better call saul season finale review 2

(Every week, we’re going to kick off discussion about Better Call Saul season 3 by answering one simple question: who came out on top when the credits rolled?)

In its season finale, “Lantern,” the slow burn of Better Call Saul becomes a conflagration. It’s a stunning, bleak episode, with each thread hammering home the problem that’s plagued the characters from the very beginning: It’s not business. It’s personal.
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better call saul fall review 2

(Every week, we’re going to kick off discussion about Better Call Saul season 3 by answering one simple question: who came out on top when the credits rolled?)

“Fall” is the sparsest episode of the season so far, in that our main characters occupy separate spaces as opposed to overlapping in any real capacity. It’s the first time we’ve seen the storylines so disparate, and it goes a long way towards emphasizing just how isolated they all are. Nearly three seasons through Better Call Saul, our main characters have driven themselves apart to a point that’s no longer easy to ignore, especially with how they’re laid out in this week’s episode.

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Better Call Saul Slip Review

(Every week, we’re going to kick off discussion about Better Call Saul season 3 by answering one simple question: who came out on top when the credits rolled?)

Better Call Saul doesn’t miss a beat. There’s no such thing as a wasted moment, which has never been more evident as it is in “Slip,” the eighth episode of this season. It’s so titled because it marks the definitive return of Slippin’ Jimmy, as well as significant turns in the arcs of the rest of the cast as well. Over the past few episodes, we’ve seen characters pushed past their respective breaking points; now that all of the pieces are on the same side of the board, it’s time to properly watch the fall-out.

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preacher season 2 trailer

When AMC revealed the initial trailers for the first season of Preacher, fans of Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon’s beloved and blasphemous comic book raised an eyebrow at the dreary tone on display. For the longest time, the network seemed to be dancing around the series’ goofier aspects, trying avoid the blend of horror, comedy, and fantasy that actually drives the plot forward in favor of selling a gritty thriller to the millions of people tuning in for The Walking Dead.

All of that has changed with the new season and the new Preacher season 2 trailer is silly and weird and unapologetic about the fact that this is the story of a man with the power to command others using “the word of God” going on adventures with his deadly ex-girlfriend and an Irish vampire. Preacher is finally starting to look like Preacher.

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preacher season 2

In today’s edition of TV Bits:

  • Preacher season two featurette.
  • The trailer for the final season of Orphan Black.
  • A new look at Fear the Walking Dead.
  • And a quick promo for the Hotel Transylvania series.

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Better Call Saul Expenses Review

(Every week, we’re going to kick off discussion about Better Call Saul season 3 by answering one simple question: who came out on top when the credits rolled?)

At this point in Better Call Saul, it’s difficult to know whether or not we’re supposed to root for Jimmy (Bob Odenkirk). Obviously, to a certain degree, we are. We’re in his house, after all. He’s hit rock bottom in “Expenses,” and though we know he’ll end up back on top (sort of) by the time Breaking Bad begins, it’s become obvious that the path there is going to be a profoundly ugly one. “Expenses” plays like a partner to “Chicanery” as an episode that captures exactly just how naturalistic the drama at the center of it is. It’s a show that’s pared down and precise — the pain doesn’t come from the near-operatic as it did in Breaking Bad, it comes from small, simple human foibles.

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better call saul off brand review

(Every week, we’re going to kick off discussion about Better Call Saul season 3 by answering one simple question: who came out on top when the credits rolled?)

In true Better Call Saul fashion, this week’s big revelation comes as a whimper, not as a bang. It’s a quiet moment that underlines one of the biggest truths of the show: more than anything else, it’s a tragedy. Unfortunately, it’s a quiet that’s slightly undermined by how loudly Breaking Bad rings throughout this episode, as the comings and goings of the cartel, while granted a touch of the delicacy that makes Better Call Saul so special, pander a little too obviously after the tour de force of last week’s episode.

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chicanery review

(Every week, we’re going to kick off discussion about Better Call Saul season 3 by answering one simple question: who came out on top when the credits rolled?)

“Chicanery” showcases everything that’s best about Better Call Saul. Last week’s episode was a thrill as it delved into the gangland politics that will ultimately set up Breaking Bad, but the main character of this show is still Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk). This week focuses exclusively on the final nail in the coffin of his relationship with Chuck (Michael McKean) over the course of essentially only three scenes. While we passed the point of no return a couple of weeks ago, the break still isn’t a clean one. It’s the tearing of flesh from bone, and it makes for a devastating hour of television.

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sabrosito review 4

(Every week, we’re going to kick off discussion about Better Call Saul season 3 by answering one simple question: who came out on top when the credits rolled?)

The majority of concerns voiced about Better Call Saul have been about the show’s dual nature. Strictly speaking, the show’s a two-hander, with Jimmy (Bob Odenkirk) going down one path and Mike (Jonathan Banks) going down another. They’re roughly parallel, yes, insomuch as they intersect and will keep intersecting until the events of Breaking Bad come to a head, but there’s still a limit, especially as Mike’s half of the show becomes Gus Fring’s. The mythology there is different; it’s grander, whereas the struggle playing out between the McGill brothers is something a little more tangible. The show’s managed to keep its balance so far, let’s hope it stays that way.  Read More »

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better call saul sunk costs review 3

(Every week, we’re going to kick off discussion about Better Call Saul season 3 by answering one simple question: who came out on top when the credits rolled?)

The title of this week’s Better Call Saul, “Sunk Costs,” refers to a cost that’s been paid and can’t be recovered, i.e. it refers to irreparable damage. A lot has happened over the course of the last two seasons, but the ground lost has always seemed like it could be regained. But something’s snapped, now. We’ve past the point of no return on the path from Jimmy to Saul, and the pall it casts over the show is palpable, not to mention painful.

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