My post will involve SPOILERS in case anyone reading hasn’t seen the movie.
The episodic nature of the flick, the changing POV and the jumping forward and back - telling incidents out of sequence - was supposed to be one of the major points of the movie. It was Tarantino’s “homage” to crime thrillers like The Killing that also used that storytelling method.
It didn’t tell you a straight forward linear story with minor subplots, the whole film was made up of subplots that gave you a branching story of interconnected lives.
Vincent nearly wound up in major trouble he could have never expected because of the accidental OD of Mia. And all he was worried about before that was Marselles thinking he would try to mess around with his wife on their “date”.
Butch’s story (the boxer) is a tangent from Vincent’s story, look at all the hell he goes through to get the watch back (including a lucky break killing Vincent coming out of the toliet), it means that much to him. The reason why the watch was so important was established by the fantastic Christopher Walken monologue earlier. As well as the fact that he and the man who sent Vince to kill him (Marsellus Wallace) wind up in that redneck sodomy torture chamber all because of a chance crossing of paths at a traffic light.
The briefcase is just a McGuffin device to give Jules and Vincent an item to return, which leads to their lucky shootout and the moment that causes them to reflect on it during their conversation in the coffee shop where they encounter the two robbers providing the bookend segments at the beginning and end of the movie.
Their attempt to return the briefcase also led their bad luck splattering the brains of the one kid left from the shootout, and their interlude with the fixer Winston Wolf who pulls their asses out of yet another potential disaster.
I’ve cooled in my enthusiasm for the film over the years, but being majorly sick with a cold is not the best state of mind to watch Pulp Fiction. My favorite movie for when I’m sick is Murphy’s War starring Peter O’Toole, a simple straightforward revenge tale.
I’ll have to get back to you about your last question.