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Better Call Saul introduced many characters who were never on Breaking Bad. Kim Wexler (Rhea Seehorn), but also Howard Hamlin (Patrick Fabian) were Better Call Saul originals. Fans have been predicting every new character’s death since the show began. Fabian himself had ideas for how Howard Hamlin could have been alive during the Breaking Bad years.

[Warning: This article contains spoilers for the Better Call Saul midseason finale.]

'Better Call Saul' mideason finale: Howard Hamlin (Patrick Fabian) visits Kim and Jimmy, but won't live to see 'Breaking Bad'
Patrick Fabian | Greg Lewis/AMC/Sony Pictures Television

Alas, it was not meant to be for Howard. The Better Call Saul midseason finale ended with his shocking death at the hands of Lalo Salamanca. Still, Fabian shared his theory about where Howard might have been while Saul Goodman was representing Walter White. 

What happened to Howard Hamlin on ‘Better Call Saul’?

Howard hit rock bottom in the Better Call Saul midseason finale. Kim and Jimmy (Bbo Odenkirk) succeeded in making him look incompetent. Then, being in the wrong place at the wrong time cost Howard his life. He happened to confront them just when Lalo Salamanca (Tony Dalton) came over. Otherwise, Fabian thinks Howard could have still recovered.

“It would have been nice if Howard had been able to continue on living, repair his relationship with Cheryl,” Fabian told the AMC blog. “I think the heat of the moment ‘I’m going to let everybody know who you are!’ probably would have faded, and I think eventually he would have namaste-d himself into a space of like, ‘You know what? Let go, let God, let it be.’ And there would have been an uneasy truce and sometime later on when all the stuff goes down that goes down in Breaking Bad.”

Does Howard Hamlin appear in ‘Breaking Bad’? He would if Patrick Fabian had his way

Better Call Saul is the origin story of Saul Goodman. The prequel has shown Jimmy creating the persona. Once all the Heisenberg crime story got underway in Breaking Bad, Fabian thinks Howard would have spilled tea on Jimmy.


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“Howard would have been bemusedly smiling about that, like, ‘Uh huh, let me tell you a story about Saul Goodman,’” Fabian said. “It would have become another cocktail story for him. Instead, there he is on their floor literally bleeding out. And you know what? What a great way to go actually for a character, as opposed to fading away.”

Patrick Fabian’s last ‘Better Call Saul’ gave Howard a greater purpose

While Fabian sympathizes with Howard, he also recognizes what a great value his death gave Better Call Saul. Writer Thomas Schnauz has said Jimmy needed to learn the lesson he never learned from Chuck (Michael McKean)’s death. Fabian agreed. 

“Well, he definitely didn’t deserve it,“ Fabian said. “He’s not a martyr, but it certainly is the result of unintended consequences. It shows you that your actions do have consequences and they’re not always the ones you think they’re going to be.”