Well it was about time. On the Mar. 9 episode of ‘Better Call Saul,’ we finally got some answers about Mike. Some stuff we already knew, but other stuff… Not so much! Check out a full recap!
After the Mar. 2 episode of Better Call Saul left us with a major Mike (Jonathan Banks) cliffhanger, the Mar. 9 episode wasted no time in finally giving us some insight as to how Mike went from ex cop to the parking validator of a low-level court. Of course, we also saw some more of Slippin’ Jimmy’s (Bob Odenkirk) current scheme play out– but there’s considerably less Jello this time!
The Truth About Mike
Well, we certainly know more about Mike now!
We start with (what I assume is?) a flashback. Mike gets off the train at a station in Albuquerque. He’s met by a woman, Stacy, who timidly greets him. He says he has to use the restroom and will meet her out front.
He goes to the restroom, but, uh, walks into the women’s. He inserts a quarter in the machine and buys himself a maxi pad before walking out into the men’s. Turns out, he’s got a big ol’ gaping bullet hole on his shoulder, hence the maxi pad (and for what it’s worth, he never does actually use the restroom).
Back at Stacy’s home, Mike pushes a little girl on the swings and we find out, it’s Kaylee (Breaking Bad fans, we know Kaylee)! Kaylee’s father died recently, and his name was Matt.
Stacy asks Mike if he noticed Matt was different in the weeks before his death, because he wouldn’t speak to her and he wouldn’t eat nor sleep.
“He seemed okay to me,” Mike said. But Stacy had heard him on the phone just a few days before he died, and he had gotten very angry. Apparently, Matt didn’t get angry.
“I think he was talking to you,” she tells Mike. “I mean who else?”
Mike denies it and says she’s reaching for something to blame his death on. She believes him, oh, roughly 12%. He says goodbye, then gets into a cab. He has the driver take him to a vet’s office in order to stitch up that pesky bullet hole on the DL.
Better Call Jimmy
Back in the present, Mike is being questioned by that detective that knocked on his door at the end of last episode. He literally will say but one word: lawyer.
And guess which lawyer he wants to call? I’ll you give you a hint: it’s the name of this show.
“You wanna tell me what we’re doing here?” Jimmy asks. Well, Mike has a plan. He tells Jimmy that when the cops come back in, he needs him to spill his coffee all over the cop’s jacket which happens to have a handy dandy notebook inside the pocket.
But Jimmy is “straight” now and he isn’t on board with the plan. Well, not immediately.
Now we get to the bottom of things. Matt was Mike’s son, and he was on the police force in Philly, just like Mike had been. He and his partner and a third officer got a call about shots fired. They responded and, sadly, Matt didn’t make it out. There were no suspects for the killer and then, two months ago, the other two cops who were with Matt also turned up murdered.
This is all, of course, news to Jimmy. However, he needs to know, what does it have to do with Mike? Well, as it turns out, nothing. They just wanted to know if he had any info whatsoever “to help catch the bastards.”
The only intel Mike’s got is that he saw the two cops out drinking the night before they died. Then, the next day, he left Philly and came out west. Hm.
Oh, and then Jimmy spills the coffee.
‘Friends From Philly’
Back in Jimmy’s sad little yellow car, Mike mulls over the snatched notepad and Jimmy is none too please. “In case you missed it, your friends from Philly back there think you killed two cops.”
“Yup,” Mike says. Hardly a denial there, Mike! Back at home, Mike scours the contents of that notepad, but clearly doesn’t find what he’s looking for. He calls Stacy. “We need to talk,” he tells her.
He shows up at her house and asks if she called the cops. Turns out, she had, after she had found $5,000 in an old suitcase which Matt had stashed. Stacy thinks Matt was a dirty cop, which makes Mike so, so angry.
“My son wasn’t dirty,” he screams at her before storming out. And with that, we flash back to Philly. Mike’s breaking into a cop car parked outside a bar for a reason we aren’t quite sure of. Then, we go inside the bar and we realize this is said fateful night before the two cops had been killed.
Mike is drunk. Very drunk. He walks up to the two cops, puts his arms around them as if he’s giving them a hug, but whispers, “I know it was you.”
At the end of the evening, Mike starts to drunkenly walk home. The two cops pull up next to him and ask if he wants a ride. He refuses, so they pull over. They put him in the car, but first search him for weapons–which, shocker, they find– then strap him in the backseat.
“You killed him, you killed Matty,” Mike says, slurring his words. “You killed him for nothing. You killed him because you were scared of what he might do… You made it look like it was a junkie with a gun, but it was you. I know it was you and I’m gonna prove it.” And then, the cops are quiet.
So, they drive Mike somewhere that is very obviously not his house. It’s more of an abandoned bridge. I get the feeling they wanna take Mike home-home. They take Mike out of the car and lean him up against a wall while they deliberate on what they should do. And then, in a most satisfying moment, we find out Mike isn’t the wasted old man they thought he was. It was all a scheme. He is very much sober, and the gun they took was very much a detour– he obviously unlocked the car earlier to stash an actual loaded weapon for his later acquiring. He shoots ’em both, the real dirty cops, with just a wee bullet hole on his shoulder as the only thing to show for it.
‘I Broke My Boy’
“Ya know what a cop fears most?” he says at Stacy’s house, back in the present. “Prison.” The entire scene that follows is just heartbreaking. Matt basically refused to sink into the dirtiness of the Philly precinct and the two cops were imminently threatening to kill him. On the phone that night, Mike convinced him to take the money, thinking it would save his life. Then, they killed him two days later anyway, despite the fact he had done what they wanted.
“I broke my boy,” he says. “I broke my boy.”
What a devastating scene and devastating episode overall. What did you think, is Mike’s story surprising to you? Do you think he was justified in killing the cops who killed Matt?
— Casey Mink