I think we can all agree that Breaking Bad is as perfect as television gets. And if you don't agree, then you likely haven't seen it. Get on that. There are very few things about this show that have ever rung false. But when rewatching last week's episode tonight, I realized we got one of those odd moments -- Gale was 34 years old. Yeah. Right. If he was 34, then I'm 15. I mean, some people go prematurely gray, but that man looks ollld. Rant over. (But seriously, Breaking Bad, what the hell? Thanks for just being near-perfect.)
We start off tonight with a violence warning!!! YESSSSSSS!
Walter's back at the hospital for a routine checkup, talking to a fellow cancer patient about how he has control over his life. Sure. God, I love little scenes like that that say so much about the kind of man Walter is - an out of control, panicking bastard who wants to pretend he's cool, calm, and collected.
The DEA and APB call Gus in and tell him his fingerprints were found at the scene of a drug-related homicide. Oh god, here we go. But Gus has his cover at the ready -- Gale was the recipient of a chemistry scholarship he had established. They were just getting reacquainted and had dinner, that's all. Hank drops the nugget that Gustavo Fring might not be his real name, that there's no evidence of him before the 1980's in Mexico. Gus covers that up by blaming the Chilean dictator. Smooth.
Saul drops cash off to Jesse's old GF, who has found a nice place to live for her and her son. Meanwhile, Skyler's hiding fat stacks of cash in those vacuum-packed bags, hidden amongst clothes.
Walter gives Hank a drive to Pollos, and Hank tells him that he thinks Gus is a major meth drug lord. Walter starts losing his shit, quietly, as you would expect. Hank asks Walter to put a GPS tracker on Gus's car. And at that moment, Mike pulls up in the parking lot. Pulls up, sees Walter talking to Hank, exchanges meaningful glances, and sits there. EEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! Walter pretends to put the tracker on the car, but then goes into the restaurant and shows it to Gus. Gus tells him to go ahead and do it, and so he does. But Walter's in control of his life. Right.
Walter rushes to the lab and tells the camera all about Hank's suspicions, and pretty much begs Gus not to harm Hank. I love when Walter has one-sided conversations with the camera. Then he rushes to Jesse's house to get a progress report; he wants Gus to get got tonight. He tells Jesse that Hank's on to Gus, and if Gus goes down they'd go with him. He has a whole elaborate plan for how Jesse should demand to see Gus (of course he does). Then he sees a text from Mike that was talking about a meeting with Gus that got canceled. So now he knows that Jesse has seen Gus since the diner, is closer with Gus than he thought, and yet hasn't killed him as he was instructed. Jesse's not your little bitch boy anymore, Walter White!!!
Mike did some digging around and found out that Hank is doing this investigation on his own, that Gus isn't considered a suspect by real law enforcement. But he tells Gus he's concerned that the combination of the Cartel + Hank could be a perfect storm. Gus removes the GPS tracking device from his car and goes to visit the bell-ringing Uncle. (God, that man terrifies me like no other. At least there's no bell ringing tonight.)
Flashback to the 1980s when Gus and the other Pollo Hermano meet with the head of the Cartel, along with the Uncle. The Hermanos are cooking up more than just good chicken - they're cooking up the "drug of the future" - meth. Jesus, Gus really gave birth to the whole meth movement!
Anyway, Gus's partner does the cooking while Gus is the business guy. The head of the cartel wants to know - if he cooks, why do I need you? It's all so much like when Gus, Tuco, and everyone else wondered why they needed Jesse if Walter was the cook. Gus's partner assures everyone that he needs Gus, and then Gus's partner is shot in the head by the Uncle. And there's where our violence warning comes from, as he bleeds into the pool behind him. (That's it? I've seen way worse from this show - like, say, the season premiere. They raised those stakes, dammit!) We see Gus as a sniveling man, out of control, who is kept alive due to some past connection, and is told to stick with chicken. Interesting parallels with Walter there, as Walter tries to grow himself a big set of Gus Fring balls and become a drug kingpin of his own.