Summary: Mike's son Matt was killed by 2 cops in the past and so Mike killed them. The cops go to him after Mike's daughter-in-law Stacey asks them to come over because she suspects Matt was involved with some fishy business. Mike gets Jimmy to help him deal with the cops and the cops get no evidence but Mike steals and then returns their notepad. He learns Stacey calls them and then goes to her to tell her the truth about what happened to Matt.
The Good: Now this was awesome. A fantastic backstory episode for one of the most interesting and unexplored characters from Breaking Bad. If you want to bring Mike into focus for this show, this is absolutely the right way to do it.
Where to begin with this one? I'll start with the fantastic use of colour and scenery to create a completely different tone for this episode. All other episodes have been bright and colourful, but this episode was dark and dull all the way through, giving it a completely different atmosphere and letting us know that this will be a more serious episode. It's remarkably effective and makes this episode feel really special.
The biggest worry about an episode like this would be if Mike can carry an entire episode on his shoulders. The answer is that he absolutely can. This episode really showed what Jonathan Banks is capable of and gave us some much-needed backstory to get us to really care about Mike. Now Mike can easily transition to being a major character in the show since we are totally invested in him.
There were 2 scenes here that gave us everything we needed to know about Mike. First was the excellent trap he set on Hoffman and Fensky. It was cleverly executed and Mike did a brilliant job of playing so horribly wasted. It was a fun plan to watch and it was very satisfying to see Mike get revenge on the 2 awful people who murdered his son. It's always fun to see clever plans like these coming into fruition.
The second scene that let us know what Mike is about was the superb final scene. We always got to see that Mike had a great deal of affection for Kaylee and we get a great origin for that here. We see that he was really close to his son and loved him, and when he died it left a hole in Mike. A hole which would promptly be filled by his love for Kaylee. The final scene let us see just how much Mike respected his son and how tragic it must be to crush his morals all for nothing as he would die anyways. Jonathan Banks was amazing in that scene too and there were loads of heartfelt lines throughout the entire monologue. Easily the most powerful scene of the show so far.
The Jimmy and Mike team up was brilliant like last time in "Nacho". Their interactions remain hilarious and Jimmy's short role in this episode added some good lightheartedness to make this episode less bleak. His use of a bright white suit amidst the dark colour of the episode is another nice touch that lets us believe that he's a small ray of humour in an otherwise very dark episode. I enjoyed Mike's plan to swipe the notepad too and it was brilliant to watch it executed. There was also a little bit of tension in wondering if Jimmy would actually spill the coffee.
The overall structure of this episode was very well done too. There was a lot of mystery introduced and we were slowly given answers as the episode went on. That makes for a very satisfying watch.
The Bad: Nothing really.
The Unknown: This episode raised a lot of questions and yet in answered almost all of them. I'm only left with 2.
What will Stacey do with her knowledge of Mike? Obviously she won't turn him in but what will it do to their relationship?
What will happen with the stolen notepad? Surely the detectives will notice it is missing and they should instantly suspect Mike.
This episode was excellent but it didn't completely sell me into the show. This is because it was very different from anything else in the show. I'm bought into the Mike storyline, but no so much the Jimmy storyline, which is the main one in the show. I'm enjoying the show for sure but I still need a little more from the Jimmy storyline to consider it a very good show.
Best Moment: The ending monologue by Mike was spectacular.
Character of the Episode: Mike of course. There was no better way to turn him into a primary character in the show.
Conclusion: A fantastic episode that really brings Mike into the fold in an engaging way. Now we just need a Jimmy-centric episode that can deliver with this kind of emotion.
Just a university student who loves to watch TV. And criticize it like hell.