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Tag - Better Call Saul

Better Call Saul Sets Premiere Date as Previews Hint Return of Breaking Bad Character

The start date for season 3 of “Better Call Saul” has been set and several teaser videos (including a whole scene from the new season) have been released over the past couple of weeks giving subtle (and not so subtle) hints about what we can expect when the show returns in the spring.

I’ll save the best two for last, but let’s discuss all four of the clips that have come out recently for season 3:

Teaser 1: Booked

The last scene of season 2 was Jimmy’s brother Chuck recording him secretly as the younger McGill admitted to evidence tampering. So could this scene be after said tape is presented to authorities? Or was this scene just shot for teaser purposes to tell us that Jimmy will be spending season 3 in a prolonged legal fight?

Teaser 2: The Mugshot

This one serves the same purpose as teaser 1, but I did like the touch there at the end separating “criminal” and “lawyer” with a period.

(If you want to avoid the any type of spoiler for season 3, stop reading here)

 

 

 

 

Teaser 3:

 

 

Gus Fring is back!!! Unless some executive at AMC said “Hey guys, let’s create a commercial promoting the new season of “Better Call Saul” with Gus in it just to piss people off when they realize he’s not actually in the new season.” So in other words, Gus is back for season 3!!!!

Teaser 4: Jimmy and Kim

Here, we have our first full scene, not just some 15 second teaser clip. And based on what we heard, Kim has taken on a number of Jimmy’s clients. I can’t see this being based on anything other than an ongoing investigation into the evidence tampering at the end of last season. Also, it sounds like Chuck had another incident with his “condition” and Jimmy had to save the day for him again (“For ten minutes today, Chuck didn’t hate me. I forgot what that felt like.”)

But the best part about that last clip: the end when APRIL 10TH was listed as the premiere date for season 3!!! So now we know what day we have to look forward to for the return of Jimmy McGill, Mike, Kim, Chuck, and Gus as we continue to follow the journey from Jimmy McGill to Saul Goodman.

 

So these clips affirmed one thing we should already know (that Jimmy figures to be fighting the law throughout the third season) and confirmed what we’ve all hoped for (the return of Gus!!!).

Keep an eye out for more content here at 4LN as “Better Call Saul’s” third season approaches.

 

Better Call Saul Season 2, Episode 9: Nailed

 

“Nailed” was an applicable title for the penultimate episode of Better Call Saul’s second season for numerous reasons. I assumed it would all be related to the contraption Mike was making with Hayley at the end of last week’s episode. And that was a critical part of the narrative.

But even more apparent with tonight’s title was how are two chief protagonists (Jimmy and Mike) are “nailed” tonight with the consequences of our actions.

With Jimmy, the forging of documents was successful in getting Kim back Mesa Verde. But that single event last week creates a domino effect, with the final domino being that of Chuck “nailing” his head on the counter of the 24 hour copy shop where the crime occurred.

For all the back and forth we’ve seen between the two brothers, Jimmy may have fired the harshest shot of all. Chuck’s reputation as a lawyer maybe forever tarnished now. When you consider the man doesn’t have Jimmy’s personality or people skills (and somewhere along the way he lost Rebecca as well), the law was all he had. And when Jimmy took that away, Chuck took drastic action. We’ll see just how consequential those drastic actions prove to be next week.

For Mike, he got his revenge. He robbed Hector, saw him loose his mind over it, then spent part of the money to buy drinks at a bar he was drinking at. But now, someone else has lost his life because of Mike’s actions. A good samaritan who found the wrong tied up ice cream truck driver got shot in the head. Just like when Mike saw his granddaughter threatened because he didn’t go ahead and take Tuco out, Mike is “nailed” with the consequences of another “half measure” he’s taken since leaving the Philadelphia police force.

But let’s get to the ramifications of those actions later. Let’s start with a little awe at the careful planning and execution of Mike Ehrmantraut.

What’s Hiding in the Ice Cream Truck

The driver’s name is Ximenez Lecerda. He made his first appearance last week delivering something across the border for the Salamancas. And he appears to be doing the same this week when we see a masked man hiding behind a billboard. Now, we all know it’s Mike. But if we had any lingering doubts about that, the nail hose dragging across the road to greet Lecerda and the Regalo Helado truck leaves eliminates them. Mike then ambushes Lecerda and ties him up while inspecting the truck for whatever contraband the ice cream truck brings from Mexico.

Ice Cream Man Tied Up

Mike (Jonathan Banks) putting his plan to rob Hector Salamanca to work.

Watching Mike the last three week’s spying every move Hector and his crew made pays off right here. Back at the end of Season One, Mike told Pryce to always do your homework. And his homework reveals that this truck is hiding money in the tires. Nacho will later reveal that this job should have taken a contact on the inside and a large crew. But Mike did it all by himself (with an assist from Kaylee), stealing $250,000 from Mr. Ding Ding.

The night following the heist is meant for gloating. And Mike does, seeing Hector’s reaction (who looked for a moment like he might have the stroke right there) and buying drinks for an entire bar that night with the money he stole. But days later, Mike is looking through the newspaper expecting to see a report on the robbery. A call from Nacho tells Mike why his burglary stayed out of the news.

“All I can tell you is you guys aren’t half as smart as you think you are.”

Part of Mike’s plan all along was to get the police to start looking into Hector’s operation. But Nacho knows it’s Mike because he didn’t kill the driver (that Nacho’s a sharp one ain’t he). And Mike learns that the driver was found by someone who contacted Hector (was Hector’s number the one on the truck?). Hector shot the good samaritan to keep him from talking and the cops were none the wiser. But more importantly for Mike, the driver is still alive and might have information about who robbed the truck.

“Attention to Detail that is 2nd to none”

That line was my absolute favorite of the night. For the head of Mesa Verde to put that in a prepared statement as he’s about to have an expansion bid by his bank derailed by the rearranging of two numbers on a document is classic attention to detail by Gilligan and crew.

I also don’t think any other television show could make a hearing in front of the New Mexico State Banking Board interesting. Chuck and Howard believe this is just a formality. Of course, we all knew better. The committee quickly notices the mistake. But Chuck “I don’t make mistakes” McGill insists the address on the form is right. He even goes so far as to argue with the people from Mesa Verde, who arrogant Chuck seemed to forget have probably had this address in mind for a very long time and would know their location by heart.

Chuck in shambles

Chuck’s relationship with Mesa Verde (and perhaps his law career) falling apart at the bank expansion hearing.

The hearing can’t be rescheduled for another six weeks and Chuck is left embarrassed. But as he looks through the files after he gets back home (which Jimmy snuck back in later and put the forms with the right address on it), he comes to a realization as to who is behind this very inconvenient clerical error.

“You and Mozart. You both started young.”

While Jimmy and Kim work on remodeling their new office, Kim receives a call. Mesa Verde wants her back. But another call comes right after Paige contacts her from Earnesto (Chuck’s assistant). Ernie informs Kim that Chuck wants to go ahead and give her the documents to Mesa Verde’s case. I’m sure that will be a pleasant conversation.

Jimmy offers to go and help move those boxes and I can’t decide if he did this out of a true willingness to help or to make sure he was there to defend himself against Chuck’s allegations (I suspect the latter). The locks have been changed on Chuck’s house and he really wanted to talk to Kim alone. But that doesn’t stop him from going ahead and accusing Jimmy of forging the documents. Chuck figured this thing out (I mean, to the detail) very quickly. As he goes through the whole story (the very true story) Jimmy insists Chuck has just had a rough day and should lie down.

Chuck and Jimmy await Kim

Jimmy (Bob Odenkirk) and Chuck (Michael McKean) await Kim’s (Rhea Seehorn) verdict.

These arguments that Chuck has about the suspected illegal actions of his brother become a theme for the rest of the episode. This was the first time Chuck’s “condition” has cost him credibility. For all his physical and mental issues, everyone agreed Chuck’s ability as a lawyer was second to none. But now, even though he’s 100% right, his rantings sounds like someone who is not in proper brain capacity to practice law.

And though Kim knows Chuck’s right, she uses that condition to dismiss his argument. Kim was expressionless through all of Chuck’s tirade. When she finally spoke up, she says Chuck “made a mistake” and he feels sorry for Jimmy having to put up with him as his brother. But one punch delivered by Kim to Jimmy back in the car showed that Kim knows Jimmy did it.

The Race to Get to Lance at Valliant Printing

Per the agreement Jimmy and Kim have made about their professional arrangement, Kim wants no details about what Jimmy did with those documents. But she does strongly hint before bed one night (in the most subtle-not subtle way possible) that Chuck will seek out any opening he can find to get Jimmy convicted.

Chuck interrogates Lance

Chuck pleading with Lance to admit he’s seen Chuck before as Earnesto looks on in the background.

Jimmy races to Valliant Printing that night and finds Earnesto beat him there. So Jimmy walks in sporting $100 dollar bills and explains to Lance (the guy behind the desk that saw Jimmy forge all those documents) that he’s never seen Jimmy here before. Jimmy crosses the street and waits as Chuck arrives, once again throwing off the space blanket to brave all that electricity. He shows the picture to Lance, but Lance says he doesn’t remember seeing Jimmy even though Lance just told Earnesto that he had. Chuck is persistent despite the continued struggles he’s having with his “condition.” With Jimmy watching the whole thing across the street, Chuck faints, hitting his head on the counter and knocking himself out. But Jimmy, who must maintain his cover of having never been to this 24 hour copy store, stays where he is and looks on in horror as Chuck lays unconscious on the floor.

Observations

-Shooting continued on Jimmy’s commercial. This week’s con-shot: getting Jimmy in front of a giant waving flag at a school. Jimmy and his film crew look so sleezy sneaking onto school property after the kids all headed back inside from recess. Jimmy came up with another hilarious story to get school personnel off his back as his crew lowered the giant flag down to get their shot.

Jimmy establishment shot

Jimmy pleading with school personnel that he has permission to get this shot.

-A nice touch adding a makeup specialist to Jimmy’s film crew this week. According to AMC, she is also a student at the University of New Mexico.

-Another nice touch was having Chuck brave walking through that metal detector to get to the bank hearing.

-While it’s easy to feel sorry for Chuck this episode as nobody will listen to him, it’s very hypocritical to claim Jimmy “stabbed me in the back” when he did that to his brother for years.

-Rupert Holmes, the man whose story Jimmy used as an excuse to continue shooting at the school, was born in England and did move to America when he was six years old. But he never spent anytime in New Mexico. He received all his education and musical training in New York.

-Jimmy mentions the airing time of his commercial: 11:15 to 11:30 am during an episode of Diagnosis Murder. It looks like Jimmy is still appealing to the senior citizens who’ve been his most successful clients so far.

Breaking Bad References

-Mike met Walt in Season 4 in the same bar he bought drinks for everyone tonight with Hector’s money.

-This is not the first we’ve seen her, but Fran, played by Debrianna Mansini the waitress has made numerous appearances throughout “Better Call Saul”and “Breaking Bad.” I think a new series, “Better Call Fran,” could be made just from all the shady conversations she’s overhead in that restaurant.

Questions

-A quote from Mike from Season Five of Breaking Bad:

“I’ve done this long enough to know that there are two kinds of heists: those where the guys get away with it, and those that leave witnesses.”

Which heist will Mike be responsible for after next week?

-Will Chuck survive his incident at the copy store? And if he does survive, will he ever practice law again?

-What’s Jimmy commercial going to look like? And who will respond to the ad first?

-How does Howard respond to the loss of Mesa Verde and possibly Chuck?

-Will Hector discover it was Mike that was behind the heist? And did we see some of the first signs of his stroke in his reaction to losing all that money tonight?

-So our we done with the Sandpiper case? Seems like everyone’s forgotten about it at this point.

Has it already been ten episodes? The season finale is next week. So enjoy this final week of chatter as “Better Call Saul’s” second season comes to a close in six days.

Better Call Saul Season 2, Episode 8: Fifi

Boredom has been a common complaint many people have had about Season 2 of “Better Call Saul.” And while I don’t agree with that assessment, I understand the reasons for the label. Remember, this show is a prequel to “Breaking Bad.” And because the central theme of “Breaking Bad” is a man getting deeper and deeper into the international drug trade, it has a lot more action than the politics of the various law firms of Albuquerque. And if you were a fan of “Breaking Bad” (which why would you be here if you weren’t), you may have expected more action than just the legalese thrown around on many episodes of “Saul.”

Now, I am sure the entertainment value for those not crazy about BCS would increase greatly if Jimmy would turn to Saul and let all the wild antics ensue. And Season 2 has given us hints that the transformation might be sooner rather than later. Jimmy and Kim conned a guy in the very first episode. Episode 2 featured the “Hoboken Squat Cobbler” and it seemed like Jimmy was in a dead sprint to get to the persona we all know is his destiny.

But now Jimmy is on his own. No more Erin the Babysitter looking over his shoulder or Chuck questioning the ethics of Jimmy’s methods. After too many episodes as a proper lawyer, Jimmy appears ready to really establish himself as the top shady attorney of Albuquerque. The forging of documents at that 24 hour copy store (and let’s not forget the public masterbator pretending to be a World War II Vet) moved us a large step closer to Saul Goodman.

Now Jimmy wasn’t the only one taking a giant leap to his future self. Whatever contraption Mike just created is unlikely to be a half measure as he deals with Hector “I’ll be having a stroke real soon” Salamaca for spying on the wrong granddaughter.

And what the hell is up with that damn ice cream truck? That will not be the first time I ask that question in this recap as we start with the most pleasant resignation meeting in the history of resignation meetings.

The Race to keep Mesa Verde

I did not expect this meeting to be so pleasant. It’s like Howard takes a poll before each episode to determine how we feel about him, and then goes the opposite way. He’s the heel all of Season one, only to be redeemed at the end of the season when it’s revealed that Chuck is the one behind Jimmy’s misery. But then, the guy moves Kim downstairs for second time and kept her there despite her landing a huge client. So I really expected some fireworks at this meeting. But not only does Howard wish her the best on her way out of HHM, but he also waves all previous law school debt that Kim owed the firm. Let’s us figure you out already Howard!!! It’s worth noting here that Jimmy wanted Kim to be sneaky about her resignation, but I doubt she gets her law school debt cleared doing it the “Slippin Jimmy” way.

Howard meets with Kim

Kim (Rhea Seehorn) and Howard (Patrick Fabian) saying a pleasant fair well.

But Kim overhears the call Howard request his assistant to make before Kim has even left the office. He wants to set up a meeting with Mesa Verde, so Kim races to what is still her office and sets up lunch with Paige and Kevin to try and sure up their support for her new practice. Though she’s not signed them on officially, Kim is convinced that her meeting went very well and that Mesa Verde is going with her. She’s so confident that she tells Jimmy to go ahead and get papers written up to rent a nice new office for their partnership. But HHM have something up their space blanket wrapped sport coat sleeves.

Chuck Gives His Best Sales Pitch

Though their styles are drastically different, Chuck proved this episode that Jimmy is not the only slick salesman in the family. Funny how a guy (Jimmy and Chuck’s father) with so little acumen for swaying others could produce two sons who are extremely adept at it.

Chuck Ep.

Chuck (Michael McKean) making his pitch to Mesa Verde, encouraging them to stay with HHM.

Chuck decides he must go to the office and risk all the electromagnetic waves in order to keep Mesa Verde as a client. So he gives the pitch, which first praises Kim’s ability as a lawyer before Chuck mentions random laws that Mesa Verde will have to be in compliance with if they want to establish a new branch in Scottsdale. Look at Chuck casually dropping bank law bombs!!! He could probably make one up and throw it in there for good measure and I doubt Paige and Kevin would even notice. But that’s more of a Jimmy thing, so I think we can assume every law quoted here exists. Chuck claims that Kevin and Paige need a team to handle all of these obscure banking laws and the pitch works. But so long out in public was not good for Chuck and his “condition,” a situation Jimmy takes full advantage of later in the show.

Major Theodore “Fudge” Talbot

Free of the constraints placed on his creative juices by Davis and Main, Jimmy takes his usual film crew out to an army base to look at an old plane that was used to during World War II. They claim the man they are pushing in the wheelchair is a former general, Major Theodore “Fudge” Talbot, and he wants to see that plane (which is named Fifi).

The Veteran

Jimmy and his film crew approach Fifi, a plane used in the Pacific during World War II.

But of course, the “Major” is not anything of what Jimmy says he is. He’s actually a guy Jimmy represented as a defense attorney when he faced charges for “public masturbation (another real winner Jimmy represented as a public defender).” They ask the soldier who leads them out there to get the “esteemed major” a bottle of water. While he’s doing that, a miracle happens!!! The Major can walk!!! Praise the Lord, the man can…well of course the man can walk. Jimmy gets images of Theodore standing in front of the plane in his army gear. In the middle of taking the images, Jimmy receives a call from Ernesto, the man whose been assisting Chuck since Jimmy stopped doing it. Chuck is in really bad shape, and Jimmy makes plans to go check in on his brother.

1216 Rosella Drive

Kim takes the loss of Mesa Verde hard. When Jimmy sees her next, she’s having second thoughts about their whole plan and whether they should really be trying to rent the nice office they were looking at early in the show. But Jimmy convinces her that he has faith in their operation even without a big client to open with. The two go in an sign the lease papers for the office, then Jimmy goes to see Chuck.

Now, I personally think Jimmy had this planned the moment he heard Kim lost Mesa Verde to Chuck. He goes to comfort his brother, but Chuck is barely conscious. Jimmy sees the files for Mesa Verde sitting in Chuck’s house. I don’t think Jimmy last season would’ve had the conscience to do this to his brother. But we know how there relationship has changed since then.

Tonight’s felony: forgery. Jimmy carefully looks through the files, making several notes. He then heads to a 24 hour copy store and begins chopping up the files. The key change involves the address. Mesa Verde’s planned expansion is at 1261 Rosella Drive in Scottsdale. Jimmy cuts out the 6 and the 1, reversing it in every document the address appears so it reads “1216 Rosella Drive” instead.

Map of 1216 Rosella Drive

The planned site for Mesa Verde’s new branch after Jimmy changed “1261” to “1216.”

Jimmy returns the files that night, then greets Chuck after he wakes up. The two exchange their usual heated banter, though it doesn’t have the usual emotion to it. Jimmy believes Chuck took Mesa Verde from Kim to score a victory over Jimmy. Chuck refutes Jimmy’s claim, but does thank him for helping take care of him over night because Chuck says he’d “do the same thing” for Jimmy if their positions were reversed. Would you really, Chuck? I mean, you did get Jimmy out of a potential sex crime convictions. But you also derailed Jimmy’s chances of becoming a lawyer for many years, so…

The Ice Cream Truck

While Jimmy was forging documents, Mike was being his awesome self. And what’s crazy about that is it’s not like he did anything major tonight. But the anticipation of what he’s about to do is tense even when the things he’s doing don’t seem like they should be.

We see Mike again in the same place we saw him last episode: spying on Hector and his crew at the store/restaurant they do business. An ice cream truck pulls up and makes a delivery right before “ding ding” arrives. And that was the same ice cream truck we saw at the start of the show going across the US/Mexico border.

Nobody does an opening montage like Vince Gilligan and crew. I’m not even sure where they find the music for these scenes, but it’s usually perfect. The truck driver pulls into the garage at the border and gets everything checked by the customs agents. They find no issues and the truck is allowed through. After getting into the US, the truck driver pulls off the side of the road and goes to a randomly placed rock that is hiding a gun. He grabs the gun and puts a popsicle stick (one of many that have been placed there) into the ground. In other words, this is a routine activity in the Salamaca operation.

The Ice Cream Guy

The Ice Cream Guy finds a gun in the desert.

Next time we see sneaky Mike, he’s tailing Hector at a garage somewhere. And the ice cream truck arrives there. I’m sure the drug dealers just like to have a stash of Rocky Road around when they get hungry. The truck pulls in and the door closes behind it.

Our final scene with Mike is him working with Kaylee drilling holes in a water hose. A nice touch here having the person this device is helping protect help to create the device. When Stacey comes by to get Kaylee, Mike says it’s for his garden. Now, none of us watching believe that for a second. The final scene of the night is Mike putting nails into each of those holes him and Kaylee drilled through the water hose. I think we can safely assume one part of Mike’s plan is to get that ice cream truck or another vehicle to role over those nails. What step in Mike’s plan will we be privy to next week?

Mike and his granddaughter

Kaylee helping Granddad make a weapon to take out a druglord.

Observations

-Their partnership less than a a day old and Jimmy was already telling Kim to be sneaky about her resignation. This whole “you do it your way and I do it mine” dynamic will interesting to follow.

-We got a little background into why there are two H’s in HHM. And maybe it was just me, but Howard seemed a little jealous of Kim for getting to go out on her own while he’s still stuck holding up the fort at HHM. I wonder if we will get any Howard flashbacks at some point in during the show.

-All Chuck needed to overcome his “condition” was the drive to beat Jimmy. I know Jimmy can sound paranoid the way he blames everything on Chuck, but I do think he’s right about this.

-I am curious as to why a bank needs so much legal representation to get one branch built in the same state it’s already in. Maybe someone out there with banking expertise can answer that for us.

-I wonder if that one guy who saw Jimmy do all that work with those documents had any inkling as to what he was up to.

-A little spanish interpretation for you guys: Regalo Hilado (the name on the ice cream truck) is spanish for “cool

Breaking Bad References

-The Doghouse, the hot dog stand where Jimmy and Kim are eating at the start of the show, is the same place where Jesse bought a gun back in season 2 to protect himself from Tuco. It’s also referenced several times as a place where many drug deals went down before Jesse started working with Walt.

Jesse sitting at the Doghouse in Season 2.

-Did anybody else think the location of that garage looked a lot like where Walt and Jesse met Tuco at the end of season one/start of season two?

Questions

-How will Kim react to Jimmy doing things “his way” to get her one of her clients back?

-How quickly will HHM learn that Jimmy is responsible for changing those documents?

-What is Mike’s ultimate plan to get his revenge on Hector for his threats to Kaylee?

-And what the hell is inside that damn ice cream truck and where are they hiding it?

On a side note, did anybody else turn on Villanova and North Carolina after watching BCS? I was writing part of this review while watching it, so if you notice any mistakes, let me know. I may have been distracted by that amazing finish.

Better Call Saul Season 2, Episode 7: Inflatable

We’ve been approaching this tipping point for awhile now. We weren’t sure where Kim and Jimmy were heading respectively, but we knew it couldn’t stay the way it was. Since Jimmy ran that commercial in “Amarillo” and their respective firms showed them the boxes they intended to keep them in for the foreseeable future, we knew at some point, Kim and Jimmy were going to change the respective course they were taking.

And now, not only has that course been altered, but those courses seem tied to each others. Yes, I know, Kim wants two separate law practices under the same roof. But do we really think that’s going to happen? I think we all know “never the twain shall meet” is not going to apply here. Of course there’s going to be more cons and clients that crossover and work with Kim and Jimmy together.

And we also know this partnership is not permanent. This “too good to be true” arrangement is actually “too good to be true.” Jimmy will go out on his own and Kim will be…well we don’t know where Kim will be. But we know she’s not staying with Jimmy

But let’s not worry about that just yet. Instead, let’s celebrate the birth of “Wexler and McGill” while taking a look back at our earliest memory on the show to date.

 

Young Jimmy

A young boy climbs up on a ladder and takes down the playboy from the 18 and over rack in a general store while he pretends to sweep. This could only be a young Jimmy McGill working in his dad’s general store. When Chuck told Kim this story two weeks ago, I was hopeful we would have flashbacks in the near future, and my wish was granted!!!

Recall that Chuck said one summer, while he was home from college looking over the books, he discovered $14,000 missing. And of course, Chuck believes Jimmy is the one who took the money. Now, I questioned whether Jimmy was really responsible for his father’s debts. And at first, it really looks like he’s not. Father McGill is a very generous, kind-hearted man, and everybody knows it. That’s why a “grifter” comes in claiming he needs money for cab fair because his car is broke down and he’s spent all his money on his epileptic son’s medicine. If he doesn’t get this medicine to his son, he’s worried the boy will have another seizure. But he doesn’t trust his car. So he just wants cab fair.

Jimmy doesn’t believe the story for a second and points it out to his father. And while watching the till, Jimmy refuses to provide the man with any products until he presents him with money first. The grifter leaves, but gives Jimmy some advice before he goes, saying “There are wolves and there are sheep. Which one are you going to be?” Now, we can’t be for certain if this is the first time Jimmy steals, but he decides to be the wolf right here, taking the 8 dollars the man just paid for cigarettes from the cash register (or “dibbing and dabbing,” as Chuck described it). I guess Jimmy did have a part to play in that missing $14,000 after all. But it was also good to see the part Jimmy’s upbringing (watching his father get taken advantage of time and time again) played in his transformation to Saul Goodman.

Young Jimmy

A young Jimmy manning the cash register at his father’s general store.

Goodbye Davis and Main

The overbearing babysitter, the stifling of creative freedom, and the general discomfort with the life he was leading were all factors that led Jimmy to finally call it quits at Davis and Main. But Omar, Jimmy’s assistant, wonders how Jimmy could leave behind a nice office, a nice car, and a wonderful apartment (once again, another lawyer admiring everything Jimmy is rejecting).

Resignation Letter

Jimmy and Omar (Omar Maskati) discussing Jimmy’s resignation.

But most importantly, Omar points out the bonus money Jimmy would lose if he quits the firm. So Jimmy rethinks his resignation and, thanks partly to the inspiration from the suit one of those inflatable tube men (the family guy commercial ran through my head that entire scene), heads down the fast track to getting fired at Davis and Main.

Jimmy's colorful suit

Jimmy sporting one of his many colorful suits in his attempt to get fired at Davis and Main.

Colorful suits, juicing in the break room, choosing not to flush (can’t believe THAT was the subject of the big speech “Cool Guy Cliff” was making in the promo for this week), and playing the bagpipes in his office all led to the inevitable call into Main’s office. Cliff states his regret for not firing Jimmy weeks before when he could’ve done it with cause. But instead, Jimmy gets keep the bonus money that came with his contract. He does tell Cliff he’s a nice guy, to which Cliff responds with “Well I think you’re an asshole.” I am sure that will not be the last time Jimmy/Saul is called that.

Hello Schweikart and Cokley?

While Jimmy was ending his time at HHM, Kim was mulling over the offer she received last week from Schweikart and Cokley, the firm that represents Sandpiper. And she seems ready to make the plunge and take the deal. A resignation letter is written and ready to be submitted and the interview seems like a formality. But then Jimmy comes bearing an offer: partner at “Wexler, McGill.” He wants to start his own firm with Kim. But one question seems to be the deal breaker for her. She asks what kind of lawyer Jimmy will be at their new firm. And to Jimmy’s credit, he is honest. He tells her he’s going to have to be himself (which if he wasn’t going to be himself, then what was the point of leaving Davis and Main in the first place?). Yes, Jimmy tries to lie. But he just can’t get the words “cross those T’s” out and informs Kim what he’s going to be as a lawyer from now on.

 

Jimmy offers Kim partner

Kim (Rhea Seehorn) and Jimmy discussing a potential business partnership.

Kim turns down the initial offer. But after the Schweikart and Cokley interview, she rethinks the offer and visits Jimmy’s “new” office at the nail saloon with a counter-offer: let’s work independently under the same roof.

They both would split business costs and ride to work together everyday. But they would practice law separately. As I’ve stated before, this just seems “too good to be true.” But we all have the benefit of hindsight. Kim doesn’t have that, so it appears like a great compromise to get out and practice law on her own but not have her work tainted by Jimmy’s “colorful” law practice.

Say Yes

Jimmy considering the offer Kim makes at the end of the show.

 

Reunited: Mike and Jimmy

I think Mike can officially refer to Jimmy as “my attorney.” For the third time, Mike calls on Jimmy for representation, this time to recant his statement regarding the gun found at the scene where he took the beating from Tuco.

Now Hector “ding-ding” Salamaca thought Mike’s background as an ex-cop would get him off easy. But Jimmy’s not going to let Mike take that chance, officially repealing the statement but refusing to say the gun was his.

The lawyers in the D.A’s office asked “Were you threatened or paid off?” Mike says “Why both, of course.” Well, no he obviously didn’t say that (though it’s 100% true). But Mike seems hurt by the fact that he did not achieve the job Nacho hired him for. Of course, there’s also the whole “this guy’s uncle sent his creepy twin nephews to threaten my granddaughter and now I’m getting his jail sentence lessened” thing likely going on in Mike’s mind.

- Better Call Saul _ Season 2, Episode 7 - Photo Credit: Ursula Coyote/ Sony Pictures Television/ AMC

Mike (Jonathan Price) and Jimmy (Bob Odenkirk) discussing the recanting of Tuco’s gun charge.

Mike’s Regrets

Mike further bemoans his failed mission with Tuco when Stacey shows him the house she’s looking at. And once again, just like every other change in life Stacey brings to Mike, this place is going to cost more money. Now, I don’t know Mike’s exact thoughts at this point. But I am sure Tuco rotting in prison for a shorter sentence as opposed to dead + $50,000 without the cartel at his back comes to mind. He ends the episode where it ended last week: at the restaurant the Salamaca’s do business end. But this time, he’s spying things out with a likely revenge plot in mind.

Observations

-Has anyone else noticed how deceiving some of the “next time on” clips can be? And I think this week’s (though not the first time they’ve done it) takes the cake as the worst so far. Cliff’s big speech warning his entire office was about not flushing the toilet following a number 2? Let’s hope there’s not a lot of trickery involving the scenes for next week, because several appear to be huge moments.

-Kim mentioned in her interview with Schweikart and Cokley that she’s from the midwest “between Kansas and Nebraska.” I wonder if her past and how she could’ve been the “wife of a gas station owner” will be the subject of any future flashbacks (it did seem mighty specific).

-Once again, major props to Mike for maintaining his attitude about “the job,” telling Jimmy to bill him even when Jimmy offered his services free of charge.

Breaking Bad References

-A fairly lame one tonight (though you have to give credit to Vince Gilligan and crew for the maintaining of even the small details between the two series). The realtor who shows Stacey and Mike the house is Stephanie Doswell. She hosted a pair of open houses in Season 4 and noticed Hank’s wife, Marie, stealing a spoon and a picture frame.

 

 

 

 

Questions

-How successful will “Wexler and McGill” be out of the gate? What effect will working under the same roof have on Kim and Jimmy?

-Of course, I’ve written this review under the assumption that Jimmy would accept the counter-offer. I can’t see a scenario where he doesn’t. But what if he doesn’t?

-How will all the spurned big name law firms respond to Kim and Jimmy starting their own practice? Will those new clients Kim got for HHM be willing to follow Kim to her independent practice? And what will become of the Sandpiper case?

-Will we see any more flashbacks of Jimmy and his father? How about some footage of young Chuck helping out at the general store? And we will see any flashbacks of young Kim in the Midwest hanging out at the “Hinky Dinky?”

-What does Mike have planned for Hector? And does that plan have anything to do with the wheelchair Hector resides in when we see him in Breaking Bad?

Jimmy’s on his own again and, from the looks of the preview for next week, we are going to get some of Jimmy “being himself” right out the gate. It should be a blast!!! See you next week.

Better Call Saul Season 2, Episode 4: Gloves Off

 

Short term gain or long term consequences? Last week, the two main protagonists of “Better Call Saul” were faced with major decisions that boiled down to one central premise. Do we act now on a great idea and worry about (or Jimmy’s case last week, completely miss) the long-term damage that action could cause? Or do we show restraint, lessening our reward now for better long-term results?

Jimmy made clear last week he leans on the “do it now and deal with the fall-out later” side of things. He may try to be patient at first in hopes that his superiors will get on board with his idea. But Jimmy’s going to go through with his plan anyway and hope he’s slick enough to talk or act his way out of the pickle he’s created for him and those close to him.

But Mike takes the opposite approach this week (and with most all of his decisions). He could’ve earned more money now and taken less pain by taking out Tuco. But the long-term affects of that decision were too risky for Mike to go through with it.

Expect this contrast between Mike and Jimmy to continue through the rest of the show’s run as Jimmy and his “Slippin Jimmy” persona lends itself to getting into and out of hairy situations. While Mike’s pragmatism lends itself well to his situation where he needs to continue earning money for his granddaughter.

And in a change from my previous reviews, I will be starting this week with Mike, who seems to bring some of the best work to the series with the episodes that center on him.

Wounded Mike

Who out there loves a little foreshadowing??? Of course, this entire show is one giant foreshadow of a little TV series you might be familiar with called “Breaking Bad” hanging over it. But the start of “Gloves Off” sets the tone for the beating Mike has coming as he enters his house with significant bruising to half his face as he sits down and applies a pack of frozen vegetables to the large wound. But there’s also $25,000 (as we would find out later) laying on the kitchen table. Who gave Mike the beating that earned him that $25000? This opening sequence injected a constantly changing tension into Mike’s scenes for the rest of the night.

Tuco is the target?

I convinced myself last week that there was no way Tuco could be the man Mike was being hired to kill mainly because we all know he wouldn’t succeed in that mission. And how could Mike build a successful career of “next level work” if he starts with a failure? But here he was, meeting with Nacho discussing the need to kill the walking temper tantrum named Tuco. Of course, it makes since why Nacho would want him out. Nacho’s side business will likely be found out by his partner and we all now how king crazy will take that news.

The plan Nacho has for Mike involves taking Tuco out following a normal Tuesday afternoon lunch meeting. But Mike sees all kinds of issues with the plan, including it taking place during daylight hours and the many unknowing customers who might get in the way when he tries to execute the plan. So Mike recommends a sniper mission.

Mike and Nacho 2

But Mike spends most of the day and evening mulling over Nacho’s proposed mission. He even gets the rifle in his hand and is looking through the scope when he decides the plan is a bad idea. Contrast Mike’s use of logic here to the way Jimmy does business. If “Slippin Jimmy” has a great idea in his head, he runs with it and worries about the fallout later. I imagine that when Mike looked through the scope of those rifles, he saw everything that would happen after he took out Tuco and didn’t like what he saw.

So when Mike meets with Nacho the next day, he tells him he will not kill Tuco, lays out the reasons why he won’t, and presents his new plan: instead of having Tuco killed and bringing unwanted attention to Nacho from the drug cartel: get Tuco thrown in jail.

Mike (Jonathan Banks) convinces Nacho (Michael Mando) that killing Tuco is not the best course of action.

Getting Rid of Crazy Eyes

Tuco is back folks, and his expression is unchanged since breaking the legs of the genius grandma insulting skateboarders last season. It makes me wonder why someone with the calm demeanor of Nacho ever got into business with the skull cracker sitting beside him (And did anybody out there recognize the nervous drug distributor meeting the Tuco and Nacho? More on him in “Observations”). As they are meeting, Mike makes a phone call at a payphone across the street informing the police of a fight happening at the restaurant.

Now, this season’s front runner for the Better Call Saul Brass Balls award is Mike Ehrmantraut. Let’s look at everything he does to raise the level of the “piss off” meter in the veins of Tuco:

-He purposely bumps his car into Tuco’s car before walking into the restaurant Tuco is in.

-He opens his wallet and makes sure to flash a couple of 100 dollar bills.

-He lies about the money in that wallet and refuses to give him any of it once he’s called out for lying.

-He puts his hands behind him and let’s Tuco just bludgeon his face before getting knocked out by the crazy drug lord.

Mike and Tuco

Tuco (Raymond Cruz) beating up Mike as the cops arrive.

But Mike’s plan of receiving obscenely harsh punishment from Tuco pays off (kind of odd saying that considering how badly Mike was beaten up). And this isn’t like where Pryce gets himself into trouble because he’s a moron. Mike does his research. He knows what Tuco’s going to do and he embraces himself for it anyway.  The police show up to witness Tuco hitting a defenseless Mike after having taken $400 from him and revealing an illegal firearm. Mike later tells Nacho that’s at least 5-10 years for Crazy Eyes in prison. But Nacho wonders why Mike, who received $25,000 instead of $50,000 because he didn’t kill Tuco, would go through all that punishment instead of just making the world a better place by riding it of temperamental drug dealer. Mike turns around and walks back to his car, refusing to answer Nacho’s question as he drives home, where a bag of frozen peas awaits his bruised face.

Commercial Fallout

Meanwhile, at the offices of Davis and Main, the partners are viewing Jimmy’s ad and they are not impressed. Here’s another example of short term gain vs long term consequences. When Jimmy made that commercial, he was only thinking of Sandpiper, the case that, to this point, has made his young law career. But the partners of Davis and Main only view Sandpiper as a single case. They’ve spent years building up their brand and worry resorting themselves to ads like the one Jimmy made reduces their image in the eyes of their long-term clients.

Jimmy

Jimmy (Bob Odenkirk) trying to sell his commercial to the partners at Davis and Main.

But despite a 2-1 vote for firing him, Jimmy manages to keep his job. Though, according to “Cool Guy Cliff,” he will only get one more chance.

Jimmy was not the only one whose standing took a hit with the airing of that ad. Kim also must face the wrath of Howard Hamlin when he finds out she had knowledge of the ad and told no one. Now, I’m not sure which category to place Kim’s decision to withhold the fact that she had no idea Jimmy did not have permission to run the ad.  The short-term affects of protecting Jimmy is a demotion to document review (and being removed from her desk for the second time this series). But this also could have long-term affects, with a loss of her law career within the realm of possibility. But her actions also help Jimmy long-term by not furthering his poor reputation with Chuck and now Howard.

Better Call Saul Season 2 Episode Photos

Kim (Rhea Seehorn) relegated to document review as punishment for not telling the partners at HHM about Jimmy’s commercial.

But just because Kim protects Jimmy in the offices of HHM doe not mean she is in any mood to talk to him. Jimmy comes by to apologize one night only to find that Kim not only is mad and doesn’t want to speak with him, but she also pleads for him not to plead with the partners at HHM on her behalf. Of course, the first thing Jimmy does in response to this request from Kim is discuss plead with a partner at HHM on her behalf.

“Thinking the ends justify the means.”

Jimmy appears at Chuck’s house for the first time this season ready to have it out with his brother. But that sympathy we saw most of last season returns, when Jimmy sees his brother suffering on the couch has he apparently spent too much time out in public.

Jimmy stays the night, but his sympathy for Chuck disappears in the morning as he confronts him about the decision to demote Kim. Jimmy assumes Chuck is always the puppeteer behind Howard’s decisions. But I think I believe Chuck here. This was likely Howard’s decision and based on the information he had, it was the right one.

But Jimmy’s fierce loyalty to Kim drives him to argue with Chuck, who maintains the same stance he’s always had about Jimmy’s career as a lawyer. And he’s got some strong evidence to use this time, using the betrayal that both Howard and Kim feel after Jimmy running that commercial.

Jimmy and Chuck argue better

Jimmy and Chuck (Michael McKean) having one of their many arguments over Jimmy’s lack of ethics.

So Jimmy makes an offer: return Kim back to the position she was previously in and he will leave the law profession. But the “by the letter of the law” McGill brother calls that out for extortion. Chuck made a statement at the start of this scene, saying Jimmy will commit any act if he believes “the ends justify the means.” And to his credit, Chuck is not hypocritical with that statement. Jimmy presents Chuck with the opportunity to get exactly what Chuck wants: his brother quitting as a lawyer. But Chuck chooses the potential long-term ramifications (being charged with extortion) over a short-term goal (getting Jimmy to stop being a lawyer). Of course, maybe Chuck just didn’t believe Jimmy and thought he would not live up to his promise to stop practicing law. But Chuck refuses to accept Jimmy’s offer. So “Slippin Jimmy” will have to find another way to get Kim back into the good graces of HHM (and based on the previews, that is exactly what he will look to do next week).

Observations

-I was a little disappointed in the use of the comment “Get down here in the mud with me Chuck.” When I saw that in the season trailers, I really thought Jimmy would have some unethical project that the Brothers McGill could take on together. Instead, it was just a reference to an offer of extortion Jimmy made to Chuck that the elder brother was never going to accept.

-Howard Hamlin’s chosen method of punishment seems to be removing you from your office and relocating you to an office on a lower floor in the building. Compare that to Davis and Main, where all the offices are on the same level.

-I figured early on that Nacho’s dealings would be discovered by Tuco, leading to his disappearance. But now their inevitable future conflict takes on a new context with Nacho taking over the business while Tuco is behind bars. I expect Nacho to become a much larger player than he is right now and Tuco won’t be particularly happy about that when he gets out.

-Can anybody out there confirm that it is humanly possible to have a skull fly off of a person and into another man’s skin? Not saying it couldn’t happen, just curious if there are any real life documented occurrences.

Dog's Skull

Former associate Dog’s skull in the skin of Nacho????

Breaking Bad References

-The arms dealer Mike works with is named Lawson. He sold guns to Walt in both Season 4 and 5 of Breaking Bad.

The Gun Dealer

Lawson (played by Jim Beaver) as appeared several times in the Breaking Bad/Better Call Saul universe.

-That associate delivering money to Tuco and Nacho was none other than Domingo “Krazy 8” Molina. If that name doesn’t ring a bell, here’s a photo to refresh your memory:

Krazy 8 (Maximino Arciniega) being held captive by Walt in Season One of Breaking Bad.

That’s Walt’s first kill right there who was also working for the Feds. He seems nervous in the scene, so I wonder if he’s working for the Feds this early on or just scared of Tuco (which is a justified response when sitting across from that lunatic).

 

Krazy 8 better

Krazy 8 looking nervous meeting with Nacho and Tuco (well particularly Tuco).

Questions

-What will Jimmy do to get Kim back on solid footing at HHM?

-When will Jimmy pull his next stunt that could be his last at Davis and Main?

-How will the level-headed Nacho run his business and how far will he rise up in the drug underworld?

-What were Mike’s real reasons for not shooting Tuco? Was it really just a logical decision or did he have other motives?

-Will we get more Krazy 8 in the near future?

Next week’s episode is titled “Rebecca,” so let’s see if we find out what the name on the top of Chuck’s sheet music in Cobbler

Better Call Saul Season 2, Episode 2 Recap: Cobbler

Raise your hand if you googled #squatcobbler towards the end of last night’s episode. Wow!!! Really??? Everybody? Well, I’m glad I’m not the only one. But learning what a squat cobbler is was not the only awkward element in last night’s episode. It wasn’t just me who thought Jimmy was clearly out of place playing the respectable lawyer at the laid back domain of Davis and “middle of the day guitar strumming” Main was it?

But along with Jimmy’s attempts to talk to “Cool Cat Cliff,” there was the return of Chuck sitting at the end of the table at HHM waiting for Jimmy to screw up. There was Pryce screaming “Nacho took my baseball cards and I want them back now,” completely oblivous to the many traps he was walking into.

But despite an episode that sowed so many seeds of the transformation from Jimmy to Saul that should have us all buzzing, I doubt we can think about anything other than the Hoboken Squat Cobbler.

Jimmy Climbing the Ladder

The Sandpiper Case is pumping right along and Jimmy is reaping the full benefits of his major breakthrough. Along with the new office we saw last week, Jimmy now has a company car (and a Mercedes at that, no less). He’s also considering purchasing a home near Kim and the two are discussing all these wonderful hypotheticals of things they can do now that Jimmy has this great job. And Kim gives Jimmy a Mug, “World’s 2nd greatest lawyer” (because she’s obviously number one, get it???) that fits perfectly in Jimmy’s old car.

And while there is much talk of the Sandpiper case, their lack of cooperation with document requests, and how the best source (pointed out by Jimmy) for forms concerning Sandpiper is with the residents themselves, things just seem a bit off for Jimmy. The passion Jimmy and Kim experienced in the con of “Douchebag Ken” just doesn’t seem to be there during each of the various meetings that take place at the offices of HHM and Davis and Main.

Jimmy (Bob Odenkirk) discussing a discovery he made in the Sandpiper case with Clifford Main(Ed Begley Jr).

And in tonight’s best use of symobolism, Jimmy tries to fit the mug Kim got him in the drink holder of his new Mercedes. And of course, it doesn’t fit in the drink holder in his new car, just like the fancy respectable lawyer stuff just doesn’t fit with Jimmy. One man has always felt this way about his brother, and he made his first appearance of the season last night.

It doesn't fit

Not a good start to Jimmy’s career as a by the book lawyer.

“I’m just here to bear witness.”

The opening scene of tonight’s episode takes place at Chuck’s house. He’s playing the piano, but keeps missing a chord progression here and there. In the middle of one of these missteps, Howard Hamlin knocks on the door. He’s making the daily delivery to Chuck’s house instead of the usual worker because he has some news and wants to deliver it personally. He tells Chuck that Jimmy, despite all of Chuck’s best efforts to sabotage his legal career, was hired to work the Sandpiper case by Davis and Main. Remember when Howard was the dastardly villain last season? Now he’s one of the show’s most honest and respectable characters. He could’ve sent this news in a note with the guy that usually delivers Chuck’s groceries. But he decides to deliver the bad news himself and inform Chuck that he did nothing to prevent Jimmy’s hiring.

Howard and Chuck

Howard(Patrick Fabian) and Chuck (Michael McKeen) discuss Jimmy working on the Sandpiper Case after all.

Chuck also makes a return apperance to the offices of HHM and gets to see the brother he loves so much and the work he’s done on the case (or as Chuck says, “I’m just hear to bear witness”). He only sat silently and listened as Jimmy made his appeal tonight. But I get the strong feeling that Chuck is just waiting to pounce the moment Jimmy missteps. In fact, Chuck would have all he needs if he only knew of Jimmy’s actions at the end of the show.

The Mike and Pryce Affair, featuring Nacho

Anybody out there written a late night style theme song for these two when their storyline enters the narrative? Tonight’s misadventures of our misguided IT tech begin at the parking lot where Mike works. Being the parking attendant for the courts and police offices in Albequerque has its advantages, and it benefited Mike tonight, who was not happy to see Pryce role up in his “school bus for a 60 year old pimp” (thanks for the reference, Nacho!!!).

Mike finds out that Pryce was robbed and really wants to get those baseball cards that seem to have real sentimental value to him. So the police have asked him to come down to help him find those cards. But Mike (like the rest of us with a brain) realizes that calling the cops when you’ve been involved in dealing drugs is a bad idea. And he points out that the cops likely suspect this and only want to talk to him to get more information. But Pryce is a moron. He insists they only care about helping him find those baseball cards. And since Mike is tied to this moron, he steps in to help.

Mike and Nacho

Mike (Jonathan Price) and Nacho (Michael Mando) discussing Pryce’s baseball cards.

 

Mike heads to a car upholstry shop where Nacho works for his dad. They discuss new leather upholstry for Mike’s crappy car before getting down to their real business: those damn  baseball cards. And while Nacho doesn’t seem to appreciate their shared dilemma (because Pryce is likely to take both men down with him), the mention of the name Tuco changes his tune. They make an agreement: Nacho returns the cards and gives $10,000 to Mike in return for the Hummer. But while the baseball cards are safely back in the possession of their mindless owner, the police are not dropping their suspicions of Pryce. So Mike makes a phone call.

 

“Are you still morally flexible?”

Pryce finally presents himself to the police, but with Jimmy as his lawyer. Pryce says he found the baseball cards and everything is taken care of. But of course, the police don’t believe this. So Jimmy dismisses Pryce from the room and creates a situation where Pryce’s cards were taken because of a “lover’s spat” between some art dealer who was infatuated with him and the items in the empty hiding spot were actually videos: videos of Pryce rubbing his butt into a pie while wearing a diaper (or the Hoboken Squat Cobbler).

Now of course, this requires the presence of a video, which Jimmy shoots with Pryce after they  leave the police station (though thankfully for us, we don’t actually see this, we just hear about it). When Jimmy sees Kim that night, he tells her all about it. And the joy of telling this adventure is significantly greater than any news he shared about the Sandpiper case all episode. But when Jimmy tells her he shot the video, Kim is alarmed. That’s called fabricating evidence and the firm that just hired him would not look kindly upon it if they found out.

 

Kim and Jimmy

Jimmy and Kim(Rhea Seahorn) discussing his recent legally questionable actions.

 

Jimmy and Kim’s conversation really previews the relationship dynamic these two will likely have this season (and possibly seasons beyond). Kim loves Jimmy for who he is, but is also about the ethics of law. And while it was a real thrill to con “look how much money I make Ken” last week, she cannot be cool with Jimmy using those same tricks while practicing law. But she also seems to accept what Jimmy is, knowing he is likely to do things like this again even if he has zero reason to do it (I mean Jimmy literally had nothing to gain from representing Pryce and fabricating evidence)other than just for the thrill of it. So instead of pleading with Jimmy not to do it again, she simply says not to inform her the next time he does.

Observations

-The name written on the sheet music Chuck plays at the beginning of the episode had the name “Rebecca Bois” handwritten on it. I wonder if that small detail will come into play later in the season.

Rebecca Bois

Will the name on top of this piece of sheet music prove significant as we learn more about Chuck?

-I loved the use of school cafeteria politics when Kim moved Jimmy’s folder to make sure he was sitting beside her.

-The differences between Chuck and Clifford Main (Jimmy’s new boss) are represented very well with the differences in the office at HHM compared to Davis and Main as well with Chuck’s classical piano to Cliff’s mid afternoon guitar session.

Clifford Main taking a break in his office playing his guitar.

-It seems  like Nacho’s father is a very honest and respectable business man, telling Nacho not to upsell Mike. I can see where Nacho gets his calm demeanor from.

Breaking Bad Reference

-Not really a direct reference, but interesting that Saul at the time of Breaking Bad has replaced Kim’s gift with another mug jumping himself up to the top spot (a big thanks to Mike South on Facebook for the information and picture).

Comparing the Mugs

(Left to Right) Jimmy and Saul and their respective mugs.

Questions

-Will the “squat cobbler” incident come back to bite Jimmy later on with his new firm? Or will some other bit of “morally flexible” behavior lead to Jimmy’s demise at Davis and Main? Will it come back to hurt Kim at HHM?

-How long before the brotherly quarrel between Chuck and Jimmy spills over to the HHM offices?

-Surely, Jimmy is not going to keep Kim out of the loop on all of his unsavory dealings, is he?

-Are Mike and Nacho really done with Pryce as an associate? If so, then is this the last we see if the baseball card loving IT guy at a pharmacuetical company?

-And will we get to see the “squat cobbler” video at some  point? Do we actually want to see that?

Come back next week when Jimmy heads to Texas and it looks like his directorial experience gained this week will come in handy.

Better Call Season 2, Episode 1 Recap: Switch

The assumption most fans have made regarding the transformation of Jimmy McGill to Saul Goodman is that it would be a consistent downhill spiral. Jimmy, the public defender with a good heart who wanted to do the right thing, would move with each passing episode and season closer to the money laundering expert with all the slimy commercials in the greater Albuquerque area. But the Season 2 premiere shows of “Better Call Saul” hints strongly that peaks and valleys will be plentiful as Jimmy not only transforms into Saul McGill,  but also into a Cinnabon manager in Nebraska named Gene.

When we last left Jimmy McGill, he appeared to be straight on a road to Saul, spurning a job at a prominent firm because of an epiphany in Cicero, Illinois. But by the end of the premiere episode, Jimmy accepted the proposal with an office that literally could be anyway he wanted (well other than that light switch). He ends the episode on a career high note: a lawyer at a major firm working a high profile case. Instead of continuing back into his “Slipping Jimmy” ways (though we do get that briefly), Jimmy takes the high road of a respectable career path that we know he will only come crashing down from when it’s all said and down.

And I also was surprised at the pace the premiere episode took in addressing questions I thought might take the whole season to deal with. How long before Jimmy hooks up with Kim? How about half way through the premiere. How quickly will Mike move on from Price, the clueless IT at a pharmaceutical company, to more competent clients? How about ten minutes into the premiere.

But the season started almost identically to season one: in black and white at a Cinnabon in Omaha, Nebraska.

Present Day: Omaha

It’s closing time for Saul (or Gene, as he goes by in Omaha) as he heads to the mall dumpster to take out the trash. But the door closes behind, locking him in with the dumpster. An emergency exit is available to Gene, but according to the note on the handle, the police would be contacted immediately. And Gene wants none of that. So he waits a couple of hours until a member of the night cleaning crew opens the door for him. But while waiting for help, Gene carved a little message into the wall with a loose screw, carving “SG was here.”

Gene Better Call Saul

Gene (Saul) locked out of the mall, waiting for help.

 

I didn’t expect the show to return to present day again so quickly. But Gene the Cinnabon manager is clearly holding the identity of Saul Goodman very close to him. And he seems miserable with his current, low profile identity. But will we return to Gene’s adventures running a Cinnabon at some point this season? And will any of Saul’s previous life find him in Omaha?

Jimmy Quits the Law Profession

With his brother’s betrayal and Marco’s death fresh on his mind, Jimmy has lost the desire to continue practicing law. Even an offer from another law firm is not enough to wash away the bitterness from Jimmy’s recent experiences. Of course, the $20,000 fee HHM paid him to take over the Sandpiper case didn’t hurt either. And Jimmy takes the money, tears down his sign at his office behind the nail salon, and spends his days relaxing at a hotel pool looking for people to con.

Jimmy relaxing at a hotel pool after abandoning his law practice.

But it may not have been either of the previously mentioned tragedies in Jimmy’s life that influenced his decision to turn down Davis and Main.

Jimmy and Kim

Before walking away from the offer, Jimmy had a conversation with Kim, asking what him accepting the position would mean for their relationship. Season one strongly hinted that Kim and Jimmy had a very close relationship while they both worked at HHM. But just how “romantically involved” they were before is still uncertain. We do know Jimmy is interested in kindling (or rekindling) those flames and he walks away from the opportunity of a lifetime when Kim is uncertain that will happen.

But Kim still cares enough for Jimmy to try and get him to reconsider the offer from Davis and Main. She goes to the hotel and pleads with Jimmy to return, but he’s undeterred. While having this conversation, a loud-mouthed financial advisor is bragging openly about the all the money he’s making. Jimmy is inspired and brings Kimmy along for his latest con job.

Kim pleading with Jimmy to accept the offer from Davis and Main.

Viktor with a K

The subtle foreshadowing Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould put into each episode is just brilliant. I am really glad that particular strength of their writing has continued with Saul just as strongly as it was for Breaking Bad. The subject for brilliant foreshadowing this week was a bottle of $50 a shot whiskey that Jimmy and Kim casually discuss during their “please come back to the law” talk.

Jimmy and Kim go over to the financial advisor (whose name is Ken) and tell him they are brother and sister, Viktor (with a K, as Jimmy is quick to point out) and Giselle. Ken gives them the sales pitch about all the wonderful things he can do with their money while Viktor and Jezeel casually order that $50 a shot whiskey.

And it turns out, while eating and talking with Ken, they drink the entire bottle of whiskey. Viktor and Jezeel sign a deal to work with Ken, and he agrees to pay the bill, which is of course far more than he expected to pay.

 

Jimmy, Kim, and Ken

Jimmy and Kim discussing “finances” with Ken.

Kim really took to conning naturally and enjoyed it so much that her and Jimmy spent the night together at the hotel. But after their fun night, Kim leaves to get back to work and Saul can’t seem to get in contact with her. He calls and leaves several messages, including a sales pitch for a new con. But after thinking things through, Jimmy reconsiders his situation and takes the offer from Davis and Main.

“Always Leave On”

Jimmy is now a lawyer at a respectable firm. After greeting all his new associates and being shown around by Clifford Main (played by Ed Begley Jr.), Jimmy settles into his new office. There’s a company car, a weird painting (which he can replace if he wants) and a desk that is larger than his previous office just on its own (but that is also another item Jimmy can replace). But there’s also this light switch with a note underneath it, saying “Always Leave On, Do Not Turn Off.” As his first act of rebellion (and I expect there will be many more this season), Jimmy turns that switch off. Nothing happens (at least not that we can see) of course. But I don’t think this “act of defiance” at the end of the show can be taken lightly. And I also have a hard time being happy for Jimmy here since we all know his demise at Davis and Main is inevitable. The only question is when and how.

The Light Switch

The Light Switch Jimmy turned off, despite the warnings.

Mike and Price

My only complaint about the premiere episode was how little a part Mike played in it. Now, I do not expect that to be a trend (and the scenes for next week indicate Mike will be a big part of that episode). But just saying, Mike’s an awesome character.

Price, the pharmacy thief, pulls up in a flame red and yellow Hummer with spinning rims. Remember when everybody wanted to own a Hummer? Mike cringes at the sight of Price’s new wheels and informs him that he will not be getting in that car because of all the attention it brings to a deal that requires as little as possible.

Now, we must remember that Price is a moron. And he decides that Mike doesn’t really do anything but stand there anyway, so he’s just going to save himself some money and go and meet Nacho on his own (another brilliant decision by a brilliant man).

Price’s new wheels

When Price meets Nacho, the exchange goes without any issue. But Nacho takes advantage of a clueless Price by looking and finding his vehicle registration (which includes the IT tech’s address). And we all know what Nacho likes to do when he finds out a dumbass is hiding stolen money.

Now, I want to be clear that I do not condone stealing. But because Nacho steals from stupid people like Price and the Kettlemens who don’t deserve the money they have, I think I can safely cheer when Nacho takes from these people like a modern age Robinhood of some sort (oh, and also, we need more Nacho this season).

After the theft, the police show up at Price’s house and the place has been trashed. But all Price seems to care about are the baseball cards that have been stolen. He accidentally  mentions some cash was taken, but quickly changes the subject. The police are skeptical of Price’s situation, seeing that his car is about the size of his entire home. The cops also notice a couch that appears to have been moved and it’s hiding a spot in the wall that would be the perfect hiding spot for large wads of cash (which of course is now empty). I do hope Price’s ultimate demise is delayed at least a little bit because of just how hilarious his incompetence is.

Police Investigating Price's house

Police investigate Price’s house being robbed.

Quote of the Night

“This business requires restraint. And this is the opposite of restraint.”

Mike explaining to Price why showing up to an illegal transaction in a colorful hummer is a bad idea.

Breaking Bad References

-Ken, the loud mouth business man who Jimmy and Kim conned, was also the same guy that gets his car blown up by Walt back in Season One of Breaking Bad. So apparently, Ken did not learn his lesson about bragging a little less publicly from the episode’s con job.

Here’s Ken from his time on Breaking Bad.

-The tequila used in the con was the same brand used by Gus to poison Don Eladio back in Season 4 of Breaking Bad.

This high quality Tequilla made a return appearance in the Better Call Saul Season 2 premiere.

-One of the officers who investigated Price’s house was Officer Saxton. He appeared in Season 3 of Breaking Bad after Walt moved back in despite him and Skylar being separated.

Officer Saxton and the White residence responding to a call from Skyler.

Questions for Next Week

-Now that Jimmy and Chuck are back working on the same case, how will they coexist?

-Who will Mike work for next? (did I hear him mention the name “Tuco” in the preview for next week?)

-Will Jimmy returning to the law bring him and Kim closer together? And are there any more scams in the offing for the two of them in the future?

-And what exactly does that light switch do?

I can’t wait to see Chuck’s return next week, as well as more of Mike. And I want to learn more about Jimmy’s new boss, Clifford Main. What kind of relationship will he have with Jimmy?

Better Call Saul Season One Recap

Six days from today, “Better Call Saul,” the “Breaking Bad” spinoff that debuted last year on AMC, will premiere its second season. And I have decided to take on the task of recapping and analyzing each of season two’s ten episodes. But before doing that, let’s take a look at the major storylines of last season and how they set up the major players of the “Breaking Bad” prequel for the upcoming season.

(Spoiler alert: I mean, duh. It’s a season recap, so of course information is coming that would spoil the show if you haven’t seen it. But if you missed season one, you can head over to Netflix and catch up before coming back for my analysis).

Jimmy McGill, the Public Defender

Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk) in court defending “The Morgue Head Trio.”

Before Saul Goodman became the attorney of drug dealers and top authority on the subject of money laundering in the greater Albuquerque area, he was Jimmy McGill, a struggling underpaid public defender whose office was the in backroom of a nail saloon forced to take on hopeless defendants, including “The Morgue Head Trio”: three teenagers who went into a morgue, cut the head off a dead body, and proceeded to do unspeakable things to the head (and I think that’s all I need to say about that).

But Jimmy gained a new confidence as an attorney after a life and death negotiation with Tuco, the drug supplier Walt and Jessie had dealings with in Season 1 and 2 of “Breaking Bad,” and a couple of brainless skateboarders. The two idiots were in a scam with Jimmy trying to blackmail Betsy Kettlemen (more on her later) into hiring Jimmy as her attorney. But they got the wrong car. Instead, they got Tuco’s grandmother. The genius skateboarders tried to get money from Tuco after his grandma committed a hit and run. But knowing what we know about Tuco, that horrible idea played out just as we expected it to: with the Lindholms tied up and facing death. But Jimmy, through negotiations, convinces Tuco to go light on the boys: just break their legs instead of killing them.

 

Jimmy convincing Tuco (Raymond Cruz) to spare the lives of Lars and Carl Lindholm (Stephen and Daniel Spencer Levine).

That very graphic bit of lawyer work inspired Jimmy to become the hardest working public defender in New Mexico. Constantly negotiating with the district attorney (in hallways, parking lots, bathrooms), Jimmy takes pride in working for those who can’t afford representation. And that pride increases his boldness in a longstanding fued Jimmy’s been fighting for years.

Howard Hamlin

Howard Hamlin(Patrick Fabian), left, and Kim Drexler(Rhea Seehorn), right, at the offices of Hamlin, Hamlin, and McGill.

When Jimmy first passed the bar exam, he was working in the mailroom at his brother’s law firm, Hamlin, Hamlin, and McGill. But Howard informed Jimmy that the firm would not be hiring him on as an attorney.

Jimmy’s bitterness (which we will discover later was directed at the wrong person) towards Hamlin spills out in various situations, but none more hilariously than Jimmy’s attempt to take on Howard’s image. Using money he received in a bribe from Betsy Kettlemen (once again, more on her in just a bit) Jimmy bought a billboard using Howard’s hair, suit, teeth(yes the exact same teeth) and HHM’s identical colors and font. Jimmy’s stunt forces Hamlin to take action that proves successful, forcing the billboard to come down.

The stunt Jimmy uses to get much needed publicity for his practice.

But it appears Jimmy expected that, hiring a man to fall off the billboard while working on it so Jimmy could swoop in and play the hero while he was conveniently filming there.

             This article brought Jimmy publicity and a string of potential clients.

The publicity Jimmy gained from the staged event opened up significant business for the one time struggling public defender. But one pair of clients remained elusive throughout the first season.

Craig and Betsy Kettleman

County Treasurer Craig Kettleman(Jeremy Shamos) and his wife Betsy(Julie Ann Emery), meet with Saul to discuss their legal situation.

Taking the prize for biggest morons Jimmy interacted with in Season One (and there was stiff competition for that prize to win considering the competition from “The Morgue Head Trio” and the Skateboard Con Artists who called Tuco’s grandmother a “bizznitch”) were the Kettleman’s. Craig was the County Treasurer under whose watch 1.6 million dollars disappeared. Now, it was obvious from their first appearance that Craig stole that money. But if he didn’t steal it, isn’t it worse to have 1.6 million dollars disappear when your whole job is to keep up with that 1.6 million dollars?

But Betsy is very clear with everyone she talks to that they are innocent and will only accept a lawyer who will fight for that “innocence” in court. After turning Jimmy down on two separate occasions (including once after bribing him to keep quiet about money he found on a “camping trip” the Kettlemans took a fair distance behind their backyard), they came crawling back when HHM attorney Kim Drexler (a very close friend of Jimmy’s) insisted their best deal was to plead guilty and return the money. Because of the leverage held over him for taking the bribe, Jimmy took the case. But out of loyalty to Kim, he found a way to get the Kettlemans to go back to HHM with the help of one of the Breaking Bad/Better Call Saul universe’s best characters.

Mike Ehrmantraut

Mike Ehrmantraut(Jonathan Banks) manning his parking attendant job, the main location we see him for the first half of season one.

In my opinion, the best part of Season One was the backstory of Mike, the ex-cop from Philly who did lots of dirty work for Gus, Saul, and Walt on “Breaking Bad.” But as it turns out (though not unsurprising), Mike was a dirty cop in Philly, just like every other cop in his precinct. That is, every cop but his son, Matty. Because of Matty’s unwillingness to embrace the practices of the precinct, his two partners had him killed.

Knowing it was Matty’s partners who murdered him, Mike kills them before fleeing to New Mexico, where the series starts with him tormenting Saul over proper parking validation procedure. But Mike’s past caught up with him when two detectives from his former precinct show up to question him about the murders. Jimmy come to Mike’s aid as his lawyer and the seeds for an occasional partnership are sown.

In lieu of payment for his services, Mike assists Jimmy in stealing the Kettleman’s stolen money and using it to make them go back to Kim and accept the deal she negotiated for them.

While babysitting his granddaughter Kaylee, Mike begins to realize the struggles Matty’s widow is having financially. Through a vet where he gets a dog for Kaylee, Mike comes across a “business opportunity:” protecting a pharmacist named Price who stole prescription drugs and now wants to sell them on the black market. Price has never committed a crime and is clueless about the whole enterprise (and many other things I believe). So Mike is pivotal in walking him through the process. They meet with Nacho (levelheaded adviser to Tuco who I will have more to say about in the last section) and make the sale (a sale Nacho does not want Tuco to know about).

Mike and Nacho

Mike, Price(Mark Proksch), and Nacho(Michael Mando) meeting to discuss a deal.

Mike appears to have found his new “career” and I look forward to more of Mike on the job in season 2.

Sandpiper Crossing

Jimmy pointing out concerns about the bills the residents of Sandpiper Crossing are paying.

With the Kettleman’s settlement in the rearview mirror, Jimmy returned to elder law, the direction his practice took following the billboard stunt. While meeting with one of his clients, Jimmy noticed that Sandpiper Crossing, the company running her current residence, were overcharging.

When he returned to gather more information, Jimmy was greeted by a new policy prohibiting lawyers from soliciting business on the grounds of Sandpiper. And behind a locked door with the curtains pulled down, a woman is shredding documents (once again, the people Jimmy has the “privilege” of running into are complete buffoons. I mean, could you not pause the shredding of those documents until AFTER the lawyer sniffing around your corrupt company leaves?)

Jimmy does a little dumpster diving (which proved hilariously unnecessary since the shredded documents were in the paper recycling bin) and gathers the pieces back to his lawyer brother Chuck’s place. Chuck pieces them together and a meeting is called with Sandpiper’s lawyers. The evidence in the documents is enough for Chuck to lay down the gauntlet to Sandpiper: “pay $20 million dollars, or we will see you in court.”

Jimmy can finally envision himself as a real lawyer, handling high profile cases by the side of his brother. But Jimmy was completely unaware of a very powerful force that’s been working against him this whole time.

Chuck

Chuck(Michael McKean) and Jimmy looking over the Sandpiper documents.

The major reveal of the first season was that Jimmy’s brother Chuck, the man Jimmy took care of as he struggled through his “illness,” has been the main reason Jimmy has found it so difficult to break into the legal profession. In fact, it appears Chuck is the main reason Jimmy will become Saul instead of a lawyer of solid reputation. If Chuck would have allowed HHM to hire Jimmy after he passed his bar or been ok with Jimmy helping his firm with the Sandpiper case, maybe Saul Goodman never airs a single commercial.

Chuck is Jimmy’s brother who claims to suffer from “Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity.” He has a great reputation amongst the law community in Albuquerque and an exceptional knowledge of legal precedence. But Chuck’s law career grinds to a halt because of his unwillingness to expose himself to anything with electromagnet waves. He won’t leave the house nor have any electricity in his home or own a cellphone, making it pretty difficult to practice law.

Jimmy comes by regularly to take care of his brother, who bailed him out of a very dicey legal situation in Cicero, Illinois. And Jimmy receives council and advice from his brother throughout the season in his work as both a public defender and while practicing elder law. But the Sandpiper case seems to revive Chuck to a point where he can go outside for just a bit and avoid the freaking out he experiences in previous episodes. And the case becomes so huge that Jimmy thinks HHM is needed to be able to handle it. Of course, Jimmy assumed he would be a part of those proceedings. But HHM just wants the case, not Jimmy. One phone call from Chuck made sure of that.

Chuck

Chuck sneaking out to make a phone call ensuring that Jimmy would not continue with the Sandpiper Case.

As it turns out, Chuck never respected Jimmy as a lawyer. He’s the reason HHM didn’t hire Jimmy when he passed the bar and made sure HHM would not include him once they took over the Sandpiper case. He doesn’t think Jimmy has worked hard enough to get where he (Chuck) is and still believes the lawyer version of Jimmy is no different than “Slippin’ Jimmy” from Cicero, Illinois.

You are not a real lawyer! University of American Samoa for Christ’s sake? An online course? What a joke! I worked my ass off to get where I am! And you take these short cuts and suddenly you’re my peer?! You do what I do because you’re funny and you can make people laugh?! I’ve committed my life to this! You don’t slide into it like a cheap pair of slippers and then reap all the rewards!

Chuck in episode 9, explaining why he never wanted Jimmy to become a lawyer.

Slippin’ Jimmy

Marco (Mel Rodriguez) and Jimmy reuniting during Jimmy’s return to Cicero.

Before moving to Albuquerque, Jimmy was a con artist who, with his friend Marco(You might recognize him as Todd from “Last Man on Earth”) scammed patrons of local bars. But Jimmy ran into some legal trouble when, while intoxicated, he performed a “Chicago Sunroof” (pooping through an open sunroof of a parked car) on the car of the man Jimmy’s wife cheated with and left him for. The problem was the man’s children were sitting in the backseat, opening up the possibility of Jimmy being charged as a sex offender. But while Chuck was able to get Jimmy out of those charges, “Slippin Jimmy” had to leave his old persona behind.

But after discovering his brother’s sabotage of Jimmy’s attempts to rebuild his life, he heads back to Cicero to see his old buddy. Jimmy and Marco get back into the con game and Jimmy agrees to relive one of their best cons from the glory days (the fake rolex scam from Episode 4). But Marco has a heart attack and dies during the con.

A grieving Jimmy comes home to a job offer from another law firm. But instead of accepting the offer, Jimmy recalls the $1.6 million in stolen money him and Mike took from the Kettleman’s, but didn’t keep. Inspired by his recent return to the con game, Jimmy turns down the law firm’s offer and ponders why he gave all that money back. His response: “Whatever stopped me from taking it is never stopping me again.”

Heading to Season 2…

-Jimmy ended Season 1 taking a giant step to becoming Saul. How much closer will he get in Season 2?

-Will more be said of the history of Jimmy and his close relationship with HHM attorney, Kim Drexler?

-Will Chuck return to the courtroom or stay locked up in his house? And will his relationship with Jimmy fray further this season?

-How many more adventures of the Mike and Price Show will we experience in Season 2? Will Mike upgrade to a better partner than the bumbling pharmacist before the end of the season?

-Season 1 featured “Breaking Bad” characters Tuco and two of his henchmen, No-Doze and Gonzo. One of my first observations was his level headed advisor, Nacho, never appeared in “Breaking Bad.” Will Nacho’s solo missions (the attempt to steal the Kettleman’s money and the drug deal previously mentioned) create a divide between him and Tuco?

-And will any other characters from “Breaking Bad” appear in cameo, recurring, or regular status this season?

Better Call Saul premieres Monday night on AMC. I’ll have recap of the season premiere up next Tuesday.

 

4LN’s Favorite TV Shows of 2015

2015 was a big year for TV. From the return of Kevin Spacey as everyone’s favorite cunning and crooked politician, President Frank Underwood, in House of Cards, to the debut of what appears to be everyone’s new favorite tattooed darling, Jane Doe (played by the beautiful and infinitely talented Jaimie Alexander) from NBC’s new #1 hit show Blindspot. There was the widely discussed (and argued about) new season of Game of Thrones, as well as the end of brilliant dramas Mad Men and Parenthood. Read on to see what shows were at the top of our “Must Watch” lists this year!

 

Jeff Merrick

Game of Thrones
It was an Emmy award winning year for my favorite show, and with good reason. Not everyone agrees with my belief that Season 5 was better than the previous season, but I much preferred each story arc moving at a consistent pace instead of the Season 4 structure that relied on big moments to keep us interested while characters spent the rest of the time doing nothing.

This season also produced “Hardhomme” (episode 8), one of the best episodes the show has ever done, and another jaw dropping moment at its conclusion, the kind viewers of Game of Thrones have come to expect.

Better Call Saul
If you were a fan of “Breaking Bad,” then you must start following this prequel series (assuming you haven’t already) that aired its first season in 2015 about the lawyer who laundered all that money for Walt and Jessie.

The style that made “Breaking Bad” one of the greatest (if not the greatest) shows of all time is maintained throughout the ten episode season. Of course, Bob Odenkirk owns the role of Saul (or Jimmy McGill as he’s called at this point in his life). But the highlight of the season is Jonathan Bank’s portrayal of Mike Ehrmantraut, the enforcer for Gus Fring and Walter White on “Breaking Bad.” The episode presenting Mike’s backstory during “Better Call Saul’s” first season was one of the best hours of television in 2015.

Saul (Bob Odenkirk) and Mike (Jonathan Banks) were one of the top duos on television in 2015.

The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Tina Fey’s Netflix original about a woman adjusting to modern life after spending the last fifteen years living underground was the best comedy of 2015. The comedic commentary on modern trends, a staple of Fey’s productions, raises its game to a higher level than even “30 Rock” was able to do. Ellie Kemper (who’s previously known for playing Erin Hannon on the Office) gives her breakthrough performance as a lead actress with her portrayal of Kimmy. And Kemper’s chemistry with her costars (Tituss Burgess, Carol Kane, Jane Krakowski) paints a surprisingly accurate picture of how a person overcoming her situation would handle it while keeping us laughing all the way through the journey.

 

Bill Clark

Supergirl
I’m a DC guy. The comics AND the shoes. I like to buy mine from Shoe Carnival because they have such good deals! I buy my comics from Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million though. They also have such good deals! Anyway, I was really excited when Supergirl came out cause there’s never been a TV show that focused only on a female super hero and I felt it was about dang time! Melissa Benoist plays Kara/Supergirl and she’s just fantastic! My only complaint, and it’s really a small one, is that she’s almost TOO pretty. I really wish there wasn’t such an emphasis on looks and status cause I feel it takes away from the characters personalities. Like, why can’t Supergirl have like a big birthmark on her face, and a limp or something. Maybe she’s even in a Hoveround and does her superheroing in between renting movies from the library and selling little dolls she makes out of cardboard toilet paper rolls and yarn at the Farmer’s Market. I’m just saying, I’d watch the hell outta that show.

 

 

Married

I’m sad because this one recently got canceled and I really loved it. I’m not married so I didn’t really relate to most of it, but it was still really funny. Also, it had Judy Greer and she really grinds my gears. I used that correctly right? I’m trying to say I think she’s really pretty and when I look at her I get a funny feeling in my body. I’m sorry. I’m really getting off-track. I’ll try to get back on. Ok… so it’s about this married couple and Judy Greer is the wife and this one episode she was in some lingerie and I was really happy about that. Darnit! I did it again. I promise I’m not objectifying her or anything. I just really appreciate her and respect her as a sexy…  I mean TALENTED actress. Ah! Good grief. Just… If you like funny shows then you should watch this one. I have to go Google some stuff.

Fargo

I’ve never been to Fargo, North Dakota and after watching this show I’m not sure I want to. People keep getting murdered up there! I certainly don’t want to get murdered so I think I’ll just stick to watching this exciting crime show. It’s a little confusing because none of the actors from the first season (Billy Bob Thornton, Bilbo Baggins, and Tom Hanks’ son) are back this season and I’m a little lost but I sure as heck still love it! This time around it’s got Kristen Dundst, Todd from Breaking Bad, and one of the guys from Cheers. I’ve never seen Cheers but I asked Stephen Andrew about it and he just threw an empty whisky bottle at me and muttered something about the boxer Joe Frasier, so I assume it’s about drinking and boxing. Also, someone told me that this show was based on a movie from a while back but I went to a couple Redbox kiosks and didn’t see it so I think they were messing with me.

 

Stephen Andrew

Daredevil
I watch all the comic book shows. I mean, this site is called “Four Letter Nerd” so you’d pretty much expect that right? I even pretty much really enjoy all of them. The Flash started very strong and has been extremely consistent throughout. Gotham and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. both had rocky moments but I think they’ve both found their way with very precise direction. Oh, and if you haven’t picked up iZombie, you are sincerely missing out on some fantastic television. Then along comes good ol’ Netflix and their partnership with Marvel.  First up: Daredevil. A character that by all logic shouldn’t work in this medium of entertainment. But I’ll be damned if this show didn’t absolutely redeem Matty Murdock and his superpower of being blind some of the time. In fact, that’s one of the things that makes the show such a success. They never tried to pull the whole “he’s got sonar vision” crap. I’m looking at you, Daredevil movie from 2003. Another thing that makes it stand out is how relentlessly brutal it is. Like, in one scene,  Vincent D’Onofrio’s Wilson Fisk (Kingpin) liquefies a dude’s head with a car door. A F**KING CAR DOOR. The action and the fight scenes are top notch, with some brilliant martial arts choreography. Plus, it really set the bar for what comic book shows, specifically super hero shows, have the potential to be. Gritty and dark. Daredevil doesn’t pull punches, and that’s exactly what we needed. Speaking of not pulling punches…

Jessica Jones
It wasn’t really long we had to wait for the second installment of the Netflix/Marvel shows (which will continue with Luke Cage and Iron Fist, before bringing all 4 heroes together in a Defenders mini-series). When I first heard that they were doing a Jessica Jones show, I thought, “Surely there are better known, and more well-deserving female characters that they could include here.” Well I happily ate those words after only about 5 minutes into the show. Because season 1 of Jessica Jones is best season of a comic book/super hero show that I have ever watched. The story is intense, it paces perfectly, and the acting performances are fantastic. For me, there’s no better villain than David Tenant’s Kilgrave, The Purple Man. He was just so despicably and deplorably captivating. There are moments where they give you backstory that almost, not quite but almost, make you feel sorry for him, and then it’s right back into “oh no this guy is a walking bag of rabid ferrets”. The star of the show, Krysten Ritter, is flawless. She perfectly captures the cold, hardened attitude of Jessica while also showing us those vulnerabilities that she doesn’t even want to have, let alone allow people see. If you haven’t watched it yet then you need to go right now and start. Netflix killed it with this one. Speaking of Netflix and killing…

 

Making a Murderer
That may seem like a cheesy transition to you guys but I’ve had a couple shots of whiskey and so it’s probably the peak of my creativity at this point. (If you skipped my other entries and are just reading this one, then you missed a whole thing and you’re gonna need to go back and get caught up. We’ll wait…) Anyway, back to the business at hand.

THIS SHOW IS THE MOST COMPELLING THING I’VE WATCHED IN I DON’T KNOW HOW LONG. Sorry. The caps lock was stuck. But that doesn’t make the urgency of the above sentence any less crucial. Making a Murder is a 10 part documentary series that I binged watched in an entire day. Dead serious. I was that enthralled. I don’t want to give away too much, so I’ll just post the Wikipedia summary.

Making a Murderer is an American web television series which first streamed on Netflix on December 18, 2015. The first season recounts the story of Steven Avery, a man who was imprisoned for sexual assault and attempted murder, and who was later exonerated, only to be subsequently accused of the murder of Teresa Halbach. The series was filmed over the course of ten years, with the creators moving back and forth from New York to Wisconsin during filming

I’ve never had a TV show, or a documentary for that matter, have me so compelled and infuriated at the same time. It really coveys what type of corruption and injustice can fester when small town law enforcement and judicial systems function without appropriate accountability.

If you don’t have Netfilx but you’re interested, you can watch the first episode on YouTube. I urge you to at least give it a chance to grab your attention. If you get sucked in you’ll be on one crazy, real-life roller coaster.