Till you watch Better Call Saul—or till you return to it—you make the mistake of placing it in the same shelf as the other streaming content out there. When you resume, as I did last week with the latest Season 5, you are instantly reminded about the folly of comparing exalted writing like this with regular material. This series, even more than Breaking Bad, seems to thrive in a rare freedom from usual fiction rules. It can show you the long shot of a dropped cone icecream as ants gather on it. It can show you a couple exchange not a single word, as they fling beer bottles from their balcony, in a scene that bursts with more passion than had they be shown to make love. It can have a man on the brink of death dryly observing how the discontinuation of a thousand dollar bill has inconvenienced him. The freedom it has, and how judiciously it uses it to thrill, amuse, shock, surprise, and provoke you into thought, makes Better Call Saul an unparalleled television experience.
My favourite bits in this series, and in Season 5 too, are those small moments that offer such profound insight about human behaviour. It could be the metaphor of ants converging on accidental food. It could be the obsession of a food chain owner over keeping his restaurant equipment clean. It could be the revealing image of a man killing himself by lugging around bags of cash. Note the choice of music here: Labi Siffre’s I Got The… (whose sample was used in Eminem’s My Name Is). The music is almost a wiser man expressing amusement at the choices and consequences of these characters. Better Call Saul is material worth studying and studying again for how it manages to use fairly straightforward plot points to create visceral feelings.
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For the remainder of this review (and there’s a lot more left, I assure you), please visit https://www.cinemaexpress.com/reviews/english/2020/may/10/better-call-saul-season-5-review-ingenius-writing-sets-up-a-thrilling-final-season-18374.html