Kombucha wrote: Does anyone else think that the latest series of Better Cal Saul is so goddamn boring ? I enjoyed the first two a lot, but the latest season is dull.
"Dull"? You're entitled to your opinion of course, but I don't recognize it as dull; for me it's gotten better each year, and it's been superlative TV for three years now.
From the long, beautiful, almost wordless sequence of Mike tracking down the bug and tracing his followers, and wordless to the extent it's not even clear what he's actually doing until suddenly he's sitting in the dark watching his own car and the last 15 minutes suddenly makes sense (one of the best cases of "show, don't tell" I've seen in years); Jimmy scouting out Los Pollos, and the first re-appearance of Gus, and the way Mike has fallen—tragically of course—into his orbit. The edge of the seat scene of Nacho trying to steal Hector's heart pills and replace them with the ibruprofren-fill clones is the antithesis of dull. Jimmy and Chuck's war coming to a spectacular Huell-effected head in court, and crucially (and to counterpoint Mike falling under Gus's spell), getting Kim involved, which itself has led directly into Kim's power-nap at the end of episode 9.
I was kind of surprised to read a couple of negative reviews of episode 9, though. While the outcome of the penultimate sequence was obvious I suspect that was intentional, in the Hitchcockian sense, but it made it no less sad. Jimmy has destroyed Chuck in court and at the insurers (although Chuck is onery enough he still might come back from that with some form of revenge on Jimmy, or now it seems, HHM), but now Jimmy's destroyed Kim, because of the fallacy of sunk costs: she decided to stick with him because of her investment in him. That's a season-long arc, and it takes the slower scenes—those quiet moments of Kim and Jimmy grabbing a cigarette in the car park—to make the big moments of drama pay off. Crucially, those quiet character moments are never boring: there's always a point to them.
Even the smaller sequences, like Mike building the playground, all add character texture. Here's a really good guy about to make a really stupid decision and become the head fixer to a drug lord, because of money. There's Jimmy in season 1 trying to be a good guy, helping the Sandpiper old folk, now in S3E9, being a complete and utterly despicable bastard to the very same person, destroying her friendships, and making a stupid decision, because of money (and that's another incredible scene showing both Jimmy's (and the writer's) long-con brilliance, but also the worst of his old Slippin' Jimmy persona). There's Nacho, who's a really nice guy who at some point in the past made a really stupid decision to work for a drug lord and now finds himself disowned by a family he's put at risk and is now trying to protect. And then finally there's Kim, breaking free of HHM and coming into her own as a truly brilliant lawyer, making a stupid decision to take on that one extra job, because of money (really, because Jimmy), and that looks right now like it's going to cost her everything.
Like BB, BCS doesn't talk down to its audience, and its attention to detail is staggering. But unlike BB, which despite its brilliance was saddled with wood-creature Aaron Paul (although we'll always have "Magnets, bitch!"), there's not a bad performance in BCS; the cinematography rivals and arguably exceeds most movies, and it manages to be funnier, and more dramatic than most of them too.
As the WM logo on the reception area wall of Kim and Jimmy's office notes, "The M's only a little crooked".