Better Call Saul is back and better than ever. The Breaking Bad spinoff has returned to continue the tale of how the ambitious and good natured Jimmy McGill became the hardened, corrupt criminal lawyer we all know, Saul Goodman. With each week, new episodes of the saga of Slippin’ Jimmy arrive and thanks to the show creators, we the audience get to have a firsthand look into the inside world of Better Call Saul.
For the recap of Cobbler, Kelley Dixon and Chris McCaleb are joined by Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould. Sitting in again from last week are Bob Odenkirk, and actor Mark Proksch who plays the misguided small-time criminal Pryce in the series, and episode writer Genny Hutchison. In Cobbler, we see Jimmy continue to struggle in his budding relationship with Kim, his attraction to breaking the law and of course one we get one of the funniest bits of television we could have ever expected.
As soon as the ‘Squat Cobbler’ scene hit, it was a smash. Fans were in an uproar over how ridiculous it was to see Jimmy McGill defend Pryce by fabricating a story about sitting in pies on video. What’s hilarious beyond the actual scene itself, is that Bob Odenkirk had read the script and thought the physical act needed a shorthand description, much like the numerous slang phrases you would hear getting thrown around the workshop during a lunch break.
Allegedly, there already is a specific name for sitting in food that could have been used, but since the idea of having Pryce just sit fully clothed in a pie while crying was so specific, the team ditched the original phrase “splooshing” for the hilarious monicker ‘Squat Cobbler.’ Vince Gilligan loves the term so much that he would like to see it paired with ‘Chicago Sunroof’ in the Oxford Dictionary, and who wouldn’t. The real kicker here is that the video exists. It’s real and if we’re lucky, the scene Vince calls so funny he almost burst a blood vessel will be on the Blu-ray.
The Road to Saul
At some point, Jimmy McGill has to die. This won’t happen in the literal sense, but eventually the Saul Goodman we know from Breaking Bad is going to become Jimmy’s primary persona. What’s currently holding the character back from becoming the full blown criminal attorney, is mainly his relationship with now love interest Kim. Taking the job at Davis and Main is another step towards Jimmy’s eventual fall from grace, and we are bearing witness to it all.
The creative team took plenty of time this week to discuss just how difficult it is for Jimmy McGill to understand himself as a character. It’s interesting how the team in the show’s writing room are far more character driven as opposed to plot driven when it comes to writing these episodes. Some of the main themes that are really being explored with these first two episodes of this new season focus squarely on how a person can lie to themselves for profit. It’s an interesting subject that builds up the characters for a major downfall that we should see soon.
Vince Gilligan Loves Bob & David
It’s no secret that diehard fans of Bob Odenkirk know him from the years of work he did with David Cross on Mr. Show. Last year, the two reunited with almost the entire original crew of the sketch comedy series to produce the four episode Netflix show W/ Bob & David. Vince Gilligan had nothing but great things to say about the reunion, and Peter Gould even got to visit the set where he met Jessie Ennis who plays Erin Brill, a Davis and Main character who we should be seeing a lot more of in coming episodes. Vince Gilligan praised the show’s salesman sketch, and Bob Odenirk noted his favorite bits to include “Extra Beatle” and “Room: The Musical.” It really is a great return to form, and hopefully we’ll see more of Bob & David down the road.
Mike Ehrmantraut is also traveling down a path that leads to Breaking Bad. We’ve seen where he came from in Philadelphia and what he’s been up to since then, but every fan knows that eventually he will become Gus’ right hand man. Cobbler sees Mike dealing with Pryce again and having to clean up the mess he made in Switch after calling the cops to report his baseball cards had been stolen. The way Mark Proksch and Jonathan Banks play off each other in their scenes is great and very entertaining. They’re a great comedic duo.
What’s interesting about the scene when Mike confronts Nacho about the whole Pryce “carrot and stick” situation, is what was going on during the television shoot. According to episode writer Genny Hutchison, there had been an incident near the upholstery shop set that had turned extremely dangerous and required the crew to be put on lockdown. Apparently an armed couple had committed a carjacking and faced off against police when they barricaded themselves in a nearby auto parts store. Luckily no one was hurt during the exchange.
One of the biggest challenges facing Jimmy McGill at this point is the relationship he now has with his brother Chuck. The complicated situation is made only more difficult when Chuck decides to drop in on talks regarding the Sandpiper Crossing lawsuit. Immediately after this, Jimmy gets the call from Mike to handle the trouble Pryce has gotten himself into with the police. If it weren’t for Chuck being there, Jimmy may have never even taken that call.
The opening of Cobbler is according to Vince Gilligan, “one of the bet teasers we’ve ever had, counting all 62 episodes of Breaking Bad as well.” Michael McKean always delivers a magnetic performance when he is in front of the camera, and his exchange with Patrick Fabian’s Howard Hamlin in this scene is electrifying. We have a lot more to learn about just how tragic of a character Chuck really is, and one of the main bits of foreshadowing is the name written on the piano sheet music. We should expect to open a whole new can of worms very soon when we find out who Rebecca Bois is and what she means, or meant to Chuck and Jimmy.
Each week, we will be watching Better Caul Saul and listening to the insider podcast to find out more in depth and behind the scenes info about the show. Keep coming back to follow along as we continue to watch Jimmy McGill become Saul Goodman.