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RTTP: I still hate Skyler White

appaws

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Sick as a dog with flu. My 4th day missing work, so I have been binging Breaking Bad once again.

I remember years ago on Old GAF the heated threads about this topic. Guys admitting the terrible feelings they had about the character of Skyler White, except for her magnificent jugs, of course.

Was it legit? Was it just thinly veiled misogyny?

Now of course, nobody sane doubts that Walt lies his ass off constantly and we don't expect her to react like June Cleaver to Hugh Beaumont. But I always watch the show again and feel like she never loves Walt, never gives him the benefit of the doubt, even from the beginning when he is just a poor schmuck with cancer, she is just icy cold and terrible. Marie is fucked up completely, but you always feel the love she has for Hank with his sometimes terrifying career.

Also, as Walt is the main protagonist of the show, I think we are intended to sympathize with him to a certain extent. But when I bounce that off my very objective and strict sense of morality, it gives a pretty discordant clang.
 

Paltheos

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I never got the hate for this character. Most of her character is pretty understandable to me. If there's a character I despise in this show (well, aside from Marie but everybody hates Marie) it's Jesse. I barely care about him and I can see the role he's supposed to play relative to Walt but for how interesting he is he gets way too much screentime and presence.
 

-Arcadia-

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Aug 20, 2019
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The real secret is that all the characters are absolutely infuriating.

Either the writers room was trying to artificially create drama, or they actually think it’s okay for people to behave like this. I feel sorry for the people in their lives if it’s the latter.

Still a great show, but I have to ignore this stuff and focus on the good to continue seeing it that way.
 
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bRacing

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Her character was a dumb bitch. Especially in the second to last season, which was a great season outside of her being a dumb bitch. Walt should have attached a bomb-bell to her too. As Evilore mentioned, not the actresses fault. It's a fault of the writing staff, which is odd because they got pretty much everything else right.
 
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synchronicity

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I think her frustration with Walt/the circumstances are understandable, but I never felt like she tried to understand him or place herself in his shoes. I mean Walt was no saint in the end, but his motivations were love for his family in the beginning, and he loved her and still hoped for a happy family/reconciliation all the way through, well past the point when I would have found myself saying "bye bitch."
 

Darkmakaimura

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Best show ever.

That said I get your point. But damn Walt jeopardizes his family left and right though. Sort of can't blame her.

Remember when she gave Ted a bunch of that Walt monies to pay his taxes and avoid prison? Lololololol.

But yeah no the fault of the actress. She did Raziel a solid to help Kain beat down the Elder God.
 
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Khalid M.

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I never felt strongly about Skyler. She’s a terrible person in a show with other terrible people. Why expect her to be a good person? Also, of course she can’t understand Walt the way the audience does, we are shown a myriad of intimate scenes that lead us to understand (and sometimes sympathize with) Walt, but what he does is alien to her. She has a deeply rooted of who her husband is (a goody-two shoes) and his meth businessman persona clashes with it entirely and she lacks the context to understand his motivation. I’m not defending her but her character isn’t mind-boggling. From a writing point of view, there has to be perpetual conflict between her and Walt, stories run on conflict, her becoming his loyal follower and never questioning him wouldn’t be believable.
 

Scotty W

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An interesting test would be to watch the show and see if her level of suspicion is equal to what she knows. If it is greater, that is probably your problem.
 

SpartanN92

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She is so annoying! I just recently rewatched the episode where Walt kidnaps Holly, and basically tells Skylar that she is a bitch and has held him back in everything and I agreed with every word.

If Skylar had just shut up, kept her head down and followed Walter’s instructions then everything would have been fine.
Skylar is an idiot.
 

Hulk_Smash

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You know what’s weird? Better Call Saul doesn’t have any weak characters. Even Charles, as jerky as he was has likeable qualities.
 
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She’s just kinda annoying at best the entire series but I don’t know how you can claim she doesn’t care about Walt or that she’s “cold” early on?

She becomes cold when she finds out her husband is a meth dealer. It’s a pretty shocking scenario lol
 
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cabletime

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She is one of the great Karen's of television. You guys ever wonder if she was meant to be as hated as she was? Because I believe we are supposed to see a wife who feels like she lost complete control of everything, but it comes off as really selfish. Granted the show is about a drug kingpins rise to power who is ultimately more selfish in many more ways. But still. Can't stand her.
 
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Cutty Flam

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I can't blame her. She was only trying her best to keep her family safe. Walter was an unprecedentedly dangerous drug lord at large when she found out

Walt's character couldn't be more complex, most that found out were stunned. To think right under her nose, the man she married and started a family with had become what he had become would have shattered nearly every woman but she actually hung in there for the most part. She even tried to keep things low key and work with him

Breaking Bad is such a powerful show. Better Call Saul is only adding to it and making it more enticing
 
Nov 18, 2016
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I never got the hate for her tbh.

That entire family went through a mountain of shit. What do you expect?
 
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Super Mario

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Her character was designed to be that way. Walt hated his life at home He had a bitch wife and handicap son. He wanted something more,
 
Oct 2, 2017
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Better Call Saul > Breaking Bad
It's very good, but the pacing sucks and the magic of Gus and Mike is long gone. It took like 4 full seasons just for Jimmy to become Saul and Mike looks so old and decrepit that I cannot believe he is physically overpowering anybody.
 

Grinchy

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She might be the weakest acted character on the show. I'd have to watch again to really see. I feel like someone else may have pulled it off better.

There's a reason you're not going to see her in much after Breaking Bad while everyone else keeps getting roles. She couldn't even muster up a good scene for the Deadwood movie role that she was grandfathered into getting.
 

belmarduk

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Yeah, she is not a likable or particularly complex character at all. I'm really glad she wasn't in El Camino.
 

newtypepilot

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I think it was natural for people to hate Skyler because Walt is the protagonist. The viewers was made from the start to sympathize with him, even though Walt is the more selfish person. Granted, she ain't no saint either, but she was initially kept in the dark about Walt's meth empire and was later forced to launder money for him, so her actions was understandable.

For me, the most amusing thing is that people hate her because she cheated on Walt with Ted. However, the worse thing she did was that she smoked while she was pregnant. I get why she would sleep with Ted to get back at Walt, and yes, it makes her a bitch, but smoking while pregnant is just more fucked up.
 

Doom85

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forgot she ruined this guy's life as well.

You mean the fucking dumbass who thought everything with his business would just turn out fine if he kept faking the records, and then when Skyler literally hands him an out with a huge amount of money, the chucklefuck goes and starts blowing most of it on a car or some shit instead of paying his massive debts. Skyler, hell MARIE of all people, looked like a genius compared to this stupid sack of shit.
 

Merzbear

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She exists as a roadblock to cause drama and prevent Walt from getting the bag. Shit character tbh, coincidentally she's also a woman. Wowie Zowie.
 

Doom85

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I mean, I think we're also forgetting times Skyler was way smarter than Walt about the business:

1. She had the idea to buy the carwash to launder the money
2. She also has a better understanding of how laundering works. Walt's like, "LOL, just put ALL the money in the records!" and Skyler's like, "Walt, we're trying NOT to get caught here!"
3. Walt was in WAY over his head throughout most of Season 4 when trying to take down Gus and was often in denial about it unlike Mike who knew trying to take on Gus was a bad idea. Skyler suspected things were bad, yet Walt denied that there was an issue, not out of trying to keep her calm but simply because he was getting that cocky. It took Gus taking him out to the desert and threatening his entire family before reality finally hit Walt. Yes, he did win, but only through help and options he did not have until the final few episodes of the season, so his arrogance prior to that was foolish.
4. She points out by halfway through Season 5 that Walt has made more money than they could ever know what to do with for the rest of their lives. While Walt's current buyer was a pretty reasonable guy, they were still connected to Jack and his crew who were clearly dangerous to work with so Skyler likely saved Walt some grief. Granted, things would have gone south either way due to Hank finding the book in the Whites' bathroom (which is probably on Walt leaving it right there, sure one would think a guest would have better etiquette than to grab a book while using someone else's bathroom, but remember it's HANK we're talking about), but still, she made the right call.
 
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kiiltz

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While I was never really fond of her, I kinda liked Skyler for the fact that she was a foil to the typical crime lord wife.

A running theme of Breaking Bad is the point of pride; how Walt consistently makes the wrongs decisions because of it to how Hank single-mindedly goes after Walt because of the humiliation the latter dealt the former (rather than any grand standing moral crusade). Same sort of deal with Skylar and how she exhibits her behaviour in being the overbearing matriarch of the family (in contrast to her timid husband), not completely unlike your typical middle-class suburban wife who wears the pants in the family. It's mostly telling with the two phones thing. While yea, it's shady that your SO has two phones, she still doesn't have a real reason to act like a complete cunt over it and the reason for that is because it's Walt stepping outside the boundaries of her control. Later, she tries to win it back with the Ted thing and later still, whether consciously or not, she tries to take it by handling all the funds.

It's kind of understandable that people feel that Skylar never really loved Walt, because the dynamic between them mainly revolved around that pride and control rather than any genuine affection, in fact, you could probably argue that Walt's decisions in the show stem from her dominant overbearing position in their relationship (see: how he asserts his authority with "I am the danger" speech), but mostly, Walt was always a timid weasel POS that got too full of himself.

So while I don't really care for the character, I can kinda understand her role in the series and besides, she gave us great things like the awkward Jesse Pinkman dinner and the Ozymandias phone call. She doesn't hold a candle to Carmella tho.

Also the dumbest shit about BB was Marie's insipid kleptomania which I had forgotten about up until now.
 
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Doom85

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the awkward Jesse Pinkman dinner
While it made sense they barely interacted, I wish she and Jesse had more scenes together, the awkward moments were so great. The dinner, and her approaching Jesse when he's trying to deal with a corpse, so funny. "I can dig it." "You can dig it. Wonderful."
 

freak of nature

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She is so annoying! I just recently rewatched the episode where Walt kidnaps Holly, and basically tells Skylar that she is a bitch and has held him back in everything and I agreed with every word.

If Skylar had just shut up, kept her head down and followed Walter’s instructions then everything would have been fine.
Skylar is an idiot.
He deliberately hammed that performance up to make Skylar appear innocent. This was made evidently clear when he and Saul talked in the "Disappear" guys basement.
 

freak of nature

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I think her frustration with Walt/the circumstances are understandable, but I never felt like she tried to understand him or place herself in his shoes. I mean Walt was no saint in the end, but his motivations were love for his family in the beginning, and he loved her and still hoped for a happy family/reconciliation all the way through, well past the point when I would have found myself saying "bye bitch."
She understood Walt quite clearly. It was never really about his family, it was all about himself. His pride, and ego. He could have taken Gretchen and Elliot's money. This series is very much an exercise in "toxic masculinity."

The last meeting between Walt and Skylar made this abundantly clear.

WALT: It's where I buried our money and the men who stole it from us, the men who still have it, they murdered Hank and Steve and put them in that hole. Now, you trade that for a deal with the prosecutor. You get yourself out of this. Skyler. Skyler. All the things that I did, you need to understand-

SKYLER: If I have to hear one more time that you did this for the family-

WALT: I did it for me. I liked it. I was good at it. And I was really...I was alive.
 
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synchronicity

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She understood Walt quite clearly. It was never really about his family, it was all about himself. His pride, and ego. He could have taken Gretchen and Elliot's money. This series is very much an exercise in "toxic masculinity."

The last meeting between Walt and Skylar made this abundantly clear.

WALT: It's where I buried our money and the men who stole it from us, the men who still have it, they murdered Hank and Steve and put them in that hole. Now, you trade that for a deal with the prosecutor. You get yourself out of this. Skyler. Skyler. All the things that I did, you need to understand-

SKYLER: If I have to hear one more time that you did this for the family-

WALT: I did it for me. I liked it. I was good at it. And I was really...I was alive.
I don't think that Walt was always Heisenberg. I think his motives to help his family were genuine in the beginning. I just think that circumstance revealed another element to who he could be. I think it also was an interesting perspective on the idea of the self. Who are any of us really but the byproduct of circumstance, the sum total of everything? We like to think we're independent "islands", but change the scenery, change the actor on stage. Even his chosen pseudonym implies this imo.
 

Doom85

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I think his motives to help his family were genuine in the beginning.
He was given a VERY generous offer by Elliott for a better-paying job as well as having all his medical bills taken care of. But Walt chose his pride over what was clearly best for his family.

And Gretchen and Elliott were never the bad guys after all. Vince Gilligan clarified this in an interview:

Just another instance of Walt's pride ruining his life. It's a continuous theme throughout the show.
 
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synchronicity

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He was given a VERY generous offer by Elliott for a better-paying job as well as having all his medical bills taken care of. But Walt chose his pride over what was clearly best for his family.

And Gretchen and Elliott were never the bad guys after all. Vince Gilligan clarified this in an interview:

Just another instance of Walt's pride ruining his life. It's a continuous theme throughout the show.
Walt certainly was prideful. And you can be prideful and still love your family, which I'm convinced Walt did in his own way. (we all love in our own way imo.)

But pride didn't create Heisenberg by itself. It was a combination of circumstance - cancer/desperation and opportunity in conjunction with his traits that opened that door. To say Heisenberg arose on the scene simply due to being a prideful, suburban high school chemistry teacher, is a gross oversimplification imo. There is no indication that his life was teetering on the brink prior to the arrival of his cancer. Many factors at play.
 
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