by John Walters

Starting Five

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.

Los Lobos Hermanos

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…

  1. Invisible Touch ……………………………………….. Genesis
  2. Lost In The Supermarket ………………………….. The Clash
  3. All By Myself ……………………………………………… Eric Carmen
  4. Can’t Touch This …………………………………….. M.C. Hammer
  5. Dancing With Myself………………………………… Billy Idol
  6. The Mask …………………………………………………… Roger Glover

10K (And Counting)

Denver, like many cities, is experiencing its cleanest air in decades. There is a better way.

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.

SportsYear: 1869

Belmont Park. Tailgating is as old as sport itself.

–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.

5 thoughts on “IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

  1. Sepinwall had a good write up of BCS. This ep truly connected the two shows. And it showed the Mike-Saul relationship which was in full force on BB.

  2. When I think of “early tailgaters”, I think of the “well-to-do” idiots of nation’s capital who thought they’d have a pleasant jaunt “into the country” to watch their “team, the, er, Yankees” defeat the Rebels at the 1st Battle of Bull Run. Did NOT end well for them or their “team”.

    Can’t believe I forgot about “Can’t Touch This”! One of my few (I have only 3!) fave rap songs!

    What’s your new job? Do you “mask up” with mask & gloves? I don’t even know where to buy masks now. When I thought about buying some back in mid-Feb, all the “official” medical “experts” told us not to! Just one more ‘log of fuel’ to add to my burning rage over our current excuse of a “federal government”. Stay safe!

    Speaking of politics – Wisconsin! WTF?! No, I KNOW why the NAZI Republicans in that state are trying to limit voting & forcing an in-person Primary today & I hope all its denizens will never forget! BTW, the FALLACY about the “good people of the Midwest” has now been exposed. (Sorry, Katie, don’t mean to besmirch all but I am steamed!).

    So, I plan an ‘expedition’ to my local grocery store at 6AM this coming Thursday. Excluding the 50 feet ‘journeys’ to my mailbox 6 days/week, it will be my 1st time out of the house in 2 weeks. Food supplies are running low (nothing is left but soups & cereal but no milk) & of course, I will again attempt to procure that ever-elusive package of TP. All prayers are welcomed. 😉

    Some happy news is that on my most recent ‘re-con’ of my bathroom vanities, I found an opened package of disposable latex gloves! I have NO memory of buying these or for what purpose & I think they are at least 15 years old. There are only 3 gloves in there (three?!) but I did break out my best Gloria Gaynor over the discovery. 🙂

  3. In two weeks or so, when covid-19 reaches what people perceive to be its peak, there will be heavy pressure on leadership to cut back on the social distancing restrictions, especially as the disastrous unemployment numbers continue to climb. The problem, of course, is that reaching the peak is far different than having the virus controlled. Look at any of the prediction models and you will see that the infection stats on June 1 are likely to be as bad as they were on March 15 when we started to shut things down. That is the point of flattening the curve — reduce the height of the pandemic in exchange for extending its length. But reducing social distancing only extends it even further, and increases total infections and deaths. It will take as much courage for our leaders to maintain the restrictions than it did to impose them in the first place, if not more.

    The problem is that Trump has consistently downplayed the realities of covid-19 and shown a willingness to listen to business interests over doctors. Plus, he desperately wants this to be over as far before Election Day as possible (hence his current infatuation with “miracle” drugs). So Trump will likely just fan the flames of those calling out for the country to get “back to normal.”

    • I believe our only hope rests with a test that can detect if one has already had COVID-19 & is thus, now supposedly immune. Those folks can then return to work. However, the test is not ready. Plus, a FAR BETTER way of rolling out that test needs to be implemented than the piss-poor roll-out of the current test.

      And I’m not so sure that The Sociopath wants people to vote. Oh sure, he DESPERATELY wants to continue in his current ‘job’ (partly to stave off the countless lawsuits awaiting for the day he again becomes a private citizen, unprotected by Presidential exemption) but as we see by the GOP NAZIs in Wisconsin, they do NOT want the masses to vote as they will vote their asses OUT, plus they do not care if & how many citizens DIE in the attempt. “Mid-West values” be damned!

  4. jdubs, I HOPE you are correct the the USA will see less than 100k deaths from COVID-19 but we’ll NEVER KNOW THE TRUTH! I look at the Johns Hopkins tracker twice/day & find it infuriating. Not at JH but at the BLATANT FALSEHOOD of the # of cases around the world. The US numbers are probably more true than most countries but I believe our REAL number of COVID positives is probably over a million right now. And only 82K in China? LOL!

    The lack of testing is not just a problem in the USA. Plus,many countries are intentionally withholding the numbers so as not to further damage their ability to do business/trade/tourism whenever things seem to be “going back to normal”. Would YOU want to visit a town/country that recently saw tens of thousands of deaths from an infectious virus? Without a vaccine to protect you before your trip? As for our own country, do we really believe Alabama & Mississippi both have less than 2000 cases? I don’t know if they are hiding the truth as much as not having (or wanting) the ability to test. And I believe FL’s REAL numbers probably rank it no lower than #3 among the states.

    Tomorrow, I’d like you to address the highs & mostly LOWS of religion during this & any pandemic (or any huge disaster). I personally can’t wait for God to “punish” Franklin Graham & Jerry Falwell, Jr…

Leave a Reply to susie b Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *