Look Who's Breaking Bad Now: Oh Skyler!

Good television drama pulls a main character in several directions at once, and few shows are stretching and torturing a protagonist like AMC's Breaking Bad. High school chemistry teacher-turned-meth-peddler Walter White is deep in the s***, to put it lightly.

First, there's the drug trade business he's got going on, which has set some cartel assassins on his trail, ready to cut his head off and mount on a plaque for Tuco's uncle. He's also got cancer, and a brother-in-law in the DEA who's hot on the trail of his drug-dealing alias.

But his biggest problem right now is his wife. Skyler White, played wonderfully by the fantastic Anna Gunn (Emmy time?), has been slowly boiling over for the last few seasons, and the lid blew off the pot last night.

But prior to that, I've had many discussions with my Breaking Bad-watching friends about her behavior. We know Walter, we love Walter. So when Skyler acts the way towards Walt that she does—a few thousand degrees colder than the dark side of Neptune—we tend to call her a major b****.

She's forbidding Walter from entering his house, from spending time with his kids, and from speaking to her more than he has to. It's some of the harshest treatment anyone has ever received on a family drama, and because we're predisposed to love Walt and brush off his incredibly irresponsible decisions, we take our anger out on Skyler.

But she has a point. Walter lied to her—to her face—multiple times. She gave him the benefit of the doubt and got burned. So is it so wrong that she's acting this way? Does the fact that he's "doing this all for his family" give him a free pass? Well, that's an ethical question that will receive different responses from different people.

However, Skyler doesn't seem to have as much of a problem with white-collar crimes, does she? At work, she turns a blind eye to the fudged profit reports after Ted explains he's doing it for the company and its employees (essentially, the company's "family"). Is this a double standard for Skyler?

Another ethical question (Breaking Bad is great at these, isn't it?): Walt set the money—about $600k if I remember it right—down in front of Skyler in the middle of the hallway, said it was earned, and insisted no one would miss it. Would you take the money and let things slide? After thinking about it for a few minutes, that little devil on my shoulder won out and convinced me that I would.

But the biggest surprise of the season is Skyler's rash decision to bone her boss. Whether it was to spite Walt, to gain some sort of control in her life and the upper hand in her donnybrook with Walt, or to satisfy some deep-seeded attraction to Ted, that move was the key action of Season 3 so far, and one that hurt me almost as much as it hurt Walt.

I know some Breaking Bad fans have dismissed Skyler as a whiny wife with no real thing going for her on her own, but I've always been fascinated by her and think this may be the season everyone else realizes what a fascinating character she is.

Here are some Skyler-related questions for you to answer in the comments section below:

Do you think Skyler has been too harsh on Walt? Should she be more forgiving?

Would you take the cash, or is it just dirty drug money?

Why do you think Skyler boinked her boss? To get control of her life? To throw it in Walt's face? Because she's always wanted to? All of the above?


Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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I think that Skyler is a strong woman, and this is an excellent foil for the character of Walter White. Unfortunately she appears to be attracted to weak and amoral men, ie, Walt and her boss, who at the same time spout that the ends justifies the means. I think that Anna should start channelling Bette Davis. Bette wouldn't have put up with this portrayal - she would have broken the director and producer's b****. Bette would have machine gunned all the men running the meth op, and taken it over herself. Anybody could do a better job than Walt and Jesse and the other axe-wielding psychopaths.
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I'm in complete awe. I just saw this show for the first time two days ago on netflix and i've been watching it nonstop and I just reached the part where Skyler admits she is sleeping with Ted.... wow, that was truthfully a bit hard to watch. I think many of the people who sympathize with Skyler try and overlook the fact that She had an affair with Ted. After all the things Walter has done for the family it's ridiculous to even fathom that she has a right to act the way she does.... Smoking while pregnant just to get back at Walt. I"m not saying what he did was ok, but her actions are worse. Walt did all this and Skyler has the nerve to sleep with ted who is also a criminal. It makes her look like such a bad person. She has this whole way of viewing people who aren't as upstanding as she is. In reality she is not a good person. The baby was less than two months old when, out of the blue she tells Walt she wants him out because of a second phone. So what if he has a second phone. It's not like he's being unfaithful. For her to wait until after he's had the surgery so now he's recovering from surgery and fighting cancer and trying to provide for his family and on top of that he has all that added heartache of what Skyler is doing to him. It would be bad enough if she did all this and he didnt have cancer, but to know he does just makes what she is doing so much more low down. She's worse than the mother in the Walking Dead and i've been sitting and waiting for her to die since last season when she didn't tell Rick immediately that she had sex with Shane. Before it's all said and done I hope Skyler gets her comeuppance for what she's put Walt (and those of us who watch and admire walt) through.
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Do you think Skyler has been too harsh on Walt? Should she be more forgiving?



I Think skyler doesn't give a fuck about forgiving because she's just a whore and whores loves the feeling of being righteous.



Would you take the cash, or is it just dirty drug money?



Is that a real question? Of course I would take the money, I love the color green.





Why do you think Skyler boinked her boss? To get control of her life? To throw it in Walt's face? Because she's always wanted to? All of the above?



She's a whore, and she's a bourgeois white lady who never had money problems, she's fine working part-time just when she want to, she fucks the most obnoxious man in the world (ted) just because her vagina was drippin' in front of someone so filthy and with such no vertebral column, AND just because she wanted to, she's harsh because of her envy, her lawyer is another bourgeois rich white whore, and probably is worst of skyler, what I'm tryin' to say is she sucks, I will always hate her, she's one of the worst character ever, anytime I see her face I want to shoot at my tv, anytime I see her sister same feelings, anytime I see her lawyer same feelings. KILL SKYLER KILL SKYLER KILL SKYLER KILL SKYLER KILL SKYLER KILL SKYLER
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Millions of viewers of BB around the globe: it's true that Anna Gunn perfectly suits the role of a cold-hearted bLtch (bLtch in literal terms)...Her face is made like that - she's 4nothg if a big fat c_ck in her mouth would make her look more attractive. Anyway...put your hands 2gether 4the producers of BB who, unwillingly and unknowingly created such a strong character, by giving this woman to play the role of her life...and, as a matter of fact, succeeded in p_ssing us off when seeing her face on the screen. The really interesting thing here is that the writers of BB takes all the "credit" when it comes to the point where WE, the viewers, have developed such hate and disgust 4this woman...resulting in a more profound hate and distrust of the female sex, born and stored smwhere in the mind of the male sex and leaving us disturbed and confused about the long-term faith in our coming or actual life-partner!! Movies and tv shows affect our lives in lots of ways..and it's unimaginable how a seed of an idea/movie character can grow like a tumor in our brain!!

A movie/tv show is the best and strongest way 2pass a message to the rising generation, so if Vince Gilligan or Thomas Schnauz would defend themselves by telling that ""This world is already worst than that...we r only showing a tiny part of it""...so i would tell them that ""it's YOU m_therfvckers who r making this world bad by your "tiny" contribution""
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Honestly, not for nothing, I think people with cancer get a pass on just about everything...the fact that Skylar can treat her husband like she does while he's dying of cancer proves how horrible of a person she is, regardless of what he's done, and especially since he did it all for her and his children.

Morality is subjective; there is no rigorous way to prove that what Walter does is actually wrong, HOWEVER, Skylar unabashedly broke her wedding vows, every promise she ever made to her husband and, ipso facto, her son and her infant daughter. SHE is the one who has torn the family apart; that was never Walt's intention and he has gone though HELL making sure that they are protected from his meth-dealing colleagues.

I will say one thing...Walt definitely does not treat Jessie fairly...that poor kid.
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I like the character Skyler until the last show. I don't understand how she can be so against Walter and then have sex with her boss who is when both have done criminal acts. For someone that honestly like the character now i hate her.
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Great first 3 episodes.



This is what I see happening--because we know WALT cant die because he is the show.--The Cartel will have to use/need him in some way.



I see the Cartel killing Gus. Somehow the Cartel will have to figure out the events that led to the day in the shack in the middle of the desert. YES Tuco's uncle knows that they tried to poison Tuco but Tuco thought his cousins (the 2 crazy axe guys) were coming but it was Hank. I see the cartel trying to kill Hank and need Walter but this leads to another turn of events come late in the season. What do you think?
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Skyler must die. Let me know when she is gone. Im done with the show until she is.
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She used the only weapon she had.
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She did it to get back at Walter, prove to him that she's not going to need his money. What a whore. However, Walter is indeed a danger to the family right now, and I think she realizes that. Every moment he spends with his family puts them in danger at this point. It would be best if he stayed away for now.
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I definitely thing she did it to get back at Walt. She wanted to give him a taste of his own medicine. I wouldn't have any problem spending that money. Like Walt said, he earned it.
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Theres a chance she didnt do it... its not like they showed anything... could be that shes just wants to test walter somehow
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I hope she dies. Such a huge **** a hypocrite to boot (with criminal behaviour by letting the boss she\'s screwing get away with fraud).
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"Skylar" needs to take a page out of "Gemma Teller"'s playbook and grow a spine and a brain. Sleeping with Ted was a cowardly move that is going to have as great a negative effect on the family as Walter's activities. I never thought that "Skylar" was a weak character until that dumb move. Why settle for weak wimpy Ted? Because it is was an easy move to make. She needed to gut shot Walt, and that was the clearest easiest path to doing so. That was a pretty evil move. Anna Gunn is pretty awesome in this role.
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I think that the show has perhaps done too good of a job making us root for Walter, judging by the reactions I'm seeing. Look -- Walt lied to Skylar about EVERYTHING he was doing for months. He betrayed her in a very real way, and in a way that could prove a danger to her family. I mean seriously, cooking drugs is a dangerous business - or have we forgotten that TWO AXE-WIELDING PSYCHOS WERE IN HER HOUSE last episode? Obviously she doesn't know that, but she knows that Walter doesn't exist in a vacuum. She knows - and is right in believing this, by the way - that Walt's actions could potentially endanger the family he is claiming to have done everything for. She's been betrayed and her family has been put in danger; of COURSE she's angry at Walt. Of COURSE she doesn't understand when he tries to justify his actions, because to her, what he's done is unforgivable. That having been said, I don't think her cheating on him with Ted was the right thing to do either -- but it is a believable reaction, and it's easy to see why she did it. I don't think we should look at this in terms of "right" and "wrong" -- both Walter and Skylar are acting and reacting in believable ways, and as "real people," they don't always make the right decisions.



PS -- To all of you saying Walt is completely justified in his actions (not necessarily here, but I've seen the opinion around), let's not forget the constant moral complexity of this show. It's been clear since Walt's cancer went into remission and he continued making meth that he isn't just doing this for his family. There is something dark, deep within him, that came to the surface when he let Jane die, that ENJOYS the new freedom, that enjoys the dark things he does, that wants to keep cooking meth for himself, and not just for his family.
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Skylar is awesome. I wonder if Walt will go after school principal. Shes kinda hot.
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She is a hypocryte, she lost my respect the same way as Betty (Mad Men). F**king someone only to get back at someone is just wrong.
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I've hated Skylar ever since the first episode. (FOR GODS SAKE IT WAS HIS BIRTHDAY) So of course I think she's been too harsh and controlling and all that stuff. I'd have absolutely no problem taking the money, and I think she "boinked" Ted because she's attracted to Ted.
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The lesson from this episode is never under estimate a woman's capacity for spite.



I hope she gets axed so Walt can get back to cooking and the blood vengenace is settled.



Oh and by the way, IFT = 'I F**ked Ted
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doing ted has nothing to do with walt and the money, its a pure motive of self interest and in no way accomplishes retaliation. retaliation is not taking the money. the only thing skylar has ever demonstrated as a personality trait is taking the upper hand in every decision. not allowing walt to die, making him borrow from people he hates, making him work 2 jobs so she can pursue a none paying career. this is kind of rage that she demonstrates can only be justified as a power trip, as she has not really justified her moral outrage in any clear manner, refusing to demonstrate any sort of judgment or thought on the subject. she reacts purely on instinct which is her biggest problem as a character. the only thing we see is that she is self centered **** it i want a smoke who cares that im pregnant\", \" **** it ill do ted, who cares about the insane thing my husband did to keep our family from going to the poor house\" her attitude is completley irrational, either she is the most moral person ever and should be worshiped as a modern day jesus or she as a shallow person who refuses to deal with her own problems and deflects showing she is incapable of being a real tangible person who struggles with the issues like all of us given a similar situation
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Skylar is my least favourite mother/wife in Television, I think Carmela Soprano is a better person than she is.

Shes been married to Walt for over 16 years, from knowing him that long she must know his personality, he doesnt like to accept charity, hes a hard working man, and likes to earn the money he gets.

The man has cancer, was dying, and all he could think about was his familys well being after he was gone, not himself, not his inevitable death, his family. The man made sacrifices for his family, things that went way beyond his morals, to serve his family. The whole time he had his family in mind, when walter got the money, he never bought a snazzy car, or any luscious gifts for himself. This shows how he truly did do this all for his family, and the fact that Skylar cant realize that is a big let down for me on her character, and her as a person.

If im Wlater, im getting out of there, not giving her a penny, and just giving the money to support his children, and then spend the money on himself, I hope Skylar never receives a dime.

jeeze she ticks me off :P

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I am sick to the stomach with these Carmela Soprano-esque wives on TV, and their whining. I find Skylar intolerable. Walt has done deplorable things for the sake of his family. She should be thanking him for making sure she and their family are financially safe after he is gone.
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She's cool.
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@NYLefty: the word you missed was \"fvcked\" (I happen to have closed captions always on as my mother tongue is not english, so it helps me get dialogues, especially in shows like \"The Shield\" with lots of slangs and fast dialogues).

The most fascinating dialogue took place at Skyler's lawyer\'s office in my opinion. when she says something about 'time will take care of Walter' soon enough. But the only reason she doesn't tell her lawyer to go ahead is to protect Walt Junior, otherwise she would have.

what bothers me the most is not the way she treats walter as a husband, we\'ve seen a very similar relationship between dirty cop Vic Mackey and his wife in another favorite show 'The Shield', where she bans him from his house in season 2 and also from seeing his children. Side note: does anyone else finds Walter\'s brother in law (Hank) to be a character by all means similar to Michael Chiklis' (not only physically, but also a similar bully cop)?

No, what i find horrible with Skyler, is how she seems to forget that she deals with a guy who\'s dying of cancer. She already was whining and horrible in season 2, while she had no clue of what Walter was really up to. Remember how she thought he was cheating and some other ridiculous assumptions? Sorry, but all us men go through some midlife crisis at one point, thus if anything, it\'s totally normal that someone with cancer goes through depression, mood swings and many different behavioral changes. Pretty much the same sh*t we have to put up with our wives when they\'re pregnant. It\'s all about chemistry (pun intended). Anyway, I think she should\'ve at least give him the benefit of the doubt in season 1 and 2, instead of being that b*tchy with him, which tells a lot about her as an individual.
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Wow, I'm surprised by the reactions here. People actually agree that it the money is ok because he earned it he didn't steal it? Seriously? So if Walter was being paid to kill people that money would be ok because he earned it? 1. I think Skyler was too controlling in the begging, but now has every right to be harsh. 2. I would not take the cash (at least I would like to think I wouldn't). 3. All of the above.
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Skyler needs to take Walt's advice and look on the bright side. She's always so negative. It bothers me how overly critical she is about Walt's every move. Her negativity and dominating attitude has probably been an ongoing theme in their marriage, but now because of Walt's dodgy behavior, her attitude is getting amplified. She's untrusting now, harsh, and falling out of love because her man has transformed into a completely different person over the course of just a few months. She has the right to feel the way she does, and Walt is a moron for letting it happen. He could easily have come up with a DOZEN other things to say other than "I'm out... walking... " I think he was telling Skyler such flimsy lies because deep down inside he WANTS her to know the truth, and he wants her accept it because it's for the good of the family and baby to be. But in reality he knows she could never accept meth-dealing as a way to pay for future tuition fees. So he hides the truth. And he's a bad liar. Maybe up until the cancer and he hasn't had to lie like this before. Either way, I'm certain that if Skyler were less harsh on him, and more forgiving, Walt wouldn't feel the need to lie as much. The reason he lies is to prevent Sky from freaking out and ending the marriage. He wants to protect her from her own concsience. He wants to protect himself from her conscience which might just call the police. Now that Sklyer knows just how much of a liar Walt has been, she's devastated. She's broken, and psychologically messed. She's caved to a crush she's had for a long time, on a man who's more successful and better looking than Walt, at a time that gives her the power she needs. It's the power to get back at Walt and make him feel the way she has for the past several months, and possibly the power to make Walt just accept the divorce. It's also a freedom and self worth thing. Skyler took it way too far by banging the boss. I hate her for it. She cheated for a lot of reasons, but none of them are justified. I don't think Walt's behavior is justified either though. For him, his snowballing situation is at least understandable and forgivable. She can't be forgiven, and I hope Walt does not forgive her.



I can't wait to see what happens next, but I think Walt is going to forgive her, unfortunately. Maybe Skyler will get kidnapped by the cartel, or by Mr. Chicken and used as leverage against Walt. Theyn maybe Walt will forget about the cheating and fight for her and the unity of his family.
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What did she say to Walt at the end? "I (something) Ted?" Was the word in the middle cut out? I listened to that line five times and couldn't understand what she was saying. And I didn't get why Walter had to pee in the sink? Is there only one bathroom and is it only accessable through the master bedroom? If so, how does Walter, Jr. get there?
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1) Skyler has been too harsh on Walt, she acept the bos breaking the low for the company (not family), but she can't with walt protecting the family.. I can understand as first reaction... but than she should undertand better than enyonelse that the family is at 1st place as she is putting trying to save their children from him.

2) The problem is not i will take the money.. but what Skyler is doing?! if she think Walt is wrong and the money are dirty she should call the cops, but she can't to protect the family (children) but if she can live with him free out of jail with all the money to protect the family... she can undertand him. So i can't understand her biavior... (anyway i will take the money...)

3)She boinked her boss becose she was in needed of attenction and with this act she got a way to kill Walter telling him he is not anymore part of the family... my question is she loved him once or never? because she just think about her and the children.. also when he was under the bad cancer, she was telling to everyone and get attenction for her, she was affreid only for beeing without money and attenction. Now she knows she will have money (from walter work.. (if he die who will get the money?!) ) and attenction from family and bosses...

I hate her....
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1) im on the fence about this. yes she has every right to be angry and hurt at the fact he's a "cook" as it is a fellony offence no matter if he is cooking or selling it but also as we have seen she is turning a blind eye to her boss's fraud which its self is a fellony no matter how less of a fellony it is to drug cooking it still is one.
2) take it, as walt said he EARNED that cash, he is the one thast has to live with how that money was earned and aslong as she doesnt find out how then i dont see why not to take it
3) to anger walt, she wants him out of her life and doesnt want to reveal the facts as to not hurt Walt Jr. by shagging ted she's played an "Ace" which mixed amongst her out of controll feelings and thoughts she must have known would possibly push Walt into agreeing to the divorce as now she has done the deed it would count as a family breaker event for Walt ... ooooooooor it will make Walt PROVE how much he loves his family and needs it like he said. And if he can forgive her for doing what she did then maaaaaaaybe it might show her that she should forgive Walt for what he has done or

he'll have Saul "sort out" Ted for him in a fit of anger ... which is what im hoping for as 1) i find Ted smarmy and just don't like his face and 2) Walt needs to macho up a bit for his inevitable encounter with Tuco's Cousins
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I hate Skylar.
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There's no double standard with Skylar. She simply resents Walt because he's dying. She resents that his cancer will result in his death and her being alone. She helps Ted because he's a healthy man that, if she plays it right, can be the new guy that takes care of her. Skylar's just selfish.
1) Skylar has been too harsh, but it's mostly because he's sick, which makes it worse. 2) I'd take the cash. Like Walt said, he manufactures, he's not a dealer. Walt doesn't care if the product is sold or if it's burned. He worked hard for the money and it was earned.
3) Skylar boinked her boss because she's selfish and petty. She doesn't want to be bogged down by a sick husband, so she wants to get back into the market quickly. Walter wants to stick around until his time is up. She figured boinking Ted would make Walt approve a divorce.
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1) Way to hard on him even though he did lie he did it for her and her kids benefits
2)Take the cash its better in your hands than in the hands of actual dangerous criminals
3) She did it because she is pissed off and knew this would piss of Walt the most for revenge.
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I think Skyler was right to kick Walter out and try to distance him for Walter Jnr. C'mon who in real life after finding out that news would stay with their partner. The first thing you think of is CRIMINAL and the violence that usually comes with being a drug dealer. The safety of your kids comes to mind also. The problem i have is that Skyler now has become just 1 big hypocrite!!! Leaving Walter because he's a criminal and refusing the DRUG money, Only to find out that her boss (who she left the job the first time round for hitting on her and feeling her up while she was married) didling the company books and then sleeps with him. So she leaves Walter for being a criminal and sleeps with her boss who's also a criminal??? Women and their hormones lol
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