Better Call Saul made us crave peach cobbler in "Cobbler."

This Review Is Late

If last week’s “Switch” was a reintroduction to Jimmy’s world and his constant predicament, “Cobbler” was the gentle push moving the show forward. By now we get the basic premise. We know Jimmy McGill is stuck between trying to carve out a legitimate life for himself, or falling back his “Slippin’ Jimmy” ways. This episode finally pushed our favorite two-bit lawyer into his first real professional conflict.

The sick part is that this is the Jimmy we want. Watching him defend the naive drug dealer Daniel was easily the highlight of the episode. Mike calls him in for a favor, and Jimmy is immediately in his element. Just like last week’s con with the stock broker, we like seeing him in positions where he can confidently pull off a scam. This time, he gets Daniel off the hook by making him the subject of some just barely believable fetish videos. It’s clever, it’s hilarious, it’s what Daniel deserves.

Except Jimmy being in his element isn’t what’s best for Jimmy. He and Kim have some really excellent chemistry this season, which Vince Gilligan and company have securely targeted in their sights. We know this relationship can’t work if Jimmy becomes Saul, and that’s exactly what she tells him when she finds out he “fabricated evidence.” Swindling the stock broker seemed harmless, but Jimmy’s stunt here could but both of their professions in jeopardy. It’s not hard to see where this is going.

Complicating matters further is Chuck’s return to the firm. Season one did an excellent job of getting us to hate his brother, and his reintroduction here casts a terrifying shadow over Jimmy and his career. He is immediately distracted by his presence, and he knows it, but some reassurance from Kim helps him finish outlining his plan. It was a great scene that positioned all of our players in a dangerous position, one that I’m curious to see where this season will take it.

For a change, it was nice to see Jimmy do some gloating and be successful at something that didn’t involve taking advantage of people. He gets a new car (with cupholders too small for his new mug), spreads out in his office, and seems to have a great working relationship with his boss. It’s a glimpse into a fantasy life that we know won’t last. The shadow cast by his brother is sure to disrupt things, as is his his relationship with Mike.

Speaking of which, we got some great Mike and Daniel scenes this week. The pharmacist’s naivete when it came to calling the cops was hilarious when put against Mike’s no-nonsense attitude, and watching him take care of business with Nacho brought back that old Breaking Bad feel. It will be fun to see where this takes us in the future.

For now, as with the pilot, Better Call Saul is taking its time getting where it’s going. It’s a much simpler affair than some of the more complicated golden age shows out there, but it’s still a very deep one. Still, I’m ready for things to pick up a little and to put our characters in some unique situations. Time will tell.

Odds & Ends:

  • If I had any, I don’t remember. Last week was very distracting and hopefully we can tell you why soon.
  • But it involves this.

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Steve Dixon

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