Another character dies in Better Call Saul season 6, episode 8, continuing the season’s trend of unexpected demises. Here is what caused it.
One of the most shocking deaths on Better Call Saul has so far occurred in episode 8 of season 6, Lalo Salamanca (Tony Dalton). Thanks to a combination of cunning, charm, and pure ruthlessness, Lalo has developed into better Call Saul’s biggest villain and one of the most excellent bad guys in the entire Breaking Bad universe since his introduction in season 4. Lalo’s passing is not much of a surprise given that he is one of the main Better Call Saul characters not present in Breaking Bad. The fact that it occurs in the midseason 6 premiere when he was ostensibly set up as the show’s final antagonist, is significant.
Character deaths have occurred on Better Call Saul before, including Chuck McGill’s (Michael McKean) suicide in season 3 and Mike Ehrmantraut’s (Jonathan Banks) murder of Werner Ziegler (Rainer Bock) in season 4. Still, season 6 has seen an increase in unexpected deaths of the main characters. Better Call Saul season 6, episode 4 featured the suicide of Nacho Varga (Michael Mando), and the midseason 6 finale featured the murder of Howard Hamlin (Patrick Fabian), just three episodes later. However, neither did that more than Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito) killed Lalo in Better Call Saul season 6, episode 8. Both were unexpected deaths that changed the course of the season.
Better Call Saul season 6 had been building to an epic showdown with Lalo, according to everything up to that point. Lalo appeared to be ahead of the game while Gus had Mike and his team working to track him down (at least). All of that is altered in the Better Call Saul midseason 6 premiere. Gus uses the gun he had planted there earlier in the season to shoot the “Chicken Man” dead while Lalo and Gus are together at the Superlab. The sixth season is upended, making the climactic episodes even more unpredictable.
Why Gus Killed Lalo in Episode 8 of Season 6 of Better Call Saul
In Better Call Saul, Gus killing Lalo is shocking, but it also makes a lot of sense. Gus is the ultimate villain, but he never actually has to kill anyone; instead, he usually acts as the planner of criminal activities while leaving the actual execution to people like Mike. Gus kills Victor (Jeremiah Bitsui) in Breaking Bad to send a message to Walter White (Bryan Cranston) and Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul), but also because Victor’s actions made him a risk to Gus’ plans. Nonetheless, he is capable of killing if he feels it is necessary or if he has no other option.
The same is true of Lalo, but on a much larger scale: Lalo wants Gus dead, as he reveals in this episode, and even considers hiring Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk) to carry it out. Gus takes decisive action because he is aware of how far Lalo will go, that he has been set loose and must be stopped and that the only option is to kill or be killed. He’s always been an opportunist, and this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take Lalo out with him by himself and without warning (possibly because Lalo underestimates him and believes he wouldn’t do the dirty work himself). It makes sense that Gus would want to ensure that the job was completed this time after entrusting others to do it and paying the price.
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Why Lalo Was Killed Off So Early in Better Call Saul Season 6
Lalo’s passing in Better Call Saul is most unexpected because it occurs so quickly. Since Better Call Saul season 6 is the final one, this is the major villain’s defeat and a major occasion that would be appropriate for the show’s conclusion. But then again, Better Call Saul rarely disappoints its audience, and killing off Lalo in the midseason 6 debut is a way to maintain that shock factor and raise the stakes even higher. After all, why not kill Lalo now and truly escape any storytelling restraints that may come with it if everyone already believes that he will die? Given the proximity of the characters after Lalo’s appearance in Jimmy’s apartment, continuing that conflict to the conclusion may have been too much of a stretch. Lalo was very much on a collision course with Gus in one way or another. Lalo’s passing does exactly that, as writers Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould love to keep viewers on their toes.
However, the death of Lalo in Better Call Saul goes far beyond mere shock value and instead creates the possibility of an even more bizarre conclusion. It’s important to keep in mind that Lalo only joined the show in season 4, so it was never entirely his story. By getting rid of him now, it clears the way even more for it to come down to Kim Wexler (Rhea Seehorn) and Jimmy, the characters who have defined the series more than anyone else. With Kim’s morals being questioned, there is still much about her character and her relationship with Jimmy to be explored, which is simpler with Lalo’s threat removed. Lalo was never in Breaking Bad, so killing him now can better explore the ramifications of his death to bridge the gap. It could also help to better set up Breaking Bad and Gus’ history and rivalry with the Salamancas there.
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What Does Lalo’s Demise Mean For The Remainder Of Season 6 Of Better Call Saul?
Lalo’s death in Better Call Saul season 6 is a significant change, especially in light of Howard’s passing. Gus’ rivalry with Lalo and Jimmy and Kim’s Howard scam were the two central plotlines of season 6, but they have both been dismantled in a row of episodes. There are a few ways to fill the void left by Better Call Saul season 6 despite how completely open it has been. Lalo’s passing will have repercussions and bring Jimmy and Kim closer to Gus and Mike, which can be explored in the remaining episodes of Better Call Saul season 6 along with their storylines.
The fact that Walt and Jesse appear in Better Call Saul is also a noteworthy issue. Having them in the same episode Lalo dies, for example, could risk an imbalance, so it makes sense to create a little more room. Even though their roles aren’t particularly significant, the fact that they’re in it at all will unavoidably dominate the discussion and requires a fair amount of care and attention to get right. Then there is Gene in Omaha, a story that is set in the future. Breaking with the show’s tradition of beginning each year with a black-and-white sequence of Gene, Gene wasn’t in Better Call Saul season 6, part 1. Since Jimmy ends up there, Gene must play a significant role in Better Call Saul’s conclusion; completing the Lalo storyline again frees up more time to focus on Gene, which can then properly conclude the series