Why Does Former Cop Mike Ehrmantraut Break Tradition and Face Away from the Door in Better Call Saul?

When it comes to the world of television, every detail matters. From the color of a character’s shirt to the direction they face in a scene, these elements are often carefully chosen to convey a deeper meaning or to reveal something about a character’s personality or state of mind. One such detail that has sparked curiosity among fans of the popular television series “Better Call Saul” is the behavior of the character Mike Ehrmantraut, a former cop, who breaks the traditional cop habit of facing the door in public spaces. This article delves into the possible reasons behind this intriguing choice.

Understanding the Tradition

Before we delve into why Mike Ehrmantraut breaks this tradition, it’s important to understand why it exists in the first place. Most cops prefer to face the door in public spaces as a safety measure. This position allows them to see who is coming in and out of the room, giving them a tactical advantage in case of any potential threat. It’s a habit that many cops carry with them, even after they’ve left the force.

Mike Ehrmantraut’s Character

Mike Ehrmantraut, played by Jonathan Banks, is a former Philadelphia police officer who works as a parking lot attendant at the Albuquerque courthouse. He is a character known for his meticulousness, strategic thinking, and calm demeanor. His decision to sit with his back to the door could be seen as a reflection of these traits. He is confident in his abilities to handle any situation, and doesn’t feel the need to constantly be on guard. This could also be a sign of his desire to leave his past as a cop behind and embrace his new identity.

Symbolism in Better Call Saul

The creators of “Better Call Saul” are known for their attention to detail and use of symbolism. Mike’s decision to sit with his back to the door could be a symbolic representation of his willingness to face the unknown. It could also be a way of showing his disregard for traditional rules and norms, a trait that is central to his character.


While the exact reason why Mike Ehrmantraut chooses to break the tradition of facing the door is not explicitly stated in the series, it’s clear that this choice is not a random one. It’s a detail that adds depth to his character and contributes to the overall narrative of the show. Whether it’s a sign of his confidence, a symbol of his willingness to face the unknown, or a reflection of his disregard for norms, it’s a detail that makes Mike Ehrmantraut one of the most intriguing characters in “Better Call Saul”.