Skyler White


Breaking Bad's Skyler White was no Lady Macbeth ... and that's no dig. Her ruthlessness was born not out of greed or ambition but something much more complex --  an insatiable desire to cheat fate, avoid the inevitable. Over the course of the series, Skyler (Anna Gunn) went from hausfrau to money laundering mogul who knew that any misstep would mean her world would come crashing down around her ears. Yes, she was a bitch -- solid gold. But, it seems to me, she came about it honestly. A very telling moment in a series full of them came when we're shown in flashback Walt and Skyler looking at their Negra Arroyo Lane home while Skyler is great with their first child, Walter Jr. She's talking sensibly about affordability and Walt is complaining that the house is inadequate, too small for what their life will become. More, more, more, he seems to say. As we know, Walt never delivered, swapping what would have been a multi-million dollar bonanza with Gray Matter for a few thousand dollars to pay the mortgage on their "inadequate" starter home. Pride goeth before destruction. Skyler, trading tchotckes on eBay to help with expenses, knows how tenuous and uncertain life can be. She gave birth to a child with cerebral palsy, after all. And, she knows her brilliant though underachieving high school chemistry teacher husband who moonlights at a carwash is offering less, less, less. That is until he becomes a meth cook and loads the entire family into a van on the road to hell. So, we can forgive her if she, as tightly wound as she had to be to keep her family together, was a nag and a scold and a closet smoker and adulteress. Carpe diem.

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