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Speakers for the TV Dead: Breaking Bad

by Ethan Alter August 27, 2012 2:31 pm
Speakers for the TV Dead: <i>Breaking Bad</i>

A far-from-broken guy goes to his final reward.

The TV world lost one of its finest ex-cops-turned-drug peddlers last night, when Walter White a.k.a. Heisenberg offed his one-time ally Mike Ehrmantraut before the proud grandfather could flee the state to avoid being caught in Hank Schrader's widening investigation into Albuquerque's rampant meth problem. Hail and farewell, Mike; we who are about to cook salute you.

Introduced at the end of Season 2, Mike quickly wormed his way into our hearts with his perpetual hangdog expression, grizzled gravitas and utter unshakability, even in the face of Walter's epic spazz-outs. A practitioner of the "speak softly and carry a big stick gun" school of conflict resolution, he rarely raised his voice, but had little compunction about putting a bullet in somebody's brain. His steadfastness and ruthless efficiency made him a trusted lieutenant within the ranks of deceased meth kingpin Gus Fring's enormous Albuquerque-based drug ring. In fact, he never recovered his footing following his boss's death and his obvious contempt for Gus's executioner, Walter, hastened his demise. Happiest when watching his granddaughter swing at the public playground, Mike also had an obvious affection for in-over-his-head meth cooker Jesse Pinkman, who he eventually took under his wing in an effort to guide him away from his "buddy" Walt's self-destructive path. Without Mike's guiding hand, we imagine that Jesse is now -- to put it in completely blunt terms -- totally and utterly screwed.

What We'll Miss Most About Mike
* His sneer, which was powerful enough to wither flowers at a distance of 50 yards
* His bald head, the coolest cueball on the small screen since Michael Chiklis and Patrick Stewart
* His words of wisdom, like the time he expertly broke down the difference between half measures and full measures to Walt
* His love of his family, whom he readily kept flush with cash
* His flair for exit strategies, and he would have gotten away with that last one too if it wasn't for that meddling Walt!

Favorite Mike Memories
* Doing Walt a solid by poisoning the Cousin who planned to assassinate him while he lay in the hospital
* Keeping an eye on Walt and Jesse while they dispose of his fellow enforcer Victor's corpse with a hydrofluoric acid bath
* Taking Jesse on a road trip to show him the ins and outs of drug delivery
* Mike slipping in through the backdoor while an assassin stare through the front door peephole, then calmly sitting down with the guy before shooting him dead without a word.
* Bleeding out and clearly done for, Mike sits calmly by the water and utters his immortal last words at an, as usual, overexcited Walt: "Shut the fuck up and let me die in peace."

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