Something I’ve been thinking about is just how young Gus would have been when Pinochet seized power in 1973. I’m guessing 19 at most, and maybe as young as 13-14. This doesn’t prove or disprove anything w/r/t his life in Chile, of course, but it factors into my assumptions and theories about his background.
When I’d sketched out Gus getting involved in the drug business in The Sea Left Behind, rain-upon-the-moon mentioned how naively he was looking at it - “just a fascinating logistics problem” - and it made me think… is there a pattern in Gus recruiting people who are a bit like this, who aren’t otherwise suited to the business? And could it mean anything about what he himself was like when he was younger?
I mean, Gale just loves chemistry. He talks about cooking in the superlab as if it’s his dream job. Jesse’s a perfectionist who derives satisfaction from doing things well, and from being needed. I can only speculate about Lydia, but watch her when she’s explaining the train heist or the Czech Republic scheme - she looks like on some level she just really loves solving intellectual problems and putting things in order.
However, Gale is dangerously naive, Jesse is impulsive and psychologically fragile, and Lydia makes decisions more out of fear than logic when she’s threatened. Both Jesse and Lydia get into a lot of trouble after misjudging situations and they both end up alienated from people who were (or could have been) their most powerful allies. I’m thinking specifically of everything Jesse does at the end of season 3, and of Lydia putting the hit out on Mike.
I can’t let go of the idea that Gus was naive and relatively inexperienced when we saw him in “Hermanos”. He didn’t know much about cartel politics, and he had no idea what a huge mistake he’d made by distributing meth to Don Eladio’s men and manipulating him into a meeting. He comes across as very earnest about this great business opportunity he and Max have worked out - it’s the drug of the future, it’ll triple your profits, etc - but at the same time he doesn’t know what he’s doing and when everything starts to go horribly wrong he looks shocked. And it’s just awful.