Howard Hamlin’s death is the ultimate proof following society’s rules is a loser’s game. For his efforts at being a consummate professional… Hamlin was rewarded with a full public humiliation, failing marriage, and early retirement six feet under. If he even gets the privilege of a casket.
Rule breakers always win in business. They’re not held back by arbitrary, imaginary lines & regulations. Saul Goodman is free, endlessly adaptable. If the physical world allows it, Goodman can make it happen.
In comparison, Howard Hamlin is shackled by the archaic law books chained to his foot. He sees the red-lit emergency axe but refuses to break it open in case alarms go off.
Hesitating, practicing inaction, NAMAST3. While Goodman would already be in his getaway car ten minutes ago. Maybe even steering Howard’s own car to make his escape.
That’s why for all his wealth and high status, even boxing prowess, Hamlin’s three steps behind Jimmy every time.
Case in point: Hamlin tried to work things out with Jimmy behind closed doors multiple times instead of turning him in. He relentlessly offered the dream job Jimmy always wanted.
In return Hamlin got a bowling ball on his car, strippers tarnishing his reputation while dining with his work peers, and his wife Cheryl subconsciously losing respect for him. And that’s all before Lalo Salamanca ever came into the picture.
Ask yourself if Cheryl Hamlin would still be as icy as a blizzard in Antarctica if Hamlin had handled his ‘Jimmy McGill problem’ earlier? Howard sparred with Jimmy, gave him friendly jabs in the ring. While Jimmy went for the full TKO outside of it.
A Ring without Gloves
What did Howard get for paying off Kim Wexler’s law school tuition? A willing accomplice for Saul Goodman in the mission to destroy him. Remember Kim telling Clifford Main she owed ‘everything in her career to Howard Hamlin’? That debt was refunded with interest.
Howard Hamlin and Hank Scharder
In their last hours, the similarities between Howard Hamlin and Breaking Bad’s Hank Schrader only become more evident. Hank’s death was collateral damage from of Walter White’s unsavory business associates just like Jimmy’s. Both Hank and Howard followed the rules, the laws, and were routinely punished for it. Eventually with their very lives.
Jimmy and Kim could do nothing but watch Howard’s death happen. Hust as Walter White had watched Hank’s in the desert.
Fortune tellers. They knew Howard & Hank’s fates but were powerless to stop the chaos they had themselves created.
‘Wrong place at the wrong time?’ A coping mechanism at best.
In the end, keeping his integrity intact and his nose clean, ironically enough, only brought Howard Hamlin to an early grave. Chuck McGill had warned him but Howard acted as the good samaritan messenger to Kim instead of heeding his own advice.
If Howard had played by Jimmy’s rules instead of society’s he would still be around now. Because there would be no rules at all. The Winner Takes It All.
More Better Call Saul Season 6 News, Interviews, and News
Chuck Knew! Be sure to read:
The mid-season finale is past and this summer we’ll get to see part 2 of Better Call Saul’s final season. Keep up with the latest news in the Better Call Saul News section!