There’s only one episode left in the first part of Breaking Bad season five but only now does Vince Gilligan and his writers finally give us some sense of direction toward Walter White’s final destination. We can now feel the walls really closing in around Walt, he is a king desperately holding onto his throne as his empire crumbles around him.
Mike has been a great Breaking Bad character, the laconic, no nonsense clean up man was a great inclusion and his increased role over the past couple of seasons has breathed new and dangerous life into the show. The episodes which were more Mike-centric from this season have been the strongest and “Say My Name” follows Mike once again as he attempts to put clear blue water between himself and the blue meth business.
But as we’ve come to understand in this dark, high risk business, a get out plan never succeeds and usually ends in blood being spilled. Sadly, Mike’s plans don’t buck the trend and at the hand of Walter, Mike meets his maker at the close of episode 7, after refusing to tell Walt the names of his guys inside. Mike’s murder is an event that in the end only causes more problems for the now flailing meth king of Albuquerque.
The impact of Mike’s death will probably be felt most profoundly by Jesse, who sees Mike as the true father figure in his life. Walt has offered the same but has always failed to live up to Jesse and never really cared about his interests, only serving his own. Mike has always considered Jesse’s needs, advising him wisely and developing something close to a friendship. Jesse even had hopes that when they were both clear of the meth business they would stay in contact. Mike has always looked out for Jesse and the feelings were reciprocated.
Now Mike is gone from Jesse’s life and his death was at the hands of a man that he has so very easily turned on in the past. I think it’s safe to say that the ramifications will be felt.
If Walt is honest with Jesse (which is unlikely), the truth of Walt’s near constant manipulation, that started with him doing nothing when Jesse’s girlfriend Jane was choking on her vomit, will most likely all spill out. This doesn’t seem to be a situation that Walt can so easily lie his way out of and it will only serve to further the rift between himself and Jesse.
Earlier in the episode Walt promised to Jesse that no one else would get hurt at their hands, but Breaking Bad has shown us nothing other than kingpins using murder to get to the top. Walt knows it and Jesse can’t pretend to be naive about it. Although Walt’s sociopathic tendencies have now seriously warped his actions and thought process, Mike’s death may have more of an effect on things than it would seem.
Upon realising that Mike will die, Walt openly states that he didn’t need to shoot Mike. He realizes that he could have simply asked Lydia for the names, regretting his rash action to pull the trigger.
Every death that has been at Walt’s hands has always been the only way out for him and has been done in order to protect his life. It has always (until now) been a last resort. With Mike’s death though, Walt has sacrificed his own morals in a moment of haste to ensure that his business keeps running.
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