Lalo made his first appearance on Better Call Saul and it looks like he’s going to cause big trouble for Nacho. In fact, Lalo has that friendly-but-menacing demeanor that means he’s actually really, really dangerous. The moment when he talked about how Nacho would “die” for his family’s favorite recipe had viewers on the edge of their seats. But who is he and why is he so important? And does he come from the Breaking Bad universe, like so other characters who’ve had cameos this season?
Lalo’s full name is Eduardo Salamanca, and this was the first time we’ve seen him in either the Breaking Bad or the Better Call Saul universe. But that doesn’t mean we haven’t heard about him before.
In Better Call Saul Season 4 Episode 8, we meet Lalo when Nacho arrives at the restaurant where Hector Salamanca’s business is based, and he finds Lalo making food in the kitchen. Nacho thought he was the man in charge now, but Lalo’s arrival changes everything and puts Nacho in danger. Lalo said he was sent to help keep the business running.
But this isn’t the first time we’ve heard about Lalo, even if it’s the first time we’ve seen him. The Breaking Bad Wikia helpfully explains that in Season 2 of Breaking Bad, Saul was kidnapped by Walt and Jesse and taken to the desert. During that scene, Saul assumes at first that it was Lalo who arranged his kidnapping. ““Oh no no no no. It wasn’t me. It was Ignacio. He’s the one! … Lalo didn’t send you? No Lalo?” He’s relieved when he realizes they aren’t with Lalo. You can watch the scene below:
(By the way, the Ignacio he mentions in that scene is Nacho. His full name is Ignacio “Nacho” Varga.) So Lalo has been mysterious ever since, and we’re just now figuring out who he is. Ironically, he told Nacho that Nacho “wouldn’t even notice” his presence. That’s certainly a reference to the fact that we never saw his presence in Breaking Bad.
And this is yet another connection on Better Call Saul that we’re seeing between Jimmy and the cartel.
Fans were excited to see Lalo:
Fans were alerted that Lalo would be appearing sometime this season. At an AMC Summit in June, Vince Gilligan said that a character who was named but never seen in Breaking Bad would appear in Better Call Saul. Then Melissa Bernstein confirmed that was Lalo.
His appearance was not disappointing, and fans can’t wait to see what’s next.