(Warning: as always, spoilers ahead.) If you've been watching Breaking Bad this season, you knew the confrontation that went down at the end of tonight's episode was coming. If you're like me, you probably hoped it wouldn't -- you were seriously crossing your fingers, in fact, because we're talking about one of the very best characters on a show jam-packed with stupendously great characters -- but it seemed 100 percent inevitable.
Still. Still. RIP Mike, you magnificent soldier, you cold-blooded killer, you soft-hearted granddaughter-loving Jesse-protecting guy who never once backed down to Walt. "We had a good thing, you stupid son of a bitch."
We start things out with Walt, Mike, and Jesse meeting with the guys who planned to buy the methylamine, which allowed Walt to pitch them on becoming his distributors, and also paved the way for this fantastic interaction:
"You all know exactly who I am. Say my name. I’m the cook. I’m the man that killed Gus Fring. Now, say my name.”
“You’re god damn right.”
When did Walt's eyes get so steely? He's like Clint Eastwood now, forever squinting into the Albuquerque sun while tossing out badass catchphrases.
Jesse wants out, but Walt's got other plans for him -- which I suspect were permanently tanked by Jesse seeing Skyler for what Walt has turned her into: a broken husk of a woman, trapped in a hell she can't find her way free of. Finally, Jesse stands up to Mr. White, and walks away from Walt's crappy promises, his below-the-belt insults ("How long before you're using again?"), and the almighty dollar.
Of course, escape can't be that easy. Jesse and Walt show up in Saul's office to try and help Mike, who's got the DEA halfway up his ass. Just when we're hoping Mike is going to blow town, having left a crap-ton of money to his granddaughter, the cops swoop in and Mike's officially on the run. Here comes Walt to the rescue with Mike's "go-bag," but their snippy altercation turns into something a lot more serious when Mike refuses to thank him for all he's done.
Walt's ego takes over, and he shoots Mike through the car window. For a moment it seems like Mike may have somehow survived, but no, there he sits by the river, his life ebbing away. Walt starts to babble something about being sorry, and Mike gives us one final, genius line: “Shut the fuck up, and let me die in peace.”
Oh, Mike. Man, am I sorry to see him go, even though I knew it was only a matter of time.
Were you shocked by Mike's death? What do you think is going to happen on the final episode next week?
Image via AMC