IN OTHER NEWS: Lydia Rodarte-Quayle is being driven out to the desert, blindfolded. She’s here to inspect the meth operation that is being run by Declan, Walt’s competitor from last season who has now inherited the meth business in New Mexico. Given Lydia’s stated dissatisfactions with the quality of the meth, she obviously wants to see what the problem is. Declan, as you can imagine, isn’t exactly welcoming, but she says there’s a $50 million shortfall and you can’t much argue with that. So he leads her into their subterranean lab -- a bus buried in the desert with nominal ventilation. Clearly, the connections with Walt’s original, RV-centric business are intention. This is rudimentary. This is amateur hour. And Lydia sees it right away.
It’s filthy, for one thing. "Do you seriously think this is up to the standards of your predecessor?" Declan is at least honest enough to lay his cards on the table: Heisenberg is out of the game, so his standards no longer apply. His meth is the only game in town and his customers are still buying. But apparently the Czech Republic is used to a higher standard of product, because Lydia says this is unacceptable for her overseas business. "I cannot move what this person is making if it is substandard, and it is. It just is." She then apologizes to the cook who is, like, right there. Declan says she couldn’t get Heisenberg to come back, so why are they even arguing? Lydia wants him to use Todd, who at least learned from Walt and whose first two cooks were at 74%. Declan’s like, "Yeah and his third cook he started a fire." More importantly, Declan wants to work with guys he trusts, not Todd who he doesn’t. "I really wish you’d given him a chance," she says softly, and checks her watch. At this, Declan’s crony back up top says they have "a problem." He leaves Lydia down below, where she checks her phone and seems to pointedly NOT send a message. There’s muffled talking up top, and Lydia crouches down in a corner, so you kind of know what’s coming. Before long, machine-gun shots are rattling off, enough that there are shells dropping through the ventilation and into the bus, at Lydia’s feet.
It’s over quickly, and soon the lid to the RV is opened and a voice calls out, "Ma’am? You okay?" It’s freaking Todd. She’s skittish as all hell, of course, and hesitates to even respond until she’s sure it’s safe. He pulls her up, but at the last minute, she says she doesn’t want to see anything. So he has her close her eyes and guides her as they walk past a field of slain drug dealers. Looks like Todd’s uncle and his men have become the muscle in this particular operation. Todd’s uncle can’t believe this tiptoe-past-the-tulips routine, but whatever… she’s the boss. We see one man still crawling around -- Declan. Todd’s uncle wastes no time and calls out, “Fire in the hole!” before shooting him dead. Lydia jumps, but keeps moving. Todd doesn’t seem overly burdened with conscience, as you can imagine. Todd’s uncle’s men then begin rounding up the equipment.