Better Call Saul: Acclaimed for Its Sniper Scene Accuracy
Better Call Saul receives high praise for its authentic portrayal of a sniper scene, impressing a former special operations sniper. The attention to detail, such as the character Mike’s breathing, sets the show apart. Despite minor discrepancies, the episode effectively depicts a sniper waiting for the car to approach, showcasing the show’s commitment to accuracy.
**Nicholas Irving, a former special-operations sniper and author, commends Better Call Saul** in a video from Insider. He rates 11 sniper scenes, including notable films like Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation and Hacksaw Ridge, but it is Better Call Saul’s eighth episode of season 5, titled “Bagman”, that earns Irving’s major acclaim. The episode, written by Gordon Smith and directed by co-creator Vince Gilligan, demonstrates attention to detail. Irving specifically points out the impressive portrayal of Mike’s breathing. However, he does offer some suggestions for improvement. Irving’s full quote is as follows:
“The good tactical deep breath pause before the shot was really precise. To calm your body down and ensure accuracy, taking deep breaths and improving blood circulation is essential. Yet, with regards to rifle positioning, I would have chosen a squatting stance or knelt down to better support the weight of the gun. This way, when the rifle recoils, the motion would be more straight-back rather than angled. His current alignment and rifle hold will still allow for decent recoil control.”
“I appreciate the decision to let the vehicle approach. Contrary to popular belief, snipers prefer closer shots as they increase the chances of hitting the target. However, in this case, shooting the vehicle at such a short distance could have resulted in the moving vehicle hitting the person we are protecting. I don’t agree with the car flipping over; that’s not how it happens. As a machine gunner, I have never made a car flip over. Usually, they crash into a wall or another parked car. Overall, I rate the scene a six. The only factor that affects this rating is the sniper waiting for the car to get closer.”
Better Call Saul’s Attention To Detail Is Its Biggest Strength
In the debate of whether Better Call Saul is better than Breaking Bad, an underappreciated distinction is the spinoff’s ability to be operatic and deliberate, a quality often overlooked in Breaking Bad. Better Call Saul, derived from Breaking Bad, dedicates entire sequences to show how something was constructed or lingers on seemingly random elements, only to reveal their significance in later episodes or seasons.
However, when these payoffs do occur, they are extraordinary. Witnessing the intricate schemes of Saul and Kim unfold, whether harmless or devastating, consistently delivers an exhilarating experience. This attention to detail adds to the rewatchability of the spinoff, as viewers can appreciate subtle character moments and seemingly inconsequential scenes after knowing their significance. While Better Call Saul, like any fictional entertainment, is not obligated to prioritize accuracy above its primary objectives of entertainment and emotional impact, the show truly shines when it masters the finer points.