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The Gus Theory That Changes Everything On Breaking Bad

As the most sinister and delightful villain on "Breaking Bad," Giancarlo Esposito's Gus Fring earned himself a spot in the pantheon of all-time baddies. He was so popular as a character that after his death in the fourth season of "Breaking Bad," the show's creators decided to bring him back as a central presence on the prequel series "Better Call Saul." 

Thanks to both shows, there are plenty of elements of Fring's backstory that are already very well-established. We know that he worked with the cartel, and we know that he eventually betrayed them so that he could become the king of his own drug empire. 

Although Fring's backstory feels well-established, there's one fan theory that threatens to blow everything we thought we knew about the character completely out of the water. As the theory goes, Fring was actually in league with the CIA the whole time, even if he wasn't an official agent. 

Fring may have been a collaborator with the U.S. government

Although "Breaking Bad" and "Better Call Saul" have offered fans plenty of detail about Fring's early days in the drug trade, the shows haven't offered much information about who Fring was before he partnered with Don Eladio. We know that he is originally from Chile and that there are no records of his time in the country. We also know that, while living in Chile, Fring was wealthy enough to pay for his partner's college and that when the two of them first approached Don Eladio as potential business partners, they were not yet big players in the drug world. 

In a crucial "Breaking Bad" scene, Don Eladio says that he's chosen not to kill Fring because "I know you who are." While many interpreted that as a comment about Fring's ruthlessness, this theory suggests that Eladio was actually aware of Fring's connections to the CIA, and that's why he chose to leave Fring alive.

Fring may have aided Pinochet's rise to power

The Reddit theory also suggests that, during his time in Chile, Fring was instrumental in helping the U.S.-backed Augusto Pinochet rise to power. Chile was one of many wars in the fight against communism in South America, and the theory suggests that Fring was a U.S. ally who helped keep communism from rising in the region. 

After Pinochet took power, the theory suggests that Fring was moved to Mexico with the mission of infiltrating the cartel. In the real world, the U.S. has partnered with cartels with the goal of taking down another cartel that was, at the time, viewed as more dangerous. 

Fring's partnership with the CIA may also explain why he was able to immigrate to the U.S. in spite of his lack of records. The theory states that the Fring we meet on both "Better Call Saul" and "Breaking Bad" has already left the CIA behind in favor of work as a meth kingpin. It does suggest, though, that Fring could still be working for the CIA, trafficking meth as a preferable drug to a more dangerous substance like Colombian cocaine. 

Although Fring never suggests explicitly that he has government ties, he certainly behaves like an operative sometimes. He's precise, exacting, and often brutal. Although the theory isn't thoroughly supported in the text of either show, it's one that fits with much of what we know about the character.