Why Howard Isn't The Real Villain Of Better Call Saul According To Patrick Fabian

"Better Call Saul" offers audiences a glimpse into how a somewhat sleazy but ultimately kind-hearted man named Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk) turned into the criminal lawyer known as Saul Goodman. There were many factors related to his descent. It all starts when Jimmy brings a major case to HHM, hoping to land a lucrative gig on it, but Howard Hamlin (Patrick Fabian) pushes him out, subsequently making him lose out on a bunch of money. Things only get worse when Jimmy learns it was really his brother who wanted him out. 

Since that time, Howard has been in Jimmy's sights for revenge, and starting with Season 6, Jimmy (now Saul) and Kim Wexler (Rhea Seehorn) have concocted a brilliant plan to take him down. However, it all really begs the question of whether Howard is really a bad guy or if he's just doing what he thinks is best. Actor Patrick Fabian was asked precisely that during an interview with Variety, where he offered his take on the character and how precisely he fits into Jimmy's character development.

Patrick Fabian doesn't think Howard's done anything wrong

Suffice to say, Howard certainly gets in Jimmy's way more often than not on "Better Call Saul." However, when taking a look at things from another perspective, it's hard to fault him for the way he treats Jimmy. After all, he's trying to operate a massive law firm, and Jimmy gets in his way, pulling pranks at every step. Howard may not be an outright villain, but he could definitely take on an antagonistic role, and that's kind of how Fabian views the character. 

When speaking with Variety, the actor mentioned, "I don't think Howard has done anything necessarily wrong. That includes the corn fields [shorthand for demoting Kim to doc review]. The only wrong thing he did was really not standing up to Chuck and doing Chuck's dirty work in the earlier part of the series. Other than that, I think you can make a case that Howard is acting in the best interest of not only his firm and himself, but also in the best interests of Jimmy and Kim."

Fabian goes on to discuss how he understands that different fans will have different ways of viewing him. Tom Schnauz, a writer and director for "Better Call Saul," agreed with the assessment, "Howard should not be an antagonist in the story, but because of the psychological issues that Jimmy's going through, he is." Regardless, Howard makes for an intriguing foil for Jimmy/Saul, and he offered plenty of fun during his time on the show.