[For Better Call Saul “Cobbler” or any other recaps on Fetchland, assume the presence of possible spoilers.]
Cobbler. Mike brokers a deal in order to keep a potentially messy situation intact.
“Cobbler” is all about human connection. So, it’s a funny irony that it begins with the most isolated character imaginable, Jimmy’s brother, Chuck. He’s playing piano by metronome. When Chuck makes a mistake he whacks his face with a clenched fist, then tries again. It suddenly comes together that Hey, maybe Chuck isn’t a particularly happy person and that his fake allergy to electromagnetic stuff isn’t even his biggest problem. Chuck’s real issue seems to lie in his contempt for Jimmy and (apparently) himself. This all becomes even more apparent when Howard from the office comes to the door with groceries, newspapers, and ice for Chuck. He says they miss Chuck at work and he replies that he’s thinking of coming into the office soon. Chuck asks after Jimmy then and Howard tells him he’s working at Davis & Main. This surprises Chuck, who has no appreciation for Jimmy’s abilities. Howard says Kim pushed for it and he “didn’t stand in the way” a few times just to make sure Chuck hears it. “Partner track?” Chuck asks and Howard says yes it seems so. Chuck semi pretends to be happy for Jimmy but it’s evident he hates this whole conversation. Afterward Howard leaves, Chuck sits back down at the piano but doesn’t play. Instead he just stares at the still ticking metronome. Perhaps he’s wondering what the hell is wrong with me that I can’t be happy for my brother?… but probably not.
Next we see Kim in an empty conference room. She changes the seating arrangements so she sits next to Jimmy in their meeting, then plays footsie with him throughout. After the meeting the pair smoke in the parking lot and flirt/talk about how he should buy a place halfway between there (Santa Fe) and Albuquerque, where Davis & Main is. Then Jimmy says he has to go pick up his new company car. Kim admits she’s totally jealous but gives him a congrats gift anyway, a bright yellow mug that says “World’s 2nd Best Lawyer” and he thanks her. Then Jimmy asks if he’ll see her tonight and they kiss. It’s hard not to notice the yellow of the mug matches his old beat up lemon of a car as it’s carted off to the junkyard. The yellow also matches the blouse of the nail salon owner. She owns the place where Jimmy had his office at the back behind the beaded curtain. All things bright yellow are emblems of Jimmy’s past. He tries to fit the mug into his new company car but it doesn’t fit the holder, “Must be metric,” Jimmy mumbles and tosses it to the floor. The symbolism of Kim possibly being tossed away along with his “past life stuff” looms in this moment. It’s sad to imagine them parting because she’s a case of someone who’s definitely happy for Jimmy, unlike his brother. Kim wants what’s best for him. Question is, does Jimmy?
Speaking of bright yellow symbolic objects, the next scene begins with Pryce driving into Mike’s parking garage in his bright yellow Hummer. Mike asks what he’s doing at the station and Pryce explains he wants his baseball cards and to talk to the police as a crime victim. Mike explains that because Pryce is a criminal it’s not a good idea for him to willingly talk to the police. Mike explains that the police likely know he’s a drug dealer and are planning to nail him with a “fishing trip” today. Fishing trip means questions that lull Pryce into divulging more than he should. Pryce stubbornly refuses saying that he must have his cards back, they mean everything to him and once belonged to his Dad, etc. Then Mike sighs his deep and penetrating Mike sigh, “I’ll find your cards,” he says. Pryce just has to pay Mike and he’ll get the cards back. It’ll cost but not as much as that trip into the police station would have – that would have taken Pryce’s freedom at the very least.
Next we see Jimmy at Davis & Main where he hears Clifford Main playing guitar and then talks to him about something he found in the initial Sandpiper agreements. It involved an optional plan that was in the residents’ contracts and turns out to seem mandatory. Jimmy often has these insights into evidence and it’s a defining characteristic of a great lawyer, thus we see the seeds of Jimmy’s future success.
Meanhwile Mike is at a body shop where Cheech or Chong runs the front counter. Nacho works as the interpreter while Mike pretends he wants to change his car interior to alligator leather. Then we find out that Cheech (or Chong) is Nacho’s father. He leaves Nacho alone with Mike and then Nacho’s like How’d you find me? You threatening my family? etc. Mike explains that they’re in a heap of trouble because of idiot Pryce and his baseball cards. He tells Nacho to give him the baseball cards along with $10K so that Nacho nets $60K and he won’t tell Tuco (the gang leader) about Nacho’s little side business. It’s a simple enough blackmail with the unspoken sale of the horrendous yellow Hummer included as a silent joke. Then in the next scene with Nacho we see Pryce hand over the keys to his yellow hummer to him in exchange for the baseball cards. Mike seals the deal taking the envelope of $10K from Nacho. It seems like a clean break until Pryce’s cell rings and he tells Mike it’s “the police again”.
The next scene returns to Chuck as he dons an aluminum foil-lined suit jacket and then enters a conference room where Jimmy’s talking about Sandpiper. Jimmy falters a bit at first at the sight of Chuck but then Kim puts her hand on his knee and he’s strong again. Chuck gets douchey with Jimmy in the hall after but Jimmy’s cell rings to divert his attention. Turns out it’s Mike asking if Jimmy’s still “morally flexible” and then we see the two story lines connect. Jimmy goes to the station and represents Pryce as he sits down with the police, who do indeed pretend to care about his stolen baseball cards at first. Pryce explains that he hired a private detective and found the cards on his own so they can go back to doing their important police work and forget about his signed Mickey Mantle.
Pryce leaves the room for a bit and Jimmy confronts them saying they’ve really got nothing on Pryce just because they found his little secret stash hideaway. Jimmy tells them the hiding spot housed “art videos” AKA fetish porn but not porn really because there was no sex. The cops ask about what was on the videos and Jimmy says Pryce doing “Squat Cobbler” which is a fetish where men sit in pie and squish it around with their buttocks while in costume, though technically Pryce does “crybaby squats” because he cries while he does it. Yes, the world is a rich tapestry, Jimmy explains and after he leaves the befuddled cops he makes Pryce create a real video of “Squat Cobbler” to give to the police for evidence. Unfortunately, that happens off camera.
In the next scene Jimmy and Kim eat pie in bed and laugh about his story. When Jimmy tells her about the video she stops laughing. Kim points out that it amounts to fabricating evidence that exonerated his client and therefore could jeopardize his job at Davis & Main. It was just a favor for a friend, a pro bono case, and not even about work really, he explains. But she pushes it and wants to know what the point is. He’s playing with fire taking chances like this with his career. Then Kim says she can’t hear about this kind of thing again and he says she won’t. Thus a wall goes up between Kim and Jimmy even as they continue to enjoy the pie that sits shared on their laps. The very mischievous element to Jimmy’s personality that brought them closer in the last episode now creates a barrier. Why is connecting with people so hard on this show? That’s the one question where maybe Chuck is the best character to answer.