Mike Ehrmantraut

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Michael "Mike" Ehrmantraut
Breaking Bad / Better Call Saul character
Jonathan Banks by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Jonathan Banks at the 2012 Comic-Con
First appearance "ABQ"
Created by Vince Gilligan
Portrayed by Jonathan Banks
Information
Occupation Private Investigator, former Philadelphia beat cop, former parking lot attendant, Head of Los Pollos Hermanos Corporate Security, hitman, cleaner
Children unknown
Relatives Kaylee Ehrmantraut (granddaughter)

Michael "Mike" Ehrmantraut is a fictional character in the American television drama series Breaking Bad and the spin-off series Better Call Saul on AMC. He is portrayed by Jonathan Banks and was created by series creator Vince Gilligan.[1] Mike Ehrmantraut is a former Philadelphia police officer who officially works as the Head of Corporate Security at Los Pollos Hermanos; in reality, he is an assassin and enforcer in Gus Fring's crystal meth operation. On occasion, he serves Saul Goodman as a private investigator, cleaner, and fixer.

Breaking Bad[edit]

Background[edit]

For ten years, Mike was employed at the Philadelphia Police Department as a beat cop, frequently having to deal with situations such as burglaries and domestic disputes. At some point, he gave up his career in authority (in what was described as a dramatic exit) and instead began a private investigator business, as well as hiring himself out as a hitman. He was married once and had a child, who later produced his granddaughter, Kaylee Ehrmantraut, with whom he has a strong bond.

Season 2[edit]

After Jesse Pinkman's girlfriend Jane Margolis overdoses on heroin, Walter White calls Saul for advice; in response, Saul sends Mike to remove all evidence that could link her to Walt or Jesse. He instructs Jesse on what procedure to follow and what to tell the paramedics and police when they show up: "I woke up, I found her. That's all I know." Shortly thereafter, Jesse runs off to a crack house, devastated by Jane's death. Concerned about Jesse's well-being, Walt has Mike drive him to the drug den to retrieve Jesse.

Season 3[edit]

A few weeks later, Saul hires Mike to spy on Walt's wife, Skyler, who they fear may tell the authorities what she knows about her husband's drug connections. While Mike is installing pinhole microphones outside the White residence, Walt shows up unexpectedly and breaks into his own home. Mike easily avoids being seen by Walt, coolly making his way back to his car. Watching through the windshield, Mike observes drug cartel hitman Marcos and Leonel Salamanca walk into Walt's house. He phones an associate of Gus, warning him that Walt is in danger.

Mike is later seen leaving the hospital following the failed assassination attempt on DEA agent (and Walt's brother-in-law) Hank Schrader, dropping a syringe into a disposal bin on his way out. It is implied that he poisoned Leonel on Gus' orders, to prevent him from informing cartel boss Juan Bolsa that Gus authorized the hit on Hank in defiance of Bolsa's orders. After Walt kills two dealers working for Gus, Mike sets out to find Jesse. He intimidates Saul into giving him information on Jesse's whereabouts, but Saul deftly slips him a fake address. The next day, Mike is suddenly told that he and Victor, another of Gus' henchmen, must kill Walt. Walt begs for his life and offers up Jesse in exchange, revealing that he knows his whereabouts. They unwittingly allow Walt to give Jesse a call, but he uses this opportunity to give Jesse an order to kill Gale Boetticher, the man being groomed to be Walt's replacement in the superlab. Mike, who didn't know Walter knew Gale's address, holds Walt at gunpoint as Victor races to Gale's apartment to stop Jesse. He is too late to stop Jesse from killing Gale, however.

Season 4[edit]

Mike continues to hold Walt at gunpoint in the superlab. Victor eventually returns with Jesse and tells him about Gale's death, which deeply worries and frustrates Mike. The situation of both henchmen is made even worse when Mike asks Victor if he was seen by witnesses. Victor admitted that he was, so Mike alerts Gus to Gale's murder. When Gus finally does arrive, he brutally slashes Victor's throat, prompting Mike to pull his weapon. He is then compelled to oversee Walt and Jesse's disposal of Victor's corpse, which they liquefy using hydrofluoric acid.

Afterwards, Mike is notified by Gus' bodyguard Tyrus Kitt that a meth addict is stealing money from Jesse's house. They catch the addict responsible, then return to Jesse's house, where Mike warns him that his behavior is unacceptable. Jesse surprises Mike by calling the play as a bluff. As a result, Mike reports this to Gus and gets permission to take disciplinary actions. Mike is then seen with Jesse in a car driving to an unknown location.

Mike and Jesse drive up a long dirt road and after a few minutes stops the car near an old shack and grabs a shovel from the trunk. Jesse nervously holds his keys in his fist as a makeshift weapon; Mike sees this but walks right by him and starts digging a hole in the yard seemingly at random. Mike pulls a bag of money out of the ground and tosses it in the trunk. He then tells Jesse that they have six more money bags to collect that day and he wants to finish before dark. He needs his rest.

Mike works security for a meeting between Gus and the Juárez Cartel. Mike then leads an operation to clean up the Los Pollos Hermanos farm before Hank can investigate it. One of Mike's men is gunned down by cartel assassins, but Mike manages to save Jesse's life.

Mike and Jesse accompany Gus to Mexico, where Jesse will teach the cartel chemist how to cook the "Blue Sky" meth that he and Walt have made their signature. At a party afterward, Gus poisons the entire cartel, and Mike garrotes cartel boss Don Eladio's right-hand man, Gaff. As the trio hobble to a car with Gus when attempting to escape, Mike is shot by one of the cartel members, Joaquin Salamanca. Jesse kills Joaquin and flees in a stolen car with Mike and Gus .

Mike tells Jesse to drive to a warehouse where there is a doctor waiting for them. At first the doctors only seem concerned about Gus, but eventually they get around to treating Mike. Mike is given ample blood transfusions and is stitched up, but has to stay in Mexico for at least a week to recuperate while Gus and Jesse return to the U.S. Gus indicates to Jesse that he will send for him when he is well enough to travel .

Season 5[edit]

Season five opens with Mike in Mexico, recuperating at the temporary medical facility. Gus' doctor informs him that Gus has been murdered; Mike deduces that Walt is responsible, and returns to New Mexico to murder him. Instead, Walt and Jesse convince him to help them destroy the video evidence from the superlab. Mike begrudgingly agrees to help them break into Albuquerque PD's parking lot to use a giant magnet to destroy the laptop through the wall.

Mike grows suspicious of Lydia Rodarte-Quayle, an executive with Madrigal Electromotive, Los Pollos Hermanos' parent company, who secretly oversees the international distribution of Blue Sky meth. Fearing that she will turn him, Walt and Jesse in to the police, he breaks into her house and prepares to kill her. She offers to provide them with thousands of gallons of methylamine, buying her enough time to work out a deal with Walt: in return for letting her live, she tells them about a train carrying methylamine that they can rob.

Mike, Walt, and Jesse make a deal with Declan, a small time drug smuggler, to distribute the Blue Sky meth. Mike and Jesse negotiate a sale of $10 million, and agree to split and quit the business. Mike works with a lawyer, but the attempt to quit goes wrong when DEA agent Steve Gomez arrests his lawyer and nine of his dealers. Gomez and Schrader try to intimidate Mike into revealing the identity of the elusive drug kingpin "Heisenberg" - Walt's criminal alias - but Mike refuses. Mike kills one of the dealers after he talks to Gomez and Schrader, stashes his money in an airport shuttle, and asks Saul to get it for him. Walt, who is there with Jesse, offers to go instead. Walt demands that Mike give him the names of his dealers, but Mike refuses; Walt then shoots him in a fit of rage. Walt realizes too late that he could have procured the names from Lydia, and apologizes to Mike; in response, Mike tells him to let him die in peace. After a few moments, he succumbs to his wounds and dies.

Better Call Saul[edit]

Main article: Better Call Saul

In April 2013, it was announced that a spin-off series focusing on Saul Goodman was being developed by Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan and writer Peter Gould; the latter wrote the episode that introduced the character. Gilligan had considered it in a July 2012 interview: "I like the idea of a lawyer show in which the main lawyer will do anything it takes to stay out of a court of law. He'll settle on the courthouse steps, whatever it takes to stay out of the courtroom. That would be fun—I would like that."[2] In January 2014, it was announced that Jonathan Banks would reprise his Breaking Bad role as Mike Ehrmantraut and be a series regular.[3]

On September 11, 2013, it was announced that the series had been approved by AMC and given the confirmed title Better Call Saul, and is a prequel in a one-hour format.[4] The series premiered on February 8, 2015.[5]

Season 1[edit]

Chronologically the first time Mike Ehrmantraut is encountered in either series.

Mike first meets Saul Goodman (then named James Morgan "Jimmy" McGill) while working as a parking lot attendant and cashier for the Albuquerque courthouse. Mike's attitude towards Jimmy is dispassionate, usually not letting him pass through the parking lot's gate because he doesn't have enough validation stickers on his parking ticket.

In the third episode of Better Call Saul, Jimmy lets himself out of the parking lot, which leads to Jimmy assaulting Mike as he is refused entry to the parking lot later on in the episode because of it. Since Jimmy is defending a client who is wrongly suspected of kidnapping a family, two police officers try to make Mike press assault charges if Jimmy does not reveal the location of the family. Mike first accepts, but after he realizes that Jimmy's theory that the family might have staged their kidnapping seems plausible, withdraws from the deal. Jimmy then asks him why he did it, and Mike reveals to him that he used to be a police officer and once handled a case similar to Jimmy's. He gives Jimmy a possible reason why the cars of the family are still on their property, being that the family might be hiding in the area close to their house, which turns out to be true.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Vince Gilligan Talks BREAKING BAD, the Saul Goodman Spinoff, the Behind-the-Scenes Documentary, and More". Collider. 2013-09-13. Retrieved 2013-09-23. 
  2. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (April 9, 2013). "AMC Eyes ‘Breaking Bad’ Spinoff Toplined By Bob Odenkirk". Deadline.com. Retrieved January 20, 2015. 
  3. ^ Kenneally, Tim (January 27, 2014). "‘Breaking Bad’ Prequel ‘Better Call Saul’ Enlists Jonathan Banks". The Wrap. Retrieved January 27, 2014. 
  4. ^ O'Neal, Sean (2013-09-11). "Breaking Bad's prequel spinoff about Saul Goodman is basically a go at AMC". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 2013-09-23. 
  5. ^ Roots, Kimberly (November 20, 2014). "Better Call Saul Gets Two-Night February Premiere on AMC". TVLine. Retrieved November 20, 2014. 

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