Better Call Saul - Season Four Discussion & Digestion

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by EVOLVIST, Jul 25, 2018.

  1. rontoon

    rontoon Floydian Archivist

    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    I find BCS and Breaking Bad both to be exceptional shows on a number of levels. One became an extension of the other, it's just one long story. No need for me to weigh one over the other.
     
  2. rontoon

    rontoon Floydian Archivist

    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Better Call Saul had a weird start – before it began, it was envisioned as a half-hour sitcom – and early episodes toyed with slightly uncomfortable comedic japes, such as the billboard scheme from series one.

    This is the direction that I originally thought the show head into. Glad they changed it to what it is.
     
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  3. HotelYorba101

    HotelYorba101 Forum Resident

    Location:
    California
    I have been seeing a lot of "BCS is boring" posts pop up on various forums and honestly I disagree! I always found the pacing to be alright, it reminds me a lot of Mad Men where the slow pacing actually gives time for the characters to breathe and for you to really get to know them on a deeper level. Each scene, even if they may not advance the plot a ton, really humanizes the characters to me and gives it more depth.

    This season in particular I thought was done very nicely in watching Jimmy's slow but sure descent into "full Saul Goodman" by the end of the finale. His initial grief and thoughts of being at fault for Chuck's demise, to quickly coping by letting Howard take the blame and relieving himself of the burden of his brother. That relief of his grief even making it so by one year's time he has to fake those emotions in order to get his law license back, and is now filled with contempt for the people who he thought were his soon-to-be-peers that in his view will never give him a fair shot based on past actions

    I am interested to see how far Kim goes with her relationship with "Saul Goodman" now before she hops off that train. She looked deeply troubled by Jimmy at the end there after she realized he even conned her into believing what he said about Chuck
     
  4. Chazro

    Chazro Forum Resident

    Location:
    West Palm Bch, Fl.
    I'm curious, among all of you, who thought Jimmy was sincere when he went before the board and 'put aside' the letter? Cause, Igottatellya, as soon as he put it aside, I thought to myself; "here we go...". Every time he's lied or been insincere I've known it instantaneously, I know I can't be the only one. I'll add that I believe I've known it because that's the way Odenkirk plays it and that's the way it's written. The ONLY unbelievable aspect to this whole scenario is that Kim, the person closest to him, knows him like no other, and is crazy smart, is one of the 'suckers'!
     
  5. notesofachord

    notesofachord Where are the prawns?

    I loved the humor on season one, personally. Don't forget - season one of Breaking Bad had a lot of black humor as well.
     
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  6. George P

    George P Forum Pianophile

    Location:
    NYC
    Yeah, I really wish they had more of that humor throughout both series.
     
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  7. chili555

    chili555 Forum Resident

    It is anything but boring in my opinion. Any series that provokes this much analysis, speculation and anticipation is anything but borimg. I think that BCS and BB are the two best series ever on television, not necessarily in that order.

    I'll concede that there are those who do not share my opinion. They may be the same people that don't like chocolate, the White Album or gin martinis.
     
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  8. misterjones

    misterjones Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York City
    I knew it was BS from the start. My only question was whether the board would buy it. I could see Kim was moved, but I thought she was just fondly remembering Chuck. After all, what Jimmy was saying essentially was true. His only sin was insincerity. Alternatively, I thought Kim perhaps was tearing up to make those who could see her think Jimmy was being genuine. Therefore, I was surprised when Kim acted the way she did.

    I also thought it unrealistic that both of them were being so loudly self-congratulatory not that far removed from the room where Jimmy supposedly was a heartbroken mess. I would have expected him to keep it low-key until he was safely removed from the building and anyone who could spot conduct inconsistent with his performance before the board.

    In addition, I thought it strange that the board did not seem to engage in any sort of deliberation. Unlike the hearing panel, which gave the matter a lot of thought, the board immediately decided to reinstate Jimmy despite the panel's findings to the contrary.
     
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  9. notesofachord

    notesofachord Where are the prawns?

    The question is, when will Gus Fring channel his inner Buggin' Out? :righton:

    [​IMG]
     
  10. genesim

    genesim Forum Resident

    Location:
    St. Louis
    I found it all a bit weird. She knows him so well but is duped and yeah then being so loud about it without a care in the world with who sees much like the donation party where he is blatantly obvious after the head down smoke.

    They play a lot of people like true idiots on this show.
     
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  11. notesofachord

    notesofachord Where are the prawns?

    I loved the part in this current season where the burglar is stuck in the copier man's office and has to wait for his chance to escape while listening to him listen to self-help tapes, eat pizza and argue with his wife. Great stuff.
     
  12. genesim

    genesim Forum Resident

    Location:
    St. Louis
    Oh wow I never caught that. Been a whije since I seen it.
     
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  13. George P

    George P Forum Pianophile

    Location:
    NYC
    Totally, I also loved the interactions between Jimmy and the Kettlemans.
     
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  14. notesofachord

    notesofachord Where are the prawns?

    Season 1 is still the best from a pure entertainment perspective. However, the acting/drama/character development has just gotten better and better. Kind of like Breaking Bad's arc.
     
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  15. notesofachord

    notesofachord Where are the prawns?

    Remember when Jimmy McGill played porno password in The Cable Guy? :righton:

    [​IMG]
     
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  16. misterjones

    misterjones Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York City
    Here's my take on the legitimacy of Jimmy using "Saul Goodman" as his practice name:

    The applicable ethical rule in New Mexico (now Rule 16-705) states that a “trade name may be used by a lawyer in private practice if it does not imply a connection with a government agency or with a public or charitable legal services organization and is not otherwise in violation of Rule 16-701”. Rule 16-701, in turn, states that a “lawyer shall not make a false or misleading communication about the lawyer or the lawyer’s services”. The lone ethics opinion addressing the use of trade names (from 1988) does little more than restate the rule.

    New Mexico’s rule 16-705 is substantially the same as ABA Model Rule 7.5. The Oregon State Bar issued an extensive “bulletin” on the use of trade names –Welcome to the Oregon State Bar Online – but the article does not specifically address the situation presented in Better Call Saul. The commentary to the ABA Model Rule suggests, but does not expressly state, that the use of a fictitious person’s name would not be permissible:

    “A firm may be designated by the names of all or some of its members, by the names of deceased members where there has been a continuing succession in the firm’s identity or by a trade name such as the ‘ABC Legal Clinic.’ A lawyer or law firm may also be designated by a distinctive website address or comparable professional designation. Although the United States Supreme Court has held that legislation may prohibit the use of trade names in professional practice, use of such names in law practice is acceptable so long as it is not misleading. If a private firm uses a trade name that includes a geographical name such as ‘Springfield Legal Clinic,’ an express disclaimer that it is a public legal aid agency may be required to avoid a misleading implication. It may be observed that any firm name including the name of a deceased partner is, strictly speaking, a trade name. The use of such names to designate law firms has proven a useful means of identification. However, it is misleading to use the name of a lawyer not associated with the firm or a predecessor of the firm.”

    I suspect that if confronted by the precise issue raised in Better Call Saul, the New Mexico Bar would not permit Jimmy McGill to practice as Saul Goodman (likely because holding himself out as “Saul Goodman” would constitute “a false or misleading communication about the lawyer”). But resolution of the issue is by no means clear-cut.

    As an aside, the first sentence of the commentary (specifically, “[a] firm may be designated . . . by the names of deceased members where there has been a continuing succession in the firm’s identity") is why HHM can still use Chuck's last name.
     
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  17. genesim

    genesim Forum Resident

    Location:
    St. Louis
    I know this is strane but I want to quote myself. The brilliance of the show to ne is how they set you up to feel later. I guess in hindsight the lack of warmth made you feel the scene all the more. Nothing like siblings.
     
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  18. GregM

    GregM Forum Resident

    Location:
    Daddyland, CA
    This is an interesting post, so I just wanted to reply. I did see the final episode of BCS this season but haven't caught up yet on what's been posted.

    Sopranos was set up for you to root for Tony, and the set up was not simple. He was a disgusting, murderous thug among other things, but that was part of how the show kept you on the edge of your seat so that you couldn't stop watching him. He was not uni-dimensional. He was written as a sympathetic character relative to the other characters. This was done brilliantly. His base instinct was, by turns, amoral, immoral and outright ethical, particularly when it came to treatment of animals and infants. And the show repeatedly returned to this theme, where he was aware of true innocence and true evil in a way few protagonists are in the history of cinema or literature. By comparison the FBI was the anti-villian if you will, representing fascism, political correctness and imprisonment. If you were rooting for the FBI, something was wrong. You can watch the show on many levels and if you just watched it for the pasta and colloquialisms, you missed a lot.

    Walt, on the other hand, was neither unidimentional nor multidimensional. He lived in alternate universes with himself because the writers were not disciplined enough to play by the rules of the story they created. He was no more relatable than any other character: if you rooted for Walt more than for Jesse or Mike or even Gus, something is askew. It's ok to relate to him once in a while, but he was obnoxious and overbearing. The cancer and tough family life were supposed to create sympathy toward him, but he quickly squandered that, whether intentionally by the writers, or as the result of sloppy writing.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2018
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  19. GregM

    GregM Forum Resident

    Location:
    Daddyland, CA
    The way Chuck was shown in that final episode made me quite sure that the show shouldn't have killed him last year. And the constant nonlinear sequences are obnoxious. If you have a good story to tell, you tell it from start to middle to ending in a compelling way, without needing to rely on devices like nonlinear time and stylized nonsense, e.g., Chuck's "fits" and the campy split screen type of stuff. I'm not being critical because I got no enjoyment out of watching it--I did. But it could be a lot better with a bit of discipline. I could see them killing Chuck if they had a better direction and arc for this season. But they didn't. His death was for nothing. The characters have not evolved the entire year.
     
  20. EVOLVIST

    EVOLVIST Kid A Thread Starter

    Could it be that we are just attracted to those fictional characters who we resemble the most on our insides and/ or who we wish we could be, if only for a moment?

    These characters act and we have no fear of repercussions. Take away the threat of reprisal and humankind may go ape****.
     
  21. notesfrom

    notesfrom Forum Resident

    Location:
    NC USA
    I was also thinking that Chuck could have stuck around longer in the show, alive - mostly because the brother dynamic was interesting and the acting was great - but that storyline had run its course.

    Chuck's death allows Jimmy to leave family values/expectations and the straight law world behind. Kim is/was his last tie to the latter. Chuck grounded Jimmy in a way and was a constant point of reference in his professional and family-oriented life (he was taking care of Chuck).

    Jimmy is now cut loose and fluttering in the wind, so to speak.
     
  22. Chazro

    Chazro Forum Resident

    Location:
    West Palm Bch, Fl.
    Not to siderail the discussion into a Sopranos/BCS thing but....another aspect of the Sopranos is how amazingly realistic most of the characters (not you Silvio!;)) were portrayed. That realistic portrayal was not something only felt by criminals but by regular folk, especially from the tri-state area. Jimmy McGill, while he's played as a joe-everyman somehow doesn't ever come across to me as someone who could actually exist. I bet I'm about to get schooled by the legal eagles hanging on the thread!;)
     
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  23. genesim

    genesim Forum Resident

    Location:
    St. Louis
    I don't have a problem with non-linear books do it all the time. Tarantino does it as well and lots of times quite effectively especially first 2 films.

    I admit BCS has a more noticable gimmick about it.
     
  24. NettleBed

    NettleBed Forum Resident

    Location:
    new york city
    I didn't say that was why I watched it. It was a very good show. An excellent show for it's time, but it doesn't totally work on repeated viewings. You can see the cracks in the writing, the obviousness of some of it, and really Tony never comes off as sympathetic at all. He was an evil man who hung out with other evil men. Superficialities were dangled in front of the audience insofar as humaizing Tony, and I guess the more fascist-leaning and/or ignorant of the bunch bought into it.

    The endings of the two shows should have been reversed. The evil, unlikeable pig Tony Soprano didn't deserve an ambiguous ending. He deserved nothing less than death. Walter White deserved ambiguity.
     
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  25. GregM

    GregM Forum Resident

    Location:
    Daddyland, CA
    I think there was some character development left. When Chuck went to the nuclear option, declared he just didn't think about Jimmy all that much and shortly thereafter was burning himself alive, it seemed quite abrupt. If I was the writer, I would have made Chuck go more insane, and with that to come to see Jimmy as brilliant in his own rite. Throw the audience a bone. We were getting so tired of seeing everyone praise Chuck as the brilliant attorney. When he was beaten by Jimmy, it was time to see Jimmy be praised, and no praise could be higher than if it came from Chuck. Yeah, it may have run the risk of Chuck breaking character but I think it could have been done, if it paralleled Chuck losing his mind in some final way. Then I think the suicide could have made more sense.

    I don't see it like that at all. Jimmy was always fluttering in the wind through his days as Slippin Jimmy right up to his rivalry with Howard and Chuck, where he pulled the Kinko's stunt. That wasn't the act of someone in the "straight law world." This season he couldn't quite own his emotions, relative to other seasons, but that's understandable if one's sibling dies. There was no substantive change.
     

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