Who Is Lalo On ‘Better Call Saul’? This Character Referenced In ‘Breaking Bad’ Is Going To Cause Major Trouble For Nacho
After everything he has already been through in Season 4, it's a relief to see that Nacho Varga is alive and (kind of) well in the Better Call Saul episode "Coushatta." Spoilers follow. But another reason to be nervous for Nacho's wellbeing is introduced when Lalo appears on Better Call Saul. The people behind Better Call Saul had already teased that this character referenced in Breaking Bad would show up in Season 4. He never physically appeared onscreen in the original series, but Lalo was a major part of Saul Goodman's introduction to the universe. So while Lalo only shows up briefly in "Coushatta," he's surely going to cause a whole lot of trouble for Nacho and Gus Fring now that he has arrived.
Nacho has taken over running the Salamanca side of the drug cartel in "Coushatta." At the restaurant El Michoacáno, he sits in the enforcer seat once occupied by Hector Salamanca. Viewers then get their first glimpse into Nacho's home life, discovering that he lives with two meth-addicted women in a fancy home. In his safe, he has two Canadian IDs for him and his father, so Nacho definitely has dreams of fleeing his life of working for the Mexican cartel and serving as a double agent for Gus. But Nacho's dreams are complicated yet again at the end of the episode.
Besides Domingo (better known as "Krazy-8," who Walter kills in Breaking Bad Season 1), Nacho finds a new person hanging out in the kitchen of El Michoacáno. This man is a member of the Salamanca family and introduces himself as Eduardo "but you can call me Lalo." He tells Nacho, "I'm just here to lend a helping hand, you know, make sure the business is running in order." But Nacho knows it won't be as simple as all that. Especially since Nacho is now a plant for Gus after Nacho attempted to kill Hector in the Season 3 finale.
Like Nacho, Lalo was mentioned during Saul's first episode in Breaking Bad — Episode 8 of Season 2, called "Better Call Saul." Jess and Walt abduct Saul and the lawyer is worried that this is the end for him. "No, it wasn't me. It was Ignacio. He's the one," Saul pleads before switching over to Spanish. When Jesse orders him to speak in English, Saul asks, "Lalo didn't send you?" And when Jesse says no, an extremely relieved Saul replied, "Oh, thank god."
The Ignacio whom Saul refers to is Nacho of Better Call Saul and this is the only time that Nacho or Lalo is mentioned in the original series. But clearly, Saul is involved in doing something for Nacho that he knows will piss off the Salamanca family — specifically, Lalo. After all, Saul is more involved in the Gus Fring side of the drug cartel business. So perhaps Saul assisted Nacho in undermining the Salamancas for Gus and Lalo figured it out. But whatever Saul and Nacho did, Sal knows it's an offense punishable by death. Which makes it all the more ominous that when Lalo tries to hand Nacho a plate of food in "Coushatta," Lalo says, "You're going to die."
Even before Better Call Saul aired, Vince Gilligan revealed to Wired that the writers had plans to make Lalo a major character. Wired noted that this could be a red herring, but during the AMC Summit in June 2018 (which Bustle attended), executive producer Melissa Bernstein confirmed that Lalo would appear in Season 4. Then in July, the Better Call Saul team announced at San Diego Comic-Con that Tony Dalton would portray this mysterious character and showed a photo of Dalton in character alongside Mark Margolis' Hector Salamanca.
Nacho actor Michael Mando explained to Den of Geek in August that Lalo is going to be just as unpredictable as the other Salamancas. "I can tell you that he is really, truly is a Salamanca in every way, just like Tuco and Hector [add] their own flavors to the erratic Salamancas. The territory really does turn into a bloodbath as this war between these two corporations, the Salamancas and Gus Fring's people, breaks out," Mando said. "It's like these two families are pushing in on Nacho in the same way. It seems like an impossible position to be in and it's a very heavy burden to carry, especially when both parties see you as a valuable asset." Mando also teased to the Toronto Sun that Lalo and Gus "will be caught in some interesting entanglements."
With only two episodes left of Better Call Saul Season 4, you can expect things to heat up beyond the kitchen of El Michoacáno. And even though Breaking Bad never revealed the fate of Nacho, it's safe to say that his future is linked with Lalo's appearance. The fact that Saul would just assume it was him when he was kidnapped by Walter and Jesse is a glaring sign that this man means business. So whether Nacho ends up living in Mando's native country of Canada or gets killed for his spy games (the far more likely scenario), Lalo is here to make his life a living hell along the way.