Better Call Saul has delivered a surprising character death in the mid-season finale for season six.
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In the episode titled Plan and Execution, Howard Hamlin (Patrick Fabian) was executed in cold blood by Lalo Salamanca (Tony Dalton) inside Kim Wexler (Rhea Seehorn) and Jimmy McGill’s (Bob Odenkirk) apartment.
The unfortunate confrontation takes place while Kim and Jimmy celebrate their win over Howard at the Sandpiper Crossing mediation. Howard, who is humiliated by the defeat, turns up at their flat to interrupt the celebrations and air his grievances about being played.
After security is diverted from Kim and Jimmy’s apartment to a supposed threat at Gus Fring’s launderette, Lalo makes a surprise visit to their home. In order to keep his whereabouts under wraps, Lalo shoots Howard in the head in front of Kim and Jimmy as he tries to leave.
As Howard lies dead on the floor, Lalo says “let’s talk” to a horrified Kim and Jimmy.
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter about his final scene as Howard, Fabian said: “I was on Howard’s side. He’s like a prophet who has seen the burning bush, but nobody believes in burning bushes. And he’s got the evidence to back it up; crack the case. He knows he’s right, but it doesn’t work out.
“And by the time Lalo comes in during that final scene, I also had a sense of dread when I was reading it. As an actor, there’s still a plausible deniability in you that this is actually going to happen, and then when I read it, it was so abrupt and such a turn.”
He added: “But it also feels like Howard is done in that office scene with Cliff (Ed Begley Jr.). He tries to explain it, but Cliff is like, ‘It’s over. Even if you’re right, it’s over.’ Jimmy and Kim have undressed him in his own office and exposed him. It’s a humiliation of untold proportions, and then the final scene is just a real gut punch.”
Better Call Saul’s sixth and final season returns on July 11 on AMC in the US, with episodes released a day later on Netflix in the UK.
Breaking Bad stars Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul are confirmed to return as Walter White and Jesse Pinkman in the spin-off, although it’s unclear in what capacity.