by John Walters
Alaloha Means Goodbye
A fond adios to Lalo Salamanca (Tony Dalton), a cunning and charming cartel villain who was killed off in last night’s episode of Better Call Saul. Lolo committed the unpardonable sin of the James Bond supervillain: having your prey dead to rights, and then allowing your hubris to buy him a few extra moments, during which time he (here, Gus Fring) turns the tables on you. Let’s just say Lalo’s error had grave consequences.
We’ll miss you, Lalo, and now with only five episodes remaining in the series we wonder who’s left to conquer or kill? Lalo is dead. As is Nacho. As is Howard.
We all know that Gustavo Fring, Mike Ehrmentraut, Mike’s granddaughter, Hector Salamanca, his twin cousins and, yes, Jimmy/Saul will survive this series. So who’s the wild card? Yes, it’s Kim Wexler. Although we also know via the promos that the last few episodes may be jumping forward to the present, i.e., Omaha and the Cinnabon. Will Jimmy finally have his day of reckoning beyond Albuquerque? We believe so.
*The judges will also accept “Across The Universe” and “GalaxyQuest” and even “A Thousand Points Of Light”
We don’t know who James Webb is or whether he used the new iPhone 13 to snap this photo, but it’s supposedly the deepest anyone has ever looked into the soul of the universe. There are blips of light in this photo designating the earliest galaxies in creation, more than 13 BILLION years old. What was happening before that? Well, if time is a flat circle, maybe they were trying to decide between Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis (“Do I want the poop sandwich or the poop sandwich with all the fixins?”).
Anyway, each point of light here, we’re told, is its own galaxy. Just as our entire solar system is one part of a larger galaxy. And here’s our cute little species just trying to blast off to the nearest planet. Kind of makes you think about just how significant it is as to whether Notre Dame should join a conference.
We were watching a bit of Three Days Of The Condor (starring Robert Redford, from 1975) and it occurred to us that there were a series of films, from about 1968 to the mid-Seventies, where big-name male movie stars were pitted as singular rogues or renegades who were either pitted against the system or against a bad guy. Often, there was corruption involved at a bureaucratic level and he was taking them on. Consider all of these films, where the male protagonist goes it alone to solve a mystery or rescue himself: Bullitt (1968, Steve McQueen), The French Connection (1971, Gene Hackman), Serpico (1973, Al Pacino) Chinatown (1974, Jack Nicholson), The Conversation (1974, Hackman), Night Moves (1975, Hackman), and Marathon Man (1976, Dustin Hoffman).
There’s not a stinker in the bunch here—if you’ve never seen Night Moves, it’s like an episode of The Rockford Files but darker— and with some of the greatest male talent of the generation. So we’re wondering what was happening in the zeitgeist that inspired so many similar films? And did All The President’s Men—with a PAIR of lone rangers fighting corruption as a team—kill off the genre, or at least cool it off for awhile?
Apropos of nothing in your column today — great assessment of the current college football landscape here: https://www.theringer.com/college-football/2022/7/12/23205250/college-football-realignment-mess-usc-ucla-big-ten-sec