Michael is perhaps the most noble of the three characters featured in Grand Theft Auto 5. He's a family man, even if his wife, daughter and son don't appreciate him. He's also loyal to his friends, as he proves teaming up with both Franklin and Trevor on a number of chaotic criminal activities. He gets the job done, despite the fact that he's one step away from crumbling – which you can see with the most recent visit to his psychiatrist.
On that note, we pay tribute to Michael with some of his best moments in Grand Theft Auto 5.
NOTE: Minor spoilers ahead.
Michael first runs into Franklin in the backseat of his son's ride. He holds Franklin at gunpoint, only to find out who really wants his vehicle – Simeon, who runs an auto dealership in the city.
To show Simeon what kind of business he means, Michael doesn't walk into the establishment. Instead, he forces Franklin to drive through the main window, then storms out of the car and proceeds to beat up Simeon – an introduction to the game's melee combat.
Michael allows Franklin to escape, and even shells out some money for taking him to the guy trying to repo his car. This leads to an interesting partnership between the characters, with Michael teaching his young protégé a thing or two about the criminal game.
Not exactly a role model type, but you have to admit, this is one heck of a way to start a friendship.
A Family Man – Without a Yacht
Jimmy, Michael's worthless son, spends a good amount of time playing video games and goofing off, and tries to scam his father every chance he gets, due to his strained relationship. At one point, he goes too far, trying to sell his luxury yacht from underneath him. It eventually gets taken by a group of thugs, forcing Michael, with Franklin in tow, to chase after it.
During their pursuit, Michael laments about losing his yacht more than his kid. Still loyal to his family, though, he works with Franklin to engineer a dangerous rescue of Jimmy, who's hanging off the side of the ship. He eventually gets it done, and picks Franklin back up as well, but this comes at a price. The hood of the car starts smoking, as the yacht slips away down the road.
It's a frustrating choice for Michael, especially considering that his son doesn't appreciate him. Later on in the game, Jimmy drugs his dad, leaving him abandoned as he cleans out his bank account and steals his car.
In the end, though, the father's love shines through, and Jimmy attempts to reconnect with him, saying he'll get a job.
Patching Things up by Taking Them Down
We're not sure how Michael's relationship with his wife Amanda derailed, but there are two instances where he shows he is, in fact, a husband that will do anything to make things right.
Let's start with her fling with the tennis coach. When he finds out she's having an affair with her new loverboy, Michael and Franklin chase after the scumbag. They eventually come to an exotic house where the coach thinks he's safe. Michael's not one to easily walk away. He hooks a winch from a tow truck onto the house and, Lethal Weapon 2-style, brings the whole thing down. Unfortunately, this causes trouble with Mexican gangster Martin Madrazo.
Another character flirting with Amanda is scummy yoga instructor Fabien LaRouche, whose suggestive positions don't sit well with Michael. When he first confronts Fabien, he winds up falling into the pool, where Amanda calls him a "pathetic psychopath" and leaves him.
Eventually, though, they reconcile, with some help from Jimmy, and Michael gets even with Fabien when Amanda, fed up with the instructor's bad behavior, gives him permission to receive a beat down. Now that's love.
Getting Down to Business
Despite caring for his family, Michael is still cold-blooded. He murders a number of people throughout the game to get things done, like taking out Gianni and Rocco Pelosi for harassing Solomon Richards, killing Jay Norris so he can convince Lester Crest to re-team with him for robberies, and if the Deathwish ending is picked, both Harold "Stretch" Joseph and Devin Weston for trying to kill him and his partners.
Michael has no problem leaving bodies behind, but he's not a full-blown psychopath. He allows one security guard to live, giving some important advice in the process: "You forget a thousand things every day, pal. Make sure this is one of 'em."
The Lazlow Dance
Finally, Lazlow Jones, who made appearances in Grand Theft Auto games over the years before finding an on-screen role in part 5, has a rather humiliating run-in with Michael and Trevor over the course of the game. Upon accosting Tracey during an audition for Fame or Shame, the two of them chase Lazlow out of the building, forcing him to take off his pants by the Los Santos River and perform a dance they record on their phones. It shows that Michael hasn't lost his sense of humor.
Sure, Michael's relationship with Tracey is strained in the process, but you can't have everything.