Better Call Saul Fully Kills Breaking Bad's Lalo & Nacho References

Better Call Saul completely changes the meaning behind Saul Goodman's famous Breaking Bad Nacho line. Vince Gilligan first sowed the seeds for his Better Call Saul prequel series way back in 2009 with Breaking Bad season 2. Seeking criminal representation, Walter White and Jesse Pinkman kidnap Bob Odenkirk's Saul Goodman for a violent trip into the desert. Before he realizes whom his captors really are, Saul pleads, "It wasn't me, it was Ignacio. He's the one!" Following a spot of Spanish begging, he then asks, "Lalo didn't send you?"

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Thanks to Better Call Saul, audiences now know "Lalo" is Tony Dalton's Lalo Salamanca, and "Ignacio" is Nacho, played by Michael Mando. They also know that Saul is invoking the name of two dead men – both Nacho and Lalo are killed during the events of Better Call Saul season 6, seeming to make the line nonsensical. However, when considering what Saul would actually know at the time, the line makes a little more sense.

Related: How Gus Knew Lalo Was Alive In Better Call Saul Season 6

A long time coming, Better Call Saul season 6 finally spells out Nacho and Lalo's story. Caught between the Salamanca family and Gus Fring, Nacho sees no choice but to accept death, and in one final middle finger to the cartel, puts a bullet through his own brain. In this fateful moment, Nacho's Better Call Saul bullet also appears to kill Saul Goodman's Breaking Bad line stone dead. "It was Ignacio!" It couldn't have been, four whole years after Ignacio's brutal death. There's no way Nacho could be a believable scapegoat for Saul's cartel misdeeds. However, as with most things Gilligan, it's not that simple.

Jimmy May Not Know For Sure That Lalo Is Dead

A masked Jesse points a gun at Saul as a masked Walter looks on with a van behind them.

Reexamining Saul Goodman's Breaking Bad "Ignacio" line within the context of Nacho's Better Call Saul season 6 death, audiences can perhaps, finally, deduce what Bob Odenkirk's character was talking about during his 2009 desert debut. Saul mistakes Walt and Jesse for Lalo Salamanca's henchmen, but anyone working for Lalo would surely know Nacho was killed four years prior. That means whatever act Saul believes he's being punished for cannot be recent – it's something from Better Call Saul's timeline that the lawyer can get away with pinning on the long-dead Nacho. One major possibility is that between Better Call Saul and Breaking Bad, Jimmy remains fearful Lalo will figure out Nacho wasn't the only person secretly in league with Gus Fring. So, Saul mistakes Walt and Jesse for Salamanca goons, he naturally tries to shift all the blame onto Nacho – "the assassination was all Ignacio, I wasn't involved."

Strangely, Nacho's death in Better Call Saul season 6 casts Saul Goodman in a far kinder light. If Nacho were still alive in Breaking Bad's era, Saul telling Lalo Salamanca's lackeys to go after "Ignacio" is a pretty cruel and cowardly act of self-interest. But if Saul knows Nacho is dead (which he inevitably would – probably via Mike), he's saving his own skin by passing the blame onto a man who's already deceased, rather than betraying someone who's still alive.

Better Call Saul also adds an ironic element to Saul's fear of Lalo by showing that Lalo was long dead by the time of Breaking Bad, having been killed by Gus. However, Mike told Jimmy only that "He's not coming back," perhaps not willing to trust him with more detail following Howard's death. This means that the possibility of Lalo seeking revenge has always been in the back of Saul's mind, and may have even influenced his decision to go to prison in the series finale to offer protection. By adding greater context, Better Call Saul completely changes the meaning of Breaking Bad's Lalo line. Instead of simply suggesting how much criminal trouble Saul was involved in, the mention of Lalo and Ignacio shows how much he is haunted by his past, living in fear of two dead men.

2022-09-29T15:51:24.000Z

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