Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Mike Ehrmantraut's Biggest Mistake On Better Call Saul

Originally created because of a scheduling conflict in "Breaking Bad," Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks) is one of the most beloved characters in the "Breaking Bad" universe. The character is one of only a few to have appeared in all three entries of what many consider to be the trilogy of "Breaking Bad," "El Camino" and "Better Call Saul."

Initially introduced as a cold, calculating killer who becomes a soft teddy bear when around his granddaughter, Mike is one of a select number of characters originating from "Breaking Bad" who got their backstories fleshed out on "Better Call Saul," alongside the titular Saul Goodman/Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk), Gustavo Fring (Giancarlo Esposito) and Tuco Salamanca (Raymond Cruz), among others.

Over the series' six seasons, we see Mike at his best and worst, sometimes drawing out laughs with his codgerly attitude and obsession over doing his job right, even if he's a parking lot attendant or a safety inspector. However, we also get to see a deeply sad and regretful side to the character, as his series of choices begin to catch up with him and hurt even the people he loves most. Although Mike arguably makes bigger mistakes in "Breaking Bad," he made his share of them on "Better Call Saul," including one that can be considered the biggest one depicted on the prequel series.

Mike Ehrmantraut's past as a corrupt cop indirectly killed his son

In the first season's sixth episode, "Five-O," we get to see Mike's past in which he takes bribes as a cop in Philadelphia. Also a cop, his son Matt (never directly shown) is pressured to take the dirty money as well, with his dad trying to convince him to do so for the sake of his safety. However, because of his slight hesitation, Matt is killed by other crooked cops anyway. This causes immeasurable grief and loss for not just Mike, but his daughter-in-law Stacy Ehrmantraut (Kerry Condon) and Kaley Ehrmantraut (Faith Healey), his adored granddaughter.

This moment seems to have caused a fundamental shift in the character, who, up to this point, may have only hurt people he didn't know or care about. This grief and shame sticks with Mike until the end of his eventful and traumatic life, and no matter how much love, care, and money he gives to his family, he eventually dies on "Breaking Bad," knowing that no amount of it will ever be able to bring back his son.

"We all make our choices," Mike says in the "Better Call Saul" Season 5 episode, "Bad Choice Road." "And those choices, they put us on a road. Sometimes those choices seem small, but they put you on the road. You think about getting off. But eventually, you're back on it." 

Now knowing the full story of how many people Mike has killed and hurt, this line hits even harder.