Since very beginning, Gustavo's personal bodyguard and executor Mike Ehrmantraut is shown as a smart and an always aware man. Consider that Mike is a former policeman and a walking lie detector; not only that he reads people well but he also possesses certain human qualities. He stops trusting Walter at some point and he does have control over his actions.

What makes me wonder is how did Mike let Walter kill him. It was obvious that Walter came determined to get what he wanted when approaching Mike, so did he just let him do it or did Mike trust Walter more than he should have and that became his lethal mistake?

4 Answers 4


Mike and Walter final confrontation has been building up throughout the whole series and reaches its climax in the "Say my name" episode you quoted. The two characters never got along from the start. Mike never liked Walt and certainly never trusted him, he also tried more than once to warn Jesse about confiding in Walter.

He has seen right through him from the start and always considered him a dangerous man, so I don't think that he "lets" Walter kill him out of misplaced trust. He simply knows that he's lost everything. He knows he'll be hunted down by the DEA because the attorney he hired to represent his guys has given him up and that he'll be forced to run away, hide somewhere and always look over his shoulder. He's also lost the most precious thing left to him, the relationship with his granddaughter who he was forced to leave behind without even say goodbye. He chose to become Gus's security guy, so to speak, because he wanted to leave enough money to his granddaughter in order to grant her a future. But his efforts were undermined by the DEA who managed to get hold of all his money.

Mike blames Walter for ruining his plan, for killing Gus and wreaking the havoc that destroyed his life's work. I guess that all of this clouded his judgement in the final meeting with Walter and caused him to lower his guard and forget about checking the gun before it's too late.

In the end, sitting on the river bank, he's not even angry at Walter for killing him, he's just fed up. He failed and and he just wants to get it over with (and needs Walter, for once, to "shut the f*** up").

  • 4
    Tiny note: it wasn't his lawyer that gave him up; his lawyer is Saul, and Saul didn't give Mike up. It was Waschberger who gave Mike up.
    – Möoz
    Commented Mar 17, 2016 at 23:55
  • 1
    @Mooz: You're absolutely right. I meant him, but I phrased it wrong. I edited my post, thanks for the note ;)
    – Pesetas74
    Commented Mar 18, 2016 at 6:41

The whole story behind Ehrmantraut is explain in Breaking Bad's spin off Better Call Soul S1E6 Five-O, in this episode we discover that he had to face a family drama in the past (I let you discover the episode).

As Breaking Bad takes place after these events, the Mike we saw in Breaking Bad is a resigned man that has nothing to loose. Mike lose his last contact with its family (Kaylee his grandaughter) when the DEA found him and he had to leave.

  • 6
    I don't think I should need to watch Better Call Soul to get an answer to my question, I am sure it can be answered from context of the original series.
    – eYe
    Commented Aug 31, 2015 at 18:17
  • 2
    I totally agree with you, Better Call Soul explanation was just here to contextualize the character, the second part of the answer is here to show that Mike let Walter kill him as he had nothing to loose at this point of the story.
    – Marc_Alx
    Commented Aug 31, 2015 at 18:23
  • @eYe: You don't need to watch BCS, but it does clarify things and provide concrete evidence. The writing style of BB (and BCS) often omits justifications for people's character, mostly letting the viewer learn from the current events rather than justify everything that happens by connecting it to the past. The only flashbacks we see are those that are essential to understanding otherwise uninferable information. If it can be reasonably inferred based on current actions (as is the case with Mike), there won't be a concrete flashback scene that proves the point.
    – Flater
    Commented Sep 20, 2018 at 8:39

Mike didn't give up his life easily. He was trying to drive away when Walt shot him.

Mike was fatally wounded and knew it. When he got to the river bank, he just sat down, so he could die in peace... except that the idiot Walt was there running his mouth, trying to apologize for killing him.


Another thing i found out watching for the third time is that Mike died because of a half measure, he says to Walter in one episode telling the story of the big guy and his small wife that after that he would never leave things half finished again, and when he have the option to kill Lydia he doesn't, and that is the half measure that kills Mike in the end.

  • Welcome to Movies.SE! This looks like tangential information and not really an answer to the question. Please be aware that this is a Q&A site, not a discussion forum: answers should always focus on answering the question.
    – F1Krazy
    Commented Sep 19, 2018 at 17:59

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .