Stop hating Skyler White

31 Jul

WARNING: Vague spoilers through the most recent episode of Breaking Bad. Read at your own discretion.

Skyler is my favorite character on Breaking Bad. Seriously. This isn’t a new development: I’ve loved her from the beginning. But over the course of the past three seasons, she’s become the most sympathetic character. In my mind, she’s our point of identification, the sane person caught in the middle of Walt’s bullshit, trying to keep her head above water and protect her family. Skyler gets shit on the most and offends the least. She’s the victim in all of this.

These are my opinions, and I understand they’re contentious. You don’t have to love Skyler the way I do, of course, but hating her seems unjustified. Again, these things are subjective: I can’t help if there’s just something about Anna Gunn that rubs you the wrong way. But what has the character of Skyler really done to earn your hatred? How can you dismiss her as the show’s weakest link? (Especially when that position so clearly belongs to poor Walt Jr.)

Here is what bothers me about the Skyler hate: it’s the same misplaced hostility faced by countless TV wives in the past. And while you certainly can dislike a female character without being a misogynist, so much of the vitriol against Skyler uses the gendered language you might expect: She’s a bitch, she’s a cunt, she’s the shrew wife.

What it comes down to is that Skyler, the ol’ ball and chain, is a thorn in Walt’s side. She’s not submissive or even faithful. She questions his behavior and she challenges his plans. And somehow, that makes her a bitch.

Here’s what all of Skyler’s critics seem to forget — Walt is a fucking terrible person. Whatever noble causes he once had are gone. He’s a power-hungry egomaniac and a danger to those around him. I’m not saying I don’t enjoy Walt as a character, but I can’t fathom siding with him. Meth aside, this is a man who let his friend’s girlfriend choke to death on her own vomit, who poisoned a child just to spur his plan into action. Hating Skyler for the way she responds to Walt is absurd: she’s reacting out of fear and a desire to protect her loved ones.

But she’s a pain in the ass to our main character, and that makes it easy to dismiss her as a “bitch.” We see this often in sitcoms: the obnoxious manchild of a leading man gets a free pass on being an imbecile, while his wife — the one who calls him on his bad behavior — is a nag. In some ways, Malcolm in the Middle is a good example of this, and not only because of the Bryan Cranston connection. It’s not quite the same in that Lois is admittedly a nutball (this being the heightened reality of a sitcom), but I still think she is unfairly maligned. Look at her husband and her asshole kids — is it really any wonder she spent so much of the series losing her shit?

Skyler isn’t without fault: she’s been put into a situation that has forced her to do some terrible things. Which is not to say she’s justified, but rather that her mistakes are a product of her circumstance. There was a time when I would say the same about Walt, but it’s clear he’s no longer doing this for anyone but himself. Skyler’s transition from ignorant wife to scheming accomplice is about protecting her son, her baby, and herself. She’s not mad with power or rolling around in piles of meth money. She’s simply the only one holding it all together.

I’ve posed this question on Twitter and on Facebook, and now I ask it here: Why do you hate Skyler? Of all the characters, she really does strike me as the most blameless. Whether or not she’s a saint, she’s about the furthest thing from a villain. And it’s silly for me to get so worked up, but so much of the response I’ve seen does tend to stem from this anti-feminist conception of a “good wife,” which Skyler isn’t. She’s a bitch because she’s difficult. I can’t accept that.

There’s no denying that, at her most confrontational, Skyler makes things harder for Walt — but can you really argue that he doesn’t deserve it?

75 Responses to “Stop hating Skyler White”

  1. Alex Watkins July 31, 2012 at 9:25 pm #

    I hated Skyler season 1, I admit it. Her husband is dying of cancer, okay so he’s being a bit secretive, so you stop talking to him? It was an overreaction (based on what she knew). Walt was still a good guy and she was awful to him, I felt. My opinion has radically changed as Walt has descended and Skyler has shown herself to be pretty smart. Her attention to their story is something that Walt never cared about (thus spawning all the problems with his wife in the first place), but this is just the thing that will actually save their ass. Also telling someone they can never see their child again, you just don’t do that unless they are a sexual predator or a murderer (and she once again didn’t know that he was).

    • nmitchell076 August 6, 2012 at 10:55 pm #

      I dislike Skyler because of her treatment of Walt in the first season. Walt began as a weak-willed character, unable to do or say pretty much anything without Skyler’s approval (seen particularly in the “pillow talk” intervention scene). She was like a current that swept Walt away, taking him in whatever direction she deemed fit; considering only what she felt Walt wanted, not actually taking the time to find out what he might really want.

      I see Walt’s actions throughout the series as a direct and violent reaction to the control exerted upon him by the external world: represented in person-form, I feel, by Skyler. Of course, we learn that Walt is a man that is dangerous if left uncontrolled (perhaps we all are), however if Skyler had given him some control in the years preceding the show’s start point (or encouraged Walt to take some control, since he probably wouldn’t have assumed control on his own before the Cancer set in), then perhaps his Übermensch-esque spiral would never have taken place.

      Skyler was a “bitch” because she refused to let Walt be himself in the show’s beginning, which I see as a major Catalyst leading to Walt’s power-craze. However, once Walt tipped over the edge and revealed his dark side, I do think Skyler was (mostly) justified for her actions.

  2. Scott Peter August 7, 2012 at 2:24 am #

    I think you and other bloggers have hit the nail on the head. Objectively, she’s understandable, reacting to the atrocious and dangerous actions of her husband. Dramatically, however, she’s insufferable. We know that Walt is bad, but that’s the fun of the show. We want to see him succeed in his meth enterprise, enjoy the satisfaction of his consquests, enjoy his new car. He’s the man of action — good or bad. Skyler is the woman of reaction.

    When she was active, she was much more likable: assisting Walt in money laundering, inventing the gambling story, helping Hank’s recovery. In season 5, though, she’s nothing but a buzz-kill, a passive zombie whining and standing in the way. I understand the horror the characters is facing. But the way she’s dealing with it is really unattractive to watch.

  3. Jimmy August 9, 2012 at 2:22 am #

    My biggest problem is that she straight up told Walt that she “fucked Ted”. The person’s past is irrelevant- there is nothing about that is likeable.

    • Sarishah August 18, 2013 at 5:58 am #

      She was estranged from Walt and wanted a divorce. She had every right to sleep with Ted.

      • Philbo April 8, 2014 at 10:52 am #

        No she didnt…. They weren’t divorced, Walt was still living in the house, Walt had shown her everything he had made for the family and explained everything… She deliberately went out of her way to fuck Ted out of spite… Walt didn’t deserve that…
        Skyler kept trying to make Walt leave even though she did nothing to make anything for the family… SHE should have moved out…

  4. I called Saul August 10, 2012 at 2:53 pm #

    I’m sure its not entirely rational but my dislike of Skyler as a character is due to her inconsistency.

    One minute she is furious at Walt for disappearing for long lengths of time, then the next she is doing the exact same thing to him in revenge. She kicks him out over his lies and his crimes but then commits a few of her own and lies about them.

    To me the problem in their relationship started not because Walt’s wrongdoing, but more because of how those crimes affected his personality. When she held all the power in the relationship she seemed happy but every time Walt attempted to gain any control over things, she took action to stop him. (ex, Wanting to avoid treatment, not wanting to accept charity, even the way in which he would launder his money) It seems this season she is resigned to the fact that she has lost all control in the relationship and she’s practically catatonic. Its almost a 100% flip from where they started in episode 1.

    I really don’t think there is a strong reason to like either character but the reason I have more sympathy for Walt is that despite his actions being more heinous, none have been done to directly hurt her. She has cheated on him out of spite, stolen money from him to give to the man she cheated with, attempted on multiple occasions to keep him from seeing his children, and has threatened to have him arrested multiple times as well.

    As far as I’m concerned they deserve each other.

    • Kel November 22, 2012 at 2:22 pm #

      Yes. Her inconsistency and her hypocrisy. I feel like at least Walt’s actions, while not justifiable, are understandable for the most part. He also doesn’t hide from the fact that he’s the bad guy. She still has this holier than thou attitude that is hard to swallow. I sympathize with her some of the time, but even though Walt has done terrible things, I find it much easier to root for him. He seems to struggle through his moral dilemma. He did things with good intentions to begin with. Skyler, she had no good intentions when she cheated on Walt (with a man who was also a criminal. Hypocritical much?). It was purely out of spite and to hurt him. Keeping her kids from Walt? Unnecessary and unfair to the kids. I totally agree with you. Walt at least has never tried to hurt his family. Even when he let Jane die, I do think a lot of that had to do with his (though he won’t admit it) concern for Jesse. Skyler gets angry with Walt for lying, but she does the same thing. She also put her baby at risk when she smoked. Walt never did anything like that. Instead of being honest and confronting him directly, she went behind his back and got his phone records or even went to find Jesse. Really? Instead of telling him to stop selling Walt meth, why didn’t she just tell her husband she wants him to stop? I don’t know. It’s not like I really hate Skyler, but I find myself more on Walt’s side than hers when they clash.

    • David November 25, 2013 at 5:07 am #

      None of the actions you listed about Skyler were done to hurt Walt. She never cheated on him. She slept with Ted after they were broken up and she had asked for a divorce, because he forced himself back into the house and refused to leave despite everything he had put her through. She didn’t just give Ted the money for the hell of it. She gave Ted the money because of his fraud, that could easily trace back to her and Walt. She was absolutely right to try and keep her children away from Walt. No sane person would want their children around a drug dealer. She was also absolutely right to have threatened arrest and the only reason why she didn’t is because she cared too much about her children to see their father go to jail. Really, despite Walt’s delusions throughout the show that he did this all for his family, which even he admits was false at the end, Skyler is the real person who mainly acted for their family (with a few completely selfish acts like smoking while pregnant).

      • Philbo April 8, 2014 at 10:55 am #

        They weren’t legally separated though… The police even asked her when she phoned them to have him taken out of his own house and arrested for breaking and entering if they were divorced or legally separated and they weren’t… She didn’t have a leg to stand on… She should have just done as she was told and rolled over… Walt had already shown her everything he had made for the family… but that wasn’t good enough for Skyler…

  5. mhohmann August 26, 2012 at 6:16 pm #

    I understand your rationale about Skyler but disagree wholeheartledy. First and foremost, she is a hypocrite. Everything she hated about Walt was attractive or perhaps just ignored with Ted. Walt was seriously trying to provide for his family once he found out about the cancer and there was nothing about that Skyler would accept. Honestly, the show would be better with her dead just like Rita in Dexter.

    • Sarishah August 18, 2013 at 6:01 am #

      If Walt was really trying to help his family, he would have accepted the money from his friends – which is what he told Skyler he did. To lie about something like that is HUGE. Walt put his ego before his family.

  6. Conner August 28, 2012 at 11:41 am #

    Skyler drives me CRAZY because she flip-flops all the time. First, she asks to many questions and then wants to get into the business with Walt, then later she says “I’m your hostage… Waaaa waaaaa waaaa.” THAT’S YOUR OWN FAULT! She should just listen to Walt when he says not to worry.

    • Sarishah August 18, 2013 at 6:02 am #

      Did you forget the part when those guys showed up at their house and would have likely killed whoever they found inside? Or, how about when Walt tells Jesse that he’s innocent of poisoning Brock or killing Mike? NO ONE should listen to Walt.

    • David November 25, 2013 at 5:09 am #

      Yeah, look how leaving Walt to handle things turned out. It’s ridiculous how Walt got himself into so much shit, and yet afterwards, every time, the Skyler haters would think she was irrational for worrying. And every time she was proved right, again, for worrying.

  7. darragh carey August 31, 2012 at 7:43 am #

    fuck you i will hate her all i like she is a whore.

    • Rebecca August 28, 2013 at 8:42 pm #

      You are an idiot and a moron. It’s dick-less assholes like you who ruin open communication, and destroy the entertainment aspect of the show by being creepy, stalker-ish bullies. Go back to your cave, you’re right, women hate you!

  8. Biilboo September 3, 2012 at 4:17 pm #

    Honestly I just can’t stand her “me me me and I and more me and did I mention ME” thing. Seriously, how self absorbed can one get? She is such a hypocrite and she treats people like tools. I’m saying this based on her personality and the way she generally acts towards people, not on what she does in the business. I find Skyler to be a terribly unlikable person on her own, so no what Walt does is his deal there is no need to compare. And that has absolutely nothing to do with feminism or about being a villain but about a repulsive character and just that.

    • David November 25, 2013 at 5:10 am #

      Skyler’s actions throughout the series were far more about the family than Walt’s were. She was even willing to destroy her relationship with her son, looking like the ‘bitch’, just so that he wouldn’t have to see his father go to jail.

  9. mrs September 18, 2012 at 3:41 am #

    I like every single character on the show (except Jr…ZZZZ). I like Skyler. In fact I agree with every point you’ve made. I was shocked to read people hated her. Yes, she can be a bit moralistic, esp in the first season, she was holier-than-thou, but I like the way her character has developed. It’s authentic. I find it so incredibly dumb that people don’t like her because she “fucked Ted.” Seriously? How Puritanical are you people? If I’m waiting for anyone to die on the show, it’s Walt.

    • aleixen October 24, 2012 at 11:42 am #

      I supposed, people doesnt like her because he did not understand why walt was an artist XD

    • Mike August 23, 2013 at 5:58 am #

      It isnt that she “fucked Ted”, the act. Its that she was not loyal to her husband, and then was intentionally cruel in revealing what a whore she was. I always find it amusing when this type of behavior is justified; one person does something “wrong” and then its “understandable” for the other party to be completely disloyal? Its got nothing to do with fucking, but the damage that revelation does to the other party when INTENTIONALLY revealed, for spite.

      • David November 25, 2013 at 5:12 am #

        Walt was the one that broke the ‘loyalty’ by routinely lying to Skyler over such massive things for months. They weren’t even together anymore when Skyler slept with Ted. Just because Walt refused to sign the divorce papers as Skyler asked doesn’t mean they were still together.

  10. Yoyo October 16, 2012 at 4:35 am #

    It’s simple. The writers have nailed this female character behavior. When she had the power over the relationship she was happy. Walt’s life was not what he wanted, he was stuck in a rut, dying….. but she was happy. When all was not what she thought (in her control) she behaved like a child acting on pure emotion and tried regain power “I fucked Ted”. When Walt didn’t allow her to regain the power and she realized the positon the early lack of support and poor decision making put her in she realised she fucked up…..and Walt wasnt going to let her off the hook. She played victim and sent the kids off as her only point of control. She’s an idiot who was focused on herself the whole time and deserves to be in the position she put herself in. Based on what you wrote I wouldn’t expect you’d be able to see or acknowledge any of the above.

    • Sarishah August 18, 2013 at 6:06 am #

      You do realize that this contradicts everything Vince Gilligan has said about her in interviews, don’t you? Hell, he’s called her ‘Mother Teresa’ in comparison to Walt. So, no, you do not have the writers’ intentions correct at all. She sent her kids off for their own protection.

  11. Ghostofoz October 20, 2012 at 10:34 pm #

    1. People dislike her because she is manipulative, self-obsessed control freak. And not in the good way, but in a boring, spoiled, repetitive and irritating way. When she starts loosing control over her’s previously timid and obedient looser of a husband who dared to grow a pair, she:
    1. Tries passive-aggressive torture by constant sulking
    2. Plays a hot-shot accountant and seduces her boss, another timid man, to provide for her when her husband is dead, than uses it as a weapon against Walt to prove that she is more capable than him.
    3. Tries to be better than Walt in the “being bad” dept. and uses her lies and manipulation skills to get what she want from people. Trying to run his business, showing poor Walt his place. To her, he will always be an incompetent looser.
    4. Tries passive-aggressive torture by constant sulking, this time torturing the kids as well.

    • honeybee April 15, 2013 at 11:34 pm #

      you nailed Skylar and why she is so supremely unlikeable. She’s hypocritical, judgmental, controlling, manipulative, narcissistic, rigid, selfish, and on and on ad nauseum. In a show full of self absorbed, morally confused, blaming, childish and unkind characters, Skylar wins first prize primarily for her hypocrisy and constant moralizing about others’ sins combined with her total lack of self awareness. I had to stop watching to post this just because she is so despicable and irritating!

    • Sarishah August 18, 2013 at 6:08 am #

      “Plays a hot-shot accountant and seduces her boss, another timid man, to provide for her when her husband is dead, than uses it as a weapon against Walt to prove that she is more capable than him.”

      God, this is completely and objectively false.

      • David November 25, 2013 at 5:13 am #

        I know right? It’s incredible how much they twist what actually happened in the show to fit their anti-Skyler biases.

  12. manuel October 22, 2012 at 4:52 am #

    well i am not even going to read your stupid reasons, I only say that when you love a persona in other words your husband, okay at first you get angry and disagree with him about selling drugs, but when you love a person you do not fuck your boss and you do not wait to cancer to come for walt’s dead, seriously that is why she is a bitch, because she is his wife and instead of being a support she is another type of cancer to walt

    • A November 6, 2012 at 10:25 am #

      I love how you didn’t even read the post, and then go on to prove exactly what the original article was saying. You hate her because she is not a “submissive, faithful” housewife to poor, victimized Walt. She should just shut up and let Walt do whatever he wants, right? Her opinions and feelings of safety don’t matter whatsoever. Wow.

      • Blueguy April 24, 2013 at 4:15 pm #

        lol what a stupid reply! It has ZERO to do with her gender or role in the relationship as a ‘submissive’ or whatever the fuck. Skyler fucks her boss out of spite, when she REALLY had no reason to take things that far, and then rubs it in his face. How do you NOT see that she’s a bitch? Gender has NOTHING to do with it. If a husband did that to his wife, I’d claim he was an asshole! Seriously, you people have to stop making excuses for bad behavior from women just because they are female. Amazing how distorted peoples moral systems are when it’s really not supposed to be THAT complex. Stop making it about the damn gender!

      • MASA November 10, 2013 at 12:18 pm #

        Skyler, please, use your real name

    • Sarishah August 18, 2013 at 6:10 am #

      She was estranged from Walt when she slept with Ted and wanted a divorce.

  13. shlomo October 26, 2012 at 11:18 pm #

    The author confuses disliking Skyler with some kind of implied defense of Walt. This is absurd. Walt’s character is independent of Skyler. They are two independent adult human beings. Why does disliking Skyler imply a defense of Walt? I could rightly despise them both for different reasons.

    Personally what rubs me the wrong way about Skyler is that she comes across as a very selfish person – and that has nothing to do with Walt’s lies. In fact I think using Walt’s character to ‘defend’ Skyler is a way to apologize for her character flaws, and they are abundant. From the beginning, far before Walt’s descent into crime, she appears controlling and distrustful. She would make a good SS interrogator. An example of her selfishness is her insistence on Walt’s course of chemotherapy, against his own judgement of the facts, which are considerably more reasoned and informed than hers I might add. It is Walt that will have to suffer the physical consequences of the difficult treatment that could render him violently ill with statistically insignificant chances of life extension. This should be Walt’s decision and she shows zero compassion in her response. Another example is her treatment of her sister and her problem with theft. She is quick to judge and to control. She silences her own sister when she is trying to reach out to her.

    The list goes on and on. I must admit that I find the scenes with her to be tedious. While Walt may have descended into moral chaos and become capable of intensely evil acts, the show IS ultimately about that transition and the forces at play in society today that would cause an admirable and, in fact highly talented human being to step by step fall into the abyss.Walt is dynamic and fascinating. He is the reason the show is fascinating. Skyler is a static annoyance.

  14. mortadella November 15, 2012 at 9:12 am #

    I’m amazed that Skyler’s affair is what people can’t forgive. Seriously, people can’t resist a good slut-shaming, I suppose. And saying someone is annoying over and over again isn’t critical analysis, sorry. Someone up thread called her a whore, someone else commented that, like all women, she lost her shit because she lost her upper hand in the relationship. No, that’s not gendered at all. Pffft.
    He admits to making meth and killing people then tells her, in a scary/throaty voice, “I’m not on the edge, I AM the edge.” Actually, the only sane response to that is peeing your pants. Esssh.

    • dood November 22, 2012 at 9:17 am #

      He is also the danger. He admits it.
      Ahem.

    • RP November 27, 2012 at 7:33 am #

      It’s not to so much slut shaming as it is, adulterous shaming. She had the affair to deliberately hurt walt by attacking the very thing she knows he treasures the most. His family. At this point all she knows is that her terminally ill husband has put himself in extreme danger so that she and her children will not be left with nothing when he dies.

      • Sarishah August 18, 2013 at 6:14 am #

        She wanted a divorce from Walt, so I don’t really see the issue with her sleeping with Ted.

    • a20336845 September 21, 2013 at 1:37 am #

      A voice of sanity.

      I might add that she “cheated” on Walt (as opposed to flirting) after she had found out about the meth cooking, demanded a divorce and Walt refused to acknowledge it or to move out. He humiliated her in front of the police, knowing she wouldn’t tell them what he had really done (since she too wanted to protect the kids, and she couldn’t tell the police without alerting Walter Jr. what was going on, or forfeiting their home and all their assets).

      Interesting how people forget that.

      Just as he did with Saul in season 5 when Saul tried to quit, he told her “we’re done when I say we’re done.” This is a classic abuser tactic — refusing to let the woman end the relationship.

      But no, Breaking Bad’s fans agree: a relationship is only over when the man says it’s over, and a woman who acts like the relationship can be over on her say-so is a nasty adulteress, hurting people for no reason.

  15. bb fan November 22, 2012 at 11:41 am #

    I do hate “Skankler”, and as most people notice I think she’s a hyprocite, she’s not a victim, she’s in that situation because she wants to be in it, let’s say she wants to protect her family, I can think of a thousand ways to protect her family that don’t involve being Walt’s accomplice. By the way, kudos to Anna Gunn, she’s an excellent actress.

    • Sarishah August 18, 2013 at 6:15 am #

      I could think of a thousand ways to protect one’s family that don’t involve making meth…

  16. JustMe December 12, 2012 at 4:07 pm #

    I didn’t like her from the beginning, and I just started watching it a month ago (borrowing the first 4 seasons from our son), way before he ever even started cooking. Because she’s humorless and controlling. And again, I felt this way watching the first couple of episodes. Uncle can’t tell a slightly off color joke in front of her 15 year old son. Son can’t mention Wonderbra at the breakfast table. For god’s sake, he’s in high school, you think he hasn’t heard much worse in the hall? She smiles slightly but I don’t think I have seen her laugh once, truly laugh. It’s not so much that she tried to control Walt’s treatment (because most spouses make a knee-jerk emotional reaction up on hearing that news) but that she won’t LISTEN to him. And she continues to not listen to him. However, Walt has not been a good husband. The lies, the continual and frequent absences, the passive approach to letting her make all the decisions for him and them, which I suspect has been for the duration of the marriage. I think he’s probably always been slightly selfish, to wit, not telling her about his diagnois.

  17. Chris Maltera December 29, 2012 at 1:58 pm #

    I don’t understand why it isn’t crystal clear why many people (mostly men) don’t like Skyler. 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 Skyler 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, Skyler 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?

    • Sarishah August 18, 2013 at 6:17 am #

      Uh, Walt is involved with dangerous men who could kill his family. Walt living with his family puts them in danger.

    • a20336845 September 21, 2013 at 1:38 am #

      You’re a misogynist. Straight up.

  18. joebama January 13, 2013 at 6:23 pm #

    Skyler White has completely ruined the plot progression outside of the meth dealings. Usually the show is split up between family matter and Walt’s meth business. Usually they are intertwined, but each story has developed it’s own complex plot. Now Skyler has completely stopped the family plot progression. Her reason is WE ARE IN DANGER! She doesn’t know from who or what or why or how they are in danger. They are just in danger. I didn’t Skyler White had a sixth sense, but in the show the only things she knows are that ‘Walt is the DANGER!’, Gustavo Fring was killed in a bombing that has no evidence whatsoever of being connected to Walt, and that Walt deals meth. Skyler is just being a nuisance flat out, she actually hasn’t done anything meaningful for like 10 episodes. Now Walt is being a dbag and not telling Skyler what is going on exactly, and Walts vagueness only serves to fuel the fires of Skyler’s horrible actions, but this notion that Skyler has of Walt being dangerous to the family is absurd. Above all things Walter White is a family man and every person who has seen an episode Breaking Bad knows that. Obviously we have seen a darker side of Walter White emerge (a reflection of Gus almost), but that doesn’t escape the fact of him caring and loving for his family Being that he would never ever put his family in harms way. Last season proved that when he stayed away from Hank’s house and brought the real danger away from his family. All in all Skyler White needs to gtfo or get her shit together, but AMC was really clever with their mid – season finale in that Hank figured out who ‘Heisenberg’ is. Can’t wait for this summer!

  19. Breaking Cat February 1, 2013 at 1:53 pm #

    Because smoking cigarettes in the house is “doing what’s best for her family”…

  20. Breaking Cat February 1, 2013 at 1:56 pm #

    How To Not Get Killed By Gus Fring:
    Option A) Buy New Secret Life
    Option B) Kill Gus Fring

    Walt: Honey, I chose Option A. Where’s my money at?
    Skyler: I gave it to Ted.
    Walt: Option B it is, then.
    **Walt kills Gus**
    Walt: We’re safe now.
    Skyler: You are dangerous. We are in danger. I’m scared of you. You should’ve chosen Option A.

    • David February 3, 2013 at 12:55 pm #

      Skyler never says that he should have chosen option A. She says she is scared of the murderous ‘one who knocks’ who, by season 5, has become an amoral egomaniac. You’d have to be insane to not be scared of Walt by season 5.

    • Oliver May 31, 2013 at 3:31 pm #

      Option C) Turn himself into the DEA and rat out Gus

  21. David February 3, 2013 at 12:26 pm #

    So many of the reasons for hating Skyler seem completely unjustified to me. I’ll list my problems with the ones I constantly see repeated here:

    1) “Skyler’s actions were done out of spite to hurt Walt. Walt did not intend to her Skyler or his family”

    Skyler sleeping with Ted was done to hurt Walt, yes. It was also done to get a drug dealer out of her house. All of her other actions have been in the interest of her family, other than her smoking while pregnant. She was completely, completely justified to try to get Walt away from his kids. Did you guys even watch series 3 and 4? Walt’s family was in frequent danger, by the axe murderer brothers, from Gus and from the possible ramifications of the DEA catching Walt. Given these events, Skyler was completely right to try to protect her children.

    2) “Walt did everything for the right reasons, Skyler did everything for the wrong reasons”

    Let’s examine Walt’s meth cooking. Let’s talk about his actions even before Grey Matter. He gets into the meth business even though he knows that drug dealing is so dangerous, even though he knows that getting caught would ruin Hank’s career, even though he knows meth cooking will ruin the lives of thousands. He cooks meth for his family, but there are so many ramifications from the start, it is already not justifiable in my mind. I can understand why you could disagree here. What I can’t understand is why ANYONE could POSSIBLY still argue that Walt cooks meth for his family, that he puts his family before himself, etc etc etc, after he rejects the Grey Matter money. The Grey Matter money was a way for Walt to provide for his family without any of the ramifications explored above. And it is fairly his money anyway. But no, for his pride, and just for his pride, he rejects the money and continues to cook meth. The danger this will put his family in, the fact that it will ruin Hank’s career, that fact that he will be destroying the lives of thousands, doesn’t factor in to his equation at all. Because although he cares about his family, he cares about his pride more. There, right there, Skyler’s disdain towards Walt is already justifiable.

    Walt getting back into the meth business in season 3 is completely, completely unjustified. As Walt had already said, he had more money than he could ever spend. He had clearly surpassed the 737,000 he needed to support his family. Why did he go back into the business? Because Gus appealed to his ego. Notice how Gus’s speech to Walt higlights the word ‘man’ so much? This is clearly very deliberate; Gus knows that Walt cooks meth for his pride. His family is already provided for.

    Skyler sleeping with Ted was done to get Walt out of the house. It was cold and cruel and Skyler at her worst, but it is to an extent understandable. And her giving the money to Ted is perfectly understandable too. She was culpable in the tax fraud; if Ted went down, she could go down, and any investigations into the Whites’ financial affairs would inevitably lead to Walt’s meth cooking.

    3) “Skyler is a hypocrite, a control-freak, and a selfish person”.

    I’ll examine ‘hypocrite’ first. There is definitely some hypocrisy in Skyler’s character. She does leave him for a period of time, leaving him worried. This is for a day. She does not pretend she is in a fugue state and leave her in complete panic. It’s not nearly as bad. She does lie to him, but at that point they are no longer together. She should have been upfront about the Ted situation, she was completely wrong to keep it a secret, but again it is nowhere near as bad as Walt’s constant lying to Skyler. Walt lied when they were still in a committed relationship, for one, and his lies went far deeper. And possibly the most frequent ways in which Skyler is called a hypocrite is her sleeping with Ted, a criminal, after leaving Walt for being a criminal. Again, there is some hypocrisy there, but Tax Fraud pales in comparison with Meth Cooking. Apples and oranges.

    Next I’ll examine ‘control freak’. Again, there is some truth in Skyler’s controlling nature, but I feel it is exaggerated. A lot of people talk about the pillow scene as a prime example of Skyler’s controlling nature. I encourage that they watch that scene (and plenty of others) again. Skyler yells over Marie, but she lets Walt speak and say everything she wants. She is far less controlling in this scene than is made out. She lets Walt deal with the money for his treatment as well, as well as just being a good, caring partner, in many scenes throughout the first two seasons. I’d encourage you to watch series 1 and 2 again. She can be a bitch at times, but most people seem to forget the good bits.

    I think the main reasons for Skyler’s selfishness that people cite has already been covered above.

    Is there anything I missed? Anything you strongly disagree with? I’d be interested to see some replies. There’s nothing inherently wrong with people disliking Skyler, I just hate the misogyny and irrational, blind hatred associated with many of the people that hate her. There’s nothing wrong with disliking her if you have good reasons for it. But many people don’t. They just hate her because they think all Breaking Bad is about is Walt becoming a badass, when it is truly about a good man turning bad. By season 5, we shouldn’t still be rooting for Walt. I certainly don’t any more.

    • Haunted Eyeball (@Pennyspy) August 7, 2013 at 5:17 am #

      I love this response from David, someone sane actually understands the characterization of Skyler White. It’s disturbing to me how she’s a focal point for some pent up ‘women should act this way or what’s the point of them?’ rage. Ugh.

      Breaking Bad is sublime, and on rewatching before the last part of Season 5, her motivations (human, occasionally misguided perhaps, but understandable) are very clear and Walt is incredibly uncomfortable to be around.

      Let’s not forget, Walt is a grown man – he is responsible for being a part of their relationship dynamic in Season 1, as much as she took on the role of ‘controller’ to keep the family functioning.

    • Luke August 19, 2013 at 8:12 pm #

      Your comment about Walt cooking meth ruins thousands of lives is wrong. The people taking it are making there own choice.

      • David November 25, 2013 at 5:32 am #

        Just because they’re making their own choice doesn’t mean that Walt isn’t at least partly responsible. He’s exploiting some of the weakest and most vulnerable people in our society. Profiting from ruined lives simply cannot be contorted into a positive, or even neutral, thing.

    • John September 26, 2013 at 6:31 am #

      As I said in my comment below, I don’t understand why people don’t understand that we are SUPPOSED to hate Skyler and that fact makes the character extremely powerful and not weak.

      I strongly disagree with your assertion that cooking meth is worse than tax fraud. Spare me the “drugs are bad” nonsense, if Walt didn’t cook would the junkies just go back to college?? Despite anyone’s dislike for drugs-Walt makes a pure product and sells it fair and square. Ted is being dishonest and he is stealing from you and me.

      What about Skyler’s liking Ted’s heated bathroom floor? (Which she later puts a towel on, not because it’s too hot but because she is done with the relationship). If shows that she wants more than what she has in her suburban life and she is more than happy to take it from a criminal. And what was her role at her job at Beneke? She was the one who was supposed to take the fall if they were caught. Did she really take that risk for her family? …for the peanuts she was making working there…

      • David November 25, 2013 at 5:37 am #

        We’re not supposed to hate Skyler. Vince Gilligan has repeatedly stated his surprise at the hate Skyler gets. We’re supposed to find her controlling at the start of the series and sympathise with Walt but we’re never supposed to hate her, especially later on.

        Ah, so his meth is pure and therefore it’s fine for him to be responsible for thousands of lives being destroyed? Tax fraud is wrong but at least it doesn’t directly destroy thousands of lives like Walt’s actions did.

        Skyler’s actions with Ted, like liking the floor, prove she is far from a perfect person and there is some hypocrisy in her. I’ll agree with you there. But her roll wasn’t to take the fall. She was just supposed to be the accountant and didn’t even know about the fraud until later. She was never intended to take the fall, Ted said he believed only he would be acountable for it all. And how do you know what she made was ‘peanuts’? Pretty sure her salary is never alluded to in the show.

    • MASA November 10, 2013 at 12:20 pm #

      Oh dude you need to get a life. Seriously. Take a walk.

      • David November 25, 2013 at 5:38 am #

        I like the show and I like talking about it. If you have a problem with that you can just not read it instead of pointlessly insulting me.

  22. MM March 14, 2013 at 1:27 pm #

    How can anyone believe skyler has any other agenda than to be a controlling cunt (british usage. Her character consistently acts out and whines when she does not have control or the final say. Following the whole story it seems that throughout their relationship she has always had the dominant role in their relationship and then when walt alterego emerge, her dominance became threatened and she has to retaliate in any manner she feels she can exercise contorl, i.e. cheating, withholding the kids, deciding how to launder the money. Walt should have sent her to Alaska to find some investment properties. Walt should not be excused either, he has plenty of flaws – mostly for condoning her all the previous years before his balls dropped.

    • David Anthony April 6, 2013 at 12:26 pm #

      Seriously? Walt’s flaws are in condoning Skyler? Not murdering? Not ruining the lives of millions through meth manufacturing? Not having an ego that spans America? His main flaw is letting his wife control him? That’s just not what the show is about at all.

      I can see why people don’t like Skyler. Her actions can be contradictory, but she is, for the most part, completely in the right. Meth dealing isn’t some sort of power play for her. She is genuinely scared for the lives of her and her children, and why wouldn’t she be? Her husband is a meth manufacturer, her whole family had been threatened with death, Walt has been on the brink of death multiple times, and Walt himself has now become as murderous, amoral egomaniac. If I was skyler I’d wish death on him too, no doubt about it. She cheated because Walt had forced himself back where he wasn’t wanted, against her will. Her actions aren’t justifiable, but to at least some extent understandable. She withheld Walt from his kids because it’s clearly the right thing to do. Gus threatened to kill them, and having your kids living with the biggest drug dealer in America would be so undeniably stupid and selfish it’s something Skyler would never even consider. The money laundering is about the power to her though, to be fair. She doesn’t feel safe with the laundering being done without her knowledge, and she has no good reason to feel this way. Her interfering did more harm than good. But being a control freak, which Skyler is, doesn’t make her worthy of detest.

      Skyler is by no means perfect, but she’s the clear victim in the show, the clear better person, who does the right thing for the most part and is deeply sympathisable. For the life of me I can’t understand the hate she gets. To me it seems to be a combination of idiocy, misogyny (neither in your case) or just poor writing for Skyler leaving the character inconsistent and therefore annoying (the reason I’d argue you dislike her).

    • a20336845 September 21, 2013 at 1:51 am #

      I disagree; this is an idiotic, misogynistic comment. Calling a woman a cunt and saying her husband has no balls for letting her “control” him and that letting your wife control you is worse than murdering people? That is inherently misogynistic.

  23. walter June 27, 2013 at 6:46 pm #

    I think skyler white wrote this article. sounds like her

  24. Denny Smith (@denster1991) August 16, 2013 at 1:24 am #

    How can we hate Skyler? episode “IFT” Season 3 episode 3 it ends with line from Skyler ” I F***ed Ted” Even before he goes crazy with the power( I do not know what all he does this is where i am at) she acts like that he does everything to keep the family together and she screws around on him. Man suppose to be dead in a few months could have the courtesy to wait instead she wanted to destabilize the whole family. After she said that i wanted to see the “Heisenburg” eyes and Skyler to disappear in a acid bath.

  25. Luke August 19, 2013 at 8:08 pm #

    I never liked her, Walt only really became an asshole around season 4, her story is ridiculous and she has always doubted her husband and cheated on him just to be spiteful, she has double standards and gave ted loads of money. I don’t think she is at all relatable or sympathetic as I would not have done a single thing she had. However she is a bit of a stereotype so there must be many who can relate

  26. Mike August 23, 2013 at 5:25 am #

    So, Ive just watched up to Season 5 Episode 3 in the last 10 days, never saw the show before. I am so sick of Skyler that I actually did a search “Why is Skyler White such a ___?”….and I ended up here. I read through this post and concluded that it must have been written by a woman, and I was correct.
    I despise Skyler White because she is an insufferable bitch and a hypocrite. She was controlling Walt from their first on screen interaction. She basically bullied him at every opportunity and just leaned on him constantly so that thing would be HER way – even after she knows he has cancer. She despises Walt for being a criminal, yet helps Beneke cook his books, and then fucvks him of course – the no loyalty having bitch. She despises Walt the criminal, and then sends heavies to get Ted to sign the check, so SHE is a criminal hypocrite as well. She very obviously seems to me to hate Walt for what happened to Ted; that seems to have been her breaking point. She had to look in the mirror and recognize that she’s a bad guy too, and she cant handle it, so shes blaming Walt.

    For everyone making excuses for her – that pretty rich as she has intentionally been written as a hypocritical, controlling bitch. You can look as deep into that character as you like and those are facts. She was NOT a nice person at the beginning of the show and she was NOT a nice person at any point in the show. The only thing that changed is Walt not behaving like an emasculated male. Once Walter, lets call it “realized his potential”, then I can see people finding her sympathetic – but only if you have a short memory and pay attention to superficial detail. You cannot dress up or rationalize her hypocrisy.

  27. criticalluminosity August 29, 2013 at 6:35 pm #

    Uh despite Anna Gunn’s self obsessed manipulative (kidding, but truly she is misguided in this) article in the NYT about the Skyler Hate being attributable to misogyny (this feminist hates Skyler and is not a misogynist), I would say she overestimates the coolness and strength of the character she plays. I hate Skyler – and I am watching Season 3 in all its glory again – because she is a petulant, manipulative, posturing biatch. She threatens Walt ALL THE TIME, but she never follows through on anything. What kind of woman does that? Grow a pair. Leave him or STFU. She apparently STFU in Season 4. Finally. I think the Skyler character was purposely written to make Walt’s crappy behavior seem less bad and make him into an unlikely hero. If she wants to point to misogyny, Ms. Gunn might wanna sit down with the writers. Or Gill. Or STFU.

  28. criticalluminosity August 29, 2013 at 6:37 pm #

    Uh despite Anna Gunn’s self obsessed manipulative (kidding, but truly she is misguided in this) article in the NYT about the Skyler Hate being attributable to misogyny (this feminist hates Skyler and is not a misogynist), I would say she overestimates the coolness and strength of the character she plays. I hate Skyler – and I am watching Season 3 in all its glory again – because she is a petulant, manipulative, posturing biatch. She threatens Walt ALL THE TIME, but she never follows through on anything. What kind of woman does that? Grow a pair. Leave him or STFU. She apparently STFU in Season 4. Finally. I think the Skyler character was purposely written to make Walt’s crappy behavior seem less bad and make him into an unlikely hero. If she wants to point to misogyny, Ms. Gunn might wanna sit down with the writers. Or Gill. Or STFU.

  29. Chris Viggz September 1, 2013 at 11:39 pm #

    This HAD to have blogged by a woman. Fuck skylar right up her stupid fucking ass. She dogs the fuck out of Walt from the beginning, opens her stinking snatch up for some other cocksucker, give said cocksucker 600,000 of Walts money (which she earlier claimed she wanted no part of because she was too good for it), and you’re DEFENDING her? Yeah… you must be a female.

  30. John September 26, 2013 at 6:11 am #

    Skyler’s affair with Ted Beneke is completely inexcusable. Her later giving him 621k as he degrades her and calls her “just a cashier at a car wash” is a spit in the face to Walt and the fans of the show. That being said- I’m honestly perplexed why people don’t understand why we hate her. We hate her because we’re SUPPOSED to hate her. That makes her a powerful character, not a weak one.

    • David November 25, 2013 at 5:17 am #

      If you’ve read any interviews you’ll realise you’re not supposed to hate her at all and that it’s just that many people completely missed the point of the show.

      Skyler sleeping with Ted occurred after Skyler and Walt were no longer together. She did it to get her sociopath husband out of the house. I mean, seriously, who does that? Actually force himself back into the house after a breakup and refuse to leave? After all he had already done to Skyler? Skyler gave Ted the money because otherwise his fraud would be traced back to her and Walt. It was a very simple plotline. I have no idea why the Skyler haters always completely ignore her completely valid motivations.

  31. klepp0906 November 16, 2013 at 5:22 pm #

    Pro tip David, walt doesn’t ruin anyones life by manufacturing. People don’t even ruin their own lives by using. People ruin their own lives by using to excess. Now I haent seen the entire series but so far the only murders he has committed have been in his own or others defense.

    in closing, skyler is a caveman of a woman, and is the worst wife we could hope not to have. Guy is dying and she’s out getting donged by someone else as he’s risking life and limb to leave his family with something.

    Yea she’s a winner.

    • David November 25, 2013 at 5:23 am #

      “Pro tip David, walt doesn’t ruin anyones life by manufacturing … People ruin their own lives by using to excess.”

      …. And they have the ability to use it to an excess because Walt manufactures it. Pretty elementary logic there … Walt had ruined countless lives by manufacturing the drug that destroys their lives. That fact is unavoidable. Yes, these people have self control and chose to take the meth, but that doesn’t mean Walt isn’t responsible as well. Drug dealers like Walt exploit the weak and vulnerable for money. He may not be doing it directly, but that’s where all his money comes from.

      *spoiler alert* *spoiler alert* – don’t read if you’re not caught up – you’ve been warned!

      Even Walt admits in the final episode that he didn’t cook meth for his family. He cooked meth because he liked it. he did it to feed his own ego. Otherwise he would have taken the Grey Matter money. In fact, Walt routinely put his family in danger just to feed his own ego. His ego is ultimately why Hank died and why he died with his family hating him.

  32. Pete McBlarrgh February 25, 2014 at 1:06 pm #

    Gay man identifies with bored angry housewife who puts nothing but pressure on husband to fulfill her dreams to begin with. There’s a shocker.

    Typical scenario too

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Nieuwsronde | De Zesde Clan - August 31, 2013

    […] de haat jegens Skyler zich zou verplaatsen naar het echte leven, was nieuw voor haar. Feministes analyseerden de haat en hadden er wel een verklaring voor. Hun opinie bleef echter beperkt tot gespecialiseerde […]

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