Is Tuco in over his head within the cartel?

Is Tuco in over his head within the cartel? - White and Brown Ram on Brown Wooden Fence

It seems like everyone at the higher levels of the cartel in Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul is pretty intelligent; in particular, they are smart enough to avoid doing impulsive things that endanger the enterprise. Tuco's crazily stupid murder of No Doze ended up drawing the attention of the police not to mention frightening people who work under him to the point where they might well question why they are loyal to him.

I could see him being an enforcer, but just the fact that he is a user of meth, I would guess would have made his uncle (a terrible person but smart and controlled when he needed to be) not employ him as anything else. Tuco is far below people like Lalo or Nacho or even Crazy 8 intellectually and there is no shortage of violent people (where violence is needed) -- even his loyalty is shown to be in question as he is sort of abusive towards his uncle Hector once Hector has become disabled.

Best Answer

I agree that Tuco doesn't fit, and I attribute it to Tuco being an early character in the series, written before the other cartel members are fleshed out.

In other words, his character was developed for the early episodes, before the subsequent seasons were written. So he doesn't match the sophistication of the other cartel characters who were developed after season one.

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What happens to Tuco in Better Call Saul?

After threats against the Ehrmantraut family, Mike reluctantly agreed to get the charges lessened. While in prison during Better Call Saul season 3, Tuco got his sentence prolonged after stabbing another inmate and assaulting a guard. He would stay in prison until the events of Breaking Bad.

Are Lalo and Tuco brothers?

Eduardo "Lalo" Salamanca was born in Mexico and was raised by his uncle, Hector, as an enforcer of the Cartel like his cousins Tuco, Marco, Leonel, and his first cousin once removed, Joaquin.

Who is Tucos dad?

Hector Salamanca | Breaking Bad Wiki | Fandom.

What did Mike do Tuco?

When Tuco comes out to check on his car, Mike goads Tuco into striking him repeatedly just as police arrive. Because Tuco was carrying a gun, he is arrested for assault with a deadly weapon. Nacho later pays Mike but Mike declines to give a reason for going to such trouble to avoid killing Tuco.

Everything We Know About Don Eladio - The Cartel Billionaire

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Answer 2

Tuco fits narratively in the sense that he acts as dumb muscle that Walt simply cannot outclever (initially).

Walt's inexperience, veiled aggression and tactical curveballs don't work on someone who is upfront, doesn't engage in quiet inference, and is spoiling for a fight; rendering Walt's key skills useless.

This is different from e.g. the Aryans who fight Walt with tactics, Gus who tries to do so with diplomacy and negotiation, and Crazy Eight who attempts emotional manipulation.

In essence, Tuco is Walt's first hurdle where he cannot take a cloak and dagger approach and remain in a safe spot himself.

As to Tuco's role in the cartel, it is not uncommon for a proverbial "rabid dog" to be put in a position of power when the role requires aggression and violence. History is littered with examples of overly violent and downright psychopathic right hand men.

If you consider the whole body of BB and BCS, it is later also hinted that Tuco puts on a facade, at least to some extent. He chooses to behave in an unhinged manner to unsettle and scare others into obedience.
Again, there are plenty of historical examples of unhinged tyrants who use fear to keep their underlings in line.

Tuco may have made mistakes, but overall he is not incapable at his job.

You bring up Hector; but don't forget that Hector used to be similarly tyrannical, as evidenced by the flashbacks, notably how he kills Max (Gus' partner), and how he pushes Nacho to not let anyone come up short for any reason. While Hector may seem more composed than Tuco, he is just as prone to violence and retribution. Tuco instills the same fear but uses a different personality to do so.

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