WHY YOU SHOULDN'T HATE SKYLER WHITE
breaking bad may be long over, but there are many (like me!) who have only just finished or even begun it recently. unfortunately, a common theme amongst old and new viewers is a misplaced hatred of skyler white, the character who by far got the shortest end of the stick. here are some reasons why skyler doesn't deserve that at all.
- •not wanting her husband to complacently accept death is suddenly the trait of a controlling bitchfrom the beginning people disliked skyler because her investment in wanting her husband to survive was viewed as controlling. i agree that perhaps she could have handled it better, but she was desperate. and even if some of her rationale was that she didn't want to be left alone raising a baby, can you honestly blame her? are you seriously telling me if your spouse wanted to die (AFTER someone offered to cover all his medical bills) and leave you alone, you'd just roll over and accept that?
- •when she does finally side with walter, it is solely for the purpose of protecting herself and her familya lot of people justify their hate for skyler by calling her a hypocrite for "switching sides" post-season two. but consider her position. above all, she did not want her children to know or be negatively affected by the fact that their father was a criminal. she was also aware that it was a possibility she, too, could be implicated if she turned walt in. she helped him because she felt she had no other options, and she certainly never derived pleasure from her actions like her counterpart did.
- •"walt was just trying to protect and provide for his family, too! that was his entire motivation!!"initially, yes. over time, no. one of the very last things walt says to skyler is that he did it all for himself. and even in the beginning, he was given a perfectly viable option to be treated for his cancer debt-free, but his fragile masculinity caused him to put his pride - and then later, his enjoyment of the power - before his family's safety. but yeah ok, skyler's such a bitch for calling him out and not wanting him to be around her children! that makes sense.
- •walter can kill people (both directly and indirectly) in cold blood but skyler sleeping with another man While They Were Separated is the sin of the centurythis double standard is the one that Really gets me going. if you look at any comments on an article that even remotely mentions skyler, you will undoubtedly see countless versions of "skyler was such a whore/slut." silly me! i forgot it's okay for men to serially lie and manipulate their families but as soon as a woman retaliates out of anger and confusion she is The Actual Devil! a woman must be loyal above all else! i know walt poisoned a little kid but hey, at least he was never unfaithful!
- •"but she didn't have to rub it in his face!"guess what? not a single character in breaking bad is completely guiltless. i am not trying to justify skyler's wrongdoings or claim that she was a saint. the fact that her sense of morality shifted drastically throughout the show is proof that she was a complex character. what i'm trying to say is that skyler was never held to the same standards as walt. and you can deny that it has anything to do with her gender all you want, but no one called walt anything like "bitch" for all that he did.
- •by the middle of the show, walt is literally the bad guyi guess anti-hero is the correct term: because walt is the main character, we innately want to root for him because his triumphs are what ultimately advance the plot. but people who hate skyler because she "drags walter down" are forgetting that he is Endangering Their Family every single day. but no, skyler is the Worst because she doesn't just step aside and say, "oh well, i know you're a killer but you do you, man. see you at dinner!"
- •skyler is the moral compassthis kind of goes along with my previous point, but i think people just really don't like being reminded that they Aren't supposed to root for walt. to put it in vince gilligan's own words: "she’s telling him not to be a murderer and a guy who cooks drugs for kids. how could you have a problem with that?”
- •skyler is incredibly smartin an entirely different way than walt's science skills. skyler's "nagging" about keeping their story straight is what saves them time and again. she is the one who creates a believable excuse for their sudden influx of cash; she is the one who comes up with a realistic way to launder said cash. in reality, walter would probably have been caught much earlier if it hadn't been for skyler's cunning. but ya know, what a control freak!
- •skyler is strongherein lies the true (and most misogynistic) reason for skyler's unpopularity: she never lets walt walk over her. she is seen as a "nag" for wanting a say in the things that directly affect her; this is infuriating to those who view women with the belief that, above all, they should be submissive. but that's the antithesis of skyler white. in the end she is more walt's equal than any other character, but because she is the "bitch wife," she will never receive the same recognition as her husband.