Saul relents and lets Mike into the office.
Even though Mike is the one invited into this business arrangement, he immediately takes charge and lays out the ground rules. Walt and Jesse handle the chemistry, Mike handles the business. No overlaps, no stepping on toes. Walt smiles and agrees. Now it’s time to go out and scout the locations Saul’s scrounged up to be the front for the new superlab.
But before Saul and Walt leave, Saul takes Walt aside and asks him how he can let Mike push him around like that. Walt just smiles again. This is how he wanted it, with Mike controlling the business. Besides, Walt is confident he can handle Mike.
Holy shit, Mike is next to die. Called it right here.
The first possible location is a box factory. Saul probably likes that episode of the Simpsons where Bart goes on the class trip to the box factory. “Oh, no. The boxes aren’t completed here. They’re actually shipped to Flint, Michigan to be folded.”
Saul lays out the details on why it’s a good fit: it’s got a lot of machines running and causing a racket, which gives them cover; there are only 16 box factory employees and all of them are illegal, meaning they’ll look the other way; lots of power needed to run the machines, with plenty left over for the cook; and finally, the owner of the box factory is on the level.
Walt looks nostalgic for a moment. He recalls working at a box factory for a summer when he was in high school. He recognizes the machines used to corrugate the paper into the boxes. The machines emit salt and steam.
Which, chemistry tells us, would interfere with the product. Even Jesse is able to point this out, which tells us how far he’s come in his journey to become a professional. On to the next location.
Next, a tortilla factory! Hooray! In addition to the myriad pluses—isolated location, noisy machines, no humidity—Walt, Jesse, and Mike would get free tortillas!
But no. Walt points out that any food-manufacturing facility is subject to unannounced government inspections. On their way out, Jesse grabs a tortilla hot off the presser.
Remember this place? Lazer Base!
End of Season 3, Saul tried to get Walt to buy the laser tag place to be the front for his money-laundering before Walt settled on buying the car wash out from under Bogdan. Saul’s spoken with Danny, the owner of the laser tag place, and Danny has agreed to set aside some space behind the skee ball machines.
Walt and Jesse’s response: hell no. They don’t even give an explanation. I love it.
This is Saul’s last option and it’s the least appealing. The owner is amenable, but aside from that, it’s small, has no ventilation, is right on a main road, is located a quarter mile from a police station, and there are big rolling doors that open onto the street.
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