the show improved with each season (if we're counting season five as a full 16 episode season instead of two "half-seasons", in which case there'd be a lull). I suppose it all comes down to if this season finishes off as well as S2 of Breaking Bad did. I haven't seen an episode as good as "Four Days Out", "Phoenix", or "Peek-a-Boo" yet, though. I think that's the thing that's keeping it from being that good--not a hell of a lot in the way of stand-out episodes, just very consistently very good ones. Where Breaking Bad was a show of peaks and valleys.

And there's also that Breaking Bad was the best show on TV pretty much every year it was on except 2008 (which was the last year of both The Shield and The Wire, and Mad Men was probably better at that point too but I can't say with certainty). BCS wasn't even in my top five last year and so far this year I've only watched two shows and it's the second best one. Sure, TV is much more competitive now than it was for the bulk of BrBa's run, but it does make it harder for Saul to leave the same kind of impression when it's not the thing to watch like Bad was.

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19 hours ago, Dylan said:

Also it's remarkable how quickly Kim went from being a tertiary character to potentially the best one on the show. 

Yeah her character has definitely become much more interesting since last season. 

I loved how we got to see how great Chuck is in this last episode. The looks that Howard gave him at the start of the meeting with him praising Kim were hilarious as he was nervous as hell about what he was saying. 

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I think Better Call Saul certainly has some claim to being the best series on television at the moment, in part due to its consistency and those wonderful Gilligan signatures, like his montages and cold opens.  I sort of agree that there hasn't been that undeniably classic episode yet but I think they're right on the cusp every week and that in and of itself is quite the achievement.

The season one episode, "Five-O" may be the closest BCS has gotten to that classic episode status.

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2 minutes ago, Andrew said:

I think Better Call Saul certainly has some claim to being the best series on television at the moment

I'm not disagreeing that it's in the conversation, just that it isn't standing head and shoulders above the competition--just last year, in the realm of dramas, I'd have The Americans, Fargo, and The Leftovers over it without even a second thought. Any year Breaking Bad was on the air, I'd have to think long and hard about whether I was willing to even consider something else on TV its equal. 

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