A lot of great characters made their presence known on Breaking Bad over the years, but two really stand out above the rest: Walter White and Mike Ehrmantraut.
They’ve been enemies, they’ve been partners and they’ve been everything in between, but along the way, they both had a pretty lasting impact on the BB universe.
Fans have different points of view when it comes to who they support more out of the pair, and today, let’s try and figure out who truly is the ultimate badass in this crazy ABQ world.
Both men are great, but as Walt eventually proves, there can only be one.
WALTER – His Journey
Walter White goes from a standard high school chemistry teacher to one of the most notorious drug kingpins in the history of the United States.
That kind of transition doesn’t happen every day, and it says a lot about how the character was written and how he was performed.
Even when he kicked off his run on the show, few could’ve anticipated that he’d turn into such an outstanding villain. He combines his newly found street smarts with his actual intelligence, and that’s a dangerous combination for someone in his trade.
MIKE – The Experience Factor
Mike knew exactly what he was getting into when he first showed up to help Jesse Pinkman, and that’s because he’d already been doing it for so long by that point.
The rugged, older cop look was completely reinvented by Mike because as long as you paid him well and gave him a job to do, he was going to do it to the best of his abilities.
That kind of experience simply cannot be traded for anything else, because he knows how the business works better than 90% of others.
WALTER – Prison Killings
Organizing double-digit prison killings to take place in a matter of minutes is a difficult task to try and pull off – but with the help of Jack and his gang, Walter White manages to get the job done.
He knows the kind of pain and suffering he’s going to cause by doing it, but he clearly just doesn’t care. He’s progressed to such an unforgivable point that very little can phase him. He looks out of his window and simply watches the world go by, all the while knowing that many men are going to be slaughtered – all in the name of him being protected.
MIKE – No Flamboyance
As the seasons go on, it’s clear to see that Walt is enjoying some of the perks attached to his new criminal lifestyle. From buying nice cars to slightly pimping out his wardrobe to just being a happier fella, Walt is living the high life.
On the flip side, Mike doesn’t really buy into that. There’s nothing flashy about what he does, and instead of trying to win everyone other with charisma or charm, he gets on with his job as if it was a regular 9 to 5. That, in itself, is spooky.
WALTER – Walt Kills Mike
When you’ve got two badass characters on the same show, it’s inevitable that they’re going to square off sooner rather than later. In the fifth season that finally happens, as fans witness the culmination of Walt & Mike’s feud.
Despite Mike always seemingly being the guy we’d all back in a fistfight between the two, as viewers saw when he actually knocked Walt to the ground in a bar, it’s White who gets the last laugh as he shoots Mike and watches on as he slowly crumples to the ground and dies.
MIKE – Accuracy
Walt is messy in pretty much every physical interaction he has, and that’s because he has never been trained up to be a hardened criminal of any kind.
Mike, however, is as accurate as they come. Even in his older age, he’s capable of putting most guys to the sword, with the best example of that being when he shot a guy dead when he couldn’t even see where he was.
Being a pinpoint target man in that line of work is always going to be useful, and Mike leads the way in that regard.
WALTER – Unpredictable
The beauty of a good surprise is that nobody sees it coming, and Walter thrives in that department.
He surprised Mike by stealing his gun, he surprised the Aryan Brotherhood with the robot car machine gun, he surprised the two drug dealers that harmed Jesse by running them over, and he surprised Gus by blowing him up with the help of Hector Salamanca.
Those are just a few of the many ways that Walt manages to overcome the odds in this show, and fans can never get enough of it.
MIKE – Better Call Saul
Developing a back story is important for any character, and while Mike was great, viewers didn’t really know all too much about his personal life by the time his run on Breaking Bad had ended – aside from how much he loved his granddaughter, of course.
Thankfully, Better Call Saul came into our lives in the last few years, helping to fill in the blanks in the process.
Fans start to understand where Mike has come from and what he’s all about, which makes his time in Breaking Bad all the more intriguing.
WALTER – Killing Gus
Gustavo Fring is one of the biggest obstacles that Walter White faces during his time in the show and there are very few others that can even come close to competing with him in that department.
In the end, though, when Walt is tasked with overcoming Gus and carrying on his criminal enterprise, he comes out on top.
As mentioned previously, Gus’ downfall comes when Walt exploits his hatred of the Salamancas. Walt always knew that he was capable of winning this war, and his stock rose so much higher when he pulled it out of the bag.
MIKE – Underestimated
Because he isn’t the tallest or the strongest, and because he’s older than most men in his field, Mike’s ability to make an impact is often underplayed or undervalued by his rivals.
That’s one of the biggest weapons he has because he’s automatically put down as the underdog when in reality, he’s one of the best in the business.
If there was a spinoff show solely dedicated to Mike then many of us wouldn’t care one bit, because he’s so mundane 80% of the time that whenever he does actually do something, it comes as a bit of a shock.