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The Heartwarming Nacho Detail You Likely Missed On Better Call Saul

Contains spoilers for "Better Call Saul" Season 6 Episode 3, "Rock and Hard Place"

Ignacio "Nacho" Varga, the young cartel member played by Michael Mando on "Better Call Saul," was never supposed to exist. He was invented because in one of the first Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk) appearances on "Breaking Bad," the lawyer name-checked someone named Ignacio. But ever since his introduction in Season 1 of "Better Call Saul," Nacho has been a core member of the show's cast, and audiences have spent nearly as much time with him as with Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks) or any of the show's other main characters.

Nacho's character arc across the seasons of "Better Call Saul" has followed his attempts to extricate himself from the cartel life, working in the Salamanca crew as a double agent for Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito). But as Nacho once told Saul, once you're in with the cartel, you're in for life. Nacho's attempts to put crime behind him only drag him deeper into danger. At the end of Season 5, he betrays the Salamancas by letting a kill squad into their Mexican compound, hoping he will finally be free. However, as is frequently the case in the "Breaking Bad" universe, there's no such thing as one last job, and the first few episodes of Season 6 found Nacho on the run from both groups.

Ignacio Varga's fate finally arrives in the Season 6 episode "Rock and Hard Place." Speaking about the episode, Michael Mando pointed out what he finds to be a heartwarming and significant aspect of his final performance as Nacho.

Nacho's last meal is a recognition of his humanity

On the run from both the Salamanca cartel and Gustavo Fring in the "Better Call Saul" Season 6 episode "Rock and Hard Place," Nacho understands his luck has run dry. In a final bid to go out on his own terms, he decides to turn himself in to Mike on the condition that his father is protected once he's dead. Gus agrees to the terms, so Nacho is brought back to New Mexico where Mike gives him a last meal and shares a drink with the ill-fated cartel member.

Speaking about the scene with Variety, Michael Mando noted the special significance of the way Nacho eats his meal, saying that the focus of the scene was on the character's dignity. The actor explained, "It was really important for me that he use a fork and knife and that he put salt and pepper on his food. It wasn't about sustenance at this time, but it was about a man who was going out with a lot of love for life."

In Nacho's final moments on "Better Call Saul," Mando thinks there's a certain nobility to the character, some inner conviction guiding him through those last harrowing scenes. "It was a celebration of life," Mando said. "It was Nacho telling himself and the world not to cry for him. This was something he believed in, and he was doing it with all his heart."

The episode ends in a shocking manner seemingly intended to leave viewers clutching their chests, but at least fans can rest assured knowing Nacho ended his story on his own terms. That's a rare grace for inhabitants of the "Breaking Bad" and "Better Call Saul" universe.