It never seemed like Nacho's hatred in Better Call Saul, as expressed in his final scene for Lalo, was very well motivated -- sure, Lalo is a Salamanca and an extremely bad guy, but frankly, Nacho except for his loyalty to his father and his distaste for involving "civilians" (at least killing them), was also pretty much a bad guy who sold drugs and associated with Tuco, which had to have meant he was involved in some terrible stuff, etc.

I do not think Lalo threatened Nacho's dad directly -- Hector did and Nacho sure did hate Hector and probably hated Fring -- actually, no probably about it. But why specifically Lalo?

Was Nacho trying to mislead the Salamancas and Bolsa by expressing false hatred, to try to shift suspicion from Fring, which was basically all he could hope for: Make Fring grateful enough to protect Nacho's dad after he was gone, which Mike would have helped to enforce.

2 Answers 2


Nacho hated Lalo because he perpetuated the wedge that the Salamancas placed between him and his father.

Yes, Nacho's hatred of the Salamancas is partly rooted in the physical threat they pose to his father, but running even deeper is the wedge that their business has put between Nacho and his dad. 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. What does continue is the fact that Nacho's dad is disappointed and alienated from him and refuses to fully be a part of Nacho's life while he is tied to the cartel.

Enter Lalo, who represents the Salamanca's continued hold over Nacho. You don't just walk away from the cartel, but with Don Hector disabled and Tuco in jail, Nacho had a real opportunity to break away and win back his father's approval. Instead, Lalo shows up as the symbol of the Salamanca's renewed and reinvigorated presence. Lalo is the continued yoke around Nacho's own neck, holding him in this job that has caused him to be alienated from the person he loves most in the world. That's why Nacho hates Lalo.


To quote S06E01, "it's the Salamanca way". The Salamancas have quite the name and it is at several times suggested that they are cut from the same cloth. While Lalo and Hector are somewhat different when they're being nice, they are both ruthless and vindictive and keen on swift violent retribution.

Nacho would inevitably encounter the same problem with Lalo that he already had with Hector. On top of that he has the sword of Damocles above him with what he did to Hector. Lalo is not stupid and it will likely eventually come out, so Nacho has no reason to stop his planned exit from the Salamanca cartel just because leadership passed from Hector to Lalo.

For Nacho to go against Hector the way he did already suggests that he no longer has any love for the Salamanca cartel, plus they are a danger to him. His actions make sense.

Whether he sells drugs has no bearing on whether he likes the kind of violence that the Salamancas bring to the table.

  • even though nacho does not seem to enjoy violence, he sure uses it. he is no hero.
    – releseabe
    Commented Apr 26, 2022 at 20:52
  • To clarify, his hatred arises because his own father was threatened, not because the Salamancas are violent -- Nacho is not only violent himself but he got involved with a business in which violence, probably killing is inevitable. And did he steal those baseball cards because the other guy was "in the game" or is Nacho simply a dishonest thief at heart. Who loves his dad and/or mom, just like every frigging mobster u read about, and Tuco even was nice to his grandmother.
    – releseabe
    Commented Apr 27, 2022 at 3:23
  • @releseabe: Nacho seems to have little issue with gang-vs-gang violence (i.e. where everyone is a willing participant), but abhors violence towards peaceful civilians who did not choose a life of violence. We can argue about morality but it seems that Nacho does draw a clear line between those who actively choose to engage in these activities and those who don't.
    – Flater
    Commented Apr 27, 2022 at 10:27
  • "his hatred arises because his own father was threatened, not because the Salamancas are violent" What threatened Nacho's father, if not the violence that the Salamancas bring to the table?
    – Flater
    Commented Apr 27, 2022 at 10:28
  • I am saying that Nacho does not object to violence itself, only when it is directed at his own father.
    – releseabe
    Commented Oct 1, 2022 at 20:45

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