Another week, another double bill of great TV. We really are spoiled for quality entertainment on the small screen the last decade, the lingering question is when, or if, it will all run out of steam. Whilst the risk of that has heightened with seemingly every television network now producing their own “contenders” to the juggernauts, we should be set for at least a few more years of top notch TV and this week in Better Call Saul and The Walking Dead served to reinforce that. Also, in case anyone is wondering, yes there will be a season review of House Of Cards coming up in the next few weeks but I’m trying to pace it out!
Full spoilers for Better Call Saul and The Walking Dead below
Better Call Saul S01E05 – “The Alpine Sheperd Boy”
Going against the glowing endorsement in the intro, BCS is running a risky move. That risk is that, if it keeps going as the first five episodes have, there is a serious chance that it could pass out its gargantuan predecessor in terms of quality and following. Yes Breaking Bad currently still sits well and truly above all others but BCS got some serious traction going this week in the mid-point of its inaugural season that is pushing it further and further into the stratosphere. There seems to be a fairly even split amongst viewers as to whether this show is working on a nice slow cook strategy or if it is just plain slow paced. Firstly, to all under the impression it is moving slowly I would ask – what is it you want it to move towards? Yes there is an excitement level to how many BB alumni this show can introduce but keep in mind we are currently six years before any of the events we witnessed before, you are supposed to be following Jimmy McGill’s origin story. Would you watch Batman Begins thinking “Just get to The Joker already!”? Probably not. Enjoy the journey.
This week would help those finding it slow anyway as we got some good progression in plot. We can now nearly fully piece together what exactly is going on with Chuck – a psychosis brought about in or around the same time as his dismissal from his law firm. It was also important for us to hear Jimmy point out that even he doesn’t fully believe Chuck but we can figure that he is indebted to his brother and so plays along rather than trying to “fix” him. Mike got some meat to his role this week too with a trio from the Philadelphia police force arriving at his door at the episode’s close (quick recap – Mike was a cop in Philly and left/was booted from the force in dramatic fashion, seemingly when one of his perpetrators killed his wife and Mike avenged the woman’s death but could not be convicted). This of course would be the perfect avenue for Mike and Jimmy to first work together and should find this season thundering towards a huge finale.
It’s still good, it is now even borderline great, and we’ve already gorged on half of the first season. Thank God for Game Of Thrones is all I can say.
Better Call Saul is available Tuesdays at 7am on Netflix
The Walking Dead S05E12 – “Remember”
It is harder than ever for readers of the comics to not explode in nerdish anticipation given the point that TWD has reached. Indeed we all got this excited for Hershel’s Farm and The Prison and both of those fell flat for the most part, but with the form this show has been in through this season and the tail end of the last it’s hard not to get too excited. Rick and friends have found their way to the fabled Alexandria and though the jury is still out it looks like it could be the genuine second chance they have all wanted since the outbreak. Walls, houses, schools, civilization – this place has it all. For readers it looks like we won’t get to see Douglas Monroe, arguably a poor decision, as he seems to have been replaced by a female counterpart in the form of Deanna. Personally I don’t think the dynamic will work as well with a female character filling this role but I am open to seeing what Scott Gimple and co. can whip up.
The burning question on everyone’s mind is whether or not Alexandria will help or hinder our band of heroes and I literally can’t say a word that wouldn’t at least hint at a spoiler. What I will say is that Carol is playing the skeptic (couldn’t handle her gun properly all of a sudden, told Deanna she missed her alcoholic and abusive husband) and I would hazard a guess that Daryl staying moody once they made it inside the walls is all part of the ruse too. This group will not be fooled again, even by the time they hit Terminus they should have been smarter but still got caught out. Not this time, particularly evident in Rick’s speech to close out the episode. Also did anyone else near burst out in satisfied laughter at the side of the Carol and Daryl over Rick’s shoulders in a good angel/bad angel type routine? There is a level of thought and focus going into this season we have never seen before as Scott Gimple is aware that viewers are paying more attention to their shows than they ever have before (thank you Vince Gilligan). Four episodes left, lots to happen.
The Walking Dead airs Mondays at 9pm on FOX