Breaking Bad: Mike Ehrmantraut – Turning Off the Tap (+ Better Call Saul)

Breaking Bad: Mike Ehrmantraut – Turning Off the Tap (+ Better Call Saul)

“You get lift belts and gloves. You use them. Rules are rules.” Is Mike Erhmentraut a good man? The instinctive answer is yes. Even though he does bad things, he feels like a good man because
he has a code of honor. “Me, personally I was hired to do a job. I did it. That’s as far as it goes.” He takes responsibility and
holds himself to high standards, “He wasn’t in the game.” and this allows him to retain
some integrity, some decency, in a world of necessary evils. “The lesson is, if you’re going to
be a criminal do your homework.” Yet if we look honestly at his actions, the answer to the question
“is Mike a good man?” is clearly no. That code of his allows him to murder, to serve bad men, and to take part in
violent, damaging crime. “Don’t make me beat you till your
legs don’t work.” The Mike of Breaking Bad may be
attractive to us in many ways, “Be nice, nice. Let Wendell in there. If Wendell doesn’t eat, nobody eats.” but he’s a doomed man, who made his bed
a long time ago and has no illusions about how dirty his soul is. While the difference between Breaking Bad Mike and Better Call Saul
Mike maybe a little subtle to pick up on at first, “You want to talk about that?” “Not particularly.” “You wanted me to talk. I talked.” the prequel’s slower,
more expansive exploration of an earlier Mike’s
psychology illuminates how he becomes
that hardened criminal and what it costs him. The tragedy of Mike is
like the man himself: understated and quiet, but deep. Along the way down his slippery slope, he allows what’s human and feeling in
him to be gradually snuffed out. “All wrapped up in your sad,
little stories, feeding off each other’s misery.” And his tale is a warning. As tempting as it is to cut off
all emotion and become the perfect, efficient machine, this is the road to darkness. “Well perhaps in the future,
you will consider working for me.” “Could be.” Before we go on, we want to talk
about this video’s sponsor. Skillshare is an online learning
community where you can learn everything from video editing to business strategy,
coding or lucid dreaming. They offer twenty-five thousand online
classes from famous teachers at the top of their field. And right now, Skillshare is offering
our viewers two months’ access to all their classes for free. So click the link in the
description below to sign up now. Better Call Saul is the story of
Jimmy McGill’s descent into becoming Saul Goodman, “Did you know
that you have rights? Constitution says
you do, and so do I.” but the second layer
to this story is the degradation
of Mike Ehrmentraut. So why do show creators
Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould choose to make Mike
the other central character? Sure, when we meet them
in Breaking Bad, they’re kind of a business duo. “Is this a good or bad thing?” “Suit myself? You want me to suit
myself? I’ll suit myself to his face!” “It’s a bad thing” and viewers might wonder how these
opposing personalities ended up professionally intertwined. “The rules for parking validation
are actually pretty simple. Most people get it on the first try.” “Well, you’ll be pleased to know
I have the requisite stickers.” “Well, be still my heart.” Yet the real reason for making
this series about both of them, is that Mike’s journey is
an important mirror of Saul’s. Both characters have a good man within, and they have to fall, morally, to get where they are in Breaking Bad. Better Call Saul tracks the mystery of
how and why they gradually lose what’s human inside them. “I am so lucky I have this letter. God, I could see the Matrix, you know? I was invincible. I could dodge bullets, baby.” In Jimmy, the transformation plays
out through his social interactions and performances of emotion, “And then there’s this show of remorse.” “It’s not a show.” “I know you don’t think it’s a show.” because he has such an
expressive, extroverted nature. “So I just went off on this flow, you know. I had this energy going
through me, it was like improv or jazz and then BOOM I sent the hook in.” But behind Saul’s flair for
elaborate drama, minimalist Mike is our window into the deeper truth
of this spiritual decline. In him, we see the tragedy of a man’s
moral corruption in clearer terms, because it’s expressed in action. By the end of Season 4, Jimmy has adopted his philosophy
of what it takes to be a “winner,” “Remember, the winner takes it all.” and Saul Goodman is well and truly born. “S’all good, man.” Earlier in the season, Jimmy’s lack of
a response to his brother’s death raises questions of whether he’s
in denial and will eventually have to face a grief he’s avoiding. “Well, Howard, I guess
that’s your cross to bear.” “So I’m gonna make some coffee
if you want some.” Over time, though, it’s revealed
Jimmy doesn’t have this grief. “You were right. It was all about Chuck,
this whole time.” He made a decision to leave behind the deeply emotional person
we met in Season one. Continuing to feel for the brother
who didn’t love him became too exhausting, and being emotionally
sincere just didn’t work out for Jimmy, “You do realize you just
confessed to a felony?” “Yes. But you feel better, right?” the harder he tried to be straight
and good, the more and more he got kicked around and punished for it. He’s learned that faking it
is easier and more effective. And, when he’s called out
on being insincere, “Some members of the committee
found you somewhat… insincere.” the solution he finds isn’t
to be more honest. It’s to become a better,
more convincing liar. “I’ll never be as good as Chuck. But I can try.” “Did you see those suckers? That one asshole was crying,
he had actual tears.” This darkening of Jimmy’s spirit is echoed in Mike’s Season 4 plot overseeing the German construction crew who are building the meth lab where Walt
and Jessie will eventually cook. This story happens mostly underground, in secret, representing how
Mike’s emotional evolution is the private, under-the-surface version of what Jimmy experiences
out in the public world. Mike concludes the season by
killing the head of the crew, Werner Ziegler, a man he genuinely likes
and respects, that rare person who’s actually become his friend. “Never this long away from home.” “To home.” “Yeah.” Yet by this point Mike has
become Gus’ man. So, in his mind, his fondness
for this man and his desire to help him are irrelevant. “I thought I would come back
and my friend Michael would be very, very angry, but in time,
he would understand and forgive.” What he’d like to do just
doesn’t factor into this equation of ironclad consequences. “It was ever up to me.” While it may not always be obvious
how Mike’s and Saul’s stories align at any given moment, what we’re seeing
happen in their parallel plots is, essentially, both of these men turning
off their emotional faucets. “Well, look at you. You’re in so much pain. Why are you putting yourself
through all this?” “It’ll be a story. An accident.” Each comes to the conclusion that it doesn’t work to indulge the messier,
emotional, human sides of themselves. They begin to abandon warmth, softness
and mercy, to cut that piece out. They make the decision to feel less,
or not to feel, at all. Jimmy’s rejection by his brother, and the establishment that his brother
represents, causes him so much hurt that, eventually, he just doesn’t want
to engage with that any more. For Mike, it’s even more extreme. His heartbreak and guilt over
his son’s death is unimaginable. “Broke my boy. I broke my boy.” After that, he just starts
shutting himself off. He tries attending group therapy
sessions with his daughter-in-law, but he’s not capable of dealing with the
enormity of what he feels about his son, “I hadn’t thought about Matty all
morning, and they weren’t just minutes. There were hours where I didn’t
think about him.” and the cop in him fixates instead
on rooting out a fraud in their midst. “Because that dead wife
he’s always talking about never existed. The guy’s story changes
every time he tells it.” It’s safe to assume Mike has
never been a guy who was wearing his heart on his sleeve,
or very in touch with his emotions “Everyone sounds like Meryl Streep
with a gun to their head.” still, we can sense
those emotions do run deep. “No one expects you to wear a
hair shirt for the rest of your life.” “Same goes for you.” Over the course of Better Call Saul
we’re watching that feeling in him get softer and weaker,
like a flame that’s flickering “Is there no other way, truly?” until in Breaking Bad it’s locked up,
inaccessible. Not dead, but a passenger who has
no say in where the car is driving to. “The problem is, the boss
doesn’t like it.” In a way, it’s pretty easy to understand and relate to their
choice to turn off the emotional tap. Think about what it’s like to digest our modern world’s
daily onslaught of bad news. You see a story about someone
losing their home in a wildfire or a hurricane, about how many lives
have been lost in a bombing far away from you, or in yet another
appalling shooting. Certainly many of these stories
will move you to intense sympathy for the victims, as they should. But then, maybe, there’s a day
when you have a lot going on, and something in your brain decides
you just don’t have the time or the emotional fortitude
to feel what you ought to feel about the latest terrible story. You shut yourself off to it, because it’s just too much
to feel it right then. This is even more tempting when it comes to trauma
and pain in your personal life, because it’s so much more acute. “Every night you were drinking
yourself unconscious like you were the only one who lost him.” Turning off the tap seems the smart
thing to do. It’s self-preservation. It’s just not practical or useful
to suffer all the time. But Better Call Saul seems to be telling
us that this is the wrong choice. It’s saying, don’t numb yourself. Don’t cut off from your grief
and your rage and your misery. Hold on to the messy sincerity. Because what this story illustrates
is when you shut off that faucet, you lose something of great value,
and you never get it back. There’s something aspirational
about Mike. On one level, of course, we know
we shouldn’t be like Mike. We can probably find a better role model
than a man who’s been a dirty cop, a murderer and a fixer
for major drug dealers. These are not career goals to adopt. But there is a lot to emulate
in Mike’s philosophy and behavior. He has a rare self-discipline
and work ethic. “This business requires restraint.” A refreshing lack of BS
and no-nonsense attitude. “I’m going to need some kind
of assurance.” “I assure you that I can kill you
from way over here, if it makes you feel any better.” He’s comprehensive, patient,
and excellent at his job, and it’s hard not to admire someone who’s
such a perfectionist about their craft, “I’m on your books as
a security consultant. If I show my face at your warehouse,
it makes for a better cover story.” whatever their field may be. “You got duplicate routing numbers on
cargo, surveillance camera blindspots on the north and the east side of the floor,
inventory documents that are going into the trash instead
of being shredded.” He schools other criminals around him
about how to behave more honorably and intelligently in their business. “All I call tell you is, you guys aren’t
half as smart as you think you are.” But the problem with Mike very much
comes out of what’s so strong about him. He epitomizes an idea we see in quite a
few stories about crime and antiheroes, best articulated by The Wire: “A man’s gotta have a code.” that if a man has a strict set of
rules he lives by, this makes him moral, or at least more moral than
the others around him and therefore excused for his sins. “But if you make a deal with somebody,
you keep your word.” Mike himself uses this kind of
logic to justify his choices “I’ve known good criminals and bad cops. Bad priests, honorable thieves.” He takes comfort in his self-discipline,
his pragmatism, the idea that he can still be a relatively
good version of a bad man. “You’re now a criminal. Good one, bad one? That’s up to you.” This is a fallacy, though. A moral code isn’t the same as morality,
if that code accepts immoral behavior. Nor does clinging to rigid personal laws always lead to
a decision that feels right. Werner broke the agreement. So per Mike’s code,
this warrants killing him. But on a human level, this person
also invites forgiveness. Werner wasn’t betraying his employers;
he just really wanted to see his wife, “You really want to see your wife?” “More than anything.” “Then finish the job.” and cracked under the pressure of
being holed up for so long without her. “For what it’s worth, I believe him. It’s about him wanting to see his wife,
clean and simple.” Mike has contracted himself to
interests that don’t take into account human concerns, “I’d go another way.” “That, I know.” “That’d be a mistake.” “This discussion serves no purpose.” which means he’s no longer free
to bestow clemency. “I go back now,
I go back in the morning, what difference can it make?” “It’s not gonna happen.” So this is the fatal mistake Mike makes,
when it comes to his soul. He gives up control. “Mike, you don’t have to do this.” “Yeah, unfortunately I do, Walter.” A human being can make an exception,
but a set of rules can’t. And what we see happen in Mike, as he
comes under the employ of Gus Fring, is this gradual evolution into a machine. “What the hell am I doing here?” “I don’t know. It’s not my call. I just do what I’m told, and now you’re going to
do what you’re told.” For so long he’s an independent agent. He refuses deals from
some very scary people, “Respectfully, I’m
gonna have to say no.” “You sure about that?” “I am.” and only does what feels right for him. “Pass.” “What? Why?” “It’s not for me.” After starts serving Gus,
he no longer has a choice “Let me speak to Mr. Fring,
I will explain everything, I will make him understand.” “You’re not gonna talk to Fring.” “If I could just talk to Gus,
I know I could make him understand.” “No.” “I’d like to talk to Gus!” While his thorough, painstaking nature
is what makes Mike so impressive, this potential for automaton-like
precision and regularity is also his downfall. “Moral of the story is,
I chose a half-measure when I should havegone all the way. I’ll never make that mistake again.” By fixating on the desire to
become perfectly efficient, which is what draws him to Gus
and makes him similar to Gus, he loses his humanity, and his ability
to respect humanity in others. “So what, is this going to
be a regular thing now? Meth cooking and corpse disposal? Jesus.” “Just grab us a spare barrel, Walter.” As a small mercy to Werner, he pulls the trigger himself, which is a human, noble act. “Her questions will be answered?” “This you swear?” “This I swear.” And we can feel how taking the life
of this person he cares for, to fulfill a contract to his boss,
costs him. It takes a toll. It’s a crucial moment in his tragedy
and his downward trajectory. “There are so many stars
visible in New Mexico. I will walk out there,
to get a better look.” If we look forward to Breaking Bad, we see a hard person who shrugs off
the fact that his colleague shot a kid for no reason, “Which leaves option three. We keep him on payroll. I vote three.” even if he doesn’t particularly like it. “The next time you bring a gun
to a job without telling me, I will stick it up your ass sideways.” And as we watch Mike
in Better Call Saul, we can’t help but think of
what we know of his ending. He dies at the hands of
a man he despises. “Shut up the f–[BLEEP] up
and let me die in peace.” He works hard to leave his granddaughter an inheritance
that will make her secure. But he fails “Mike was no dummy. But every time he tried to
get his nest egg to his granddaughter, it ended up in Uncle Sam’s pockets.” It was all for nothing. Mike’s goal of providing
for his family sounds a lot like Walt’s justifications for his actions. “I’ve got cash I can’t spend. Two hundred thousand dollars. If anything happens to me,
my family will never see it.” “If, for any reason, that my children
do not get this money, a kind of countdown will begin.” Mike’s motives are wrapped in
a little less BS and he’s certainly not secretly driven by ego and pride. Still, he is deluding himself, by thinking, as Walt does, that
he can somehow do all this bad stuff and compartmentalize it, while
keeping his family separate and safe. He believes his code can save him
from sinking too deep, from becoming like the low-lifes
he can’t stand in his line of work. “You know how they say it’s been
a pleasure? Well, it hasn’t.” But nobody gets out of this unscathed. And the ultimate lesson in Mike’s story
is that however attractive it is to become that efficient machine,
however smart it seems not to engage with the messy irregularity of feeling,
making this choice is losing the battle. “I’ll take care of it.” “Are you sure?” “Yes.” Because when we kill off that chaotic,
imperfect part of ourselves, we destroy our connection to
the rest of the human race. “You know what happened. The question is, can you live with it?” This video is sponsored by Skillshare,
an online learning community we love. With over twenty-five thousand classes
taught by seasoned pros, Skillshare has a class on
pretty much anything you could want. You can develop your creativity through a class on calligraphy,
graphic design, or writing. You can learn to succeed in business with classes on how to make it as
a freelancer, market a podcast or become an Instagram influencer. You can use it to master
new technology through classes on web design, coding, and data science. Or you can bring that extra flare
into your lifestyle, sharpen your knife skills, learn paper making, speak Spanish, or let Elizabeth Weinburg, an award-
winning photo journalist teach you everything you need to know
about photo editing. Right now, Skillshare is offering
our viewers two months’ access to all their videos for free. Just click the link in the
description below to check it out today.


100 thoughts on “Breaking Bad: Mike Ehrmantraut – Turning Off the Tap (+ Better Call Saul)”

  • Sign up for Skillshare:
    Support The Take on Patreon:
    Subscribe to keep up with our latest videos, and let us know what you want to see next!

  • Another point, is that if a solid code is the only thing that keeps you from being immoral, once life forces you to break that code (and it will), you're only left with the immoral. You can see that happen to Mike multiple times, where he has to fix his code out of necessity, shifting the wall ever further into the realm of darkness. In other forms of media, you can see characters fall apart once they break their own code, not being able to build it up again.

  • Don't listen to this bitch. A man with emotions becomes a target for female manipulation. Women want men to abandon rationality (and justice) and enter the emotional realm where women have the decided advantage. Stay single men, stay single! In a broader extent country that has given women the (unearned) right to vote, is easier to control as politicians don't have to live up to standards, but appeal to emotions. An emotions-based country becomes an easy target for anybody with a fake sob story, and an easy target for psychological warfare using guilt for perceived wrongs. I prefer the Saul Goodman approach of insincere expressions of emotions; but I really don't care AT ALL about the supposed plight of women, minorities, "refugees," etc. You don't invade our country in strength, like warriors of old. You come in pathetic weakness, thinly veiling your envy and contempt for me. I don't care. When the day of the rope is finally arrived, I will have no problem looking you in your weak watery eyes and killing all of you and your children.

  • Stelios Ktenios says:

    "Mike Ehrmantraut(+better call saul)" 4 minutes later "Jimmy's lack of a response to his brother's death" thanks The Take

  • Feel a lot and you become someone crazy like Teru Mikami of Death Note.
    Feel a bit and you become a normal human that suffers and never do nothing to fix the world.
    Feel nothing and you become Mike Ehrmantraut, a person who does nothing to fix the world, but does not suffer for things that are not his business and don't get stuck in things that people usually do.
    Feels like turning off this imperfect side stills the better choice…

  • as morals are ultimately subjective we can only expect to be moral to ourselves, and Mike was moral to himself. in his mind it was all just for his family, which is exactly what Walter thought too. now they're both dead, take that as you will

  • Skyler Sanders says:

    I'm not sure I agree that Breaking Bad or BCS is making any value judgement.. They are putting out negatives of certain archetypes and letting them playout.

    Is his perspective wrong? Maybe. But all we know for sure is that in his very specific situation, loyalty to a code killed him. But his contrast is a scheming Walt or a machiavelian gus, both of which are SPOILERS dead.

  • As much cool as it would be to be like Mike don't be like him ever. Deep inside he feels terrible about all the killings he's made. When he died he wasn't angry he was honestly happy because the pain is finally going away forever. Rip to the hitman who had a heart.

  • Edwin Lindley says:

    When it came to leave the money to his granddaughter. Mike made the biggest mistake by putting that money in a safety deposit box in the same back he was using for the hazard pay for his men. I would have placed it in a different bank all together. Separate from the bank he was using for the hazard pay.

  • I think most of these characters never really get "opened" as much as i thought. These characters are deep to be sure but, i feel like most of the time they're left with one-sided decisions that ultimately get them in the position they are. I think at it's most fundamental level these characters decisions were made for them meaning the things that have happened in their lives has left them with little to no meaning for wanting to feel or understand why the world is doing this to them, Why would they care? it's to late for them to change what "was" and the world is too cruel for them to change what "is" so they decide to live for the little life they have left to live it their way and no-one else's i think what most of these shows don't express is every person they've killed hasn't been exactly "good" or "sound" except for very few exceptions mostly made by outside characters or to show a point on how shitty this business is. Everyone has a choice Skylar could've very well called the cops as soon as she found out about Walter being a drug dealer, but she decided not to because of how "bad" it could be for the kids to find out like that but the inevitability of it was that they were going to find out either way, and boy did they find out in a shittier way than Simply going to the cops would've been. Or Walter Refusing to accept the Job to work at the company he made? A smart man like himself could've very well saw this as an opportunity to become the Head of the company that was taken from him especially if his ego and his spite were inflated. A lot of these decisions really make me question why people focus of the "bad" things these characters have done when in reality their doing what any criminal does lol that is breaking the rules, living by their own rules, making their own road, deny society for what it is, rejecting paths to a better socially acceptable path. In their eyes society and the world is a joke so why even bother to understand or follow societies rules? They're smart enough to know the basic human condition so why even bother trying to explain their actions when everyone is just going to reject their actions either way? They try to take control just as any other person does, only difference is they're not bound by Human-made rules because they know that's bullshit at the end of the day. And that i think that is a key fundamental flaw in these shows is that no-one in the show ever tries to "understand" the situation they just try to take control. I really do think these shows are an awesome representation of the most basic Human flaws, People never try to understand the situation first, they just accept what is and live on not knowing that this world can be changed as easily as it can be destroyed by us.

  • Americans are subjected to arrested development. They don't turn off empathy. It never developed. The face of evil is a grinning, amused infant in an adult body unable to comprehend that its doing something wrong.

  • Everything is darkness and pain for most females so it is better to not feel anything if possible. Most males do not feel much of anything except anger and lust and they even confuse those two and most can’t even manage to control that !

  • And to think, if two crooked cops hadn't murdered his son Mike might have been one of the greatest detectives in American history.

  • alexandre amaral Rodrigues says:

    Sorry, but I do not agree entirely with your approach this time. Your insight into capitalism when treating of the Gus Fring theme was perfectly fitting to the story. Now, i.m.o., you couldn't see that Mike is simply the professional. A prudent man, as Adam Smith thought capitalism (or commercial society, in his words) was all about – mistakenly. Capitalism is perhaps a matter of appearance beneath the greed for profit, its real motivation. Those who are in charge of it are the businessmen. They are Gus Fring. They have some similarity to the professional that is hired by them, the appearance of effciency and following a code of ethics. But they can and must ocasionally undress this disguise. But the professional must wear the business shirt all the time. He/She deeply assimilates the idea of efficiency, she/he is required to do so for the sake of his job and wage. Therefore, the professional's personal ethics is, besides obeying the professional code, the code of private life, i.e., family. She/he is a person who thinks his life, family life, as separate from his professional life. Her/his key-value is individual or family preservation within good material and moral standards and she/he think efficiency in his or her job only as the way to provide the means for good life. Such standard includes that she/he, as a professional, does not act in total freedom, and, consequently, entirely according to her/his own moral values. See, for instance, Kant's text "Answer to the question: What is englightenment?". There he expresses the difference between public and private reason. (Of course the philosopher put a limit to the obeyance we must pay to our superiors in private reason, but in real life this difference not unfrequently transgresses that limit). Thus in a country where law enforcement is often weak, the professional will be often in charge of, for instance, offering bribes to law fiscals. It is part of the business, however she/he may disapprove of it. She/he is simply doing what her/his profession requires from her/him. Mike, when a policeman, had accepted bribe – it was part of the job, as he came quickly to know. Sometimes she/he will be forced to fire a good person, an intimate friend, a good professional at an age when it is difficult to find another job, and this completely against her/his sentiment. This is what Mike does to the German engineer. He fires him in an as dramatic proportion as the situation of criminal business demands.

  • Mike is my fav and even as a crook I thought of him as a good man with honor so sorry have to disagree with you saying he's not good.. He loves his grand daughter and unlike Walter he didn't destroy his family in his quest to secure her future. Once again I feel his was the saddest of stories in both shows..

  • Czar of Wojcickistan says:

    YOU are not "The Guy", you're not capable of being the guy! I had a guy but now I don't! YOU! ARE NOT! THE GUY!

  • Javier Martinez says:

    Out of all the criminals in breaking bad he's proven an honorable criminal, but either way he was a dirty cop too, but regardless he's less of a bad guy since his families his motivation and wants whats best for them even if it means getting your hands dirty I mean the guys a fucking bad ass.

  • Mizzurani Friend says:

    I like Mike he is really good written character, but who thinks he is a good man? He is cold blooded Killer who gave up all morality after better call saul. He sold himself. But he knows he is piece of shit, he accepts it.

  • Isn’t this simplifying the role that is Mike Erhmantraut ~a bit~?

    Yes, he’s bad in our reality, but in the show, he is a much better person, and his code of honor proves it. Like someone already mentioned, he and Walter both start out their life of crime in much of the same way. But Unlike Walter, Mike always keeps his honor and can always justify the bad he does by a greater good. Walter in the other hand, derails completely by the end and is bad and sometimes down right evil for the sake of his own good.

  • SkeletalSounds _ says:

    Incredible essay. Love how y’all included the ending of better call Saul’s latest episode, which was the strongest case on your thesis of them losing their emotional faucet. After all, it is the prequel to the characters ..

  • if you look at the real-life, men like mike win… the people who create stories actually deliberately makes men like this lose to send a message to the audience. Sometimes rules are good, following rules and being disciplined are the keys to ultimate success. on the other hand following the 'feelings' actually makes you a failure most of the time.

  • one part i don't understand is why mike wanted to kill pinkman after fleed from the cartel headquarter, while gus intending to save him from be poisioned

  • Your take on Mike' s life and behavior I feel are so far off on another tangent from how Gillian or any of the other writers goals in the story. The charactor of Mike was created by gillian to show the basic personality traits that are heavily contrasted to those of Walt; he and Walt ar NOT alikeat all, their actions and behavior in ovecoming their losses in each of their lives are pretty much the same , both Mike and Walt are only trying to make past actions and feelings of each of them better. They each choose different, very different ways of accomplishing this and taking control of their lives.
    Each does so differently because of their individal actions and feelings about their lives. Both feeling that they were in some way wrong by outside "powers that be" .walt's way of dealing with his feelings of inadiquacies are coming from a higher more educated level of conscienous ; highly educated scidentist and the potential for success in his field, Mike 's background is left at blue collar, semi educated police officer on the street.

    I don't really think Gillian was creating Mike as a mirror of Walt personality wise.
    I really feel your depiction of Gillian's character of Mike as being a mirror of Walt is really askew and is part in the story is there to point out the differences of the two men.

  • MIke was my least favorite character. I hated his dry, emotionless demeanor… And he just looks too goofy to take seriously as a hit man.

  • Jon Banks is a great actor.

    I'd like to see his character come back before the end of Modern Family. Who else could play Ed O'Neil's brother? hahaha

  • "Does mike's code make him a good man? No because it condones his actions that I find disgusting."

    Well, everyone has a code or "normative ethical system" that would allow them at some point to take a life in pursuit of protecting something more important to them. Making the statement "he isn't a good man because he values different things than I" isn't convincing. Plus Good and Bad aren't descriptions of an object/action/moral agent regarding the properties they have, but expressions of how we FEEL regarding those items. Eg "Mike is bad=Mike? Eww, boo!" Claiming Mike is bad, is just you saying you feel icky about him. He isn't bad or good, as those moral properties don't actually exist in actuality–there is no moral truth to be had in attempting to analyze "good or bad".

  • Andres De La Rosa says:

    This sounds weird but I wish there was a way I could share my day to day life with you guys, have you provide valuable interpretations about my setbacks, weaknesses, etc., and use that to improve my life — or to at least see myself objectively.

  • My take on Mike is that he has the mind and outlook of a mercenary. A professional whose allegiance is for sale, but still retains SOME sense of honor. Still, he can do what professional soldiers do in combat: disassociate himself and his emotions from the business at hand. Indeed, when buying a sniping rifle, there is a slight indication that Mike was a Vietnam veteran, and possibly even a former sniper. Which explains a lot because a sniper's shots are individual and require FAR more detachment and discipline than most others. PLUS, Mike has a motive for working with a criminal organization — money for his family. So yes, I can relate to Mike, at least the emotional detachment of it, from my own experiences. I understand what made him into the Mike we see.

  • He's "LOYAL" but that doesn't necessarily make him a "good man"…he's a hired KILLER, for God's sake….anytime Gus tells him to kill someone, he kills them…..good men don't MURDER PEOPLE…..he has "feelings" just like anybody else has……he loves his family just like Walt did but hey – so does a mafia boss….they are anything BUT good..

  • We like Mike because on Breaking Bad and BCS, these shows are from crooks and criminals' POV, and out of these people, Mike's the most stand up guy.

  • "I assure you I could kill you from all the way over here, if it makes you feel bad any better" lol thats my favorite Mike line.

  • The only thing about Mike I don't like is – he is never shown training.  No one maintains those mad skills without training.

  • Mike according to me is flawed but he is not a entirely bad guy. He displays compassion, commitment, honesty and warmth. But he looses objectivity when he has a weakness for his grand daughter and daughter in law. I think all his pragmatism goes for a toss when he fills super guilty for the death of his son. Mike is a powerful force that lost its way and channeled in the wrong direction. His killings cannot be justified but his plans or his vision did not turn out the way he did all thanks to Hisenberg ( phase ) of walter white.

  • “Don’t be like Mike.”


    😹 I don’t know why, but that’s hilarious! I would wanna try to be the good version of Mike.

  • She says, "He allowed his feelings… blah blah blah" say a woman who Hardest Job in the World is staying at home with children. ! pfshhhh

  • Is Netflix missing some scenes of the show? I saw it recently (what I was missing 10 years , that was the best show I have seen ) but many scenes you’re showing here are not on Netflix platform I think .

  • But your take is wrong on why Mike killed Vernon, it wasn't because Vernon just wanted to see his wife, but because he lied to Mike, going to a resort trying to escape.
    Therefore, Gus asked Mike to kill Vernon, he became a liability and a waste of money.
    Just like Mike said to Walt "If you'd known your place, we'd all be fine right now!"

  • Steven Macdonald says:

    Sorry but Werner's execution was not ever in Mike's hands. It was Fring alone. If he'd let Werner go, he'd have been a dead man himself. You've missed how the criminal code works. When your own life is next, you do as you're told

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *