The first thing that comes to mind when fans think of Breaking Bad is Walter White and Jesse Pinkman’s complicated relationship, but this outstanding TV show has several other arcs that were just as captivating. One of them deals with Walt as a family man and his marriage to Skyler White, a woman 10 years his junior who had an unplanned baby on the way.
Skyler is one of the most divisive characters on the show. Fans dislike her because she comes across as an annoying, nagging wife. Whenever she was in the picture, Walt couldn’t go about his business freely. That was definitely frustrating to watch at times, but one of the most appealing things about Breaking Bad is the slow-burning nature of storytelling. Skyler was definitely not perfect, but she was revealed to be a much more complex character over time.
Redeeming: She Is Smart And Assertive
Skyler might be annoying, but she is no fool. Season 2 ends with her confronting Walt about his suspicious behavior and lets him know that she is onto him. She stopped snooping before she found out what he is actually up to: she said she was too afraid to know what it is that he had been doing in his “fugue state”.
She knows how to think on her feet and deal with crises in a calm and collected manner. When taking this into account, Skyler is the perfect wife for Walt.
Hate: She Is Codependent
Skyler is very attached to her husband and doesn’t really have an identity of her own outside of her marriage, which makes her a typical codependent. She is a stay-at-home mom, even though her son is more than capable of taking care of himself. She could have left him, but chose to stay despite all the red flags.
She does all of the emotional labor in her marriage and needs to know what Walt is up to at all times. She didn’t think much of him, even though he is one of the smartest chemists in the country.
Redeeming: She Is Discrete
Skyler was actually really supportive of her drug lord of a husband. She helped Walt legitimize his income through the car wash. She wanted to divorce him, but Walt wouldn’t really let her do that, saying that they are happily married.
Skyler had no reason not to go to the police the second she found out the truth about Walt, but she chose to be discrete instead. She is great at keeping secrets. In that way, she highly resembles Kim Wexler from Better Call Saul.
Hate: She Is Controlling
Skyler didn’t let Walt have any autonomy over his own life, which was the most evident in season 1. Walt avoided telling her that he had cancer because he knew that the second he tells her, she will take over and start navigating the rest of his life for him, which is exactly what happened.
When Walt told her that he buys weed from Jesse, she went behind his back and threatened Jesse. Why wouldn’t she let her dying 50-year-old husband decide what he wants to do in his spare time? She was always up in Walt’s business, which made her one of the least likable characters on Breaking Bad.
Redeeming: She Is A Good Mother
Skyler has some vicious tactics up her sleeve when interacting with her husband and sister, namely withholding affection and pointing fingers. She can be mean and cold-hearted, but never towards her son.
They had a great relationship, based on mutual trust. She kept close tabs on him and was clearly over-protective at times, but Flynn clearly didn’t mind. Skyler is generally a great mom, even though she’s done several things that say otherwise.
Hate: She Is Judgemental
Skyler is a real judge Judy: when the school’s custodian Hugo got arrested for pot possession, she was outraged. If there is anything that Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul taught fans, it’s that ‘legal’ doesn’t inherently mean ‘moral’ and vice versa. She’s morally outraged by the fact that her sister is kleptomaniac because stealing is illegal, but has no issues with cheating on her husband with Ted. Skyler clearly doesn’t see how two-faced she actually is.
She’s very quick to judge others, even though she has a few skeletons in her own closet. When she was pregnant, she took up smoking, which is arguably even more immoral than smoking marijuana. As time progressed, she only got worse and worse.
Redeeming: Dealing With It All On Top of Her Pregnancy
Fans hated Skyler because she was a control freak, but when considering the awful situation she was in, it’s hard not to feel sorry for her. When people are in distress, they resort to unhealthy behaviors, and Skyler was clearly at the end of her wits.
Pregnancies are stressful and tiring as it is. She really didn’t deserve to have her husband break bad while she was expecting her second child.
Hate: She Cheats On Walt With Ted
When Walt ceased to be the husband that she expected him to be, she quickly found solace in the arms of her boss Ted. The two are not even smart about it: it’s clear that there’s chemistry between them when he makes Skyler sing him happy birthday in front of the whole company.
When Skyler went into labor, Ted was there to help her out. She could have at least gave Walt the courtesy of sending Ted away before he came. Then again, Skyler was probably repulsed by him by then. He almost raped her while she was pregnant and he was clearly leading a double life.
Redeeming: She Puts Others First
Skyler never acts out on behalf of her own interests only. Even when she spends Walt’s drug money, she does it to launder it, to buy Junior a car, and to help Ted get out of financial trouble. She never spends a dime on herself and does a great job at keeping a low profile.
Skyler is the kind of woman who is in tune with other’s people’s needs and doesn’t really know what she wants. In the pilot episode, for example, she served vegi-bacon for breakfast because Walt had high cholesterol.
Hate: She Is Passive Aggressive
Walt and Skyler have a typical “normal” marriage. They treat each other with respect and they make a point to eat breakfast together every day, but they don’t truly know one another. Whereas Walt’s worst trait is probably that he is a liar, Skyler’s is that she is passive-aggressive.
When Walter wouldn’t tell her the truth about his whereabouts, she decided to give up and outright ignore him. She contributes greatly to the dysfunction of their marriage, yet blames only Walt.