‘Better Call Saul’: The Real Reason Mike Wanted the Postcard Taken Down
This season of Better Call Saul is off to a roaring start. We’re finally getting to the lawyer we met in Breaking Bad — Saul Goodman. We’re also getting the background of many other Breaking Bad characters, including Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks).
In “The Guy For This,” Mike demanded that a bartender remove a postcard from the back wall of the bar. The image on the postcard seemed harmless enough — eagle-eyed fans noticed that it was a photo of the Sydney Opera House. A detail from season 4 of Better Call Saul answers why the postcard bothered Mike so much that he asked to have it taken down.
Mike’s role in ‘Better Call Saul’
Fans remember Mike Ehrmantraut as the fixer from Breaking Bad. In Better Call Saul, we see how far back Mike’s relationship with drug kingpin Gus Fring actually goes. A retired cop and parking attendant for the local courts, Mike earns extra money working for Gus Fring’s operation.
In earlier seasons of Better Call Saul, there are hints that Mike’s tumultuous background working for Gus is just one of the things causing him to feel an immense amount of guilt. From the evil he has performed on Gus Fring’s behalf to his past as a crooked Philadelphia police officer, Mike carries a lot of guilt around with him. During this season of Better Call Saul, we see that guilt break Ehrmantraut when his granddaughter asks about her father’s past. Her request for memories forces Mike to face the fact that he encouraged his son to follow in his crooked ways, which is what ultimately gets him killed.
Mike mourns the death of Werner Ziegler
In season four of Better Call Saul, Gus Fring hires a group of German engineers to break ground on what will become his underground meth lab. Sworn to secrecy, the team is headed by one Werner Ziegler. The lead engineer quickly forms a bond with Mike, and throughout their conversations, it’s revealed that Ziegler’s father was one of the engineers involved in the construction of the Sydney Opera House.
Homesick and missing his wife, Werner escaped from the confines of Gus Fring’s operation to visit her. In doing so, the secret warehouse was compromised and Mike was tasked with killing Werner.
In “The Guy For This,” Mike is self-medicating in a bar, presumably still feeling guilty for yelling at his granddaughter. When he sees the postcard of the opera house, Mike is set off. While it may not have seemed like any significant image at the time, the postcard was a nod to Werner and Mike’s conversations in season 4. That painful memory is what stirred Mike’s guilt over the assassination and caused him to demand that the postcard be removed from the bar.
As we get closer to the Saul Goodman we know from Breaking Bad, so too do we get closer to the older and wiser Mike Ehrmantraut. Fans will have to tune in to Better Call Saul Mondays on AMC to find out what’s next for Mike.