Mike clearly doesn't like Walt. He's upset that Walt was unwilling to just 'know his place', cook meth, and make as much money as he wanted.

Is it ever explained why Mike doesn't feel the same way about Gus? Gus and Walt share many of the same personality traits and seem to be nearly the same in how they handle the meth business. Gus isn't content with the money he was making and is willing to kick-off an international drug war, including personally poisoning countless cartel members. All to increase his profits/settle old scores. And Mike seems happy to stand by his side.

What's different between Gus's grab for power compared to Walt's?

  • I suspect Walt's loyalty to Jesse played a large part in it. Jesse was an unpredictable wildcard who caused problems for them all. Feb 1, 2015 at 16:48
  • 9
    Interesting question. I thought it was more the fact that Gus all established his whole empire over a long time and had gained much experience. So to say, he knew what he was doing. On the other hand Walt was pretty much a "greenhorn" supposedly not knowing how the business works and winning only by rather unorthodox methods and, let's face it, luck. In Mike's eyes Walt was highly overstrained and should rather had stayed where he belonged. He didn't deserve what he got as he didn't work hard and long for it instead of just killing the old king and assuming to be the new one now.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Feb 1, 2015 at 17:08
  • @NapoleonWilson why don't add it as an answer?
    – Ankit Sharma
    Feb 2, 2015 at 5:15
  • @AnkitSharma Because I didn't yet have the time and mood to do so, simple as that.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Feb 2, 2015 at 12:49

3 Answers 3


Summing it up in 3 main points, though they're all connected, really. Spoilers galore, or course:

  1. Loyalty is important to Mike. For instance, he's adamant about keeping his word and paying Gus's jailed men their cut which Walt is reluctant to do, leading to a major disagreement between them. Mike has known Gus for years and Gus trusts him as his close advisor; Gus is also usually loyal to his own men - he stayed loyal to Maximino, for instance, and he and Mike won't allow Jesse to kill Gus's dealers who used a kid (Tomas) to kill Combo, but Walt then kills them anyway. Also note how distraught Mike is when Gus kills Victor - he actually aims his gun at Gus for a moment. This simply seems unacceptable to him.

  2. Gus is a 'real' boss, Walt is not. Due to his code, then, Mike respects bosses. Gus has not only run a meth empire for many years, he's also a successful business magnate and restaurant chain owner. As Napoleon said above, Gus knows the business; he's organized, calculated and able to manage all the moving parts. Walt, on the other hand, is interested in small, unstable operations where he and Jesse do most of the work, Walt gets most of the money and everyone else is disposable. This goes against Mike's code.

  3. Walt is a newcomer and a wildcard. Remember that the show only spans 2 years and Mike only comes into contact with Walt during season 2. Mike, a hardened man in his 60s who has rather old-fashioned views and dislikes complications, had already formed a rapport with Gus when Walt showed up and (in less than a year, if I'm not mistaken) caused Mike nothing but unnecessary headaches: Walt has a brother-in-law in the DEA, insists on working with loose-cannon Jesse, kills Gus's 2 dealers and gets Gale and Victor killed and then Gus himself, putting Mike's main employement at risk.

It's no wonder Mike roughs Walt up in the bar in season 4 when Walt suggests taking Gus down. Walt is disloyal (for the most part), untrustworthy, disorganized and unpredictable, and is prone to desparation and panic. It's not a man that Mike, who's comfortable being a right-hand man, would ever like to serve.

  • I'm not disagreeing - but Mike seems to grow very found of Jessie. In fact - Gus bet his entire operation on Jessie's ability to cook meth in front of the cartel. Initially, sure, but by the end of their dealings, Mike still hates Walt. Gus also had quite a few disposable associates, including Victor though. But +1 for your username :)
    – Rob P.
    Feb 2, 2015 at 10:10
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    Yes, Mike later formed a bond with Jesse, but at first, Jesse was yet another point of contention with Walt. [And sorry to disappoint, but I only caught up with BB a few months ago, after I came to SE. ;)] BTW, you may be right, but I'm having a hard time remembering which of his own men Gus actually disposed of other than Victor. And he also killed the cartel members out of his old loyalty to Maximino.
    – Walt
    Feb 2, 2015 at 10:12
  • I always assumed Mike developed a fondness for Jessie because he saw something of his younger self in Jessie, in addition to wanting to build a rapport with him in the event Walt needed to be handled. Jessie was capable of cooking the meth, so if they ever had to get rid of Walt for reasons of protecting their drug empire, having a good rapport with Jessie could be valuable in being able to alienate Walt, while still having someone who could cook his brand of meth. We may get more details on Mike's character when Better Call Saul premieres this weekend.
    – MattD
    Feb 2, 2015 at 14:38
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    @MattD We also know he's partial to kids (his relationship with his grandaughter & sparing Lydia because of her little girl).
    – Walt
    Feb 2, 2015 at 16:06
  • 2
    BTW, I don't think that Mike developing a bond with Jesse makes him like Walt more but rather the opposite, as they sort of become rival father figures to Jesse.
    – Walt
    Feb 3, 2015 at 10:05

Gus is a business man and not a hot head. He is very cold and calculating in everything he does - and best of all - had an entire network built probably well before Mike comes into the picture. Walt, on the other hand is a hot head. Yes, Walt is capable of calculating behavior, but only in a survival sense, not in a business sense. Mike says to Walt at one point "you're a time bomb and I don't want to be around for the boom.". Mike was right. If Walt had just shut up and done his job, nobody would have ever been caught.

  • True - but if Gus just shut up and did his job...no war with the cartel. And Gus wouldn't have ever brought in Walt or even Gale for that matter.
    – Rob P.
    Feb 6, 2015 at 9:54

Because Walt has one thing that Gus has not, and that's ego.

Remember that Vince says that Walt is like the cancer himself, destroying everything around him. Once the immediate use of something is over, it's just a liability for Walt, waiting to be destroyed. Walt has no interest in building, or even being part of a network, he always wanted to be the man. Mike knows that that's not how it works, and automatically classifies Walt as someone untrustworthy.

Also, I'd like to comment on your comment to Mark's answer. Gus reveals that he's made a lot of mistakes initially (when he first invites Walt to his house). Sending samples to Don Eladio's men was one of those mistakes, which incensed Eladio, and led him to kill Max. Even if Gus had not done anything of the sort, the clash with Eladio was inevitable, as Eladio would have wanted to protect his own business.

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