‘Better Call Saul’ Star Tony Dalton Opens Up About Lalo’s Faceoff With Gus

by Craig Garrett

Better Call Saul wasted no time with shocking events in its latest episode, the first after a two-month midseason break. Warning: what follows are details that will spoil the most recent episode of Better Call Saul. Yes, the writers provided audiences with another sad demise and violently killed off yet another cherished tv character. Apparently, actor Tony Dalton loved every minute of it.

In many shows, Lalo Salamanca would have been the Big Bad. The adversary who couldn’t be killed off until the show’s very last scene. Played with charming menace by actor Tony Dalton, Lalo was expected to be a threat for the remaining episodes. Instead, Lalo was immediately plunged into a deadly confrontation moments after the last episode’s climactic events. He had to face off against the criminal mastermind Gustavo Fring (Giancarlo Esposito). Even if you’re just a casual Breaking Bad fan, you know Gustavo is coming out on top.

The grim fate of Tony Dalton’s Lalo

In an interview with Variety, Tony Dalton breaks down the fateful confrontation. He reveals that his character’s death was planned for some time. “It was a while back, but I got a call before we started shooting during the pandemic, Dalton explained. “I got a Zoom call from [creators] Vince [Gilligan] and Peter [Gould]. It was more about how excited they were about what happens than they were about me dying,” he quips. “Like, “Oh my god, this is going to be crazy what’s going to happen.” They were talking about Howard’s death and that I kill him, and then they’re like, “And then you die.” I was just thankful that I got the job and worked with these guys and the character became so integral to the story. You don’t get gigs like that very often.”

Tony Dalton details the discomfort of his final scenes

Every actor loves a good death scene. However, Tony Dalton’s grim end on Better Call Saul sounds extreme. “[I had to lay there] Forever. It feels like I’m still in that hole right now,” he joked. “They pumped so much blood all over my face and back. I was in a huge puddle of blood. That took forever. The smile at the end, it wasn’t written that way. It was kind of just like I start dying and then I threw a smile and Vince was like, “That was good, now more like a cynic. ‘You lucky bastard, you got away with this and I’ll see you in hell.’” Then he goes, “Now, loosen when you die.” We kept going and going and more blood, more blood, more blood. I was like, “Goddamn it, Vince.” But we knew it was an important scene so everybody was very focused.”

Tony Dalton also detailed how strange it was to see his dead body onscreen. “Very weird. 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. I wouldn’t have even conceived anything like that.