Breaking Bad has gone down in television history as one of the greatest Drama/Thriller shows of all time. Throughout the series, we follow the transformation of Bryan Cranston’s character, Walter White, from a mild mannered high school chemistry teacher to a terrifying methamphetamine manufacturer and brutal crime lord. While the show’s main bald headed protagonist is living through his criminal metamorphosis, we are introduced to another crooked cueball. Enter everyone’s favorite bad-ass henchman played by beloved actor Jonathan Banks, Mike Ehrmantraut.
Mike is an experienced body guard anti-hero that makes a regular appearance throughout the series. Mike is the kind of guy that never loses his cool even in the toughest and often challenging situations. He seems to always have a plan A, B, and C, all while remaining cool as a cucumber. In fact, during the events of both Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul nothing ever seems to penetrate his cool and intimidating exterior. Is it possible that Mike was born with this mellow yet devious attitude or perhaps he has reached the point in his life when he can see through most every human behavior and is next to impossible to be surprised?
I believe that the revered Mike Ehrmantraut has seen things in his life. He has seen the unbelievable and experienced a vivid and ghastly nightmare that changes a man. It changes a man in such a way that he abandons his once honorable and moral profession in law enforcement to become a career criminal under an assumed identity. I am talking of course about Deputy Brent from Gremlins.
Mike Ehrmantraut has stated in both Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul that he is an ex-beat cop which is exactly the character that Jonathan Banks played 24 years prior. Perhaps Bank’s previous career choice in Breaking Bad is only a nod and wink to his previous role in the horror-comedy, Gremlins. I believe that the situation is slightly more complex than that. Just as like a cute, fuzzy and friendly mogwai can make the transformation into a gremlin, I believe that Deputy Brent also shifted when his mind was faced with the impossible. In fact, a life changing metamorphosis seems to be the base theme of the Breaking Bad franchise. Is it possible that the characters are mirroring the changes inspired by Gremlins?
Perhaps it is a stretch of the imagination that the two franchises could share a universe. Perhaps in future episodes of Better Call Saul we will see Jimmy McGill enter a chinese curiosity shop run by an elderly man named Mr. Wing. Only time will tell, and until then keep theorizing!
Author: Erik Montgomery