by John Walters
Saul In A Day’s Work
Last night Better Call Saul had its “Pine Barrens
episode. And nearly its “To’hajiilee/Ozymandias” episode. With an assist from the first 30 minutes of No Country For Old Men (Alan Sepinwall in his review notes that it’s akin to “Four Days Out” from Season 2 of Breaking Bad and also picks up on the space blanket tie-in that I missed) and the Marathon des Sables. This one will go down as, if not quite a classic, certainly a landmark episode in the series.
Jimmy travels southeast, near the New Mexico/Mexico border, to be Lalo’s bag man. To pick up his $7 million in bail money that the Salamanca twins drop off to him. On a carefree drive home in his Esteem, he is ambushed by three vehicles. They take the two bags of cash and are about to put a bullet into his forehead when shots ring out. Turns out Mike Ehrmentraut had his back.
Mike shoots down all but one of the thieves. Now it’s time to hike through the desert (hints of Biblical trials). Finally, Jimmy is ready to give up and die when Mike explains why he does what he does: to provide for a better life for the people in his life. Suddenly the thief who got away, still on the hunt, drives into view (with a passenger). Jimmy doesn’t care any more. He makes himself an open target and tells Mike to get his rifle ready. Mike takes care of business in a scene that, while being shot, must’ve scared Bob Odenkirk half to death and had him muttering “Vic Morrow” under his breath. If you saw it, you know.
Kim, meanwhile, sets up a meeting with Lalo. Exposes herself while not accomplishing a thing. As Lalo smartly tells her, her husband will either show up with the dinero or he’s dead. So why tell her the drop point? Meanwhile, as Mike told Jimmy, “She’s in the game now.”
Yes, she is. Is Kim fated to become the Hank Schraeder of Better Call Saul?
The good news: Jimmy doesn’t have to drive that Esteem around any longer. And he’s got $100,000 to go car shopping.
The other residual effect: this episode cements Jimmy’s and Mike’s bond. Mike literally saves Jimmy’s life. Jimmy demonstrates to Mike that he’s tougher than either of them thought.
When it comes time for the Emmys/Golden Globes next time around, Better Call Saul is going to win Best Dramatic Series for this season. You just watch. This has been its strongest season yet, with incredible imagery.
Pandemic Playlist (Cont.)
Thanks to everyone who contributed yesterday. We give AIR’s “Don’t Stand So Close To Me” the jury prize as the top suggestion. Here’s a few more that came to mind as we slept…
- Invisible Touch ……………………………………….. Genesis
- Lost In The Supermarket ………………………….. The Clash
- All By Myself ……………………………………………… Eric Carmen
- Can’t Touch This …………………………………….. M.C. Hammer
- Dancing With Myself………………………………… Billy Idol
- The Mask …………………………………………………… Roger Glover
10K (And Counting)
The U.S. coronavirus body count eclipsed 10,000 dead yesterday and it’s already breaching 11,000 this morning. Who knows where it will stop, although we’ll go out on a limb and predict there will be fewer than 100,000 domestic deaths due to the coronavirus.
A friend, a Trump supporter, pointed out that deaths in so many other categories are down this year which is a little like pointing out that all the theater goers at Our American Cousin probably got their money back. But, hey, there’s always a bright side.
Meanwhile, have you noticed something wonderful? The streets are quieter. And, in major cities, the air is cleaner due to few cars and almost no airplanes. If coronavirus teaches us anything, I hope it will be that fossil fuels need to disappear and that car horns are pure trash.
Lastly, stocks are up for a second consecutive day on news that the rate of new cases is decreasing. We’ll see if our “leaders” jump the gun on ending the shelter-in-place and stay-at-home edicts or if they remain disciplined. Hey, I’m no doctor but I do like to think of myself as “a social scientist.”
Pink Moon Fever
Tonight is “Super Pink Moon” night, the night of the year when our closest celestial neighbor will come closest to the Earth (a mere 221,772 miles away) all year. Also, because the Earth, Moon and Sun are all in alignment, we’ll get a full moon. So maybe turn off “Tiger King” for 10 minutes, go outside and experience the wonder of it all, baby. Nature puts on the best shows —and there’s no monthly subscription.
–On March 3, The Colonel wins the 31st running of the Grand National, an annual 4-mile steeplechase horse race run at Aintree, near Liverpool, England.
–On March 17, Oxford defeats Cambridge by three lengths in the already famed Boat Race on the Thames. The Dark Blues set a course record of 20 minutes and 4 seconds on the 4.2-mile course. It was their ninth consecutive victory in the race that dates back to 1829.
–On June 5 Fenian, a two year-old, wins the third running of the Belmont Stakes, held in Jerome Park (located then in Westchester County, but has since been claimed as the northern Bronx). Fenian’s owner? August Belmont, the race’s namesake.
–June 15: Irish-born heavyweight Mike McCoole, who already owns a saloon in St. Louis, defeats Tom Allen on a 9th-round DQ. McCoy is the world’s top fighter.
–Tom Morris, known as “Young Tom Morris,” wins The Open (a.k.a. The British Open) for the second year in a row. The year before, at age 17, he’d become the youngest winner in the event’s history (and still is). Morris was born at St. Andrew’s, where his pops (same name) was the head greenskeeper and himself had won four Open championships. You can practically hear Mike Tirico whispering this info into your ear.
–November 6: You know this one. Rutgers defeats Princeton 6-4 in front of approximately 100 spectators in New Brunswick, N.J. One week later Princeton returns the favor, winning 8-0. The Ivy League school is named national champions. Even then, with only two teams, college football courted controversy.