It’s episodes like this that are basically there to remind you that no matter what Gus is saying or doing, ultimately he is mostly a very naïve child.
See, Gus has been looking for a woman he assumes is his mom. He knows her name is “Birdie” and she was from Essex City, Colorado. He assumes she and his Pubba were a couple or something along those lines.
This episode, half told in flashback, gives some of that truth, and what little Gus gets, he doesn’t like at all and does what many a child has done with disturbing news and makes a run for it.
To be fair, he wasn’t caught completely off-guard. Big Man and Bear talked about how there was a high chance Birdie was dead, and despite their best efforts, Gus’s phenomenal hearing picked up on all of it. Gus, however, received no word that Birdie was dead or alive. He received some news that was theoretically much worse.
It turns out Birdie and Pubba both worked in a lab, but they weren’t both scientists. Pubba, real named Richard Fox, was a janitor. She was working on some ancient microbes found in arctic ice that could, she said, be made into a great vaccine or something worse depending on who did what with it. And just typing that sentence out should tell you what happened there. Probably. The episode doesn’t come out and say it, but it does look like the microbes might have been responsible for the Sick and the Hybrids, with Gus as the first Hybrid.
Turns out his real name was Genetic Unit Series, and when the military raided the lab, Birdie and Pubba were about to hook up after meeting each other and sharing some drinks at the local bar. So, no, they never really so much as kissed, and Gus doesn’t seem to understand that even if he was born and created in a lab and he might just be an experiment, that doesn’t mean his Pubba wasn’t his Pubba and he didn’t have a dad. Instead, what the audience sees in flashback but that Gus doesn’t know is Pubba helped Birdie smuggle the infant Gus out of the lab when the military cracked down on the place (what are the odds General Abbot was somehow responsible for that? I didn’t see the guy, but…). She stayed behind to get more of her research to keep it out of the wrong hands, but he took Gus away with a promise from her that she’d find them. And from there, he moved into Yellowstone and that’s where the series began.
So, Gus ran away, possibly as a speed only a deer could do, making it unlikely even Big Man at his best could keep pace. Sure, finding out he’s an experiment might be upsetting, but it does seem as if the “no blood relatives” thing is what really disturbed him as Pubba never said he wasn’t actually his Pubba.
Or he was, if you ask Bear, and maybe Gus should have stuck around.
Well, I’m sure that kid will calm down and do the right thing later. I mean, there’s only one episode to this season left and all…
Better Call Saul “Coushatta”
Noteworthy Issues: Batman/Superman: World’s Finest #8 (October, 2022)
The X-Files “Duane Barry”