Breaking Bad: Jonathan Banks (Mike) Talks "Say My Name"

Spoilers for the seventh episode of Breaking Bad's fifth season "Say My Name" are ahead. If you haven't seen the episode yet, now is your chance to quit reading. 

Sunday's episode of Breaking Bad, "Say My Name," ended with the sad but ultimately inevitable departure of Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks) from the series. The career criminal, while trying to make his escape from New Mexico, was shot to death by Walt after insulting the meth cook's ego. Mike managed to escape to a riverbank, where he spent his final moments watching the water and telling Walt to shut up and let him die in peace. 

Actor Jonathan Banks, who played Mike for four seasons of the series, recently shared with AMC what it was like to say goodbye to the old mackerel-eyed character. 

"[Breaking Bad showrunner] Vince [Gilligan] talked to me a long time ago, six or seven months before the season, and he told me I'd die before the end of this eight," Banks shared. "My feeling is that we assume that most people are going to end in some fashion. My biggest problem is I love Mike; I love the character and I love playing him, but all stories like that do have to come to an end."

Mood on set was, of course, mournful during the filming of Mike's death in "Say My Name." "The crew on the set that day all wore black armbands all day long," Banks recalled. "There are a lot of friends on that crew. It was an emotional day to say the least on set -- a lot of tears."

In a behind-the-scenes video for the episode, Banks called it a "motherf***ing tough day." 

"With Mike, you're talking about one of the favorite characters of my life here," Banks said, remarking  about the final scene by the riverside, "and my feeling was I could not give him enough dignity. Mike is a great warrior."

You can read the full interview with Banks over at

Breaking Bad will return for its midseason finale, "Gliding Over All," Sunday, September 2, on AMC. 

- Breaking Bad
- Jonathan Banks
- amc

Written by: mcpherson
Aug 28th, 2012, 10:08 am


Level 2 (40%)
Points: 4.4
Since: 20/Apr/08
Message Posted On Aug 28th, 2012, 4:11 pm

He'll always be Frank McPike to me, but i love Mike too!  If the show's true to form, he'll still get a cold-open flashback or two.

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