The genius of Lalo Salamanca by Tony Dalton

The following article contains spoilers for Better Call Saul Season 6, Episode 5, “Black and Blue”.

Since its introduction, Tony Dalton’s portrayal of cunning Lalo Salamanca has captivated viewers. An exceptional side of the characters in Too bad And The best of Saul on demand extends to its complexity. Most of the characters are illustrated in multiple layers, similar to real people. There is not a single character that is truly portrayed as one thing. If they do something hideous in one moment, it will be offset by their reaction to their actions in the next moment. However, when it comes to the Salamanca family, everyone in this family is portrayed similarly: violent, aggressive, combative, cruel.


These commonalities are certainly purposeful, especially given the backstory of each character. Tuco is addicted to methamphetamine, Hector has been raped at nearly every major point in his life, and the two cousins ​​- Lionel and Marco – are raised by Hector Murr. These characters are rarely presented as using intelligence, magic, or tact to achieve their goals. This is where the genius of Tony Dalton’s photography of Lallo comes in. In essence, Lalo could be read and consistently represented as being equal to his distance from other Salamancas. However, Dalton chooses a contrasting approach, and it works beautifully.


The idea of ​​acting one way on the outside in opposition to the inside is intuitively curious. creators of The best of Saul on demand They do this a lot in how they craft their stories: say a little, hide a lot. That is, they will give the audience bits and pieces of what’s really going on while keeping the bigger picture mostly under wraps. Likewise, the same sentiments can be very effective when crafting characters. If the character is presented in contrasting ways, then his performance will be dynamic. While some of Lalo’s character is certainly the work of the book, Tony Dalton certainly contributed his fair share to its revival. It brings a tangible humanity to Lalo’s heart that is realistic and unexpected.


Since his first appearance on the screen in The best of Saul on demand Season 4, Episode 8, “Coushatta,” Lalo is clearly not your typical Salamanca. He’s seen cooking food singing along to a song. His mannerisms and tone are particularly silly and exhilarating. The thing is, Lalo could have been portrayed in a completely different way. Amazingly all his feelings could have been exaggerated, as they often were with former members of the Salamanca family. However, Dalton’s Lalo has been significantly underestimated. By keeping his true feelings embodied in the forefront of smiles and sociability, Dalton gives Lalo a visceral depth. Humans in the real world do this all the time, so it’s a welcome departure from what Salamancas has often been.


This week in Season 6, Episode 5 of Saul’s best on-call — Titled “Black and Blue” – the final third of the episode sees Lalo’s re-introduction. After missing completely for the last three episodes, he finds Lalo in a bar in Germany. While there, he started a conversation with a woman who had a familiar family name: Ziggler. As viewers have long known, this is the last name of Werner, the architect Mike was forced to kill by order of Gus. Lalo found out about Werner through a succession of deceptions which led to him speaking to Werner shortly before his murder. Ostensibly seeking to tear Guss apart, Lalo begins to speak with Margaret, Werner’s widow.


The following extends to some of the sexiest character moments around the world The best of Saul on demand, and all thanks to Dalton’s performance. First, lalo is presented as very soft. He is very friendly. His hair is a little longer and his dress is a little warmer. Everything about him seems welcome. He greets Margaret with great cunning and great poise. He uses magic, intelligence, and interpersonal skills to gain Margaret’s trust. But he’s Lalo, and the audience knows what he can do. Hence, there is a little tension around earning her trust. However, as the episode progressed, no damage was done to her.

In pursuit of his goals, Lalo charms Margaret’s heart with his head. He employs his understanding of humans, their needs, and harms to communicate with them. No bullets, no bloodshed, no exaggerated affection: just a quiet, intimate, kind conversation with the thing he desires. For someone with the name Salamanca, that’s genius. In the desert of violence, civility is a drop. Seeing him do this conveys his abilities to the audience. He sure can be sensitive and quiet. But it can also be the polar opposite. This is magical in nature, completely wrapped in a mind whose inner workings and goals remain a fascinating and exciting mystery to the game. However, none of this would be possible without the brilliant fusion of the writer’s intentions and Tony Dalton’s brave revival of a raw “human” being.


Catch all five seasons of Better Call Saul on Netflix. The first five episodes of Season 6 air on AMC+, with new episodes airing Mondays at 6PM PST / 9PM EST on AMC.


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