Pulp Fiction question

A close friend of mine who is a Tarantino encyclopedia insists that both Marsellus and Vincent were waiting in Butch’s apartment, ready to kill him. I asked him what made him believe that and he answered enigmatically, “It’s all in the details man, watch the scene play out again.”

I can’t believe this to be true. Marsellus is the top dog, so to speak. Why would he go himself to kill Butch when he could simply send Vincent and Jules? I watched the scene again and can’t find anything obvious that screams out Marcellus was personally involved in the hit.

Is my friend simply reading too much into it?

Remember, Jules had quit by then, so maybe he didn’t have anyone else to cover it. Plus you do see him crossing the street, just a block or two from Butch’s place, so it stands to reason he was heading there. I seem to recall he was carrying some food when he spies Butch, so that might also suggest he was doing a lunch run at the time.

I thought Marsellas was out getting food for Vincent when Butch hit him with his car.

That’s my take, too.

That’s where I went wrong, then. I forgot about the scene where Marsellus is carrying the two cups of coffee. It seemed weird at the time that he would be in the area doing something so mundane, but that makes perfect sense.

I suspect Marcellus wanted to watch Butch get snuffed after the way he’d screwed him over.

Yes, that’s why Marsellus was on the road nearby, that wasn’t just coincidence. He left to get takeout and was on his way to back to Butch’s place.

I always wonder why Vincent chose to take a dump while Marsellus was away. Seems like a rookie move.

That’s another thing that struck me as odd about the movie. Marcellus is this bad ass gang leader with a terrifying reputation, yet folks seem to have little issue with getting on his bad side: Butch and Tony “Rocky Horror” being two off the top of my head.

Vincent was never exactly the sharpest tool in the box…

Perhaps, but I was thinking probably everybody thought it was unlikely that Butch would return the apartment. Maybe Marsellus was backing up Vincent because nobody really thought backup would be needed, and Marsellus wasn’t really a foot soldier anymore.

Butch thought he was smarter than everybody else, and that he could rip off Marcellus and get away with it. The only reason he had to go back to his apartment and put himself in danger was because Fabienne fucked up.

According to Mia, the foot massage incident never happened, so Marcellus’s beef with Tony was purely in his own head.

At that point, the only option Marcellus had was to stake out Butch’s apartment and hope he’d show up sooner or later.

They were probably waiting to beat the crap out of him and get the boxing match money back. Only after that would they have snuffed him. At least, that’s what I would do.

I doubt Marcellus had anything more important to tend to that day. He struck me as a pretty hands-on guy.

Maybe Marcellus wanted to ask Vincent about his evening with Mia, so he came along for the stakeout.

Hey, it’s not always a choice. Leaving his gun on the kitchen counter, that was a rookie move.

Besides, it was required for the whole “bad things happen when Vincent takes a dump” meme.

Marsellus does seem a pretty hands on boss, though. He supposedly personally threw Tony Rocky Horror out the window, right? And it looks like he’s planning on sticking around once those “hard pipe hitting niggas” showed up to work over the Zed’s friends. I can believe that he wanted to put his own personal boot up Butch’s ass for what he did in the ring.

One point not already mentioned is that Butch makes a lot of noise entering the apartment, using the toaster, etc. Vincent surely would have heard this. The explanation could be that he was expecting Marsellus back and assumed that was him.

I don’t buy that the gun Butch used was Marsellus’s. He has a smaller gun on him when he’s hit by Butch. I don’t see him as a two gun guy. Vincent is that type. And we know he carries a smaller gun from the “earlier” scenes. Vincent could have left his second gun on the counter while he went to the bathroom.

Indeed, Pulp Fiction would have been a very different story if Vincent didn’t keep going to the can.

The main issue against it is that I can’t imagine Marsellus wasting his time on an unlikely stakeout. This guy has a criminal empire to manage and a lot of underlings to do things for him. And it’s not really personal, unlike the guys in the pawn shop.

Is there anything in the film to indicate how far it is from Butch’s apartment to the intersection where he hits Marsellus?

I mean, he pulls away in his car with his self-congratulatory “That’s how you’re gonna beat 'em, Butch; they keep underestimating you!” But I can’t remember whether there’s a cut to indicate passage of time between that and Marsellus seeing him at the red light.

Well, he barely gets through one chorus of Flowers on the Wall.

Is that a well-recognized meme? I noticed it in the movie, and I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned it once or twice around here, but I haven’t seen anyone else make reference to it.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/29/pulp-fiction-fan-theories_n_5967174.html :

“Every time Vincent Vega goes to the bathroom, something terrible happens.”

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0110912/trivia?ref_=tt_trv_trv :

“Something bad happens every time Vincent (John Travolta) goes to the bathroom.”
http://pulpfiction.wikia.com/wiki/Vincent_Vega :

“Whenever he goes to the bathroom something unfortunate occurs; Mia accidentally overdoses when she finds his heroin in a baggie rather than a balloon and mistakes it for cocaine, the coffee shop is robbed and later, Vincent is killed by Butch.”

“Seeing my little blog here is called Thee Daily Deuce, it’s impossible for me to resist talking about Vincent Vega’s deadly “bathroom break boss” situations he finds himself in not unce, not tice, but fee times a mady in this picture.”