By the time Better Call Saul came to its end, the show had surpassed its predecessor as the greatest TV crime drama of the last 15 years.
The layered and tragic nature of the series led us through twists and turns that could've come straight out of a Shakespearean play, so rich was it in the kind of emotional resonance you feel in your gut.
The cast performances paired with beautiful writing, a perfect synergy of creativity and wholly realized brutality that kept us engaged up until the very last scene played out.
Now that the series is ended, we look back at the best characters in Better Call Saul and how they each deepened the show.
8. Howard Hamlin
In the end, it was hard not to feel terrible for Howard, even after all the things he'd done to push Jimmy further towards becoming Saul.
As he stood in Kim and Jimmy's apartment, ranting at them for destroying him and his standing in the legal profession, he's shot dead by Lalo Salamanca for no real reason.
For all of Howard's bravado and shiny exterior, he wasn't a bad man—he was simply too blind to see how far Jimmy could go to hurt him. His only real crime was that of misjudgment.
Howard was the character who was pushed the hardest, and Patrick Fabian's performance made it all so real.
7. Gus Fring
After a cryptic message embedded in one season's episode titles, Gus Fring returned to the universe in Better Call Saul and showed just how meticulous and vengeful his nature truly was.
Not many ruthless killer-type characters in TV history have garnered as many fans as Gus Fring, but he's such a rounded man (at least from an outsider's perspective) that you can't help but root for him.
As he begins his campaign of war against the cartel for the sins they committed against him in the past, he sets the wheels in motion for everything that would come in Breaking Bad. And it's all played to flawless perfection by Giancarlo Esposito.
6. Chuck McGill
We never knew that Saul Goodman had a brother in Breaking Bad, but by the time Better Call Saul ended, it made perfect sense that he did. It paved the way for Jimmy through hell and his transformation.
Chuck McGill was the Mycroft Holmes to Jimmy's Sherlock: the wiser, older brother with a mind so in tune with the law that it took a Herculean effort by Jimmy just to get him out of his way.
Through his illness and eventual death, Chuck never liked Jimmy. He hated that his younger brother was allowed to become a lawyer at all, and he couldn't bear the fact that Jimmy managed to beat him.
All of this drama dripped from Michael McKean, who gave an impressively deep performance not usually associated with a comedian.
5. Nacho Varga
In many ways, Nacho Varga in Better Call Saul was akin to Jesse Pinkman in Breaking Bad. The two characters shared the burden of having personal morals that prohibited them from diving too far off the deep end, even as everyone else around them sank with glee.
Nacho went from a gangster you could root for, to the man you most wanted to see survive the show. In playing Nacho, Michael Mando showcased the vulnerabilities that aren't usually depicted in ruthless cartel members.
Funny enough, Nacho was perhaps the one character with whom we could most truly empathize by the series's end.
4. Lalo Salamanca
When Lalo first showed up inside the restaurant to replace Hector Salamanca, it just felt like another of the wretched family had been invented to keep the storyline going.
But by the end of Better Call Saul, Lalo Salamanca grew into one of the most engaging villains in the history of dramatic television.
Lalo was cunning, ruthless, charming, and intelligent enough to see the truth of Gus Fring. We knew how his war against Gus would end—there was only one option—but seeing it play out was one of the most entertaining battles of wit the show produced.
3. Mike Ehrmantraut
Given his role in Breaking Bad, we knew where Mike Ehrmantraut would eventually end up. But that didn't stop us from appreciating the tale of his fall, which was itself magnificently spectacular.
Mike's journey takes him from vendetta to Gus Fring's side, to becoming the man whom Fring trusted most with his life.
However, Mike was more than that. He was a grieving father, a man tasked with doing whatever was necessary to look after what was left of his family.
Jonathan Banks was born to play Mike. His decision to strip Mike down to his core and expose the hitman as the damaged human he was, was one more piece in an extraordinary long-form performance.
2. Jimmy "Saul Goodman" McGill
The fact that Bob Odenkirk never won an Emmy for playing Jimmy McGill is downright baffling, given Odenkirk's spellbinding performance.
Fans and non-fans alike were uncertain when Better Call Saul was first announced; Saul Goodman didn't seem like the kind of character to be central to an entire series. But, of course, Peter Gould and Vince Gilligan showed us how much mastery they wield as TV creators.
For his leading role, Odenkirk cast off the shackles of his comedy career and became the tragic man of Jimmy. Nothing has been a greater pleasure than watching his transformation unfold over six seasons.
1. Kim Wexler
We knew how most of the characters in Better Call Saul would end up, but Kim Wexler was different. She was the only main character with a question mark over her head. What would be her fate?
Over the course of her journey, we found out everything we needed to know about Kim Wexler and her relationship with Jimmy. She kept him good, she made him a better man, and she redeemed him in the final moments of his freedom as the love of his life.
Kim was more than Jimmy's wife. She was the heart of the show, its greatest achievement, the shining light throughout. Kim may have fallen from her original ideals, but she saved herself and Jimmy in the end.