Breaking Bad 

Better Call Saul Still Hasn’t Explained Breaking Bad’s Lalo Line

The season 5 finale of Better Call Saul hasn't yet explained the line from season 2 of Breaking Bad that inspired the character of Lalo Salamanca.

A throwaway line spoken by Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk) during season 2 of Breaking Bad inspired the villain Lalo Salamanca (Tony Dalton) to be added to the storyline of Better Call Saul, but the finale of season 5 hasn’t fully explained the line. While Vince Gilligan, the co-creator and co-showrunner along with Peter Gould, was admittedly reluctant to include Lalo within the plot of Better Call Saul, Gould pushed for the line to be answered within the prequel series.

Introduced in the Breaking Bad episode “Better Call Saul,” Saul is kidnapped by Walter White (Bryan Cranston) and Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) in season 2. When Saul refuses to drop a DEA deal that will lessen his client Brandon “Badger” Mayhew’s (Matt Jones) sentence if he can identify Heisenberg, Jesse and Walt try to scare him out of the deal by planting him before a freshly dug grave out in the desert. As Saul begins to panic, he assumes his forthcoming death is connected to another incident entirely. “No, it wasn’t me. It was Ignacio. He’s the one,” says Saul. “Lalo didn’t send you?” While the finale of Better Call Saul season 5 entitled “Something Unforgivable” features a botched assassination attempt against Lalo that indirectly involved both Ignacio “Nacho” Vargas (Michael Mando) and Jimmy, the incident doesn’t fully explain why Saul blames Nacho and why Lalo would want Jimmy dead in Breaking Bad.

RELATED: Better Call Saul Season 5 Foreshadows Don Eladio’s Breaking Bad Death

In “Something Unforgivable,” Gustavo Fring (Giancarlo Esposito) hires assassins to kill Lalo at his residence in Chihuahua, Mexico in order to ensure that Lalo will no longer interfere with the expansion of his drug empire. Rooked into driving Lalo to Mexico, Nacho is forced to act as Fring’s “man on the inside” and admits the assassins into Lalo’s hacienda. After killing the assassins himself, Lalo notices that Nacho has fled the premises and automatically assumes that he had something to do with the attempt on his life. While the failed assassination could be the incident Saul claims Nacho is responsible for, it doesn’t explain why Lalo would send someone to kill Jimmy since Jimmy learned about the assassination from Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks) after the plan was already in motion.

Tony Dalton as Lalo, Javier Grajeda as Juan Bolsa and Steven Bauer as Don Eladio in Better Call Saul

While Jimmy was never connected to the assassination plot, Lalo does hold him accountable for another betrayal: lying about the incident, which delayed the delivery of Lalo’s $7 million bail. After almost being killed by a cartel gang in the Better Call Saul episode “Bagman,” Jimmy withholds the truth from Lalo by stating that car trouble was the reason he was delayed delivering the cash. After discovering bullet holes in Jimmy’s abandoned Suzuki Esteem, however, Lalo clearly understands that Jimmy is lying about the incident and that a secret plot is brewing against him, possibly within his own circle as Kim (Rhea Seehorn) tells him to “get your house in order.” While it is established in the season finale that Lalo could send someone to kill Kim and Jimmy, the two separate plots against Lalo in season 5 aren’t aligning properly in a way that would explain the entire comment from Breaking Bad.

Since the Better Call Saul season 5 finale ended with Lalo pursuing Nacho for revenge, there is something that Nacho could say that would connect both incidents to the Breaking Bad line. Since Nacho is a minor player within the cartel, Lalo will assume Nacho was working under the orders of a senior member. Instead of outing Fring and risking his father’s life in the process, Nacho could blame the assassination attempt on Juan Bolsa (Javier Grajeda), the cartel member who also sent the gang after Jimmy to steal Lalo’s money. If Lalo believes that Juan Bolsa is responsible for both incidents, it would explain why Lalo would want Jimmy killed: his lie may have caused Lalo to be less prepared for the second attack. While it’s merely speculation at this point, it is one theory that could possibly explain the Breaking Bad connection.

Whether or not the throwaway line that created Lalo’s character connects to an event from season 5 of Better Call Saul or one that hasn’t happened yet, it’s safe to assume that whatever Saul is referring to within Breaking Bad will be addressed within the sixth and final season of Better Call Saul.

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