“You are a timebomb, tick-tick-ticking, and I have no intention of being around for the boom.” – Mike
And yet… by the end of the episode, Mike very much has assured that he will be around for the boom. But what other choice does he have? With executives from the Madrigal Electromotive corporation gunning for the twelve members who were connected to Gus Fring and could blow their entire operation, Mike had no choice but to rejoin the team of Walt and Jesse—not as an employee according to Walt, but as an owner.
(Whether or not that will actually be true remains to be seen. Hard to imagine Heisenberg letting anyone else make decisions.)
The opening of the episode also shows another man with no other choice. He chooses death by portable defibrillator in the mouth—not an elegant or painless death, but pretty much the only one he had available to him as the Madrigal executive watched local police take a long, hard look at pictures of him and Gus in his office.
That act kicks off the kill order on Mike, but not before another Madrigal executive named Lydia tries to convince him to be the one to kill the eleven other men. When he refuses, she puts one out on him—by one of the men he claimed would never turn on him.
Mike brilliantly got the jump on him. At the house of another of the eleven already murdered named Chow, Mike used one of his granddaughter’s toy to distract his would be killer at the peephol. Mike was completely in control throughout that scene—enough that he even gave his former friend the decency to say whether or not he was ready to die.
Mike continued to exert his control and cool confidence as he stealthily entered Lydia’s home, ready to kill her, but not until her daughter went to bed and her nanny left the apartment.
Watching Lydia fear either her daughter finding her dead body, or her daughter fearing her mother left her if they never found the body, Mike reflected on his own relationship with his granddaughter, and in that moment, decided to join up with Walt and Jesse and even use Lydia to help get an ingredient they had trouble getting without Gus’ operation.
Mike said he didn’t want to be around for the boom. He changed his mind in that moment of weakness.
As we saw in the season premiere, Walt needs a machine gun which means a boom has either happened… or will. And now we know Mike will probably be there.
- The only time Mike looked unsettled in this episode is after Hank and his partner found the Cayman accounts going to his granddaughter. He didn’t let that show to them, and even though Hank seemed to get the better of him (even calling him Mike after he asked to be called Mr. Ehrmantraut), Mike still walked out a free man. For now.
- Walt created a fake Ricin cigarette to fool in Jesse into thinking they eventually found the one that was lost last year. (In the Roomba of all places.) He hid the real one inside an electrical outlet. While it’s highly unlikely it will be discovered there, then again… that is a usual spot for Feds to hide wiretaps…
- Aaron Paul’s performance, by the way, when breaking down and crying when he realizes he might have killed Mr. White last season was incredible. As was the façade Walt kept up when comforting him.
- We get a nice long held shot on Hank’s face as his boss says of his friendship with Gus Fring: “He was somebody else completely. Right in front of me. Right under my nose.” So how close is Hank to learning the truth about his own brother-in-law? Money has to be on before the end of this eight episode run.
- The episode runs with an incredibly creepy bedroom scene between Mr. and Mrs. White. She looks virtually catatonic as Walt kisses her and says things like family is the most important thing to him. We’re lucky spared the moment where he probably has sex with her—clearly against her will.
- And finally… would you rather try the Franch flavor or Cajun Kick-Ass on your tater tots?