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The Most Pause-Worthy Howard Moment In Better Call Saul Season 5

Howard Hamlin (Patrick Fabian), one of the original characters created for "Better Call Saul" which populates Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould's fictional Albuquerque, is constantly caught between the lines of friend and foe for Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk) and Kim Wexler (Rhea Seehorn).

Initially presented as something of an antagonist, Howard and Jimmy clash over Hamlin, Hamlin & McGill's treatment of Jimmy's brother, Chuck McGill (Michael McKean) during his leave of absence from the firm. As the series unfolds, Jimmy and Kim realize that Howard actually likes Jimmy and feels he's a capable lawyer. Instead, it's Chuck, his law partner, who views his brother as untrustworthy, incapable of change, and undeserving of a respectable job in their profession.

While Howard is not necessarily a series lead on "Better Call Saul," he is an effective character who draws a contrast between Jimmy and Kim, two up-and-coming lawyers trying to establish themselves, and Chuck, who at times grows as vindictive toward his younger brother as Jimmy can be toward those he targets. By Season 5, Howard's relationship with Jimmy and Kim has completely soured even though he frequently tries to help them with their careers throughout the show.

Howard may represent the older brother Jimmy could have had, but Jimmy spends the series brooding at his relationship with Chuck instead — and one scene the two share in "Better Call Saul" Season 5 displays just how far apart they have grown.

Howard prompts a meltdown from Jimmy

In the "Better Call Saul" Season 5 episode "JMM," Howard Hamlin and Jimmy McGill meet by coincidence at the courthouse, where Howard follows up about a job offer at Hamlin, Hamlin & McGill that he made to Jimmy earlier in the season. When Jimmy doesn't offer much interest in the position, Howard inquires about the mean-spirited pranks and vandalism Jimmy set out against him previously — smashing his car's windows with bowling balls and hiring prostitutes to embarrass Howard in public. Jimmy denies involvement with these incidents, prompting a stunning line read from Patrick Fabian: "Jimmy, I'm sorry you're in pain."

At this moment, both the characters and the audience understand that Jimmy's problem with Howard isn't the job in question or anything regarding their interpersonal relationship — it all has to do with Chuck McGill, Howard's late law firm partner who always looked down on his brother, Jimmy.

Season 5 of "Better Call Saul" takes place more than a year after Chuck dies at the outset of Season 4, and it's clear by now that Howard has moved on with his grief, even though he once blamed himself for Chuck's death. Jimmy, however, has not moved on at all, and he turns all his rage and contempt for his late brother and himself on Howard in this moment, as a former friend seems to finally realize Jimmy can't be saved. Howard walks away from an ugly scene as Jimmy follows, insulting Howard each step of the way.