Detective Lieutenant Mike Harrigan was a police officer with the Los Angeles Police Department and head of a small team at the Alvarado Precinct during the gang wars of 1997. While investigating the gang violence between the Jamaicans and the Colombians, he encountered a Predator. Harrigan is portrayed by Danny Glover in 1990’s Predator 2.
When Harrigan was young. he grew up on the streets of Los Angeles with his friend Danny Archuleta. Both of them ended up joining the police force at the same time. At one point, he was also good friends with fellow officer Phil Heinemann, but that friendship deteriorated when he got promoted.
Harrigan had served in the LAPD for 18 years and received ten commendations for his work and had one of the best records for arrests in the history of the department. Harrigan was passionate about the LAPD but his marriage ended because of it.
1997 Gang Wars of Los Angeles
We see Harrigan during a midst of a shootout between the LAPD and the Colombian Scorpions. It seems two police offers had encountered a drug deal taking place and were shot. Harrigan pursues the Colombians into their stronghold. Before he could reach them, the City Hunter Predator drops in and slaughters them all apart from their leader El Scorpio. El Scorpio escapes to the rooftop with Harrigan in pursuit. El Scorpio sees something strange on the rooftop and fires. Harrigan shoots him and he falls to his death. Harrigan sees a strange figure on the rooftop but it disappears. The LAPD assume that somebody working with the Jamaican Voodoo Posse was responsible for killing the Colombians.
After the events at the Colombian stronghold, Harrigan was warned to stay out of the gang wars by Deputy Chief Heinemann and Captain Pilgrim. They said the investigation into the crimes have been taken over by Special Agent Peter Keyes from the DEA. Harrigan soon meets his new officer on his team – Jerry Lambert. Harrigan and his team travel to another crime scene where drug lord Ramon Vega has been executed in his apartment as well as the Jamaicans who killed them. Harrigan realises there’s a new player in town, killing both gangs.
Agent Keyes and his team arrive and remove Harrigan from the crime scene. Suspicious of Keyes’ intentions, Harrigan planned to sneak back into the apartment later that night. Archuleta arrived first and was killed by the Predator.
After Danny is killed, Harrigan is told to stay out of the case again. He meets up with Leona and Jerry who tell him that Keyes has been setting up radar stations all over town and just this morning, Jerry lost them at the slaughterhouse district. Harrigan and Jerry go to see the chief pathologist to learn about how Danny was killed. Harrigan gives the spear tip he found in the penthouse to the pathologist and she says that its material doesn’t correspond to anything on the periodic table. Outside, Jerry and Harrigan part ways and Harrigan goes off to meet King Willie. King Willie doesn’t tell him anything new.
The next day, Harrigan calls Leona and Jerry who are at the police station with the pathologist and she tells them that a piece of wood retrieved from the penthouse attack contains traces of chemicals that could only be found in a slaughterhouse. Harrigan tells Leona and Jerry over the phone to meet them there and he’ll pick them up at a nearby station.
Harrigan then visits the cemetery and notices Archuleta’s necklace hanging in a tree and realises his killer was here. When he reaches the Metro station, he discovers the mystery person had killed many civilians on a subway train as well as Lambert. Harrigan see an injured Cantrell being put in an ambulance and finds out she was pregnant. Jerry is killed by the Predator and Leona finds his body hanging from the carriage. When Harrigan searches the subway tunnel, he notices the Predator tearing Jerry’s spine and skull from his body and the Predator escapes. He chases after it and it leads him to slaughterhouse but was captured by Agent Keyes’ men.
Agent Keyes told Harrigan what he was dealing with – an extra-terrestrial entity with superior technology that hunts for sport. Keyes reveals that he is the head of a secret government agency called OWLF and his intention is to capture the creature for study. His group have realised the creature comes to the slaughterhouse to feed every so often and they have set a trap for it inside. Keyes and his men go inside after the creature while Harrigan watches the television monitors from the command centre.
Harrigan realises the Predator can see Keyes’ men and warns them over the radio. Before Keyes realises it, the Predator swoops in and kill all of his men. Harrigan escapes from the command centre and arms himself to face the Predator himself. He enters the slaughterhouse and begins firing. The Predator’s shoulder cannon is damaged in the mayhem. Harrigan initially has the upper hand in the battle using a shotgun to knock the Predator out. Harrigan removes the Predator’s mask and then suddenly the Predator awakes. Agent Keyes suddenly reappears and sprays the Predator with nitrogen. The Predator stumbles back but then throws his Smart Disc which severs him half.
Harrigan escapes up the ladders to the rooftop with the Predator in pursuit. The Predator ends up falling off the rooftop hanging onto Harrigan. The Predator activates his self destruct device but Harrigan uses the Predator’s smart disc and severs the creature’s arm. The Predator falls into a nearby apartment and Harrigan attempts to cross the gap. The Predator escapes the apartment and down an elevator shaft with Harrigan in pursuit. He finds the Predator’s spacecraft beneath the city and enters it.
Inside, Harrigan explores the ship and see a trophy cabinet full of skulls from the creatures the Predator has hunted. Suddenly, Harrigan is hit with a net and pinned to the wall. He uses the smart disc to cut himself free and the Predators appears. They battle and just as the Predator is about to finish Harrigan off, he thrusts the smart disc into the Predator’s stomach which kills them. Just then, a dozen Predator decloak. They take the dead Predator away and give him a Flintlock pistol as a reward for killing him.
Harrigan escapes the ship just before it takes off. As he walks outside, one of Keyes’ men, Garber, appears and exclaims they were so close to capturing it. Harrigan tells him they’ll be back some day before Garber disappears.
Personality and Traits
Harrigan was shown to have somewhat of a short fuse with people and frequently was shown to disobey direct orders from his superiors if it meant it prevented him from getting the job done. Harrigan didn’t like being told to back off the investigation by Captain Pilgrim and Deputy Chief Heinemann and to let Agent Keyes handle everything.
We saw Harrigan’s personnel record on a computer screen which said he was violence prone, had an obsessive personality and had a number of incidents where he’d used excessive force. Despite his fraught relationship with his superiors, Harrigan was very loyal to his partners Detectives Cantrell and Archuleta and he was devastated when Archuleta was killed.
In Other Media
Predator: If It Bleeds (2017)
Harrigan appears in Drug War which is a short story written by Bryan Thomas Schmidt and Holly Roberds as part of the anthology Predator: If It Bleeds. Mike Harrigan is now retired from the LAPD and now advises police forces around the world about how to stop gang violence. While in Brazil, he bumps in to former agent Garber who is now selling high tech weaponry. Both of them get caught up when a Predator descends on the villages and hunts the gangs.
Predator: Stalking Shadows (2020)
Harrigan has a minor appearance right at the beginning of the novel which shows the immediate aftermath of the Predator ship leaving Los Angeles. We see Harrigan covered in ash on the ground.
One of the many reasons Danny Glover jumped at the chance to play Mike Harrigan in Predator 2 was the opportunity to break through racial boundaries and as Danny Glover put it, “When’s the last time you saw a black man fighting a supernatural being?”
After Predator 2, there were a few scripts for Predator 3 moving around Hollywood. One of them was called The Zoo which brings back both Dutch from Predator and Harrigan from Predator 2 and they are captured and brought back to the Predator homeworld because they were the only two people to have ever killed a Predator.
- Before Danny Glover was cast in the role of Harrigan, Patrick Swayze and Steven Seagal were considered for the role. Patrick Swayze was approached to star in the film but was unable because he was injured during the filming of 1989’s Road House.
- In the novelization, Harrigan only severely injures the Predator at the end. The Predator allows the Elder Predator to decapitate it.
- Danny Glover previously worked with Gary Busey (Agent Keyes) and Steve Kahan (Sergeant) in 1987’s Lethal Weapon.
- Danny Glover was a huge Lakers fan and a lot of the time, they’d have the Lakers game showing on a monitor while they were filming so he could watch the games.