Better Call Saul: Lalo Salamanca’s death explained

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The sixth season of Better Call Saul is the one where Lalo Salamanca dies under the shots of Gus Fring in a dramatic scene that marked the memory of all fans. While everybody was still wondering what would happen to Kim Wexler, the character of Lalo comes to an end in a rather shocking way. Let’s recap it together.

Lalo Salamanca’s death: what happens in Better Call Saul Season 6 Episode 8?

The death of Lalo Salamanca takes place in episode 8 of Better Call Saul Season 6. How he dies is a big surprise for the fans, who used to know Lalo’s ability to plan everything. Nevertheless, he dies in a way that was predicted by fans before the episode: shot by Gus in the laboratory he’s building, with the gun he previously hid for this purpose, and buried under the ground.

Lalo perfectly set the plan: he used Kim’s attempt to murder Gus to move all Gus’ men into Jimmy’s home while he was visiting the lab, sure that Gus would have understood. He made the video that he was supposed to show Don Eladio as proof of Gus’ plan to take over the lead in meth production. The only thing he didn’t predict was Gus’ ability to stay calm and take the initiative, grabbing a gun and killing him. His death came as a shock in the viewers’ eyes because of Lalo’s proven ability to consistently anticipate what could happen.

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The theories about Lalo’s death before the episode

Fans made many analyses before the release of the episode where Lalo’s death takes place. You can find them below, recapped by us in this article. The text below was written in May 2022, before the release of Better Call Saul Season 6 Episode 8.

Lalo Salamanca is a ruthless but brilliant character. He always manages to anticipate the footsteps of his enemies. He has no qualms, of course, and he can kill anyone who crosses his path if it serves his purposes. How Lalo kills Howard in episode 7 of the sixth season proves it: Howard is a stranger to him, he does not represent any threat to him, but he does not hesitate to kill him in cold blood to terrorize Kim and Saul, preparing them in the ideal mood for their “talk.”

There are several theories related to the future of Lalo Salamanca. Lalo does not appear in Breaking Bad, so the closure of Better Call Saul must show how the story of Lalo ceases to be relevant to the events in question.

Breaking Bad - “It wasn’t me it was Ignacio, did Lalo send you?”

There is a crucial element in Breaking Bad that fans of the two series have well in mind: this scene from Breaking Bad second season in which Jesse Pinkman and Walter White kidnap Saul Goodman and threaten him wearing balaclavas. In that situation, Saul is terrified that Lalo Salamanca sent those two. “It wasn’t me, it was Ignacio!” he yells, referring to Nacho Vargas, who will betray Lalo in Better Call Saul. “Did Lalo send you?” And when Walt and Jessie say “who??” he thanks Christ. Saul Goodman in Breaking Bad is still scared to death by Lalo Salamanca, and the reason is linked precisely to his surprise return in the 7th episode of the sixth season of Better Call Saul.

According to some fans, this would mean that Lalo Salamanca is still alive at that point in the timeline. Therefore it is assumed that Lalo’s departure from the scene before Breaking Bad takes on particular forms: either Lalo ends up in prison, or he disappears into thin air, perhaps using that “disappearance” service of the Ed The Disappearer, the vacuum guy. Both versions, however, do not suit a character like Lalo Salamanca, who never gives up and always goes to the bottom of every question.

The destiny of Lalo Salamanca

The most plausible theory is that Lalo Salamanca dies in the final season of Better Call Saul. Several clues lead us to believe this:

  • If Lalo were alive in Breaking Bad, there is no way Gus Fring would become the king of meth as he does: Lalo is dedicating his entire life in Better Call Saul to unmasking Gus Fring in the eyes of Don Eladio, bringing him the evidence that Gus is building a mega meth lab. Gus Fring will, in fact, become the leading producer of meth and even go so far as to kill Don Eladio to have no more obstacles to his rise. All this only makes sense if Gus has already closed the chapter with Lalo, aware that he no longer has that enemy.
  • In season 4 of Breaking Bad, Gus tells Hector Salamanca that “the Salamancas are all dead now”: Gus Fring can only become the new drug king after the death of all those who stand against and above him. Gus tells him in one of their meetings. “Now the Salamanca name dies with you.” It is the scene you find below.
Breaking Bad Season 4 Episode 11: Gus torments Hector (HD CLIP)

However, among the names Gus lists at the beginning of the video, Lalo (or Eduardo, his first name) is missing, which leaves doubt about his actual death. On the one hand, Gus says that there is no longer any Salamanca; on the other, he avoids mentioning his name on the list of the dead. This may still leave open the possibility that Lalo is still alive.

However, the hypothesis of Lalo’s death remains the most consistent in the history of Better Call Saul and Breaking Bad. Fans have gone further, reconnecting a couple of key scenes from the last season of Better Call Saul: Gus Fring hiding a gun in the tunnel where he’s preparing the construction of the laboratory could anticipate the moment of reckoning between him and Lalo, and that gun could be the one with which Gus kills Lalo. If Lalo dies there, and his body remains inside the hole on which the laboratory will come to life, the story would take on highly symbolic contours, with Walt and Jesse working in that laboratory with the ambition of becoming drug kings while under their feet lies the lifeless body of Lalo, a symbol of what happens to those like them.

Saul’s terror of Lalo

If Lalo died in the final season of Better Call Saul, then how do you explain Saul’s fear of Lalo still in Breaking Bad (as we saw above)? One explanation could be precisely what happened in episode 7 of Better Call Saul 6: Lalo appears at Saul and Kim’s house, and Saul is sure (Mike told him) that Lalo is dead. For him, it is like seeing a ghost. He exclaims, terrified, “how?” Saul may never get over this shock, and even when, much later, he is kidnapped from his office, instinct tells him that it is Lalo. An individual who in his life, no matter how insistently they tell him he’s dead, always remains a present, tangible threat.