Generally speaking, Krazy-8 would refer to Domingo Gallardo Molina (Maximino Arciniega), an oft-overlooked character from the early days of Breaking Bad. It is interesting to note that Krazy-8 seems to be a less “krazy” bad guy in the show’s pantheon of psychopaths compared to the heavyweight druglords that come along in later seasons. In light of this, why are people referring to him as Krazy-8? A master of deceit, Krazy-8 is one of the most feared criminals today.
What is the story behind the name he was given? The question that Better Call surprisingly provides an answer to differs from one most Breaking Bad fans ask. Instead, it is surprisingly answered by the show. His nickname ‘Boyd’ was derived from the fact that he won at poker, which is the short version. Would you like to know the long answer?
As part of Walter White’s (Bryan Cranston) journey to becoming Heisenberg, Krazy-8 plays a crucial role in his journey to becoming Heisenberg. The first time Walt and Jesse (Aaron Paul) have the opportunity to cook together, they try to sell their first batch of food to Krazy-8, Jesse’s distributor. Jesse was formerly a member of Krazy-8’s family for several years before he formed a partnership with Walt until the DEA raided him and Hank (Dean Norris).
Accusing Walt and Jesse of engaging in a raid against him, Emilio struck a deal with Krazy-8 to punish them. It was Krazy-8 who, unbeknownst to Emilio, tips the DEA to Emilio’s lab to snatch up clients after Emilio’s arrest, as he is an informant who used Emilio as a guinea pig for his operation. To save himself, Walt is forced to poison Emilio and Krazy-8, but Krazy-8 survives, causing Walt to find out if he can close loose ends by himself.
Krazy-8’s ability to appear normal is critical to his effectiveness as a character. During his time as Walt’s prisoner, he had a charming personality and was very friendly. A quiet person. It isn’t Domingo who looks like a “Krazy-8” to me; it is Domingo who looks like he belongs in another world. In captivity, he understands Walt well, and he is nearly able to convince him that he should be released. According to Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks), we may distract ourselves from the fact that Domingo is bluffing, temporarily forgetting that he is “in the game.”
The only reason Domingo can escape is that Walt discovers that Domingo has picked up a sharp piece of glass and that he is about to stab Walt in the back. Additionally, Walt ignores that he is “in the game.” Domingo is killed as a result. Rather than seeing Domingo as an empathetic child, he now sees him as a threat to be removed, a threat he needs to eliminate. Krazy-8 is visible to Walt through the bluff he attempts to put on him.
Domingo returns as a recurring character in Better Call Saul, as the series is set before the events of Breaking Bad. There is no doubt that the show is intended to tell the story of Jimmy McGill’s slow-burning transformation into a fast-talking con attorney named Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk). In addition to fleshing out other characters from the show, Gilligan and Gould also take the opportunity to build the world around the Salamanca empire and Gus Fring’s (Giancarlo Esposito) burgeoning business.
Before Domingo started the solo operation, he worked as a low-level dealer for Tuco Salamanca (Raymond Cruz), a friend of his family named Nacho Varga (Michael Mando), referred by his friend Nacho Varga. Even though Domingo is young and fresh out of college, he learns a lot about the cartels the brutal way while working under the Salamancas – he is first severely beaten by Nacho when he runs out of cash, then he learns how to deal with the beatings on his own.
Lalo Salamanca (Tony Dalton) was appointed the cartel’s leader, orchestrating the Albuquerque operation at the end of season five of Better Call Saul. Domingo’s nickname, Krazy-8, was given by Lalo, who used to provide Domingo with handles. To turn himself into a DEA informant with Saul’s help, Domingo wins a poker game against Lalo the night before he is arrested. He is converted into a DEA informant under Saul’s guidance.
Having won the game on a bluff, Lalo calls him “Ocho Loco,” Crazy Eight, because of the pair of eights he had. Domingo’s impressive escarpment likely inspired Lalo to make him his double agent with the DEA. Lalo pushes Saul to help Domingo become a DEA informant because he witnessed his deception skills firsthand. Hence, he knows Domingo can play Hank and the rest of the DEA into targeting Fring’s operation. If Lalo hadn’t faith in “Ocho Loco,” he would have just killed him, so that poker game saved his life.
Domingo begins his venture when he leaves the Salamanca ring and operates under the same name that Lalo gave him when he was in the Salamanca ring: Krazy-8. In his name, Domingo is a testament to his double-crossing nature and his ability to deceive others. As an actor, he’s a savvy bluffer who knows how to manipulate a situation to win, even when he has little weight behind him. He is always bluffing no matter what Krazy-8 is doing, whether playing poker, tricking the DEA, stealing territory, or negotiating for his life.