Well, I didn’t think I needed to write this article, but Tucker’s Hole gets at least one view a day and sometimes many more hits from people doing an internet search on the questions posed in the title above, or some version of those questions. While I thought that what Jesse did (and Tucker followed) was self-evident, apparently has many people confused, and they are looking for a deeper answer. Since this site is named for this scene, I will attempt to provide a comprehensive answer for you.
The scene in question occurs in Episode 406 ”Cornered”, where Mike and Jesse find themselves outside of the house of “some guys” who have obtained some of Gus / Walt / Jesse’s blue meth from the Mexican Cartel’s theft earlier in the episode. The Cartel is trying to send a message to Gus through this theft, and Mike has been sent to recover the meth. Mike tells Jesse that the people in the house they are watching are both users of the product as well as dealing it. The are also most likely armed. Mike favours staking out the house, waiting for one of the people to come outside, asking a few questions and getting their property back. Jesse, of course, does not want to sit in a car staking out a house all day, and favours more direct action.
Mike explains to Jesse that what he may or may not know about meth heads is that they are unpredictable, and he does not care for unpredictable, so they will wait for one person to emerge. Jesse doesn’t accept this, and goes to the door of the house to pretend he is there to buy, but gets turned away. Returning to the car, he tells Mike to open his trunk because he needs the shovel in there. Mike doubts what Jesse is doing, but Jesse says “I know meth heads”… basically that he can predict what they will do.
Lets learn a little about the effects of meth addiction so we can understand what Jesse is about to do, and why they dig Tucker’s Hole.
The psychological effects of addiction to methamphetamine include alertness, concentration, paranoia and increased energy. These effects are well documented in medical academia and in personal accounts. The concentration and focus of methamphetamine addicts is well-known. Addicts will spend hours dismantling and re-assembling electronics like televisions or computers, stripping them down to their bare essentials and then re-assembling them, without becoming distracted. This was reflected in Episode 402 “Thirty-Eight Snub” when an addict at Jesse’s party grabs Jesse’s Roomba and begins to dismantle it. Later in the episode we see its destroyed remains on the floor of Jesse’s house.
So back to the story of what is going on with Jesse and Tucker. Jesse is going to prey upon what he knows about meth addiction to draw one of the guys out of the house. It happens to be Tucker.
Here is the scene (sorry about the crap in the middle of the screen):
By the way, if you watch that all the way through, I think you should seek counselling for meth addiction! Hee Hee!
The whole reason Jesse starts digging the hole, and why Tucker follows his lead is due to Tucker’s meth addiction. It is simply a ruse to lure Tucker out of the house and to get Jesse (and Mike) in. Tucker will be so distracted by his focus on the hole, nothing else will matter – a classic situation when a meth addict focuses on something. Jesse succeeds in totally engaging Tucker in this “project”.
So basically, Jesse is preying upon the psychological conditions of meth addiction. Alertness is what brings Tucker out of the house and makes him pay attention to what Jesse is doing. Jesse doesn’t tell him what he is digging for… he says “you know why” – playing on Tucker’s paranoia. Tucker’s own drug-addled mind takes over, and invents something that is buried there, something he wants to see, something worth digging for. Jesse asks Tucker to take over, which indulges Tucker’s increased concentration. He has successfully lured Tucker out of the house, something that Mike was prepared to wait for hours for. Finally we see Tucker still digging when the scene is ending… more evidence of his increased concentration, and high energy level.
Jesse has succeeded to accomplish Mike’s mission in much less time than Mike would have taken.
To answer the basic question here… What were they digging for? The answer is nothing. Tucker is digging for whatever his meth affected mind made up. It was all a method of luring one of the meth heads out of the house based on what meth heads do.
I hope this clears it up!