Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks) serves as a major character in Better Call Saul with a role that originated on Breaking Bad, and as the eldest primary figure, his arc is even more compelling. Banks’ character first joined Vince Gilligan’s fictional universe in the Breaking Bad season 2 finale, “ABQ.” As an associate of Saul Goodman, Mike was thrust into the drama surrounding Walter White and Jesse Pinkman’s drug operations. His connection to Gus Fring, however, made him an enemy in the eyes of Walt, resulting in Mike’s murder by the end of the original series. So how old was Mike during Better Call Saul and the point of his demise in Breaking Bad?
Better Call Saul served as a prequel to Breaking Bad, following the likes of Jimmy McGill pre-pseudonym, Mike, and Gus in the years leading up to Walt’s big transformation. When Jimmy first encountered Mike, the older man was a parking lot attendant at the local courthouse. On the side, Mike did a host of odd jobs to support his daughter-in-law and granddaughter. Mike then got involved with the Salamanca drug cartel, leading him to align with Gus. Despite serving as Gus’ right-hand-man, Mike continued his loyalty to Jimmy/Saul up to his death.
Mike’s age was never explicitly stated in Breaking Bad or Better Call Saul, but the latter provided some clues. The prequel dove deeper into Mike’s background as a Philadelphia police officer. It also stated that the character served as a sharpshooter in the Vietnam War, insinuating that he was born in the early 1940s. When Better Call Saul began, it was late spring 2002, and with the possibility of Mike’s birthday somewhere between 1940-1944, he would have been somewhere in his late fifties or early sixties. Less than two years passed by the end of season 4, so when Mike executed Werner Ziegler, he was most likely 60-64-years-old. Season 5 only took place over two months, ending in June 2004, which lead viewers to believe that Mike was still in his early to mid-sixties.
A Breakdown Of Mike’s Age During Breaking Bad
As it stands, Better Call Saul is still four years away from the events at the beginning of Breaking Bad. The pilot episode of the latter was set in September 2008 when Walt learned of his cancer diagnosis. Even though Mike wasn’t involved in the series just yet, he would have been in his mid to late sixties at that point in the timeline. As the case with the prequel, entire seasons of Breaking Bad had a tendency to span just a few months at a time. Even though Mike didn’t appear until season 2, he would have still been in his late sixties at the most.
Mike’s death at the hand of Walt came in Breaking Bad season 5, episode 7, “Say My Name.” After refusing to give up the name of his associates, Walt shot Mike on the edge of the riverbank, killing him. His date of death was October 2, 2009, so it was very likely that Mike dies before he turned 70-years-old. Thankfully, Banks is still going strong at the age of 73, and the actor is set to continue playing Mike in the sixth and final season of Better Call Saul.