Better Call Saul‘s tease of violence isn’t an encouraging sign for Kim and Nacho fans heading into season 6. Despite acting as a Breaking Bad prequel, Better Call Saul has successfully avoided falling into predictability by building intrigue around the fates of 2 characters who were only alluded to in the original series – Kim Wexler and Nacho Varga. There’s virtually no sign of Kim, Jimmy McGill’s wife, in Breaking Bad, and fans are nervously waiting to discover how her absence is explained. Obviously, the threat of death is never far away, and Nacho’s chances of survival are even slimmer after Michael Mando’s character incurred the wrath of Lalo Salamanca in Better Call Saul season 5.
Currently in the process of resuming production after Bob Odenkirk’s health scare (to everyone’s relief, he’s confirmed to be okay), very little is known about Better Call Saul season 6 and how it’ll blend into Breaking Bad. But an intriguing update recently came from executive producer Thomas Schnauz, who promised “physical and emotional violence” in season 6, and suggested the rapidly approaching ending would make said violence “hit harder.”
Schnauz’s comments (via DenofGeek) hint at unhappy endings for both Kim and Nacho. It’s the physical violence Nacho Varga should be concerned about. The main source of conflict in Better Call Saul season 6 is Lalo Salamanca’s feud against Gus Fring, with Nacho finding himself at the epicenter of this bloody battle for control of Albuquerque’s meth trade. Lalo now knows Nacho betrayed him, and Gus has no intention of leaving his mole roaming free. With so few allies, Nacho is the most likely victim of Better Call Saul season 6’s bloodshed. His only hope is Mike Ehrmantraut, who seems to view Nacho as a surrogate son, but as two major players go to war, neither side intending to keep Nacho alive, a violent ending to Better Call Saul means the character’s happy ending odds just plummeted. While it’s possible Schnauz was referring to Lalo, a villain’s death just doesn’t have the same emotive impact his comments were hinting at, suggesting the victim is a protagonist.
For Kim Wexler fans, it’s the emotional violence that should stir concern. Defining “emotional violence,” Schnauz gives the example of how Jimmy was treated by his older brother, Chuck. Now Chuck’s dead, this psychological brand of violence will likely come from Kim. Better Call Saul season 5 ended with Kim cajoling Jimmy into ruining fellow lawyer and former college Howard Hamlin, but even the maverick Saul Goodman wasn’t entirely on board with her idea. The promise of emotional violence suggests Kim continues down her new dark path and becomes more and more forceful in ensuring Jimmy tags along. Kim might even turn emotionally destructive toward Howard, praying on his guilt and insecurity over Chuck’s suicide. If Kim really does “break bad,” her story is unlikely to end well – especially since there won’t be a Better Call Saul season 7 to redeem her.
While Better Call Saul fans are bracing themselves for a major death in season 6, killing off Nacho and Kim would come as a surprise. Breaking Bad struck a sweet balance by having Walter White die and Jesse Pinkman live; Better Call Saul bumping off the only 2 prequel protagonists whose fates remain unconfirmed risks an overly depressing finale, since viewers are rooting for Kim and Nacho to defy the odds. A violent Better Call Saul season 6 means a bumpy ride for both characters, but doesn’t necessarily guarantee their deaths. Breaking Bad‘s finale remains one of the best in TV history, and neither show has been trigger-happy with its cast, only killing characters when the narrative demands. Whatever lies in store for Kim Wexler and Nacho Varga it’ll be compelling… even if it won’t be pretty.