Breaking Bad Wiki
Breaking Bad Wiki
"Mike is a man who knows he's lost a good chunk of his soul, and seems sad and world-weary about it. But he goes on nonetheless because he knows his strengths as well as his weaknesses."
Vince Gilligan
Mike and Jimmy BCS S1 Promo

Mike confronting Jimmy McGill

Mike is shown to be a highly intelligent, cunning, patient, formidable and caring person, he is also a highly skilled investigator, an expert soldier and assassin. Although Mike doesn't seem to feel even a bit conflicted about the crimes he commits, he also isn't terribly interested in gratuitous cruelty or shooting his way to the top of the meth lord food chain - he just does what's necessary to keep himself and his boss safe, with a minimum of ego-tripping and drama. Mike is well known for being pragmatic and rational, always taking the best choice that benefits everyone with the minor danger.

Despite being older than most of people involved in the meth business, Mike's experience as a cop and soldier gives him far more advantage than people think about him, usually being underestimated due to his advanced age and being "retired". Mike is also very talented at going undercover, being perfectly capable of impersonating someone else and putting himself in the shoes of someone he's playing, as shown when Jimmy asks him to go investigate Chuck's house and find evidence to help him in his trial, Mike had no problem posing as a handyman and went to the place and Chuck didn't suspect about him. However, is seen that Mike initially had misjudgements about people. Due to his first interactions with people involved with the meth business he used to think that Gus was a simple drugdealer who wanted to make money with it, and this thoughts became more evident after he murdered Werner Ziegler, being extremely angry when Gus said Werner's widow got a compensation for his demise and refusing to accept the advanze he offered to pay him. But after realizing Gus is far more than "just a drugdealer" and he actually is more human that he seems to be, Mike finally accepted to work for him.

Mike has demonstrated extreme devotion to his loved ones, notably his beloved granddaughter, Kaylee, whom he planned to leave all of his funds earned from his criminal work and also his daughter-law, Stacey, whom he also sought to aid financially. Mike sincerely loved his son, Matt, as well and was truly devastated by his death and personally avenged him by mercilessly killing Officers Troy Hoffman and Jack Fensky, his son's killers. His guilt over "breaking" his son motivated Mike to redeem himself by earning money through illegal means for his remaining family members. Mike has demonstrated that he is willing to do anything to protect his family from danger as seen when he attempted to assassinate Hector Salamanca due to him threatening Stacey and Kaylee. Mike himself even states that when his time to die occurs, he will go satisfied knowing that he did all he could to provide for his family.

"I have people waiting for me. They don't know what I do. They never will. They're protected. But I do what I do so they can have a better life. And if I live or if I die, it really doesn't make a difference to me as long as they have what they need. So when it is my time to go, I will go knowing I did everything I could for them."
―Mike to Jimmy[src]

Due to his past as a cop and soldier, Mike is a highly proficient killer and will kill whoever is a threat to him or his employer's interests as he single handily killed numerous Cartel assassins during the war between them and Gus. Despite this Mike hates murder under unnecessary circumstances as seen by him threatening Todd Alquist after the murder of an innocent child during their train heist. This is more demonstrated in Better Call Saul, until Season 4, Mike is shown to take extreme methods to avoid pulling the trigger even when doing it is the easier way, an example of this is when Nacho asked for his help to kill Tuco, but instead of doing it, Mike chose to create a situation that it would put Tuco in jail, thought the plan is perfect and Tuco is arrested Mike had to pay a high price, getting seriously injured for days, something that Nacho pointed out is that he went too far to make sure he wouldn't pull the trigger. He even spiraled into an alcohol infused depression following his murder of his friend Werner Ziegler on Gus' orders, showing Mike is far from being completely remorseless and cold-blooded. Despite a few conflicts, Mike was extremely loyal to Gus and was valued as a core member of his drug empire. While he was shocked at the sight of him killing Victor, one of his allies, he refused to aid Walter in killing Gus and remained loyal to him fully, and was truly angered by Walt assisting with Hector Salamanca's assassination of him and the destruction of Gus' entire operation.

Unique to Mike, his only reason for working in the criminal underworld was entirely to help his daughter-in-law and granddaughter. He was severely angered at Walter White orchestrating the killing of Gus through Hector, which in turn exposed his and Mike's activities to the DEA and cost him his $2 million fortune he was planning on leaving for his granddaughter. His devotion to his granddaughter was so great that he did not even touch any of that money, which is the only reason he was the only person from Gus' ring that wasn't arrested by the police. In this sense, Mike is the true polar opposite of Walter White due to the fact that Walt commits crime purely to fuel his own ego and attain power and he justifies it all as solely providing for and protecting his loved ones, which is in reality a thinly veiled excuse. Mike however is a criminal for more noble reasons and is absolutely devoted to ensuring his loved ones are financially sound and protected and does all in his power to ensure no harm befalls them. a core member of his drug empire.

Mike was extremely good at reading people and was one of the few people to recognize Walt for the prideful, egotistical, ignorant and arrogant man he was and severely despised him. He hated Walt for his actions that led to Gus and Mike's criminal activities being exposed, and the only reason he agreed to work with Walt was for the sake of making money to leave behind for his granddaughter and financially support his men in prison. He severely hated Walt for his ignorance as seen during their final confrontation in which he brutally ranted of how his actions are what lead to complete disaster following Gus' death after Walt accused him of screwing up and getting followed by the DEA, which in turn resulted in his unnecessary death at the hand of Walt. Mike also mentions he doesn't like bullies.

Unlike with Walt, Mike got along well with Jesse Pinkman and appeared to care about the young man a great deal, though he didn't hesitate to threaten him earlier in their acquaintance under Gus' orders. Notably, Mike hesitated in shooting Walt when Jesse told Mike that he'd have to kill him to were he to kill Walt. ("Live Free or Die") During a friendly conversation before the two men planned to quit the drug trade, Mike offered Jesse advice on a good place to start over, something that stuck with Jesse, though Mike regretfully warned him that Jesse would never be able to make up for the things he did when Jesse expressed that desire. ("El Camino")