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Why The Final Scene In Better Call Saul Season 6 Episode 3 Means More Than You Think

The AMC drama "Better Call Saul" presents a bifurcated look at Peter Gould and Vince Gilligan's fictional version of Albuquerque years before "Breaking Bad" starts. Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk) and Kim Wexler (Rhea Seehorn) dominate one side of the story, depicting Jimmy's long and winding road toward opening up a less-than-legal law practice as sleazy attorney Saul Goodman. Nacho Varga (Michael Mando) and Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks) take another end of "Better Call Saul," showing how Mike grows involved in the simmering conflict between Gustavo Fring (Giancarlo Esposito) and the Salamanca drug family. Along the way, Jimmy, Mike, and Nacho all bump into each other a few times; their paths start crossing more frequently in Season 5, as Nacho recruits Saul to represent the cartel's drug dealers and even Lalo Salamanca (Tony Dalton) himself in court.

Nacho finally finds himself in way over his head in Season 5 as he works as a double agent for Gus in order to keep his father out of harm's way. In the Season 5 finale, Nacho helps a strike team in Mexico enter Lalo's home and attempt to kill him. Lalo manages to survive the ordeal and apprehend his would-be killers. When Season 6 picks up, Nacho spends the first three episodes desperately avoiding capture in Mexico. In "Rock and Hard Place," Nacho, Mike, and Gus all decide that Nacho must die in order to ensure Nacho's father's safety and prevent the Salamancas from discovering the truth of the attempt on Lalo's life. Nacho's resulting death creates one of the series' most impactful sequences in more ways than one.

Michael Mando points out that Nacho dies among a group of dead men walking

In an interview with Variety, Michael Mando pointed out that every character present in Nacho's death scene is destined to die in "Breaking Bad." While Nacho does not successfully escape Mexico after the attempt on Lalo Salamanca's life, he strikes a deal with Gustavo Fring: Nacho turns into the scapegoat for the attack in return for a guarantee from Gus and Mike that his father will be safe moving forward. This allows Gus to cover up his role in the attack while providing an opportunity for Nacho to tell Hector Salamanca (Mark Margolis) face-to-face that he caused the stroke that put Hector in a wheelchair.

Nacho dies by suicide in the presence of Hector, Juan Bolsa, the Salamanca cousins, as well as Gus, Tyrus, Victor, and Mike. Because all these characters appear in "Breaking Bad," nobody else could die in that scene — but Mando said that the fact that audiences knows all of these characters do eventually die violently is what makes the scene so compelling.

"Every single one of them is dead, if you think about it," Mando told Variety. "There's an ominous thing to this scene, where these are all dead men walking, watching the first man die. But they're already dead, they just don't know it yet."

Nacho's fate had long been speculated upon based on the fact that he never appears in "Breaking Bad," and is only referred to once by Saul Goodman in association with Lalo. His final moments in "Better Call Saul" show that the character looms large over nearly everyone else involved in the drug industry, years before Walter White (Bryan Cranston) and Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) enter the equation.