Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The Lawyer and His Soul

It was a pretty Saul-light episode of Better Call Saul last night, focusing more on Kim's struggle to get out of the doghouse at her firm for recommending Jimmy and on further development for Chuck. We get a lot more insight into his feelings for Jimmy and at first he seems totally irrational but what I like is that we see he may have a point.

Well, that's a nice thing about the show and it's what really makes it part of the Breaking Bad universe--we want Saul to do the wrong thing and this is made interesting by the fact that we're occasionally reminded why it's wrong and unpleasant. But I won't spoil the end of the episode.

I also started the fifth season of Touch of Frost a few nights ago from 1997. The première episode of the season, "Penny for the Guy", is interesting mainly for guest star Philip Stone, who you might recognise from Kubrick's adaptation of The Shining.

Even though anyone who recognises him the moment he shows up might assume he's the kidnapper and murderer Jack's trying to track down, Stone's subtlety and ability to suggest something sinister while ostensibly being just a humble widower out walking his dog is thoroughly absorbing.

The episode also introduces "Wonder Woman", Liz Maud (Susannah Doyle), an assistant for Frost and the latest in the line of occasionally introduced professional policewomen for Frost to be awkward around. Though of course Frost ultimately knows best.

The previous episode also had a female assistant for him, promoted from uniformed officer temporarily to assist Frost in investigating an assault at a university. It ends up being a killer who's become obsessed with mermaids after he accidentally drowned his sister as a kid and developed a delusion that she hadn't really died but gone to live in the sea. I thought about recommending the episode to Caitlin R. Kiernan but I wasn't sure if it would be flattering or insulting.

Well, hey, I've had a thing for mermaids since I was a kid and I'm not sure if I'm flattered or insulted. I don't know, it's kind of a weird feeling. It's like seeing a ghost on a talk show. Or a heirloom on a McDonalds menu. Maybe I'm shortchanging Touch of Frost, though. It is a basically "good guys and bad guys" show, somehow I expect Dostoevsky when mermaids turn up. There's a quote from Oscar Wilde's "Fisherman and His Soul" in the episode, which is always nice to hear.

Her hair was as a wet fleece of gold, and each separate hair as a thread of line gold in a cup of glass. Her body was as white ivory, and her tail was of silver and pearl. Silver and pearl was her tail, and the green weeds of the sea coiled round it; and like sea-shells were her ears, and her lips were like sea-coral. The cold waves dashed over her cold breasts, and the salt glistened upon her eyelids.

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