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Sunday, July 31, 2022

[Better SQUAWK Saul: E9] Season 6, Episode 10 of Better Call Saul, "Nippy"

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Our 🔴LIVE Reaction to and FULL Breakdown of #BetterCallSaul's 10th episode of it's 6th and final season titled, "Nippy".
⚠ Apologies for Sherrandy's poor audio quality, mostly in the Breakdown: We've already taken steps to minimize!
Oh BOY, Oh BOY: did we have technical difficulties this episode! We took advantage of the lulls and spoke about attending both The Camp and Anthony Collins' #TWD Series Finale Viewing Party, along with a whole host of side conversations before, after, and in between. If YOU would like to see the RAW and 🎬UNEDITED version of this episode's recording, all while supporting this incredible podcast, head here:

Sherrandy Swift:
Rachael Burt:
David Cameo:

🎖SURVIVORS TIER MEMBERS:
Bridget:

INITIAL REACTIONS

  • We predicted, incorrectly (sort of), what the episode title, Nippy, was referring to.
  • We, also, rather incorrectly predicted the role Carol Burnett was set to play on the show.
  • Did you also think that this episode was a fun break from all the weightiness of the close of Jimmy McGill timeline?
  • This is only one of TWO episodes (technically three) where Kim Wexler / Rhea Seehorn doesn't appear.
  • Editor's Note: Better Call Saul seasons typically only contain 10 episodes. With the 10th episode of what would've typically been it's series finale, we get a new, disconcerting title sequence: especially in the shadow of Jimmy & Kim's break-up.
  • The theme of football is not only present in Gene Takovic & Frank's conversations, but the planning involved in Gene's & Jeffy's scam.
  • There's also the recurring theme of 3: Episodes remaining, Minutes for Frank to eat his Cinnabon, How many items Jeffy needs to take of each and the amount of trips to drop off the stolen merchandise, and up to how many people are on screen at any given moment (Gene, Frank, and Nick; Marion, Jeffy, and Gene; Gene, Jeffy, and Jeffy's friend).
  • You didn't need to see the color in this episode to know that Gene/Saul Goodman/Jimmy felt alive.
  • Taking a page out of Mike Ehrmantraut's book in the last episode, he makes Jeffy and his friend say that this is the last time he scams with them. Putting his experiences with everyone into practice.
  • Though a little rusty, Gene uses some real emotion when invoking "My brother" to prevent Frank from turning around to see the security camera footage. Do you also think that was also an unexpectedly real emotional moment for him?
  • We were a little freaked out when the person - whom we now know is Jeffy, who also previously intimidated Gene to do the Better Call Saul point - winds up at the home of the person whom we thought would play Kim's mother.

  • ...and further freaked out as soon as Kathy told her assistant to get the maintenance guy to polish the floors, but only because we thought Jeffy would have an awkward encounter with him as he was running through the store.
  • When we saw Jeffy eventually slip on the spot maintenance polished, we immediately thought - yet again - Jimmy/Saul/Gene killed someone. Others assumed the unforeseen consequences would come in the form of Frank having a coronary from all the Cinnabon he was eating.
  • There was a certain weightiness added to every scene due to the sound capturing the breathing noises Bob Odenkirk was making in scenes with no dialogue and even the clang of the utensils and eating noises Jim O'Heir was making.
  • And we can't forget the reference to Walter White and Jesse Pinkman.
  • Appreciating the difference in score between the Jimmy McGill timeline and the Gene Takovic timeline: a more Muzak, Bossa Nova sound. Even the music from the scam montage evoked a 60s/70s era sound (we'll get into that more in the breakdown).
  • Small parallel of Jimmy snipping Marion's scooter cable to Jeffy snapping the security tags off the merchandise.
  • Speaking of the scam-planning montage, did you notice the flash of the S.G. Was Here carving Gene had previously scribbled in a previous episode? Did you think all of this was to show that Jimmy wants to know he existed or is this foreshadowing that he will finally shed Gene?
  • Though the tag on Jimmy's car reads 2005, the early timeline of Better Call Saul actually took place in and around 2007, according to Thomas Schnauz in the last Better Call Saul Insider Podcast.
  • Of all the things we predicted and assumed about Carol Burnett's character, none were more wrong than both she playing, in earnest, Judge Papadoumian, or, in jest, one of Saul Goodman's prostitutes.
  • For those who missed it, we livestreamed the TWDU news coming out of San Diego Comic Con, available for both listening and streaming, here:
  • Mitchell Shoemaker, in the audience, mentions the yet unnamed (at the time) episode will have a total runtime of 79 minutes. The teaser for that, prior to the credits, shows a truck at a crossroads, with Jimmy/Saul/Gene's voiceover (as has been the case for the last handful of episodes).
  • We miss Kim and we think of wild ways in which she would reappear on the show: killing Jimmy, prosecuting him, or maybe she ends up being Judge Papa-dinkus.

  • Either way, nobody has, thus far, has properly guessed how this series will end.

FULL BREAKDOWN

  • Turns out the reason the actor who had originally portrayed Jeffy, Don Harvey, dropped out was due to a prior commitment to We Own This City on HBO. Pat Healy took on the mantle after casting had rifled through previous auditions for both Breaking Bad & Better Call Saul.
  • Marion is a shrewd individual that is not afraid to speak her mind! And, of course, the Extra-Sharp Wisconsin Cheddar she spits-out is from Schnauz Farms, an ode to Producer Thomas Schnauz.

  • Jimmy uses his "lost dog, Nippy" to break her down and gain her confidence. Did you dial the number on the lost dog flyer? Correctly?
  • Don't you think Carol Burnett looks terrific for 89 years of age? The rest of us joke about the show could've suddenly broke into a sitcom: certainly looked like it might, between Jeffy's Cosby sweater and how he vexed Marion!
  • Bridget takes the time to dress down Jeffy for being called Jeffy, thereby picking a fight with Dave for slandering his own mother for calling him Davey.
  • Going back to Jeffy, do you think he is a stand-in for or mnemonic device of Jesse Pinkman?
  • Though this episode is devoid of color, there are still colors evoked in this episode: Marion lives on Clementine Street. In Breaking Bad Universe color terms, the color orange evokes danger. Bridget reminds us that in consumer psychology, it evokes something being affordable or even classless.
  • We muse on the line Buongiorno Ladies!
  • Pat Healy nearly passed out during the practice runs due to Albuquerque's high elevation (yes, the snowy field was, in fact filmed in New Mexico... somehow).
  • Back on the subject of color, Marion & Gene were both sharing Peach Schnapps when Jeffy walks through the door: a mixture of pink/red and orange. What does it mean? We proceed to call Marion & Jeffy The Peachmans.
  • Do you think Jeffy's "bad crowd" in Albuquerque might follow him to Omaha to stir things up for Gene? Or is it, as Bridget jokes, just Jesse Pinkman having returned from Alaska after having life-altering plastic surgery? ...and stealing Kim away from Jimmy?
  • Rhea, on Seth Meyers, spoke about how devoted a fan Carol Burnett is to Better Call Saul and her character.
  • We muse on both the abrupt change in title sequence and the concept of Fun and Games (the title for the last episode) and how they both signify that fun in the game (that Saul is attempting to introduce Jeffy to) was over. Like Marie Schrader, Jeffy so badly wanted to get in the game and just needed permission to enter it.
  • Is Jimmy hanging Saul up for good, by the end, or does he just feel confident that he can use him when he needs him? Like Don Eladio says, "A little is ok..."

  • Gene is so elated after the con is over, he forgets to take his break: were you as irked as the ladies were that he didn't finish icing the Cinnabon he was working on? Dave's takeaway was that it was cool to see that he could life and maintain relationships without the constant weight of being discovered.
  • Like an alcoholic that flirts with drinking, though, Gene decides to put Saul down. Even deciding to wear Marco Pasternak's pinky ring isn't a definitive indicator that he is invested in bringing Saul back, though it does make us appreciate his pause on when he discusses his "brother", as he tries to buy Jeffy time to collect himself from slipping on the waxed floors (so Frank doesn't discover him in the security monitors).
  • Discussing the various iterations of Jimmy's brothers: the actual, Chuck McGill; the proverbial twin/doppelganger, Howard Hamlin; and his chosen brother, Marco.
  • Not only is the song that plays throughout the scam-planning from the Mission Impossible television show, not only is it called Jim is on the Move, it is composed by Lalo Schifrin, which has been confirmed by producers, via the Insider Podcast, to be where Eduardo "Lalo" Salamanca received his namesake.
  • The Mission Impossible-esque split-screen montage is also an homage to 2x07 Inflatable, down to the music choice. Insider Podcast also mentions that this won't be the last montage of the series.
  • I think all the smacking and clanging noises during the Cinnabon eating scenes might've put us off on ever eating Cinnabon, ever again. Maybe. Don't worry, Jim O'Heir spit most of it out during takes.

  • Going back to the theme of football throughout this episode, during Franke & Gene's conversation about football, specifically when speaking about Nebraska Cornhuskers player Martinez, we were able to confirm that the Gene timeline is currently in November of 2010 because that was when Martinez received the 484 yards they were talking about.
  • Since Jimmy disappeared himself in May of 2010, that makes where we're currently at in the Gene timeline at least two months after Walter White's death.
  • Though the department store scenes were filmed in Albuquerque's Cottonwood Mall, they didn't actually film in a department store: they completely constructed furnished an empty space in the mall to look like one. Kim's childhood flashback, several episodes earlier, also involves stealing from a department store. 
  • Though Jeffy steals three of each item, Gene speaks nothing of getting a cut of the merchandise, which says a lot more about why he does this (other than getting Jeffy off his back). Along with the theme of threes we spoke about in the Reaction, the cameras are reset every 72 hours (three days) and Jimmy has taken on 3 different names/personalities. We're also reminded that bad things come in threes.

  • Frank turning his plate through his Cinnabon eating session reminds us of how Howard showed us how Chuck used to turn soda cans to prevent them from exploding when dropped or shaken (purposefully or not). This reminds us of how Jimmy's scams tend to go: seems like he gets away with them until he doesn't.

  • As opposed to 4x01 Smoke, where Jimmy prevents the kid from stealing games for fear of the security guards, in this episode, Gene is unafraid of them and even confident that he can pull this off.
  • We're noticing that even Jimmy's desire to occasionally con, considering he might get caught (given his history), might compete with his yet unconfirmed interest to seek out Kim in Omaha, if that's where she really is. This gives us an opportunity to revisit Jimmy's relationship with his father, how he died, and the alleged skimming of his father's corner store profits and how that parallels Jimmy offering money to The Kettlemans, earlier on in the season. It may also be why he chooses scamming as a way to get Jeffy off his back rather than try to hurt him or get him in trouble with the law.
  • Jimmy's affinity with the elderly survives the Gene timeline, in the way he endears himself to Marion. We talk about why he does this and it might be because, just like the elderly, he too is often overlooked and neglected. Sherrandy takes the opportunity to acknowledge that we're all a bunch of Jimmy McGills who saw the value in her contributions and brought her aboard as a host.
  • Pat Healy's real-time run through the store was actually 11-12 minutes. One of the ideas they had  in the writers room about where his character would hide in was an ATM machine, which evokes a parallel to Spooge's demise in Breaking Bad.

  • Gene didn't just tell Jeffy & his friend, Buddy, to "say it" (promising this is the last time) to evoke how Mike told he and Kim to him to do the same after cleaning up their apartment in the prior episode: it was revenge for Jeffy, himself, making Gene do the Better Call Saul point when he discovers him in the mall.
  • We know Walter's & Jesse's meth haul was the size of a Volkswagen because of the scene in Breaking Bad where Huell Babineaux and Patrick Kuby were swimming in it. Fun fact, Bill Burr was slated to play a part in Better Call Saul until his best friend had passed. He was replaced by Steven Ogg (Simon on The Walking Dead) as an entirely different character, Mister X.

  • Not only is nobody from the Jimmy McGill timeline present in this episode, including Kim, their names don't appear in the opening credits. Yes, not even Michael Mando. Speaking of destroyed love stories, the forthcoming Interview with a Vampire series is being produced by Breaking Bad/Better Call Saul producer, Mark Johnson on AMC.
  • Speaking of things nobody asked for, don't watch Titanic 2, by The Asylum (the creators of Z-Nation).
  • We discuss the pre-credits teaser into the next episode. Is he talking to Kim or Jesse Pinkman in the Better Call Saul era? Maybe even Jeffy Peachman?
  • Join as next episode when we'll be wrong again!

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