Episode 2 of this season of Better Call Saul effectively sees the band getting back together. Not only do we get to see a fair share of Mike, but also Chuck comes back to remind Jimmy of the kind of power he wields. Kim and Jimmy also get closer, while being faced with stark differences that could cause trouble down the road. Pryce’s baseball cards come back into play and Jimmy even buys some pies. Here’s what we learned along the way:
The McGill Family Feud Isn’t Over
If there’s a consistent antagonist so far in Better Call Saul, it seems to be pointing in the direction of Jimmy’s own brother, Chuck McGill. His older, more successful brother was the driving force last season that sent Jimmy back to Cicero and reconnecting with his “Slippin’ Jimmy” ways after Jimmy finds out Chuck was the actual reason he couldn’t make headway in the practice.
Chuck essentially marked his territory at the end of the first season: being is a successful lawyer is his thing and it’s in Jimmy’s best interest to steer clear of this racquet. It’s a relatable sibling rivalry aspect; it’s great that your brother finds success in something, so as long as they do something other than what you’re trying to make a name for yourself with. In the case of the McGill brothers, it just so happens that this pertains to practicing law in the state of New Mexico. It’s to the point that once Chuck finds out Jimmy has resurfaced in Santa Fe as an important player in the Sandpiper case, he dusts off his foil-lined suit jacket and makes his presence known at HHM, making Jimmy acknowledge exactly which McGill the M stands for.
Everyone Needs a Kim or Mike in Their Life
In last episode’s article, I mentioned that the relationship between Jimmy and Kim will be a focal point of at least this season, if not the entire series, and we get to see two sides of this relationship: the budding of a true romance and a hint of what exactly may drive a wedge between the two.
We get to see a little bit more of what Jimmy means to Kim and vice versa. While prepping the board room for a meeting on the Sandpiper case, Kim makes sure that they sit together and some flirting underneath the table occurs as the two reunite after an undisclosed, albeit brief regardless, amount of time has kept Jimmy in Santa Fe working at his new position with his new company. They talk about the future (with the pronoun of ‘we’ playing an important part), and essentially seem to be in full “couple mode”.
Further, we see exactly the type of influence Kim has on Jimmy. In the meeting, Jimmy is interrupted by the return of his brother, Chuck, which leaves Jimmy a stuttering mess. A simple hand on his knee, signifying her support gives him the confidence he needs to compose himself and turn him back into the assertive talker that we know him as. It’s a small moment, but it’s an impactful one nonetheless.
The divide between the two that we briefly saw last episode rears its ugly head at the end of this episode, though, and it’s going to cause trouble down the line. As we’ll talk about further down, Jimmy bends (read: breaks) some rules in order to get someone in the clear. When Kim objects to the self-sabotaging behavior Jimmy has while playing fast and loose with the rules, they never truly come to an understanding. Jimmy yesses her until the argument stops and the episode ends on an awkward silence. As I said previously, this romance is doomed and this issue will be what breaks them. It’s a shame, to me anyway, because the characters and actors have tremendous chemistry despite their differences.
As for Mike, that red and yellow Hummer H2 comes roaring back into his life, as Pryce shows up at the police station. Pryce thinks he’s there to talk to the cops about his stolen baseball cards, but Mike knows better: the cops are going to squeeze what they think they know out of Pryce and that puts the heat directly on Mike, too. So Mike goes looking for Nacho and the baseball cards and winds up brokering a deal that works for Pryce, Mike, and even Nacho, while bringing Jimmy into the fold to keep the cops off Pryce’s back. Which brings us to…
The Squat Cobbler
The Saul Goodman we know and love is quick on his feet and not averse to lying one bit. So when Mike calls him for a favor, Jimmy jumps to the aide of Pryce as his lawyer. The cops, as Mike suspected, weren’t interested in the baseball cards; they want to know what was behind the couch and they’re pretty sure it was drugs. Jimmy waves them off, devising an elaborate explanation consisting of “artistic” fetish videos, baked goods, and a lover’s quarrel. It’s out of leftfield, completely improbably, but ultimately genius. The “Squat Cobbler”, folks; add that one to your sex routine.