Breaking Bad Wiki
Breaking Bad Wiki

Oh yeah, sure. The Sandpiper settlementHHM's share will be substantial, absolutely. Even though I humiliated myself. And my clients and peers will whisper that Howard Hamlin's a drug addict. You're right. I've worked my way through worse. Debt. Depression. My marriage falling apart. Oh, yeah. Been sleeping in the guest house for the better part of a year. Just one more thing that good ol' Howard has to work through. But yes, I will land on my feet. I will be okay. But you? Far from it. You two... you two are soulless. Jimmy, you can't help yourself. Chuck knew it. You were born that way. But you—one of the smartest and most promising human beings I've ever known, and this is the life you choose. (...) You're perfect for each other. You have a piece missing. I-I-I thought you did it for the money, but it-it—It's so clear. Screw the money, you did it for fun! You get off on it! You're... you're like... Leopold and Loeb. Two sociopaths. (...) Oh, you know it's true, you just don't have the guts to admit it.
― Howard's angry rant at Jimmy McGill and Kim Wexler for their scheme to undermine him.[src]

Howard G. Hamlin is an American corporate lawyer from Albuquerque, New Mexico, best known as the owner and CEO of Hamlin, Hamlin & McGill (HHM), a large and respected law firm that originally established by Howard's father George and Chuck McGill, who later added Howard as one of the managing partners. When George died and Chuck became housebound as a result of his supposed electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS), Howard became the firm's managing partner and senior partner. Howard's friendship with Chuck and privileged background prove to be a constant source of frustration for both Jimmy McGill and Kim Wexler, his former employees at the firm. Despite his feuds with the McGill brothers and Kim, Howard is a skilled and affluent lawyer, with HHM being one of the most respected firms in Albuquerque.

Warning, the following may contain spoilers.

After Chuck steps away from the firm due to his claim of electromagnetic hypersensitivity, Howard enables him to work from home while Jimmy takes care of Chuck's personal needs. Unbeknownst to Jimmy, Chuck uses Howard to block Jimmy from advancing in the legal profession. Jimmy believes Howard is the one inhibiting his career progression, causing him to become resentful of Howard. When Kim Wexler quits HHM, Mesa Verde Bank and Trust agrees to hire her as outside counsel, but Chuck and Howard succeed at bringing Mesa Verde back to HHM. Jimmy then alters paperwork in one of Chuck's Mesa Verde filings, causing him to appear incompetent, so Mesa Verde returns to Kim. Chuck is certain Jimmy sabotaged him and plans to get revenge. He secretly records Jimmy's admission to tampering with the Mesa Verde documents, then makes Jimmy aware of the recording. When Jimmy breaks in to destroy it, Howard is present and serves as Chuck's corroborating witness. Chuck presents the confession to the state bar association in hopes of having Jimmy disbarred, but Jimmy and Kim minimize Chuck's argument by exposing his alleged electromagnetic hypersensitivity as a psychosomatic ailment. Jimmy's law license is suspended but he is not disbarred. Howard counsels Chuck to consider this a win, but Chuck remains unsatisfied.

After Jimmy's law license is suspended, he "accidentally" informs HHM's malpractice insurer of Chuck's condition, causing the insurer to demand that Chuck be constantly supervised by another attorney or that HHM pay a substantial premium increase. Chuck wants to fight the insurance company, but Howard pays Chuck the first of three installments to buy out his share of the firm, thereby forcing Chuck into retirement. Chuck subsequently kills himself and Jimmy initially believes himself responsible. When Howard admits that he believes himself responsible because he forced Chuck to retire, Jimmy allows Howard to shoulder the blame. For much of the next year, Howard is emotionally withdrawn and the notoriety around Chuck's death causes HHM to lose clients and go into dire financial straits. By the time Jimmy regains his law license, Howard announces that HHM has recovered and is once again one of Albuquerque's top firms.

Howard later offers Jimmy a position at HHM and says the feud between Chuck and Jimmy was a personal dispute between the two brothers, not between Jimmy and HHM. Jimmy, who is now practicing law as Saul Goodman, is upset by the reminder of his past and toys with Howard while claiming to consider his job offer. Howard eventually realizes that Jimmy is conducting a harassment campaign against him and rescinds the offer, while Jimmy says that as Saul Goodman, he is too big for the constraints of an HHM job. Howard later suggests that Kim is throwing her career away at Jimmy's instigation and Kim scoffs at Howard's belief that she cannot think for herself. Kim proposes to Jimmy that they obtain Jimmy's share of the multi-million dollar settlement from the Sandpiper Crossing lawsuit sooner by gaslighting Howard at a mediation hearing to force an early settlement.

As Kim and Jimmy plan and execute their con, Howard becomes aware of their machinations and confidently tells Cheryl that he is attempting to solve the problem but also to brace for more drama related to Jimmy and Kim's conspiracy. Jimmy and Kim's elaborate sabotage plan succeeds, Howard is humiliated in front of his clients and peers, and the Sandpiper case is settled at a price lower than originally hoped for. Howard, facing personal ruin as a result of the embarrassing fiasco, pieces together the whole plot and arrives at Kim's apartment to confront her and Jimmy. Correctly accusing Jimmy and Kim of being behind that day's humiliating debacle, Howard condemns the two for their stunt and calls their behavior sociopathic. Lalo Salamanca arrives soon afterwards, intending to interrogate Jimmy and Kim. Howard disregards Kim's panicked entreaties to leave immediately, and Lalo casually kills Howard with a gunshot to the head. His body is buried in the superlab foundations and his death is framed as a suicide to cover it up. Howard's death later led to Kim's decision to break up with Jimmy to prevent them from hurting anyone else around them. Jimmy and Kim's scam left Howard's reputation permanently ruined to the point that he would eventually only be remembered for the lies that had been spread about him.

In 2010, after the deaths of everyone involved in Howard's murder and the coverup aside from her and Jimmy, a remorseful Kim returns to Albuquerque and provides both Cheryl and the district attorney with an affidavit revealing the truth about the scam and Howard's murder in an effort to clear his name and save Howard's reputation. With Kim unaware of where Howard's body was buried, she doubts that it will ever be found or that she will ever face prosecution due to the lack of physical evidence and witnesses to the crime.


Background Information[]

Howard Hamlin was born in 1960. His father George Hamlin co-founded the Hamlin & McGill law firm with Charles "Chuck" McGill when Howard was young. After being persuaded to become a lawyer by his father and being mentored through law school by Chuck, Howard joined the firm in July 1985 and subsequently changed the firm's name to Hamlin, Hamlin & McGill. ("Lantern") The firm grew to be one of the most successful law firms in New Mexico by the early 2000s. When George died and Chuck became housebound as a result of his supposed electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS), Howard became the firm's sole managing partner. Howard married his wife Cheryl at some point, and by 2003 their marriage had fallen apart. By the time of Howard's murder, he had been sleeping in the guest house and interactions with his wife had become cold and distant. ("Axe and Grind"), ("Plan and Execution")

Howard confronting Jimmy

Howard revealing to Jimmy McGill that HHM would not be hiring him.

Chuck convinced his younger brother Jimmy, a former con artist from Cicero, Illinois, to move to Albuquerque and earn an honest living by working in HHM's mailroom. While Jimmy was working there, Howard and Chuck discovered that Jimmy was working on becoming a lawyer. In a flashback to 1993, Jimmy is delivering mail at HHM and talks to his co-workers about a betting pool for the Academy Awards he has organized. He crosses paths with Kim Wexler, who is also doing mail rounds. Chuck enters the office to a big round of applause, having just won a big inheritance lawsuit using his knowledge of obscure case law. When Chuck approaches the pair, he answers Kim's questions on case law, but is annoyed by Jimmy. After Howard collects Chuck, Kim continues her rounds, and Jimmy walks past HHM's law library. He turns around and steps inside, deciding to become a lawyer like Chuck and Kim. ("Piñata")

After Jimmy passed the bar exam, Howard came to Jimmy's congratulatory party in the mail room and, speaking to him alone, revealed that HHM would not be hiring him. Jimmy would think Howard was solely responsible for this which led to their feud, although it was actually Chuck that was behind the decision for HHM not to hire Jimmy. ("RICO")

Better Call Saul[]

Season 1[]

After Chuck took an "extended leave of absence" from HHM, Howard practically assumes sole leadership of the firm, while Chuck receives a regular $26,000 stipend. Jimmy confronts Howard, accusing HHM of cheating his brother out of his rightful share, and demands a $17 million severance package on behalf of Chuck. ("Uno") Later, Jimmy tries and fails to offer his services to Craig and Betsy Kettleman, a couple accused of embezzling county funds, but they instead turn to HHM. When the Kettlemans go missing, Howard works to exclude Jimmy from the police investigations even though Jimmy could provide essential evidence. ("Nacho")


Howard with his then-employee Kim Wexler.

In reaction to Chuck advising Jimmy to change his name as an attorney to avoid mistaking with HHM, Jimmy intentionally evokes imitation in public by copying the layout of an HHM banner showing Howard for his own advertisement. In the following court action, the judge decides in Howard's favor thus commanding Jimmy to remove his banner. However, Jimmy turns the tide in his favor by combining the banner removal with a publicity maneuver to gain local popularity. Upon hearing this news Howard begrudgingly comments Jimmy's action as "a mere PR gag." ("Hero")

As Jimmy finds a very profitable new case Chuck offers his help and begins a temporary law partnership with his brother. Later on, he also persuades Jimmy into striking up a cooperation with HHM, an option Jimmy refuses to take at first. When Jimmy is asleep, Chuck dares to leave his house wearing his space blanket and calls an unknown party, which later turns out to have been Howard.

For Chuck's first meeting in the law firm building for a long time Howard gathers the entire staff to shower Chuck with applause upon his arrival. In the meeting Howard agrees with Jimmy on financial terms for his cooperation and furtherance of the case. However, he also states that HHM is only interested in the case itself and not in Jimmy taking up a temporary job as an attorney at HHM, as Jimmy was expecting to be the case. Shocked and hurt, Jimmy seethes that he would rather burn down the whole thing to the ground before giving it to Hamlin.


Howard and his employees congratulating Chuck McGill after he returns to HHM.

When Kim learns about his disapprobation, she questions Howard about the reasons for this decision. Howard tells her that this is none of her concern and kindly advises her to keep her questions for herself in a harsh undertone. Just moments after insisting upon Kim leaving his room, he changes his mind and tells her to come back and close the door as what he is going to tell her apparently needs to be maintained as a secret. Through this conversation Kim seems to learn that in fact Chuck begrudges Jimmy his success as a lawyer and that Howard turned down Jimmy's application and his appointment just upon Chuck's instruction to do so. ("Pimento")

After learning of Chuck's actions, Jimmy turns the case over to Howard as well as taking care of Chuck. Howard reveals that he only kept Jimmy out on Chuck's orders and actually really likes Jimmy and respects him. In return, Jimmy apologizes for his opinion of Howard. Later, when HHM has to partner with another firm on the case Jimmy brought them, Kim works to get Jimmy a job there and tells him that Howard was pushing for him to get the chance too as it's at a place Chuck has no control over. ("Marco")

Season 2[]

BCS 2x1 2

Howard with Clifford Main.

As Jimmy is deliberating with himself in the courthouse parking lot, inside, Kim and Howard are waiting to introduce him to his potential employers from Davis & Main. After a moment, Jimmy strides into the courthouse and confidently greets senior partner Clifford Main and two associates. Before the conversation can continue, he pulls Kim aside and asks if things would change between them if he takes the job. A surprised Kim responds they absolutely nothing to do with the other, which Jimmy accepts. He returns to the group and tells them that he must remove himself from consideration by Davis & Main. He smiles and walks away, leaving everyone stunned. ("Switch")

Later on, Howard arrives at Chuck's house with a grocery delivery. Howard delicately informs Chuck that Jimmy was hired by Davis & Main in a partner-track position to maintain continuity on the Sandpiper Crossing case. Taken aback, Chuck asks whether Cliff is aware of Jimmy’s background. Howard says he painted a full, honest picture of Jimmy - but also admits that he didn’t stand in the way of Jimmy being hired. As Howard departs, Chuck sits scowling in silence. Howard later appears at a meeting with representatives from Davis & Main to confer on the Sandpiper case. Jimmy begins to report on his client outreach efforts, but his self-assurance shatters when Chuck appears at the meeting. ("Cobbler")

Howard is present at another meeting with the Sandpiper co-counsel at HHM, with Chuck again in attendance. Turning to the topic of client outreach, Cliff offers to save Jimmy from having to brag about recently gaining more than 200 new clients in the past few weeks. Suspicious of his success rate in Amarillo from only a single response to their mailer, Chuck poses the concern that solicitation - an illegal practice - was involved. Jimmy insists the residents came to him, not the other way around. ("Amarillo")

After Jimmy airs a commercial without the consent of Clifford Main and his partners, Kim is brought in front of Howard and Chuck, and Howard chews out Kim over her failure to inform them about Jimmy's commercial. As a result, Kim is demoted to document review. She forbids Jimmy from talking to Howard about it as it will only make the situation worse. ("Gloves Off")

In order to get her position back, Kim continues to search for a new client for HHM. At last, she receives a return call from Paige Novick, who works as senior counsel for Mesa Verde Bank & Trust. Kim jumps for joy after arranging a meeting over the phone, her cheer reverberating in the empty parking garage. The next day, Kim and Howard greet Paige and Kevin Wachtell, the CEO of Mesa Verde, in the lobby of HHM. After a successful meeting, Kim offers to draw up a list of associates to assign to the case. Howard, still angry at her, informs her that someone else will spearhead that as Kim has enough on her plate in doc review. He heads back inside, leaving Kim disheartened and disillusioned. Howard later visits Chuck to share the good news about Mesa Verde. Chuck is impressed that Kim has snagged $250,000 in billings and possibly years of work for HHM, but Howard indicates that he hasn't forgiven her yet. ("Rebecca") With Chuck's help however, Kim is reinstated to her old position, but she is treated coldly by Howard who gives her the most humiliating and menial assignments, such as sending her to try and argue unwinnable motions at court. ("Bali Ha'i")

After deciding to quit HHM and start a solo practice with Jimmy, Kim meets with Howard in his office and hands him her letter of resignation. Howard shows no surprise, since he heard through the grapevine that Kim will be joining Schweikart and Cokely. Kim tells Howard that she'll work as a solo practitioner, and he deduces that she will be working together with Jimmy. He voices his admiration over Kim's "fresh start", claiming that he always wanted to start his own firm, take on the world and make a difference, but his father talked him into joining HHM. Kim expresses her gratitude for everything HHM has done for her, especially her law school tuition, and says that she's willing to pay for the remainder of her loan. Howard tells her that she won't have to pay them back, wishing her good luck as she leaves his office. Outside, Kim overhears Howard order his assistant to get him Mesa Verde on the phone and cancel everything he had lined up that morning, anticipating her intent to take her client with her. Realizing that time is of the essence, she sprints back to her office and calls Paige to set up a meeting with her and Kevin Wachtell. She is later able to convince Paige and Kevin to be her clients rather than HHM.

Howard later drops by Chuck's place to inform him that HHM may lose Mesa Verde to Kim. Chuck is rattled about the news that she is pooling her resources with Jimmy, comparing him with Svengali. Howard has managed to set up a meeting with Kevin in the afternoon to try and keep Mesa Verde as a client, but needs Chuck's help since compliance law is not his strong suit. He asks Chuck for arguments and bullet-points, but Chuck is ready to attend the meeting himself, reassuring Howard that the lights will stay on and he will behave as normal. In the meeting, Chuck - to Howard's horror - initially tells Kevin that Kim is indeed the right and obvious choice to handle Mesa Verde. Chuck claims to be boring, reading FEC and ISO reports for entertainment, since the rules are always changing and the penalties for even the most honest of errors can be devastating. Slowly but surely, Chuck gets his point across - he is far more experienced than Kim and, no matter how talented one individual may be, the needs of Mesa Verde are too big to handle alone. Kevin is convinced to stay with HHM. As he leaves, Howard congratulates Chuck on his success. Chuck, however, collapses into Howard's arms, the prolonged exposure to the electricity finally taking its toll on him. ("Fifi")

A week later, Howard and Chuck are scheduled, along with Kevin Wachtell and Paige Novick, to appear before the New Mexico State Banking Board to get final approval for the new Mesa Verde branch. Despite Howard's offer to attend the meeting alone, Chuck insists on coming along. From the park across the street, Jimmy watches Chuck and Howard drive off, then he proceeds to run into Chuck's house with a stack of files to remove ones that he has doctored to sabotage the two of them.

At the courthouse, Chuck almost has an EMS attack walking through the metal detector, but he manages to keep his composure. Before the board, Kevin starts to deliver an opening statement in support of the application, arguing that Mesa Verde's new branch is beneficial for everyone. The argument is cut off when an aide delivers a file to the board's commissioner. Taken off guard by the sudden interruption, Chuck tries to clear things up and on request of the board recites the address of the proposed branch as 1216 Rosella Drive—the phony address created by Jimmy. Over the discrepancy of information in the application and the original submission, the hearing breaks down and is ultimately postponed to six weeks later, especially since Chuck—in spite of Kevin's and Paige's insistence—refuses to accept that he used the wrong address, which greatly frustrates them. As Chuck returns home, he frantically sifts through the paperwork, dismissing Howard's attempts of comforting him. As he finds that the files all contain the '1261' address, he realizes Jimmy's complicity. ("Nailed") After suffering a head injury and returning home, Chuck quits HHM, concerning Howard who calls Jimmy and tells him of what Chuck is doing. In actuality it is all part of a ploy by Chuck to bait Jimmy into confessing to doctoring Mesa Verde's files, which succeeds. ("Klick")

Season 3[]

Kim discusses the case with Chuck and Howard

Howard and Chuck talking to Kim.

Howard is invited to Chuck's house and listens to his cassette tape of Jimmy's confession to doctoring the Mesa Verde files. While Howard is outraged by Jimmy's actions, he reminds Chuck that the tape can't be used against Jimmy in court, nor can it be used to lure Mesa Verde back to HHM. He is later present when an enraged Jimmy, having been tipped off about the tape's existence as part of Chuck's master plan, breaks into the house and destroys the tape. With Howard and Chuck's private investigator being witnesses to the incident, Jimmy is arrested for the break-in. ("Mabel",  "Witness")

Howard represents Chuck when he, Jimmy, and Kim meet with DDA Kyra Hay to discuss a pre-prosecution diversion agreement in which Jimmy confesses to the break-in and submits that confession to the New Mexico Bar Association (which would guarantee Jimmy being disbarred) in exchange for avoiding jail. After the meeting, Kim confronts Howard and Chuck and informs them of her intent to suppress the tape, which Chuck had duplicated. ("Sabrosito")

Howard in court

Howard testifying against Jimmy during the bar hearing.

Before Jimmy's bar hearing, Howard tries to dissuade Chuck from testifying, reasoning that the case will be strong enough with his own testimony; Chuck dismisses this advice, eager to see through his plot to have Jimmy disbarred. During Howard's testimony, Kim undermines his claims that Chuck blocked Jimmy to avoid nepotism by making him admit that he himself is the son of one of HHM's named partners. Howard also admits to the fact that Jimmy didn't know about Chuck's actions and states that he sees a lot of potential in Jimmy. Later, Howard, along with everyone else, watches in shock as Chuck delivers a rant showing his resentment towards Jimmy and desperation to get him disbarred. ("Chicanery")

After Jimmy is suspended for a year, Howard visits Chuck with a 35 year old bottle of Macallan scotch. He claims that they were still victorious as Jimmy will not be a lawyer for a whole year and is likely to screw up and be suspended indefinitely. He encourages Chuck to move on and no longer worry about Jimmy as he claims he is not worth it and that it is simply a waste of his time and intellect. Chuck appears to agree and toasts to "new beginnings". ("Off Brand")

Two weeks after Chuck's meltdown, Howard runs into Kim having a meeting with Paige and Kevin while he has his own lunch meeting and intrudes briefly upon it to pointedly remind Kim of her time in doc review at HHM. Immediately afterwards, Kim writes a check to Howard for the money he paid for her law school loans. After their guests leave, Howard angrily confronts Kim, particularly due to the timing. Howard tells Kim that he has spent the last two weeks meeting with clients for every meal to try to do damage control on the firm's reputation. Kim is unrepentant, telling Howard she merely represented her client and if he hid Chuck's true condition from his clients, it's on him. Howard tears up Kim's check, stating that her debt is forgiven, but everything else is not. He later visits Chuck at his home to talk about Chuck's malpractice insurance and is amazed and pleased to learn that Chuck has gone grocery shopping on his own. ("Slip")

During a meeting with HHM's insurance representatives, Howard learns that they wish to double the premium of each of the firm's lawyers in response to learning of Chuck's EHS and breakdown in court. They offer an alternative where a senior partner monitors Chuck in court for free, either of which is bad for HHM. After the meeting ends with Chuck threatening to sue, Howard attempts to get Chuck to retire as Howard no longer trusts Chuck and his decisions. Chuck is furious and storms out of the room.

At the parking garage of HHM the next day, Jimmy confronts Howard about the Sandpiper Crossing settlement offer, pointing out that HHM stands to gain over a few million dollars from the offer that they want to put off. Jimmy asks Howard to settle immediately, saying it would be the right thing to do for the clients. Howard refuses, seeing that Jimmy is feigning concern for the clients and is only interested in his cut of the money. He insults Jimmy and claims it is like talking to Gollum and that Jimmy is transparent and pathetic and even offers him a handout from his wallet to torment him. He warns Jimmy against employing any dirty tricks to get the settlement approved or leaking information to Schweikart and Cokely, knowing that he is willing to resort that low but won't because he's too greedy. Howard claims Jimmy will get his money but he will have to wait for it.

BCS 309 Fall

Howard confronting Jimmy in a parking lot.

Howard's secretary later delivers him an envelope from Chuck, which he assumes is Chuck's resignation letter. He directs his secretary to make plans for a big retirement party. Unfortunately, he's spoken too soon, as he opens to envelope to find Chuck plans to sue HHM for breach of contract. Howard goes to Chuck's house to confront him, noticing that Chuck has reinstalled some of the electrical appliances. Chuck insists that he is overcoming his EHS delusion, and vows to fight Howard in court in order to retain control of the firm he built from the ground up, threatening to liquidate the firm if he doesn't get his way. After Howard leaves, Chuck is forced to put down an electrical cooking implement, showing that he is still struggling with living around electricity. ("Fall")

At a meeting with the senior partners, Chuck offers to drop the lawsuit if they will let him return. Instead, Howard clears the room and states that Chuck has gone too far with his vendettas. Howard offers Chuck a $3 million check with a promise of two more payments as per the partnership agreement. Howard reveals that the money comes from both his own finances and a few loans, causing Chuck to realize that Howard is buying him out out of Howard's own pocket. With Chuck's financial blackmail removed, Howard announces his immediate departure to the rest of the firm and watches from the lobby balcony as Chuck departs HHM for the last time. ("Lantern")

Season 4[]

After Jimmy ignores a call from him, Howard calls Kim's apartment and leaves a message for Kim, who had been urged by Jimmy not to pick up the phone, that he urgently needs to reach Jimmy about Chuck. When Jimmy arrives at Chuck's burned-out house, he finds Howard behind him, standing near a coroner's van. As Jimmy realizes that Chuck is dead, Howard urges him not to look before walking away, leaving Jimmy alone with his grief. Howard talks with the fire inspector alongside Kim to learn exactly what happened to Chuck. Howard later calls Jimmy with the obituary he wrote for Chuck, but Jimmy gets emotional and Kim has to finish the call for him. After comforting Chuck's ex-wife at the funeral, a grieving Howard visits Kim and Jimmy and tells them that he thinks Chuck committed suicide. Howard admits to forcing Chuck out of the firm after the incident with the malpractice insurance and believes he pushed Chuck to suicide. Howard and Kim are both left shocked by Jimmy's nonchalant response to Howard's revelation, unaware that the problem with the insurance was really Jimmy's fault. ("Smoke")

Howard attends a meeting with Rebecca where they sign paperwork regarding Chuck's estate. When Kim arrives on Jimmy's behalf, Howard explains that Chuck left the house to Rebecca and as executor of Chuck's estate, Howard will be liquidating the property. The two offer to let Jimmy go through whatever is left and take whatever he wants, but Kim lets them know that Jimmy doesn't want any of it. Howard gives Kim an agreement letter to disperse Jimmy's share of the estate. Howard admits that it will be $5,000 which Kim recognizes is the amount you give someone when you want to cut them out of the estate but don't want them to contest the will, just enough money to show that the recipient isn't forgotten. Howard tells Kim that Chuck also left a substantial endowment for a scholarship for deserving youth and he hopes that Jimmy will serve on the board, something that Kim promises to tell him about as well as a personal letter for Jimmy's eyes only. Once Rebecca is gone, Kim angrily confronts Howard over his actions since Chuck's death, berating him to the point that Howard's voice breaks when he asks what he can do to make it better, but Kim tells him that there's nothing he can do besides stay away and storms out. ("Breathe")

Later, when arriving at the courthouse for his court-mandated PPD check-in, Jimmy steps into the courthouse restroom and finds Howard, who is fidgety and disheveled. Despite initially insisting that everything is fine, Howard alludes to suffering from insomnia. Jimmy suggests that he see Kim's therapist, but Howard replies that he is already seeing someone twice a week. After Howard leaves, Jimmy tears up the business card of Kim's therapist and flushes it down the toilet. ("Quite a Ride")

Howard Hamlin Charles L McGill Reading Room

Howard in front of the Charles L McGill Reading Room, established in Chuck's memory.

Jimmy later visits Howard at HHM, collecting the $5,000 check bequeathed to him in Chuck's will. After Jimmy notes that a lot of the cubicles outside are empty, Howard admits that HHM has been forced to lay off staff due to "setbacks," partly because of difficulty paying out to Chuck's estate. When Jimmy asks what the plan is to get the firm back on its feet, Howard doesn't answer. Jimmy tries to motivate Howard, telling him to quit "wallowing" and fight to save HHM. When he calls Howard "a shitty lawyer but a great salesman," Howard retorts with, "Fuck you, Jimmy." Jimmy encourages Howard to use this rage to get the firm back on track. ("Piñata")

A year after Chuck's suicide, Howard attends the dedication of the Charles L. McGill Reading Room and does an interview with Marshall Dixon. Howard admits that although its been a tough year for HHM, the firm is back. Although Howard wishes he could take credit for the dedication, he admits that he's only a guest and that it was an anonymous donor instead. Later, Howard leads a meeting to determine who will receive scholarships from the firm and is impressed by Jimmy's argument to hold a revote for Kristy Esposito, the only candidate that Jimmy voted for. However, she is voted down. ("Winner")

Season 5[]

Jimmy, now going by Saul Goodman, finally agrees to meet with Howard who briefly introduces Jimmy to Judge Lawler. Howard asks Jimmy, who agrees to allow Howard to continue to call him Jimmy, about what kind of person Saul Goodman is. Howard is impressed by Jimmy's description of Saul, though curious as to why he didn't just do those things as Jimmy McGill instead. Howard admits that HHM did Jimmy wrong and in doing so, tainted his name which made it easier for Jimmy to become Saul to do his work. Howard expresses remorse for not standing up to Chuck and hiring Jimmy when he first got barred and later when Jimmy brought HHM the Sandpiper Crossing case. Howard offers Jimmy a job at HHM, stating that he feels the bad blood they've dealt with in the past was between Jimmy and Chuck, not Jimmy and himself. Howard was inspired by Jimmy standing up for Kristy Esposito at the scholarship committee meeting and with HHM growing again, Howard believes he could use someone with Jimmy's personality and talents. The two men finish lunch and part on good terms with Jimmy stunned by Howard's offer.

Jimmy later sneaks onto Howard's property and smashes out his car's rear window with three bowling balls. ("Namaste")

Howard later phones Jimmy and inquires if he has considered Howard's offer to join HHM; Jimmy claims he is still thinking it over and quickly hangs up. ("Dedicado a Max")

After representing two prostitutes in court, Jimmy hires them to disrupt Howard's lunch with Clifford Main, utterly embarrassing him while Jimmy watches with glee from his car. ("Wexler v. Goodman")

BCS 507 13

Howard walks away as Jimmy gives an explosive rant towards him.

Howard later approaches Jimmy at the courthouse, asking once again about the HHM offer to which Jimmy once again claims he is thinking it over. Howard then rescinds the offer and acknowledges that he's clearly upset Jimmy, citing the bowling balls and prostitutes as evidence to which Jimmy feigns ignorance. Howard tells Jimmy that he is sorry that he is in pain (obviously over Chuck's death); Jimmy becomes furious and angrily blames Howard for Chuck's death and loudly proclaims that he has grown too big for the constraints of an HHM job, mocking Howard as he calmly walks out while Jimmy makes a scene. ("JMM")

Howard and his associates briefly share an elevator with Kim, where he learns she has quit Schweikart and Cokely to pursue pro bono work. He asks for a moment of her time, where he tells Kim about Jimmy's recent harassment of him and suggests Kim stop taking his lead and for Jimmy to get help. Kim bursts out laughing at him before calling his words patronizing and insulting, claiming she makes decisions for herself and that Howard does not know Jimmy. Howard, hurt and upset, retorts that Chuck knew Jimmy best before storming out.

Howard's words stick with Kim, and she later tells Jimmy that Howard had tried to "white knight" her before congratulating his harassment of Howard. She begins suggesting further retaliation, such as drugging Howard to shave his head or filling his pool with bleach. She continues escalating ideas before suggesting they frame Howard for "something unforgivable" to ruin his career and get Jimmy his cut of the Sandpiper settlement; an idea Kim is set on, to Jimmy's mounting shock. ("Something Unforgivable")

Season 6[]

Jimmy and Kim kick their plot against Howard into full gear. At the El Camino Dining Room, the two scheme about how to frame Howard; Kim begins to suggest an inaudible plan to Jimmy after describing that it has to be well-paced so Howard won't know it's coming, and that it has to make sense. The next day, Jimmy and Kim are seen spying on Howard playing golf with Cliff Main at a country club. Jimmy enters the club and introduces himself to Norm Wakely as Saul Goodman, asking for a tour. The two run into Kevin Wachtell, who tells Norm about Jimmy's misgivings, prompting Norm to ask Jimmy to leave. This provokes an argument between Kevin and Jimmy in which Jimmy levels accusations of antisemitism at Norm as the reason why he's suddenly being denied a tour. Jimmy is eventually allowed access to the men's locker room and after creating a distraction for the attendant by clogging the toilet, he ascertains the location of Howard's locker and slips a small plastic bag of baby powder designed to look like cocaine into the locker. He is able to hide from Howard and Cliff just in time for the two to return, overhearing the confusion amid the discovery of the bag. ("Wine and Roses")

Later, Jimmy and Kim continue scheming about how to rope Cliff into the plot against Howard. Kim has discovered Betsy and Craig Kettleman, the latter of whom having since been released from prison, are running a tax preparation firm called Sweet Liberty Tax Services in the desert. Jimmy visits the office, much to the chagrin of Betsy, who initially declines Jimmy's offer to work with them again but later relents under the pretense that Jimmy has information that could lead to their complete exoneration. After the Kettlemans sign letters of engagement with Jimmy, he leads them to believe Howard was under the influence of cocaine during their case, but Betsy promptly fires Jimmy. Later, the Kettlemans are seen consulting with Cliff, who dismisses their claims about Howard and declines to represent them, citing their cooperation with HHM on the Sandpiper Crossing settlement. ("Carrot and Stick")

The next day, Jimmy deploys Huell Babineaux to swipe the keys to Howard's car from a valet attendant. Huell hands off the keys to another associate in the back of a van who makes a duplicate of the keys and a mechanism to remotely lock and unlock the Jaguar. They operate with enough time to spare before the valet attendant notices the missing keys, and when he comes back to retrieve them they are laying on the ground beneath the car. Huell demonstrates the mechanism to Jimmy and gives him the keys. ("Rock and Hard Place")

When Howard visits his therapist, Jimmy, who has dressed and styled himself to look exactly like Howard, uses the duplicate keys to steal Howard's car. While Kim meets with Cliff over lunch, Jimmy picks up Wendy from the Crossroads Motel and waits for Kim's go-ahead. As Kim and Cliff end their lunch meeting, Howard's car speeds around a corner and skids to a stop as Jimmy pushes Wendy out of the car; he drives off as she screams in his direction that he owes her. Cliff watches dumbfounded, under the impression that Howard is responsible, and connects the dots. Jimmy is able to return Howard's car to his therapist's office despite the fact that the original parking spot has been taken, and Howard appears to be none the wiser. ("Hit and Run")

Howard boxing

Howard in a boxing match with Jimmy McGill.

Later, Howard and Cliff watch Erin Brill preside over a meeting with the elderly plaintiffs in the Sandpiper Crossing class action suit. Howard quickly inserts himself as the leader after the residents become disillusioned with Erin's explanation that class action settlements have protracted timelines, and uses his charisma to get back on their good side. After the meeting, Cliff confronts Howard regarding what he's seen. After vehemently denying his involvement, Howard asks Cliff with whom he was meeting, and he tells Howard it was Kim. Howard puts the pieces together, tells Cliff—who is under the impression that he really does need help with a drug problem—that he has a "Jimmy McGill problem," and calls his assistant to tell her to cancel his entire week. Howard then lures Jimmy to a boxing ring under the pseudonym H. O. Ward, and the two of them "punch it out," with Howard triumphing after punching Jimmy in the stomach. Outside the boxing ring, Howard confers with a private investigator in the latter's car, telling him to watch everything Jimmy does and monitor to whom he talks. ("Black and Blue")

BCS 606 Axe and Grind

Howard at his home, talking to his estranged wife Cheryl.

Some time later, Howard gets ready for work at his house; getting dressed, polishing his shoes, and placing his suit jacket in his Jaguar. He labors over his espresso machine, making a cappuccino with foam art in the shape of a peace sign for his wife, Cheryl. She halfheartedly thanks her husband before getting a reusable travel mug and pouring the cappuccino into it as Howard watches, visibly dismayed. Howard then warns Cheryl vaguely that he believes the situation with Jimmy is getting worse, and tells her it's possible she may "hear or see something. I couldn't say what." He reassures her he's dedicated to putting an end to it, and she leaves the house after barely exchanging any pleasantries with her husband. Later that day at HHM, Howard's private investigator briefs him on the last few days of Jimmy's activities; he walks through a series of photos of Jimmy's routine, but Howard interrupts him, questioning a photo he found. The private investigator says this is the only time Jimmy broke the pattern, stopping at a bank before he went to his office to withdraw an estimated $20,000 in cash. Howard says there's no legitimate reason a lawyer would need to make such a withdrawal. ("Axe and Grind")

Hoaward holding the fake photograph in front of the room

Howard holding the fake photograph.

Later, Howard meets with his private investigator to discuss Jimmy's recent activities. The investigator presents photos, laced with a psychotropic drug, of Jimmy paying off the mediator, Rand Casimiro (who is actually someone else Jimmy hired to play the role of Casimiro), to Howard. Howard then meets with Irene Landry and Cliff Main to discuss the upcoming meeting on the Sandpiper case. Howard enters the meeting room early and discusses Chuck's wisdom with an HHM intern who is stocking the mini fridge. When the meeting begins, Howard recognizes and accuses Casimiro of conspiracy with Jimmy and asks his assistant to retrieve the envelope that shows photos of him interacting with Jimmy. However, when Howard opens the envelope in front of everyone he finds that the photos have been swapped with innocent photos of Jimmy giving someone a Frisbee, and he realizes that Jimmy had set him up with a con man as his private investigator. The meeting ends with an insulted Casimiro leaving and wishing Howard good luck. Schweikart informs Cliff that they will be returning to their original settlement offer and will reduce it by one million for every subsequent day that it is not accepted because the meeting was a failure. Cliff confronts Howard and asks him to settle at the new rate, or he will inform the legal team of everything that he has witnessed happen with Howard. Howard reluctantly agrees.

Lalo and Howard

Howard confronting Jimmy and Kim over their scam as Lalo Salamanca enters the room.

Later, Howard goes to Jimmy and Kim's apartment and presents the couple with a bottle of Macallan scotch whisky to mockingly celebrate Jimmy's victory, bitterly asking what entitled them to ruin his reputation. He proceeds to call both Jimmy and Kim "soulless" and tells them that they are "perfect for each other", disgusted that they dragged him through the mud via an elaborate scheme for "fun".

Howard Hamlin isshot

Howard is shot in the head by Lalo.

Howard continues this rant as Lalo Salamanca enters the apartment. When Howard asks Lalo who he is, Lalo states nonchalantly he is nobody and that he merely wishes to “speak to my lawyers” (much to Jimmy and Kim's alarm). They both nervously implore Howard to leave immediately, but Howard remains oblivious to his danger, sarcastically telling Lalo to find himself better lawyers. Lalo affixes a silencer to a pistol and, once Howard finally realizes his peril, suddenly shoots Howard in the head, killing him. Howard's lifeless body collapses into a nearby coffee table, breaking his jaw and disfiguring him. Jimmy and Kim both scream in horror at what has just occurred before them, as Lalo shushes them to calm down, saying, "Okay... Let's talk." ("Plan and Execution")


Lalo and Howard's corpses

The bodies of Howard and Lalo being buried in the superlab foundations.

After Jimmy collapses sideways on the ground (after being tied up in his chair by Lalo), he begins crying in shock and grief upon facing Howard’s corpse. Howard's body is later buried under Gustavo Fring's superlab alongside Lalo's, who had been killed by Gus during a gunfight. Mike Ehrmantraut and Gustavo Fring's men drive Howard's car to the ocean several states away and make it look like Howard, while high on cocaine, had committed suicide by walking into the ocean. By doing this, the absence of Howard's body makes sense, as it would be presumed his corpse was lost at sea. ("Point and Shoot") As part of the coverup, Mike and his team clean up the apartment, removing the bullet and blood and later burning the evidence. ("Fun and Games")

Howard Hamlin memorial

Howard's memorial service at HHM.

The day after Howard's death, Jimmy and Kim visit HHM, where the staff and legal community are holding a memorial service for Howard. Speaking with Rich, they learn that HHM is downsizing, will move to a smaller office, and will change its name. They approach Howard's widow, Cheryl, who is talking to Cliff. Cheryl confronts the two about claims Howard had previously made that Jimmy had been harassing him. Jimmy tries to sidestep Cheryl's line of inquiry, but she demands that he repeat the story about Howard's last purported sighting that he told the police. He attempts to claim that Howard showed up at the apartment in a drug-addled state, but Cheryl angrily refuses to believe him. Kim makes up a story about catching Howard snorting cocaine in his office. With Cliff reluctant to take her side, Cheryl breaks down in tears and excuses herself to a restroom. In the HHM parking garage, Jimmy tells Kim that the ordeal of lying to Cheryl is over; she draws him in for a somber kiss, then drives away.

Later, at a court hearing, Kim informs the judge that she has given notice to the state bar that she is no longer an attorney. That night, still feeling guilty over Howard's death, an emotional Kim tells Jimmy that she has realized that the two of them have to part ways, as they are bad for each other and the people around them. She further confesses that she knew that Lalo was alive long before he appeared at the apartment, having been informed of his status by Mike. In tears, she admits that she didn't tell Jimmy the truth because it would have ended the scheme against Howard, would have ended their relationship, and because she was having "too much fun" to stop. Jimmy is left in silence as Kim continues to pack her bags. ("Fun and Games")

As Howard was not alive to defend himself, Jimmy and Kim's scam left Howard's reputation permanently ruined to the point that he would eventually only be remembered for the lies that had been spread about him. ("Waterworks")

After Breaking Bad[]

In 2010, Kim returns to Albuquerque and gives both Cheryl and the district attorney an affidavit detailing her and Jimmy's scheme to frame Howard as a cocaine addict, his murder by Lalo and the staging of his death as a suicide by Gus and Mike's men. After Cheryl reads it, Kim explains that Howard was murdered for being in the wrong place at the wrong time and that she doesn't know where his body is. Although the police will now search for Howard again, Kim doesn't think that they'll find him. Kim tries to reassure Cheryl that Howard was killed instantly and that he didn't suffer, but Cheryl tells Kim that the lies that she and Jimmy and had made up about Howard and the picture that they had painted of him is now all that anybody remembers of him, but Kim wants to change that. Cheryl asks if Kim will stand trial and go to jail, but Kim admits that the district attorney probably won't as there's no physical evidence and no remaining witnesses aside from Jimmy if he's still alive. Both women acknowledge however, that Cheryl could sue Kim in civil court and take her for everything that she's got if she wants to and Cheryl wonders why Kim is doing this. Later, on the way back to the airport, Kim breaks down crying out of guilt and remorse. ("Waterworks")

After getting caught, Jimmy attempts to use his knowledge of Howard's murder to improve his plea deal. However, he learns that Kim had already made a statement about it a month before, shocking him. Bill Oakley later tells Jimmy that the DA is likely to sit on the case and do nothing with it, but that Cheryl is "out lawyer shopping as we speak" to sue Kim for everything that she has and everything that she is ever going to have. At Saul's plea hearing, he breaks down while trying to talk about Howard's murder and mentions that he had fed the government "a load of BS" about Kim's role in Howard's murder to get her to come to the hearing. ("Saul Gone") Presumably, both Kim's affidavit and Jimmy's mention of Howard's murder during his high profile trial help restore Howard's reputation to some degree.

Personality and traits[]


Howard in his office at Hamlin, Hamlin & McGill (HHM).

"Sun-kissed and patrician, Howard Hamlin is one of life's winners. Chuck's law partner in the wildly successful firm Hamlin, Hamlin & McGill. Howard's good looks, charm and success are only part of the reason Jimmy can't stand him."
―Information about Howard.[src]

Howard Hamlin was a successful member of Albuquerque's legal community, and spoke and acted in a thoughtful and professional manner. However, due to his golden-boy image and position as a name partner of HHM, he sometimes came off as arrogant, a trait that vexed Jimmy as he considered Howard responsible for his station in life. Many of his decisions came across as unfairly strict, such as when he reassigned Kim to document review as punishment for losing the Kettleman case; giving him the image of an uncaring corporate overlord from Jimmy's perspective. He initially blocked Jimmy from working as a lawyer at HHM, although this was revealed to be at the behest of Chuck. For much of the first three seasons, Howard assisted Chuck in his attempts to prevent Jimmy from finding success as an attorney, though he took no pleasure whatsoever in it and simply did it all out of loyalty to Chuck.

Chuck and Howard

Howard with his colleague and close friend, Chuck McGill.

However, it was shown that most of Howard's decisions were what he felt to be in the best interests of his firm and employees. Howard stood up to Chuck when his increasingly erratic behavior threatened the firm's future, going so far as to fire Chuck and pay his severance money out of pocket. He has also demonstrated compassion, such as when he forgave Kim's scholarship debt and attempted to give Jimmy a second chance at HHM. It is also hinted that Howard felt somewhat railroaded into his position by his father, George Hamlin, and felt pressure to live up to his position as name partner, particularly when HHM goes through financial hardship.

It is later revealed that he personally liked Jimmy, giving him the nickname "Charlie Hustle", and may have sympathized with him living in Chuck's shadow due to also being related to a successful lawyer, his father George Hamlin. Howard saw his unique personality as a potential asset to the firm, having considered hiring him before Chuck vetoed him. Howard instead put in a good word for Jimmy at Davis & Main. In Season 5, Howard offered Jimmy the chance to come to work at HHM, although Jimmy - now Saul at this point - bore too much of a grudge to accept and viewed himself as being above such a position, and later attempted to sabotage Howard by smashing his car with bowling balls and humiliating him by sending prostitutes to his business lunch.


Howard talking with Jimmy McGill and Kim Wexler.

Howard was devastated and felt personally responsible for Chuck's suicide, having fired him just days before his death - unaware that Jimmy was responsible for the insurance hike that precipitated those events. In the aftermath of Chuck's death Howard went into debt and HHM was forced to make layoffs in order to stay in business, and during this period Howard was plagued by insomnia and began seeing a therapist. One year after Chuck's death, Howard seemed to have recovered mentally and financially along with his firm and seemed to have made peace with himself, as exemplified by his license plate NAMAST3. He was even shown searching for forgiveness for his past actions of denying Jimmy a job at HHM by generously offering him a position at his firm.

One of Howard's best qualities were his social skills, which led him to fix the image of HHM and its financial situation. Jimmy said that Howard was more a "salesman" than a lawyer, and in the latter seasons Howard had proven to be true, often using his communication skills to gain the confidence and professional respect of his peers. His good look and the image he portrayed was one of the main reasons for Jimmy and Kim to make the scam against him. Even lawyers from other firms strongly respected him, such as Richard Schweikart and Clifford Main, with the latter having a close friendship with Howard often having lunch or playing golf together, and both sincerely lamented Howard's demise, with Richard claiming that Howard truly cared about his clients and he never met anyone who was so dedicated to help them, not even Chuck.

Howard was extremely good at reading people and was one of the few to realize the inner pain Jimmy suffered from due to Chuck's suicide, even though he never admitted it and even appeared to recognize that Jimmy was jealous and enraged of how he had been able to move on from his grief over his friend's death while Jimmy obviously did not, hence his harassment of Howard. Even though Jimmy blamed him solely for Chuck's death and berated him for being a small man in comparison to him, Howard demonstrated patience and composure and simply walked away without a word while Jimmy humiliated himself and makes a scene, showing his unwillingness to fall for Jimmy's games. By the end of the fifth season of Better Call Saul it is evident that Howard had accepted that Chuck was indeed right all along about Jimmy being a dangerous crook. Despite her past treatment of him, Howard still showed concern for Kim and tried desperately to warn her of Jimmy's actions and that he needs help though she refused to accept it and instead found Jimmy's harassment of Howard amusing and claimed he is wrong and does not understand Jimmy. Howard however saw right through her and stood his ground and boldly told her Chuck best understood Jimmy.

Howard confronting Jimmy and Kim

Howard confronting Jimmy and Kim.

In Season 6, Howard's intelligence and awareness of Jimmy's antics was strongly exemplified as he was immediately aware that strange occurrences, such as drugs ending up in his locker, clients discrediting him and a prostitute being pushed out of his vehicle were Jimmy's doing and took steps to finally fight back and expose Jimmy for his actions. Ultimately however, Howard would fall into a meticulous trap set by Jimmy and Kim and would be utterly humiliated, defeated and forced to concede to an early settlement of the Sandpiper Crossing case; Kim and Jimmy's ultimate goal. In his final moments before being murdered, Howard displayed nothing but contempt for the pair; questioning what justifications they internalize for ruining his life, calling the pair "soulless" and a perfect match for each other for their shared despicable and sadistic nature. He again acknowledged that Chuck indeed saw his brother for the sadistic conman he is and expressed utter disgust at Kim, whom he praised as being one of the brightest people he ever knew, for choosing a life of criminality. Howard also vowed that he would devote the rest of his life to exposing the pair, exemplifying his utter hatred for Jimmy and Kim before his tragic murder at the hands of Lalo. Howard would ultimately be proven right that Jimmy and Kim are far from being okay, with the pair splitting up a day after his murder due to Kim's overwhelming guilt. In 2010, after the deaths of everyone involved in Howard's murder and the coverup aside from her and Jimmy, a remorseful Kim returns to Albuquerque and provides both Cheryl and the district attorney with an affidavit revealing the truth about the scam and Howard's murder in an effort to clear his name and save Howard's reputation. With Kim unaware of where Howard's body was buried, she doubts that it will ever be found or that she will ever face prosecution due to the lack of physical evidence and witnesses to the crime. Jimmy is later shown to feel sadness for Howard's fate during his sentencing trial, fighting back tears and having to quickly move on to keep his composure after mentioning Howard's murder.


Deaths connected to Howard[]

  • Charles "Chuck" McGill: Out of spite for trying to get him disbarred, Jimmy discloses Chuck's mental illness to his insurance company which causes his malpractice insurance rates to increase ("Expenses"). This causes a rift between Chuck and Howard after their insurance agent subsequently informs them that Chuck will need to be supervised by another attorney or otherwise face a premium increase. Howard attempts to convince Chuck to retire for the good of the firm and Chuck retaliates by threatening to sue him for his share of the partnership, but Howard manages to force him out anyways. Pressured by this stress, Chuck relapses into his delusions and commits suicide. ("Lantern")
  • Himself: After the disastrous Sandpiper Crossing class-action lawsuit meeting due to Jimmy and Kim's character impeachment scam, Howard quickly deduces and figures out Jimmy and Kim's involvement in the matter. This causes Howard to travel to Kim's apartment later that night in order to confront Jimmy and Kim, and vowing to do everything he can to expose them and everything they have done. However, his decision to visit Jimmy and Kim at their apartment was coincidentally at the same time that Lalo Salamanca came to visit Jimmy and Kim for his own plots ("Point and Shoot"); shortly after Lalo arrives, Lalo murders Howard, presumably to either leave no other witnesses, stop Howard from investigating Jimmy and Kim (which may expose him), or to intimidate and terrify Jimmy and Kim and show them that he is serious. ("Plan and Execution")


Quotes by Howard[]

"You know Jimmy, sometimes in our line of work you can get so caught up in the idea of winning that you forget to listen to your heart."
―Howard to Jimmy .[src]

Howard: "We've been using this particular font for 12 years now, and it, in concert with our tri-rectangle graphic and Hamlindigo Blue, constitutes a trademarked brand identifier."
Jimmy: "Whoa, whoa. Back up. Hamlindigo Blue?"
Howard: "Yes. That is our trademarked name."
Jimmy: "Holy crap. You seriously named a color "Hamlindigo"? That is... yikes."
Howard: "Yikes? From the man dressed exactly like me. Your Honor, I feel like I'm in the mirror routine with Groucho Marx, like we should be standing, waving our arms at each other!"
―Howard and Jimmy appearing before a judge, due to Jimmy erecting a billboard that deliberately imitates HHM's logo and branding.[src]

Kim: "I don't know what image you have of him, past or present, or whatever he did or said, but Jimmy is a good lawyer. And he works very hard."
Howard: "Did your friend send you in here to say that?"
Kim: "No. I'm saying it because I believe it."
Howard: "Well, duly noted. You wanna know what I believe? I believe that you are way out of your depth in this matter. So, next time you want to come in here and tell me what I'm doing wrong, you are welcome to keep it to yourself! Because I don't care!"
Kim and Howard argue about HHM's treatment of Jimmy.[src]

Howard: "Chuck, you're at a crossroads. You can keep looking backwards, stay focused on your brother, what he's up to, or you can go forward. And Chuck. listen to me. Jimmy's just not worth it. Where would we be if, say, Clarence Darrow had devoted the best years of his life to supervising ne'er-do-well relatives? Think of the cases he wouldn't have taken, the injustices that would have gone unanswered. What a waste. I say, put your energy into the future. Anything else is a waste of your time and intellect. What do you say?"
Chuck: "[After a moment] To new beginnings."
―Howard trying to remobilize and remotivate Chuck around a very good bottle of alcohol.[src]

Howard: "What the hell is this?"
Kim: "I think it's pretty self-explanatory. Look, Howard, you were very generous when I left HHM, but it never sat right with me that you covered my law school loans."
Howard: "Seemed to sit right at the time!"
Kim: "I appreciate the gift, but now that I'm able to afford it, I wanna pay you back."
Howard: "Well, you "appreciate the gift.""
Kim: "Yes, I do."
Howard: "You know what I'm doing in there? Take a guess. I'm doing damage control, and I'm doing it three meals a day for the past two weeks with every one of our clients! I am busting my ass, trying to repair the reputation of the firm after you and Jimmy dragged it through the mud!"
Kim: "I did everything in my power to defend my client."
Howard: "Oh, is that what you're calling it?"
Kim: "That's the job, Howard. And by the way–it was all very convenient for you to ignore Chuck's illness when it suited you."
Howard: "So I take you out of the mailroom, put you through law school, mentor you, and then when you leave and stab me in the back, that's my fault? I'm not cashing this. Kim! Your debt is forgiven, but anything else? That's on you."
Kim: "All Jimmy and I did was show the situation for what it is, and if you are hiding that from your clients? Well, Howard, that's on you."
―Howard confronting Kim after she gives him a check during his luncheon

Template:Dialogue error: no text was specified for line 4 of the dialogue.

Chuck: "What are you talking about, Howard?"
Howard: "What I'm saying is... maybe it's time to hang up your spurs. Become partner emeritus. Leave your name on the firm, but focus on your legacy. You always said you wanted to work on The Commerce Clause. You can write the book on it."
Chuck: "And no longer be a practicing lawyer?"
Howard: "Chuck, there's more to life than this."
Chuck: "That day is far in the future, Howard... and I don't appreciate the suggestion."
Howard: "What if it's not a suggestion?"
Chuck: "Meaning?"
Howard: "Meaning, if enough tell you that you're drunk... maybe it's time to sit down."
―Howard forcing Chuck to retire from HHM.[src]

Chuck: "You want me to retire over this? Insurance?"
Howard: "It's not just the insurance. That's the straw that broke the camel's back."
―Howard explaining to Chuck why he wants him to retire.[src]

Chuck: "Oh, so this is about my condition? Look! Look! You see? See? I’m better! Howard, I’m fine!"
Howard: "This is not what 'fine' looks like. Chuck, you’re one of the best legal minds I’ve ever known, hands down, but your decision making has become unpredictable. I can’t be partners with someone whose judgment I don’t trust."
―Howard and Chuck about Chuck's condition.[src]

Chuck: "Yes, I'm suing HHM for breach of contract."
Howard: "Do you have any idea what you're doing?"
Chuck: "I believe I do. I'm calling your bluff. This is MY firm. I built it. Your father was working in a 2 room office when I joined him, and you, I tutored for the bar exam. You're not kicking me out. If you can't trust my judgement then, as you say, so be it. But you're going to have to pay me for my share. I believe it comes to around 8 million dollars. We both know the firm doesn't have the money."
Howard: "You'd rather tear down HHM than retire?"
Chuck: "You think I'm trouble now, as your partner? Imagine me as your enemy."
―Chuck and Howard arguing after Chuck decided to sue HHM.[src]

Howard: "17 years. 18 in July, actually. All those years we built this place together. And all that time I've supported you. Looked up to you, deferred to you. Because I always thought you had the best interests of the firm in mind."
Chuck: "I have."
Howard: "You did. For a long time. But you've let personal vendettas turn your focus away from what's best for HHM. You've put your needs first. To our detriment."
Chuck: "I don't think that's accurate."
Howard: "And the moment that I mildly suggest, with empathy and concern, that maybe it's time for you to consider retirement the first instinct you have is to sue me?! To sue the firm? Well, I I-I don't even know I-In what world is that anything but the deepest betrayal of everything we worked so hard to accomplish? In what world is that anything but the deepest betrayal of our friendship?"
―Howard confronting Chuck.[src]

Chuck: "Three million dollars?"
Howard: "The first of three payments, as per the partnership agreement."
Chuck: "The firm can't afford this. Are you... ? You're not shutting down, are you?"
Howard: "I would never endanger the firm. This is mostly from my personal funds... and a few loans."
Chuck: "You're paying me out of your own pocket?"
Howard: "You won."
―Howard eliminating Chuck's leverage over HHM.[src]

Howard: "I think I owe you the truth about Chuck. Those lanterns. He was living in that house without electricity for the better part of two years. He knew how to use those lanterns. He was careful, I saw it, I know you did too. There was never a problem. I know it's a terrible thing to. I don't think what happened was an accident. You probably heard Chuck was retiring from HHM. But that's not the truth. The truth is that we had a disagreement, and I pushed him out. I made him go."
Kim: "Chuck was sick for years. And after the bar hearing–"
Howard: "The bar hearing had nothing to do with it."
Kim: "Okay."
Howard: "The fact is, he started getting better after that. He took more of an interest in the firm, he came to work, we could leave the lights on. He was improving until the thing with the insurance, so i-it wasn't the bar hearing."
Jimmy: "The insurance?"
Howard: "It was a ridiculous thing. I should have just let it go. I mean, God knows he's done enough for me. But he kept pushing, and I, um, I got my back up."
Jimmy: "What about the insurance?"
Howard: "It was, uh, our malpractice insurance. They found out about Chuck's condition, raised our rates. Chuck went ballistic. He wanted to go to war. I drew a line. He wouldn't back down, so I forced him out. Never occurred to me that I could hurt him. He always seemed so strong. But he wasn't. I think he did what he did because of me."
Jimmy: "Well, Howard, I guess that's your cross to bear."
―Howard telling Jimmy and Kim that Chuck may have committed suicide.[src]

Kim: "What were you thinking when you came to Jimmy on the day of his brother's funeral and laid that shit on him? That Chuck killed himself? What's wrong with you?"
Howard: "I thought... I thought I owed it to Jimmy, to tell him."
Kim: "Owed it to him? Did you owe it to Rebecca? You tell her your theory? That Chuck intentionally set himself on fire? I guess not. I guess you just saved that one for Jimmy."
Howard: "Kim, I didn't do it to hurt Jimmy--"
Kim: "No you did it to make yourself feel better. To make yourself feel better by unloading your guilt. Who cares what it does to Jimmy, right? As long as Howard Hamlin is okay."
Howard: "Kim, I don't think that's fair--"
Kim: "Fair? Let's talk about fair. "Hey let's let Jimmy dig around the fire-damaged wreck where his brother died screaming. And then let's let him pick up a keepsake or two." That is so, so fair. And did I hear you right? You want him to serve on the board of a scholarship committee? A scholarship that Chuck never in a million years would've given to Jimmy. Never! It is just, I mean... Oh what's this too, Howard? What's in this? One last "screw you, little brother" from beyond the grave? Am I really supposed to do this to him?"
Howard: "All right, Kim. What can I do to make it better?"
Kim: "Nothing. There is nothing you can do. Just stay away."
―Kim and Howard arguing about Howard's revelation to Jimmy about Chuck's death.

Howard: "Jimmy, I'm sorry you're in pain."
Jimmy: "Sorry. You're sorry? You kill my brother, and you say you're sorry? Let me tell you something. The job offer, it didn't upset me. It amused me. Ooh... big job at the illustrious HHM. A chance to play at the palace! With little old me?"
Howard: "I was trying to..."
Jimmy: "You have no idea what's going on! You're a teensy, tiny man in a teensy-weensy little bubble!"
Howard: "Oh, Jimmy..."
Jimmy: "Oh, don't you fucking, "Oh, Jimmy," me! You look down on me, you pity me! [Howard starts walking away from Jimmy] Walk away. That's right, Howard! You know why I didn't take the job? 'Cause it's too small! I don't care about it! It's nothing to me! It's a bacterium! I travel in worlds you can't even imagine! You can't conceive of what I'm capable of! I'm so far beyond you! I'm like a god in human clothing! LIGHTNING BOLTS SHOOT FROM MY FINGERTIPS!"
―Jimmy dramatically rejecting Howard's job offer.[src]

Howard: "No person in their right mind would behave the way Jimmy has. We are talking about someone who’s not in control of himself. You and I both know it makes no sense to drop a client like Mesa Verde, and I gotta think Jimmy had something to do with that."
Kim: "Do you have any idea how insulting that is? I make my own decisions for my own reasons."
Howard: "You gotta listen to me, the man needs help."
Kim: "Howard, I know Jimmy and you’re wrong."
Howard: "You know who really knew Jimmy? Chuck."
―Howard trying warn Kim about Jimmy.[src]

"I'm just getting warned up."
―Howard to his therapist[src]

"You're right. I do have a problem. Just not the problem you think. I have a Jimmy McGill problem."
―Howard realizes Jimmy is scamming him[src]

"You didn't even try to hide your tracks. The baggie of drug at the country club. The clients you sent to discredit me. Another prostitute. Please. I could go on. All roads lead back to you. It's Psych 101. You want to get caught."
―Howard confronting Jimmy about the scam to ruin him[src]

Howard: "Here. Let me show you a little trick. Something about the centrifugal force. It pulls the bubbles from the inside of the can, stops it from exploding. Don't want our clients to get a surprise, now, do we?"
Cary: "That works? Oh. Alright."
Howard: "You know who taught me that trick? He used to do it, out of habit. Any time he opened a can, almost unconsciously. I asked him about it once. Just his way of being prepared for anything, accidental or otherwise."
Cary: "Um. I'm sorry, I'm kinda new here. I have to ask... who... who is that?"
Howard: "Charles McGill. The "M" in HHM. The greatest legal mind I ever knew."
Cary: "Wow. (Breathes sharply) I hope someone says that about me someday."
Howard: "Well... maybe there are more important things."
―Howard's conversation with HHM employee Cary Anderson[src]

"I mean, what do you tell yourselves? What justification makes it okay? "Howard's such an asshоlе that he deserves it?" So... what is it? I sided with Chuck too often? I took away your office, put you in doc review? All of the above? Howard's daddy helped him get to the top, but you both had to struggle. "Howie has so much, and we have so little, let's take him down a peg or two"? What allows you to do this to me? Because this isn't just a prank. No. This goes beyond throwing bowling balls on my car. This took planning. Coordination. I mean, how many weeks? O-Or was it months? It couldn't have been easy. So, tell me... why? Why go through this elaborate plot just to burn me to the ground?"
―Howard confronting Jimmy and Kim over their scam[src]

"Oh yeah, sure. The Sandpiper settlement—HHM's share will be substantial, absolutely. Even though I humiliated myself. And my clients and peers will whisper that Howard Hamlin's a drug addict. You're right. I've worked my way through worse. Debt. Depression. My marriage falling apart. Oh, yeah. Been sleeping in the guest house for the better part of a year. Just one more thing that good ol' Howard has to work through. But yes, I will land on my feet. I will be okay. But you? Far from it. You two... you two are soulless. Jimmy, you can't help yourself. Chuck knew it. You were born that way. But you? One of the smartest and most promising human beings I've ever known... and this is the life you choose. (...) You're perfect for each other. You have a piece missing. I... I thought you did it for the money, but now it's... It's so clear. Screw the money. You did it for fun. You get off on it. You're... you're like... Leopold and Loeb. Two sociopaths. (...) Oh, you know it's true, you just don't have the guts to admit it."
―Howard's angry rant at Jimmy and Kim, ending right before Lalo Salamanca enters.[src]

"I’m going to make it clear to everyone, because I’m going to dedicate my life to making sure everybody knows the truth... believe it... you can’t hide who you really are forever."
―Howard's final words to Jimmy and Kim during his angry rant, just as Lalo enters.[src]

Howard: "Who are you?"
Lalo: "Me? Nobody. I just need to talk to my lawyers."
Howard: "Oh, is that right? You want some advice? Find better lawyers."
―Howard and Lalo's conversation[src]

"I, uh... I think I'm in the middle of something, uh... There's really no need to—"
―Howard's final words before being shot by Lalo[src]

Quotes about Howard[]

Chuck: "You have to admit that shows a lack of judgment on her [Kim's] part. She knows you. She should have known better."
Jimmy: "You are such an asshole."
Chuck: "Why? For pointing out that her one mistake was believing in you?"
Jimmy: "For Christ's sake, could we get some perspective here? It was a simple little commercial, it aired once, that's all. And can I remind you it worked – it worked like a dream?"
Chuck: "See, that's your problem, Jimmy. Thinking that the ends justify the means. And you're forever shocked when it all blows up in your face."
Jimmy: "What did I do that was so wrong?"
Chuck: "You broke the rules. [Jimmy scoffs] You turned Kim into your accessory. You embarrassed Howard who, God help him, inexplicably vouched for you with Cliff Main. You made Cliff and his partners look like schmucks. Shall I go on? How he hasn't fired you for this positively mystifies me. "Perspective." You want perspective? I'll give you mine. You're my brother, and I love you, but you're like an alcoholic who refuses to admit he's got a problem. Now someone's given you the keys to the school bus and I am not going to let you drive it off a cliff."
―Chuck trying to make Jimmy aware of the consequences of his actions, especially on his personal and professional environment.[src]

Jimmy: "Come on, Kim. We're not talking about a bar trick here. We're talking about scorched earth. We would have to hurt him. Hurt him bad. To get a bunch of lawyers to run for the exits, Howard would have to have done something... unforgivable. At the end of it, he might never be able to practice law again. He doesn't deserve that."
Kim: "We're talking about a career setback. A career setback for one lawyer."
―Jimmy and Kim Wexler before beginning their scheme against Howard.[src]

"Alright. Here's what's gonna happen: In a few days, Howard Hamlin's car will be found several states away by the water. The odometer will have rolled to the exact number of miles it took to get there. There will be cocaine in the upholstery. That was the story you were setting up for this guy, yeah?"
―Mike referencing the scam to Jimmy and Kim following Howard's death.[src]

"Nobody could relate to a client quite like he could. (...) What else is there to say?"
Richard Schweikart commenting on Howard at his wake to Jimmy and Kim.[src]

"No. No. No, Kim, you're wrong! This is about Howard! Okay? What happened to him wasn't on us! It wasn't your fault! It wasn't my fault! It was that FUCKING LALO SALAMANCA! That psychopath came back from the dead and he walked through that door! He did this! Not us, him!"
―Jimmy ranting about Lalo as he unsuccessfully tries to prevent him and Kim from breaking up.[src]

Cheryl: "Howard was murdered? (Kim nods) Why?"
Kim: "He was... in the wrong place at the wrong time."
Cheryl: "Where's his body?"
Kim: "I don't know."
Cheryl: "And the police? Will they search again?"
Kim: "They'll search. I don't think they'll find him. Cheryl, he... it... it all happened in an instant and he didn't... he didn't suffer."
Cheryl: "He didn't suffer? The lies you two made up. The picture you painted. That's all he is now. That's all anybody remembers."
Kim: "I wanna change that."
―Kim reveals the truth to Cheryl about the scam and Howard's murder.[src]

Cheryl: "What happens now? Will you be tried? Will you go to jail?"
Kim: "I don't know."
Cheryl: "You're a lawyer, right? You're a, a great one Howard said! How could you not know?"
Kim: "Bernalio County has my affidavit. It's up to the district attorney whether to prosecute. And she may not."
Cheryl: "Why?"
Kim: "There's no physical evidence. No remaining witnesses other than my ex-husband, assuming he's still alive."
Cheryl: "I could sue you in civil court, I could take everything you've got."
Kim: "Yeah."
Cheryl: "Why are you doing this?"
―Kim and Cheryl discuss the potential consequences for Kim and Jimmy's actions against Howard.[src]

Jimmy: "What happened to Howard Hamlin, it was... it was... (Jimmy's voice breaks) I can't even... After that, Kim had the guts to start over, she left town. But... I'm the one who ran away. And my brother Chuck - Charles McGill. Y--You may have known him. He was, uh, an incredible lawyer. The most brilliant guy I ever met. But he was limited. I tried. I could've tried harder. I should've. Instead..."
Bill Oakley: "Your Honor...."
Jimmy: "Bill, please! Just let me get through this. (to the court) Instead, when I saw a chance to hurt him, I took it. I got his malpractice insurance cancelled. I took away the one thing he lived for, the law. After that, he killed himself. And I'll live with that. (sits down)"
Bill Oakley: "What was all that? That thing with your brother, that wasn't even a crime."
Jimmy: "Yeah, it was."
―Jimmy finally takes accountability for what he did to Chuck.[src]


Better Call Saul[]

Episodes 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
Season 1
Season 2
Season 3
Season 4
Season 5
Season 6


  • Howard never meets Gustavo Fring nor Nacho Varga. He met Lalo Salamanca very briefly, ending with Lalo murdering him.
    • It is possible that Howard met and interacted with Mike Ehrmantraut off-screen, through Mike's previous job as a parking lot booth attendant at the courthouse; this is implied by Mike's regret at Howard's unnecessary death as seen in "Point and Shoot" (as Howard was never in "the game").
    • On-screen, Mike only interacts with Howard's corpse, collecting his body from Kim's apartment before burying him and Lalo under the then-incomplete Superlab under Lavandería Brillante.
  • Howard is the third main character to die, the third overall in the Breaking Bad/Better Call Saul universe, and the second in Season 6. However, he is the first main character to not die by suicide.
  • Howard is the only main character in Better Call Saul to not go by a nickname, occasionally himself and others jokingly call him "Howie" but for the majority of the series, he goes by his full legal first name, "Howard".
    • Jimmy is known as "Saul" during the events of Breaking Bad, though it's not his real name. And he goes under the alias of "Gene" which is a common nickname for the name "Eugene" though it's never confirmed if the alias is "Eugene Takavic" or just "Gene Takavic".
  • Howard is the only main character who made their debut in "Uno" that doesn't appear in "Saul Gone".
  • Howard is the last character in Better Call Saul to die that was not a part of "the game".
  • After being shot, Howard hits his head on Kim's coffee table, mirroring the movement from Chuck's injury in the copy shop from "Nailed". Both Howard's death and Chuck's injury were indirectly caused by schemes orchestrated by Jimmy.
  • Howard’s death in "Plan and Execution" has similarities with the death of Hank Schrader in the Breaking Bad episode "Ozymandias".
    • Both characters have a large part of the final season built around their conflict with the main character (Howard being the target of Jimmy and Kim's scam in Season 6 of Better Call Saul, and Hank's attempt to bring Walter White to justice in Season 5B of Breaking Bad).
    • Both conflicts end with a dramatic climax (the scam against Howard succeeds, ruining his reputation, forcing the Sandpiper case to settle, and Howard having his final confrontation against Jimmy and Kim; and Walter is caught by Hank before Jack Welker's gang intervenes with a shootout and injures Hank).
    • As soon as the climax is over, both characters are killed by a third party whom they don't know and had only just met (Lalo and Jack Welker) in front of the main character (Jimmy and Kim; and Walter) who watches in horror.
    • Both characters are killed mid-sentence in the exact same way: getting shot in the head with a pistol.
    • Both characters are buried in a hole alongside another deceased character (in Howard’s case his own killer Lalo, in Hank’s case his DEA partner Steven Gomez), at a (in Howard’s case future, in Hank’s case former) cooking location of Walter White and Jesse Pinkman (the Superlab under Lavandería Brillante, and the Tohajiilee Indian Reservation respectively). Unlike Hank, however, Howard's body was never found (at least by the end of the series).
    • The reactions to the deaths of both characters are similar (with Howard's case, Kim and Jimmy scream in horror, and in Hank's case, Walter cries after falling to the ground). Additionally, Jimmy's subsequent reaction to Howard's death is similar to Gustavo Fring and Jesse Pinkman's reactions of Max Arciniega and Andrea Cantillo's murders respectively, with the three crying in agony while lying down and looking at the dead body of the respective character.
    • Their killer(s) die later in their respective series. (Jack Welker and his gang, and Lalo Salamanca)
    • The deaths of said characters have two witnesses (Jesse and Walt in Hank's case, JImmy and Kim in Howard's case), and are all main characters.
    • The witnesses of said deaths desperately tried to prevent them. (Walter White offers Jack Welker $80 million if he doesn't kill Hank, Jimmy and Kim told Howard to leave)
  • Howard died having never learned of Jimmy's involvement in the events leading to Chuck's forced retirement and his eventual suicide.
  • Howard drives a 1998 Jaguar XJ8.
  • In early press announcements for the series, Howard's name was Burt and he was described as a "Kennedy-esque lawyer who's winning at life". Though initially reported as Burt, the character's name was later revealed as Howard Hamlin. In the series, Howard is portrayed as cocky, arrogant and self-centered. However, many fans of the show believe that Howard is actually a good person.
  • Fabian received critical acclaim for his portrayal of Howard, with many critics deeming him as the most tragic character in Better Call Saul.
  • Fabian commented on Howard's character by saying "You know, Jimmy [McGill] called Howard 'Lord Vader' in the very first episode of Better Call Saul. And when the lead character calls your character Lord Vader, the audience goes, 'Wow, what a dick that guy's gonna be.' Then everybody starts looking at everything that falls out of my mouth as evidence backing that claim up. And even when it goes in the opposite direction—like at the end of Season 1, where it turns out I was sort of protecting Jimmy from Chuck [McGill], there is a bit of a hitch of 'Oh, maybe Howard's not so bad,' but as soon as I was quote-unquote being a dick to Kim [Wexler] in Season 2, they all got back on board and said, 'Yeah, he's Lord Vader.' I'm not complaining at all. It sort of parallels Howard's character in the show. Who's really supporting his point of view? Nobody. He's kind of on an island all to himself, saying 'This is not fair. This is not right. And it's also not my fault.' We'll see where those chickens come home to roost, as they say." Fabian has compared Howard to Peter Pan, saying, "I think of him as sort of a Peter Pan, living a great existence and then these McGill Brothers [...] are sort of mucking it all up."
  • Fabian had been aware prior to the filming of the season that his character would have an early exit, and received notice six months prior to shooting the episode, remarking that the writers characterized the moment as "a hinge that swings the rest of the season open." Director and writer Thomas Schnauz said Howard's death was inevitable because "it just felt like something horrible had to happen as a result of the scam." Rhea Seehorn, who plays Kim, said Howard's death was "the embodiment of what Kim and Jimmy have been pretending is not true this whole season – that there are no consequences to their actions." The writers explored dozens of possible ways for Howard's story to end. One idea they considered involved the return of the skateboarder twins from the first and second episodes of the series. In it, Howard would have been tricked into thinking he had run over and killed one of them. Schnauz said it was one of many "crazy different plots. 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." Another idea would have seen Lalo taking Howard, Jimmy, and Kim hostage but they thought Lalo killing Howard was "a perfect way to scare the ever-living shit out of Jimmy and Kim, to put a bullet in this stranger's head and move on to part two of his plan."