After getting so much screen time in the first half of the season thanks to his plot with Nacho against Tuco Salamanca, fan-favorite character Mike Ehrmantraut has taken something of a backseat in the past couple of episodes in favor of increased focus on Jimmy's and Kim's efforts to start their own law firms. But now, as Better Call Saul Season 2 enters the home stretch, Mike is back in full force, executing a bold plot against the Salamancas. And somehow, despite the fact that Mike's plan goes perfectly, it somehow still manages to go awry at the same time, reaping some unexpected collateral damage along the way.
After patiently staking out the taco restaurant where Hector Salamanco does his business, tailing the Regado Helado truck to a nearby garage, and crafting homemade weapons with his adorable granddaughter Kaylee (under the guise of making a plant soaker, of course), Mike finally made his move in this week's episode, "Nailed." Hiding his car behind a lone billboard on a deserted stretch of desert highway, the fixer laid in wait with his spiked hose, yanking it across the road just as the Regado Helado truck approached, blowing out its tires. Mike then got the drop on the driver, hogtying and blindfolding him, and slashed all the tires until he found a quarter of a million dollars in cash stashed inside one of them.
This all went perfectly; the driver never saw Mike's face nor heard his voice, thus the heist could never be traced back to him… or so Mike thought. But then it all went wrong for two unlucky reasons. First of all, the fact that he didn't kill the driver after stealing the money meant that Nacho realized that Mike was the anonymous thief; anyone else would have eliminated any possible witnesses after ripping off a drug cartel. But Nacho already knows about Mike's "no killing" code after their scheme against Tuco.
Fortunately, Nacho couldn't have cared less about Hector's missing $250,000 — he just wanted to make sure he wouldn't be embroiled in any fallout. So he called a meeting with Mike, where we learned the fixer's true intent behind the heist: he didn't just want to steal Hector's money, he wanted to get the cops involved as vengeance against the crime lord for threatening Kaylee with The Cousins. Unfortunately, that part of the plan didn't go as planned… and that's where the collateral damage came in.
Before any police officers happened by the crashed truck and its hogtied driver, a Good Samaritan drove by. Seeing what looked like a helpless victim, the Samaritan cut the driver loose — who promptly murdered his helper and contacted Hector, who managed to get the whole scene cleaned up before the cops showed up. This means that, not only did Mike not achieve his actual objective of exposing Hector's operation to the authorities, but he also got an innocent person killed along the way.
Although Mike had just assured Nacho that he was done messing with the Salamancas, this distressing revelation obviously changed everything for him. And so Mike walked away — and into the Season 2 finale — more determined than ever to bring Hector down once and for all. Thankfully, we already know that Mike survives to make it to the timeline of Breaking Bad and that Hector ends up confined to a wheelchair thanks to a debilitating stroke; but somehow that doesn't make this impending season-ending conflict any less anxiety-inducing.
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