Mike goes to see Manuel to tell him what happened to Nacho and clear himself of blame. However, things don’t go as planned because Manuel tells Mike some hard truths.
Nacho’s father Manuel’s scene with Mike in Better Call Saul sets up Breaking Bad. Nacho (Michael Mando) died in Better Call Saul season 6, episode 2. Nacho’s actions in Better Call Saul were motivated by his desire to protect his father from the Salamancas, which Gus (Giancarlo Esposito) manipulated for his vengeful purposes.
Nacho and Gus’ campaign against Lalo Salamanca (Tony Dalton) cost him his life; the Salamancas killed him for attacking Lalo’s compound. In Breaking Bad, Mike’s guilt over Nacho’s death affects his relationship with Jesse. Mike’s guilt drives him to inform Manuel of his son’s fate at Manuel’s workplace. Manuel tells Breaking Bad’s fixer some harsh truths during their meeting.
Mike and Manuel have many similarities. Both are hardworking men with solid morals who lost sons to violence and corruption. Manuel sees through Mike’s guilt and promises justice by calling him a gangster and criminal, not a grieving parent and loving grandfather. Better Call Saul season 6, episode 9, shows how far apart the men are. Outside Manuel’s upholstery shop, they could be on different planets.
Breaking Bad is set up by Nacho’s dad finishing Mike’s back story.
Mike fulfills his final promise to Nacho by meeting with Manuel and promising no Salamanca violence. He tells Manuel his son had a good heart and died painlessly. Manuel is disgusted when Mike vows Nacho justice. “You’re seeking revenge.” Starts. “Never-ending. He’s gone.” “You gangsters and your ‘justice,'” he says in Spanish. This scene ends Mike’s Better Call Saul arc, highlighting how he and Manuel deal with their sons’ deaths. Corrupt cops murdered mike’s son, so he killed them both. Nacho’s death doesn’t inspire Manuel to violence because he knows vengeance can lead to a never-ending cycle.
Mike refused to carry a gun in Better Call Saul season 1 and sought non-lethal solutions. He was a “gangster” trying to be a better man. He can’t escape the corruption and crime that killed his son Matty. Instead, he feels comfortable knowing he’s helping his granddaughter Kaylee and Matty’s widow Stacey. That’s Breaking Bad’s Mike Ehrmantraut, doomed to a life of crime. Better Call Saul shows that Mike hasn’t changed as much as he thinks because of Matty’s death. It sets up Breaking Bad’s second chance with surrogate son Jesse and highlights the cycle of violence leading to Mike’s death at Walter White’s hands.