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Why Breaking Bad Fans Think Gus Fring Was In Love With Max

Breaking Bad is often ranked among television's best shows of all time. In addition to the critical acclaim, fans of the show love to rewatch the crime drama and concoct fresh theories about its characters. Though show creator Vince Gilligan is willing to quash certain theories about the show, he and his writing team planted a plethora of material within the Breaking Bad universe for fans to dig up.

One of the theories recently gaining traction involves a romance between drug kingpin Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito) and his business partner Max (James Martinez).

As one of the most intimidating and ruthless characters on the show, Gus' cool, calculated, and emotionless demeanor makes him all the more terrifying. One of the few times we see Gus feel genuine emotion for another human being is in a flashback involving Max and Mexican drug cartel leader Don Eladio.

Eladio kills Max after he feels the partners manipulated him into a meeting after producing drugs in his territory. Gus is forced to look at Max's corpse and the trauma is so intense for him that for the next two decades he plots revenge against the cartel.

Some fans believe that Gus' intense emotional response indicates that he clearly felt some kind of love for Max, and Vince Gilligan doesn't disagree.

Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan thinks Gus and Max were lovers

A Reddit thread on the subject has fans mostly in agreement that Gus' lack of a spouse, the way the two talked to one another, and his reaction to Max's death clearly indicate that there was some romantic attachment between the two.

To add further legitimacy to the theory, Gilligan himself told Entertainment Weekly, "It's fun to be a little mysterious, and it's nice to have the audience come up with backstories on their own. Having said that, I personally think Max was more than just a friend to Gus. I think they probably were lovers. And therefore it was understandably a very crushing, terrible loss for Gus, one that he would never forget." He added that the one time Gus allowed himself to feel emotion "proved to be his undoing."

And if that doesn't convince you, then look to Breaking Bad's acclaimed prequel series Better Call Saul (which features more than a few familiar faces) for an answer. As Screen Rant points out, in season 5, cartel member Lalo Salamanca says he is "keeping an eye on Gus because he believes that he's out for revenge on Hector for killing his 'boyfriend.'" Of course, Gus succeeds in killing Hector Salamanca, but kills himself in the process, providing one of the more satisfying character endings on Breaking Bad.

Though we don't get an official confirmation in either Breaking Bad or Better Call Saul, it's clear this is one of the fan theories likely to be true.