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The Alternate Howard Storyline Better Call Saul Fans Never Got To See

Patrick Fabian's Howard Hamlin character may be dead and gone on "Better Call Saul," but that doesn't mean viewers aren't still thinking about him — and what possibly could have been. 

"Howard Hamlin deserved better," wrote Twitter user @kmw_88 on June 21, 2022. "Yes it's been weeks. No, I am not over it." @FighterjetPilo1 concurred, writing, "Howard died too soon." Meanwhile, a third user, @CathyMellang, observed, "Howard Hamlin proving nice guys finish 'dead' last."

When Howard was killed off at the end of "Better Call Saul" Season 6, Part 1, by Lalo Salamanca (Tony Dalton), many fans were upset and heartbroken over the move. While Fabian's performance on the show started out as one from an antagonist standpoint, the prim and proper lawyer eventually grew on people and became one of the series' proverbial support beams. By the end of the first half of Season 6, however, Howard had become ruined by Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk) and Kim Wexler (Rhea Seehorn) and murdered in shocking fashion. But this apparently wasn't always going to be the final fate for the slain attorney. According to writer-director-producer Tom Schnauz, there were actually a number of different scenarios that were planned out for Howard, with one almost coming to fruition.

There was almost a Howard storyline involving the Season 1 skateboard scammers

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter in a May 2022 interview, Tom Schnauz recalled how the "Better Call Saul" writers had discussions about bringing back Lars and Cal Lindholm (Steven and Daniel Spenser Levine) — aka the skateboard scammers from Season 1 — to be part of a major storyline with Howard, had he not been killed off. 

"In the early stages, when we started breaking the season, we had discussions about the skate rats from Season 1 coming back and somehow being part of the plan and tricking Howard so that he somehow thinks he accidentally kills one of them," Schnauz said. "There were all of these crazy different plots." According to Schnauz, there were firm plans in place for Howard Hamlin and his ultimate survival in the grand scheme of things. But the evolving story of "Better Call Saul" wound up changing that. 

"There were all different scenarios. We go down every different road," Schnauz explained. "We work on these stories for so long and so many days and we go down so many different roads that it's hard to say when it felt like we were on the right road. We just go piece by piece. The characters take us where we want to go." With just six episodes left at the time of writing, "Better Call Saul" is set to return and finish its final season on AMC starting July 11. The series is scheduled to wrap up for good on August 15.