As part of their ongoing series of deconstructing the complex character development within the sublime AMC series Breaking Bad, and Better Call Saul by association, Debra Minoff and Susannah McCullough take a look at the decomposition and decompensation of Mike Ehrmantraut between the two shows.
Mike starts off as a relatively good guy who, like Omar of ‘The Wire’, lived by a strict moral code, which allowed to hang on to his integrity. Despite his best efforts, however, Mike Ehrmantraut eventually stifled his emotional self to become Gus Fring’s on-call automaton.
He takes responsibility and holds himself to high standards, and this allows him to retain some integrity, some decency, in a world of necessary evils. …He takes comfort in his self-discipline, his pragmatism, the idea that he can still be a relatively good version of a bad man. …This is a fallacy, though. A moral code isn’t the same as morality if that code accepts immoral behavior.