SPOILERS: New 'Breaking Bad' Secrets Revealed
Fans of the AMC hit Breaking Bad who did not see the most recent episode, “Say My Name,” should stop reading now because major spoilers lie ahead. In "Say My Name," Walter White (Bryan Cranston) further cemented his place as a cutthroat meth kingpin, wrapping up the episode by killing hitman Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks) when Mike dared to suggest that Walt might be suffering from an inflated ego. Mike appeared to be on the verge of escaping Walt's maniacal rampage, but as he stepped into his car with a bagful of money from his third of the methylamine heist, Walt shot him in the chest.
The moment may have come as a surprise to viewers, but it certainly didn’t shock actor Jonathan Banks. "I honestly always thought I was gonna die," Banks told TheWrap. "The bad guy's gotta die. It didn't come as any surprise at all."
Banks’ Mike Ehrmantraut was introduced as a recurring character in season two and upgraded to a main cast member in season three. Mike was a former Philadelphia police officer and had done much of the dirty work for Gustavo “Gus” Fring (Giancarlo Esposito) until Gus died in a disfiguring explosion rigged by Walt at the end of season four, leaving the regional meth market open to a new leader and paving the way for Walt's increasing megalomania.
Mike spent the past season teamed up with Walt and Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul), but when he came under too much heat from the DEA and tried to leave without telling Walt the names of the men who could rat him out, Walt ended their relationship in cowboy western fashion — with a bullet to the gut.
In the end, Banks reflected on Mike’s departure and expressed gratitude to creator Vince Gilligan for the opportunity to play the role.
“I think Mike is one of the great television characters of all time,” Banks told EW. “It’s hard not to do a great character when something is written that well. What a joy! The whole thing was a joy, you know? What a gift Vince Gilligan gave me. What a gift!”
The fifth and final season of Breaking Bad — a show that has been nominated for 29 Emmy Awards, with six wins, during its run, has been divided into two parts. Next week's first-half finale will air Sunday on AMC at 10 p.m. Breaking Bad will return with the second half of season five in the summer of 2013. –Hal Sundt
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