Cheers to Steven Bauer for bringing his professional life of crime to Breaking Bad.
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The Cuban-born tough guy, whose primetime rap sheet stretches back to The Rockford Files and Hill Street Blues (when he was billed under his original surname Esteban "Rocky" Echevarria) brought a high-caliber verisimilitude to the part of cartel kingpin Don Eladio in "Salud," this week's episode of AMC's brilliantly brutal drama. The drug lord was so intoxicatingly evil that it was almost sad — hey, I said almost — when he succumbed to the poison administered by Gustavo Fring (Giancarlo Esposito — somebody give this man an Emmy!) to avenge his partner's long-ago murder in Mexico.
Bauer is perhaps best known for his role as Al Pacino's doomed henchman Manny Ribera in Scarface, so it was nice to see him ascend to the throne, albeit briefly. He also reunited with Jonathan Banks — his ex-OCB handler on the great crime drama Wiseguy — who took a bullet as Gus' right-hand man Mike. Happily, it seems like he'll survive: Nothing can stop Iron Mike.
Would you give "Salud" a Cheer?
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