In the hit TV show Better Call Saul, Howard Hamlin is a character that grabs attention. Played by the talented Patrick Fabian, Howard is a layered character who delves deep into the complexities of the legal profession. He’s not just a lawyer in a suit; he’s a symbol of how challenging the world of law can be.
Throughout the series, viewers watch Howard as he treads a fine line between right and wrong. He’s not always the hero, and sometimes, he finds himself on the other side of the moral compass. This struggle is a testament to the pressures of corporate life and how the drive for success can sometimes blur our sense of ethics. It’s easy to label characters as “good” or “bad”, but Howard is a refreshing mix of both. Patrick Fabian’s acting skills bring out the duality in Howard’s nature brilliantly.
He makes us believe in a character who, despite his polished exterior, has the same doubts, fears, and emotions as any of us. It’s this balance of professionalism and vulnerability that makes Howard Hamlin so relatable and captivating to watch.
A Symbol of Professional Excellence
Howard’s suits, always tailored to perfection, are far more than mere pieces of clothing. Each suit he wears acts as a window into his character, revealing his deep-rooted commitment to portray an image of unwavering success and professionalism. You can see this dedication not just in the crisp lines of his jackets or the perfectly fitting trousers, but also in the finer details. For instance, his ties, always chosen with thought and care, complement his outfits perfectly. The shine on his shoes, which seems to be perpetually fresh, is a testament to his meticulous nature and his attention to every minute detail.
These aren’t just suits; they’re a statement. They tell the world about the high standards he holds not just for his wardrobe, but also for his work at Hamlin, Hamlin & McGill (HHM). More than that, these suits are like a shield for Howard. They act as his armor, safeguarding him from the tumultuous whirlwind of events and emotions that often engulfs the lives of other key players in the series. In a world where unpredictability is the norm, Howard’s impeccable suits become his stable anchor, setting him apart and above the chaos.
Howard Hamlin: The Early Days
In the early stages of the show, Howard stands out as a character who contrasts sharply with the protagonist. He seemingly represents everything that’s rigid and impersonal about the corporate world, often serving as a hurdle for Jimmy McGill. While Jimmy is a passionate, up-and-coming lawyer fighting to carve out a place for himself, Howard appears to be his polar opposite. His confidence sometimes comes off as arrogance, making viewers feel that he looks down on those like Jimmy who haven’t yet established themselves in the legal arena.
This attitude of Howard’s seems to indicate that he has been molded and hardened by the intense and competitive nature of the legal profession. His apparent lack of empathy for Jimmy’s struggles creates an image of a man who’s lost touch with the challenges faced by those just starting out in their careers. This dynamic between Howard and Jimmy adds a layer of complexity to the storyline, drawing viewers in as they root for the underdog.
From Villain to Sympathetic Character
As the series unfolds, viewers are treated to a fascinating evolution in Howard’s character. On the surface, he appears tough and unyielding. But as time goes on, it becomes crystal clear that this is merely a protective shell, a façade. Beneath it lies a man grappling with vulnerability, moral dilemmas, and a torrent of emotions. The brilliance of Patrick Fabian’s portrayal is evident in how he delves into these intricate layers of Howard’s psyche. With great subtlety and skill, Fabian draws viewers in, making it easy for them to feel a deep sense of connection and understanding for Howard, especially as he wades through the murky waters of professional alliances marked by stress, jealousy, and competition.
One of the most telling aspects of Howard’s journey is his relationship with Chuck McGill, the esteemed senior partner at HHM and also the older brother of the unpredictable Jimmy. Through their many encounters, we gain a vivid insight into Howard’s principles, his moral compass, and the tumultuous battle raging within him. When Howard is with Chuck, we witness firsthand his genuine urge to uphold integrity and fairness, even when faced with the temptation to bend to the cutthroat nature of the legal profession.
A Man with a Golden Heart
Patrick Fabian, with his commendable acting chops, brilliantly brings to life the character of Howard. At first glance, Howard might seem like just another corporate man with strict rules and an unwavering facade. But as the story unfolds, Patrick showcases Howard as a man with a golden heart that’s hidden beneath those layers of corporate stiffness. This isn’t just about a stoic businessman; it’s about a man who, when given the chance, reveals he has a heart full of kindness, understanding, and grace.
As viewers continue to follow the series, they are treated to subtle, yet meaningful, moments where Howard’s true nature shines. We observe him slowly reaching out, not just as a boss, but as a mentor. He generously provides offers of guidance, sharing valuable opportunities with those around him. By extending an olive branch in various situations, Howard makes it clear that he isn’t just about business; he genuinely wants to help others succeed. His actions consistently demonstrate an eagerness to foster growth, understanding, and goodwill among his peers.
Patrick Fabian’s portrayal of Howard Hamlin is a master class in nuanced acting, unraveling the complexities of a man caught between the unforgiving world of corporate law and the fragility of human emotions. He brings to life a character who evolves from a perceived antagonist to a figure who commands respect and evokes sympathy.
Fabian constructs Howard as a man of depth, someone whose pristine suits are both a shield and a representation of the meticulous care he puts into maintaining a semblance of order in a turbulent environment. Through Fabian’s skilled portrayal, Howard Hamlin rises above being just the man behind the perfect suit to a symbol of the struggle between professionalism and personal integrity, capturing the hearts of the audience with his vulnerability and innate goodness.