Hector Salamanca’s Breaking Bad Backstory Revealed In Better Call Saul (2023)


Hector Salamanca was first introduced in Breaking Bad as Tuco's ailing uncle. Thanks to Better Call Saul, the character received a suitable backstory.

Hector Salamanca’s Breaking Bad Backstory Revealed In Better Call Saul (1)

Hector Salamanca played a key role inBreaking Bad,but details surrounding the Hector SalamancaBreaking Bad backstory weren't revealed untilBetter Call Saul.Hector Salamanca, portrayed byMark Margolis, made his Breaking Bad debut in season 2 as Tuco's (Raymond Cruz) ailing uncle. Hector went on to play a more prominent role, especially in the demise of Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito).

Tuco brought Walter White (Bryan Cranston) and Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) to his hideout in the desert, which is where the pair first met Hector. Having suffered a stroke, the old man could only communicate by ringing a bell equipped to his wheelchair. Walt tried to poison Tuco's burrito but Hector repeatedly hit his bell to warn his nephew, revealing that his mind was still sharp. Hector raised Tuco and his other nephews, Marco and Leonel (also known as the Cousins), to be high-ranking members in the cartel. Due to Hector's rivalry with Gus, all of his nephews were murdered. Hector decided he had enough so he orchestrated Gus' murder with Walt by attaching a bomb to his wheelchair. He sacrificed himself in the process but Hector was successful in killing his longtime enemy.

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Related:How Nacho Put Hector Salamanca In A Wheelchair

Through Breaking Bad flashbacks, viewers learned that Hector was a member of theJuárez Cartel. He was working forDon Eladio (Steven Bauer) during the time Gus entered the cartel. Don Eladio hosted a meeting between all parties to discuss the future of the cartel, but he wasn't pleased with how Gus and his partner,Max Arciniega (James Martinez), did their business. Hector shot and killed Max, jumpstarting Gus' hatred toward the Salamanca Breaking Badfamily. More of Hector's backstory was unveiled in Better Call Saul flashbacks, filling in the gaps of the drug kingpin's earlier life.

Hector Salamanca Was Using An Ice Cream Shop As A Front In The Mid-Nineties

Hector Salamanca’s Breaking Bad Backstory Revealed In Better Call Saul (2)

In the mid-'90s, Hector decided to expand the Salamanca Breaking Badcartel's reach into the United States by using an ice cream shop as a front for drug trading. Don Eladio wasn't impressed and it made matters worse when Hector found out that Breaking Bad'sGus Fring was growing closer to the cartel boss. Gus was clearly trying to edge out Hector but Don Eladio was blind to the man's ulterior motives.

(Video) Hector Salamanca Visits Los Pollos Hermanos | Sabrosito | Better Call Saul

Hector was present in Better Call Saul's primary timeline beginning in season 2. After Tuco was arrested for assaulting MikeEhrmantraut (Jonathan Banks), Hector tried to smooth things over. He offered Mike money to change his testimony in order to reduce Tuco's charges. Mike initially refused even after Hector sent his henchman to intimidate him. The situation changed when the Cousins were sent to threaten the life of Mike's young granddaughter. Mike then accepted Hector's request but bumped the payout to $50,000.

As an act of revenge, Mike attacked one of the ice cream trucks that was delivering money to Hector across the border. He also whipped up a plan to assassinate Hector but his plan was thwarted by the never-to-be-underestimated Gus Fring. Hector and Gus were still at odds and the latter had intentions of taking over the control of the drugs crossing the border. As Hector was focused on his feud with Gus, he didn't realize that one of his closest allies was becoming a major threat.

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Hector's Disability Came From Gus Fring's Act Of Revenge

Hector Salamanca’s Breaking Bad Backstory Revealed In Better Call Saul (3)

So what happened to Hector Salamanca that led to his condition in Breaking Bad?Hector needed a new endeavor to serve as a front for his drug operations so he set his sights on Nacho's (Michael Mando) father who ran an upholstery business. Nacho wasn't pleased with the idea so he stole some of Hector's heart medication. He emptied the pill capsules and refilled them with ibuprofen, which could increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke. The spiked pills finally worked during a drug cartel meeting. Hector suffered a stroke but Gus saved him by using CPR.

In Better Call Saul season 4, Gus hired a specialist from Johns Hopkins to care for Hector. After learning that Hector could potentially walk and speak again, he discontinued Hector's therapy to trap him in his current state. Nacho was also forced into working for Gus as he was aware of his attempt to kill Hector. With nobody to care for Hector, he was sent to the nursing home, Casa Tranquila. This is where he received the bell which he would use as his main form of communication as seen in Breaking Bad.

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How Hector Salamanca Set Up Better Call Saul's Final Season

Hector Salamanca’s Breaking Bad Backstory Revealed In Better Call Saul (4)

As Hector Salamanca'sBreaking Bad role clearly illustrates, he's far from finished after Gus manages to keep him seemingly incapacitated in the nursing home. In fact, even throughout the latter seasons ofBetter Call Saul, Hector continues to wage war against Gus to such an extent that he ends up shaping much ofBetter Call Saul season 6. Determined to convince the rest of the cartel and Don Eladio that Gus was behind the attack that "killed" Lalo Salamanca in the season 6 mid-season finale, Hector effectively covers for his nephew and continues to conspire against Gus. Bothof these actionssupport key plot points in the latter half ofBetter Call Saulseason 6.Breaking Bad viewers already know how Gus and Hector's story ends, butBetter Call Sauldives into even greater detail about just how long Hector has been working to get his revenge.

How Hector's Backstory Makes His Breaking Bad Revenge Sweeter

Hector Salamanca’s Breaking Bad Backstory Revealed In Better Call Saul (5)

Ultimately, Hector Salamanca was able to take down Gus Fring in Breaking Badprecisely because of what Gus had done to him in his backstory, as shown inBetter Call Saul. Gus Fring severely underestimated Hector after ensuring that his rival would remain disabled for the rest of his life, which allowed the latter to take revenge without Gus ever suspecting it. The bomb hidden in Hector's wheelchair was an effectiveway to kill Gusbecause of Hector's deceptively frail stateandGus' role in Hector needing a chair at all— both of which onlyfedGus' uncharacteristic complacency and hubris when it came to Hector. By showcasing more of how Gus and Hector ended up in theirBreaking Bad roles and elaborating on how Gus had caused Hector's downfall,Better Call Saul managed to add even more gravitas to an already iconic moment.

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Hector Salamanca’s Breaking Bad Backstory Revealed In Better Call Saul? ›

Through Breaking Bad flashbacks, viewers learned that Hector was a member of the Juárez Cartel. He was working for Don Eladio (Steven Bauer) during the time Gus

Gustavo "Gus" Fring is a fictional character portrayed by Giancarlo Esposito in the Breaking Bad franchise, serving as the main antagonist of the crime drama series Breaking Bad and a major character in its prequel Better Call Saul.
https://en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Gus_Fring
entered the cartel.

What is Hector's backstory Breaking Bad? ›

Hector is a former drug agent who worked for Don Eladio. His family members are very involved in the drug business. After an unexplained incident, he's left paralyzed in most of his body and can't speak or move on his own. His only means of communication is the bell on his wheelchair.

Does Hector Salamanca appear in Better Call Saul? ›

In Better Call Saul, he serves as one of the two main antagonists (alongside Chuck McGill) of Seasons 2 and 3, a supporting antagonist in Seasons 4 and 6, and a minor antagonist in Season 5.

Does Breaking Bad characters appear in Better Call Saul? ›

Aside from the obvious characters like Saul/Jimmy, Mike, and Gus, there were many enjoyable return appearances from Breaking Bad characters in Better Call Saul.

What is the backstory of Hectors Bell? ›

The bell was not a gift from Gus. It was a gift from Lalo Salamanca. Years before, Lalo and Hector thought a hotel owner didn't pay them enough respect, so they burned down his hotel and burned up the owner alive. The bell was a momento of that occasion.

Why did Hector never look at Gus? ›

Not looking at Gus is a sign of disrespect. Hector hates Gus but doesn't have a lot of ways of showing it. He's been reduced to a little man in a wheelchair while Gus just keeps growing in power and influence. Since he happily shot Gus' lover, Max, he has to know that Gus revels in his misery.

Are the Salamanca twins Hector's kids? ›

Marco and Leonel Salamanca, commonly known as The Cousins, are twin brothers, deadly enforcers, and prolific hitmen for Don Eladio Vuente's drug cartel. As members of the Salamanca family, the two cousins are grandsons of Abuelita and the nephews of Hector Salamanca.

Are Lalo and Tuco brothers? ›

A member of the Salamanca family, Lalo is the grandson of Abuelita and one of Don Hector's nephews, having four cousins who are also involved in criminal activities within the Salamanca drug operation in the cartel: his main cousin and fellow distributor Tuco, his hitmen cousins Marco and Leonel, and his first cousin ...

Does Tuco show up in Better Call Saul? ›

"Better Call Saul" Mijo (TV Episode 2015) - Raymond Cruz as Tuco Salamanca - IMDb.

Which Salamanca dies in Better Call Saul? ›

Lalo is killed by Gus in the season-six episode "Point and Shoot". Gordon Smith said the writers considered having Mike kill Lalo but this idea was discarded to let the "biggest big bads" in the series—Gus and Lalo—confront each other.

Does Skyler appear in Better Call Saul? ›

"Breaking Bad" Better Call Saul (TV Episode 2009) - Anna Gunn as Skyler White - IMDb.

Is Nacho mentioned in Breaking Bad? ›

Though Nacho never appears in Breaking Bad, Saul mentions him when Walter White and Jesse Pinkman kidnap and hold Saul at gunpoint to coerce him into representing Badger, who has been arrested for selling drugs. Believing Walt and Jesse were sent by Lalo he says in a panic, "It wasn't me, it was Ignacio!

What happened to Tuco Salamanca in Better Call Saul? ›

A furious Tuco punches Mike in the face, and as the altercation gets extremely violent, the police arrive and arrest Tuco for assault. Their plan worked, and Tuco was imprisoned for eight years.

Did Hector know it was Nacho? ›

Though the Salamancas didn't uncover the truth of his involvement until Better Call Saul season 6, Gustavo Fring immediately realized Nacho was the man responsible for depriving Hector of his life-saving meds. In fact, this was how Gus blackmailed Nacho into serving as a double agent.

Why is Hector's death tragic? ›

Even in the face of his own demise, Hector still stubbornly clings on to the hope that he is stronger than the forces that control the lives of men and that he can perhaps kill Achilles and save Troy. Thus, his death at the hands of Achilles is the most moving and tragic of all the many deaths that occur in The Iliad.

Who put the bomb under Hectors chair? ›

Hector then finally looks at Gus and dings his bell rapidly but the bell is hollow. Walt planted his car bomb under Hector's chair and the bell was being used as a trigger. As soon as Gus realized this the bomb exploded and Gus walked out with half his face off before he collapses and dies.

Were Gus and Max lovers? ›

Gus and Max's relationship was long implied to be more than business before their confirmation as lovers by showrunner Peter Gould in 2022.

Why is Gus obsessed with Hector? ›

As Gus explains to Mike when Mike attempted to kill Hector: he needed him alive, as in Breaking Bad it's explained that Hector killed Gus' close friend (and possible lover) Max, which caused Gus to have an undying vendetta against Hector.

Who is Hector Salamanca's son? ›

He raised Tuco as a son, and taught him and his other nephews that family is everything, living by the creed himself.

Is Tuco's Abuelita Hector's wife? ›

"Abuelita" (meaning grandma) is the mother of Hector Salamanca, as well as the grandmother of Tuco, Lalo, Marco and Leonel Salamanca and the great-grandmother of Joaquin Salamanca. She is the only member of the Salamanca family to not be affiliated with the Cartel.

Why did Hector drown the kid? ›

Hector believes that family is everything. When the cousins were very young, they got into an argument over a toy and one wished that the other one was dead. Hector says “Oh yeah?” He then sticks the boy's head under water and holds it down as if to grant his wish.

Is Don Eladio a Salamanca? ›

Eladio Vuente, commonly known as Don Eladio, is the boss of the Cartel, a Mexican drug cartel that employs Juan Bolsa, Hector Salamanca, and other Salamanca family members (Tuco, Marco, Leonel, Lalo, and Joaquin).

Why did Lalo smile when he died? ›

Lalo died smiling as a nod to the maniacal personality he carried throughout life, but also to stress the satisfaction he derived from having been right about Gus. The familiar, creepy smirk was one final act of rebellion. Even in his most painful moment, he refused to let Gus see a glimmer of defeat on his face.

Who is the most evil Salamanca? ›

Lalo Salamanca (Tony Dalton)

Lalo Salamanca is the evilest man in Better Call Saul, and may even be eviler than Jack Welker of Breaking Bad. Lalo Salamanca is simply a psychopath. His way of thinking is different than most people's.

Is Lalo smarter than Gus? ›

Up to this point, Gus is portrayed as the smartest person on the show, matched only by Walter White in Breaking Bad. In spite of this, Lalo is able to believably outmaneuver him at nearly every turn.

Why is Tuco barely in Better Call Saul? ›

While the two are cousins and are related through Hector, Tuco and Lalo Salamanca have yet to meet on-screen during the show. A simple explanation is that Lalo only entered the show well after Tuco was sent to prison, and viewers have never got a chance to see a flashback Salamanca family scene with Lalo present.

How does Saul Goodman know Tuco? ›

He first encountered Jimmy McGill (aka Saul Goodman) after the lawyer set up a scam with a pair of skateboarders who targeted the wrong elderly woman. Instead, they scammed Tuco's grandmother, so he took Jimmy and the skateboarders out into the desert to kill them.

Who killed Tuco Salamanca? ›

With Tuco distracted, Jesse overpowers him and wounds him with his pistol. When they see a vehicle approaching in the distance, Walt and Jesse quickly crawl into hiding. Hank arrives at the hideout and gets into a shootout with the wounded Tuco, whom he kills in self-defense.

What happened to Kim Wexler? ›

The ultracompetent attorney who married Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk), the man most likely to bring out the shadier side of her character, never appears in Breaking Bad, which led some viewers to assume she would die before Saul finished its run. But as Monday's series finale confirmed, Kim Wexler lives on.

Why does Lalo shoot Howard? ›

Lalo killed Howard so he could have facetime with his lawyers and hatch a new plan to destroy Gus Fring. This puts Jimmy McGill, and especially Kim, in a precarious position against a man with nothing to lose.

Does Lalo know Nacho set him up? ›

Early on in "Point and Shoot," as Lalo is tying Jimmy up to a chair, he tells his lawyer about the assassination attempt from the end of Better Call Saul season 5. Lalo mentions it was Nacho who let the assailants into his house, and points out Nacho was the one who introduced Jimmy to Lalo.

Does Saul ever meet Hank? ›

Norris, who portrayed Hank in all five seasons of “Breaking Bad,” made his grand “Better Call Saul” entrance in the fifth season's third episode, where he interrogated drug dealer Domingo “Krazy-8” Molina and met Jimmy McGill/Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk) for the first time.

What happens to Skyler after Walt dies? ›

It is revealed that Skyler is eventually forced to move into an apartment and takes a job as a taxi dispatcher, having all their assets seized. She still maintains custody of the children, however ("Granite State").

Did Walt Jr get the money? ›

After Breaking Bad

In an interview, show creator Vince Gilligan confirmed that Walter Jr. eventually received his father's drug money through Gretchen and Elliott Schwartz, which he had arranged beforehand.

Why do the twins not talk in Breaking Bad? ›

This brutal introduction and their use as hitmen by the Cartel may explain their lack of talking, both as a tool for intimidation and as a way to avoid being bugged by the police or the DEA.

Why did Nacho want Tuco killed? ›

Nacho, Tuco's partner in drug dealing, wants him dead because Tuco is a homicidal loon — a fact that will not come as news to anyone familiar with his history.

What disease does Tuco Salamanca have? ›

It was a stroke. This was revealed in the 2nd season when he and Jesse are reunited after Hank shot Tuco.

Why did Hector keep shooting Nacho? ›

Nacho took complete control of the situation by not only riling everyone up, but by killing himself to rob everyone of the satisfaction of getting to do it, yet Better Call Saul's Hector still felt the need to shoot his corpse in order to inanely feel as though he'd gotten his own back.

How did the twins know where Nacho was hiding? ›

Everything Mike Changed In Nacho's Safe

On the bottom was the phone number to Nacho's motel, so when Juan Bolsa called it, he knew exactly where his target was hiding.

Why did Nacho not like Hector? ›

Yes, Nacho hates them because he knows they would kill his dad for his principled rejection of their illegal activity, but when Don Hector went down, that seemed to be the end of their plans to use his shop to transfer drugs. The plan is never mentioned again after Hector's stroke, and Lalo never brings it up.

Why did Hector's body not decompose? ›

During and after Patroclus' funeral Achilles dragged Hector's body around his pyre. The gods Aphrodite and Apollo protected his body from the dogs, disfigurement, and decomposition.

What finally happens to Hector's body? ›

Near death, Hector pleads with Achilles to return his body to the Trojans for burial, but Achilles resolves to let the dogs and scavenger birds maul the Trojan hero. The other Achaeans gather round and exultantly stab Hector's corpse. Achilles ties Hector's body to the back of his chariot and drags it through the dirt.

Why does Achilles desecrate Hector's body? ›

Pietro Testa (1611–1650), Achilles dragging the body of Hector around the walls of Troy. Etching, 1648–50. Achilles, with his lust for revenge still not satisfied, deliberately mistreats the body of Hector, tying him to his chariot and dragging him behind in the dirt as he drives back to the Greek camp.

Why did Hector not rat out Jesse? ›

Hector hates Jesse and Walt for their involvement in Tuco's death and attempted poisoning of him, but he hates the feds more, and so refuses to rat out Jesse. This also means that Jesse is free and outside prison for the rest of Hector's family to take cartel-style vengeance on him and Walt for Tuco.

What did Hector say to the DEA? ›

After Walter White has gotten Hector to agree to his plan to kill Gustavo Fring, Hector asks the Caregiver for the DEA by spelling out "Need DEA".

Why did Hector start ringing the bell? ›

Having suffered a stroke, the old man could only communicate by ringing a bell equipped to his wheelchair. Walt tried to poison Tuco's burrito but Hector repeatedly hit his bell to warn his nephew, revealing that his mind was still sharp.

What is the origin of Hector Salamanca? ›

Hector Salamanca was born in Mexico in 1939 and was one of the founding members of the Cartel and was referred to, even in his infirmity, as "Don Hector" by contemporary cartel leaders like Juan Bolsa.

Why was Hector Salamanca crying? ›

While he cries at hearing of the fates of Don Eladio and the other members of the Cartel, given his hatred of Eladio in Better Call Saul, it's possible he is only enraged at the thought of Gustavo Fring winning than his care for the Cartel, though it also could be that he developed some care/respect for Eladio over the ...

Why is Hector angry with Paris? ›

Hector is angry with Paris because men are fighting for him and he is not out fighting among them. Paris says he will go fight when he has on his armor, and tells Hector to go on ahead. Hector wanders through the city until he finds his wife Andromache and son, Astyanax.

Is Lalo Tuco's Brother? ›

A member of the Salamanca family, Lalo is the grandson of Abuelita and one of Don Hector's nephews, having four cousins who are also involved in criminal activities within the Salamanca drug operation in the cartel: his main cousin and fellow distributor Tuco, his hitmen cousins Marco and Leonel, and his first cousin ...

Is Hector Salamanca Tuco's uncle? ›

A member of the Salamanca family, Hector is the son of Abuelita, the uncle of twins Marco and Leonel, Lalo, and Tuco, and is the grandfather of Joaquin.

Why did Hector tip over the water? ›

Bruckner dismisses Hector knocking over a water glass as involuntary, but Gus sees that Hector did it purposely so he could ogle the nurse who cleaned it up. Gus tells Bruckner to end treatment, in effect trapping Hector's healed mind inside his unhealed body.

What does Hector suffer from? ›

Hector suffered a stroke but Gus saved him by using CPR. In Better Call Saul season 4, Gus hired a specialist from Johns Hopkins to care for Hector. After learning that Hector could potentially walk and speak again, he discontinued Hector's therapy to trap him in his current state.

Why did Gus yell before he died? ›

The short answer: The Cartel murdered his lover. He wanted revenge. The overly long rambling answer: Well… Gus was originally part of the cartel.

Why did Gus burn down his restaurant? ›

There are a number of reasons that Gus might decide to burn down his restaurant, but they all boil down to the same thing: playing the long game to avenge Max's death, and more specifically getting revenge on the Salamancas.

Why did Achilles hate Hector? ›

During the war, the Trojan Prince Hector kills Patroclus, a friend of the Achaean hero Achilles. This enrages the Achaean hero, who begins to pursue Hector to get revenge. Hector decides to stand and face Achilles after the goddess of strategy, Athena, tricks him. After a hard one-on-one fight, Achilles kills Hector.

Did Achilles regret killing Hector? ›

Overcome with guilt and shame, Achilles agrees to a twelve-day truce in order to facilitate Hector's funeral rites. He acknowledges Hector's tactical brilliance on the battlefield and deems him as a worthy opponent.

Why did Hector fear Achilles? ›

Hector wants to battle Achilles to avenge his country and defend it against future Greek attacks. In An Iliad, he considers reasoning with Achilles, but his pride overcomes him. Similarly, instead of letting bygones be bygones, Achilles swears vengeance on Hector and goes after him and his armies.


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