Breaking Bad 

Better Call Saul: Every Theory On Where Lalo Is During Breaking Bad

Lalo Salamanca was referenced in Breaking Bad, but is introduced properly by Better Call Saul. Here's every theory regarding Lalo's fate.

What might happen to Lalo Salamanca when Better Call Saul ends? Lalo was introduced to the world of Breaking Bad through a throwaway line of dialogue from Saul Goodman in season 2. Abducted by Walter White and Jesse Pinkman, Saul asks whether “Lalo” sent them, but once the kidnappers’ identities become clear, the matter is dropped. Since Better Call Saul delves into the lawyer’s backstory, it was only a matter of time until the spin-off revealed Lalo in the flesh, and the character made his long-awaited debut in Better Call Saul season 4, played by Tony Dalton.

Lalo Salamanca was everything Breaking Bad fans hoped for, blending the brash arrogance of Tuco with the criminal cunning of Uncle Hector. A steely, formidable villain, Lalo arrives after Hector is left incapacitated by a medical emergency, and is tasked with halting the growing influence of Gus Fring, whose operation threatens the Salamanca family. Lalo is in a different class to the rest of the Salamanca brood, and Better Call Saul season 5 charts a constant back-and-forth between he and Gus. Lalo successfully curries favor with the cartel leader, Don Eladio, but Gus has a man on the inside. Just when Gus makes his move and attempts to assassinate Lalo, however, the wily Salamanca wriggles free, a plan for revenge already forming in his wicked mind.

RELATED: How Better Call Saul Season 6 Can Change Breaking Bad

Not only is Lalo absent in Breaking Bad, Gus gloats to Hector in season 4 that every other Salamanca is dead. How does Lalo go from alive and kicking in Better Call Saul season 5 to supposedly deceased in Breaking Bad season 4?

Lalo Is Killed By Gus/Mike

Gus and Mike in Better Call Saul

The most obvious ending for Lalo in Better Call Saul is Gus finally swatting the fly buzzing around his meth business. After the botched assassination attempt at the end of season 5, Lalo Salamanca will be on the war path when Better Call Saul resumes. Gus will need finish the job, mainly to protect himself from Lalo’s wrath, but also to ensure the cartel’s suspicions aren’t aroused. Since Gus is in a position of power and Lalo is nowhere to be seen when Breaking Bad begins, it’s natural to assume Gus will emerge victorious, leaving Lalo in a shallow grave. Although Gus certainly isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty, Mike Ehrmantraut will more likely be pulling the trigger. Mike and Gus enjoy a far closer working relationship in Breaking Bad than they do in Better Call Saul‘s latest seasons. Mike’s involvement in murdering Lalo might be why. Performing such a service for Gus would sufficiently explain the loyalty between them in Breaking Bad, with each man relying on the other to keep the murder secret.

Lalo Is Killed By Nacho

Since Gus already took a shot at Lalo Salamanca and missed spectacularly, Better Call Saul may spring a twist by having a different character do the deed. Nacho was Gus’ mole in the Salamanca family, and literally opened the door to the assassins hired to kill Lalo. Not only did Lalo escape, he also found time for a light bulb moment, figuring out that Nacho was the rotten apple in his orchard. Joining Gus Fring on Lalo’s hit-list, Nacho might be forced to kill his former boss. Unlike Gus, Nacho isn’t seeking power or financial gain – he wants out of the business altogether, and has been working under duress to protect his civilian father. Unfortunately, Nacho won’t find peace while Lalo is still alive, and Gus will be reluctant to let a loose end walk away. Killing Lalo might be Nacho’s only route to freedom – simultaneously shaking a vengeful Salamanca from his tail and earning the gratitude Gus Fring, which could be enough to coax a rare moment of mercy from the chicken man. If this theory was proven true, Jimmy’s reference to Lalo in Breaking Bad season 2 could be taken literally – it really was Ignacio!

Lalo Is Killed By Jimmy/Kim

Rhea Seehorn as Kim and Bob Odenkirk as Jimmy in Better Call Saul

Venturing out of the box somewhat, Lalo’s story may be ended by Jimmy McGill or Kim Wexler, rather than a direct rival of the Salamanca family. By the end of Better Call Saul season 5, the newlyweds are eyebrow-deep in cartel business, with an angry, gun-toting Lalo even visiting their home. Kim defused the situation admirably, but while Jimmy was just grateful to be alive, Kim seemed invigorated by the experience, suggesting they take a deeper dive into criminality by bringing down Howard Hamlin. Since Kim is also missing in Breaking Bad, some huge event looks destined to tear her away from Jimmy, and Lalo’s death might provide that crucial missing piece. Jimmy has a reason to kill Lalo too – he’s been acting on Gus’ orders from the very beginning, and Lalo is getting suspicious that his lawyer’s story doesn’t add up. Through murdering Lalo, Jimmy might ensure Kim’s safety… but at the high cost of pushing her away and earning himself a permanent place in the criminal underworld.

RELATED: Better Call Saul: What Jimmy Flipping The Light Switch In Season 2 Means

This theory offers the most complete explanation for Jimmy’s Lalo line in Breaking Bad. Due to his guilt, Jimmy would be living in fear, waiting for other cartel goons to come for him. But since Gus and Mike would likely insist on covering up Lalo’s murder, Jimmy would have to maintain the pretense that Lalo was alive.

Lalo Goes To Jail In Better Call Saul Season 6

Better Call Saul won’t necessarily conclude with Lalo’s death – he might be sent to jail instead. Lalo Salamanca is already a suspect for the murder of Fred Whalen, and Hank is beginning to unravel the major players behind the cartel’s meth operation. With a list of crimes longer than Walt Jr.’s breakfast menu, the DEA could feasibly send Lalo down for a very long time, keeping him busy for the duration of Breaking Bad. Lalo’s incarceration would offer a reprieve for both Gus and Nacho, while dealing a heavy blow to the Salamanca family, and Jimmy might provide the damning evidence necessary. Should Lalo be arrested in Better Call Saul season 6, he’d naturally ask Jimmy to defend him in court but, seizing an opportunity, Gus and Mike could force Jimmy to flip on his client. Again, this theory would account for Jimmy’s paranoia in Breaking Bad, but doesn’t explain why Gus claimed that Hector was the last Salamanca in season 4. Additionally, Lalo has demonstrated an uncanny ability to orchestrate criminal activities from his jail cell. Being behind bars isn’t enough to keep the slippery Salamanca quiet throughout Breaking Bad.

Lalo Flees To Mexico

Lalo exiting his car in Better Call Saul

After Jimmy (finally) posted Lalo’s bail in Better Call Saul season 5, it looked like the villain was going to slip away to Mexico and lay low for a year to evade the American justice system. Lalo bade farewell to Hector and reassured his uncle that Tuco would be released from jail before long, which leads into the landscape of Breaking Bad. However, Lalo’s growing suspicions prompt a change of heart, and it seems he’ll be heading north of the border once again, seeking revenge against his would-be assassins. Since fleeing to Mexico is Lalo’s first response in a crisis, this might explain his Breaking Bad absence. It’s possible that Gus simply finds a way to kick Lalo out of town – some kind of intricate blackmail scheme or legal wrangling through Jimmy, ensuring Lalo can never return to Albuquerque. This explanation fits neatly with Jimmy’s suggestion that Lalo is still alive and holding a grudge in Breaking Bad season 2.

Gus Lied – Lalo Is Still Alive

Tony Dalton as Lalo in Better Call Saul

Lalo Salamanca is somewhat of a cockroach in that it’s hard to imagine him dying at all. One of the most fascinating, albeit unlikely, theories regarding Lalo’s fate is that the character survives all the way to end of Breaking Bad and reappears to confront Jimmy in Better Call Saul‘s black-and-white Gene timeline. A prison sentence or enforced exile might keep Lalo out of action during Breaking Bad, but Gus’ claim that Hector is the only surviving Salamanca could be nothing more than a lie, twisting the knife in his wheelchair-bound nemesis. After the cartel is wiped out, Gus is killed, and Walter White lays dead, Lalo might finally peek over the parapet, returning from his hiding place in Mexico. If Lalo was sent to jail, the revelations surrounding Heisenberg and a mystery vanishing lawyer might trigger a mistrial, and Lalo would be set free. With everyone else already dead, a released Lalo could only pursue Jimmy, leading to a final meeting between gangster and lawyer in Better Call Saul‘s future timeline.

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