When we left Mike (Jonathan Banks) in the “Better Call Saul” episode, titled “Armadillo,” questions were left unanswered regarding the problem Nacho (Michael Mando) was hiring him to take care of. Was this to be the introduction of Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito) to the “Breaking Bad” spinoff series? Unfortunately, no.
However, enlisting Mike to take care of this dirty work did bring Tuco Salamanca (Raymond Cruz) back into the fold. Nacho’s partner in those illicit drug-themed misdeeds, it seems that concern over Tuco’s temper have put Nacho in an odd position as that man’s temper is one to reckon with.
Let’s remember, this isn’t the Tuco that Walter White (Bryan Cranston) first met in “Breaking Bad”, but we’re well on our way to getting to that part of his mad man evolution.
Having Mike kill Tuco is an interesting move as, up until this point, the two have never met. $50,000 is also a good deal of money and would help Ehrmantraut move his daughter-in-law to a better neighborhood.
It seems Mike has fully accepted the job too, until he’s faced with an option of weaponry to use in taking out the up-and-coming drug lord.
Did Mike serve in the military? His reaction to the guns allude to some bad memories he may be attempting to keep hidden. Whatever his reasoning, Ehrmantraut ends up refusing any weapons and opts to take a different route in how he deals with Tuco.
Instead of taking him down with a sniper rifle from across the street, he ends up bumping Salamanca’s car and baits him into a fist fight which ends with Tuco’s arrest and incarceration.
Mike’s left with half his face battered. However, he not only made off with half of the original loot he was offered, in the scuffle, Ehrmantraut snagged Tuco’s boxing glove necklace. What a lovely keepsake.
Welp, that’s one way to get rid of a problem … even if it’s only temporarily.
“Better Call Saul” airs Mondays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on AMC.