To show how varied people can be, the Breaking Bad universe offers up a variety of criminals with varying degrees of feet in the game. You have Gus Fring, a seasoned and cunning expert. Along with his associates Skinny Pete, Badger, and Combo, idealistic outlaw Jesse Pinkman is present (Rest in Peace baby Jesus).
ou have men who are emotional, impetuous, and completely without mercy, like the Salamancas and Walter White. And then there are the almost a dozen neo-Nazis who have personal ties to prison gangs, including Kuby, Huell, Jimmy, Ira, Sobchak — sorry, Mr. X — and others.
So it was quite enlightening to see Mike Ehrmantraut — quite possibly the most professional of all these criminals — start off in the ABQ underworld with a man who is the epitome of a criminal simpleton.
The character of Daniel Warmolt, nicknamed Pryce, played by Mark Proksch, is not particularly significant in the broad scheme of things, but we love to pick on him since he is so blind to what is happening around him. But what might have happened to him now that Better Call Saul and Breaking Bad have ended? In this video, we will precisely learn that.
He’s such a novice that Mike cuts ties with him – Pryce in Better Call Saul
Let’s give you the quick rundown on Pryce’s background before we get into the events of both series. Daniel Warmolt is a massive nerd who also happens to be an IT technician that works for a pharmaceutical company. His father passed away a few years before Better Call Saul began, and left Daniel some valuable baseball cards as an inheritance. At some point in his life, he decided to become a criminal by selling factory-sealed prescription pills to thugs by stealing them from his company discreetly. Well, as discreetly as is possible, anyway.
He is introduced to the story through the other protagonist of the series, when he goes looking for a job after relocating to Albuquerque. Mike Ehrmantraut contacted Dr. Caldera looking for a side hustle that could get him enough money to support both himself and his family, because working as a parking booth attendant isn’t exactly as lucrative a job opportunity in 2002 as you’d think.
Caldera gives him a bodyguard job for a guy looking to deal in drugs, and that guy turns out to be Pryce, who explains that he isn’t called Pryce when he meets his bodyguards and that it’s his nephew’s name which he is using as a cover. Instantly, we know that Sobchak- sorry, Mr. X- was right when he said that Pryce was “as green as they came”, and that is only further reinforced by the awestruck look he has stuck on his face after Mike takes down Mr. X and scares off Man Mountain to take the whole job for himself.
And as if to drive the nail into the coffin of inexperience that was this prospective drug dealer, he asks Mike for advice on how he should conduct the deal, when he being the employer should have made the call himself. So Pryce clearly has ambitions but is naïve as hell, to the point he can’t even distinguish Nacho throwing money at him as a sign of disrespect. But maybe that is his superpower, huh?
Okay, so speaking of Nacho, the deal between both parties goes down fairly well- thanks to Mike’s meticulous research- and Pryce is rightly impressed with his employee for two reasons: 1) Mike knew that he wouldn’t need a gun for this job and 2) Mike kept Pryce from being short-changed on what was possibly one of his very first drug deals. Pryce asks Mike how he knew what would happen before it happened, and Mike explained that it was in Nacho’s best self-interest that the deal go down as smoothly as possible.
He tells Pryce that the lesson is, if he wants to be a criminal, he should do his homework which genuinely puzzles Pryce because he thinks that all criminals are bad guys. Mike explains to him that he’s known good criminals and bad cops, and that being on one side of the law has nothing to do with how a person operates. He tells him that he took something that didn’t belong to him and sold it for a profit, and that makes him a criminal.
What kind of criminal was for Pryce to decide. You’d think that such a speech would motivate someone to cover their tracks better, but Pryce just doubles down with his stupidity by buying a Hummer so flashy that cops would look into it even if they weren’t suspicious of the rider. Mike instantly tells Pryce that buying the car was a mistake, but Pryce sticks to his “position of authority” and demands they go to the meet in his car.
Mike cuts ties with him and Pryce decides to go there alone, which is the worst decision he could have made when meeting with a criminal who likes ripping off criminals because they have no recourse. Pryce’s solo deal with Nacho leads to the latter figuring out his real identity- Daniel Warmolt- and he decides to not only cut ties with the guy but rob him as well, as an extra eff you to Danny’s naivety.
And remember that nickname because it will come up again. Panicked, Daniel contacts the cops because Nacho not only stole his money, but he also took his father’s baseball cards which are more precious to him than anything else. But when they see his vehicle and find a hiding place in the living room, they put two and two together and figure out that Danny is a drug dealer.
If it wasn’t for Mike catching him at the right place at the right time, he might just have flipped on everybody and we wouldn’t get to see The Cleaner at all. Thanks to an interference from Lady Luck and a stick whose name is Tuco Salamanca, Pryce manages to get his cards back but has to trade in his Hummer for it. You can tell he is attached to the car because he asks Nacho to be gentle with her, so Pryce is rightly horrified when Nacho tells him that he wouldn’t be caught dead in a car that looks like a school bus for 6-year-old pimps. But he does the deal anyway, and it takes an insane story about squat cobblers courtesy of Saul Goodman for Pryce to go scot-free.
After that, Danny goes about his life not committing crimes, until he is contacted by Nacho once again who wants him to get him empty pill capsules that resemble Hector Salamanca’s. Scared that Nacho will do something to him- he did break into Danny’s home to propose the deal, after all- he contacts Mike to hire him again; and after explaining why, Mike agrees. The three parties meet at their usual spot- a power plant- and after that deal is concluded we do not hear from Pryce again until, funnily enough, Breaking Bad.
What happened to Pryce after Better Call Saul? – Danny in Breaking Bad & Beyond
Veteran Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul writer Thomas Schnauz recently revealed that the owner of the notorious laser tag company that Saul Goodman kept pushing his clients to purchase belonged to none other than Daniel Warmolt, which brings Pryce’s character to a neat- if somewhat unsettling- full circle moment. Turns out, Danny had “a vision” after his experience in the drug trade and he bought Lazer Base as a consequence. What exactly were the contents of this vision, we can never be sure of, but it must not have been a very good one because he made the call right before the Great Recession of 2008 and ended up getting into money problems.
So, in order to alleviate said problems, he contacted his lawyer Saul Goodman- who by now had a reputation for being a “criminal” lawyer- and made him an offer; he would allow Saul to use Lazer Base as a money laundering front and look the other way for a piece of the action. This relationship continued all the way through Breaking Bad without a single appearance from Mark Proksch, which makes Danny the 3rd character- after Nacho and Lalo- to have been named in Breaking Bad but shown in Better Call Saul.
After entering this agreement, Danny and Saul went on to make bank and for a while things were going good, even though the laser tag business seemed to be suffering from something of a perpetual off season. After going into business with Heisenberg, Saul would offer up Lazer Base as a money laundering front to both him and Jesse, and the location would end up becoming key to Gale Boetticher’s murder.
Because that is where Walt stashed Jesse, and after Saul sent Mike on a wild goose chase, Jesse was able to get to Gale before anyone else and kill him to make himself and Walt indispensible to Gus. Danny’s name would come up again when Walt and Skyler try to buy A1A Car Wash from Bogdan and Saul counters that it would never work because the place “doesn’t have a Danny,” referring to Bogdan and his immovable eyebrows.
The last mention of Danny in Breaking Bad comes when Walt, Jesse, and Mike go to look for new cooking locations, and Saul brings them to Lazer Base, informing them that Danny has already cleared out an area for all the equipment. They reject the suggestion- flatly- and move on to Vamonos Pest. We wouldn’t find out what happened to Pryce until Better Call Saul Season 6 Episode 11 came out.
After Saul calls Francesca following the crapstorm that erupts in the wake of Walter White’s death, he inquires as to how hot the situation is in the ABQ for him. She tells him that the feds found everything that he had, and seized all of his money laundering operations as well. When he asks about Danny, she remains silent, and Saul is livid at the fact that even the laser tag spot literally no one wanted was now in the hands of the Feds.
Though Francesca remains tight-lipped on the matter, we can deduce from her silence and Pryce’s general failure at being a criminal that he must have cooperated with the authorities in some way or the other. Understand that Pryce is a guy who thinks all criminals are bad but he isn’t a bad guy himself, and that kind of a misinformed opinion of oneself and leave them open to ratting out their associates. Don’t forget that Danny was only saved from talking to the police by Mike because he found him at the right place at the right time.
The magnitude of the fallout of everything that Heisenberg did was so massive that even people like Francesca are being tailed 6 months after everything went down. Now, Francesca might not like Saul but working with him as hardened her into a criminal as well. She was able to stay out of jail even after the federal government found her name on the board of one of Saul’s shell corporations, which they could have very easily nabbed her for.
The fact that she is getting tailed in November of 2010 has got to be more deep than just her being Saul’s assistant, and we posit that Pryce must have told the feds about Francesca’s involvement. Not that he ever spoke business with her, mind you, but he could have told his interrogators that Francesca was his usual point of contact, which, as we’ve said already, more than enough to put her in jail.
As for Pryce himself, we think that is exactly where he is, because he doesn’t do well under pressure and despite being a “seasoned criminal” he has shown to possess a series lack of tact. So to answer the question we posed at the beginning of this video, we think that Pryce- like Saul- is serving jail time but for entirely different reasons. Saul Goodman fessed up after getting caught to keep the heat off Kim and anyone else he could have possibly saved with his testimony; Pryce simply gave up everything he knew, which is consistent with his character portrayal.
Whether intentional or unintentional, the character of Pryce has become a great comic relief from the Breaking Bad universe. His aloofness and blissful ignorance are frankly endearing, and so is the fact that he thinks he is the boss when he is clearly being maneuvered into doing things by people much smarter than him.
Pryce is a case study in how not to be a criminal, and is yet another example of Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould’s creative genius. But it is Mark Proksch’s clueless yet totally earnest portrayal of Pryce that really cinches the deal for us. We don’t think that anyone else could have pulled off this role with the kind of nuance that he did, and to quote Skinny Pete, that’s church.