Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers for the mid-season finale of Better Call Saul.
Jimmy (Bob Odenkirk) and Kim (Rhea Seehorn) hatched a master plan to systematically destroy Howard Hamlin (Patrick Fabian) a while ago — and they are about to reap the rewards of their efforts. The mid-season finale of Better Call Saul captures Howard's swan song, with a scene portraying the grisly death he suffers at the hands of Lalo Salamanca (Tony Dalton). Here's what happened to Howard on Better Call Saul.
Howard Hamlin suffers a lamentable death in the mid-season finale of 'Better Call Saul.'
Jimmy and Kim set their sights on Howard and his law firm, Hamlin, Hamlin & McGill, in the Season 5 finale of Better Call Saul, and soon enough, they start pulling the strings.
The two decide to paint Howard in a bad light in an attempt to bring the Sandpiper Crossing class-action lawsuit to a close, scoring a settlement. Jimmy is awarded north of $1 million — and he also gets to enjoy the spectacle Howard's lasting misery provides.
Jimmy and Kim launched a mudslinging campaign long before Lalo killed Howard.
Howard visits Jimmy and Kim at their apartment in the mid-season finale, naively scolding Jimmy for the majority of the incidents tarnishing his reputation.
Destroying Howard was a group effort, with Jimmy and Kim working in close collaboration to plant drugs in his golf locker, staging a public display that looks like Howard kicking a sex worker out of his car, and getting ahold of the passcode to the mediation session taking place at the HHM HQ.
At one point in the conversation, Howard turns to Kim, telling her how much she disappointed him. Kim gets a real kick out of the unexpected validation. Soon enough, things take a new turn — with Howard looking directly into the barrel of Lalo's gun.
He fails to escape his destiny, falling victim to the ruthless cartel member almost as though by accident. Howard's death came as a shock to many fans, who didn't expect the impeccably-dressed lawyer to go down quite so mortifyingly.
Patrick Fabian shared a handful of details about the big plot twist in an interview with Hollywood Reporter. As he explained, he vaguely knew that the end was near — but he was blissfully unaware of the specifics.
"I didn't know how it was going to be, pardon the pun, executed until I got script seven, and that was two weeks before we started shooting," Patrick Fabian, the actor playing Howard, told the Hollywood Reporter. "My job is to see what’s in front of me and work on that. So in that respect, it was really great, but there was this sense of, 'Is it this week? Is it this week?' And finally, it was that week, with a beautiful script written by Tom Schnauz."
"It also feels like Howard is done in that office scene with Cliff [Ed Begley Jr.]. He tries to explain it, but Cliff is like, 'It’s over. Even if you're right, it’s over," Patrick added. "Jimmy and Kim have undressed him in his own office and exposed him. It’s a humiliation of untold proportions, and then the final scene is just a real gut punch."
The shooting marks the end of Howard's — and Patrick's — six-season run on Better Call Saul. With the Sandpiper Crossing class-action lawsuit all wrapped up, the remaining episodes are bound to dig deep into Jimmy and Kim's long-whispered demise as a couple, among other topics.
Better Call Saul returns on July 11, 2022 at 9 p.m. EST on AMC.