This post contains SPOILERS for Better Call Saul
At long last, Better Call Saul introduced a previously unseen Breaking Bad character, and he has major connections to Saul Goodman. For the most part, AMC’s acclaimed spinoff has operated in its own corner of Vince Gilligan’s Albuquerque, primarily revolving around James McGill and his relationship with new characters like his brother Chuck and close friend/romantic partner Kim Wexler. At the same time, the creative team knows what universe they’re operating in, and haven’t been averse to throwing in some ties to Breaking Bad over the past four seasons. The one mandate is that they must feel organic to the Better Call Saul narrative, which is why we’ve yet to see Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul show up.
As viewers saw earlier in this fourth season, now that the Saul timeline is getting closer to the beginning of Breaking Bad, the connections between the two shows are becoming (slightly) more overt. We previously looked at how Saul could answer one of Breaking Bad’s most enduring mysteries, and while the past couple of episodes haven’t revealed all the minute details, they’ve definitely put Saul on the right track – setting the stage for a fascinating future.
Related: Better Call Saul Fills In More Breaking Bad Gaps
The character in question is Eduardo Salamanca, who goes by the nickname Lalo. Longtime Breaking Bad fans will recognize the name from the season 2 episode called (coincidentally) “Better Call Saul.” When Walt and Jesse kidnap Saul to intimidate him into taking a bribe, the lawyer pleads for his life, mistaking his two abductors as cartel members. Saul blames an Ignacio (who viewers now know as Nacho Varga) for whatever happened and expresses relief when he finds out Walt and Jesse weren’t sent by the mysterious Lalo. For the rest of Breaking Bad’s run, Lalo is never mentioned again.
Viewers finally have gotten a chance to meet Lalo, though his role has been quite minor so far. He made his first appearance in last week’s “Coushatta” in a last-scene cameo where he’s cooking at El Michoacáno. He informs Nacho he’s been sent by the Salamancas to keep an eye on the family business following Hector’s health issues. Lalo is featured in two scenes in this week’s “Wiedersehen.” Early in the episode, he visits Hector at the assisted living center, presenting the elder Salamanca with the famous bell he used for communication in Breaking Bad (revealing the terrifying origin story behind it). Later, Lalo goes to Los Pollos Hermanos to talk with Gus Fring, thanking Gus for saving Hector’s life and discussing the relationship between Fring and the Salamancas. It feels like Gilligan is setting the table for bigger things to come, and it’ll be interesting to see if Lalo factors into the season finale.
Since Saul knows Lalo and Nacho by name, it stands reason to believe he gets crossed up in cartel activities at some point during Better Call Saul. However, specific details will likely have to wait until the confirmed fifth season airs. In a twist, Jimmy was denied bar reinstatement, and he is going to appeal the committee’s decision. That storyline is definitely substantial enough to carry next week’s episode on its own, with Jimmy and Kim working together to iron out a strategy. Fans know Saul is practicing the law in Breaking Bad, so Jimmy gets his license back sooner or later. Perhaps then, he’ll become aware of the infamous Lalo.
More: Better Call Saul’s Flashforwards May Be Set Before Walter White’s Death
Better Call Saul airs Mondays on AMC.
2018-10-01 07:10:01 – Chris Agar