*Breaking Bad spoilers yo*
The rise of Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks) in Breaking Bad coincided with the rise of the show to becoming one of the best shows currently on air. While the main character of Walter (the immense Bryan Cranston) will be the shows most iconic face, it is the smaller and supporting characters that have made Walter's journey all the more entertaining, characters like the amusing Saul (Bob Odenkirk), Gale (David Constabile) and so on. But Mike is the stand-out, by far. His rise to prominence from his first appearance at the end of season 2 to this scene in the twelfth episode of season 3 is staggering. And after the events of the first part of season 5, this scene has become all the more poignant.
The scene is a simple story from Mike's past as a cop. But the delivery and the intricacy of the writing is astonishing. You can feel that this is a memory that has plagued him since it happened, every word carefully picked and recited in his head a million times. And it makes his character come full circle as to how such a seemingly noble character could become involved in Gus Fring's (Giancarlo Esposito) drug operation and involved in organized crime. Banks absolutely owns this scene. For a character that rarely shows emotion in the show, it is a truly touching scene. His story of little relevance to the overall plot of the story, but is delivered with such impact that affects Walt in the worst possible way.