The 12 Best Characters In Better Call Saul Ranked

Any concerns that "Better Call Saul," Vince Gilligan's "Breaking Bad" spinoff exploring the origins of shifty lawyer Saul Goodman, would pale in comparison to the groundbreaking template set by the flagship show were quickly dismissed after its stellar pilot, not to mention a run of standout episodes. After a 5th season that pushed "Better Call Saul" to its greatest heights yet, there's even a case to be made that the spinoff has surpassed the original.

Expectations are incredibly high for the upcoming 6th season, which promises to show the conclusion to Jimmy McGill's transition into Saul Goodman. "Breaking Bad" had a near perfect final concluding season, which contained some of the greatest episodes in television history. "Ozymandias" featured Walter White (Bryan Cranston) finally facing the consequences of his crimes, while the series conclusion "Felina" wrapped up the story in a perfectly ambiguous manner. If Gilligan can pull off the same feat twice, then the end of "Better Call Saul" will be one for the ages.

Part of the reason why "Better Call Saul" has been so successful is that it isn't simply imitating "Breaking Bad." "Better Call Saul" explores the world of legal malpractice with the same attention to detail that "Breaking Bad" paid to drug cartel operations and meth production. The strength of both shows has always been their characters, and the cast of "Better Call Saul" features an exciting mix of beloved favorites from "Breaking Bad" and new original characters that help flesh out the universe. Here are the 12 greatest characters in "Better Call Saul," ranked.

12. Daniel Wormald

Saul's broad range of clients means that he's frequently paired with quirky personalities, and Daniel Wormald (Mark Proksch) is one of the goofiest characters in the series. He's comically unfamiliar with the dangerous territory he's wading into, and his interactions with both Saul and Mike are frequently hilarious. Also known as "Pryce," Daniel works at a drug developing company and receives new samples of products. He decides to begin selling them illegally, which brings him into contact with Nacho Varga.

Daniel hires Mike and a team of bodyguards. After seeing Mike easily dispatch his arrogant collaborators, Daniel is in awe and decides to employ Mike full-time. Seeing the gruff Mike grow increasingly annoyed by Daniel's oblivious nature adds a lot of comedic relief to the series — Mike grows especially infuriated when Daniel breaks from their plans and tries to earn extra money, forcing Jimmy to defend him when he's apprehended.

11. Leonel and Marco Salamanca

Frequently referred to simply as "The Cousins," Leonel and Marco Salamanca are responsible for some of the most disturbing moments of "Breaking Bad." The two nephews of Hector Salamanca are always seen together and are nearly completely silent, serving as highly intimidating assassins for the Salamanca clan. The pair creates an immediate aura of danger, as they're frequently dispatched to watch over potential enemies. It was their brutal attack on Hank Schrader that left him in critical condition and marked a more serious turn for his character.

"Better Call Saul" shows just how terrifying the pair were during the height of Hector's operations. Hector uses them to threaten Nacho, but they're ultimately called on to save him after Gus stages an attack. Even Mike is surprised by their ruthlessness; he plans a meticulous heist to get vengeance on the Espinosa Gang that's supposed to take place in the middle of the night, but the Cousins decide to do it in the middle of the day. They also get some more sympathetic moments when they visit Hector in the hospital.

10. Hector Salamanca

Of all of the cartel members on "Breaking Bad," Hector Salamanca was certainly among the most memorable. Hector was once the most fearsome boss in the Albuquerque area, and it was his brutal slaughtering of Gus' business partner and best friend Maximino Arciniega that inspired his path of vengeance. Gus and Hector have a longstanding rivalry, but in his elder years, Hector's health took a turn for the worse, confining him to a wheelchair. He's the only Salamanca to survive Gus' attacks, and the two rightfully perish together thanks to a nasty trick orchestrated by Walter White.

Hector's earlier exploits are explored throughout "Better Call Saul," which show how his health declined over time. He first appears in season 2, threatening Mike by sending the Cousins to watch over Kaylee. Nacho grows jealous of Hector's prominence and poisons him, which begins his physical breakdown and forces him to rely on Lalo. The generally wicked Lalo shows rare moments of tenderness as he cares for Hector.

9. Stacey Ehrmantraut

Mike's role on "Breaking Bad" grew more prominent as he joined Walter and Jesse in their criminal endeavors. Despite his imposing quality, there were hints that the hulking strongman was actually a gentle giant through his interactions with his young granddaughter, Kaylee. Mike's love for Kaylee extends beyond simply wanting to protect her, and the two have a humorous, fun relationship. Kaylee reappears on "Better Call Saul," and this time she's joined by her mother, Stacey (Kerry Condon). The widow of Mike's son Matt has a complex, occasionally troubled relationship with her enigmatic father-in-law.

Matt was tragically killed in an incident that Mike blames himself for, and as a result he seeks a larger role in taking care of his son's family. Stacey is initially skeptical of Mike, as prior to Matt's death, she remembers that the two shared an intense phone call. Their relationship becomes even more tense when Stacey discovers cash hidden in Matt's room and calls the cops. Mike reprimands her and lashes out in anger, creating one of the most emotional moments in the show's early run. Stacey fears that Matt was involved in criminal activity, but Mike breaks down and reveals that it was Matt's dedication and honor that got him killed.

Stacey's role expanded throughout the series as she grows to accept Mike as part of her life by letting him watch Kaylee. Despite their troubles, she genuinely cares for him.

8. Howard Hamlin

One of the best aspects of Vince Gilligan's writing is that characters who initially seem to be one note initially can prove to be more than stereotypes. Howard Hamlin is the son of one of Hamlin, Hamlin, & McGill's founding partners, and leads the practice with Chuck; undeniably, he has a lot of inherent privilege. Both Howard and Chuck block Jimmy's attempts to join the practice, and while Chuck's concerns about employing Jimmy are understandable given their history, it's harder for viewers to connect with Howard.

However, he's developed very well throughout the series; given his aura of professionalism, Howard rarely shares personal details and can be very hard to read. Although he and Jimmy frequently spar, gradually Howard reveals himself to be sympathetic towards the future Saul Goodman; he also feels that he's living under the shadow of Chuck's reputation, and he struggles to do what is in the firm's best interests when Chuck grows increasingly unstable. Like Jimmy, Howard is completely devastated after Chuck's suicide. He feels that he may have inadvertently played a part, as he had only recently fired Chuck for incompetence. These anxieties are highlighted when Jimmy personally blames him.

Patrick Fabian gives Howard a charismatic quality when he deals with clients, but is imposing during heated debates with Jimmy and Kim. Although it's unclear if romance was ever on the table, Howard seems to legitimately care for Kim and fears what will happen to her career if she continues to follow Jimmy.

7. Lalo Salamanca

One of the most fearsome and oddly charismatic characters in the series, Lalo Salamanca was referenced a few times on "Breaking Bad" by Saul when he recounted his experiences with the Salamancas. Each member of the Salamanca clan is fearsome in their own right, but Lalo is a much different brand of evil than the near-silent Cousins and the wild, psychotic Tuco. Lalo frequently makes dark jokes and revels in his own brutality, and his psychological torture of Nacho can be quite cruel. He's also not a villain that lacks any sympathetic traits, as Lalo has a complex family life. He takes good care of Hector in his debilitated state, and the moments between the two career criminals, each of whom have claimed countless lives, are somehow oddly touching.

Tony Dalton's complex, magnetic performance makes all of Lalo's appearances exciting. He first appears in the 4th season by surprising Nacho, who discovers that Lalo has been sent by the Cartel to become the new boss. Their relationship is uneasy; Nacho has ambitions of leading a cartel of his own and had been operating as a temporary Salamanca representative, yet he's fearful of Lalo's renowned ruthlessness. Lalo even attempts to unruffle Gus when he and Nacho meet him at Los Pollos Hermanos, a dangerous gamble that few characters would take. It's a fascinating standoff between two of the most powerful characters.

Season 5 ends on an exciting note when Lalo barely survives an assassination attempt, and will almost surely seek revenge.

6. Nacho Varga

Nacho's appearance was teased during Saul's first appearance on "Breaking Bad." During the episode "Better Call Saul," Saul is kidnapped by a masked Walt and Jesse and, mistaking them for cartel members, blames a mysterious figure named Nacho.

The world of the drug cartels was well developed throughout "Breaking Bad," but given that the show was mostly focused on the family drama and the perspectives of law enforcement, there wasn't as much time to develop the personal lives of the dealers themselves. While it's fun to see characters like Gus and the Salamanca twins that originated on "Breaking Bad" return in "Better Call Saul," it's even more exciting to see a new character who is trying to break into the trade and gain legitimacy. Unlike the ruthless villains, Nacho is a more relatable character, thanks to Michael Mando's sympathetic performance.

Unlike Gus, who runs an established criminal empire, Nacho is an aspiring kingpin who must balance his criminal work with the responsibilities he has for his father, Manuel (Juan Carlos Cantu). Initially working directly for Tuco, Nacho becomes interested in Mike and they form a shaky partnership. Unlike his violent, impulsive employer, Mike is meticulous and plans his tasks diligently. Nacho seeks a larger role in the cartel and plans to take out Hector Salamanca as he prepares for Lalo's arrival. Nacho's relationship with his father makes him more likable, as he's trying to please his father while balancing personal goals. The 5th season ended with Lalo's discovery of his assassination attempt, making Nacho's fate an exciting mystery.

5. Gus Fring

Ruthless and highly intelligent, Gus Fring is perhaps the greatest villain in the history of television. Giancarlo Esposito was so brilliant in the part that other shows tried to capitalize on his talent, and he would later be cast as a main antagonist on the Star Wars spinoff "The Mandalorian" and the subversive superhero series "The Boys." Gus isn't the type of villain who gives long speeches or relishes in his cruelty — his unflinching professionalism is even more terrifying. Gus runs the biggest drug cartel in New Mexico and the fast-food restaurant Los Pollos Hermanos with the same diligence, and his demeanor remains consistent no matter what the situation.

Gus' crime syndicate was fearsome on "Breaking Bad," and "Better Call Saul" shows how he both built and expanded his empire. Gus sees the potential in recruiting Mike after he learns about his conflicts with Hector, and helps him on a mission to cross the U.S.-Mexico border to take out some of Hector's trucks. Gus continues to use Mike as an ally as he plots to dominate the Salamancas, expanding the smuggling routes that he's disguised using the Los Pollos Hermanos locations. His relationship with the German engineer Werner Ziegler (Rainer Bock) also develops in unexpected directions.

The 5th season explored the relationship between Gus and Nacho, who is averse to working with someone so brutal. It will be fascinating to see how Gus' appearances on "Breaking Bad" are teased in "Better Call Saul's" 6th season.

4. Mike Ehrmantraut

Mike Ehrmantraut was one of the most enigmatic and fascinating characters on "Breaking Bad"; as with Saul, the show hinted at his history but never spelled it out explicitly. Mike was hardly the chatty storyteller that Saul was, but his expertise and casual insights clearly showed that he'd been through his fair share of dangerous situations. It was also evident that Mike had dealt with both Jimmy and Gus in the past. Mike was an interesting character because while he was an intimidating strongman, he wasn't cruel, and often helped avoid violent confrontations.

Mike was a natural addition to "Better Call Saul," and even in the 1st season viewers learn a lot about the mysterious criminal. His relationship with Jimmy is established in a comedic fashion, as he works as a parking attendant and refuses to validate Saul's ticket when he's late for a court case. While Jimmy is simply annoyed, Mike begins to analyze him, realizing he's the type of dishonest man who could become his ally. Jonathan Banks does a phenomenal job showing how Mike studies others while remaining mostly wordless, but also includes subtle humor through Mike's remarks.

Mike's love of his granddaughter makes him a sympathetic character, and his tragic backstory shows why his familial bonds are so deep. Mike advised his son Matt, the only honest cop on a corrupt police force, to stick to his morals, and he was tragically killed as a result. That's enough to make anyone break bad.

3. Jimmy McGill

Over the course of "Breaking Bad," standard archetypes were subverted and given more depth than they'd get on a standard crime show. The concept of a shady lawyer is hardly an original one, but Saul Goodman quickly proved to be more than a stereotype. When he first appeared on "Breaking Bad," Saul quickly evaluated Walter's failed schemes, and they formed a unique partnership. Saul's motivations were unpredictable throughout the series, but he always hinted at the experience that's made him so whip smart. The other characters debated whether or not Saul's stories were true, or just another one of his exaggerations — the truth has come to light thanks to "Better Call Saul."

"Better Call Saul" begins with a sympathetic hook. Revealed to be the pathetic Jimmy McGill, the future icon of idiosyncratic television ads is stuck arguing embarrassing public court cases and isn't respected by the senior partners at Hamlin, Hamlin, & McGill. But, even early on, Jimmy shows that he's willing to bend the rules in order to evade dangerous situations; in the pilot episode, he escapes the threat of the fan-favorite villain Tuco.

"Better Call Saul" is fascinating in how it combines multiple timelines. While the show is already set a few years prior to "Breaking Bad," it occasionally goes back even further to provide insights on Jimmy and Chucks' childhood and flesh out their relationship. Meanwhile, the black-and-white sequences tease the future, when Saul is in hiding as Gene, manager of the local mall's Cinnabon.

2. Chuck McGill

There is an inherent tragedy in both "Breaking Bad" and "Better Call Saul" that gives the shows a Shakespearean feel. With "Breaking Bad," it's Walter White's gradual transformation from a helpless victim of circumstance to a deceptive liar, and eventually a villainous figure. In "Better Call Saul," it's Jimmy's transformation into the strip mall lawyer Saul Goodman that Walt and Jesse would later employ. Both shows tease out a tense confrontation that has tragic results; in "Breaking Bad," it's the discovery of Walter's secret life by his brother-in-law Hank Schrader (Dean Norris), and in "Better Call Saul" it's Jimmy's betrayal of his brother, Chuck.

Chuck is one of the most complex characters in the entire series. He's simultaneously a brilliant and diligent lawyer and a victim of a debilitating mental illness, and Chuck only gradually comes to grips with his circumstances. He holds others to high standards, and despite his love of Jimmy, doesn't want to see his brother embarrass himself or ruin the reputation he's built for Hamlin, Hamlin, & McGill. Chuck's treatment of Jimmy can feel cruel, but it's rooted in a desire to see him succeed. Chuck's professionalism makes him dogmatic at points, but viewers must always question whether this is a side effect of the electromagnetic hypersensitivity.

"Better Call Saul" is often an emotional show, and no moment is more tear-jerking than Chuck's tragic end at the conclusion of season 3. But that's not the end of his impact. Even after he's gone from the regular cast, his death looms over the other characters.

1. Kim Wexler

While many of the best characters on "Better Call Saul" originated on "Breaking Bad," the single most compelling story on the show has been the arc of Kim Wexler (Rhea Seehorn). It's thrilling to see how Jimmy, Mike, and Gus evolve into the characters fans already loved in "Breaking Bad," but Kim's destiny isn't defined by the earlier series. What happens to her is a compelling mystery that viewers have speculated about since the show first began airing, and the excitement has only intensified as Kim has developed over the course of the five seasons that have aired.

Kim is a lawyer at Hamlin, Hamlin & McGill who first meets Jimmy when he goes to confront Howard and Chuck over the barriers in front of him. Kim and Jimmy become friends, but she's turned off by his irresponsibility and willingness to bend the rules. Kim doesn't trust Jimmy, but she's also frustrated by the lack of recognition she's received from the Hamlin, Hamlin & McGill board. Jimmy may be a viable partner for her.

Is she a victim of Jimmy's negligence destined to perish? Will she venture down a darker path like her husband, or will she address her own increasingly dishonest behavior? What exactly happened in her past? These questions will hopefully be addressed in season 6, and it's guaranteed that Seehorn will give another phenomenal performance. Somehow, amidst the frequent acclaim the series earns from the Emmys, Seehorn manages to be snubbed every year.