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Ah, I'm just here to lend a helping hand, you know, make sure the business is running in order. I got a good head for numbers. But listen don't even worry. It's gonna be like I'm not even here.
― Lalo to Nacho after introducing himself.[src]

Eduardo "Lalo" Salamanca is a member of the Juárez Cartel and is the grandson of Abuelita, the nephew of Don Hector Salamanca and the cousin of Tuco, Marco, Leonel and Joaquin. He serves as the primary antagonist of the second half of Season 4 and the whole of Season 5 in Better Call Saul.

History

Background Information

Lalo was born in Mexico and was raised by his uncle, Hector, as an enforcer of the Juárez Cartel like his cousins Tuco, Leonel, Marco, and Joaquin. Like his uncle, he is a sadistic murderer and once assisted his uncle in torturing a hotel proprietor for disrespecting the two of them and burning the proprietor to death and his hotel down, keeping a desk bell as a souvenir of the ordeal.

Better Call Saul

Season 4

BCS 408 17

Nacho Varga meets Lalo.

Nacho Varga arrives at El Michoacáno where Hector Salamanca runs his business and finds Lalo in the kitchen making food. Though Lalo offers the food to Nacho, stating that it's delicious and a family recipe, Nacho refuses, recognizing that Lalo has been sent by the Salamancas. Lalo confirms this and introduces himself as Eduardo, though he invites Nacho to call him by his nickname of Lalo. Lalo explains that he has been sent to help keep the business running and sits down to meet with the local dealers. ("Coushatta")

BCS S4 Lalo Hector

Lalo talking to Hector Salamanca.

After his disabled uncle is moved to Casa Tranquila, Lalo and Nacho go and pay him a visit. Lalo addresses Hector, remembering an incident where the two of them burned down a hotel and tortured the proprietor for showing disrespect. Lalo goes on to say that he went back into the hotel as it was burning, and retrieved a souvenir that he has kept for years. He presents the souvenir to Hector as a gift: the bell from the hotel's front desk. Lalo ties the bell to the armrest of Hector's wheelchair, allowing him to ring it for the first time, then speaks to Hector in private about "the Chilean" before leaving with apparent new orders from the Don.

Lalo and Nacho pay a visit to Los Pollos Hermanos for lunch and are greeted by Gus. Lalo enthusiastically compliments Gus for his chicken. Lalo is then invited back into Gus' office, where he thanks Gus on behalf of the Salamanca family for saving Hector's life. He also speculates that Eladio enjoys exploiting the "bad blood" between Gus and the Salamancas, implying that he's seeking an alliance against the don. Gus picks up that Lalo is trying to get him to show dissatisfaction against the cartel, so he replies that he is "satisfied with the current arrangement" and shakes Lalo's hand as he leaves. Outside the restaurant, Lalo asks Nacho to drive him to Gus' chicken farm. ("Wiedersehen")

He spies on Gus' operations and later follows Mike while the latter is looking for Werner Ziegler. Mike spots the tail, however, and loses Lalo by driving into a parking lot and then jamming the ramp on his way out, much to Lalo's frustration. Lalo proceeds to pay a visit to the TravelWire Mike went to. When he starts asking questions, Fred is uncooperative and tells him to call the police. While Fred is taking a call, Lalo sneaks above the ceiling paneling and drops into Fred's booth from above. He murders Fred, before reviewing the security footage and seeing the brochures Mike picked up. He calls the hotel Werner is staying in and pretends to be one of Gustavo's men. He questions Werner about a secret construction project before Mike interrupts Werner and takes the phone away from him. Lalo realizes he's talking to Mike and greets him before Mike hangs up. ("Winner")

Season 5

Back at El Michoacano, Lalo struggles to figure out who Werner Ziegler and "Michael" are and what they have to do with Gus's mysterious construction project. He learns from Nacho and Domingo of a rumor that a competing drug gang has been "stepping on" the Salamanca family's business. Lalo decides to investigate with Nacho in tow, driving to a Salamanca hideout where packets of the cocaine from Gus's chicken farm are being kept for distribution. Lalo inspects each packet and determines that some of them are not cartel product.

Gus-Bolsa-Lalo-S05E01

Lalo and Bolsa meet with Gustavo Fring.

Later on, Lalo drives to the chicken farm to have a sit-down with Gus and Juan Bolsa over the altered cocaine. Gus falsely admits that he secretly replaced some of the cartel's cocaine with methamphetamine after Werner stumbled upon Gus's drug business and stole the product. When Lalo demands to know what "construction project" Werner was working on, Gus shows him and Bolsa a massive structure being built by Werner's men for an industrial chiller. Lalo is personally introduced to Mike, who is "supervising" the crew. With Lalo seemingly mollified, Bolsa tells Gus that Eladio is not pleased with the breach and warns him not to keep secrets from the cartel again. Outside the chicken farm, Bolsa confronts Lalo for spying on Gus's operation and murdering the TravelWire employee. Lalo replies that he is simply looking after the interests of his uncle Hector, who believes that Gus is holding a grudge against the cartel after Hector executed his "boyfriend." Bolsa insists that Gus is solely concerned with business, to which Lalo expresses skepticism due to an unspecified past incident in Santiago. Bolsa says that Gus will never be "one of us" but that he's a good earner who keeps Eladio happy, which is all that matters. Lalo then tells Bolsa that he has no further issues with Gus. ("Magic Man")

Lalo visits his uncle, Hector, at Casa Tranquila and discusses Gus' mysterious new construction project. Lalo doesn't buy Gus' cover story about building a new chicken refrigeration facility and expresses disapproval that Bolsa and Don Eladio seem to believe Gus. Hector hints that as long as Gus is making money for the cartel, this situation will persist. Later, Lalo and his men are sitting around at night playing poker. Lalo bluffs with 7+2 off-suit (worst possible hand) and raised, Domingo has pair 8s with an 8 on the table, giving him a triple 8. He knows he would win but folds to not insult Lalo. Lalo looks at his cards after showing his terrible hand and calls him crazy for folding, then calling him “Ocho Loco," (Spanish for Krazy-8) giving birth to his future criminal nickname. Domingo gets a call from one of the fifth street dealers saying there's a problem, so Nacho orders him to go and solve the issue.

Mouse-arlo-lalo-S05E02

Mouse, Arlo and Lalo watching Nacho's mission.

However, Domingo is caught by the police while trying to get ten cocaine packets unstuck from a rain gutter. Lalo, Mouse, Arlo and Nacho sit in a car and survey the scene of the crime from a safe distance as police suit up to raid the stash house. Lalo asks if they were able to save any of the product before the cops came but Mouse said it's still in the house. Nacho, who has been secretly tasked by Gus to gain Lalo's trust, boldly decides to take matters into his own hands by climbing on the roofs of an adjacent building, then jumping onto the building where they gang has their product stored. The others watch tensely (Lalo even eating a snack) as a SWAT team lines up outside the door and prepares to breach it. Nacho climb in through the roof and salvages several bags of product before jumping out through a window just as the police swarm into the building. He surprises the gang members by coming back to the car and entering the passenger door unexpectedly; Lalo commends his actions, calling him a "badass". Back at El Michoacano, Lalo asks Nacho how long he's known "Krazy-8" and whether he's been inside jail before. Nacho replies that he's been family friends for a long time, and that Domingo has not been in jail but that he will keep his mouth shut. As Lalo stares at him, Nacho asks if he wants him to take care of it, but Lalo replies that he has something much better for Domingo in mind. ("50% Off")

Lalo has Nacho bring him Saul Goodman to a warehouse where Lalo is working on his car. Lalo and Nacho then explain to Saul that they need Domingo to confidentially report some drug money dead drops to the police - turns out that the dead drops belong to Gus' operation, it's Lalo's way to hit Gus hard. Saul is successful and later reports to Nacho and Lalo that not only Domingo released the information to two DEA agents, Hank and Gomez, but Domingo also became their personal snitch, giving Lalo a "direct hotline to the DEA" in case he needs it again. Lalo congratulates Nacho on finding a good criminal lawyer, and then implies that Saul will be working for them again in case they need him ("The Guy For This").

Lalo-arrest-S05E06

Lalo is arrested.

Nacho has a meeting with Gus and Mike to inform them that Lalo plans on using Domingo to rat out all of Gus' dealers and potentially his legitimate business, putting him out of order and rendering him useless to the cartel. Using intel from Nacho, Mike manages to connect Lalo to the murder of Fred - the TravelWire employee Lalo murdered while pursuing Mike and Werner. Mike convinces a witness to give the police information about Lalo's car, and soon after, he gives Lalo's location away through a police chat radio. As Lalo is driving down the street after dropping Nacho off, he's stopped by a police car. He slowly reaches for his gun, but three other police cars show up to block his path, they order him to turn the engine off and drop the keys out the window. With no other option, Lalo does as he's told and gets arrested ("Wexler v. Goodman").

Under the alias Jorge De Guzman, Lalo is charged for the murder of Fred among other charges. Lalo has Nacho bring Saul Goodman to represent him. In court, Saul tells the judge that the defendant pleads "not guilty". The judge denies bail to Lalo. Later in a private room, Lalo and Saul discuss about the case. Lalo wants neither a deal with prosecution nor a trial, he wants to be released on bail. Saul mentions that it will be very difficult to do that, since the charges against him are quite serious. Lalo tells him that he will be a friend of the cartel if he manages to do that. Later in prison, Lalo arranges for a smuggled cellphone and calls Nacho, putting him back in charge of the Salamanca business and, knowing that he has been arrested under Gus' influence, ordering him to burn down a Los Pollos Hermanos restaurant, still unaware that Nacho is secretly working for Gus as well. Mike gets intel from Nacho and later gives Saul all the tools he needs to get Lalo out of jail.

Back in the court, Saul tells the judge that the prime witness in the case was coached by a private detective. The prosecutor also admits of this fact. Saul even hired actors to play as Lalo's fake family to prove that he had community ties to Albuquerque. Based upon these factors, judge Xavier Parsons grants Lalo's bail for 7 million dollars in cash. Lalo says he can arrange for the money, but Saul has to pick it up personally ("JMM").

Breaking Bad

Season 2

When Saul Goodman is kidnapped by Walter White and Jesse Pinkman and taken to the desert, Saul assumes that it is Lalo who has abducted him and starts begging for his life, blaming Ignacio for what happened, swearing he's always been friends with the cartel. After realizing Walter and Jesse's confusion, he understands he had mistaken them for Lalo's men and sighs in relief. ("Better Call Saul")

Season 4

After conquering the cartel, Gus visits Hector at Casa Tranquila and sadistically informs him that every other Salamanca is dead, which suggests that Lalo died at some point of time. ("Crawl Space")

Personality

Lalo is shown to be a cruel, highly intelligent, sadistic, somewhat humorous and exuberant man who is blindly loyal to the Juárez Cartel and his family members. Lalo is shown to be very capable of cold-blooded murder as seen when he brutally murdered Fred in order to discover what Mike was up to and as revealed by a story he enthusiastically recounted of torturing and burning a hotel proprietor to death alongside his uncle and keeping his uncle's famed desk bell as a souvenir. Lalo is shown to be a skilled investigator as well as seen during his tailing of Mike and his search for Werner Ziegler, showing his dedication to accomplishing whatever goal he is focused on.

Murders committed by Lalo

  • Hotel Proprietor: Tortured and burned alive alongside his uncle for disrespecting them ("Wiedersehen")
  • Fred Whalen: Shot to death ("Winner")

Appearances

Better Call Saul

Episodes 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
Season 1
Season 2
Season 3
Season 4
Season 5
Season 6

Trivia

  • Lalo's fate by the start of Breaking Bad is unknown. In the episode "Better Call Saul", Jimmy as Saul Goodman mistakes Walt and Jesse for Lalo's men, which would suggest he survived during the events of Better Call Saul. However, in the episode "Crawl Space", Gus taunts Hector that the entire Salamanca family, aside from Hector, is dead. So it's possible that he died somewhere between those two episodes.
  • Lalo drives a 1970 Chevrolet Monte Carlo.
  • Lalo is the only Salamanca in the Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul universe to be billed as part of the main cast.
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