Mike Episodes 7 & 8 Recap: While showing the bits of Mike Tyson’s life, the Hulu series ‘Mike’ depended heavily on an over-the-top narration. We see Mike as a larger-than-life figure, even in the parts where he is abhorrible. It attempts to showcase the complexity of his life through several socio-political angles but ends up being an ordinary show, especially in terms of substance. The narration’s flashiness often alludes to greatness but rarely achieves it. And when it does, the attribute goes not to the way it is written but to the importance of the actual situation or the acting performances. The series ends up being a flashy mishmash of many known stories about this public figure.

Mike Episodes 7 & 8 Recap:

The 7th episode, titled ‘Cannibal,’ begins with the infamous 1997 fight between Mike Tyson (Trevante Rhodes) and Evander Holyfield, where Tyson bit Holyfield’s ears off. The same match made the public see him as a cannibal—flashback to 1995, where we see Tyson at his first press conference after getting out of jail. Here we meet Monica Turner (Clark Backo), his partner at the time. They meet for the first time in 1988 at a party where he tries to use her usual tactics to amuse a woman. Since she sees through his tomfoolery, his attempt fails, but he gets attracted to her. Over the years, she also starts liking him back.

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However, she expresses her concern over Don King, who was using Tyson solely for wealth creation, unlike the noble intentions he always professed. He goes to confront Don to fire him as his promoter. But their interaction ends up with Don bribing him with over $2 Million. He still understands Tyson’s weak spot and uses it to his advantage. He portrays Mike’s glorious return from prison to boxing with fervor. Yet, while Mike was happy with gaining money, he hadn’t realized how unprepared he was to get into boxing. Years of prison and staying out of touch with the sport had left him physically and mentally unprepared. Steven’ Crocodile’ Finch appears at his return match as his hype man. So, in an eventual fight with Peter Mcneeley in 1995, he ends up with an easy win.

Mike Episodes 7 & 8

Yet the people being interested more in the thrill of a long fight than a short one, they expected him to stay in the ring for longer. He started doing that for their sake to get back their acceptance. He kept winning the fights but was sad that people still didn’t accept him as they did before. That anger spurted out in bursts and ended up being poured over Monica at the time. Due to his troubled past and unreliable parental figures, he had never really learned how to love himself. Adding to that, the infamous Holyfield fight made him lose his title and made him a subject of ridicule in the public eye. At home, he even had nightmares about this that ended up resulting in instability with peace in his family.

Monica wanted someone who would not just love but commit to her and their children. They eventually get married. The Holyfield fight occurred after this marriage – a fight that Don encouraged him to participate in, considering he won’t be able to fight for so long due to his age at the time. While the creators keep showing glimpses of the fight throughout the episode, they look closely at the end into the actual reasons that angered Mike. Since Holyfield headbutted him twice, Tyson couldn’t keep his range in control and retaliated with his infamous ear bite. Despite the resulting outrage in the media, Monica stayed there alongside him in his support.

The Holyfield fight resulted in him being at the risk of getting banned from boxing ever again. The 8th episode, titled ‘Phoenix,’ addresses the aftermath of this incident. While he was awaiting his punishment trial, Desiree also got asked about her comments on the issue, who despised the media and the public for giving him such a spotlight. He got banned from boxing for 15 months, after which he kept winning in every match he fought. Despite that, he wanted his title back, and Lennix Lewis was his obstacle in doing so. That resulted in a public display of his resentment against this person. In a match against him that all the boxing lovers had their eyeballs at, he ends up losing miserably. He also went bankrupt, after which even Don started keeping his distance from him.

Don earned all over the years due to Tyson’s boxing prowess and skills. Due to the years of anger directed towards this person, Tyson decided to fire him finally. Even after getting fired, Don still believed himself to be a man with noble intentions towards his race and not an opportunist who milked another black man’s success for his personal benefit. After firing Don, Mike starts a quick fight to earn money. But he soon realized how stupid it was considering his age and lost stamina. He decided to retire after this match, which resulted in him getting abandoned by every possible person around him except his partner at the time – Lakitha Spicer, aka Kiki (Ash Santos).

Mike Episode 8 Ending, Explained:

Tyson had first met Kiki when she was 18, and while he was in a relationship with Monica at the time, he still pursued her. They kept dating over the years, but after his retirement, they finally ended up getting together. She and her family got jailed for fraud in their family businesses, but the couple stayed together through thick and thin. He liked the fact that she stayed with him despite him being bankrupt at the time. Because of being in love with her, he tried to get better. When they had their first child together, he realized that he had to get his act together. He went to therapy, where he was asked to open up about his past, his relationship with his mother, Cus, and every other parental figure in his life.

This white lady mentioned how his mother not abandoned but helped him by leaving him on his own – since she was aware that she wouldn’t be able to help him herself. She also mentioned Cus trying to make him a ‘monster’ ended up in him not being able to channel any other emotion. While she helped him resolve many of his emotional issues, the death of his daughter, Exodus, broke him. Still, Kiki did not give up on him being a better person. They ended up getting married twice, and this is the point where the narrative of the series concludes his life.

High On Films in collaboration with Avanté

The highlight of ‘Mike’ is a series of excellent performers and the one at the center of everything – Trevante Rhodes. He manages to evoke emotions for Tyson even when the boxing giant can’t be more despised. The credit for evocative bits essentially goes to these actors and the time they get to showcase their acting chops. However, despite the occasional excellent bits, the series falls short in terms of writing. It presents a life that was always in the spotlight for one reason or the other. But while delving into these situations, the series largely depends on creating a likewise spectacle and not on digging deeper into the socio-political reasons that caused them to be that way.


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