“Better Call Saul” fans are only a few weeks away from the continuation of the sixth and final season. And after that explosive cliffhanger, we can’t wait to find out what happens next.
Fans were shocked when Patrick Fabian’s character, Howard Hamlin, met an untimely end at the hands of Lalo Salamanca (Tony Dalton). He happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, confronting Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk) and Kim Wexler (Rhea Seehorn) at their apartment. Nobody knew at the time that Lalo was also lurking about, and he eliminated Howard so no one would know about his movements.
But showrunner Thomas Schnauz explained how Howard’s death wasn’t originally planned that way. He told Variety that they actually planned on bringing back two obtrusive characters from the pilot episode.
“We had probably a dozen different directions with this plot,” Schnauz explained. “The one that sticks in my mind the most involved the skateboarder twins from Season 1, Episode 1.”
The skateboarders in question tried to scam Jimmy in the first episode. He quickly turned it back on them and weaseled his way out of the situation. But Schnauz said the writers almost brought back the two brothers for the final season.
“We were going to trick Howard that he accidentally ran into one of them with his car, sent him over a railing, and killed him,” Schnauz revealed. “But it was gonna be a switch where one twin goes over the side of a rail, but the other twin was already laying down at the bottom, all bloody and twisted.”
So, why didn’t the “Better Call Saul” showrunners go with that storyline?
‘Better Call Saul’ Writer Thomas Schnauz Explains the Reasoning for Howard’s Death
At the end of the day, the “Better Call Saul” showrunners wanted to use the Sandpiper suit to begin Howard’s demise. So the skateboarding twins were shelved and replaced with another option.
“We ultimately needed to figure out how Howard could embarrass himself during mediation and do enough damage that it made more sense to settle the Sandpiper suit than to renegotiate,” Schnauz explained.
Kim and Jimmy involved themselves in a ton of shady business to make the settlement come about. Howard, furious at his humiliation, faced few options in the courtroom to salvage the negotiation.
As for Howard’s death, Schnuaz said that the writers knew someone needed to die. Specifically, to show the consequences of Jimmy and Kim’s actions.
“It just felt like something horrible had to happen as a result of the scam. It couldn’t just go perfectly for Jimmy and Kim,” he explained. “Maybe they’re going to be found out. Or somebody’s going to see. Or the police are going to find out. And the more we thought about the two worlds colliding, we knew that Lalo doing something very bad to Howard Hamlin just felt almost inevitable.”
Catch the rest of Season 6 of “Better Call Saul” on July 11 on AMC.