‘Better Call Saul’ Star Speaks Out About How That Major Midseason Death Informs ‘Breaking Bad’

by Leanne Stahulak

“Better Call Saul” returned in explosive fashion last night, July 11, for the continuation of its sixth and final season.

When fans left off with the TV show back in May, they witnessed the shocking death of Howard Hamlin (Patrick Fabian) at the hands of Lalo Salamanca (Tony Salton). After six long weeks of waiting, “Better Call Saul” fans finally saw retribution for Howard’s untimely death when Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito) murdered Lalo.

At first, it seemed like Lalo would go two for two in killing off major characters. But “Breaking Bad” fans knew that Gus had to survive his encounter with Lalo, given the fact that he plays a major role in the original series that takes place years later.

So, after Gus finally finishes off Lalo, he ends up burying both the kingpin and Howard in the same bloody pit underneath his meth lab. A meth lab that’s currently being built, and that “Breaking Bad” fans recognize from the flagship show. As Tony Dalton pointed out in a recent interview, this changes the way fans of the original show might view the commonly used space.

“Very weird. They put the episode on at Tribeca and just seeing me and Howard dead in the pit, it was like ‘Damn, man. So all of Breaking Bad I’m there? They’re walking on my grave?’ That’s insane,” Dalton told Variety. “I wouldn’t have even conceived anything like that.”

Dalton went on to say that Lalo’s smile at Gus, as he’s bleeding out from a gunshot wound to the neck, indicates that Gus was lucky he got that one shot in. Otherwise, Lalo would’ve easily murdered Gus.

“Yeah, nine times out of 10, Lalo would’ve won. I think even Gus knows that,” Dalton continued. “He sits down and he’s like, “That was the closest I’ve ever been to dying. This was sheer luck.”

‘Better Call Saul’ Star Tony Dalton Explains How Gus Murdering Lalo Impacts His Character in ‘Breaking Bad’

“Better Call Saul” and “Breaking Bad” fans know that Gus is no stranger to murder and dead bodies. But his showdown with Lalo really brings him as close to death as the actual moment itself. It visibly shakes him up. But that’s likely the last time that fans will ever see such hesitancy and vulnerability from the meth lab owner.

“I talked to Giancarlo about it, the whole part where Gus is worried that Lalo is going to get him — you don’t see an uncertainty in ‘Breaking Bad,'” Dalton said of Gus’s fear. “You can see it a little bit in here, that weakness and Achilles’ heel. After Lalo dies, that cements Gus into the person that he becomes in ‘Breaking Bad.'”

Stay tuned for more “Better Call Saul” updates. And don’t miss the next episode on AMC next Monday, July 18.