In 2015, the Breaking Bad spin-off series Better Call Saul premiered. The show stars the popular Breaking Bad character, Saul Goodman, or by his real name, Jimmy McGill. Along with McGill, a handful of other classic characters make their return in this prequel.
Much in the same vein as Breaking Bad, almost every character has a very convoluted moral compass. The main characters perform as many evil deeds as they do good ones, and the villains can commit unspeakable acts of violence. Here are ten of the main characters in Better Call Saul ranked from most heroic to most villainous.
10 Kim Wexler
While on retainer for the company Mesa Verde, Kim Wexler obviously preferred doing pro bono work with her more down to Earth clients. Wexler skipped an important meeting with Mesa Verde to help a desperate client. She also sabotaged Mesa Verde when they tried to force an elderly man to move from his home. Not to mention the time she saved Jimmy’s life by talking down an enraged Lalo Salamanca.
Wexler may have a bad streak in her though. She began to take after Jimmy and started conning people in order to help Mesa Verde with legal matters. She also gives serious thought towards ruining Howard Hamlin’s career.
9 Howard Hamlin
Howard Hamlin is the complete anti-thesis to Jimmy McGill. He’s a successful lawyer that lives by the book. He is professional and always keeps his composure. Season one heavily features a heated rivalry between the two lawyers, often painting Howard as the bad guy.
Near the end of the season, it is revealed that the reason Howard is acting so maliciously towards Jimmy, is due to him acting on the behalf of Chuck McGill. Not wanting any bad blood between him and his brother, Chuck puppeteers Howard to keep Jimmy as far from the law firm as possible. Later, Howard would offer Jimmy a job at HHM.
8 Werner Ziegler
Gus Fring hired the german engineer, Wernet Ziegler, based on his honesty. While other potential architects lied about the simplicity of building a secret meth lab, Werner was the only one that explained how dangerous, difficult, and expensive the process would be.
When he brings his workers over from Germany, he keeps them in line and makes sure that they behave. His only real flaw was that he missed his wife too much. When he left the project early to fly back home to his wife, he compromised the security of the operation. This lead to a heartbreaking moment where Mike had to execute him.
7 Chuck McGill
Jimmy McGill’s older brother, Chuck, began the series as a strange old man who couldn’t leave his house due to his sensitivity to electromagnetism. Jimmy had to constantly check on Chuck to make sure he was taken care of, making the audience sympathetic to his character. Jimmy admired his brother and wanted to follow in his steps as a lawyer.
It was then revealed that Chuck does not trust Jimmy at all and secretly did everything he could to sabotage his law career. Even when Jimmy passed the bar, Chuck ordered Howard not to hire him at HHM as a lawyer, even though he already worked there as a mail clerk. These lead to an intense rivalry between the once-friendly brothers and ends with an intense legal battle.
6 Jimmy McGill
As a child, Jimmy McGill would steal money from his father’s store, leading to its closure. As a young man, he would purposely slip on patches of ice to get a settlement from the city. He would also scam other locals out of their valuables. He appeared to go straight after Chuck got him a job at HHM as a mail clerk. He became a lawyer and took on clients that no one else would. He actually did help a decent amount of people and is known to take a chance on those society left behind.
But this good streak is clouded by his constant cruel acts. He consistently engages in petty acts of revenge, like when he dropped a bowling ball on Howard Hamlin’s car or falsified information in Chuck’s legal documents. He is now on retainer for the Juarez Cartel, which definitely doesn’t win him any hero points.
5 Mike Ehrmantraut
Mike received significantly more characterization in this series than he did in Breaking Bad. It is revealed that his son was murdered by corrupt police officers. Mike executed both of them in retaliation. In order to take care of his granddaughter, he would take on less-than-savory jobs like working as a bodyguard to protect Daniel Wormald as he sold stolen prescription medication.
Mike began to work for Gus Fring as an enforcer. He would help the drug lord slowly sabotage Hector Salamanca’s operations. Mike would take out anyone that Gus would deem a threat to his operations, including Werner Zeigler, who accidentally compromised them while trying to visit his wife.
4 Nacho Varga
Played by Michael Mando, Ignacio Varga was an enforcer for the Salamanca family. He would accompany Tuco on drug deals and even assist with killing rival cartel members. Nacho has made a habit of breaking into homes and burglarizing the place. He also tried to orchestrate the killing of Tuco but instead agreed to land him in prison.
Once Hector Salamanca suggests using Nacho’s father’s business as a front, he goes on the offensive. Nacho switched out Hector’s medication which gave him a stroke. Now Nacho is desperate to leave the cartel business but keeps getting pulled in deeper.
3 Gus Fring
Breaking Bad fans already know how much of a monster Gustavo Fring could be. Better Call Saul seized the opportunity to show how Gus operated before Walt showed up. Gus’s entire business revolves around being able to subtly take down and humiliate Hector Salamanca.
Gus uses Mike to carry out jobs to compromise Hector’s henchmen and get them arrested. When Hector had a stroke, Gus desperately tried to keep him alive just so he could continue to torture him. He forces Nacho into his employ and puts him through hell to sabotage the Salamanca family.
2 Hector Salamanca
In Breaking Bad, Hector was a mute, wheelchair-bound, invalid, whose past is only hinted at. Better Call Saul has been able to show audiences how much of a threat he was when he was still healthy. As one of the founding members of the Juarez Cartel, Hector frequently commits heinous acts to keep his operation afloat.
Hector sent hitmen to threaten Mike’s grandaughter if he didn’t take the blame for Tuco’s assault charges. He has killed innocent witnesses and used Gus’s unknowing restaurant employees as bait to get his attention. He frequently uses violence to keep his own henchmen in line and has even killed them. He also wanted to force Nacho’s father to run a drug front through his store, which led to Nacho deciding that Hector needed to be taken out.
1 Lalo Salamanca
A very late addition to the Better Call Saul cast, Lalo Salamanca is a charismatic enforcer for the Juarez Cartel. When he visited Hector at his nursing home, he reminisced about the time they burned down a hotel and tortured the manager for allegedly disrespecting them. He gifts the former cartel Don a bell from the hotel, as a souvenir.
Lalo hunted down Werner Ziegler in an attempt to bring down Gus Fring. In the process, he murdered an employee at Travel Wire. When he became suspicious of his own lawyer, Saul Goodman, he broke into his apartment and threatened Goodman along with Kim Wexler. At the end of season five, Lalo terrifyingly takes out an entire squad of assassins on his own. The season ends with an enraged Lalo storming out of the building and towards the camera, giving off the feeling that he will bring his full fury down on whoever sent the hitmen.