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Better Call Saul: Pimento

April 1, 2015

It is, hands down, the best show on TV right now. Spoilers after the jump.

The episode from start to finish was top writing, acting, pacing, directing, and editing. Highlights were, of course, the scene in the parkade with Mr. Guns (two that he is going to tell us about) and Mr. WALL…paper, followed by the scene after the deal:

The lesson is, if you’re gonna be a criminal, do your homework.

Wait, I, I’m not a bad guy.

I didn’t say you were a bad guy. I said you were a criminal.

What’s the difference?

I’ve known good criminals and bad cops. Bad priests, honorable thieves. You can be on one side of the law or the other. But if you make a deal with somebody, you keep your word. You can go home today with your money and never do this again. But you took something that wasn’t yours. And you sold it for a profit. You’re now you’re a criminal. Good one, bad one. That’s up to you.

Two observations about this scene.  First of all, it must feel amazing to write this kind of dialogue.  Even better, the writers must simply be in awe when they see what actors like Johnathan Banks can do with it, because it isn’t as good on paper as it is in the cramped front seat of a car in a dusty lot of an abandoned factory.

And then there was all the rest of the scenes that led to the revelation, or unveiling for those who caught the in-episode hints and saw it coming. In many ways, this episode was more of a tragedy than many of the lauded classics because it is so real, and so common in experience. Most of us cannot relate to a reluctant prince who cannot follow through with avenging his father’s murder, or a boy who, in just days, falls so deeply in love with a girl that he commits suicide because he thinks she is dead. We can all relate, however, to belief and value systems that can warp and cause our dearest loved ones (dare we include ourselves at times) to say and do the most hurtful things.

I know you. I know what you were, what you are, people don’t change. You’re Slippin’ Jimmy!  And Slippin’ Jimmy I can handle.
But Slippin’ Jimmy with a law degree is like a chimp with a machine gun.
The law is sacred!  If you abuse that power people get hurt.
This is not a game! You have to know [that] on some level.
I know you know I’m right.
You know I’m right!

He actually believed that he was right to do what he did to his brother, for the sake of what he considered to be the protection of the law. Earlier today, a friend sent me a link to an article that discusses just this thing: why we believe and how we can believe so differently from others.

THAT is why this is the best on the tube right now. For those who want to prolong the enjoyment, there are a bunch of great reviews of the show: NYT, AVClub, and Rolling Stone.

One Comment
  1. Blankman permalink*
    April 1, 2015 11:32 am

    I’m loving how Vince Gilligan is able to extend the Breaking Bad universe with BCS. The number of seasons for this show will be several; I’m hoping at least four or five. There hasn’t been one lame episode yet unlike this “season” of The Walking Dead. The dialogue is superb and hits home. As I’m watching the show, I consciously think about how well it’s delivered and written. For a show to make me do that, it has to be truly exceptional. BCS is the bright spot of my Mondays so far.

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