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Lalo Salamanca's Biggest Mistake Ever On Better Call Saul

Contains spoilers for "Better Call Saul" Seasons 5 and 6

Lalo Salamanca (Tony Dalton) joins the cast of "Better Call Saul" near the end of the series' fourth season. Prior to Lalo's introduction, Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito) — whose ruthlessness is already well known to viewers familiar with his "Breaking Bad" storyline — is pretty handily the show's most formidable villain. Lalo, however, begins to give Gus a run for his money throughout the latter half of "Better Call Saul." Eventually, in the Season 6, Part 1 finale, Lalo kills Howard Hamlin (Patrick Fabian), causing what is easily the most unexpected death in "Better Call Saul" history.

In a similar manner to Gus, a big part of what makes Lalo so powerful is his intellect. Whereas his cartel counterpart Nacho Vargas (Michael Mando) frequently finds himself in over his head, Lalo almost always leverages his circumstances to operate from a position of power. Even when facing a murder charge in Season 5, Lalo calmly plans his escape from behind bars.

Because "Better Call Saul" is a prequel series, however, viewers already know that Lalo will soon become a non-factor in the lives of Gus and Jimmy McGill/Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk). This will almost assuredly be the result of his biggest mistake since his introduction as a character thus far.

Gus will not bring about Lalo's downfall alone

Hypothetically, if it were possible to ask Lalo at the start of "Better Call Saul" Season 6 to share what he thinks is his biggest mistake, he would most likely respond that it was underestimating Gus. Notably, in Season 5, Gus blackmails Nacho into earning Lalo's trust in order to eventually give up Lalo's position to a team of trained assassins. Nacho's betrayal shocked Reddit, and in Tony Dalton's estimation, is a rare instance of Lalo ending up in unforeseen circumstances. "This thing that happened to this character was sort of very shocking for him, he never saw it coming," Dalton told Variety.

Ultimately, Lalo survives. In fact, Lalo uses his unexpected escape from Gus' assassins to plan an attack that Gus fears so acutely, he hires a round-the-clock team of bodyguards and lives perpetually in hiding for as long as Lalo remains at large. Lalo successfully surviving Nacho's betrayal at Gus' hands, then, both shows him Gus' true colors and gives him a leg up on his biggest rival.

Lalo's biggest mistake, therefore, is not trusting Nacho or underestimating Gus. Rather, it's becoming involved with Jimmy. Presuming that Lalo's absence from "Breaking Bad' means that his downfall is imminent, there's no character better suited to throwing a wrench into Lalo's plans than the series' number one agent of chaos.

Jimmy will be Lalo's undoing

In a speech that ends up becoming Chuck McGill (Michael McKean)'s last words to his brother Jimmy, Chuck says, in so many words, that hurting others is so ingrained in Jimmy's nature that he simply can't help the harm he habitually causes to those closest to him. Jimmy instinctively rebuffs this claim, as presumably viewers sympathetic to him do too. So far, however, Jimmy has played an indirect part in the deaths of Chuck and Howard, and is currently positioned to contribute to Kim Wexler (Rhea Seehorn)'s inevitable, tragic end, unfortunately proving Chuck correct.

At the end of Season 6, Part 1, Lalo shows up at Jimmy's house, planning to leverage Jimmy in a plot to take down Gus. Based on who's around in "Breaking Bad," however, Gus and Jimmy will come out of this plot okay, whereas Lalo will end up exiled or dead.

While the extent of Jimmy's involvement in Lalo's undoing has yet to be revealed, Jimmy has already inadvertently put into motion a plan to relitigate Lalo's murder case. Furthermore, Jimmy's worst instincts harming those in his orbit has become routine on "Better Call Saul," meaning there's plenty of reason to believe that Lalo enlisting Jimmy into his plan to get back at Gus is all but guaranteed to go awry.

So, whereas Lalo grows stronger after Gus' assassination attempt, involving Jimmy in his plans is a mistake likely to ruin his life for the long haul.