First off, I have watched the entirety of BB and season one of Better Call Saul already, so no worries about spoilers. I am re-watching BB with my wife (so much more fun when you can discuss the show with someone as you’re watching!), and something occurred to me last night:
So my understanding is that Hank was fired from the DEA and asked to turn in his badge and gun. The same day, he gets attacked and severely injured by Tuco’s cousins and called a “hero” for defending himself. While he’s recovering, his DEA/Cop buddies are bringing him information on Gale Bottiechers (sp?) death; photos, fingerprints, notebooks, etc. He matches some of the fingerprints found in Gale’s apartment to Gustavo Fring and traces possible meth lab equipment to him from Madrigal. He then sets up a meeting with Gomez and Merkert to explain all this to them.
My question is: what is Hanks DEA status during this time? Is he still suspended/fired from the DEA? Or was he reinstated after he got shot or during his recovery and I just missed it? I know they called him a hero but don’t remember anything about Hank getting his job back. He wasn’t just looking at photos and hearing descriptions, he had actual crime scene evidence in his possession, including Gale’s “Lab Notes”. Seems strange that they would allow someone who had been suspended for going off the rails about the Heisenberg case to have evidence in…the Heisenberg case. Am I missing something? 'Cause it seems to me like a plot hole big enough to drive a truck through.
Side Question: Is Merkert accepting “look the other way” payments from Gus? He seemed awfully anxious to get Hank down to El Paso when he seemed to be getting close to some breaks in the case, and was completely skeptical when Hank starts bringing Gus’ name up. Now that could be explained, but I always wondered if Merkart was being paid off.
Another side question: What happened to Gomez? It seems like the writers moved him to El Paso and forgot about him until Hank starts piecing things together. Then he just shows up with no explanation. Or maybe related to my Merkart side question: Maybe Merkart was on the take and recalled Gomez to keep an eye on Hank and try to divert suspicion away from Gus.