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Michael Mando Has Strong Feelings About That Messy Oil Scene In Better Call Saul

Contains spoilers for "Better Call Saul" Season 6, Episode 3

The sixth and final season of AMC's "Better Call Saul" just kicked off less than two weeks ago — on Monday, April 18 — and viewers have already gotten hit with one of the show's biggest twists of all time: The self-inflicted shooting death of Nacho Varga, played by actor Michael Mando. The beloved character met his tragic demise in Episode 3, "Rock and Hard Place," after being captured by Hector Salamanca's (Mark Margolis) hitmen aka "The Cousins," Leonel and Marco Salamanca (Daniel and Luis Moncada). Rather than die at the twins' hands, Nacho chooses to escape and shockingly takes his own life in front of them, shooting himself with a gun.

While the move left a lot of "Better Call Saul" fans dumbfounded and scratching their heads, some have been pointing to a scene earlier in the episode — which involved Nacho going inside an oil tanker to hide from the Salamancas and then washing himself clean upon his exit — as an explanation for what happened and why the character ultimately sacrificed himself. And thanks to a recent interview with Variety, we know exactly what Mando himself thinks about the messy oil scene and its relevance in the long run.

Michael Mando says the oil scene was a spiritual cleansing for Nacho

According to Michael Mando, the oil scene in "Rock and Hard Place" was one that not only serves a larger, more symbolic purpose to the episode, but also the Nacho character and series as a whole — with him finally being free of the darkness that he has subjected himself to over the years. 

"The writing had given me such an unbelievable opportunity to do a character that was going through something incredible physically, psychologically, emotionally, but also spiritually," Mando explained to Variety. "It was amazing to seep my actual body into that darkness and to come out of that tanker in the middle of the night with the star-filled sky, to literally wash myself off and clean myself of all that darkness [...]" Mando said, adding. "To stand there in front of all these future-dead men and to look up at the sky and yell out what I believe in and to sacrifice my life for that morality and virtue, I feel like a really lucky actor who's been given this dream role."

For Mando, he says that having the Nacho character go out the way he did was an experience he'll never forget. One of the things he enjoyed most was the disparity between Nacho's highs and lows in this single episode, which some "Better Call Saul" viewers are already hailing as one of the show's best (via IMDb). Mando himself thought that this episode contained Nacho's darkest and brightest moments, intermingled, and considering what an unexpectedly fan-favorite character Nacho became over the course of the series, it indeed seems very likely that viewers will look on this episode fondly.

"Better Call Saul" airs Mondays at 9:00 p.m. on AMC.