Better Call Saul Star Talks Season Finale's Ending And Nacho's Fate
Major spoilers below for Better Call Saul's Season 5 finale, so be warned!
To the surprise of no one, Better Call Saul wrapped up its fifth season with lots of stress, turmoil and sweaty foreheads. On the Jimmy and Kim side of things, the latter seems to be embracing her own inner Saul Goodman, and Jimmy seems both enthused and frightened about it, though not as frightened as they both are of Lalo Salamanca. To be sure, everyone is freaked out by Tony Dalton's cartel mini-boss, and it appears as if Nacho will be at the top of Lalo's hit list when Season 6 arrives.
Michael Mando spoke with CinemaBlend ahead of the finale, titled "Something Unforgivable," and the actor was clearly very appreciative that Nacho's story didn't end with the fifth season. To that end, however, Mando says that trying and failing to arrange Lalo's death, while setting up various innocent people's deaths instead, produced a point of no return for Nacho and his journey. In the actor's words:
Of course, Nacho ran into the woods believing that the assassination attempt on Lalo was a success, though viewers saw that wasn't how things wrapped up at all. Lalo was quick to assess the situation and took down the team that was sent to kill him. The final look on his face as he stormed through the corpse-littered house was one that would probably cause many other men to cower like children. Perhaps Nacho will fare better than most.
Below, Michael Mando drops in a worthy Star Wars reference to partially explain why Nacho is now able to more comfortably accept that he has reached the idealized concept of manhood.
Even if Michael Mando was fully aware of everything that was going down in Season 6, it's not like he could say anything about it so early on. Case in point: he didn't bite when I asked his general thoughts about whether Nacho could possibly be the way this franchise introduced Ed the Disappearer, as portrayed by the late Robert Forster. His answer didn't hint at more Forster, but did address more about Nacho's all-around character growth.
It's hard to feel purely optimistic about a 2001 reference, Dave. Speaking to that, many Better Call Saul fans have worried about Nacho's safety in every scene he's been in, with that character not automatically coming across like he would outlive the majority of the show's non-Breaking Bad characters. I asked Michael Mando if he gets worried about such things, or if he had any guarantees from Saul's creative team.
If there's any silver lining attached to and actor getting that job-ending call from Peter Gould and/or Vince Gilligan, it's that their character's death will be a memorable one that stands the test of time, regardless of if it's Danny Trejo, a beloved DEA agent or a kid with a spider. Of course, sometimes a character not getting to die is the miserable part, but I digress.
Speaking of a memorable Breaking Bad death, let's return to Steven Bauer's fearsome cartel leader Don Eladio. The character first appeared in Better Call Saul for Season 3's "Sabrosito," and he made a warm return for this finale when Lalo visited the Don's estate (with gifts in tow) in order to introduce the head honcho to the up-and-coming Nacho. Though he was initially a bit of a wallflower, Nacho sat for a picturesque conversation with Eladio and perfectly sold himself as a cunning and clever force to be reckoned with...all while freaking the fuck out on the inside.
According to Michael Mando, filming that scene was quite powerful in and of itself, and it really stuck out for him in that it's one of the only times where Nacho gets to convey his deeper emotions.
For all of Michael Mando's fans who will be sad to see Nacho Varga leave our TVs for the next year or so, take comfort in knowing he has added "pop star" to his bag of tricks. His very first single, titled "The Wild One," debuted recently, and you can jam out to it below.
Sadly, Better Call Saul Season 5 has already burned through ten episodes and is already over until the sixth and final super-sized season, which will presumably premiere on AMC in 2021. In the meantime, start getting excited about all the big shows that will be debuting this summer!
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Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.
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