Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Gus Fring's Biggest Mistake Ever On Better Call Saul

Few villains on television are as instantly terrifying as drug kingpin Gustavo Fring. Played with an icy chill by Giancarlo Esposito, Fring put fans on the edges of their seats when he was first introduced in "Breaking Bad." His ruthlessness, combined with his sharp, pragmatic attention to detail, made him perhaps the greatest threat Walter White (Bryan Cranston) ever faced. Until, of course, Gus' face came off in one of the best character endings in all of "Breaking Bad."

Fans were surprised, yet thrilled, to see Esposito return to the role for the prequel spin-off, "Better Call Saul," where he once again plays the proprietor of Los Pollos Hermanos, exploring the early days of Albuquerque's most fearsome criminal. Much of what makes Gustavo Fring so bone-chilling is his unshakeable demeanor. In "Breaking Bad," he slits a man's throat in front of Walter simply to prove a point, never breaking his stoic expression. When he talks with people, there's always the hint of a threat behind his warmest of smiles. Even after having his face blown off in the thrilling Season 4 finale of "Breaking Bad," he walks calmly away and straightens his tie before collapsing to the ground and dying.

However, in "Better Call Saul" Season 6, we finally get to see the unflappable chicken man rattled for the first time. And with his judgment clouded by fear, Gus makes his biggest mistake ever in the Season 6 episode "Point and Shoot."

Going after Lalo Salamanca alone nearly got Gus killed

The feud between Gus and the Salamanca cartel rages during the events of "Breaking Bad," but "Better Call Saul" shows us just how far back their beef goes. In the Season 5 finale, Gus sends a kill squad to cartel boss Lalo Salamanca's (Tony Dalton) compound in Mexico. The assassins slaughter everyone there, including Lalo's elderly family members and his hired help, but Lalo himself manages to escape and vows revenge.

Upon finding out that Lalo survived the attack, Gus and his men go on the defensive, hiding Gus away in a safe house with elaborate security measures. But Lalo manages to stay one step ahead, using Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk) and Kim Wexler (Rhea Seehorn) as distractions to peel a security team away from the laundromat where Gus is building his super-lab. At the last second, Gus realizes what his enemy is up to, and although Mike (Jonathan Banks) warns him to stay put, he leaves his house to scope out the laundromat.

It's a terrible miscalculation of the kind we've never seen Gus make before. When Gus arrives at the laundromat, Lalo gets the jump on him, killing his bodyguards and holding the chicken man at gunpoint. When Gus initially refuses to show Lalo the lab, Lalo shoots him in the chest. Though a bulletproof vest softens the impact, he's still badly injured. And although he ultimately manages to stall for time long enough to distract Lalo and take him out with a gun hidden in the lab, he would never have been in danger had he followed Mike's plan and stayed at home.

His near-death experience likely explains why it's so much harder for Walter White to put Gus in a vulnerable position during the events of "Breaking Bad." After all, once burned, twice shy.