“In Season Two, Jesse’s girlfriend Jane died. As it plays out, Mike comes and helps to clean up the evidence of heroin that they were both taking. The way that it was originally written was that Saul Goodman was the one who came and helped clean everything up but as it worked out Bob Odenkirk was not available for that episode. He was actually doing, I think, an episode of How I Met Your Mother. So Vince, very much at the last minute, came up with this character of Mike. My god we got so lucky that we were able to get Jonathan Banks and at that point I don’t think we realized how key that character was going to be to the show going forward. He really only showed up sort of as a fluke. Which is one of the things I love about television.”
– from Masters in Motion: A Conversation with Peter Gould

Terry Gross: “You mentioned that Aaron Paul didn’t know that you were going to slap him in that scene. Is it considered acceptable for you to do that?”

Jonathan Banks: “It’s totally acceptable for me. I’m not the one that got slapped.”

Peter Gould: “The rules that apply to everybody else, don’t necessarily apply to Mr. Banks.”

Banks: “You know, I get that senior pass. If you can’t take a hit from an old guy, I mean… Aaron can take a punch for goodness sakes.”

– from Fresh Air, Mar. 9, 2015

2x13: ABQ

Actress Krysten Ritter on her character’s death: “Playing dead and hearing peoples’ reactions around you is really f—ed up. There were a few takes where I had to stop because it was too overwhelming. A lot of the crew weren’t able to watch the choking scene, just because it’s a person and you’re watching it happen and it’s just so real and authentic. It was very technical as well – I couldn’t tell when Bryan Cranston was doing his thing, so it was like, "OK, you’re going to count this many beats, then do this, then do this.” When I first saw it, I had a hysterical laughter fit because it made me so uncomfortable. My baby sister is 12 and I didn’t want her to see it, but she did. She said, “Kryssy, it made me really uncomfortable, but I know it’s not real.” My mom, on the other hand, won’t talk about it. She’s like, “You were great, you were really good; I can’t talk about it any more.” And then you hear her getting really choked up.“

Actor Aaron Paul on Jane’s death: ”…It just really affected her. She couldn’t hold it in, so we had to take a moment and take a break…but she kinda broke down. She’s wonderful.“

By Team Breaking Bad

2x13: ABQ

Fun Factoids: Mike Ehrmantraut was another character that wasn’t meant to be. At the time of filming, Bob Odenkirk had a scheduling conflict. He was supposed to be the one who was going to clean up the Jane’s death, so they had to bring in someone else — a cleaner. Jonathan Banks went in there, having never seen the show and thought, “I’ll go in here, I’ll guest star and I’ll be gone.” It didn’t turn out that way. They liked what Banks did so much, he became regular cast member. Vince Gilligan said he chose Banks because he was a big fan of Wiseguy during his college years.

Find more Breaking Bad fun factoids on Team Breaking Bad.

2x13: ABQ

Fun Factoids: Walt has been noted to keep mementos, often a food characteristic, from the deaths he feels responsible for (more to be covered as we cover each episode): He keeps the eyeball of the bear from the plane crash. And we now know that the four episodes in the second season that opened with a black-and-white flash-forward actually spell out the ultimate scene of this final episode with their titles. Together they read: “Seven Thirty-Seven Down Over ABQ.”

Find more Breaking Bad fun factoids on Team Breaking Bad.

2x13: ABQ

Karen: He’s a good man, isn’t he?

Walter Jr.: Absolutely. Ask anyone, anybody. He’s a great father, a great teacher. He knows like everything there is to know about chemistry. He’s patient with you, he’s always there for you. He’s just decent. And he always does the right thing and that’s how he teaches me to be.

Karen: Would you say he’s your hero?

Walter Jr.: Oh yeah, yes ma’am, totally. My dad is my hero.