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The One Thing Jonathan Banks Liked Fixing More Than A Sticky Situation On Breaking Bad Was Grammar

In the "Breaking Bad" timeline, no one gets out unscathed. What starts with a quirky high school chemistry teacher coming up with an out-of-the-box idea for entering the drug trade leads down a dark path that takes no prisoners. Walt (Bryan Cranston) soon learns that to keep him safe from the law — and other drug manufacturers — he and Jesse (Aaron Paul) need a lawyer and eventually even a criminal fixer. After all, someone needs to pick up the pieces after Walt gaslights his wife and ruins his partner's life.

Enter ex-cop Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks), who is originally on iconic Gus Fring's (Giancarlo Esposito) payroll. Tasked with helping Walt and Jesse in whatever shenanigans they get up to, Mike finds many uses for his talents. The actor was not just blessed with the ability to fix (almost) any situation. Banks also had a particular crusade to make Mike sound as smart as possible.

Jonathan Banks didn't want Mike to appear dumb

Mike Ehrmantraut could never be accused of being unintelligent. Walt may be the expert in all things science-related, but Mike has qualities that the meth cook does not. He is always behind the scenes, doing the heavy lifting regarding dirty work, while Walt is too concerned with his ego. Mike's only big mistake was getting too close to the wrong side of a gun. But before he meets his untimely demise at Walt's hand, Jonathan Banks and the rest of the "Breaking Bad" cast appeared on Conan to talk about the big issues. Conan O'Brien was delighted to bring up Banks' reported disapproval of how "Breaking Bad" writers penned Mike's dialogue.

"I thought Mike should help them with the big words," Banks admitted after O'Brien prompted him about the rumor. Banks was known to challenge the writers on how various sentences were structured. In one instance, Mike was written as saying: "who killed who," which rubbed Banks the wrong way. "Who killed whom," Banks corrected. "But then I believe it's an object preposition." Even though Banks was rewarded with a chorus of laughter from the audience, the "Breaking Bad" writers were less than impressed. Banks often implored those writing scripts to listen to his advice.

"I said: 'Tom, don't dumb Mike down. Just correct it!" In this case, Banks lost that particular battle. The actor's affinity for grammar went the way of his character: a tragic death.