The following is a review of the second episode of the second season of Better Call Saul, available on AMC in the U.S. and on Netflix in Europe. Expect some story spoilers.
World’s 2nd Best Lawyer – after, what was, a decent episode in the season opener (“Switch”), Better Call Saul delivered a must-watch episode that both tested limitations and moved the overall plot along nicely. In the second episode of the second season, “Cobbler”, Jimmy says goodbye to the infamous Suzuki Esteem, Mike goes back to help a former client, and Jimmy shows us how he decompresses after work.
While Jimmy, Chuck, and Mike were the main characters in the first season of Better Call Saul, Kim Wexler has slowly increased in importance. Last week’s episode, “Switch”, saw Jimmy choose to be the good lawyer, not for himself, but for Kim. I fully expected to see their relationship slowly blossom, with ‘the other night’ in “Switch” being referred to as a one time thing for the time being.
However, I was pleased to see that I was totally wrong. Kim and Jimmy were so good together in “Cobbler,” and I hope to see the relationship stay that strong for the rest of the season, even if the end of the episode makes me question the strength of their relationship.
One thing I couldn’t stop thinking about after the episode was that Breaking Bad was set up to be a tragedy and, by the looks of it so far, Better Call Saul will follow the structure of a tragedy as well. This relationship won’t last, something will go wrong for Kim, Jimmy, or to them both, to end the relationship for good. And I can’t have been the only one who feared for Kim’s future when she jokingly said she should jump off the roof…
There was a lot of car-talk in Better Call Saul this week. We said goodbye to the Suzuki Esteem, welcomed the company car into our lives. Daniel lost his Hummer H2, and Mike’s car was used as a conversation starter with a very surprised ‘Nacho’. But the theme of the episode was learning how to properly decompress. It all started in the beautiful and haunting opening to the episode. Hearing that Jimmy got a great job at Davis & Main, and that he may be on track to become a partner, unsettled Chuck and I’m not sure he believed it.
Clifford Main (played by Ed Begley, Jr.) brought up the topic of decompressing to Jimmy, and Jimmy’s reaction was appropriate. He wasn’t 100% comfortable closing the door completely on Slippin’ Jimmy, Mike had an easy time getting Jimmy to be ‘morally flexible’, and I’m certain this case won’t be the last time he’ll go out of his way to decompress through Slippin’-activities – pro bono, no less.
“You’re gonna have to make a video.”
I loved seeing the plot move along nicely in this episode. This episode potentially closed one case that I thought we would be hearing from over the course of the season, which I thought was really impressive. However, you definitely could argue that it all went by too fast. But considering the first episode of the second season didn’t do much to advance the plot, I’ll let that slide here.
One of the things that I fail to mention all too often in my Better Call Saul-reviews is the excellent use of lighting. For example, you saw how the blinds in Chuck’s house made it look like he was behind bars – as if he was imprisoned. They did the same thing in season one, and it’s just one of the examples of light being used to the advantage of the camera crew and the episode.
Last season saw everyone turn on Michael McKean’s Chuck after Jimmy learned that Chuck had always been the one obstructing Jimmy on his way into the business. People hate Chuck, they really, really hate him – but if you rewatched the first season once or twice during the wait for season two, then you should see where Chuck was coming from.
This episode excellently proved Chuck’s theories. Chuck infamously stated that: “Slippin’ Jimmy with a law degree is like a chimp with a machine gun.” It was a serious gut punch for fans of the show, but in this episode you saw that Chuck was right. Jimmy has a tough time truly respecting the rules. Jimmy used fabricated evidence to exonerate a client, and that would not only be the ultimate middle finger to Chuck’s principles, it would also be the ultimate sign of Jimmy being bad for the business.
All in all, I thought that “Cobbler” righted the ship this season. There were some that straight up disliked “Switch,” but “Cobbler” should affirm that this season is going in the right direction. Limitations are being tested, in Jimmy’s relationships as well as at his new job.
I’m Jeffrey Rex