Because our next scene is at Gale's house, where Italian big-band music blares and we take a tour of the nerdly tchotchkes he owns, including a telescope and potato-batter alarm clock, just like at the junior high science fair. Gale sings along in Italian (including the falsetto), waters his plants, and generally makes the audience hope that he's a serial killer to compensate for the sadness, when there's a knock on his door. It's Gus, of course, and Gale greets him with slightly flustered cheer.
Gus sits down on the couch and says he needs to discuss something "rather pressing." Gale wheels his desk chair over across Gus, and the fact that Gus allows this conversation to take place with Gale sitting a good half a foot taller than Gus tells me a lot about the guy. This is a confident man. He doesn't care if you're looking down at him; metaphors don't matter and it's better to seem meek anyway. Only Gus knows just how much he towers over everyone else for real. Anyway, Gus asks Gale's expectant little face whether, "if push came to shove," he'd be able to resume Walt's cooking procedures on his own. "Why would push come to shove?" Gale asks, and yeah this is the point I realized Gale wasn't masterminding shit. Gus then tells Gale the tale of Walter's cancer, only embellishing it to say that Walt is "dying" and will soon need a replacement. Amid the B.S., we get a kernel of truth from Gus: business is too lucrative and competition is too vicious for Gus to survive even a one-week shutdown in production. But, you know, Walter's "dying." Obviously, this means Gus is going to kill Walt, then install Gale as his replacement. Which is why it's important that Gale know Walt's procedure for cooking the blue meth. How soon could Gale be ready to step up like that? Gale stammers, then offers that he would need "at least a few more cooks together." Gus, ever the velvet-gloved hardass, asks, "You don't think you're ready now?" Gale stammers some more, about what a master cook Walt is, before returning with "one or two more cooks." Gus this time is stone silent and just stares back at Gale. "One more I guess would do it," Gale says. It's fun to watch Gus strongarm such a lightweight as Gale, though I wonder if he's not risking Gale saying he's ready to fly solo without actually being ready. But maybe Gus is just an awesome motivator. All those Pollos employees and customers can't be wrong, after all. Gus smiles at his protégé and says "I know that when the time comes, you'll be ready." Though as of right now, it's Walt who's on the clock.