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Spoiler warning for anyone who hasn't yet completed the Better Call Saul episode "Talk."
On Better Call Saul, characters can usually keep their safety intact if they steer clear of two things: trusting Jimmy too much, and pissing off the enigmatic Gus Fring. Unfortunately for Nacho Vargas, he's currently on Gus' shit list for trying to take out Hector Salamanca via doctored meds. But wouldn't Gus be interested in teaming up with Nacho over their shared hatred for Don Hector? I asked that to star Giancarlo Esposito during our recent interview, and he told me that's not how Gus sees it at all. In his words:
Leave it to the guy playing the drug kingpin mastermind to have the best explanations. Of course Gus hasn't dropped his outer shell to embrace Nacho, even beyond the obvious reason that Gus doesn't drop his outer shell for anyone. Just because Nacho's end goal fell in line with Gus' revenge plans for the eldest Salamanca, that doesn't mean Gus would also approve of how Nacho went about taking Hector out (especially since it failed) or anything else the character stands for.
Breaking Bad showed viewers a more evolved and vicious Gus Fring who ran his ship as tight as the albatross around Jimmy's neck, with Walter White being the biggest kink in the chain. Walt was the exception to the "no one who gets in Gus' way lives to tell about it" rule, since no one else dared make the kind of demands he did, with his unparalleled meth-cooking skills serving as his insurance policy. (What with Gale getting murdered and all.) Nacho, who thought that killing off Don Hector would serve as his own ticket to freedom, sadly doesn't have any guarantees keeping him in Gus' good-enough graces.
All that isn't to say that Gus doesn't still need Nacho in some ways, however. I asked Giancarlo Esposito if Gus was proving a bigger point to Nacho by personally getting his hands dirty when murdering Arturo. And the actor agreed that was the case, saying:
Nacho certainly isn't bulletproof. The character spent Episode 3 in a dazed fever while getting treated for gunshot wounds, and then begrudgingly went all Injured John McClane in "Talk" when The Twins appeared to be in danger during their shootout. Gus was almost certainly encouraged to learn about Nacho voluntarily putting himself through further physical endangerment for the cause, and he'll definitely be taking advantage of Nacho's turbulent situation in the near future. But since Nacho is nowhere to be seen when Breaking Bad happens, I guess there's only a finite amount of information that he can provide to Gus before becoming entirely expendable. Let's hope he can at least survive until Season 5.
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