Better Call Saul 3.05: Chicanery
The only downside to watching TV shows week in week out is that once you've watched enough of them you could probably become a director for hire on the typical US shows. In terms of camerawork, there seems to be a set template which all directors follow and do not deviate from.Better Call Saul is the prodical son of the bunch. It doesn't stick to the rules, just like its main character.
We open tonight's episode, called Chicanery, with a scene set, once again, in the past, with Chuck and Jimmy in the company of a new character. A women who seems to have an affinity towards Chuck and one in which Chuck doesn't want to be completely honest with in terms of his illness. The scene is filmed in a palid off blue colour, with each of the characters skin colours making them look ill. Showing an almost physical representation of how Chuck must feel when in the grips of an electromagnetic stupor. When Rebecca, who we later find out is Chucks ex-wife answers her cellphone, Chuck becomes unreasonable and smacks away the phone and crudely covers up why he did it.
Back in the present, the remaining episode is set in the courtroom at the brother;s hearing. Rebecca is brought into the courtroom which Chuck sees as a ploy by Jimmy to destabilise him and throw him off course. Chuck has the tape of Jimmy's confession played in court and things start to go down hill with Bob Odenkirk once again playing Jimmy with the weariness he plays so well. As we all know though, you can never keep a good lawyer down and in cross examining Chuck, Jimmy pulls out his trump card. One aspect of Breaking Bad that always made the world seem larger than it was, is the vast amount of characters that were there. It's good to see the return of the man mountain himself, Huell, last seen laying on a mattress of money, who helps plant a phone battery on Chuck to prove to the court that Chuck's symptoms are psychosomatic and not real.
Here is where Chuck's cool exterior cracks and smashes to pieces. He vents at Jimmy, proclaiming to the court that he should never have helped Jimmy and Jimmy has always been seen as the innocent child when in reality he is slippery and always scheming. The sudden outburst shocks the court with Chuck realising that his outburst has potentially lost the committee. The outburst is held in locked off, unmoving camera with a close up on Chuck. As Chuck realises his grip on the committee has gone the camera slowly pans out and up showing Chuck spatially alone with a flickering EXIT light his only company and the buzz of electricity invading his thoughts.
Sounding like a broken record, Better Call Saul simply gets better each and every week. From innovated camera work to well written scripts, as its big brother show did, Better Call Saul seems to have locked into its groove in this third season run. Who knows how we get from Jimmy to Saul but hold on tight, its going to be a fun and interesting ride.