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Breaking Bad: Mike's Hypocrisy Makes Him Worse Than Walt

During its lauded five-season run, "Breaking Bad" unleashed on the small screen realm a cast of characters as singularly unforgettable as any series in television history. And during its tenure, creator Vince Gilligan and his crack creative team ensured virtually none of those characters could claim the role of hero by crafting a slippery narrative where the rules of right and wrong are rewritten by the episode.

Few "Breaking Bad" characters played as loose with those rules as Mike Ehrmantraut, portrayed with low-key bravado by Jonathan Banks. The endlessly shifty "cleaner" didn't make his first appearance on the show until late in Season 2. He quickly became not just a major player in the overarching narrative, but a fan favorite to boot. Fandom aside, Mike's fairly loose interpretation of right and wrong has led some to question whether his seeming hypocrisy didn't make him even worse than the egomaniacal Walter White (Bryan Cranston).

That debate continues to rage in Reddit land, with a recent thread professing said theory as fact. And you'd better believe "Breaking Bad" fans have feelings about it. Redditor u/BillsFan82 is one of many who more-or-less agree with the sentiment, but claim a vital caveat separates the characters, posting, "Mike, while hypocritical, had a sort of code that he followed. That doesn't make him an honorable criminal. Like he says in BCS, good or bad...you're a criminal."

Breaking Bad fans have a lot of about Mike's inherent duplicity

There were quite a few Redditors who noted Mike Ehrmantraut's code as proof he was a better man than Walter White. But u/wolf4968 is one fan who's just not buying that, responding to such a post with, "Bull****. His 'code' is an excuse for him to project a false sense of honor and to bully strangers in moments when his experience makes him slightly superior to them."

Code questions aside, there were quite a few posters who agree Mike is well aware of his hypocrisy. And though he used it to prop himself opposite Walt, he never believed he was any better than the evil man who became Heisenberg. That includes u/Hudre, who claimed, "Mike doesn't think he is a better person than Walt, he thinks he is a better criminal. And he is. IMO Mike does not have a great opinion of himself."

For their part, u/LifeguardSweet whole-heartedly agreed in a lengthy post noting, "As a huge fan of mike, I believe this is part of the point. Mike is not a good person ... At his core, he is corrupt, and now it's like it doesn't matter if he becomes a better man because he's inherently broken." Whatever the case, u/Comfortable-Smoke-56 is among those "Breaking Bad" fans who'd undoubtedly rather have Mike on their side than Walt, commenting, "I'd still trust Mike to have my back over Walt any day. Mike is way more trustworthy than Walt when you're on his good side. Whereas Walt seems to go against everyone at some point." And if you've watched "Breaking Bad" in its entirety, it's hard to argue that point of view.