With Mike finding a father figure, you see him flourish in ways that make Mike’s bad luck so heartbreaking.

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With Mike finding a father figure, you see him flourish in ways that make Mike’s bad luck so heartbreaking.

Aired (Hulu) 8/25/2022
Director(s) Craig Gillespie
Writer(s) Steven Rogers
Introduced This Episode
Jimmy Jacobs Tim True
Bill Cayton Kale Browne

This content contains pertinent spoilers.


Cus becomes Mike’s world. He adopts him, and unlike the people who will succeed him, he is truly invested in Mike beyond the wins and the fights. This touches Mike’s heart in ways that you can tell weren’t expected. He thought his worth to Cus was all about winning, but it wasn’t, as shown by Mike losing the Junior Olympics and Cus just moving down the line of what was next for them.

Now, would it be wrong to say Cus wanted to prove he could still train a champ? No. Cus’ investment in Mike wasn’t entirely pure, and Lorna Mae peeped that when she gave her blessing for Cus to take Mike in. However, unlike Lorna Mae, Cus had an unshakeable faith in Mike and didn’t lower his expectations because of what some third party said.

Hence, after that Junior Olympics loss, Mike became a monster. He had someone firmly in his corner, there for him physically, mentally, and emotionally, and like any person who has their needs met, it allowed him to focus on his wants – and that was being the best out there. Thus, most of Mike’s fights ended in the first two rounds, and very few were by a judge’s decision since that is why he lost the Junior Olympics.

But the challenge comes when Mike is 19/20 when Cus dies, Lorna Mae is also dead, and while Mike still has Cus’ wife, pretty much he is on his own. At least, beyond the management team, Cus got Mike, Jimmy Jacobs, and Bill Cayton, who seemed to care very little about the man and treated him as a world champion, fighting slave. At least, based on it being pushed fighting as much as Mike did was abnormal, the narrative can be pushed that Mike was manipulated in ways that could be seen as inhuman.

However, to their credit, they did help Mike complete the dreams Cus had for him and got him a world title shot, and Mike won in the second round.

Things To Note

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. What happened to Mike’s siblings?
  2. Why was Cus pushing Mike to look after his wife? Were all the people at his dinner table not his kids or family?
  3. While it is shown that Mike doesn’t have a game, partly due to being far too blunt about his intentions, you’re telling me that no around the way girl saw him as someone strong, protective, and maybe not all there, worth investing in?

What Could Happen Next

  1. Mike’s struggles with life outside of prepping or being in a boxing match getting focused on

Collected Quote(s)

I only succeed when you don’t need me anymore.
— Cus

I’m always looking for someone who’s not there.
— Mike



This Is A Tear Inducing Show

It continues to be a shame Mike Tyson doesn’t support or is being paid when it comes to “Mike.” At this point, this seems like it could quickly and easily become the definitive telling of Mike Tyson’s story because it doesn’t feel like it shies away from the truth in all its forms. Is Mike someone who was a hoodlum on the path to screwing up their life for a quick buck? Yes.

However, at the same time, Mike is also the epitome of what happens when both your home environment and neighborhood have no real investment in you. Yet, as shown through Cus, a person’s nurture and the environment they were born in doesn’t dictate their whole life. An intervention that is hands-on and not just encouraging words can alter a person’s trajectory in so many ways.

Now, granted, when it comes to Mike, it’s easy to see that his attachment style dictates who he is going to be. Cus made him into his pet monster, who would kill on command for him, but he made sure Mike knew he was loved and valued, which helped tame that inner beast. But, as Mike notes, while Cus was one hell of a trainer, he didn’t train Mike for life.

As we all know, this set up Mike for many bad business and personal relationships. And considering how many tears were shed because of Cus’ effect on him, I can only imagine the secondhand anger that will come from his dealings with Don King and the complicated emotions that will come from his relationships and marriages.

On The Fence

The Way Boxing Scenes Are Shot

It’s understood that Mike hit hard with blood and sometimes mouthguards flying out of people’s mouths. However, I wouldn’t say they capture the brutality of just how strong and skilled Mike is as a boxer. It leans more towards being stylistic and not even in an artful way. It almost feels like they want to make Mike’s brutality in the ring lighter if not treat it as an obligation, for what he does in the ring isn’t what “Mike” wants to focus on. They want who he was outside of the ring.

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“Mike,” in its focus on the man and treating the boxer as an obligation, takes an unexpected approach to Mike Tyson that feels refreshing.
This Is A Tear Inducing Show
The Way Boxing Scenes Are Shot

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