Mike Episodes 1 & 2 Recap & Ending Explained: Created by the writer of I Tonya – Steven Rogers, ‘Mike’ is a new Hulu series. The episodes are directed by the film’s director, Craig Gillespie that showcases his same electrifying style. It takes a look at the life of controversial boxer Mike Tyson (Kerry Sims) by digging deeper into his sports celebrity status.
The first episode showcases the early parts of his life – when he got the spark to commit his life to this sport. It stars Trevante Rhodes (widely known for his evocative performance in ‘Moonlight’) in the lead role of Mike Tyson. With an over-the-top style of narration, the first season of Mike kicks off with enough promise. Let’s dive into the first two episodes, which are tightly packed with so much information.
Mike Episodes 1 & 2 Recap:
Episode 1 of Mike’s season 1 titled ‘Thief’ shows the pieces of Mike Tyson’s life in a back-and-forth fashion. The life from his present in reference to the past and vice versa is shown in a non-linear style. We first get a glimpse of a boxing fight between him and Evander Holyfield that happened on June 28, 1997, during the WBA heavyweight championship. Cut to and we see the present-day him at the Majestic Theater, looking in a mirror and pulling some punches, which looks pretty much like he’s preparing to enter the ring. The year is 2017, and he is speaking in front of an auditorium packed full of an audience at Enid, Indiana. In front of this crowd, Mike starts narrating a bit about a conversation when he was in prison, speaking with his car dealer. This car dealer mentions how he can get him anything he wants from horses, cougars, lions, and tigers. He shares his regret for not being wise enough at the time and spending exorbitantly. And within a minute, he starts bragging about his worth as a ferocious boxer. In his soliloquy of self-examination, he then goes back to the very beginning of his journey and starts narrating bits of his early life.
The year is 1974 where we see little Mike being shouted at by Denise, for not standing up for himself, for not putting up a fight, and instead running away from a situation. He grew up in Brownsville, New York – where they had the highest murder rate in the country. Growing up in a tough environment like that surrounded by hookers, gangsters, and whatnot, he used to get beat up quite often. In addition to that, he used to talk with himself really loud, which made him seem weird to others. He and his mother learn that he is intellectually challenged, which made her lose faith in him. Tyson’s mother suffered from domestic abuse by her husband back then. After she left this abusive person, it left them both stranded with no home and hardly any money. While having lived a happy life until then, this courtship with Tyson’s probable father ruined her life. As a result, they had no other option but to live and move from one abandoned building to another. Due to the endless bullying, he stopped his education by the second grade and got a hobby caring for pigeons. After a while of dedicatedly doing it, a bully kills a bird right in front of his eyes which takes out anger and makes him brutally punch the bully down on the floor. This cinematic scene is seamlessly cut to a 1988 match between him and Michael Spinks citing it as his source of inspiration for pulling in punches.
That moment became a turning point in Tyson’s life after which he started stealing anything that he could find. After one such incident, his mother yelled at him stating how his siblings were behaving properly and getting fine grades unlike him who kept indulging in thievery. His brother, who he considered to be a freak at the time for being good at science, became a surgeon – something that parents can be proud of. On the other hand, he got arrested when he was 10, and every time he got arrested, his mother almost made a ritual out of beating him. That was her way to show care to make him understand that he needs to stay out of trouble, in order to stay alive as a black person. Later, when he got into a Juvenile detention center, he started working on his boxing skills under the guidance of Bobby Stewart (Michael Drayer) and became more & more interested in it. With this, he finally felt that he found something that he truly loves that isn’t illegal. Seeing his immense talent and dedication, Bobby introduced Tyson to a veteran boxing coach, Cus D’Amato (Harvey Keitel). Even this old guy became so impressed with this 13-year-old kid’s natural talent for boxing, that he decided to take him under his wings. This becomes the starting point of the long and illustrious career of Mike Tyson.
The second episode titled ‘Monster’ mainly shows the friendship that grew between Cus and Mike. The episode begins with Cus giving Mike a pep talk about how ferocious he needs to be inside the boxing ring. He taught Mike how he can not only be a great fighter but also ensure a thrilling match for the spectators. Due to his motivation, Mike kept the goal of being the best fighter in the world through non-stop training. Still, his stealing habit kept haunting him, and to lead him on the right path, Cus decided to train him after he gets paroled. Cus offered something to Mike’s mother seeking her permission who got angry seeing him prefer Cus over her and even refused to accept the offering. After that, Mike started living as a part of Cus’s family. Cus prepared him for the challenges in the outside world – to get over the judgments of other people and to use them to his advantage. We learn some aspects of Cus’s personality, ideology, and socialist political beliefs. Despite Mike being just 14 years old, Cus decided to make him start fighting. While he somehow got a chance to participate, he rather chose to run away. Outside, when he saw homeless people sitting around on the streets, he remembered the past he had left behind and the golden opportunity he was running away from to change that miserable life for the better. He went back and won the fight, which began his journey in this sport.
Later at a Diner, Cus teaches him the importance of arrogance and how Mike can use it as his motivation. Mike starts crying, realizing how his reputation as a fearless fighter can stop him from ever getting bullied again. We get a glimpse of one of his motives for why fighting back meant so much to him, for why this fear-filled respect mattered to him. He keeps on winning one fight after the other and gets even printed about in the newspaper. Yet that news doesn’t make his mother show a sign of satisfaction. She rather feels worried that a white man would throw him out the second he becomes useless – and advises him to keep up with the winning streak. When he came back to his old neighborhood, his friend urged him to make the most of this opportunity and to never look back and return. Soon after, his mother and the same friend died and Cus consoled him and motivated him to get back in the boxing ring. Unfortunately, he lost his first match even after which Cus advised him to not lose his fearless attitude. He took him to marketing guys since he’s gaining traction. But knowing what they have in store for him, he disapproved of all their suggestions. Instead of showing Mike as a mellow, agreeable fellow as they suggested, Cus wanted him to be perceived as a ‘monster’ – which is what he has trained him to be inside the ring as well. With a hypnotist, he even makes Mike learn how to use his right fist in the best possible way.
Mike Episode 2 Ending, Explained:
With the death of his loved ones and the taste of defeat, Mike became even hungrier to win over his opponents. Cus brought in two new managers for Tyson and the boxer was unstoppable. After the death of his friend and biggest motivator – Cus – which shook him to the core, Mike was made to fight continuously by his managers with very few breaks in between.
Despite that, Mike kept up with the promise he made with Cus and kept fighting like a savage. The year is 1986 and Mike is seen preparing for his fight against Trevor Berbick. In the ring, they had a neck-to-neck fight in the first few rounds when it remained impossible to understand who will win. And in the end, he ended with a glorious win.