Four Letter Nerd

Better Call Saul Season 2, Episode 2 Recap: Cobbler

Raise your hand if you googled #squatcobbler towards the end of last night’s episode. Wow!!! Really??? Everybody? Well, I’m glad I’m not the only one. But learning what a squat cobbler is was not the only awkward element in last night’s episode. It wasn’t just me who thought Jimmy was clearly out of place playing the respectable lawyer at the laid back domain of Davis and “middle of the day guitar strumming” Main was it?

But along with Jimmy’s attempts to talk to “Cool Cat Cliff,” there was the return of Chuck sitting at the end of the table at HHM waiting for Jimmy to screw up. There was Pryce screaming “Nacho took my baseball cards and I want them back now,” completely oblivous to the many traps he was walking into.

But despite an episode that sowed so many seeds of the transformation from Jimmy to Saul that should have us all buzzing, I doubt we can think about anything other than the Hoboken Squat Cobbler.

Jimmy Climbing the Ladder

The Sandpiper Case is pumping right along and Jimmy is reaping the full benefits of his major breakthrough. Along with the new office we saw last week, Jimmy now has a company car (and a Mercedes at that, no less). He’s also considering purchasing a home near Kim and the two are discussing all these wonderful hypotheticals of things they can do now that Jimmy has this great job. And Kim gives Jimmy a Mug, “World’s 2nd greatest lawyer” (because she’s obviously number one, get it???) that fits perfectly in Jimmy’s old car.

And while there is much talk of the Sandpiper case, their lack of cooperation with document requests, and how the best source (pointed out by Jimmy) for forms concerning Sandpiper is with the residents themselves, things just seem a bit off for Jimmy. The passion Jimmy and Kim experienced in the con of “Douchebag Ken” just doesn’t seem to be there during each of the various meetings that take place at the offices of HHM and Davis and Main.

Jimmy (Bob Odenkirk) discussing a discovery he made in the Sandpiper case with Clifford Main(Ed Begley Jr).

And in tonight’s best use of symobolism, Jimmy tries to fit the mug Kim got him in the drink holder of his new Mercedes. And of course, it doesn’t fit in the drink holder in his new car, just like the fancy respectable lawyer stuff just doesn’t fit with Jimmy. One man has always felt this way about his brother, and he made his first appearance of the season last night.

It doesn't fit

Not a good start to Jimmy’s career as a by the book lawyer.

“I’m just here to bear witness.”

The opening scene of tonight’s episode takes place at Chuck’s house. He’s playing the piano, but keeps missing a chord progression here and there. In the middle of one of these missteps, Howard Hamlin knocks on the door. He’s making the daily delivery to Chuck’s house instead of the usual worker because he has some news and wants to deliver it personally. He tells Chuck that Jimmy, despite all of Chuck’s best efforts to sabotage his legal career, was hired to work the Sandpiper case by Davis and Main. Remember when Howard was the dastardly villain last season? Now he’s one of the show’s most honest and respectable characters. He could’ve sent this news in a note with the guy that usually delivers Chuck’s groceries. But he decides to deliver the bad news himself and inform Chuck that he did nothing to prevent Jimmy’s hiring.

Howard and Chuck

Howard(Patrick Fabian) and Chuck (Michael McKeen) discuss Jimmy working on the Sandpiper Case after all.

Chuck also makes a return apperance to the offices of HHM and gets to see the brother he loves so much and the work he’s done on the case (or as Chuck says, “I’m just hear to bear witness”). He only sat silently and listened as Jimmy made his appeal tonight. But I get the strong feeling that Chuck is just waiting to pounce the moment Jimmy missteps. In fact, Chuck would have all he needs if he only knew of Jimmy’s actions at the end of the show.

The Mike and Pryce Affair, featuring Nacho

Anybody out there written a late night style theme song for these two when their storyline enters the narrative? Tonight’s misadventures of our misguided IT tech begin at the parking lot where Mike works. Being the parking attendant for the courts and police offices in Albequerque has its advantages, and it benefited Mike tonight, who was not happy to see Pryce role up in his “school bus for a 60 year old pimp” (thanks for the reference, Nacho!!!).

Mike finds out that Pryce was robbed and really wants to get those baseball cards that seem to have real sentimental value to him. So the police have asked him to come down to help him find those cards. But Mike (like the rest of us with a brain) realizes that calling the cops when you’ve been involved in dealing drugs is a bad idea. And he points out that the cops likely suspect this and only want to talk to him to get more information. But Pryce is a moron. He insists they only care about helping him find those baseball cards. And since Mike is tied to this moron, he steps in to help.

Mike and Nacho

Mike (Jonathan Price) and Nacho (Michael Mando) discussing Pryce’s baseball cards.

 

Mike heads to a car upholstry shop where Nacho works for his dad. They discuss new leather upholstry for Mike’s crappy car before getting down to their real business: those damn  baseball cards. And while Nacho doesn’t seem to appreciate their shared dilemma (because Pryce is likely to take both men down with him), the mention of the name Tuco changes his tune. They make an agreement: Nacho returns the cards and gives $10,000 to Mike in return for the Hummer. But while the baseball cards are safely back in the possession of their mindless owner, the police are not dropping their suspicions of Pryce. So Mike makes a phone call.

 

“Are you still morally flexible?”

Pryce finally presents himself to the police, but with Jimmy as his lawyer. Pryce says he found the baseball cards and everything is taken care of. But of course, the police don’t believe this. So Jimmy dismisses Pryce from the room and creates a situation where Pryce’s cards were taken because of a “lover’s spat” between some art dealer who was infatuated with him and the items in the empty hiding spot were actually videos: videos of Pryce rubbing his butt into a pie while wearing a diaper (or the Hoboken Squat Cobbler).

Now of course, this requires the presence of a video, which Jimmy shoots with Pryce after they  leave the police station (though thankfully for us, we don’t actually see this, we just hear about it). When Jimmy sees Kim that night, he tells her all about it. And the joy of telling this adventure is significantly greater than any news he shared about the Sandpiper case all episode. But when Jimmy tells her he shot the video, Kim is alarmed. That’s called fabricating evidence and the firm that just hired him would not look kindly upon it if they found out.

 

Kim and Jimmy

Jimmy and Kim(Rhea Seahorn) discussing his recent legally questionable actions.

 

Jimmy and Kim’s conversation really previews the relationship dynamic these two will likely have this season (and possibly seasons beyond). Kim loves Jimmy for who he is, but is also about the ethics of law. And while it was a real thrill to con “look how much money I make Ken” last week, she cannot be cool with Jimmy using those same tricks while practicing law. But she also seems to accept what Jimmy is, knowing he is likely to do things like this again even if he has zero reason to do it (I mean Jimmy literally had nothing to gain from representing Pryce and fabricating evidence)other than just for the thrill of it. So instead of pleading with Jimmy not to do it again, she simply says not to inform her the next time he does.

Observations

-The name written on the sheet music Chuck plays at the beginning of the episode had the name “Rebecca Bois” handwritten on it. I wonder if that small detail will come into play later in the season.

Rebecca Bois

Will the name on top of this piece of sheet music prove significant as we learn more about Chuck?

-I loved the use of school cafeteria politics when Kim moved Jimmy’s folder to make sure he was sitting beside her.

-The differences between Chuck and Clifford Main (Jimmy’s new boss) are represented very well with the differences in the office at HHM compared to Davis and Main as well with Chuck’s classical piano to Cliff’s mid afternoon guitar session.

Clifford Main taking a break in his office playing his guitar.

-It seems  like Nacho’s father is a very honest and respectable business man, telling Nacho not to upsell Mike. I can see where Nacho gets his calm demeanor from.

Breaking Bad Reference

-Not really a direct reference, but interesting that Saul at the time of Breaking Bad has replaced Kim’s gift with another mug jumping himself up to the top spot (a big thanks to Mike South on Facebook for the information and picture).

Comparing the Mugs

(Left to Right) Jimmy and Saul and their respective mugs.

Questions

-Will the “squat cobbler” incident come back to bite Jimmy later on with his new firm? Or will some other bit of “morally flexible” behavior lead to Jimmy’s demise at Davis and Main? Will it come back to hurt Kim at HHM?

-How long before the brotherly quarrel between Chuck and Jimmy spills over to the HHM offices?

-Surely, Jimmy is not going to keep Kim out of the loop on all of his unsavory dealings, is he?

-Are Mike and Nacho really done with Pryce as an associate? If so, then is this the last we see if the baseball card loving IT guy at a pharmacuetical company?

-And will we get to see the “squat cobbler” video at some  point? Do we actually want to see that?

Come back next week when Jimmy heads to Texas and it looks like his directorial experience gained this week will come in handy.

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Jeff Merrick

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