I really shouldn't even warn you here, but I'm going to do so anyway: stay away from this article if you haven't seen the Breaking Bad season 5 episode "Say My Name." There are major spoilers from that episode in this article. Proceed at your own risk.
One of the saddest moments of Breaking Bad thus far was the departure of Mike Ehrmantraut. The former cop-turned-meth peddler, played perfectly by Jonathan Banks, found himself gutshot by Walter White (Bryan Cranston) in the closing moments of this year's episode "Say My Name." Mike's final command, for Walter to shut up and let him die in peace, was one that was both comedic and tragic, and when the old man finally keeled over into the weeds, it was truly heartbreaking to see him go.
Luckily, Jonathan Banks won't be gone for long. Hot on the heels of his Breaking Bad departure, the 65-year-old veteran actor will be back on our televisions this fall, though on a very different show. The bright and sunny Parks and Recreation is a far cry from the dark methamphetamine-addled world of Breaking Bad, but the NBC comedy is where we'll be seeing Banks next. Here's what's even cooler: Banks will be playing the father of Leslie's boyfriend Ben Wyatt (Adam Scott). And, unfortunately for Leslie (Amy Poehler), he's kind of curmudgeonly.
It will be interesting to see whether or not Banks will be able to effectively distance himself from the character of Mike, who is so fresh on our minds. And, really, it'll be interesting to see how Banks adapts from the deeply engrained black comedy of Breaking Bad to the more overt situational humor of Parks and Recreation.
Banks is slated to appear in the sixth episode of Parks and Recreation's fifth season. That season kicks off Thursday, September 20 on NBC. Count me in.