‘Better Call Saul’ Season 2, Episode 5: Do Not Attend Law School

Much of this week’s episode concerns the tedium of life in corporate law.

Comments: 98

  1. This article was written brilliantly.

  2. No link to this recap on the Television page, but you can still read all about last week's episode. And for real fun, try a NYT search on "Better Call Saul," which will return articles exclusively about Season One. Is this how The Times wins so many Pulitzers?

  3. I'm glad I'm not the only one having trouble finding the articles! I guess you have to read these the day they are published!

  4. So, the two stories are going separately but they come together in the next few episodes when Mike will consider Hector's suggestion and he will go to police to tell that it was his gun. Mike will also be charged however Jimmy will come to save him... That's how, i believe the story will go. But lets see... Its become very interesting now.

  5. Defintely looking forward to seeing how Mike will manage to reduce Hector to a bell-pinging monkey, steamingly angry in a wheelchair.

  6. I don't think it'll be Mike that does it. In BB, I've been wracking my brain, but I don't think Mike and Hector ever really run into eachother. Looks like what put Hector in the wheelchair was coming from a medical, not a violent, source.

  7. Dan,

    One possible "de" for the hole to be looped.

    We only assume that the reason Hector hates Gus Fring is that Gus killed everybody poolside.

    There are things about Fring's detante with the cartel that have yet to be explained (we took them as "given backstory" in BB) Like what the connect Gus has with the Peruvians does to protect him for summary execution by the cartel in the first place (like they killed his boyfriend).

    And Gus went to the nursing home often to harass Hector.

    So it is possible that Gus's umbrella of protection is what keeps the cartel from dealing with Mike, not particularly unlike the way he directed the silver toed brothers to Hank away from Walt as a way to avenge Tucco.

    And but, yeah, I always thought he had had a stroke more than someone cut his tongue out after breaking his spine.

  8. I keep thinking Gus Fring will eventually get involved here, but there is really no hurry for the writers to move on that. This show is consistently entertaining and well written. They have "five years" to play with before Saul Goodman encounters Walter White, so I am just enjoying the ride and the excellent acting.

    So far the messaGe is clearly: 1. Don't work at a law firm and 2. Don't work at a Cinnabon!

  9. Missing Subhead: Do Not Create TV Series About What a Drag Law Firms Are. I'm sorry, BCS remains a disappointment for me. How many shots of a highlighting do we need? How many shots of the sticky notes on the window? (What, does HHM not have a conference room Kim could use?) More to the point, the writing is really subpar, by and large. "Come on Chuck. Roll around in the dirt with me!" Painfully poor -- and telling that this line is the one they used in the coming next week/reminder what happened last week selections. The lawyer jokes at dinner: dreadful, unbelievable scene -- Jimmy should have charmed her with something CLOSE to the personality that becomes Saul, not the personality of a none-to-bright 14 year old. Jimmy's character has none of the charm or smarts he had in BB -- the two characteristics that made it easier for the audience to overlook his sleaze and root for him. If it weren't for Mike's (all too brief) plot lines, I'd have thrown in the towel on this season with this episode. Not sure they can pull me back into the fold by season's end. Hope so! I loved Saul in BB, and was so looking forward to his return. But so far, the only truly good scene in BCS was him negotiating for the twins' lives out there in the desert, way back something like 1000 episodes ago. Hope the writing improves.

  10. Wish you had commented on the 3 minute or so opening scene with Jimmy having dinner with Chuck and his wife/girlfriend? (Rebecca?)

  11. You mean the scene that could have gotten its point across in one minute? You could be referring to almost any scene in this episode!

  12. That was a weird and slightly pointless scene, introducing background we could have figured out but then not dealing with the major questions it produced, namely, did Chuck's wife die or leave him, and was the ridiculous darkness of their house a precursor to Chuck's mental illness about electricity?

  13. 3 Minutes. Felt like 10.

  14. I found it odd that Kim would solicit new business by making phone calls in the stairwell of HHM (at first I thought she was calling around for a new job). Besides sending her to the dungeon for 'doc review', did they also take away her office? It seemed like she was only sort-of trying to be inconspicuous (except for when in bathroom stall) and sort-of wanting to get caught (kind of like Jimmy would do). What if Howard or someone else walked by and noticed her pacing back and forth on the phone with her Post It Notes on the window? She would have had some explaining to do. It wasn't consistent with what we've come to know as a character who is mostly risk-averse and espouses playing by the rules (especially as she's trying to get out of the proverbial dog house).

  15. "What if Howard or someone else walked by and noticed her pacing back and forth on the phone with her Post It Notes on the window? "

    She did snatch them off the window when she thought she heard someone coming down the stairs from above. But they also showed people coming up from below and she left the postits on the window then.

  16. "Besides sending her to the dungeon for 'doc review', did they also take away her office?"

    That's exactly what they did. Last week, when Jimmy went to see her at HHM in the evening, he went directly to her office and found it completely cleared out. His reaction? "Oh, no." Then he found her in her new digs--the basement.

  17. Curious what everyone thought of Chuck's wife. Now there was a new plot thread. She was charmed by Jimmy. A betrayal by Jimmy would account for Chuck's lack of support? Or could Chuck's divorce (?) explain some of his quirkier mental health problems.
    The lawyer stuff seemed pretty obvious. Does anyone really think real lawyering is like 'The Good Wife'? But it's also becoming increasingly clear that Kim values her job over Jimmy and needs to stay away from him.

  18. Yes, the wife. Did you know that Yoyo Ma came to the wedding? Jimmy was unimpressed.

    It showed how jealous Chuck is of Jimmy. Wow, sibling rivalry as the older brother feels inferior to his younger brother who looks up to the guy who feels below... I guess in this age of single child Millennials (I call white millennials Millie Vanillis- they don't get the reference, either of them, so it's cool) this sort of thing is mind expanding. But as a boomer with older brothers and older and younger sisters, this is not revelatory stuff. And they are going after the Millie Vanilli waverers more than aged out boomers.

    Then the bookend bit with Kim. Hmmm

  19. I think the point of the prelude was, that despite Chuck's warnings and plan for an exit strategy, everyone is charmed by Jimmy, going all the way back to their father. And this chaps Chuck's backside to no end, and has for many many years. And it manifests itself in bad behavior towards a younger brother that clearly loves him, no matter what.

  20. The problem to me was that I was not sure what the filmmakers wanted us to think about the sequence: the jokes are mostly not funny. The delivery, supposedly deadpan (in a Scandinavian way) just does not register.

    Obviously, Chuck does not have a wife later in the show. So maybe something else is about to happen.

  21. I loved this show mostly in the past - but this was like watching paint dry. Fast forwarded through some scenes. Awful.

  22. Even Kafka's brilliant "Metamorphosis" is consciously intended to try the soul, to show what real tedium, boredom, and alienation mean. To engulf the reader or viewer in the exact emotions felt by the characters is a high watermark of the most elegant writing. So some of you were bored? Great. That means the writers succeeded powerfully in conveying to you how mind-numbing many life experiences truly are. They succeeded. They did not fail! They got you to feel these emotions, uncomfortable as they were to you. Tedium, boredom, and alienation can be as powerful change-agents as a car-bomb, but some viewers/readers feel "cheated" if a car bomb doesn't detonate. Kudos to the writers. Great job of "putting us there."

  23. I really loved this episode. It showed brilliant writing to take something as boring and dull as doc review and make it interesting and compelling. Breaking Bad is my favorite show of all time so I was absolutely afraid of Better Call Saul but it turns out my fears were unfounded. The show completely stands on its own (I have a friend who has never seen one moment of BB but is watching Better Call Saul. For those of us who have seen all of BB though, it's a beautiful thing to see how everyone got started.

  24. I found it ironic that Kim was smiling and dialing for new clients to save her career. And weeks before she was berating Jimmy for soliciting clients in violation of the bar rules.

  25. The difference is that her calls were not improper solicitations.

    Very important distinction.

  26. No irony at tall. Of course, she has to sound cheerful and pleasant when making cold calls. Jimmy violated the oath he took. She has pleaded with him to try to go "one week, hell, one day" without breaking the rules. Trying to drum up new business by making a phone call is a good thing. Jimmy illegally solicited business by bribing a bus driver to stop a chartered bus to led him board and give the senior citizen riders a phony lecture.

  27. This was a new record — 20 minutes of mildly entertaining TV stretched out to 47 minutes PLUS commercials. Nearly every scene was twice as long as it needed to be. Even the actors looked a little embarrassed. I can just hear the show's creators screaming, "We're out of material! Have Kim make six more unproductive phone calls!"

  28. That scene where Kim shares coffee with Chuck may not have looked important, but the clue it was is that Chuck didn’t leave Kim any choice. You could see how uncomfortable she was sitting there, and it wasn’t just the idea of ingesting caffeine with the first light of dawn showing in the window. She had already bowed out and Chuck ordered her to do it anyway. He wasn’t just acting like an annoying boss making his talented female employee fetch him coffee. He was pulling rank and reminding her he can ruin her career. If Chuck decides to, the rest of her career will consist of traffic court appearances and real estate closings. I think Chuck is going to force her to betray Jimmy by putting her in a position, not dissimilar to the bind that Mike finds himself in, of having to choose between him and her career. What could Chuck do worse to Jimmy?

    That brings us to where Jimmy breaks bad. Walter White chooses the dark side to obtain power over his circumstances. It’s also Anakin Skywalker’s choice, BTW, and that was informed by Joseph Campbell’s theories, so it moves Better Call Saul into some deep philosophical territory. We already know what choice Jimmy will make. Our interest is in his reason for making it. If Chuck, who Jimmy idolized, forces the woman Jimmy loves to betray him or lose her career, it would provide plenty of motivation to release Jimmy’s inner Saul Goodman, the “criminal” lawyer, as opposed to a “criminal lawyer,” we’re all waiting for him to be.

  29. Unfortunately it appears the plans call for Jimmy to "break bad" about three years from now. Seeing how the series is gasping for breath already, I don't foresee it lasting beyond this season.

  30. It has just been picked up for Season 3.

  31. "What is terrible is that she isn’t needlessly nit-picking; she is actually trying to be helpful."

    As long as she holds firm on 2 spaces after a period she is doing God's Own Work.

  32. And if only \LaTeX{} were more commonly used, you would notice that spaces really don't matter. I was always surprised by those that thought 'spaces' were a formal way to typeset. Not all spaces are equal.

  33. No one is typesetting (or rather "setting type") anymore or even typing on typewriters. We're all typing on keyboards. There's no reason now for two character spaces at the end of a sentence.

  34. I continue to love the show. The atmosphere, music, scenery, acting makes up for the apparent lull in pacing.

  35. I'm surprised of the comments regarding lacl of excitement. That's precisely the point, how can you instill the dred of what Kim is being subjected to if it was a minute of highlighting and the first phone call worked.

    By the time she landed Mesa Verde account, I was routing for her to join Saul for an elder law practice, screw HHM even if they did pay for her degree. It also made Hamlin's comment even more devastating.

    Every week is better and better and the little tie ins like the van emblazoned with Tampico, the furniture company that the dealer discussed with Walt while he was bike-locked to the pole. Outstanding.

    When I saw the silhouette enter the diner, I thought it was a comdey bit the way he hiked his pants, but it sent chills down my spine to see Hector, by far the most despicable character on BB, rear his ugly, yet ambulatory, presence.

    I'm all in. It was mentioned earlier that BCS doesn't deliver cliffhangers. I can't wait to see what happens next. Not a small feat since we all know what ultimately happens.

    If Mike is responsible for Hector's injury, it has to be unbeknowst to him since they meet when Fring calls off the hit on Walt. Maybe it's what earns him a spot with Fring...

  36. "... how can you instill the dred of what ..."

    Somebody call me?

  37. This episode was slower than the preceding ones, but I found that I enjoyed it more thinking about it later than while actually watching it.

    Some of the scenes were terrific; the perfectly cast, annoying shadow lawyer; the pretentious DINC couple preparing dinner ("are you ready for the chiffonade?"), followed by the wife's naughty enjoyment of Jimmy's lawyer jokes; Jimmy trying to "bribe" the clerk with a stuffed doll.

    Even the slow-moving scenes served a purpose. Instead of just saying that doc review is boring and tedious, the writers made us feel a little of the agony.

    Even though it's the second year of the show, I feel like we're still in the intro chapters, building toward the Jimmy-Saul metamorphosis, when the real action begins. In the meantime, I'm enjoying the setup.

  38. Let's face it:The BB related scenes are intriguing, if nothing else for bringing back characters from that superior show. BCS on the other hand is tedious. It has every dramatic flaw you can think of: nothing happens (unless BB personalities show up) , the plot consists of off stage stories or , worst, remembering past events that are of no interest to anybody , and most of all, the title role actor ( who was so great in BB)is not enough of a star to carry a series and there's no chemistry whatsoever between him and Kim. So let's call Saul already and get rid of all the convoluted sub plots in this , for now, hopeless show.

  39. I watched thsi episode with my wife who is also an Albquerque attorney. She loved the episode, I did not. She felt that the episode accurately captured the world of a feamle attorney in a big firm. I thought that watching an episode about the drudgery of the practice of law, was drudgery per se. I agree with the person who said that Chuck slows everything down.
    One other note. I am sure that big firms do cold calls to get business, but I find it hypocritical that such a firm has an issue with classy TV advertising.
    I liked Better Call Saul better when Saul is actually doing some calling.

  40. How did Hector know where Mike had lunch and knew he had been a cop? From the last episode everything was covered, his identity would be in hands of the cops(who would of had his wallet with his ID} after the beating.

  41. He's cartel. There's your answer!

  42. Nacho has been following Mike now. Nacho works for Tuco, Tuco for Hector.

  43. I admit that generally I didn't care for this episode, except for the Mike bits. What really confounded me was Kim. She has gotten her career trashed by Jimmy, I can't see why she's not more harsh to him, and spurning him entirely. And I don't know why she's sticking with HHM, with their unjust punishment they've made it clear they're not a good place to work.

    She's right that suing them would end her career, but this looks like a great time for her to start applying for jobs in L.A., Seattle, and so on. There are 42 million corporate law firms in America, approximately, and it would be fairly straightforward for her to just get a new job and leave the whole mess behind forever.

    So Kim's actions made little sense, and Jimmy's shenanigans with his pixie ninja babysitter were a little obnoxious and pointless too. The funny thing is, the pixie is the type of lawyer that succeeds in corporate (and most other) law. Nose to the grindstone, always following the rules, working all the time, no life outside of work, that's all the key to success in the excruciatingly boring grind that is corporate law.

    She really is the model lawyer for that firm, and with Jimmy being so unlike her, it's clear he's not cut out for it and won't last long. His most suitable career would be used-car salesman or drug dealer, and although I've liked him at times, more and more this season he just seems like an egocentric, unwise, colossal jerk.

    But the Mike parts were good.

  44. I'd like to see Jimmy take his corporate Mercedes and sell it to a chop shop and then report it stolen. He then takes that money to set up Saul Goodman's office at the strip mall. Was the Kim Wexler character ever seen in Breaking Bad? I think not. Mike will not be the one to cripple Hector Salamanca because he is still alive in BB.

  45. Lateral transfers for senior associates are not that easy--firms want a portable book of clients with you, especially if you don't have some sort of specialized practice like tax law, for instance. Also, perhaps she has ties to the area that keep her there?

  46. Major city law firms are not usually open to hiring lateral lawyers from Albuquerque, NM. That's just the way it works, unfortunately.

  47. I enjoyed it and appreciated as well, but find myself thinking that I will wait till I have collected all this season's episodes before watching. Slow. Painfully so. Frankly, while good, quality 'television', I have zero interest in Chuck, Kim and the street legal lawyers. Blood please; boredom I can get in unlimited supply in my actual life.

  48. I liked seeing Hector. Hector represents something that isn't here in ABQ, professionalism in crime. Beyond that though...

    It's like the writers need to sit down and have Mike tell them about "Half Measures." Either do it (go into BB reality) or don't! This tease routine is for the buzzards!

    Did we really have to hear "I did it my way" in Spanish ALL the way through? No we did not! the scene was stretched thin! And I'm sorry, but I don't find Kim a compelling character in the slightest (probably back to the "half measures" thing. She's a bad***/she's a goody two shoes. She's smart/ she's not!. She has to do 40 hours of Doc review and somehow this takes her 20 hours per day to do it.

    Two posters here (at least) had interesting points. Fred Musante and Leslie from St Louis.

    Fred's discussion on the power trip chuck played on Kim. Passive aggressive MUCH! And Leslie's talk about Rebecca. These two seem to be bookend to the piece, and each explain the other.

    First, we see CM fail at telling the lawyer joke. He can't entertain his wife as well as JM does. Then we saw CM manhandle Kim (& oh BTW, we saw HH be the bad guy for CM last year and we think it's different this time?) Chuck is on the proverbial Clock tower steps. He's not at the top shooting people yet, but that's where he's headed.

    I wouldn't be surprised if he's the one that does the number on Hector!

    Just kidding.
    But seriously, this show is losing me. It is stinking up the joint.

  49. That's the Gypsy Kings - and you should just chill and enjoy the way the scene plays out. If you want to know what happens on BCS, just read the episode summaries. If you want to get full pleasure out of what they are creating, try to take it all in - the music, the directorial choices, the acting; there is so much to savor.

  50. Glad someone else, like this reviewer, saw more than just the continued saga of Slippin Jimmy vs. his brother and his own best interests. The truth of working as a lawyer, whether it's at a white-shoe firm or a civil service position can be nasty and soul-sucking. You make your own misery and others heap it on you even more. For some, like Jimmy, it's hell being behaved at his firm, no matter what brand car or size of his office or apartment. For the DA, it's vomit on his lapels, not the rules of the office, and of course for Kim, there's the poltical game, and the haughty senior partners who hold your fate in their hands. Loved this episode more than the others this season, and to know that Tio is back and we'll get a glimpse of those Terminator-like killer cousins coming up. Priceless http://tvruckus.com/2016/03/15/underground-video-preview-ep-2-of-critica...

  51. So what do you have to do to get your comment posted, David? This is two weeks in a row that you (or someone) didn't post my response to your recap. Did I offend you in some way? Is it something I said in both of them that necessitated censorship? I'd like to know because I'd like to be a part of the conversation on this show. It needs the support of engaged viewers and readers of the comments.

  52. Oh, great. So this you post but not the comment I wrote last night after the episode aired? Thanks.

  53. It probably was posted by someone bored while working in document review

  54. So love this show! As a recovering civil trial attorney, I now know that Jimmy became Saul because he lacks the smarts to write boring briefs and bill lots of hours. Rhea Seehorn is an excellent actress, and I am so glad that the writers have one female character not written as a nag or a weirdo. For those who want this show to be another violent crime show starring Walter Mitty, it just isn't that kind of show--yet. Mike's engagement with the cartel will bring Jimmy to Saul. In the meantime, I love this show. By the way, when my late brother, a litigation partner at one of the top 10 national firms, got seriously ill, he was written off during his illness and not expected to return. Chuck's obvious and debilitating psych condition would have kept him out of the firm's offices and the firm's business. That storyline is important but is most unrealistic.

  55. $5,000 seems like a pittance compared to how much resourceful Mike can make in other ways. Hector is obviously making an offer he thinks Mike can't refuse. I can't for a moment think that Mike will accept it. If this somehow results in Hector becoming wheelchair and bell bound, how does Mike get away with rejecting the offer? The Salamanca family's style isn't live and let live. This will induce me to watch the next episode.
    I agree with many others here about how poor this episode was. No episode yet this season has been outstanding. Get your act together, Vince Gilligan.
    We know you can do it. You created a masterpiece with BB.
    I presume Chuck's story about the $14,000 and his father is true. I think it quite legitimately ( along with so much else ) explains his poor opinion of Jimmy. There is sibling rivalry too, but Jimmy really is an #*^+!+.
    Kim is getting royally screwed over. I think Hamlin is punishing Kim because he feels personally betrayed by her. But I think there is also some deeper, perhaps romantic issue. Unrequited love?
    Would it be beyond the competence and resources of the Times to provide links to the other BCS episode recaps? Other nickel and dime websites manage to do it. Why not the Times?
    But if BCS doesn't improve soon, the issue will be moot to me.
    This show needs a bit of meth ( it can't be blue yet ) to get it out of it's somnambulist torpor.
    I know just the doctor who can provide it.
    Bring on Gus Fring........ASAP.

  56. Funny how we see things so differently. I do not think Jimmy stole the money and, in fact, I think Chuck has always been jealous of younger brother Jimmy and stole the $14,000 himself - or maybe it wasn't missing after all but Chuck who was looking over the books, made it disappear. I think that was the purpose of the dinner with Chuck's wife - to show how people naturally like Jimmy better and this has been the bane of Chuck's existence. He will do whatever it takes to take Jimmy down. And his father loving him best? not a chance. I think Jimmy became a con man only after his efforts to be a good guy went wrong, with behind-the-scenes help from big brother. And BCS is a great show - you leave, you lose.

  57. Matt,
    While I agree that HH has the hots for Kim (and they have more chemistry than Kim and Jimzzzzzz...)

    I don't think it is him that is punishing her. It is Chuck. Unctious Chuck, who can't charm his wife, but he can compel Jimmy's girlfriend to listen to him whether she wants to or not!

    Mary Ann Hanna,

    It's not surprising that the two of you see things differently because... Whoa! ;-)

    I don't blame you, trying to inject some pizazz into this deathly plodding plot.

  58. In a private moment Chuck asked HH after the Mesa Verde deal if Kim was out of the doghouse yet and HH said, "We'll see". Chuck may have agreed to have her punished but I think your romantic angle of Kim and HH plays into this more.

  59. Oh my, caught a glimpse of those skull-tipped boots in the preview. Scariest thugs ever; still have nightmares about them.

  60. The posters who are complaining about Kim staying at HHM after being treated so badly must not remember that in season one she reminds Jimmy that HHM paid her way through law school. If she just up and quits, she owes them a lot of money. She can't realistically quit and Howard knows it.

  61. Dear GreenGal,
    I'm one of those complainers, and actually, she doesn't owe them any money. When a firm pays an employee's tuition, sometimes they make them sign a pledge to stay at the firm for a certain number of years. She's doubtless already done her time, but I've never heard of a firm turning around and charging someone for the tuition they paid when that person quits. If I were her, I'd quit, that's all I'm saying, but plenty of people do stay with husbands that beat the tar out of them three times a week, so to each their own I guess.

  62. Kim certainly seems concerned about it when she mentions it to Jimmy in season 1.

  63. Next week's promo shows Kim meeting with the lead attorney for the seniors' home possibly for a job in exchange for some information.

  64. '“Better Call Saul” has for several episodes told two stories, and now those stories are so different that it is getting harder to solder them into one piece.'

    Yes, it will be hard, if it was as easy as killing slow walking zombies then BCS would be very boring.

    When Jimmy and Mike become "soldered together", and not just acquaintances (hopefully after a few more seasons), that will mark the final transition of Jimmy into Saul.

  65. The mise-en-scene of the episode if you will (god, sorry) goes a long way to visually tell the story of the inhumanity and soul crushing boredom of corporate law. Many scenes are composed with Kim almost a speck against a beautifully composed background of expressionistic horror. Also the editing in the scene where Kim makes sales calls in the somehow menacing stairwell contributes to the mind-bending desperation of her situation.

  66. Yes! The stairwell setting is brilliant! Neither up nor down; people passing her by without a glance or a greeting; staring unseeing out through the heavy glass at the real world outside her elegant prison. Pasting up post-its on the glass like it's the walls of a cubicle: despite the expense of the building's design, for her right now, it really is just one giant impersonal, entrapping cubicle.

    And the fact that when she has something to honestly celebrate, she is in the even more claustrophobic and inhuman parking garage. The long shot there shows what a tiny figure she is, naively thinking she's found a way to succeed -- a way out of her doc-review purgatory, when really she is just a speck sandwiched between the oppressively overhanging layers of an inhuman structure. How can she possibly break out?

    I agree - this series is not just brilliantly written and paced. It's also -- sometimes awesomely so, as you note -- the mise, the camera work (and so much of the intelligent, carefully controlled acting!) that all come together to give it the quality that makes it rewarding to watch, and guarantees it will be even more fun to rewatch. Even if you're not a technique fan - but especially for those of us who are.

    If only there were more TV made with this level of skill. Maybe Better Call Saul is the harbinger... one can hope!

  67. I completely changed my aspirations of attending Law School way back when, when I saw innocent folks taking the fall for criminals & the bad guys going free. I was young & impressionable back then & wanted to save the world. Since that time I have learned & seen, that we live in a a society where justice can be bought & sold, where everyone has their price. I've also seen good lawyers who work pro bono, hang up the shingle & go out of business, while trying to help the poor & make a difference. I definitely made the right choice, Not pursuing a career in law.

  68. Really enjoy the richness of the characters in this show. I'd be fascinated watching them merely sipping drinks in a pool. (Oops, already been there...)

    As a Breaking Bad fan, I loved seeing Tuco's uncle, hale and hearty, walk into the diner. However, he should have stolen the little bell by the cash register on his way out.

    Not sure why the episode opened with Jimmy's visit to Chuck's for dinner, other than to introduce Chuck's wife, who eventually becomes more comfortable with Jimmy than Chuck (who clearly needs an Old Style), swapping lawyer jokes. Maybe there's a third story line developing...

  69. Well, the story to be told is how Chuck had his breakdown.
    He had a better than normal home life, so something devastating must have happened to his wife. And as Chuck honors the law, could it be that Justice was not given in his case? We'll have to wait to see…

  70. one comment that you didnt mention; when Hector confronts Mike, notice the door ding. it sounds just like his breaking bad wheelchair ringer.

  71. Exactly. Hector was retroactively introduced to us with a ding of the diner bell...and exited with a shot of a bell silhouetted in the foreground on the pickup counter...foretelling his eventual fate.

  72. Is Howard Hamlin a shout out to Harry Hamlin?

  73. I don't know. But, does Howard have a thing for Kim and that's why he's punishing her so severely for covering for Jimmy last week and her ongoing defense of him over one thing or another?

  74. Yes, I think Howard secretly very much likes Kim and is jealous and resentful of her affection for Jimmy. Also, Howard is on a major power trip and enjoys ordering people around, reminding them with scathing putdowns that he is their superior. He'd be a lousy boyfriend. Haha. The actor who is playing Howard is doing an excellent job!

  75. I thought the same thing and suggested as much to my husband but he just looked at me and said I was reading too much into it.

  76. My favorite line was when Kim said to Jimmy, "You don't save me, I save me." Love the characterizations on BCS.
    Still waiting for a show with a character who graduated at the top of her mid-tier law school class but can't pass the bar exam after 4 attempts. Tried medication, hypnosis, therapy...now working in a menial legal role with diploma on the wall of the storage closet/work space. Grateful for the medical insurance. That would be ME.

  77. Mr. Segal (and some posters) should either stop assuming that all his readers have already watched all of Breaking Bad or at least type "spoiler alert" before making references to what happens to the Saul characters in Bad. Bad viewers already know what happens to these characters--so giving away future developments does not help them--and those who are first coming to this interesting saga through Saul--or who missed the first few seasons of Bad--know only that Saul winds up in Cinnabon.

    If you were watching The Godfather with someone who never saw Godfather II, would you tell them that Michael kills Fredo and Kate leaves Michael?

  78. Bad analogy. Because Breaking Bad DID happen and it's been over since 2013.

    Should we not mention what happens to the Titanic too? Were we supposed to not say anything about The Hobbit, during Lord Of The Rings? About Darth Vader during the Phantom Menace?

    If you don't want BB to be spoilered for you, watch the show, then you'll know that Cinnabon is just the Franchise Gus Fring is using to distribute his addictive products nationwide.

  79. Dear DSM,
    I am appalled that you just ruined the Godfather for me. Now I'll know right away that Michael kills Fredo for leaving Kate.

  80. I understand your point--other than the inapt reference to the Titanic--but the issue is not as simple as you suggest. For example, if readers of Game of Thrones made comments about characters' fates on that forum before the series caught up with the books, would you think that appropriate? Or if those who raced through House of Cards posted comments on the recaps of the first episodes giving away what was going to happen?

    The showrunners of BCS are hoping to reach out to viewers who came late (or even not at all) to BB, many of whom have not yet gone back to the first few seasons. If the Times similarly hopes this forum is not just for those who watched all of BB, its intent is best served by giving them the chance to watch this great series standing alone.

    It may well be that there is no way to balance the desires of new viewers with those who wish to trade comments on the foreshadowing of BB (which the showrunners clearly like doing) without people noting *spoiler alert* as Amazon book reviewers often do.

  81. If you're having problems enjoying the plot of this excellent show, spend a little time watching the way each episode is shot and edited. The technical work on this program is absolutely superb.

    I loved the opening scene with Chuck and his wife. As a viewer, I began to ask myself, "What turned Chuck from a normal, albeit boring, husband, into the psychological mess that he is now?" Does the wife fall for Jimmy? Obviously, she finds him entertaining. I also find myself questioning Chuck's reliability as he tells stories of Jimmy's past. Is he telling the truth? Or is there a deep anger (because his wife prefers Jimmy or maybe because his parents did?) that causes him to oh, so patiently tell stories of Jimmy's misdeeds? Is he jealous of Jimmy? Is he angry because Jimmy isn't jealous of him?

    It seems to me that the viewers who want the plot to move along faster are like those readers who can't appreciate the careful exposition of a good novel. It takes time to set up a good plot line. And this show isn't just setting up the plot line for BCS; it's also setting it up for BB. It's excellent television for the cerebral viewer.

  82. Well you had me when you were advising me to watch the paint dry in your first paragraph.

    The second one is a wild flight of fancy. What, just because a woman laughs at another man's jokes that means she going to wind up in his bed? Puleese.

    Is he jealous of Jimmy? Yes. But is he lying about the father's business? No. It's just another boring aspect of their boring relationship. "Mom liked you best!" The Smothered Brothereds! rah...ZZZzzzzz

    3rd paragraph inspires words not appropriate for the NYT! You should have stuck with your "Watch the paint dry in the background!" routine. We're 15 hours into watching this slug come out of his Snail Shell! Enough is enough.

  83. Well, since there is going to be a Season 3 you can expect more of the same. It's moving too slow for me also but I hope they go in depth on Charles' marriage and subsequent breakdown. Maybe with the intro now of Uncle Tio that we will soon meet Gus Fring and how he and Mike first meet.

  84. I don't know about that.

    I don't think that Giancarlo Esposito is likely to be overly anxious to retrace his steps and put Gus Fring back on.

    That was 2011, this is 2016. Are you interested in being 2011 you again? Or have you grown as a professional?

    Gus was perfectly played. Esposito can't make that character any better. He CAN'T have a better exit scene than the one he already had. The only direction that can happen is DOWN for him.

    I vote "No Way" for a return of Giancarlo Esposito or Gus Fring.

  85. Great review and observations regarding lawyering. My husband and I have practiced for 30 years and, whenever we are asked by some bright young thing about going to law school, the response is an emphatic "don't so it". It can be soul-crushing even if you're not in the corporate world. Kim has the thirty-yard stare while Jimmy is itchy for something meaningful, unlike the paper-pushing that Sandpiper is turning out to be. I am loving this show more each week for its authenticity as much as anything else.

  86. To be fair, there isn't a career in the world where if you ask a veteran in it they won't say "What ever you do, don't do THIS!"

    When I was young, with dreams of being a chef all the chefs all said the same thing "Don't!" (and that was before they even tasted my cooking!) And yet look at today, "Chef" is the new "Sport Star" (it didn't hurt that they also made eating a competitive... What would you call it? I refuse to call it a "sport")

    And if you asked a chef today they'd say "Man, this spike is about to be over, don't get into this business" and "Yeah there are some who become stars but the job is standing in front of a stove making the same things over and over while people are out partying, and when you're off and ready to party? everybody else is working! Don't go into this business, you'll die a young bloated, alone, alcoholic!"

  87. Family doctor here, 26 years on the ballgame. "Soul-crushing" is EXACTLY the adjective many of us use to describe our job.

    The professions ain't what they used to be.

  88. Just say, '....they also made eating a competition.'

  89. BTW AMC picked this up for a third season.

    There are reports that the reason they did was because the head of AMC got a message "Pick up some lox on the way home" and he misunderstood.

  90. I loved BB for the characters, the scenery (I adore Albuq, so awesome to see some of the "real" West honored in all its messy, wind-blown complexity), and of course the over-the-top outrageousness of the plot.

    I watch this show along with someone who complains about how, unlike BB, BCS doesn't move along at a breakneck speed. But this is precisely what I love -- their having the time to pace it slower so that they can fully reveal the "how" and "why", not just the who-does-what. It's the difference between watching a top movie that zips through everything in 2 hours, and then reading and savoring the prize-winning novel it was based on.

    The novel takes you 30 hours to read while it brings the details into focus, plumbing the psychology of each character, so that you eventually understand exactly how and why it went as it did, even while you can delight in identifying those moments where it could have gone another way.

    BCS has been given the space -- and the writers, directing, actors, and design team -- to do this. The mise-en-scene, as I and others have remarked on, is consistently cinematic in its quality; choice and order and pacing of scenes, the sets and camera work, are so far above the quality of most TV fare -- even of many movies -- I'm not surprised many viewers have to work to adjust.

    This might be my favorite episode so far just for the excellence of the technical work! But I can't wait to binge-watch all of them together. GREAT show.

  91. Has anyone noticed that Jimmy's absolute love for and support of his brother is just like Walter's loyalty to Jesse in BB? No matter what Chuck and Jesse do, they are the repicients of a totally undeserved, and nearly delusional, loyalty.

    Disappointment. I'm dying to find out how Jesse discovered Saul Goodman and I know that can never happen because Aaron Paul is just to old now to play a 15-year-old. Dang. Unless they find a young look-alike actor. Could be.

    Oh, and there's doing to be no hurry to show how Jimmy McGill became Saul Goodman because, when that happens, the show is over! Maybe the very last scene of BCS will be Jesse and Walter sitting in their car outside Saul's office, ready to walk in!

  92. You're verging on self parody David. I know you're very fond of this quixotic crusade against the future of the legal profession, but this is a television review.

  93. 29 years practicing law. It's tedious, there are lots of arrogant jerks involved. But hey, it's a living...

  94. When will Gus Fring makes his appearance. After all, Mike worked for him, was his button man. Only did odd jobs for Sal (Jimmy) on Breaking Bad. That will be the tie in to Hector Salamanca. Remember, Gus did not get along to good with the Salamanca's, but the cartel did let him have the territory where Tuco does business.

  95. What a great show.

    Starts right off with exceedingly inappropriate behavior with a severed head. As Jimmy would say, "Wow."

    I'd pay a lot of money to see that Hoboken squat cobbler video (crybaby subtype), maybe invite some friends over and make an evening of it.

  96. This article and many of comments here are seriously missing out on what's meaningful work and what's soul crushing (which seems to be a repeated phrase here). What made america great (and even how most of the inventions came from) is by performing detailed work keeping greater purpose in mind. For tis kind of doc review one goes through paperwork to either find patterns or singular odd thing in one of them to bring down an entity like Sand Piper. Someone has to do it today; soon computers will. Just like banks teller had to do 'sol crushing things' 100 years back like account reconciliation that computers do today. Are only baking goodies non-soul crushing? Other countries have been far superior at that and will always be. I have close relatives in engineering and media. To achieve excellence in both field you repeat things so much that it may seem 'soul crushing' to others. But ultimately when you bag the whale; your soul would be uplifted forever; which a lifetime of grocery bagging job can't bring - however non-corporate.
    I don't want talent to turn away from the profession that has produced most american presidents and makes america still one of the more fair societies out there; give or take.

  97. I would live it if fewer US presidents were lawyers. We would all benefit from such a change.

  98. First of all, this is a great show, so can we please stop comparing BCS to Breaking Bad? While I haven't seen BB yet, I don't care about the spoilers, only that BCS stands on its own.
    Second, as a big law veteran, I can say the depiction of big law drudgery is right on.
    Finally, I think I can see the 2 story lines intersecting. When Jimmy finally gets fired/fed up with the firm, and Mike gets over his apparent reluctance towards unnecessary violence, their story lines will dramatically come together.