|Marco & Leonel Salamanca|
|Portrayed By||Luis Moncada & Daniel Moncada|
|Occupation(s)||Mexican Cartel Hitmen|
|First Appearance||No Mas|
|Last Seen||I See You|
|Images of The Cousins|
"The Cousins" (Marco & Leonel Salamanca) are twin brothers and hitmen for the Juárez drug cartel. Despite an austere, mechanical physicality and virtually non-verbal interaction, they are a fearsome presence who kill without hesitation or emotion. They are nephews of Hector "Tio" Salamanca, who taught them early on that family is everything - proving so by nearly drowning one until the other fought back against him. They are typically dressed in well-cut sharkskin suits and distinctive cowboy boots tipped with silver skulls, and appear to worship the Mexican deity of death Santa Muerte, making offerings to a shrine when undertaking an assassination.
The Cousins are briefly mentioned in Season 2, when Tuco Salamanca kidnaps Walt and Jesse following a police crackdown on his operations. His plan was to take Walt across the border to cook for him full-time, mentioning that his cousins would be arriving to help them across ("Grilled").
The Cousins are first seen in the opening scene of Season 3 as they arrive in an expensive Mercedes at a small village in the Mexican desert where they find men and women crawling on their bellies up a dusty, adobe-lined desert road. The Cousins join them, leading up to a path toward a candlelit shrine to Santa Muerte. The two men rise to their feet. One makes an offering; the other pins something to the shrine: a sketch of "Heisenberg" ("No Mas").
After crossing the border into the States (and killing every single person in the truck they were crossing over with), they track down their uncle in a nursing home. Retrieving a Ouija board from a pile of board games, they help the uncle use his bell to spell out one name: WALTER WHITE. The pair soon after show up at Walt's house with an axe where, coincidentally, after living away for two weeks, Walt had returned and broken into his own home. The Cousins let themselves in while Walt is, unsuspectingly, taking a shower. They enter his room and sit on his bed, but before they can take any action, one of them receives a text message that reads: "POLLOS." The two exchange a look, and once Walt exits the shower, his room is empty ("Caballo Sin Nombre").
The Cousins set up a meeting with Gus Fring through Juan Bolsa, who speaks on their behalf and that of Tio, who turns was at one time "Don" Salamanca. Bolsa explains that their cousin, Tuco, was betrayed by Walter and they have a family right to execute him, a claim backed by the entire cartel. Gus, who controls all of the drug trafficking north of the border into New Mexico, tells them that they cannot kill Walt as he is still valuable to his business. Gus, however, says that they may kill him whenever he is finished with Walt ("I.F.T.").
A few days later - after killing an old woman for her house and a tribal police officer who investigated her disappearance - the Cousins become impatient and visit Gus at Los Pollos, sitting silently in a booth for the duration of the restaurant's hours. After they return again the next day, Gus grows tired of their intimidation tactics and sets up a meeting with them in the desert. There, he questions why they want to kill Walter so badly, noting that although he may have "betrayed" their cousin, he wasn't the one who murdered him. Marco says that the man who killed Tuco is a DEA agent and Juan Bolsa strictly forbids them from targeting any law enforcement. Gus tells them that it is he who controls the territory north of the border, not Bolsa, so it should be his decision to make. He gives them the name of the DEA agent in question, Hank Schrader, and tells them that he hopes his death may satisfy them ("Sunset").
After placing Hank's picture on a makeshift Santa Muerte shrine, the Cousins purchase Kevlar vests and track Hank down to a store parking lot. Hank, who earlier in the day was suspended, is unarmed when he receives a mysterious phone call. The voice on the other end, distorted by a modifier, warns Hank that he has one minute before the Cousins arrive to kill him. Seeing Leonel shooting at him in the rear, he backs his car up rapidly, pinning Leonel against another car forcefully and crushing his legs. Marco opens fire on Hank and forces him to run, then frees his brother Leonel who whispers, "Finish him."
Marco pursues Hank, killing a passerby in the parking lot, and after absorbing several rounds in his Kevlar vest, shoots Hank twice in the chest. As he prepared to execute the seemingly helpless Hank, he decides that it is "too easy" and goes back to the car to retrieve their signature axe. Returning with it, he prepares to swing, but Hank manages to grab a hollow-point round that Marco dropped from his pocket and loads it into Leonel's gun. The hollow-point blows out the back of Marco's head, killing him instantly ("One Minute").
After the shooting, both Hank and Leonel were taken to the hospital. While Hank was in surgery and critical condition, Leonel was conscious fairly early, although both his legs were amputated as a result of Hank's attack. After seeing Walt amongst a group of Albuquerque police officers, he rips off his IV lines and monitors and attempts to crawl to the door, trailing blood from his stumps until he is restrained. He later dies after going into cardiac arrest. As Mike is seen exiting soon after this (disposing of a hypodermic needle on his way out), it is implied that he gave Leonel a fatal injection under orders from Gus to prevent him from revealing to Bolsa that it was he who sanctioned the hit on Hank ("I See You").
The Cousins' victims
- Tortuga (Decapitated by the Cousins on Juan Bolsa's orders)
- 9 Mexican stowaways (Shot at close proximity by the Cousins)
- Unnamed coyote driver (Shot in the back while fleeing from the Cousins)
- Mrs. Peyketewa (Killed by the Cousins)
- Bobby Kee (Struck in the back with an axe by Marco Salamanca)
- Unnamed man (Shot to death by Marco Salamanca)
- Director of Photography Michael Slovis chose to film all the Season 3 exterior scenes of The Cousins with a strong yellow-brown coloration.
- They are the second and third people of Hector's family to be killed, following Tuco's death. Many more Salamancas die following these two.
- In the scene where they blow up the truck, they filmed it using a camera that makes one object look more close than what it actually is to another object, and they literally blew up the truck, with only one take available.
| Main: Walter White • Jesse Pinkman • Skyler White • Walter White Jr. • Hank Schrader • Marie Schrader • Saul Goodman • Gustavo Fring • Mike Ehrmantraut
Recurring: Bogdan Wolynetz • Krazy 8 • Wendy • Mr. Pinkman • Mrs. Pinkman • Gretchen Schwartz • Dr. Delcavoli • Donald Margolis • Tim Roberts • ASAC Merkert • SAC Ramey • Clovis • Holly White • Group Leader • Kaylee Ehrmantraut • Old Joe • Andrea Cantillo • Brock Cantillo • Huell • Kuby • Tyrus Kitt • Dennis Markowski • Declan
Minor: Chad • Carmen Molina • Dr. Belknap • Emilio Koyama • Ben • Louis • Jake Pinkman • Ken • Elliott Schwartz • Farley • Hugo Archilleya • Gonzo • No-Doze • Spooge • Spooge's Lady • Tortuga • Getz • Francesca • James Kilkelly • Rival Dealers • Tomás Cantillo • Pamela • Benicio Fuentes • Juan Bolsa • Duane Chow • Lawson • Gaff • Don Eladio • Max Arciniega • Joaquin Salamanca • Barry Goodman • Chris Mara • Peter Schuler • Herr Herzog • Dan Wachsberger • Ira • Benny • Ron Forenall • Drew Sharp