Be Excellent To Each Other

Better Call Saul
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Author:  Hearthly [ Fri Aug 26, 2022 11:01 ]
Post subject:  Re: Better Call Saul

I finished Season 6 last night - thoughts.

ZOMG Spoiler! Click here to view!
It was great, but not incredible, and a step down from previous seasons for my money. I binged it over four nights so it certainly kept me watching, but I was underwhelmed on more than one occasion.

Three episodes for Nacho and the same for Lalo felt like a misstep, I know they were fairly major characters (and great characters) but were we really supposed to be that invested in them? I didn't feel much when Nacho died (plus we know he does because he's not in BB), and of course we already know that Fring prevails over Lalo for the same reason.

The whole Malcolm story never entirely connected for me either, I mean, Saul and Kim are being absolute fucking arseholes to him for what would be months in the real world, and apparently she's enjoying it the whole way, but then when he gets killed it all becomes too much. Yes I get that him dying wasn't the plan but they were always running the risk of something horrible happening, by, y'know, being fucking horrible.

Too many fast-forwards to the post-BB world as well (all the black and white stuff, basically, the Cinnabon world), I see the point of it, that he keeps on doing the same things and being the same person, in the BCS world, the BB world and the post-BB world, and it's only when he accepts his failings and accepts them in the final courtroom scene that he is 'set free by the truth', but we kind of got that already, surely? It felt like they were constrained by having to lead into the BB world, but they also wanted to address to wider story arcs in a post-BB world. (That for me, honestly, I didn't entirely care that much about.)

If I guess I had to distil it down the whole season felt like the construction of a load of questions that fitted what they knew the answers had to be to go into BB. On the one hand it's nice they wrote out Kim without killing her, and gave her a redemption arc post-BB, and gave Saul a chance to repent in front of her - but for me, honestly, it started to feel a bit contrived.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it overall, it was great telly, and the best episodes were still absolute bangers, but it felt 'bloaty' to me in a way none of the other seasons ever have, and the slowness started to grate because it was spending time on what felt to me more like diversions than a clever and deliberate way to build power and meaning into the world and characters.

I remember when El Camino came out, I watched it before my brother and he asked if I recommended it, I said it was a good watch but also felt entirely superfluous and unnecessary, and a lot of Season 6 of BCS felt like that to me.

I dunno, how much were we supposed to care about the Cinnabon world? They put a huge amount of effort into it and I was just never massively invested in it, yeah, we get it, he's still Jimmy McGill and he needs to see the change he needs to be, and enact it, to change.

With my Vince Gilligan hat on, this needed one more season after Chuck died, two at the outer edge, to get it all wrapped up. So four or five seasons, tops.

Author:  JBR [ Wed Aug 31, 2022 11:27 ]
Post subject:  Re: Better Call Saul

I finished this yesterday. I really enjoyed it, and don't disagree with anything Hearthly says above. But a word for Rhea Seahorn - I can't think of another actor who has moved me so much by expression and gesture alone. Good writing in there, too, I'm sure, but some of her scenes took me through a range of thought and emotion just by the way she looked then moved. Fantastic. I wonder if some of the slightly flat feeling (of this great series) is from her being in some of the episodes that much less.

Author:  Hearthly [ Thu Sep 01, 2022 10:02 ]
Post subject:  Re: Better Call Saul

JBR wrote:
I wonder if some of the slightly flat feeling (of this great series) is from her being in some of the episodes that much less.

That's a very good point actually.

The two things I wanted more than any other from Season 6, and indeed BCS as a whole were:

1) How does Jimmy become Saul.
2) What happens to Kim. (Because we already know she's not in BB.)

Obviously I didn't know about (2) until after BCS started, and its to the series' credit that I became so invested in her.

ZOMG Spoiler! Click here to view!
I also think Chuck should have stayed around for longer, or they should have ended BCS sooner after his death, he was such a pivotal character.

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