- This article is about the character. For the third episode of the first season of Better Call Saul, see Nacho.
We got hit the other day. A truck headed south got hijacked. Someone stole a quarter of a million. Now Hector's flippin' out, lookin' for who did it. Thing is... I think it was you. They left the driver hog-tied, not a mark on him. Anyone in the game woulda capped him without a second thought. But this driver? He's still breathin'. I thought to myself, who's the guy who'll rip off a couple hundred thousand in drug money and leave a witness? Who's the guy who won't pull the trigger? You. I'm not here to squeeze you. You wanna rip off the cartel, that's your business. But here's the thing. I'm picking up that driver, Hector's orders. We're gonna see what he knows, and if he knows you, that's bad for both of us.
|― Nacho explaining the situation to Mike.|
Ignacio Varga, better known as Nacho, is a calculating, intelligent career criminal. He is the right hand man to Tuco Salamanca, heir to the crime family of the same name. While not yet a kingpin himself, Nacho is bright and has the ear of his terrifying boss. Nacho hires Jimmy as his lawyer after being introduced to him by Tuco at the start of Season 1. He secretly begins working with Mike Ehrmantraut at the end of season 1. He admires Mike's calm and calculated way of working, compared to Tuco's impulsive and insane way of working. Nacho is the tritagonist of Better Call Saul.
Nacho works for Tuco Salamanca in his criminal enterprise and over time has become one of his most trusted men.
When Tuco captures Jimmy and the twins Cal and Lars, he asks Nacho, Gonzo and No-Doze to take them into the desert, where they try to find out who they are. Despite Tuco not trusting Jimmy to be a lawyer, Nacho believes him and convinces Tuco to let him go unharmed, saying that the death of a lawyer does not benefit them.
Sometime after the desert confrontation, Nacho meets with Jimmy in his small office, offering a part of the profits for cooperation to find the millions of dollars stolen by Betsy and Craig Kettleman. Despite Jimmy declining, asserting himself as a lawyer, not a criminal, Nacho gives him his phone number ("").
Now aware of Nacho's plans, Jimmy tries to make an anonymous call to warn the Kettlemans that they are in danger. Concerned, the Kettlemans look outside their house and sees Nacho's parked van. The next day, the Kettlemans are nowhere to be found while their house is left ransacked. Nacho is arrested after being denounced by a neighbor who saw his van parked outside the Kettleman's house. The police search his van, finding blood on the floor (belonging to Lars and Cal).The police finds Jimmy, who had been trying to communicate with Nacho, and escorts him to the station, where he discusses the case with Nacho. Nacho maintains his innocence, admitting that he had performed surveillance on the Kettleman home, but did not kidnap them. Nacho warns Jimmy that if he does not get the charges dropped against him the police might uncover his connections to Tuco's criminal organization, which would result in Jimmy's death. Terrified, Jimmy goes to try to fix the issue. ("").
After Jimmy found the Kettlemans, Nacho is released from police custody, who then discreetly accuses Jimmy of warning the Kettlemans before they went into hiding and that Jimmy will face "consequences". Jimmy rebuts by implying that he warned the family for the children's sake, and that any trouble Nacho got into he brought upon himself. ("")
Nacho buys pills from Pryce, with Mike Ehrmantraut serving as his bodyguard during the drug deal. When Pryce counts Nacho's money, he points out that he is short $20 from the price of the pills. Mike demands the agreed amount or the deal is off. Reluctant at first, Nacho coldly forks over the rest of the money and leaves with the pills. ("")
Nacho meets with Pryce to buy more pills from him, but this time, Mike is not present as Pryce's bodyguard, due to the both of them parting ways. While Pryce counts up Nacho's money, Nacho admires his new bright yellow Hummer H2 with red flames and uses Mike's absence to his advantage and steals Pryce's personal information from his auto registration, learning that Pryce's real name is Daniel Warmolt. When Daniel's house is later broken into, his baseball card collection and drug money are stolen by Nacho. ("")
Upon learning of Daniel's stolen property and that he is questioned by the police, Mike confronts Nacho at his workplace: an upholstery shop run by Nacho's father, where he pretends to be interested in reupholstering his car in order to get Nacho’s attention. When they’re alone, Mike informs him that he knows Nacho was behind the break-in at Daniel's house. Nacho shrugs it off, but Mike has an ace up his sleeve: he threatens to reveal Nacho’s dealings with Daniel to Tuco. At their regular drug deal spot, Nacho gives Mike $10,000 and returns Daniel his baseball cards, but ends up taking his Hummer to his chop shop to be disassembled. He then declares that his business with Daniel is finished. ("")
When Mike requests more work from his crooked veterinarian, Caldera, he is given a job by a man who requested for Mike specifically. This is revealed to be Nacho, who meets with Mike at a desolate meeting spot and says, "There's a guy. And I need him to go away." ("")
Mike and Nacho meet across the street from a restaurant where Tuco and Nacho regularly collect the money owed from dealers. Nacho reveals a scar on his left shoulder and tells a story of when Tuco and him had a job together. Tuco shot one of their suppliers, who Nacho was behind, lodging a piece of his skull into Nacho's shoulder. If Tuco were to find out that Nacho was working independently, he may have the same fate.
When Nacho meets Mike the next day, Mike says he won't kill Tuco but instead they should land him in prison. Cut to the restaurant, Tuco and Nacho count money given to them by the dealer they're meeting with. After the dealer leaves, Mike, from across the street, calls the police, alerting them of a fight in the restaurant. From inside, Tuco and Nacho see Mike bump into Tuco's car, and Tuco angrily confronts him. As Mike and Tuco's fight escalates, a police siren is heard, prompting Nacho to take the money they collected and leave in his van. Nacho later meets a beaten and bruised Mike and gives him the money he earned. He then asks Mike why he went through so much for less money just to avoid killing Tuco, but receives no answer as Mike drives away, leaving him alone. ("")
Mike arrives at a closed diner where Hector Salamanca, the Cousins, Arturo, and Nacho are at. Nacho pats down Mike before letting him in, sitting behind Mike as he talks with Hector about a deal to get Tuco less jail time. Nacho then shows up at Mike's house later that night to deliver the money decided upon on the deal. Mike splits the pay with Nacho to make up for their failure on the job to take out Tuco. ("")
Nacho calls Mike to a meeting, confronting him about an attack on a driver, Ximenez Lecerda, for the cartel with a quarter million stolen, that he figured had to have been done by Mike. Nacho is in charge of seeing what Ximenez knows, and Nacho is worried that if he knows anything about Mike, it'll be bad for not just Mike, but Nacho himself as well. He eventually realized that Mike was trying to draw police attention to Hector's operation, after Mike asks why it wasn't in the paper, and Nacho takes extreme offense to it. Nacho reveals that Hector killed a passing civilian that drove by the scene and freed the driver. He then leaves an unsettled Mike alone, and drives off. ("")
Nacho and Arturo drive the van to a desolate location, with Ximenez in the back. Unknown to them, Mike is following closely behind. Nacho is later seen at the same desolate locations, following closely to Hector, as Arturo and the Cousins gets ready to execute Ximenez. Nacho blocks the line of sight of Mike, who is waiting far away with a sniper rifle. ("")
After being forced by Hector to beat Krazy-8, one of his dealers for coming up short, Nacho begins to grow disillusioned. As part of Gustavo Fring's agreement with Hector, Gus' men hand over a portion of his smuggled drugs to Nacho, who insists on taking one more package than was agreed to. Gus orders his henchmen to allow Nacho to take the extra portion, as he is scouting a commercial laundry with Lydia Rodarte-Quayle. Nacho returns to Hector with the drugs, though Hector wants a new smuggling route and decides to use Nacho's father's upholstery business as a front over Nacho's objections. Hector then has a coughing attack after he receives news that Tuco was involved in a prison stabbing and placed in solitary confinement. Hector drops one of his medication capsules, which Nacho steals. ("")
Nacho approaches Pryce with the pill stolen from Hector and offers to pay Pryce to obtain copies of the capsules with no medication. At a meeting with Pryce and Mike, Mike learns the full story about Hector's desire to force Nacho's father into the drug trade and the plan to replace Hector's medication with fake pills. Mike agrees not to interfere, but advises Nacho to switch the pills back after Hector dies so they cannot be traced back to him. He then requests something from Nacho. ("")
Nacho puts his plan to kill Hector in motion, successfully switching his heart medication pills with a carefully prepared substitute containing only ibuprofen. Mike, using information he gained from Nacho, tracks down the body of the Good Samaritan that Hector shot ("") and reports the discovery to the police. ("")
Hector arrives at Nacho's father's shop and attempts to bribe him for his loyalty. Under Nacho's urging, Nacho's father reluctantly accepts the bribe, but Hector remains suspicious of him. With no other choice, Nacho attempts to assassinate Hector but is caught up in a meeting between Hector, Gus, and Juan Bolsa. Bolsa reminds Hector that it is under Don Eladio's orders that all smuggling operations will be handled by Gus, which enrages Hector and triggers a heart attack, forcing him to be hospitalized. In the chaos, Nacho is able to switch Hector's fake medication back with his real pills, but Gus gives him a suspicious look. ("")
- "You get me out of here.. today.. or you're a dead man."
- ―Nacho Varga threatening Jimmy
- There might be a reference to this character in Saul's initial appearance on Breaking Bad. When Saul is held at gunpoint by Walt and Jesse, Saul (mistakenly thinking that people sent by a person named Lalo are holding him at gunpoint) says "it wasn't me, it was Ignacio."
- Since the name Nacho is short for Ignacio, it might be possible Saul talks about the same person. Peter Gould has hinted this is the same person.
- Ignacio drives a 1992 Chevrolet Chevy Van ("" - ...).
- Nacho never meets Kim Wexler, Howard Hamlin and Chuck McGill.
- Coincidence or not, he shares both the name and nickname of Ignacio (Nacho) Anaya, who was also the inventor of the Mexican dish, the nacho
- Ignacio likely has Hungarian roots since Varga is a Hungarian surname. The Hungarian word "varga" translates to "" in English.