What Happened To Hector Salamanca Before 'Breaking Bad' & Will We See It On 'Better Call Saul'?

As Better Call Saul weaves its own story, it grows ever closer to clashing with the events that fans know occur in its parent series Breaking Bad. Mike's altercations with Tuco Salamanca could've been the last connection between Better Call Saul and Breaking Bad that the writers would reveal for a while, but they didn't wait long before reintroducing another former character — and in a way that might seem unfamiliar to fans of Walter White's Albuquerque exploits. At the end of a recent episode of Better Call Saul, fans were treated to the sight of a walking, talking Hector Salamanca. Fans of Breaking Bad know that "walking" and "talking" aren't words commonly used to describe Hector, so will Better Call Saul fans be able to see what happened to Hector Salamanca and why he's in a wheelchair? We can only hope to be so lucky.

In the character's original run on Breaking Bad, Hector is said to have had a stroke that leads to his wheelchair-bound existence. This information comes second-hand from DEA agent Steve Gomez, however, and there could be more to Hector's condition than merely a stroke. The severe condition that Hector is in when he's introduced in Breaking Bad would have to be the result of something very severe.

Showrunner Vince Gilligan has said that “ Better Call Saul begins in 2002," placing it six years before the events that occur in Breaking Bad. This means that at some point in that six-year gap, Hector went from fully independent to reliant on nurses for movement and bells for communication. While it's possible that Hector could have been placed in a wheelchair through an injury obtained while on the job — not unlike Hank Schrader when he was placed in a wheelchair on Breaking Bad — it seems more likely that one or more strokes are to blame for Hector's condition.

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It seems that Hector has reached a state of paralysis, which is a common post-stroke condition. According to stroke.org, "As many as 9 out of 10 stroke survivors have some degree of paralysis immediately following a stroke." While Hector could still, conceivably, get his hands dirty for the time being, fans know that Hector isn't long for this world and has even less time to do any of his work by himself. As the series progresses, it's entirely possible that the show will continue to check in on Hector's condition as it worsens over time until he's the mean-mugging, bell-ringing villain that Breaking Bad fans are familiar with.

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While Hector may not know that there's a wheelchair waiting for him with his name on it, the show will surely bring Salamanca's condition into play at some point in the coming seasons. Now that Better Call Saul has been renewed for a third season, Gilligan and company have even more time to explore the pre-Breaking Bad lives of some of their most memorable characters as Jimmy McGill eventually finds freedom and a new self, while unfortunately Mr. Salamanca becomes trapped in his own body. Hopefully, Hector doesn't get in that wheelchair before reminding audiences just how chilling and powerful he can truly be.

Images: Ursula Coyote/AMC; Giphy