Essay: “Skyler is Such a Bitch!,” And Other Unfair Breaking Bad Observations

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(Note: this post contains plot spoilers for the first four seasons of Breaking Bad). 

 Breaking Bad returns for its fifth season Sunday, and at this point it’s pretty clearly in a two-horse race with Mad Men for the “best show currently on TV” title. The show’s third year was one of the best TV seasons of all time, while the fourth wasn’t far behind, as Walter White (Bryan Cranston) continued his rise in the meth trade and his descent into further moral depravity.

As with most prestigious TV dramas of the past few years, the weekly reviews and recaps by the likes of Alan Sepinwall, Matt Zoller Seitz, Tim Goodman and the AV Club crew have been invaluable in terms of following the show, with these writers often coming up with a dynamic, multifaceted essay in almost no time at all after the episodes air, and most of those sites have also offered vibrant discussions in the comments.

However, during the third and especially the fourth seasons of the show, I noticed a subtext in some of these online discussions that I found a bit unseemly, and I’ve also heard it from friends who have caught up on the show late.

The notion that the character of Skyler White (Anna Gunn) was acting like a bitch, that her very presence was ruining the show, and “why does Walt even put up with her,” became a recurring motif in Breaking Bad commentary (Not by the recappers themselves, I want to make clear, but rather by commenters).

Sometimes the character of Marie (Betsey Brandt), Skyler’s sister, Hank’s wife and the show’s only other prominent female, was part of the criticism as well; there were even nastier digs at Gunn’s physical appearance in the fourth season. See the comments on this Entertainment Weekly Season 4 premiere recap for some rather unfortunate observations of the kind, as seemingly half the commenters’ reaction to one of the series’ most intense episodes was to dig at Gunn’s weight.

It got to the point where even Gunn herself addressed the issue in a recent interview with The Wrap: 

 “At first I didn’t understand: Why do people think Skyler’s a bitch?” Gunn told TheWrap. “She’s this woman who’s trying to keep the family together, and her husband is cooking crystal meth. … I think that people were so behind Walt that they saw Skyler and said, ‘Why are you giving him such a hard time?'”


The past decade of prestige cable dramas, from The Sopranos to The Shield to Mad Men to Sons of Anarchy to Breaking Bad, have all focused at least in part on a male antihero protagonist. Therefore, despite all the numerous bad acts committed by the main character, the instinct of many audience members is to root for him and see the world through his eyes. As a result, a certain segment of fans of these shows end up adopting an adversarial attitude towards the wives or other female characters, who often end up the way of his sometimes-nefarious plans.

Look at The Sopranos. Most of its run took place before the rise of the super-recappers, but I followed online discussion of the show during its early and middle seasons, and it sometimes got pretty ugly.

There was a large segment of the Sopranos fanbase who watched the show only to see people get “whacked,” and believed that if an episode went by in which no one got killed, it was a bad episode. There was a similar attitude that anything involving Tony Soprano’s wife and children was a “waste of time,” and that the show should drop all that and get back to the killing.  (Here’s something I wrote on the subject, back in 2002.)

When the New York Post ran a poll, during one of the periods light on whacking, about “how to fix The Sopranos,” some of the answers included “kill all the women” and “Carmella’s whining too much – whack her!” As though the Tony/Carmella marriage, and before that Tony’s relationship with his mother, wasn’t a huge part of what made the show great all along.

And yes, Carmella was guilty of complicity, hypocrisy, and numerous other sins- but Tony was the one who frequently killed people, among many other crimes. That he was never judged as harshly as his wife is a sexist double standard that, to this day, persists.

More recently, it’s been pretty common to see sizable fan backlashes against wives and other major female characters, whether it’s Betty Draper on Mad Men or Lori on The Walking Dead. And now we have the anti-Skyler White movement.

With Breaking Bad, this is especially unfair. The “Skyler is a bitch” case is mostly built on the character 1) sleeping with her former boss while separated from Walt, and then telling him about it, 2) Dropping her disgust with Walt’s choice to become a drug dealer – as well as her plans to divorce him- and abruptly deciding to cooperate with him, and 3) Adopting a hectoring and emasculating tone towards Walt at various times.

So those are the worst things Skyler has ever done. What are the worst things Walter White has ever done? Numerous murders. Living a double life that involves serially lying to his own wife and children. Making and selling crystal meth, one of the most destructive drugs known to man. Indirect responsibility for a plane crash that killed hundreds of people. In the fourth season finale alone, he set off a bomb at a nursing home, encouraged an elderly man to become a suicide bomber, and poisoned a little boy.

I’m not saying Skyler is innocent of cravenness, selfishness or other sins. Complexity and nuance is a big part of Breaking Bad and all of the other shows mentioned here. But come on- she’s just about the only non-murderer on the show!

So when you watch the fifth season of Breaking Bad and you read the recaps every Sunday night, and you ask yourself why Walt would put up with someone as nagging and indecisive as Skyler, try to ask, at the same time, why Skyler would put up with a meth lord who blows up nursing homes and poisons children.

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  • BCarbaugh

    People think TV drama wives are bitches because nine times out of ten, the wives don’t have any compelling core drama of their own, and their every story beat consists of playing devil’s advocate to the main character’s story beats. “Walt, what the hell are you doing?!” And since the main draw of a show like Breaking Bad is, yknow, watching Walter do things, this necessarily sets Skyler up as a kind of ad-hoc antagonist.

    You bring up Lori on Walking Dead — that’s a perfect example. Sleeps with her husband’s best friend? Perfectly reasonable, under the circumstances. But then she wants them to be friends. But then she wants them to keep their distance. But then she wants them to be friends again. “Rick, Shane is dangerous, you should kill him.” “Lori, I killed Shane.” “OMG, WHY” Rick needs to convey a plot thread? Have Lori play the argumentative side! Episode needs a B plot? Have Lori screw something up! The end result is that, lo and behold, viewers don’t much care for this character who does nothing but flip-flop, yell at people, screw things up, and get in the way.

    Ditto for pretty much every wife on TV. They’re vapid cardboard-cut-out harpy shrew women, there to yell at the main character when he’s doing one thing, pressure him into doing another, and then yell at him for doing that, all the while creating unnecessary conflict and false drama, putting themselves in peril, etc. You can’t have a character do nothing but annoy us and then act surprised that we find her annoying.

    It’s not about the things Skyler (or Lori, or Kate from Lost) has done, because good and evil are fairly relative on shows like these: it’s about the tone with which she does them. I can watch Walter White or Don Draper eat a sandwich and it’s compelling as all get-out. By comparison, watching Skyler White blackmailing somebody or Betty Draper engaging in an affair is pretty tedious — because I don’t like them. The show has trained me to dislike them.

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  • Becca

    I think that we can all admit that there is something very strange about Skylar. It’s not really that she’s waffling on the issue of dealing drugs. She does a lot of things that most people don’t do. There seems to be a strange communication breakdown in the White marriage. In the very first episodes she finds her husband getting strange phone calls and, instead of just asking him about it like a normal person, she sneaks around and finds out who is calling him. When Walter makes up the story about Jesse selling him drugs, control freak Skylar actually thinks that it would be a good idea to go to Jesse’s house and tell him to stop selling drugs to her husband. Why doesn’t she just talk to Walt about his drug use if it bothers her so much? Then she expects him to be a paradigm of honesty and openness with her. It’s hypocritical.

    I’ve known from early in the series that she was a B. Pretty much all of her behavior since then has done nothing to convince me otherwise. Walter has his faults and can really act like an idiot sometimes, but Skylar is a cold, calculating person who consistently thinks that she is in the right regardless of the way that she is hurting other people. When I first started watching I actually started paying attention to who was writing the series because I found Skylar’s entire being to be a great example of misogyny on television, that’s how horrible she is.

    Imagine my surprise when I discovered that there are a lot of female writers behind Breaking Bad. Way to set popular cultures depiction of women back decades!

    • Kel

      I think that’s what bothers me about her. Mind you, I’m a woman, so let’s dispel any notion that I am sexist in any way. But anyways, her hypocrisy is what bothers me and her holier than thou attitude. Walt has done terrible things, but you can understand why he did almost everything he’s done, even the truly reprehensible actions. Skyler, on the other hand, has double-standards (she seemed to forgive Ted for his criminal actions, and only slept with him to hurt her husband). Walt never intentionally hurt his family. I think he truly cares about them.

      And it’s interesting you point out, correctly, that while she is really upset with Walt’s lying (she has every right to be), instead of confronting him directly she searches his phone or even talks to Jesse. Really? And then she does the same thing. She lied to him and went off on her own just to get back at him. Smoking while she’s pregnant? She put her own child at risk. Yet she explained it away and convinced herself it wasn’t a big deal.

      Walt, on the other hand, really seems to struggle with what he’s done and is emotionally troubled. I think he’s haunted and agonized by what he’s done, but he’s just in too deep to see clearly now. He knows that he has a dark side and that he’s changed. That he’s not the decent man he used to be (that’s why he’s uncomfortable when when his son showers him with praise). Walt starts off with good intentions. It doesn’t justify his actions, but I think viewers see that he is in a constant moral battle with himself. I never saw such struggle with Skyler when she decided to smoke with her baby or cheat on her husband. Granted, her actions aren’t as vile as murder, but still, I think she believes her hands are clean in everything.

  • cate

    “Walter has his faults and can really act like an idiot sometimes, but Skylar is a cold, calculating person who consistently thinks that she is in the right regardless of the way that she is hurting other people.”

    Becca — What, exactly, do you think Walter White’s problem is? How is it that he acts like an idiot? I would say that his downfall will be (classically) hubris. Can you not see that your description of Skylar more accurately describes Walt? He is the one who is convinced that he is always right. He is the one who is constantly manipulating Jesse. He’s the one who poisoned a child. He’s the one responsible for about 200 deaths. And how does he describe himself? “I’m the one who knocks.” How does he explain his authority? “Because I say so.” He was the one trying to convince Skylar at the end of s5e2 that everything they do is okay because it’s for family. I’m sorry, but I think you have a misread on these characters.

  • Odn

    And I thought it was just me. It is interesting that Gunn herself sees her role as this admirable character. This explains why she is so obnoxiously convincing in her martyred role and maybe speaks too much of the superficiality of her offs-screen persona.

    Walter, like Michael Corleone, Oedipus, or Hamlet is makes unethical choices in his desire to protect his family; that’s interesting. Skylar just mopes around, scene after scene, like a repetitive Oxyclean commercial that keeps blaring every 5 minutes on late-night TV. Those painful stressed faces she makes–she’s a horse-faced bitch in the first place–masked beneath a totally transparent veneer, so everyone can see her strength and her pain. Basically, just her caustic indifference miserable histrionics face threw a wet blanket on about 85 per cent of the scenes in 5/2. It would be a great season finale to have Walt kill off his bitch wife–probably accidentally but not without culpability; problem is, I don’t think the show can last that long.

  • jinnoo42

    Village is makes unprincipled choices in his want to defend his family; that’s interesting. Skylark just mopes around, scene after scene, like a repetitive Ox clean profitable that keeps blaring every 5 minutes on late-night TV.eid sms messages l independence day messages l ramadan messages

  • SlackerInc

    I take a middle ground that I don’t often see represented in these debates. First of all, I don’t at all agree with holding against Skyler that she slept with Ted (when she and Walt were SEPARATED), nor her cooperation with Walt in the drug business given the context of what was going down. I do dislike her for just the way she is (or was, at the beginning of the series) a nagging, uptight pain in the ass (I dislike her sister Marie for similar reasons).

    But those are misdemeanours, while Walt has done some truly evil things and has become an evil person. The people who still defend Walt’s actions, and express this OTT virulent (and violent) hatred of Skyler, I find very disturbing. (Similarly, those who insist that in “Madrigal”, Walt was not guilty of rape or something rape-like.)

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  • Ramsey Barnette

    Skyler is the textbook definition of a bitch. An important character; but still a bitch. Through and through. Look at their relationship dynamics. Walt tries to make it work and is always pleasant and respectful to her when he talks with her; he only lies to her directly in order to protect his family from danger. Skyler, on the other hand, is selfish, impulsive and emasculating. She cheated on Walt because Ted was better looking than Walt and gave her attention and she wanted to have sex. That simple. Then she takes Walters money and gives it to Ted to pay his IRS debt/lease a Mercedes-Benz SL500 (Ted’s fault for being an idiot). Even after that, he forgives her and tries to work through things. I don’t advocate violence in relationships regardless of the gender of the perpetrator, but if anyone was deserving of a slap in the face, it’s Skyler after she tells Walt she will just wait around for him to die of Cancer before she makes her next move. She tells him that she does not care if he lives or dies. Textbook BITCH! A better question is: how is she NOT a bitch. The fact that Walt has killed a few people has ZERO to do with his relationship with Skyler.

    • Nix_Nightbird

      As to the cheating thing… Everyone says “she only did it while they were separated” and I have to point out that she was showing more and more cleavage (only around Ted) and flirting with Ted before she knew anything about Walt’s business. She went to work there after sauntering into Ted’s office and flirting with him. There was nothing platonic or innocent about the way she approached Ted.

      Meanwhile, as far as Skyler knew at that time, Walt’s only crime was keeping secrets, though he assured her he wasn’t having an affair. He was always loving toward his children, and even when she was giving him her cold brick wall to talk to, he was kind to her, tried to be loving and supportive, and most of all, did what he thought was right to support his family financially after he was dead. She’d have a fit, and he’d remain calm and rational. She’d say something utterly cruel to him, and he’d smile and take it until she pushed and pushed and he’d snap at her ONCE, only to come back and apologize a moment later. He never hit her. He never threatened her. He never made ANY move that would make her think he intended harm to her or the kids. He was willing to face death and kill to protect his family. What he did wasn’t moral or ethical, but it was always about protecting his kids and Skyler (even when she was being awful).

      Bottom line, though, is that unconditional love is just that: Unconditional. You’re supposed to stand by the one you love, flaws and all, as long as they are not harming you or threatening you. Walt never harms her. He never threatens her. He tries and tries to work things out with her, and her only responses are either mute silence, sneering at him, getting up and walking away, screwing her boss, sending the kids away, or some crazy thing like walking into the pool to fake suicide as some kind of weird cry for attention. All the while, Walt’s supportive, kind, and loving toward her and the kids, and he’s constantly TRYING to communicate with her. She’s the one that cuts off all lines of communication except to grill him or insult him.

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  • walt

    she’s a bitch and a whore

  • Ravenok

    People hate skyler because her actions make no sense.

    In all honesty, Walter’s actions are very understandable. In the fifth season they’re maybe less honest and more macho-ego-over confidence, but in the first 4 seasons, his actions made perfect sense and people expected his wife to understand.

    Instead, the writers decided it’s better to never allow Walter and Skyler to have a proper conversation. They either couldn’t or wouldn’t. Either Skyler didn’t want to listen, or when she did, Walter lied. When he was honest, he was only half honest. And when he was completely honest, then he somehow conveniently let Skyler feel like he’s doing it cuz he’s just another criminal. It took 3-4 episodes for SOMEONE ELSE to tell Skyler that Walt’s doing it for his family and make her accept it! couldn’t Walt do that before?! No, that wouldn’t make good television, now would it?

    Skyler’s a bad character because she’s acting like a bitch and her role is to be a Deus Ex Machina. She is there to complicate things, and she will complicate things NO MATTER what – even if it doesn’t sit well with her past actions, she will keep doing exactly what would ruin everything for Walter.

    That’s what she was up to the entire show. From the beginning, everything good that she did, was to set the ground for the next bad thing she did. She is acting like a bitch, constantly standing in the way, constantly being a nuisance.

    So no, it’s no surprise that everyone hates her guts. Make her more believable, and people may like her.

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  • David Anthony

    The Skyler hatred I see so much is bordering on concerning for me. You still have people enthusiastically supporting the man who casually shakes off the murder of a child, poisoned a child, constantly manipulates everyone around him, is arrogant as hell, destroys peoples’ lives for a living (despite being given the opportunity to take all the money they’d need from Grey Matter, and seeing as they make ‘billions’ I don’t think cancer treatment would really have been an issue), is responsible for the death of hundreds in a plane crash, watched a girl die and did nothing to stop it, and much more. Skyler can be annoying, yes, but she is a good person. Why wouldn’t she try to find stuff out when Walt was constantly lying to her, making secret phone calls, and disappearing without trace for hours at a time? Her having sex with Ted was cruel, but frankly, Walt deserved it after the constant lying and forcing himself back into her life where he hasn’t wanted. Besides, they were separated, she was hardly cheating. Her sleeping with Ted is just like anyone sleeping with someone after a break-up to make them feel bad or jealous. It’s a cruel thing to do but it’s hardly worth the hatred Skyler gets. Now she’s being forced into the meth business and is having a nervous breakdown because of it, and people STILL hate her. The woman who attempted suicide. And people still hate her. I just don’t get it. Skyler is not perfect, but compared to her husband, she’s the fucking messiah!

    Please someone explain why they hate Skyler so much (preferably a woman, because I worry that this is just misogyny). I just can’t see it.

    • Kel

      Well, first of all, blaming Walt for the plane crash is not really fair. His actions are bad because of what he did (letting Jane die), not because it resulted in a plane crash. I mean, what if something he did that was good indirectly caused the plane crash? That becomes messy. I mean, that’s like saying it’s your fault if your friend decided to commit suicide because they failed a test you wouldn’t let them copy off of. It’s not your fault, it’s your friend’s fault. That’s an extreme case, but you see what I’m trying to get at. He had no way of knowing that would happen. Jane’s father shouldn’t have gone back to work because he clearly wasn’t ready, and the people that work with him should have made sure that he was ready. But that doesn’t make those people bad people. Everything else you referred to is condemnable, but the plane crash… I don’t think that’s a valid argument for Walt’s immorality.

      Also, saying that Walt deserved to be cheated on is a bad justification for Skyler’s actions. Walt has done bad things, but the eye-for-an-eye argument doesn’t do anything for me. We’re not talking about his actions. If we’re looking at Skyler, we should view her actions independently. Why does it have to be an either or thing? Can’t they both be despicable people? I don’t think Skyler is on the level of Walt, obviously, but that doesn’t mean that we should automatically support her.

      Now that that’s out of the way, I’d like to address your concerns about all of the vitriol for Skyler. I am a woman, and I can honestly say that I don’t particularly like the character. I don’t hate her, though. Sleeping with Ted while she is married is definitely still cheating. Even if she and Walt were separated, it’s not like a simple break-up at all, they’re married. And she wasn’t trying to make him jealous, she was deliberately trying to hurt him. I don’t hate her, but that doesn’t mean I have to like her, either. I don’t like how she treated her husband before he went into the meth business, or how she treated him in general, at times. I detest her hypocrisy and inconsistency. She was mad at Walt for making illicit drugs, but it’s okay for her to cover up for Ted who committed major fraud? That makes her anger towards Walt dishonest (for the drug production, not the lying, she’s right to be pissed off about that). Then she backtracks. Oh, it’s suddenly okay for Walt to cook meth! She wasn’t forced into the meth business, she could have just walked away. We always have a choice. She could have gotten a better job or asked Hank and Marie for help, bought her own house, and take the kids with her — while allowing Walt to at least visit his children and not letting her own emotions trump her kids’. Walt may do bad things, but he obviously cared about his kids. Keeping them away from their father gives them no benefit. What really bothered me was that she smoked when she was pregnant and continued to smoke afterwards around her newly born child. I don’t care how stressed she was, she put her child at risk and shrugged it off like it was no big deal. Her attempted suicide has no relevancy to the issue for me. I don’t think that’s a reason to support her at all. I don’t have much sympathy for people who commit suicide. They get what they asked for and sometimes, I think it’s very selfish if they have family. I feel bad that they felt their lives were that horrible, but giving up like that leaves a sour taste in my mouth. Maybe that sounds bad, but I believe that the worst pain and suffering in the world is better than being dead (maybe that’s because I don’t believe in heaven or an afterlife). But I don’t think attempted suicide is a reason to either like or dislike people. I don’t hate Skyler, but I still don’t find her likable.

      As far as supporting Walt, of course, I don’t think he’s a particularly good person anymore (the bad attributes far outweigh the good at this point), and I believe he deserves to go to jail. I support him in that I hope he turns himself around and is able to become the good person he used to be (I doubt he will, but that’s what I would like to see). At first, it was understandable. But that’s the point of the show, showing the slippery slope and how ordinary people that are decent human beings can become terrible people if they are put into desperate situations. It’s not an excuse, but that’s what’s happened to Walt.

      • David Anthony

        You make a good point regarding the plane crash. It’s not fair to blame Walt. But letting Jane die in the first place was a terrible, terrible thing. And the amazing lack of guilt he feels is appalling. He has shrugged off any guilt for causing the death of hundreds by episode 2 on series 3.

        True, we should look at Skyler’s actions independently, although of course many of Walt’s actions directly impact of Skyler, so we have to take his actions into account too. Her sleeping with Ted, for example. She did it because Walt had forced and bullied himself back into her life where he wasn’t wanted. They were separated. The divorce papers not being signed is a technicality. If someone breaks up with someone (as Skyler clearly did, she asked for a divorce and kicked Walt out of the house) then for them to sleep with someone else is not cheating. Yes, it was cruel of her to sleep with Ted, and yes it was to hurt Walt, but that in itself was to get the drug dealing danger out of her house.

        I’m not particularly a fan of how she treated Walt before he entered the meth business, but we don’t really have that much to go off of. In episode one she is very intrusive, but for good reason. She knows she is being lied to, her husband is making mysterious phone calls and lying about it, and he tells her he’s taking drugs? Should she have been more upfront about it? Maybe, but nobody can pretend that that would have been any help against the compulsive liar that is Walter White. I don’t think we know enough about Skyler, pre-meth, to judge her like that.

        About her hypocrisy. I think it’s pretty ridiculous to compare fraud with meth cooking. Both are bad, but meth cooking is so much worse. Meth cooking destroys hundreds of lives. Fraud, not so much. It should also be noted that Skyler initially condemned Ted for his actions. Also, Skyler has never been okay about Walt cooking meth (unless I misremember). She only accepted it initially to protect her family and later because she was culpable. If you’re referring to her actions regarding Hank, I know you’re not that far in the series yet so I’ll refrain from the details, but I don’t see how anyone could disagree that her actions were completely justifiable. But as for her smoking while pregnant, this is completely unacceptable, yes. She’s by no means a perfect character or a moral underpinning of the show.

        Moving on to the suicide thing. All I’m saying is that I don’t understand how someone can so passionately hate a person (not saying that you do) after they do something like. I don’t understand how one can have such a lack of humanity as to hate someone who, sure, has made some bad decision, but is suicidal.

        I’d be very surprised if you still support Walt even slightly once you catch up with the show. I think how he is acting in series 5 is naturally making me empathise with skyler more than I should.

        • David Anthony

          I really should proofread before submitting my comments.

        • Kel

          While I don’t hold Walt responsible for the plane crash directly, I’m not saying that excuses his behavior. Yes, letting Jane die was terrible. But it was terrible in itself. I don’t think the plane crash adds to the wrongness of his actions. His apparent apathy does, but not the consequences themselves. (If truth be told, I believe he is just trying to convince himself that it’s not a big deal, but in actuality he realizes that it is). In any case, if the plane hadn’t crashed, what he did was still awful. Even though part of me thinks he might have been doing it for Jesse, no compassionate human being would think about someone’s life with that sort of calculating logic if someone was dying right before your eyes. The fact that he hesitated to help her long enough for her to die should give anyone the willies. So, I agree with you there.

          I understand Skyler wanted to be separated, but I still don’t like how she used sex as a tool to get back at Walt. Mainly, because doing that involves another person, when her problems with Walt should really stay between her and Walt. Also, sleeping with someone to get back at someone else is a stereotype commonly associated with the female gender, so having Skyler do that in the show irked me a bit.

          As for how she was pre-meth Walt, it’s also how she was before she knew she was being lied to. When they were having that “pillow-talk,” she barely listened to anything Walt had to say. I understand it was because she was upset, but more than that, although we don’t have much to go on, I think it is a fair assumption that this behavior from Skyler is not atypical. Walt is a guy who has constantly been a door-mat, and I have no reason to believe this doesn’t extend to his home life. He’s clearly unhappy even before his cancer diagnosis. Whenever you see the dynamic between them, it is obvious that Walt has historically been the more submissive half in their relationship, when they should both be on equal footing.

          Fraud is a major crime. It may not seem like it because you don’t see the direct consequences, but tax evasion takes away money used to benefit the public at large, as much as $500 billion dollars a year. It is absolutely a big deal and while Ted may think his individual actions won’t affect people on a large scale, his cavalier attitude about stealing large sums of money is troublesome. On a more personal level, tax evasion influences my life in some way. While I’m being a good citizen and paying my taxes, someone else doesn’t and gets to receive the same benefits as I do? That upsets me, and it should upset anyone who pays their legal share of taxes.

          Meth destroys the lives of those who are involved in the drug crime. I don’t use, manufacture, or sell meth, so it doesn’t affect my life. The drug wars obviously do have a major impact on uninvolved people, but I fail to see why it’s so much worse than tax evasion. I think that’s more of an emotional response because meth produces ugly and sometimes violent results. Stealing is less ruthless, but I don’t believe it is necessarily more innocuous in terms of the effects it has on people’s lives. And a crime is a crime. Some, yes, are worse in magnitude, but it doesn’t make one more right than the other. They’re both still wrong and neither should be condoned. Furthermore, Skyler goes back and forth. She’s not consistent and doesn’t seem to have a good grasp on her own principles.

          It’s not so much her individual actions that bother so much as her attitude. I can sympathize with her, but she seems to feel like she’s justified to do things that are wrong because Walt’s done worse. Again, I don’t like the eye-for-an-eye philosophy. It’s one thing to do something in your own defense or to prevent someone from harming you, but to proactively do it back for revenge is not something that I find to be an appealing attribute. I’m not sure what it is, but I always feel like Skyler’s playing the victim. Admittedly, usually she is, but it’s her general attitude that I dislike. She rarely does anything on the show that I find enjoyable. Whenever Skyler’s on screen, she sort of has this way of putting a damper on the mood. I believe that may be what leads people to dislike her so much. As an audience, we want to be entertained, and her negativity sort of gets in the way of that. She’s hardly ever positive, even when she’s not dealing with Walt. I think it just becomes exhausting to watch after a time.

          Again, I’d like to mention that I don’t hate Skyler. I simply don’t care for her as a character. And as for her suicide attempt, it doesn’t influence my fondness of her in anyway, positively or negatively. Yes, I feel bad that she felt her life was that terrible, but just I don’t think it contributes anything on the merit of morality. It doesn’t necessarily make her either a good or bad person. I just don’t find the action of attempting/committing suicide to a be very admirable one. For instance, Hitler committed suicide, should we sympathize with him? I would argue that, no, we should not. We should very much feel that he was the scum of the earth and hate everything he represented. I find the idea of showing humanity towards Hitler simply because he committed suicide appalling. But there are plenty of good people, I know some, who have committed suicide, and I feel a tremendous amount of sympathy for them. However, I feel it mostly for their friends and family, because I sympathize more for living people who are suffering rather than dead people who suffered. That’s simply because I don’t feel it does a lot of good to pity the dead. Dead people can’t feel anything, living people do. I guess what I’m trying to get at (I hope I don’t sound too redundant, but I’d like to be very clear on this point) is that whether or not someone attempted/committed suicide should have no bearing on how you evaluate their moral character. For people who attempted suicide, we should ensure that they receive help, but beyond that, I don’t see why it’s so terrible to dislike them if that’s just the way you happen to feel about them. If you disliked them before their suicide attempt, why should it change afterwards? Their attempted suicide shouldn’t get you to like them more, yes, feel sorry for them, but you can’t help if you don’t particularly like that person. I guess that’s the distinction I’m trying to make. I feel badly that Skyler wanted to commit suicide, but it doesn’t make me like her more as a character.

          For Walt, I simply don’t like to see anyone become a bad person. I don’t support him in that I want him to be super successful and continue on his drug lord ways, I support him in the sense that I hope he does at some point feel remorse for his actions (I think he may just be ignoring any inkling of guilt he may feel and pushing them to the side), and that he realizes he is not okay with the person he’s become. I don’t think anyone should be beyond redemption (for the purposes of this show). We know he hasn’t always been a bad person. He’s capable of demonstrating human compassion and being a decent human being. I believe that everyone, given the right circumstances, is capable of going down a destructive path similar to Walt’s. It mostly makes me sad, not angry.

          Again, I’m not excusing any of Walt’s actions, but if he were to admit his failings and take responsibility for his actions and be more concerned with his humanity than his sense of empowerment, I don’t think there’s any reason not to wish for his eventual return to goodness. After all, Jesse has done terrible things, and I think most people root for him. But people feel more remorse for him because we can tell he is emotionally torn, just as Walt was when confronting Krazy-8. We all sympathized with him then, but I think over time he has just become desensitized from everything he’s had to deal with. And I find it sad because initially, he was doing everything for the right reasons. But because he’s been subjugated and under-appreciated for the majority of his life, his sense of pride and importance have clouded his judgment. He was a compliant, passive man before his cancer diagnosis. Then, when he believed he was going to die he thought, “To hell with it, I’m finally going to stand up for myself.” Every ounce of resentment he’s felt his entire life, I feel, just exploded outwards with violence force. As an audience, we felt vindicated when he did this. But as he continued to revel in this new, powerful Walt, we were less willing to accept his actions, because his actions became increasingly more atrocious. Again, I feel it’s just the slippery slope. I know we’d all like to think we would never do such things given similarly trying circumstances, but in truth, we don’t really know until we’ve actually faced them. No, most of us wouldn’t poison a child, but on a smaller scale, I’m sure we’ve all done things that are wrong when faced with difficult choices. No, this doesn’t justify our actions in any moral dilemma, but I think it helps us to understand and identify with the failings of other human beings. We’ve been on this journey with Walt, and we’ve seen the moral anguish he experienced (brilliantly portrayed by Bryan Cranston) with every step he took towards the darker side of himself. It’s not so much that I sympathize with this new Walt, it’s more that I feel remorse for the person he was at the beginning of the show.

          Sorry for the novel. But I’m really into this show right now, and I think it is fascinating to delve into the characters and address these sorts of questions.

          • David Anthony

            Yes, it’s definitely interesting. Breaking bad is a fantastic show and I like to delve into stuff like this.

            I don’t think that Skyler conforming to a stereotype should have a bearing on her as a person. Using sex as a weapon is bad, but I don’t think that it was truly so bad given the circumstances. I don’t think Ted had any illusions about his roll in all of it (although I might be wrong), so he wasn’t really a victim in this sense. The only victim in it was Walt, who, frankly, completely deserved it. Excluding reasons that Skyler wasn’t aware of and therefore don’t have a bearing on her personality (like Walt watching Jane die), Walt’s entire motivation of being in the meth business as ‘doing it for his family’ was proven wrong when he refused to accept the Grey Matter money (which had made ‘billions’, so he could have got as much money as he needed). In that situation, I don’t think Skyler was really that wrong to try to get him out of the house. If you put yourself in her shoes, a meth cooker who has compulsively lied to you for so long forces themselves back into your house, turns your son against you (like with the car that Skyler was, in my opinion, perfectly right to demand be sent back), and seems completely unaware of the person he has become, I don’t think her actions were really that terrible. Cruel? Yes. But in her situation, I can understand what she did.

            As for the pillow talk, you do raise some good points. That scene with Skyler particularly grated me, as did scenes like her getting angry with Walt for just buying some champagne. Again, I’m not claiming she’s the messiah or anything and she does have some very annoying qualities. But despite this, I like her and deeply sympathise with her.

            As for tax evasion, believe me when I tell you that I hate it! I’ve been on my fair share of campaigns outside of tax evading/avoiding businesses that pay virtually no tax and have obscene profits. It costs the UK £69.9 billion a year and it sickens me to the core that George Osbourne is lowering taxes on the rich and cutting benefits for the poor and disabled (the latter of which are literally dying as a result of the cuts). But I’m going off topic. What I’m saying is that I understand your argument about fraud. But if we look at Ted’s situation, he was financially screwed and needed to make ends meet. This contrasts strongly with the sort of stuff we see from the MNCs that post extreme profits. Is it bad? Yes. Was it justified? No. But is it understandable? Yes. It is nearly as bad as cooking a drug that kills so many, and destroys the lives of so many more? No. Maybe you disagree with me, but I think cooking meth and committing the sort of fraud that Ted did are incomparable.

            Moving onto Skyler’s suicide. I’m not suggesting that she somehow becomes a better or more likeable person because of her suicide. My reference to her suicide refers to the real haters out there who constantly abuse Anna’s character. I just don’t understand how they can maintain such an intense hatred of a character when they have been through what Skyler has. And, needless to say, her situation is nothing like Hitler! She is fundamentally a good person, despite her superciliousness (which is in many cases justified) and hypocrisy. You can’t say the same of Hitler, of course. I’m not suggesting that you’re saying this, by the way. Again, I think your sympathies with Skyler may change by the time you’ve finished series 5. Or maybe not. For some people (for reasons I won’t mention, because they make for damn good scenes), they hate Skyler even more than they did already.

            I agree with your assessment of Walt. I *wanted* to hate Walt (having sympathised with him before) right after the episode where he refuses that money, but for the reasons you’ve talked about I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I think, like me, once you’ve caught up with the show, you won’t have any remaining sympathy for Walt.

          • Nix_Nightbird

            Bear in mind that methamphetamine was legally sold over the counter in the USA for years, and that we still prescribe it for certain things.

            What makes it a dangerous street drug is the low quality of the street variety. It has contaminants and who-knows-what in it, and that makes it more dangerous. Of course, abusing ANY drug– legal or not– is bad for you.

            Now, let me be clear: I’m a straight-edge. I’ve never been high in my life. However, I’m seeing all this from Walter’s point of view. He knows the reason the street meth is dangerous is because the cooks are making impure meth. He’s arrogant and proud of his genius, and believes that what he’s doing isn’t all that bad because he’s at least giving addicts a pure product that won’t be as dangerous. In a twisted way, he’s almost being benevolent to the drug-abusing community, as far as he’s concerned. To him, it’s just pure chemistry, and he’s taking pride in being the best and offering the best, safest version of a product that isn’t healthy in the first place– I believe someone else made the comparison to McDonald’s? That’s sort of right, though he doesn’t think of himself as McDonald’s, but more like an organic restaurant that serves hamburgers and fries. His are pure, but they’re still technically bad for you.

            Meanwhile, there’s Ted, who also sees himself as an altruist who is just trying to save his company and thus his employees… But then he has no problem screwing another man’s wife, trying to cheat the IRS, and squandering money on a BMW when he should be paying his debts. Ted’s vain and selfish, and only hiding behind the “family values” excuses that he makes. The truth about Ted is that he’s as much of a control freak as Walter. He’s as power mad and unwilling to bend as Walter… but while Walter’s happy to just protect his family and provide for them, Ted is more concerned with appearances and extravagance. He wants that BMW. He wants that heated floor.

            Skyler’s motivation seems to be to distance herself from Walter the moment she learns he has cancer. She ever so slowly inches away from him, becoming emotionally cut-off and sometimes downright cold. She then turns it up and becomes vindictive and cruel in the same moments Walter is being supportive and loving. She does all this because she NEEDS to not care about Walter anymore. Not caring means she doesn’t feel the emotional gut punch when he dies of his cancer. She turns off her love for him because she can’t cope with the reality of the situation. She flirts with Ted because she’s toying with the idea of doing something to drive Walt away from her. She jumps on every little thing Walter does– and this is before the truth of his criminal nature comes out– because she needs to find all the things she can heap into the “hate Walter” pile. She picks at him and says hurtful things to him.

            All the while, Walter’s trying to communicate and losing his mind because she is suddenly emotionally unavailable and unwilling to talk. It’s not because she doesn’t want to talk, but because she doesn’t want to break down and realize she really DOES care about what happens to him… So she walks away, leaves the room, rolls over, glares at him, kicks him out, tells him she screwed her boss, calls him dangerous, pretends he’s a threat, and does everything in her power to prevent an emotional connection from being acknowledged.

            Skyler’s problem is not that she’s a bitch. It’s that she’s a shallow coward who is determined not to TRULY face the fact that her husband of 16 years is dying.

          • Alan (@SlackerInc)

            No need to apologise, Kel. I too love the show and enjoy discussing it.

            “Walt is a guy who has constantly been a door-mat, and I have no reason to believe this doesn’t extend to his home life. He’s clearly unhappy even before his cancer diagnosis.”

            I used to remember it this way, but when rewatching with my now teenage son, I found myself surprised that he was more happy-go-lucky than I had thought. And he seemed to genuinely enjoy teaching, and did not feel a door-mat there but rather was in command of his classroom. It was his second job at the car wash that was his only real dark cloud on second viewing.

            “It is absolutely a big deal and while Ted may think his individual actions won’t affect people on a large scale, his cavalier attitude about stealing large sums of money is troublesome.”

            Oh, absolutely. Look at what a douche he turned out to be after Skyler set up the “rich uncle’s inheritance” deal.

            “I’m not sure what it is, but I always feel like Skyler’s playing the victim. ”

            Yeah, a lot of times that’s true…remember the locksmith?

            “Whenever Skyler’s on screen, she sort of has this way of putting a damper on the mood.”

            Mostly true–I call her a “buzzkill” (Kristina from Parenthood is another of this type). But again upon rewatch, there were a few times she acted genuinely warm that I had forgotten. For instance, when she came and saw Walt in the hospital after his “fugue state”.

          • Alan (@SlackerInc)

            David commented while I was writing mine, so just to be clear my last comment was in reply to Kel and this is replying to him.

            “Walt’s entire motivation of being in the meth business as ‘doing it for his family’ was proven wrong when he refused to accept the Grey Matter money”

            One caveat about that: that was for medical expenses only; we don’t know that they would have supported his family in general financially. And it became moot once Gretchen said they were cut off.

            “But if we look at Ted’s situation, he was financially screwed and needed to make ends meet.”

            That’s what he said, but given the lavish house he lived in, and the way he went out and got a luxury car with the “inheritance” instead of paying back his taxes, colour me sceptical.

            I would nominate, btw, a recent scene to show how Walt is so much worse than Skyler. (Kel, don’t read on if you are not caught up.) It’s after he has killed all kinds of people and Skyler is incredibly frightened of him, and he comes to bed talking all casual, slips his clothes off, and basically just sexually abuses her (at least from her POV; he is pretty much oblivious). So gross!

          • Kel

            To Alan, I did get the feeling Walt enjoys teaching, but ultimately, I didn’t get the feeling he was completely satisfied with his life. From the very first episode, we see him exercising unenthusiastically, and if his bedroom activities with his wife are anything to go by, neither was completely satisfied with the state of their relationship. I generally saw him as a rather unsatisfied person.

            I guess I forgot her reaction after Walt’s fugue state, that’s true. I guess I could really benefit from a second viewing, as well. But I still need to finish season 3!

          • Kel

            @David For me, I would never use sex to get back at someone, because it would make me feel cheap and I think it takes a certain lack of self-respect to do such a thing, so I think I’m just biased when it comes to that. And I definitely don’t think Ted was a victim, I just think it’s a bad idea in general. I tend to separate Walt when he’s doing business and when he’s with his family, so when I think of what he’s done to Skyler, yes, he’s lied, but it’s clear he never intended to hurt his family. I mean, I understand why he didn’t just come out and say, “By the way, I make meth.” Putting everything else aside for the moment and looking solely at how he’s treated his family, I feel like Walt never tried to hurt them, so I did feel a bit sorry for him in that respect when he found out Skyler cheated because he clearly wants to be a part of his family. I don’t know, maybe they’re not comparable, but seeing how they are both still bad, I have to say that neither Ted nor Walt are in the right. Ted isn’t a despicable person as Walt (although I still think Ted is a jerk), but I still think it’s a bit hypocritical of Skyler to overlook Ted’s actions and then be really upset with Walt. She should be upset with both of them, and just be a lot more upset with Walt. At first, she’s upset with Ted, but then she goes back to work like it never happened and didn’t she actually help him cover it up? That’s what bothers me.

            With the Grey Matter, that was Walt’s pride speaking. Honestly, I would probably refuse the money in the same situation. I don’t really know what happened between him and Elliot and Gretchen, maybe the series addresses that later, but if they screwed him over, if I were him, I would be pretty upset if they started offering me charity to make themselves feel better. Of course, I wouldn’t have started making meth, either. But I probably would have found a different way to get the money. Maybe that’s a bit egotistical, but I’m certainly not immune to a bit of egoism now and again.

            And I’m sorry if you thought I was trying to compare Skyler with Hilter. I’m definitely not saying she’s comparable to Hitler, I was using an extreme case to illustrate a point. I’m saying her attempting suicide doesn’t change the fact that she is a less than perfect human being. I don’t think she is a fundamentally bad person, I just don’t think that her attempting suicide should cause us to overlook her hypocrisy. I’m not saying that’s what you think, but that’s I was led to believe from one of these posts on here, it might not have been yours. I guess your referring more to the ardent Skyler-haters. Yeah, I’m not sure why people really, really hate her. But I can definitely understand why people dislike her. Because I actually do sympathize with Skyler a fair amount, but despite that, I still find her rather unlikable.

            I understand why Skyler tried to kick him out of the house and I think she was right to do so, but the way she did it was unnecessarily mean. She should have at least let him visit the kids, in my opinion, and then maybe he wouldn’t have been so keen to force his way back in. I just got the feeling she was doing a lot of it mostly for herself, not actually the kids, which is really what bothered me about it. I also thought she overreacted a bit. I’d personally be more upset with all of the lies than the fact that he was making meth. Is it bad that I would probably be more upset with my husband for lying and cheating (Walt didn’t do this, so I’m just talking in general now) than making illicit drugs? I don’t know if I could forgive someone if they cheated on me, but if they agreed to stop making drugs, I think I would consider staying together. I don’t know, maybe I’m just messed up that way. I’m studying chemical engineering, so maybe for me, I don’t find making chemical substances, even illegal ones, as appalling as you do? Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s a really bad thing to do. But I can actually understand why Walt decided to do it, even if I don’t condone it. Meth is a nasty drug, though. Not only that, but it’s dangerous to make. I would never make meth. Not that I would ever make illicit drugs, but if I had to choose one, it definitely wouldn’t be meth. Would you be as critical of Walt if he had chosen to manufacture something with less potential for drug abuse, say LSD, instead?

            As far as tax evasion, I feel like just as Ted’s decision is understandable, so too is Walt’s. I understand why he decided to cook meth for money. I think he starting doing so under the assumption that he could just make the chemical, and not have to be involved with any other aspect of the drug business, and without any real knowledge about what he was really getting into. Meth kills people, sure, but the people that use meth or other illicit drugs make that decision. I hold them more culpable than the people who make it. They’re addicts, so if Walt doesn’t make their meth, they’ll get it somewhere else. Him making meth doesn’t cause people to use meth. That’s not to say making meth isn’t wrong, but in this case, I feel that the people who decide to use meth sort of destroy their own lives. I guess my example of this is how I believe individuals are responsible for their obesity, not McDonalds. And I would say obesity kills more people than meth in American (I’m American, by the way). Sure McDonalds contributes to obesity, but it wouldn’t be around if people didn’t want it. They’re simply following the money, which is the very idea that the U.S. capitalist system promotes. Of course, meth is much worse than fast food, but you could argue that fast food has damaged more lives than meth. This is not a justification, because I realize if that no one made meth, then no one could use meth. But realistically, I don’t think it’s practically possible to completely eliminate illicit drugs. Our futile War on Drugs here in America has proven that. So for me, Walt making meth, is it bad? Yes. Do I think it’s so bad that it’s not understandable why he starting making it in the first place? For me, the answer is no. I think I’ve probably already said that, so excuse me if I’m being redundant.

      • Nix_Nightbird

        I guess as a viewer, we’re seeing things through Walt’s eyes and what we see is a guy desperately trying to hold his family together EVEN IF he’s a criminal, while Skyler is doing nothing but tearing the family apart at every turn. No matter what Walt does or how much he endures to protect his family from real dangers, Skyler does everything she can to rip it all away from him and it doesn’t seem like she’s being protective or acting out of fear. Most of the time it seems vindictive, combative, non-communicative, and delusional.

        The fact is that Skyler stopped being supportive of Walt the moment he was diagnosed. At first it was just little things, but as his secrets piled up, her sense of entitlement to know every detail of his life turned into resentment that he wouldn’t tell her… And then when he did finally tell her, she was past the point of return. She didn’t stand by him. She didn’t accept him or even TRY to talk to him. She made her decision to hate him and that was that… then she spent three and a half seasons being horrible to him despite him never doing anything horrible TO her.

        While Walter was still in treatment, before she knew anything about his activities, she threw on her slinkiest outfits and went to work for a man who had expressed romantic interest in her. Note that she ONLY wore the low-cut blouses and push-up bra when she was around Ted, even before she and Walt were separated, even before she suspected anything negative aside from Walt “acting weird”. She entered into that affair because she couldn’t cope with Walter’s cancer being a death sentence. In her mind, Walter was already dead and she was pushing him out of her life so she wouldn’t have to deal with it or care about it when it really happened.

        Her entire arc boils down to her being in denial and unable to cope with things by having a real conversation. It was just easier for her to make herself hate Walt rather than face that her husband was dying and deal with those emotions and the conversations that had to occur because of it.

  • SlackerInc

    David, I posted about my “middle ground” upthread. Do you think my position is reasonable? Or does it still strike you as misogynistic to consider her (at the beginning of the show) a “nagging, uptight pain in the ass”?

    • David Anthony

      I definitely don’t think your views are misogynistic, not at all. I don’t necessarily agree with your views on Skyler but I can understand them. What I don’t understand and what is frankly quite worrying is the animalistic hate Skyler gets in other places on the internet, and some of the rampant misogyny that sometimes comes with this.

  • Alan (@SlackerInc)

    Kel, I agree with you that assigning Walt culpability for the plane crash goes too far. But he did as you say let Jane die (after inadvertently causing her to choke by defeating her safety precaution, knocking her from her side to her back, meaning that it’s not like he can say “well, if I had never been here she would have died anyway”). That was beyond despicable.

    I strongly disagree with you that sleeping with someone else when you are separated is “cheating”. I’m really shocked that people seem to think this (as I saw in reactions to a Parenthood plot as well). I was separated from my ex-wife for five years before we finally got around to filing in court to divorce, mainly so we could each remarry the people we were already living with! Were we both cheating? Really?

    You said: “She wasn’t forced into the meth business, she could have just walked away. We always have a choice. She could have gotten a better job or asked Hank and Marie for help, bought her own house, and take the kids with her”

    I think you’re forgetting that it was actually Hank and Marie that needed their help with the physical therapy, and that’s why she didn’t just walk away. You can still argue that she should have, but the way it was portrayed in the show, Hank probably would not have regained his ability to walk had she done that.

    I also agree with you about there not being heaven or an afterlife, btw; but I don’t hold suicide against people as you seem to, even though my own father took his life when I was fifteen.

    • Kel

      Your situation was different. You both agreed not to be with each other and see other people, and the adultery was a technicality. Walt and Skyler’s separation was not as clear. She told him to stay away, but she didn’t follow through with her threat of telling the police. Her saying that she was doing it for Walt Jr. I think is an excuse. She didn’t have it in her to turn Walt in, for whatever reasons and she allowed, however grudgingly, Walt to return home. They were still married and living together, and although the status of their relationship was unclear, I wouldn’t consider them completely separated. But that’s just my opinion.

      As far as Hank’s situation goes, I’m not actually that far into the series yet. But I do know some plot points beyond where I am in the series (like Skyler helping Walt with the meth business).

      • Alan (@SlackerInc)

        I wouldn’t say she really “allowed” Walt to return home so much as he forced his way back in due to his being co-owner of the home.

        On the later stuff about her joining in the meth business, that goes to show that you can’t really judge her actions based only on partial information.

        • Kel

          But she clearly had the choice of telling the police about his illegal activities. It was either tell the police and Walt’s gone, or don’t and Walt stays. She chose to keep her lips sealed. Not only did she not tell the police, she told her lawyer not to say anything. So, here, I disagree. Ultimately, she could have had Walt removed if only she confessed to the police. She didn’t.

          • Alan (@SlackerInc)

            Sure, but I think it’s quite common in these situations that someone in her position would not want her son to be devastated, and the general public humiliation that would be involved (and I’m not sure if her delay in notifying the police could make her culpable). Most would want what she tried to get: “Just get out of here and I won’t tell anyone.” Walt called her bluff, told her she wasn’t going to get her preferred deal, making the calculation that she wouldn’t be able to pull the trigger, and he was right. That was pretty cold-blooded IMO.

            And before you say “I would have told the police”, I think that’s one of those things you can never be sure of unless you’ve actually had to make the decision involving your own family.

          • David Anthony

            I completely agree with Kel. She was trying to protect her son from the trauma of finding out his father was in the meth business, her daughter the injustice of having no father figure as she grew up (and knowing her actual father is so amoral) and to a lesser extent, Hank from the utter humiliation and the probable loss of his job. Whether or not this was the right decision is debatable, but her nevertheless it is definitely understandable. She is in too deep now and she can’t get out as she is also culpable. Why she isn’t prepared to go to the police and face jail time when she is prepared to attempt suicide is beyond me though (other than from the view that that would ruin the show!)

          • Kel

            I understand Skyler’s reluctance to inform the authorities, but I feel like all of those points can be debated. So let’s look at those.

            First, her son being devastated. Yes, he would be devastated, but I think he would be mostly upset that his father is in jail, and perhaps humiliated that his father is a criminal. I still believe he would love his father, particularly seeing how Walt started to cook meth to support his family. The fact of the matter is that Walt is a criminal. What’s better? To lie to your son about it and continue an unhappy marriage which will inevitably lead to strain in the home? Or to let him know the truth and then be there for him to help him deal with it?

            Secondly, for the baby, I think it would be unfortunate for the child to grow up without her father, but let’s remember that this is exactly what Skyler intended. So presumably, this wouldn’t affect her decision-making. Even if she was, I’m not sure how much time Walt would get, but with no history of a criminal record, I’m willing to bet he’d be out on good behavior relatively quickly if he plead guilty and pulled out the cancer card (he also has the ever magical Saul by his side as well). Kidding aside, I’d say that realistically he’d only serve a few years in prison at most. That would give him time to reform and obviously once out of jail, making meth would not be a feasible option. That would seem to benefit Holly more than living with a father who attracts potentially dangerous enemies.

            With Hank, it would be sad and embarrassing for him to lose his job in such a manner. But let’s be honest, he’s not doing a very good job of catching Heisenberg, is he? Questions about whether or not Hank deserves to be fired is something that needs to be considered by the people he works with, not Skyler.

            I’m not going to say, “I would have told the police.” Because honestly, I think I would feel much differently about the situation than Skyler, so my actions would be consistent with a much different goal in mind. At any rate, we’re not talking about me, we’re talking about Skyler. So I suppose it’s more appropriate to discuss what I would do if I were Skyler. If she truly wants him out her life as she claims, going to the police would seem like the best available option. The damage it does to her children is far less than the risk she is taking by not informing the police. Surely, she must realize this?

            And as David points out, are we really supposed to believe that she would rather kill herself than go to the police? Seeing how she is willing to consider the extreme alternative of self-murder, the decision to go to the police seems to pale in comparison. If she is concerned for her family and not just herself as she claims, going to the police would cause considerably less damage to her children than her suicide for obvious reasons. I fail to see how her suicide would provide any benefit for her family; it seems more like an escape for herself to me.

            I’m not sure I see Walt desperately trying to force his way back into his family as cold-blooded. I think at that point he was genuinely devastated at the prospect of losing his family, and that was the only way he saw to get them back. What I saw was a desperate man, willing to go to jail in the event that Skyler actually did report him to the police. If he hadn’t been right, things would have gone terribly wrong for him, and he was obviously prepared to take that risk. That’s not to say that he hasn’t done things that are cold-blooded, I just don’t this is one of those instances.

    • Kel

      I also don’t hold suicide against people, I just don’t think it’s a reason to support a character on a TV show. In real life, I think the situation is obviously very sad, but I tend to feel more sorry for people that are living under horrible conditions and continue to live through them (for example, people struggling in third-world countries or in places rampant with civil war and genocide). And I feel worse for the people they left behind than the person committing suicide. Looking at my earlier post, perhaps I was too robust in my language. I don’t think people necessarily deserve to die if they attempt/commit suicide, but it’s hard for me to say that they are just as deserving of sympathy as people who don’t take that route. Perhaps sympathy isn’t the most accurate word, I suppose I feel more admiration for people who struggle to survive in such bad conditions, and I don’t feel any admiration for the people who decide to take their lives.

  • David Anthony

    For some reason, both of your recent comments aren’t showing up for me, even though I got emails about them. I’ll just reply here, if you don’t mind:

    “One caveat about that: that was for medical expenses only; we don’t know that they would have supported his family in general financially. And it became moot once Gretchen said they were cut off.”

    Gretchen and her husband (whose name completely escapes me) made it very clear, if I remember correctly, that they were perfectly willing to pay for everything. They said something along the lines of ‘we believe half the business belongs to you anyway’. They were very good friends and I think they would have happily paid for Walt’s family after he died. From the episode, the impression I got was one of pride. Walt never seriously considered the money in financial terms but just in terms of his ego. And, fundamentally, he would prefer to cook meth and ruin peoples’ lives than to accept money that in many ways was rightfully his anyway,

    “That’s what he said, but given the lavish house he lived in, and the way he went out and got a luxury car with the “inheritance” instead of paying back his taxes, colour me sceptical.”

    Hmm. Yes, this is true. Although Skyler wasn’t aware of this when she started fiddling the books, I don’t think.


    You do make good points. I don’t agree with you that it would be better for Walter Jr’s sake for Walt to go to prison, but that’s just down to opinion. Similarly for the baby, I still don’t think that it’d be better for her for Walt to go to prison either. But the points you raise are good and it’s definitely debatable. We could discuss this for quite a while, but we have to remember the state Skyler was in when she made the decision to not go to the police. She was in deep shock, she was very confused, and emotionally very vulnerable. So again although you raise good points, I don’t think Skyler making a wrong decision could really be held against her character, given the state she was in. Also, there was probably still some love left for Walt there. I am dubious as to whether she really wanted him to go to prison at this stage.

    I don’t think Walt wrestling his way back into the family was cold-blooded. But, given the danger he had been in, it was irresponsible, and it was extremely cruel towards Skyler.

    • David Anthony

      I can now see the comments – odd.

    • Kel

      I understand that Skyler is in shock, but given time to think about it, she still could have informed them at a later time. There wasn’t a time limit or anything. I think she still did love him, so I understand that. For the kids, I really think having Walt there makes their home unsafe (like those creepy cousins who waltzed into their house, that could have been very bad). Harboring all of those lies and getting the family involved in the drug business? I feel like the choice between that and Walt going to prison for a few years… I’m sure someone would have helped Skyler financially. But I suppose Walt would never get another job, so even when he did manage to get out of jail, they’d be screwed. I guess she could have just moved in with Ted (Ew, just kidding). Yeah, that’s a hard call. If she didn’t truly want to ruin Walt’s life (which I suspect she didn’t) I’m not sure what else she could do. Maybe move to another state (seriously, why would you want to live in New Mexico in the first place) and try to start anew? Perhaps Walt wouldn’t have followed her there, because then he’d really have to choose between family or his meth-career. It’d be physically impossible for him to have both, unless he moved his meth-business wherever he went. But I find that highly unlikely. Of course, then we wouldn’t have a show anymore. Or maybe they could all move to Colorado and Walt could sell marijuana (it’s legal now) and the White family gets a happy ending. Ha ha, we should contact Vince Gilligan and let him know that this should be the ending for Breaking Bad. Imagine how people would react. Worst series finale ever?

      • Alan (@SlackerInc)

        Wait, what’s so bad about New Mexico? I’ve only been there once, but it was to Albuquerque, where the show is filmed, and I went there with my wife as a vacation destination. We liked it.

        I have also heard Santa Fe is a really great area, rich in the arts.

        • Kel

          I don’t think it’s a bad place to visit, but I personally would never choose to live there. It might be for some people, just not me. Number one, job availability: I’d have a hard time finding work in my field. Also, it’s a state with higher than average crime rate (it’s notorious for drug and gang crime and drunk drivers), it has a higher poverty rate than normal, and I hear the public education system there leaves much to be desired. While I think the culture in NM is fascinating, it’s not where I’d like to live. Also, the weather? No, thank you. I grew up in western Washington. I actually like the rain and the cool. I appreciate the natural beauty of NM, but I’d miss the green too much. I’ve been to a lot of areas in the US, and my place of preference is not in that region. Also, it’s right next to Texas. Need I say more? NM is more diverse than many places, but still not as diverse as I’m used to. I like living in a place with lots of ethnic diversity. I don’t like really big cities, but that is one urban aspect that I appreciate. I’m not really an art person. I like to paint and draw, and I play the piano, but I’m not someone who makes a point to visit art museums. So that aspect wouldn’t really do a whole lot for me.

          • John

            @Kel Ever heard of Los Alamos?
            “The laboratory is one of the
            largest science and technology institutions in the world. It conducts
            multidisciplinary research in fields such as national security, space
            exploration, renewable energy, medicine, nanotechnology,and

            And as a Texan, I’m glad you don’t live in Texas or next to it either.

  • Jur

    The main reason for me to dislike Skyler is the motivation of her acts. Walt is a criminal, murderous SOB, but in the end he did it all for his family. He knew he would be hurting his wife, but at times he forgets how paranoid she is (i.e. by checking all his calls) and she finds out more than he wants her to. And that’s only because Walt does not want her to know he is making fat stacks of cash for them by producing meth. Skyler, on the other hand, does everything she does for herself. Her judgement is just off. She thinks kicking her husband out without telling anyone why, so Walt Jr. gets mad at her and the whole household is a mess, would be a jolly good idea. She wanted to kick Walt out, because at first she thought he had an affair. That would be reason enough for her to kick him out, it seems. After he told her everything, with the upside being that their family is now LOADED, she goes off and screws her boss. Isn’t that just pure irony right there? No, after all talk about sexism and whatnot, I still want to punch my TV. Not because she is female, but because she is a homewrecker. And I’ll prefer any drug producing murderer who loves his family above all and treats them with love and care over an accounting fraud accomplice who loves to break her family apart as viciously as possible.

    • David Anthony

      If Walt was just doing this for his family, he would have accepted the Grey Matter money and kept his family out of such severe danger. I don’t believe, after the beginning at least where he clearly did, that he made the money for his family. He made it for himself. He made it to feed his own ego.

      Skyler does not do everything she does for herself. She would have reported Walt to the police right from the start, but she didn’t, to protect her son. She got into money laundering in the first place to save Hank’s life. She gave Ted the mone to protect herself, yes, but also to protect her son from having two parents in jail for money laundering and meth distribution. She didn’t let her son have that extremely dangerous car because she was worried for his safety – she did it even though it would ruin her relationship with him even more. Walt however get him the car to win him over. Skyler’s actions are more justifiable, in terms of her family, than Walt’s are, in my opinion.

      • Q

        I don’t think it was solely for the sake of her son. I think it was a combination of that plus the fact that she probably still loved Walt and she didn’t want to face the humiliation like Saul pointed out.

        For Walt, I think we enjoy his bad-assery and revenge of the nerd. He was always pushed around by everyone, even his own students, and now he has power and control. Morality aside, there’s something we admire about him. Walt’s just fun to watch. It’s almost cathartic, because we would never do things like this in real life (at least, I certainly hope not). Villains don’t have to hold back like heroes. It’s fiction. I can root for the villain. I know it won’t turn out well for Walt, but until the show ends, I want to see him kicking butt onscreen as much as possible.

        • Alan (@SlackerInc)

          Can you cite a scene when he was pushed around by his students? I remember it the opposite way, that he was in command of his classroom from the very beginning.

          • Q

            In the first season, I think the first episode, his students clearly didn’t care about his class and they had no respect for him. They made fun of him when they saw him at the car wash. I guess “pushed around” wasn’t the best way to phrase it, it was more like his students showed a blatant disrespect for him even though he seemed to be a good teacher, if not a bit demanding. But that’s what you want from an educator.

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  • H8r

    But she sleeps with Ted AND tells walt to his face as some kind of smug, ‘well there goes 16 years of marriage’ AFTER he explained why and what he did!!! Doing something so hurtful and brushing it off like it meant nothing, Stone Cold Biatch

    • David Anthony

      “as some kind of smug, ‘well there goes 16 years of marriage’

      There was no marriage with which there to ‘go’. The marriage was over ever since Walt directly and continuously lied to her, leaving her fearing for his life (the fugue state etc) and cooked crystal meth for the sake of his own ego (if he was just doing it for his family, he would have accepted the Grey Matter money and kept his family out of danger). She, very rightly so, wanted him out of her house. He completely forced himself back in and imposed himself on her. I understand he wants to see his children, and Skyler went too far in stopping him from seeing them, but that did not give him the right to force himself back to where he was not wanted and completely emotionally blackmail Skyler into keeping quiet.

      • H8r

        The argument isn’t ‘who is the worst’, the argument is about whether or not Skyler is a bitch or not (which she just most definitely is). ‘There was no marriage’…… marriage isn’t just the 2 months surrounding the present time, marriage counts all the way through, so let’s say 15 and a half years. The way she says it and then smiles, euuugh, there’s something about a person doing something really horrible, on purpose, and looking that smug.

        ‘Her house’, why is it her house anyway? Walt paid for that shit, so that very much gives him a right to be there, as well as the legal documents with Walt’s name on it.
        I can happily admit that Walt is a dick, because he acts like a dick. Skyler is a bitch, because she acts like a bitch. They are in fact both bad people

        • Q

          That’s a good point. He’s the one who makes the house payments. So technically, she should have moved out.

  • Ramsey Barnette

    The issue people have is their making a false comparison. I don’t think it’s fair to compare how Walt treats others to his relationship with Skyler. He is nice to her, wants to work through things, and she is emasculating, rude and deceitful towards her. He remains faithful to her, and she goes out with her Boss, Ted, and then gives Ted a bunch of money that Walt earned. She is a textbook Jezebel for this. You can’t cut a man deeper than cheating on him, then taking his money behind his back for your boyfriend who can’t keep his accounts straight. She is the worse person in the context of their relationship. What Walt does to others has NOTHING to do with his relationship with Skyler.

    • Alan (@SlackerInc)

      I don’t really agree with this “Jezebel” business in general, but there’s one specific point I want to rebut: the part about “giving her boyfriend money”. I’ve seen this so often and it strikes me as patently bogus. She did this entirely to protect herself and by extension Walt and the whole family. Once the feds start poking around looking for tax fraud, their money laundering scheme is at risk and that could lead to everything crashing down. The only difference between that and the things Walt has done to try to cover his tracks in the meth business, is that Skyler didn’t try to kill anyone, although once Ted made things difficult she did awesomely scheme with Saul to tighten the screws.

    • David Anthony

      Actually, no, Walt didn’t remain faithful. He came on to that teacher – whose name escapes me – and just failed.

      Also, as was said by Alan, Skyler did that to cover her tracks and keep the police off of her back. She was culpable in it all and it could easily have lead to the discovering of her money laundering.

  • neco

    I always thought SKYLER was so bright and Lovable in the first season, right up until she smoked a pack of cigarettes while pregnant. Thats when I started to lose my sympathy for her. Then the IFT episode sealed the deal on me disliking her character.

    I still feel she is a woman trapped, angry and bitter at the situation and at WALTS actions. I feel as WALT comes back full circle in the story, the role of SKYLER and her attitude and actions will come full circle as well. I wonder if she SURVIVES. Something tells me everyones life is up for grabs in the next 8 episodes including SKYLER and WALT JR.

    I had an idea, i would like to see a story develop maybe showing WALT JR experimenting with BLUE METH with his friends…. See how SKYLER & WALT would reacts to something like that…. All the money will come with a severe price in the END.

  • Chris Maltera

    I don’t understand why it isn’t crystal clear why many people (mostly men) don’t like Skylar. She is extremely bossy, disrespectful (to the point of having sex with another man) and blind to Walt’s world while he never mistreated her once. The only thing he did is lie, but any reasonable person could understand why he did that. He has done bad things to other people but for Skylar and his family he has shown nothing but immense love.

    At the same time Skylar is so self-absorbed she cannot even try to see things from his perspective. No, instead she kicks him out of his own house to live in a lonely apartment while she gets to live in his house with his kids and has sex with someone else. The fact he has to break in in his own house is ridiculous to start with but no, Skylar is shocked when he does that. How could he be so disrespectful to ME?!?!?

    Knowing all this, isn’t it extremely easy to understand why people don’t like her?

    • David

      Bossy? Yes.

      Disrespectful by sleeping with Ted? Don’t agree with you there. She had broken up with him and asked him for a divorce and she had every right to do so; after all, she was living with a drug dealer who had compulsively lied to her for so, so long.

      ” any reasonable person could understand why he did that”

      Nope, I don’t understand. There would be no reason for him to lie if what he was doing wasn’t wrong. A marriage should be about honesty; if he truly believed he was doing the right thing, he would have told Skyler the truth. If he truly cared about what she wanted, he would have talked to her about it instead of going behind her back.

      “or Skylar and his family he has shown nothing but immense love.”

      Again I disagree. Look at how he bought that stupidly dangerous car for his son who barely has poor motor control, for example, and who he previously thought of as a bad driver. But that’s just an aside, the biggest showing of how he did not show ‘immense love’ was putting his family in such massive danger, even after he had become aware of the consequences, and given the perfectly valid alternative of accepting the Grey Matter money. Bottom line is, he chose a life of crime, ruining the lives of so many and endangering the lives of his family, just down to his own pride.

      • B Robert

        She was a selfish bitch and participated in drug side business…and she started an affair with ted before the divorce let alone the fact when couples are in mid divorce they tend to wait till its done.. she banged the guy with the baby there…she embezzled money…shes a liar and cheat and selfish oppurtunist…and walt was worse but stalin was worse than noriega, still doesnt mean noriega was a good guy or good leader…she also was a terse bossy personality and boring and cold long before the decline…

  • Dman

    Disliked her from the moment she said “but Walt the mastercard is the one we DON’T use”
    Think it was like in the first episode or something

  • AJ

    I don’t think she’s generally a bitch, but I don’t understand her train of thought in that she should divorce him immediately with zero discussion. Sure, he’s not a saint (at that point he wasn’t exactly a demon), so he did some illegal things to save his own goddamn life. Why is that so unacceptable that she isn’t even willing to sit down and talk about it with him?

  • Distasy

    I honestly hated Skyler White through seasons 1-3. She was manipulative, funtioned through double standards, was horrifically controlling and was a complete drama queen about seemingly stupid things. I literally hated her guts and grew bored and annoyed when the story lingered too long on her.
    All these feelings changed by late season 3 to 4 when Skyler tried to accept and protect Walt’s lifestyle.

    Walt became more and more monstrously consumed by pride while Skyler’s begins to evaporate which made me feel for her. He has done practically everything that Skyler has done to him in massive horrific spades. In a sick way they are the perfect pair.
    For instance:
    Skyler’s disrespectfulness? Walt sold the van and bought himself a car that their make believe budget could not feasibly afford…and then to throw further salt in the wound and to completely overrule any say Skyler had with the household and with her son, he re-bought the car they had agreed was too much for their budget.
    Skyler’s Infidelity? The whole premise of the show is about Walt living a horrible double life. While an affair was a horrible way for her to get back at Walt, I can’t even be judgmental about it due to Walt’s downward spiral.The fact he also relished in telling her sister that it was because of the affair that caused her mental break down, rather than lay the blame where it belonged (which was on him).
    Skyler’s double standards and manipulative? In comparison to how evil Walt has become, they seem mundane…and typically had a common justification and purpose.
    Most of the stupid crap she has done has revolved around the safety and support of her family which is more than one can say about Walt, who is now too possessed with a god complex to realize how much of a threat he has become to his children.

    After the last season, I don’t know how people still hate her since Walt has been the biggest prick to her and has asked more from her than most wives would accept.

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  • Blah

    I think for the most part what it boils down to…. is each character’s actions ultimately matching up with their core intentions/purpose.

    With Skylar, what exactly is her purpose? Nobody knows… which is why her actions contradict her stated purpose.

    Oh, Walt is cooking meth, he’s bad and so I want him away from me and my family. But my Boss, he’s cooking the books, he’s better than walt and so I’m going to sleep with him to make Walt leave me? Confusion anyone? For all I can tell, Skylar is reactive and has no real purpose other than to make Walt’s life miserable. I guess if she’s doing that, then she’s served her purpose for the story… but in terms of the development of her character, what the hell? Why are there never strong female leads who don’t nag and can grab a bad hand and make shit work.

  • Noneyah

    What a childish interpretation of events. You compare what they did and say that is a flat scale for determining who should be hated more and why. Sorry but life isn’t so black and white which is why ALL of these “skyler isn’t a bitch really” articles I see everywhere are completely ludicrous. LATER ON I am not defending walter AT ALL but seasons 1 and 2 it went like this.

    :Hi, I am walter, my life is shit and I have been screwed by everything now I am dying of cancer and I am willing to throw away my reputation, my friends, my freedom, and my life to provide for my family, even if it makes them hate me.

    Hi, I am skyler, I figured out what my husband is doing and I am going to sleep with another man, cut him off from his kids, threaten to send him to jail, and make his life HORRIBLE in every possible way after he already threw away everything else that had ANY meaning to him for her and them.

    This is what happened. Skyler is a self righteous bitch who was horribly written in the first place, most of what she does is illogical and self contradictory in the first place. When she dies somehow I will be happy, the show will be much better.

  • Dave

    Why is it so difficult to grok that both Skyler and Walt are bitches? At least Walt has a good actor and writing behind him. Skyler has nothing. She’s a one-note selfish bitch. And a complete hyporcite.

    And YES, sleeping with another man or woman is a rather serious indication of being a bitch. Murder is not a personal affront to a spouse. Even though it’s much worse than adultery, it isn’t personal. Skyler isn’t trying to keep her family together in any way. If she had she’d have divorced Walt the second he told her about his business. She didn’t.

    • Gizzy Lerms

      I would divorce a spouse who murdered someone sooner than a spouse who has sex with another person, unless the sex was rape.

      Sex doesn’t end a marriage. Death does. Sex we can work around. Willingness to murder? Nah.

      There’s counselling for adultery. There’s jail for murder.

  • Someone

    Why would all the people who hate skyler tend to have those 3 arguments? It’s stupid, it’s just quite natural I think she’s acting like that after she found out that her husband is a bad person. The thing is, I hate skyler big time, I always being irritated whenever she talks and I feel like want to throw a cup of coffee on her face. But it’s because how her character behaves before she found out about that drug’s stuffs. She’s so self-centered b1atch who doesn’t care if her husband is the one who has cancer, and might’ve undergone a psychological ordeal. I know the reason he acted so strange was because he’s doing something else, but she didn’t know those things. All the information she had was that her husband must’ve feel depressed by all the facts, and instead giving him all support that he need, she nagged and try to take revenge by acting strange too. Even I don’t think marie is bad, and you can see that from how she looked after hank, giving him support. I don’t care if people labeled me as a misogynist or whatever, because I know I’m not, and the only reason I can think of people would say that was because they don’t really have much better thing to say in an argument…
    Smoked while she was pregnant but still acting like she’s angry? That’s typical of a person who doesn’t think people should do differently than what they prefer, and really will do anything to not get wronged.

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  • Yarewe

    “the wives don’t have any compelling core drama of their own.” This may be the case for some TV wives, but is that the case with Skyler? Skyler has had plenty of her own drama, including what does she do after finding out that her husband is a drug lord, and what to do with Ted, who refuses to pay his back taxes to the IRS, even after she donated her own family’s drug money to the cause?

    I suspect that the dislike of Skyler has more to do with her waffling, indecision, criticism of Walt, and small weight problem than it does her “lack of core drama.” The interesting question to ask is would certain fans of the show be nearly so vitriolic and nasty if a secondary character with airtime equal to Skyler’s, a character who waffled, was indecisive, criticized Walt, and had a small weight problem, was male.

  • Yarewe

    Walt is not a “Dick.” Walt is what we call a “Monster.”

  • Yarewe

    Excellent points. She WAS annoying in the first couple of seasons, but when she acquired the car wash and acted like a ditzy-bimbo bookkeeper who knew nothing about accounting during Ted’s IRS audit to protect herself, her family, Ted, and his company, she became at least somewhat interesting. And, later on, she became a far more sympathetic character (at least to me) when we finally realize what an irredeemable monster she has for a husband.

    All the hatred toward her seems fixated on her character as depicted in the first couple of seasons; and, there seems to be many people who forget that Walt rejected his friends’ offer of medical care coverage and employment through Grey Matter because of overweening pride and resentment, even though the offer meant that he could leave meth cooking behind.

    There seems to be no allowance for character development for Skyler, but plenty of rationalizations for Walt’s evil deeds (and, I’m not just talking about his murders and meth cooking — also his manipulative lies to Jesse and to his own family).

  • http://d d

    before even reading your comment I want to point out that, “Mind you, I’m a woman, so let’s dispel any notion that I am sexist in any way” is nonsense, misogyny doesn’t come solely from men.

  • Anonymous

    Truth of the fact is disgust started with skylar in season 1.
    She automatically starts drawing herself further and further from Walter, at the very moment that it “appears” he is hiding something from her.
    Meanwhile, he is struggling with cancer, working two jobs, and the whole time he is thinking about his FAMILIES well-being, not his own. He wasn’t even going to get himself treated at first, he had accepted his own death, doing so to benefit his family.

    Its the fact that Skylar’s automatic instinct has always been to shut out Walter.
    From the very start.

    The author of this article mentions that they were separated when she cheated, but at that time he was actually living back at home (not separated, though she did try to have him removed with the police) and they were not divorced. She was the only one that wanted either a divorce and a separation. Once again, in his ignorance of the situation, her first response was to push Walter away.

    It has nothing to do with her tone of voice, no clue why the author ventured their other than the lack of understanding for the topic.

    Walter actually has a complete turn-around season 3. Starts fixing the home.. Cooking breakfast… is happy. She takes that moment and twists it, purposely, with cheating. Tells him to his face in the middle of him cooking breakfast for the family that he loves.

    The fact is, almost every man would do for his family what Walter did for his.
    Ask any man if he would kill someone to protect his family, and they would tell you they would (unless they are weak and uncaring).
    Morally acceptable? No, but its how almost every man is.
    Our eyes are forward set, and we are still predators protecting ours and our own.

    Walter was the sole financial support for his family throughout the entire show. Sure, skylar took a job season 3. But if you look back at the beginning, Walter was working 2 jobs, and she was doing nothing but being pregnant (which i’m not trying to belittle, its just that normally you should be supportive of the one reason you can feed yourself and your baby every day).

    It sets the tone from the beginning, Walter feels that it is his job to be the provider for the family. Which is also the typical role of a man in a traditional family.

    Walter lost his morals through the trauma he experienced. Watch season 1 ep 1 and 2, and you will see a man rich with morals, that struggled intensely to break himself from those morals to do what he needed to do. Honestly it leaves a feel season 3, that if she had not cheated, he might have snapped back to moral wellbeing. Instead she exacerbated the situation, again and again.

    All he cared about from the start was his family. And she tried her damnedest to take that away from him. Take everything a man cares about away from him, face him with his own death, and moral confusion will happen. (If you pay attention, his doctor asks if he is suffering moral confusion as well, which can be a side effect of medications required during chemo-therapy)

    I would hope that Anna Gunn would understand that we hate her character, and not her. Her weight doesn’t matter, the people commenting on it are aesthetically entranced losers.

    Truth is, the few times she was supportive of him, are in the later seasons, when her own conscience has already broken. Like in the hospital after hanks shooting, when her sister puts blame on Walter. Until that point, she was more supportive of receiving external help than she ever was of Walter. (the people at grey matter, her brother/sister, even walts mother). Somehow she was never willing to support her humble, nobel prize winning husband. Who had already proved to the entire world through his works, that he was superior. She never saw him that way.

    If she had truly recognized the man she married, she would have known his pride from the start, and would have helped drive him towards his own solution (which could have been something better than meth). So instead of being the woman behind the man, she wanted to be the woman behind the charity case. Sad.

    All of the above just makes Skylar look uncaring, unsupportive, ignorant, arrogant, and coupled with her sharp tongue, very much like a b****.

  • Kel

    Vince has given his own reasons for why he thinks fans are so harsh towards Skyler. In the beginning, Walt is someone we identify with. He feels powerless over his own life, then he is suddenly hit with the cancer diagnosis and the likelihood of his imminent death. He’s the underdog, and he’s that part of everyone who wants to give his/her boss a piece of their mind, to say, “screw it,” and do what you want. Skyler stands in direct opposition to him, but the truth is, what he is doing is wrong. But what Walt does feels justified, and we don’t want Skyler raining on his parade of finally being liberated and at the top of what he does. She’s his biggest obstacle, and when we were all on Walt’s side, we resented that because of our empathy for him. Going in, Walt thought naively that he could just mind his own business, make a chemical product, then back out once he had the money. He didn’t want to accept money because he has his pride and the bad blood between he and his former Gray Matter associates.

    Oddly enough, I feel more positively toward Skyler when she is running the money laundering business, and generally using the cunning (watching her pretend she was in labor to escape Zachary’s was hilarious) and putting her mind to a task and being an active participant. But I do feel bad because she didn’t ask for any of this – her husband’s criminal activities. And she’s stuck in a corner. The way her son thinks her behavior towards Walt is for nothing, when really she has a legitimate reason. But she can hardly tell her son, “It’s because your father is making meth!” I feel the worst for her when (SPOILER ALERT for Season 5 Part 2) Marie slaps her and is basically cutting off their sisterly bond. But she stands by her husband (also, she’s not innocent in all of this, but I bet if she gave him up she’d probably receive minimal punishment). Through it all, a part of her still loves Walt. I think that is ultimately why she didn’t turn him in, leave altogether and take the kids with her, or admit anything to Hank or Marie. I think most of the fans that heartily disliked her before, appreciate her now in the second half of the last season, as she stood by her husband’s side and decided not to give him up. She’s certainly made mistakes (nothing like Walt’s) and sometimes (in the beginning) her decisions could be a bit baffling, whereas all of Walt’s decisions (as terrible as they are) have an intended purpose and they are human decisions.

    On another topic, I am interested to know how many people still root for Walt? It seems to be pretty 50:50. I still do. I wouldn’t in real life, but in fiction… he’s the underdog and I ultimately want him to prevail. The only time I’m really uncomfortable is when he blatantly lies to Jesse’s face. What happened to Gale was bad, and Mike (mostly because I liked the character). Jane, Brock… those were bad, but for some reason I didn’t find those events as significant as others. I think most of us can agree that killing Gus, Krazy-8 and Jesse’s would-be murderers was understandable. The jail hits… yeah, they would have rolled on him.

  • Kel

    Perhaps you are right, but I think it would be weird for me to be a misogynist when I am a woman and don’t want to be viewed a certain way simply because I am female. I mean, how does that even make sense? I think women can look down on other types of women (working woman vs. stay-at-home mom type thing) but not women in general. How does that even work unless you detest yourself? Anyways, my point being, that I’m not simply someone who hates Skyler because “she’s a bitch”. Most of these comments come from men. I actually don’t hate Skyler at all. But there were definitely times in the series where I was put off by her and her actions. A lot of people automatically assume you are a misogynist if you insult wives on TV, and I think that is an ignorant position to take (unless they are using blatant language against them). There are legitimate reasons why some fans don’t like Skyler. I think the hate-fest she’s received from many fans is completely unwarranted, though.

  • Kel

    I was never sure about this either. I mean, she didn’t even give him a chance to explain himself. Walt never intended to kill anyone, he naively assumed that he would get in and get out. Mind his own business, produce a chemically sound product, then take his money and run. He got in over his head, he had to adapt to survive. His pride is what brings him down and leads him to every bad decision he made. His death sentence caused him not to care anymore. Anyways, my point being that at that time, all of the viewers sympathized with Walt, and Skyler didn’t. This is why I believe fans don’t like her in general.

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  • HR Holmer

    Just watched the whole series on Netflix (and the last few episodes on Amazon). So, for me, the change of seasons between Size 10 Anna and Size 18 Anna happened a few minutes apart. Interestingly, on the show timeline, similarly, only a few minutes (hours at most) had supposedly elapsed — she was supposed to be in the same scene! So, when I saw her, it was FRIGHTENING. More importantly, it was highly damaging to the believability of series. We know Skyler didn’t just pop around the corner to a doughnut shop to gain 50+ pounds, and stop off in the bathroom after returning to quickly snip off 10-inches of her hair. It was clearly a massive weight-gain: she’s tall, and it takes a LOT of weight to put on 8 sizes to an already heavy-in-the-hip frame. And the neck-length cut is what every woman gets on the (bad) advice of her white-trash hairdresser in the wake of massive weight-gain, since “that will make you look thinner”. It was a terrible disconnect that did the series no favors. Both the weight and the hair were distracting. Anna Gunn is supposedly a PROFESSIONAL, and should have known that it was her WELL-PAID JOB to stay in exactly the same shape, and have exactly the same length hair when a series resumes with her just a few minutes later than where it left off the prior season. Acting requires SELF-CONTROL, and Anna Gunn has NONE. I don’t ever see her finding work in a series again. I would NEVER CAST HER for anything that took longer than a few weeks to film in total. Not even sure I’d trust her for that. GET IT TOGETHER, Anna.

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  • Yup

    Breaking Bad and Walking Dead have ZERO compelling female screenplay. They are hated because they are only used as naive blame spreading pawns, that cause the men stress by the female staple of nagging them.

    They are Peggy Bundy’s in a drama, nothing more.

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  • Jaybird

    What’s bothered me a lot about the whole Skyler thing is she overlooks the illegal activity the guy she’s working for is doing and even told him how she could sign off on his books. Then she asks him why he’s doing it. I felt like she never gave Walt a chance to explain his actions or even considered what he did in seasons 1 & 2 he did for their family. I’m only on season 3 and I’m binge watching it. I love the show and its really good but I’ve never cared much for Skyler from the start. I know Walt has done a lot of things wrong but she was interested in her boss before she found out Walt was lying to her. As far a people being good or bad I feel everyone has light and dark within them. I’m only on season 3 so I might change my opinion once I finish it but for now not really loving the Skyler character that much.

  • Narshalla

    The comments . . . they are beautiful!

    I mean, the article specifically says that Skylar gets a disproportionate criticism for regular human flaws while Walt is automatically forgiven for really bad things like, I don’t know, murder?

    And the comments (not all of them but many of them) go on to explain why murder is forgivable and nagging is not!

    Congratulations to everyone who disagreed with the article! You proved the author’s point!

  • Kelly Harris

    Skyler hides the behind her useless soiled kids as an excuse to be an absolutely unforgivable BITCH FROM HELL.

  • nhr215

    She is the poster-child for passive-agressive personality, that is why she is disliked. 90% of her screen time is her giving Walter the silent treatment combined with bitchy staredowns with Walt using her Manson Lamps (to borrow a Tony Soprano phrase).

    Of course 90% of the drama of the show would disappear if she spoke directly and honestly with Walt from the beginning. Instead we have his non-stop bullshitting and her non-stop silent-treament passive-agressive crap. I don’t know which is more irritating frankly, I guess I prefer Walt because his BS is so transparent.