The most recent episode of Better Call Saul revealed yet another detail about Krazy-8’s past that makes his eventual death on Breaking Bad even more tragic. One of the beauties of Better Call Saul is how it brings back smaller characters from Breaking Bad and takes the time to flesh them out and show how and why they ended up crossing paths with Saul Goodman, Walter White, and Jesse Pinkman.
The show has created well-loved characters like Nacho Varga and Lalo Salamanca from single lines on Breaking Bad, and the sky seems to be the limit when it comes to how Peter Gould and the rest of the creative team use Breaking Bad as a jumping-off point for crafting both characters and plots on Better Call Saul. With season 5 now underway and season 6 confirmed to be the last in the show’s run, Better Call Saul is kicking things into high gear and is closer than it’s ever been in terms of both tone and timeline to its parent show Breaking Bad.
One of the characters who has received even more backstory than he got on Breaking Bad is Domingo Molina (Max Arciniega), a.k.a. Krazy-8. As fans of Breaking Bad know, Krazy-8 was a drug dealer who also worked as a informant for the DEA, and he was eventually killed by Walter White after being held hostage in the emotional episode “… And the Bag’s in the River.” However, Better Call Saul‘s most recent episode, “The Guy For This,” dropped a major bombshell regarding Krazy-8 that makes his death even more tragic. The only reason he was an informant in the first place was that he was being used as a pawn in the feud between Gus Fring and the Salamanca family.
After being picked up by the police in last week’s episode, Krazy-8 is thrown in prison, which poses a problem for Lalo Salamanca and his wing of the cartel. Although Nacho reluctantly offers to “take care” of Krazy-8, Lalo declines, and instead, Nacho introduces him to Saul Goodman. Lalo strongarms Saul into acting as a go-between for Lalo and Krazy-8: Lalo will feed Saul all the information that needs to be conveyed to Krazy-8, and due to lawyer-client confidentiality, Krazy-8 can get the info without it being overheard by the police.
Krazy-8 is initially skeptical of Saul’s sudden appearance, but after a little convincing, he agrees to play along. It’s at that point in the episode that DEA agents Hank Schrader and Steven Gomez (of Breaking Bad fame) bring Krazy-8 in for interrogation, and he becomes a “rat” on the cartel. Before this episode, it was believed that Krazy-8 was a genuine rat and had turned on the cartel of his own volition, but as it’s revealed in “The Guy For This,” Krazy-8 isn’t actually a snitch – he’s just doing what Lalo is telling him to do.
The revelation that Krazy-8 is just following orders and didn’t actually snitch on the Salamancas may not seem huge, but it has pretty major repercussions when considered alongside the Breaking Bad timeline. The only reason that Krazy-8 ends up meeting Walter is because his cousin Emilio believes Walt is the rat who’s working with the DEA. Because Emilio (incorrectly) believes Walt is the rat, Emilio and Krazy-8 both end up dead – Emilio via phosphine gas, and Krazy-8 after being held captive for several days and then being choked via bike lock by Walt.
The tragedy of Krazy-8’s death resonated with fans in season 1 of Breaking Bad after his heart-to-heart with Walter in which the audience learned about his family and his father, but Krazy-8’s murder becomes even sadder now that fans of Better Call Saul know he wasn’t even a real rat. At the end of the day, Krazy-8 only snitched because he was told to do so, and thus his death only occurred because he was a pawn that got caught up in a much larger scheme.