AMC’s Better Call Saul has upgraded the character of Lalo - played by Tony Dalton - to a series regular for season 5. After a mention in season 2 of Breaking Bad and a reveal in season 4 of Better Call Saul, Lalo is taking on a full-time role as the series' main antagonist.
Created by Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould, Better Call Saul is a spin-off of Gilligan’s brainchild Breaking Bad. Taking place six years before the events of Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul follows Jimmy McGill - played masterfully by Bob Odenkirk - on his complex journey from con-man to a criminal lawyer. The series has received critical and public acclaim, and is considered one of the best spin-off series of all time. Better Call Saul also has a slew of A-list talent for its ensemble; including, Jonathan Banks, Rhea Seehorn, Michael McKean, Giancarlo Esposito, and Patrick Fabian. Now, Dalton’s Lalo joins the ranks of a series regular.
According to Deadline, Dalton will take the stage as the villain for the upcoming season 5. Eduardo Salamanca (nicknamed Lalo) was first mentioned in the Breaking Bad episode “Better Call Saul”, as Saul pleads for his life after being kidnapped by Walter and Jesse. The threatened lawyer assumes the pair were sent by Lalo to kill him and is awash with relief when he discovers they were not. Lalo is never mentioned again. Viewers finally got to meet Lalo in Better Call Saul’s season 4, episode 8, “Coushatta” who displays strong ties to the plotline. In the season finale, Lalo is in a deadly competition with Mike (Banks) in the series' most anticipated episode, as Jimmy McGill sheds his skin to become Saul Goodman.
Dalton’s portrayal of Lalo in season 4 was a highlight for the audience. The actor’s natural charm and charisma work well for a character with ties to a drug cartel, and added layers to the Salamanca family. Dalton was previously busy in his lead role of HBO Latino series, Sr. Avila - for which he was nominated twice for the International Emmys. Notable credits of Dalton have also included Sense8, Los simuladores, and Colombiana.
Dalton’s promotion to series regular comes at a critical time for Better Call Saul, with its highly anticipated season 5 arriving in 2020 and the production of the Breaking Bad film. Fans are eager to see the evolution of Lalo and what he adds to the story as the series is creeping closer to the Breaking Bad timeline. Gilligan is masterful in delivery and impeccable timing. Since Lalo’s mention in season 2 of Breaking Bad, the creator obviously had big plans for the character, and Dalton’s portrayal will no doubt resonate as Better Call Saul’s deadliest antagonist.