‘BETTER CALL SAUL’: Hoboken Squat Cobbler For The Win — TUBE ROCKET
Season Two, Episode Two — “Cobbler”
By Brandy Dykhuizen. Things couldn’t be going better for Jimmy – he’s landed an impressive job, a pretty lady, and even a sweet new set of wheels. He’s finally on a path towards a good, honest life. In fact, we could almost be convinced that Slippin’ Jimmy is almost entirely a thing of the past. And yet, the straight-and-narrow seems to fill him with dread. There’s nothing but restlessness behind that giant oak desk. Jimmy legs, if you will.
Even when he walks in on Clifford Main strumming away at the guitar in his spacious office to “blow off steam,” Jimmy lets slip that while he dabbled with the six-string in high school, he dropped it like a hot potato when he “discovered an easier way to meet girls.” Creepy implications of that statement aside, we are starting to see how deep his impulse to lean astray actually runs. Jimmy isn’t just someone who likes a puzzle; simply figuring out a Rubik’s Cube or being a lawyer would be enough to scratch that itch. Instead, he remains unfulfilled, at least until he’s peeled off all the stickers on that Rubik’s Cube and rearranged them to make it appear solved… and to make sure it’s unusable for the next guy. Beating the system is a deeply-seeded instinct, and low and behold, Jimmy is great at it.
Unfortunately, Kim does not agree with his flexible morals. As hilarious as she finds the idea of a Hoboken Squat Cobbler, the smile quickly evaporates when Jimmy reveals he made an accompanying video in order to exonerate his client. This fabrication of evidence could get him disbarred, and Kim — who stuck her neck out to get Jimmy this cherry job — cannot understand his carelessness. Up until this point, their developing affections have been refreshingly genuine and sweet, but for a brief moment we get a glimpse into the future, melancholic Jimmy who will one day probably throw it all away. She tells him in no uncertain terms that he can never divulge such shady doings to her again. In his response, it’s clear that Jimmy’s not agreeing to straighten up, he’s agreeing to keep her in the dark. You can’t have your pie and eat it too, Jimmy.
WHAT WORKED: Chuck is plugging away at something behind the scenes. The episode opens with him sitting down to the piano with a metronome. Measured and calculating, he plays with precision rather than heart, not infallible to little mistakes along the way. He can’t play perfectly by the book, after all — at some point he will falter. The self-flagellation in which he engages after a minor screw up — his incapability to deal with things going not as written — is surely indicative of something buried in the McGill brothers’ shared past.
The second time we see Chuck he is shown waking up next to a ticking clock. There is a countdown inside of him that will most likely culminate a giant stumble that takes his brother down with (or perhaps instead of) him.
WHAT DIDN’T: The pace dragged a little throughout this episode, but even that seemed to reflect in turns Jimmy’s boredom and Chuck’s seclusion. Life just isn’t a laugh-a-minute show.
“Must be metric.” Jimmy, when he cannot fit Kim’s flamboyant coffee mug into the luxury cup holder.
“I refer you to our previous conversation in this blinking neon sign of a vehicle that says ‘drug dealer.’” Mike, whose disgust at this point could almost be bottled and sold.
“You think I’d be caught dead driving that thing? It looks like a school bus for 6 year old pimps.” Nacho, also not giving Pryce’s car any love.
Jimmy: “James McGill.” Mike: “It’s Ehrmantraut. Are you still morally flexible?” Jimmy: “Where and when?”
“Maybe it’s like Hellman’s Mayonnaise – it’s got a different name west of the Rockies.” – Jimmy, on the cops’ ignorance of “The Hoboken Squat Cobbler.”
BEST MOMENT: Hoboken Squat Cobbler. I’m guessing much of the scene in the precinct between Jimmy and the two cops was improvised. Bob Odenkirk is a master absurdist, smarmy humor delivered with a can-you-believe-this-guy eye roll. Even the cops deserve a medal for driving that scene to completion with a straight face.
EPISODE’S MVP: There is no way to beat Jimmy’s Boston Crème Splat/Simple Simon the Ass Man/Dutch Apple Ass performance. Reminiscent of his days on Mr. Show, Odenkirk’s rather specific and weird form of acting must be difficult to share a stage with. However, Rhea Seehorn was a close second, effectively communicating the sweetness and anticipation of new love while serving as a tether to Jimmy’s hot air. Poor Kim. This relationship probably won’t end so well for her.
– Mike had a wonderful Jurassic Park moment, in which the ripples in his coffee enabled him to sense danger before Pryce rolled up in his T-Rex sized vehicle.
– Jimmy’s inability to shove the tawdry mug Kim gave him into the cup holder of his fancy new car was a real “square peg/round hole” moment. There isn’t a tailor in the world who can make a designer suit feel natural on Slippin’ Jimmy.
– And speaking of that mug, it appears that Jimmy’s “World’s 2nd Best Lawyer” cup evolves into Saul’s classy “World’s Greatest Lawyer” mug from Breaking Bad, Season Two, Episode Eight, “Better Call Saul”. That… does not bode well for Kim & Jimmy.
– Kim echoes Mike and even Jimmy himself when she tells Jimmy he “sounds like every dumb criminal out there,” in regards to fabricating evidence. This is precisely the type of carelessness that frustrates him and Mike when dealing with the likes of Pryce.
– Kim’s wearing Jimmy’s University of American Samoa alumni sweatshirt. This is definitely dessert post-coitus.
8 out of 10
Next: “Amarillo”, soon.
Before: “Switch”, here.