Lalo’s quip about Gus Fring in a recent episode of Better Call Saul may have been a reference to a longstanding Breaking Bad fan theory about Gus’s sexuality. Season 5 of Better Call Saul hit the ground running and has already covered much ground in terms of bringing the show nearer to the events of Breaking Bad. In addition to moving chronologically closer, Better Call Saul also grows its characters to become the people we know and love (to hate) when they bump into Walter White.
One of the most talked-about moments in season 3 of Better Call Saul was the introduction of drug lord/chicken restaurant owner Gustavo “Gus” Fring, a ruthless businessman and a major foe of Walter White who served as the primary antagonist for several seasons of Breaking Bad. Because fans already know what happens to Gus, however, Better Call Saul spends more time developing his backstory and the events that led to him becoming such a key player in the drug industry – and a recent episode made a reference to a theory about Gus that has been floating around for years.
In Breaking Bad season 4 episode 8 “Hermanos” it was revealed that Gus Fring had a business partner named Max Arciniega, with whom he was incredibly close. The two founded Los Pollos Hermanos together, and also entered into business with the cartel as a pair. However, after unintentionally offending Don Eladio, Max was murdered by Hector Salamanca, right in front of a horrified Gus. From that point on Gus dedicated his life to avenging Max’s death, and his single-minded pursuit of justice led some fans to speculate that Gus and Max may have been in a romantic relationship and were more than just business partners.
Although there has never been any explicit confirmation as to the nature of their relationship, the question of Gus’ sexuality is one frequently raised by the show, but a wisecrack from Lalo Salamanca in the Better Call Saul season 5 premiere “Magic Man” may have an answer for fans. During an exchange with Juan Bolsa, Lalo explains that he is keeping an eye on Gus because he believes that he’s out for revenge on Hector for killing his “boyfriend”.
Lalo does use the world in a humorous tone, which may indicate that he’s making a joke instead of actually commenting on the nature of Gus and Max’s relationship, but the line is still the closest either Breaking Bad or Better Call Saul has come to outright addressing the speculation about Gus’ sexuality. While whether or not Lalo was joking or being serious is up to the interpretation of the viewer, revealing that Max and Gus were in a romantic relationship would be yet another way that Better Call Saul takes advantage of its prequel timeline to go more in-depth with established characters from the Breaking Bad universe.
Further supporting this theory is that the title of Better Call Saul season 5 episode 5 is “Dedicado a Max”, which is Spanish for “Dedicated to Max”. This would seem to be another reference to Max Arciniega and may be an indication that Gus makes a move against the Salamanca family to finally attempt justice for his deceased partner. Of course, fans of Breaking Bad know that both Hector and Gus meet their demise in the iconic episode “Face Off”, so only time will tell just what goes down in “Dedicado a Max”.