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#1 Posted by whatisdelicious (1259 posts) -

There will be Breaking Bad spoilers in this thread.

Patrick just sent out a tweet leading to this New York Times article written by Anna Gunn, the actress who portrays Skyler on Breaking Bad. Anna writes:

My character, to judge from the popularity of Web sites and Facebook pages devoted to hating her, has become a flash point for many people’s feelings about strong, nonsubmissive, ill-treated women.

[...]

But as a human being, I’m concerned that so many people react to Skyler with such venom. Could it be that they can’t stand a woman who won’t suffer silently or “stand by her man”? That they despise her because she won’t back down or give up? Or because she is, in fact, Walter’s equal?

I don't know about any of you guys, but the fact that Skyler is a "strong, nonsubmissive, ill-treated" woman has nothing to do with it. It's because she's just as worthy of hate as Walt.

In the lead-up to season five, I introduced my old housemates to Breaking Bad. One of them, Luke, loved Skyler and hated Walt. He thought Walt was such an asshole for lying to his wife and cooking meth, even if he was doing it out of love. He thought Walt was selfish and Skyler was a saint.

"Just wait," I told him. "Skyler is the worst."

"You're the worst" was his response.

Fast-forward to once Skyler really starts getting on Walt's case about what he's doing with his free time and now we're seeing the chinks in the pro-Skyler armor. "She's not great, but she's still not the worst," Luke told me, and once again, my response was, "Just wait."

Once we got to "I fucked Ted," Skyler had crossed a line even for Luke. "Okay, fine, you were right," he said. "She's the worst."

The reason why Skyler is terrible and worthy of hate is not because she's a woman. It's because she's selfish. Walt finds out he has terminal lung cancer and Skyler makes it all about herself. Walt begins to pull away and she refuses to let him have any secrets. Sure, sometimes he's out doing some pretty illegal shit, but sometimes he was just out blowing off steam because he has terminal lung cancer. That's initially why I didn't like her.

Then she took it too far. Walt jeopardized their relationship with his meth cooking, but it does have good intentions. Skyler, on the other hand, didn't just jeopardize their relationship when she fucked Ted and told Walt; she actively and maliciously tried to hurt Walt simply because he wouldn't tell her where he goes and what he does. That's the moment when the dislike turns into hatred.

Not only that, but she started illegally cooking Ted's books, committing her own illegal activities. And then, of course, she doesn't just become complicit, but an integral part of Walt's meth cooking schemes. Fuck, man. Even Hank and Marie on the show hate her now for that, and they're her family.

People hate Walt too. One of my roommates now, Lindsey, hates his guts. He's become a monster. He's killed so many people. He sunk Jessie into a cesspool of crippling guilt. I like him because he's exciting to watch, but I wouldn't want to hang out with the guy. I like Joffrey in Game of Thrones for the same reason. They're fun characters to watch. Skyler is usually not fun to watch.

The show encourages you to hate Skyler just as much it encourages you to hate Walter, and sure, in that sense, "she is, in fact, Walter's equal." But it has nothing to do with her being a woman. I really take issue with that sentiment. It disregards how excellent Breaking Bad is and assumes misogyny.

Now, that said, I think it's completely inappropriate to transfer hatred of a fictional character to the actor that portrays her.

I don't know. What do you guys think?

#2 Posted by TheSouthernDandy (3908 posts) -

I would bet there are people who definitely do hate get cause of that. I think a lot of it though, is you're rooting for Walt through much of the series and she's working against him. If you look at her actions, most of her responses make total sense but because you want Walt to succeed you end up being angry at her. For the record I don't hate her. Marie on the other hand is a pain in the ass.

#3 Edited by Digiwth (152 posts) -

This may just be in my experience but a lot of the Skylar hate I see on the internets is something like: "WOW SKYLAR IS SUCH A STUPID WHORE BITCH FOR DOING THAT TO WALT."

I think she has a point.

#4 Posted by GunslingerPanda (4847 posts) -

Look at the most recent episode. When Walt's on the floor and she's consoling him, telling him she'll stand by him during the cancer and help cover it up, at first it seems like she is being caring. Then you notice she's not wearing her wedding ring while he is. She just wants to keep it covered up till he dies and she can get all his drug money. Fucking bitch.

#5 Edited by Hailinel (25203 posts) -

@digiwth said:

This may just be in my experience but a lot of the Skylar hate I see on the internets is something like: "WOW SKYLAR IS SUCH A STUPID WHORE BITCH FOR DOING THAT TO WALT."

I think she has a point.

Yeah, it's one thing to say that Skyler is a thorn in Walter's side (which she is, quite frankly). It's another to insult her by gender.

#6 Posted by MildMolasses (3228 posts) -

Very little of the hatred I've seen towards her is actually related to her characters actions and has more to do with her appearance and her weight fluctuations.


"Just wait," I told him. "Skyler is the worst."

But your argument that she's the worst because she cheated on her husband (who was ignoring her and being secretive. Neither of which lead to healthy relationships. She wanted to care for and support her husband who was actively shutting her out) and she was cooking books. Meanwhile Walt is murdering people, trying to murder children, and aiding in the disposal of murdered children.

I would love to know how you can justify a claim that she is somehow "worse" than Walt? She doesn't stand by her husband, so she's the worst? She stands by her husband and is complicit in his activities, so she's the worst? Do you not see where this idea of her being hated on because she's a woman is coming from? You yourself just did it without even realizing it.

She is not a good person, but you are making her out to be the monster. She just wants her family back. He wants to be God

#7 Posted by golguin (4009 posts) -

One of the main reasons why I don't like Skyler is because she was actively hating on Walt despite everything he was doing for her and the family. She treated him like shit through most of the series and Walt just had to bear it all because he was ultimately doing it all for his kids.

It was until the last episode that she finally did something worth cheering for. I'll even give her a pass on the fact that she's doing it because she doesn't want to go to jail and she doesn't want to lose her kids.

Hating on Skyler because she's a woman is the biggest bullshit ever. You know why? Because I bet the same people that hate on Skyler are cheering for the majority of the women on Game of Thrones. What other show has existed where you can essentially call every female on the show a "badass"?

#8 Edited by Digiwth (152 posts) -

This may also be one of the most defensive op I've seen in awhile. And, yeh MildMolasses is totally right. There is a lot of insults thrown her way for her looks as well.

#9 Edited by pyromagnestir (4337 posts) -

Heh. murder/illegal meth cooking < infidelity... Good to know.

Walt's good intentions go flying right out the door when he turns down help from his old buddy and girlfriend. After that he shows he's not doing it for his family, he's just an arrogant, prideful asshole doing something terrible because it makes him feel like a man.

Skylar certainly is no saint, but come on... She's not even close to sinking to Walt's level. Walt actively and maliciously murdering people matters less than Skylar actively and maliciously hurting Walt's feelings by sleeping with someone else? Not to mention all the danger he's putting his supposedly beloved family in by getting tied up with all this shit...

#10 Posted by Digiwth (152 posts) -

@golguin said:

One of the main reasons why I don't like Skyler is because she was actively hating on Walt despite everything he was doing for her and the family. She treated him like shit through most of the series and Walt just had to bear it all because he was ultimately doing it all for his kids.

do u even watch bb???????

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

#11 Posted by golguin (4009 posts) -

@digiwth said:

@golguin said:

One of the main reasons why I don't like Skyler is because she was actively hating on Walt despite everything he was doing for her and the family. She treated him like shit through most of the series and Walt just had to bear it all because he was ultimately doing it all for his kids.

do u even watch bb???????

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

I do. I also watch Dexter and I've seen all of Deathnote. All 3 shows feature main characters that do "bad" things. There are people that impede them from doing their thing. Most people don't like those people. Is there something you don't understand about that?

#12 Posted by JasonR86 (9763 posts) -

I don't hate that character so...

#13 Posted by CustomOtto (496 posts) -

If you think she's being selfish and Walt isn't then you've been missing a lot.

#14 Posted by Digiwth (152 posts) -

@golguin:

Walt had a choice at the beginning of the Series to accept the money and take care of his family, but instead of swallowing his pride he chose to become a psychopathic egomaniac who puts his family in danger? He even refuses to let his Brother/Sister-in-law take care of his kids so they can be somewhat safe.

dude how do u even

#15 Posted by GrantHeaslip (1662 posts) -

Skyler's an interesting dynamic in the show, because I agree, I was often annoyed by her, but if you really pick apart what's happening and what she knows, she's absolutely justified in doing most of what she did. Even if it was irrational, wouldn't you be irrational in that situation? Regardless of cancer, the way Walt was acting in the lead-up to the Ted stuff was pretty fucking shitty, at least from her perspective, and the cheating didn't seem that unjustified. Schrader's similar in the sense that his being a thorn in Walt's side doesn't make him the "worst".

Walt is treated as the protagonist, but when you really look at what he's done, he's not a good guy. He's not necessarily evil, as he's got his reasons and been pushed past lines he didn't want to cross (though maybe all "evil" people are like that?), but don't forget that he's at this point in the show arguably the villain.

Haven't read the whole post, but I think I agree that this isn't about her gender. The show goes out of its way to encourage you to hate her, even though she's arguably the victim. That's the point! Unless Walt had a roommate or something, it sort of had to be his wife who played that part.

#16 Posted by golguin (4009 posts) -

@digiwth said:

@golguin:

Walt had a choice at the beginning of the Series to accept the money and take care of his family, but instead of swallowing his pride he chose to become a psychopathic egomaniac who puts his family in danger? He even refuses to let his Brother/Sister-in-law take care of his kids so they can be somewhat safe.

dude how do u even

Walt accepts the money from his rich friends that he rightfully earned thanks to his contribution and the show ends. Happy now? Do I need to explain how this is fiction? Kids aren't really dying you know so I don't really care about that kid on the bike because I want to see Walt succeed with his plans. I wanted him to beat Gus. I want him to win even though everything is probably going to come crashing down in a way that probably kills his kids. That will be a good ending to the series.

Why are you even watching this show?

#18 Posted by golguin (4009 posts) -

@digiwth said:

@golguin:

WHY ARE YOU EVEN WATCHING THE SHOW?

To be entertained. I find the show to be pretty compelling and entertaining. Are you not entertained?

#19 Posted by Digiwth (152 posts) -

@golguin:

I'm just addressing your insane point about Walt doing it for his family and her, and her treating him like shit. That is ridiculous.

#20 Posted by jimmy_p (278 posts) -

Ofcourse all the hate on Skyler isnt reasonable because she has done perfectly justifiable decisions throughout the series. But Breaking Bad shows that every character (yes, even "muh opressed strong independent housewife" ) has a tendecy to be manipulative and egotistical.

Also, people who want to see Walt completely destroyed and hanged fucking bore me. When did rooting for Chaotic Evil become condemnable? You're not on jury duty, this is a work of fiction.

#21 Edited by CustomOtto (496 posts) -

@golguin said:

@digiwth said:

@golguin:

Walt had a choice at the beginning of the Series to accept the money and take care of his family, but instead of swallowing his pride he chose to become a psychopathic egomaniac who puts his family in danger? He even refuses to let his Brother/Sister-in-law take care of his kids so they can be somewhat safe.

dude how do u even

Walt accepts the money from his rich friends that he rightfully earned thanks to his contribution and the show ends. Happy now? Do I need to explain how this is fiction? Kids aren't really dying you know so I don't really care about that kid on the bike because I want to see Walt succeed with his plans. I wanted him to beat Gus. I want him to win even though everything is probably going to come crashing down in a way that probably kills his kids. That will be a good ending to the series.

Why are you even watching this show?

You're the one who said Walt was just looking out for his family. You can't just all of a sudden turn it into BUT THEN THERE WOULDN'T BE A SHOW GAWD when your argument is shot to shit.

#22 Edited by golguin (4009 posts) -

@digiwth said:

@golguin:

I'm just addressing your insane point about Walt doing it for his family and her, and her treating him like shit. That is ridiculous.

I suppose from your viewpoint Walt is selfish and has an insane lust for power and is willing to do terrible things to achieve his goals and Skyler is protecting the family from decisions that can come back and get them all killed? What was that line she had when she was praying for the cancer to kill him? It was something about protecting the family from his protection.

#23 Posted by Ares42 (2775 posts) -

Skyler is usually not fun to watch.

While I in no way hate the character, this is really her biggest problem. As a character in a TV show she's rarely entertaining in any way and serves mostly just as a necessity for the construction of Walt. I can understand why others might feel stronger about her but it would probably mostly be because they have strong sympathy or identify with Walt and how the two of them interact, not because of something innately about the character.

#24 Posted by leebmx (2247 posts) -

@whatisdelicious I don't get that at all from the show. I have watched all of it apart from the new episodes of season 6 (second half season 5) and what I see is a woman who is driven to the point of insanity and suicide by the actions of her partner. I don't see how you can call her selfish at all.

She is completely driven by the desire to keep her family together and to protect her children from the chaos Walter has brought into their lives. Walter is unbelievably selfish throughout the series. You can maybe say at the very begining of his Meth cooking he is doing it to provide for his family once he has gone, but once he has had the offer of his treatment paid for by his ex-partner, and when he finds out he his cancer is no longer terminal, he has no excuse to carry on his behaviour (if he even did in the first place)

You say Skyler refuses to let Walt have any secrets. This is a crazy thing to say, he is lying and cheating on his partner, and she knows something is up right from the first series when he starts letting slip about second phones and then pretends to go into a fugue state to explain his disappearance.

The only possible thing you can say against her is her cheating with Ted, but this happens at a time when her marriage and life is falling apart and she desperately needs someone to cling to. I don't see that this is much of a crime compared to the legion of misdeeds, lies, and murders which Walter commits. It is certainly nothing compared to the way Walter turns their own child against her, making it seem as if her genuine worry and anger towards Walt is some sort of victimisation.

She only cooks Teds books because she feels pity for him and wants to help and she only helps Walters schemes because he is basically blackmailing her family to make her do it. She can't face the thought of their father in prison or dead. This is a cruicial difference between them - all Walter's deeds are for himself and all Skyler's are to help others. As I see it, all Walters misdeeds are driven by his overblown ego and in pursuit of power and glory for himself and no-one else. Skyler is just reacting as any mother would when she sees her family being ripped apart.

Where I think you are right is when you say 'I like Walt because he is exciting to watch.' This is what I think is confusing the issue. Much like Tony Soprano, Walter is a fun character to follow on their journey. He is our sense of escapism, of a 'fuck you' to the rest of the world. Skyler isn't entertaining because she is ruined conscience of the show, the damaged broken other side to Walter's high jinx and adventures. However this is not a reason to hate her character.

There is a difference between which characters you find entertaining and which characters are good people, and we shouldn't confuse the two. Its fine to say I enjoy watching Walter. But is he a good person? NO! He is an absolute monster, a true mass murderer by the end of the series. He has chosen his fate and does not deserve our sympathy. As much as I enjoy watching him, I hate him as a person. - and we haven't even touched on what he has done to Jessie, - killed one girlfriend and poisoned the child of another other for a start.

I struggled throughout the five series I have watched with my feelings about Walt. At first I wanted him to succeed and either wanted Skyler not to find out or to become his partner in crime when she did However as I have watched it has become impossible to ignore the fact that everything Walter does turns to shit and he is ploughing a path of destruction through the lives of everyone around him. It is great credit to the script writers that they have managed to make us root for such an evil character for so long, but I I can't see how anyone can get to the end of series 5 and still like him. even less hate Skyler.

#25 Posted by erhard (436 posts) -

Her character makes for the most boring scenes on the show, coupled with the fact that she ruins things for Walt through her irrationality.

#26 Edited by leebmx (2247 posts) -

She is not a good person, but you are making her out to be the monster. She just wants her family back. He wants to be God

I just wrote a whole long post and you said exactly what I wanted to say in one sentence. Nice one ;)

#27 Edited by JasonR86 (9763 posts) -

Judging by some of these comments I think I've been watching another show.

#28 Posted by csl316 (9254 posts) -

See, I assume people don't like her because early on she was an obstacle to our hero as he kept a secret. Then when Walt went from clumsy criminal to bad guy, she started being an even bigger hazard once she knew.

Interesting, now that she's sort of on Walt's side she seems more likeable. If I won't root against Bryan Cranston, you damn well better be on his side.

#29 Posted by golguin (4009 posts) -

@golguin said:

@digiwth said:

@golguin:

Walt had a choice at the beginning of the Series to accept the money and take care of his family, but instead of swallowing his pride he chose to become a psychopathic egomaniac who puts his family in danger? He even refuses to let his Brother/Sister-in-law take care of his kids so they can be somewhat safe.

dude how do u even

Walt accepts the money from his rich friends that he rightfully earned thanks to his contribution and the show ends. Happy now? Do I need to explain how this is fiction? Kids aren't really dying you know so I don't really care about that kid on the bike because I want to see Walt succeed with his plans. I wanted him to beat Gus. I want him to win even though everything is probably going to come crashing down in a way that probably kills his kids. That will be a good ending to the series.

Why are you even watching this show?

You're the one who said Walt was just looking out for his family. You can't just all of a sudden turn it into BUT THEN THERE WOULDN'T BE A SHOW GAWD when your argument is shot to shit.

How is my argument shot to shit? Walt is doing it all for his family. He also made it perfectly clear that HE HAS TO BE THE ONE THAT DOES IT. Did you forget how he objected to the whole charity angle to launder the money? He needed it to be known that the money was obtained thanks to his efforts. He's not willing to accomplish his goals in that manner.

How many characters in fiction have refused a solution that will fix everything and result in a happy ending because the plot demands it?

#30 Posted by CustomOtto (496 posts) -

@golguin said:

@customotto said:

@golguin said:

@digiwth said:

@golguin:

Walt had a choice at the beginning of the Series to accept the money and take care of his family, but instead of swallowing his pride he chose to become a psychopathic egomaniac who puts his family in danger? He even refuses to let his Brother/Sister-in-law take care of his kids so they can be somewhat safe.

dude how do u even

Walt accepts the money from his rich friends that he rightfully earned thanks to his contribution and the show ends. Happy now? Do I need to explain how this is fiction? Kids aren't really dying you know so I don't really care about that kid on the bike because I want to see Walt succeed with his plans. I wanted him to beat Gus. I want him to win even though everything is probably going to come crashing down in a way that probably kills his kids. That will be a good ending to the series.

Why are you even watching this show?

You're the one who said Walt was just looking out for his family. You can't just all of a sudden turn it into BUT THEN THERE WOULDN'T BE A SHOW GAWD when your argument is shot to shit.

How is my argument shot to shit? Walt is doing it all for his family. He also made it perfectly clear that HE HAS TO BE THE ONE THAT DOES IT. Did you forget how he objected to the whole charity angle to launder the money? He needed it to be known that the money was obtained thanks to his efforts. He's not willing to accomplish his goals in that manner.

How many characters in fiction have refused a solution that will fix everything and result in a happy ending because the plot demands it?

you're trolling right

#31 Posted by whatisdelicious (1259 posts) -

@mildmolasses: I guess I should clarify then that "____ is the worst" is just kind of a hyperbole that my friends and I say a lot. I wasn't literally ranking her against Walt. But still, you're making excuses for her in the same way that you say I'm making excuses for Walt:

Skyler wants her family back so she gets on Walt's case all the time about the secrets he keeps. In doing that, she violates his privacy and can't let him deal with his own mortality without it being under her control. Then she actively tries to hurt him by cheating on him and telling him about it. She commits so much illegal activity on her own, like all the stuff with Ted that eventually led to him being hospitalized and his life ruined, and she aids Walt in his business, making her an accessory in every crime he's ever committed. But she's doing it all because she wants her family back, right?

Same thing with Walt. He wants to leave his family with a comfortable life. He wants them to be taken care of after he's gone. So he sells his soul and commits some of the worst acts imaginable. He lies to his family. He hurts people. He kills people. He gets seduced by the power he wields. But he's doing it because he loves his family, right?

They're the same. They're both worthy of contempt and hatred even if Walt is more so. To say that the reason why I hate Skyler is simply because she's a woman is insulting to both myself and to the talented writers of the show who wrote characters dynamic enough that you can make arguments for the good intentions of both even in the face of the evil they commit.

#32 Edited by csl316 (9254 posts) -

@erhard said:

Her character makes for the most boring scenes on the show, coupled with the fact that she ruins things for Walt through her irrationality.

Really? I thought she was part of the most intense ones because Walt drops his facades. "I am the danger," the scene where he counters all her possible ways out, crawl space, etc.

#33 Edited by AlexW00d (6389 posts) -

I don't dislike her 'cause she's a woman, I dislike her 'cause she's a shitty person, just like Walt, just like almost everyone in Breaking Bad.

A character people hate is obviously a really well written character cause it elicits real feelings from the audience, as opposed to mere indifference.

#34 Posted by XCEagle (116 posts) -

@golguin said:

@customotto said:

@golguin said:

@digiwth said:

@golguin:

Walt had a choice at the beginning of the Series to accept the money and take care of his family, but instead of swallowing his pride he chose to become a psychopathic egomaniac who puts his family in danger? He even refuses to let his Brother/Sister-in-law take care of his kids so they can be somewhat safe.

dude how do u even

Walt accepts the money from his rich friends that he rightfully earned thanks to his contribution and the show ends. Happy now? Do I need to explain how this is fiction? Kids aren't really dying you know so I don't really care about that kid on the bike because I want to see Walt succeed with his plans. I wanted him to beat Gus. I want him to win even though everything is probably going to come crashing down in a way that probably kills his kids. That will be a good ending to the series.

Why are you even watching this show?

You're the one who said Walt was just looking out for his family. You can't just all of a sudden turn it into BUT THEN THERE WOULDN'T BE A SHOW GAWD when your argument is shot to shit.

How is my argument shot to shit? Walt is doing it all for his family. He also made it perfectly clear that HE HAS TO BE THE ONE THAT DOES IT. Did you forget how he objected to the whole charity angle to launder the money? He needed it to be known that the money was obtained thanks to his efforts. He's not willing to accomplish his goals in that manner.

How many characters in fiction have refused a solution that will fix everything and result in a happy ending because the plot demands it?

That's precisely what makes him selfish. The idea that this is necessary to continue the show doesn't some how exonerate Walt's actions. It doesn't make his actions less terrible, and it DOES invalidate the argument that he's doing it for his family. He is doing this for his ego.

#35 Posted by leebmx (2247 posts) -

@golguin said:

@customotto said:

@golguin said:

@digiwth said:

@golguin:

Walt had a choice at the beginning of the Series to accept the money and take care of his family, but instead of swallowing his pride he chose to become a psychopathic egomaniac who puts his family in danger? He even refuses to let his Brother/Sister-in-law take care of his kids so they can be somewhat safe.

dude how do u even

Walt accepts the money from his rich friends that he rightfully earned thanks to his contribution and the show ends. Happy now? Do I need to explain how this is fiction? Kids aren't really dying you know so I don't really care about that kid on the bike because I want to see Walt succeed with his plans. I wanted him to beat Gus. I want him to win even though everything is probably going to come crashing down in a way that probably kills his kids. That will be a good ending to the series.

Why are you even watching this show?

You're the one who said Walt was just looking out for his family. You can't just all of a sudden turn it into BUT THEN THERE WOULDN'T BE A SHOW GAWD when your argument is shot to shit.

How is my argument shot to shit? Walt is doing it all for his family. He also made it perfectly clear that HE HAS TO BE THE ONE THAT DOES IT. Did you forget how he objected to the whole charity angle to launder the money? He needed it to be known that the money was obtained thanks to his efforts. He's not willing to accomplish his goals in that manner.

How many characters in fiction have refused a solution that will fix everything and result in a happy ending because the plot demands it?

you're trolling right

This a very silly argument. Its like saying Hannibal Lecter was a good person because if he hadn't have killed all those people all the movies that he was in would have had rubbish plots.

Walter is a horrible ego-driven murderer. Just because you find him entertaining does not make him a good person.

#36 Posted by Brodehouse (10106 posts) -

(I stopped watching the show in Season Two or so, whenever Saul shows up. Because I was getting bored with how slow it moved. And I was starting to be frustrated with the characters, more Walt than her.)

I didn't like her character simply because the part of the show I was interested in was if Walt was going to be able to achieve his goals (give his wife and kid a nest egg after he dies). I'm not in the show to enjoy when Walt drops what he's doing in order to do whatever his wife tells him.

When she would stand in the way of Walt succeeding at dealing drugs, I would just wish she would stop. In the same way when Walt gets drunk and loses control of his rage, or is simply acting like a complete asshole, I would wish he would stop. But when I wish Walt would stop, that's fine. When I wish Skylar would stop interfering (and apparently later she fucks him over out of pure vindictiveness), that's not just me disliking a character; it's because misogyny and toxic masculinity and how-dare-you. It couldn't possibly be because I just don't like that character.

If the audience doesn't like a character, it's misogynist because she's a woman and if you dislike a single woman, then you hate all women. Amazing.

#37 Edited by golguin (4009 posts) -

@customotto said:

@golguin said:

@customotto said:

@golguin said:

@digiwth said:

@golguin:

Walt had a choice at the beginning of the Series to accept the money and take care of his family, but instead of swallowing his pride he chose to become a psychopathic egomaniac who puts his family in danger? He even refuses to let his Brother/Sister-in-law take care of his kids so they can be somewhat safe.

dude how do u even

Walt accepts the money from his rich friends that he rightfully earned thanks to his contribution and the show ends. Happy now? Do I need to explain how this is fiction? Kids aren't really dying you know so I don't really care about that kid on the bike because I want to see Walt succeed with his plans. I wanted him to beat Gus. I want him to win even though everything is probably going to come crashing down in a way that probably kills his kids. That will be a good ending to the series.

Why are you even watching this show?

You're the one who said Walt was just looking out for his family. You can't just all of a sudden turn it into BUT THEN THERE WOULDN'T BE A SHOW GAWD when your argument is shot to shit.

How is my argument shot to shit? Walt is doing it all for his family. He also made it perfectly clear that HE HAS TO BE THE ONE THAT DOES IT. Did you forget how he objected to the whole charity angle to launder the money? He needed it to be known that the money was obtained thanks to his efforts. He's not willing to accomplish his goals in that manner.

How many characters in fiction have refused a solution that will fix everything and result in a happy ending because the plot demands it?

you're trolling right

You didn't address anything I wrote so I believe that's what you are currently doing.

EDIT: Great, the thread ate the rest of my comment in the spoiler tags. I was saying that Walk was willing to give himself up as long as all the money he made would go to his kids. His original goal was still valid. If his ego was truly the driving force he would have never admitted defeat. In my very first comment in this thread I give Skyler credit for doing something good. The good thing was convincing Walt not to turn himself in because the money would be gone.

#38 Posted by CustomOtto (496 posts) -

@golguin said:

@customotto said:

@golguin said:

@customotto said:

@golguin said:

@digiwth said:

@golguin:

Walt had a choice at the beginning of the Series to accept the money and take care of his family, but instead of swallowing his pride he chose to become a psychopathic egomaniac who puts his family in danger? He even refuses to let his Brother/Sister-in-law take care of his kids so they can be somewhat safe.

dude how do u even

Walt accepts the money from his rich friends that he rightfully earned thanks to his contribution and the show ends. Happy now? Do I need to explain how this is fiction? Kids aren't really dying you know so I don't really care about that kid on the bike because I want to see Walt succeed with his plans. I wanted him to beat Gus. I want him to win even though everything is probably going to come crashing down in a way that probably kills his kids. That will be a good ending to the series.

Why are you even watching this show?

You're the one who said Walt was just looking out for his family. You can't just all of a sudden turn it into BUT THEN THERE WOULDN'T BE A SHOW GAWD when your argument is shot to shit.

How is my argument shot to shit? Walt is doing it all for his family. He also made it perfectly clear that HE HAS TO BE THE ONE THAT DOES IT. Did you forget how he objected to the whole charity angle to launder the money? He needed it to be known that the money was obtained thanks to his efforts. He's not willing to accomplish his goals in that manner.

How many characters in fiction have refused a solution that will fix everything and result in a happy ending because the plot demands it?

you're trolling right

You didn't address anything I wrote so I believe that's what you are currently doing.

Lemme address this: Walt is doing it all for his family. He also made it perfectly clear that HE HAS TO BE THE ONE THAT DOES IT.

#39 Posted by Grissefar (2842 posts) -

Wait, people hate Walt? That's fucked up man.

#40 Posted by FancySoapsMan (5855 posts) -

Skylar is the only person in the show who's able to see past Walt's lies and realize that he's kind of a scumbag who doesn't really care about his family.

It's kind of funny that Walt has managed to fool a lot of the audience into thinking he's a good guy though.

#41 Posted by golguin (4009 posts) -

@leebmx said:

@customotto said:

@golguin said:

@customotto said:

@golguin said:

@digiwth said:

@golguin:

Walt had a choice at the beginning of the Series to accept the money and take care of his family, but instead of swallowing his pride he chose to become a psychopathic egomaniac who puts his family in danger? He even refuses to let his Brother/Sister-in-law take care of his kids so they can be somewhat safe.

dude how do u even

Walt accepts the money from his rich friends that he rightfully earned thanks to his contribution and the show ends. Happy now? Do I need to explain how this is fiction? Kids aren't really dying you know so I don't really care about that kid on the bike because I want to see Walt succeed with his plans. I wanted him to beat Gus. I want him to win even though everything is probably going to come crashing down in a way that probably kills his kids. That will be a good ending to the series.

Why are you even watching this show?

You're the one who said Walt was just looking out for his family. You can't just all of a sudden turn it into BUT THEN THERE WOULDN'T BE A SHOW GAWD when your argument is shot to shit.

How is my argument shot to shit? Walt is doing it all for his family. He also made it perfectly clear that HE HAS TO BE THE ONE THAT DOES IT. Did you forget how he objected to the whole charity angle to launder the money? He needed it to be known that the money was obtained thanks to his efforts. He's not willing to accomplish his goals in that manner.

How many characters in fiction have refused a solution that will fix everything and result in a happy ending because the plot demands it?

you're trolling right

This a very silly argument. Its like saying Hannibal Lecter was a good person because if he hadn't have killed all those people all the movies that he was in would have had rubbish plots.

Walter is a horrible ego-driven murderer. Just because you find him entertaining does not make him a good person.

My original comment got eaten, but this is what I said in the other comment.

"EDIT: Great, the thread ate the rest of my comment in the spoiler tags. I was saying that Walk was willing to give himself up as long as all the money he made would go to his kids. His original goal was still valid. If his ego was truly the driving force he would have never admitted defeat. In my very first comment in this thread I give Skyler credit for doing something good. The good thing was convincing Walt not to turn himself in because the money would be gone."

Would an ego driven monster be willing to give himself up on the condition that his kids get all his money? Wasn't his original goal always to give his kids the money?

#42 Edited by Pr1mus (3959 posts) -

She's not an innocent and hasn't been for a long time now but hey, whatever you need to tell yourself to justify thinking that Skyler is actually worst than Walt.

And maybe you should look up the kind of comments she's referring to in the article. She's pretty spot on about there being a lot of misogyny in there.

Also anyone using the end of last episode to justify their argument that Skyler is now officially worst than Walt... forget it i'm not gonna waste time discussing this with delusional people.

#43 Posted by leebmx (2247 posts) -

Same thing with Walt. He wants to leave his family with a comfortable life. He wants them to be taken care of after he's gone. So he sells his soul and commits some of the worst acts imaginable. He lies to his family. He hurts people. He kills people. He gets seduced by the power he wields. But he's doing it because he loves his family, right?

No. By the end he is not doing this. He makes it clear when he gives the big speech about how he was removed from that tech company which is now worth billions. He is being driven by the feeling that his life has passed him by and that his genius has been stolen from him. He is doing it for his own ego and the feeling, and reality, of power. All the money is going mouldy in lock-up, they never get to spend it.

He makes it clear again when he says 'I am the one who knocks.' He is enjoying feeling powerful and is not doing it for anyone else. The stuff about his family is just a convienient lie pretty much from season two onward.

They are not the same in any respect. Walter will take what he wants no matter who it destroys, she is just trying to do the best with the destruction he has left behind.

#44 Posted by Disaya (290 posts) -

@golguin said:

One of the main reasons why I don't like Skyler is because she was actively hating on Walt despite everything he was doing for her and the family. She treated him like shit through most of the series and Walt just had to bear it all because he was ultimately doing it all for his kids.

So what if he is doing it his family? He is killing people right and left, and destroying the lives of his friends, acquaintances, and family from the inside out. Just because he is doing it for his family doesn't suddenly make his horrible actions reasonable and justifiable. Lets be honest the whole "for his family" reason quickly got thrown out as soon as he started letting the power and lust to be top dog control him, at that point it wasn't about his family anymore, it was about him and as someone mentioned he became an psychopathic egomaniac. And is Skylar really just supposed to sit back and smile about it? This was never a life she wanted, she never wanted her and her family to be dragged into this, and she certainly did want Walt to turn into the thing he has become-regardless of his initial intentions. She has every right to despise Walt for what he has done to her and her family. The actions she makes, she makes for her family to keep them safe, she is doing it for them. So why are her actions not justifiable? But you're right Skylar is a bitch who poor old Walt has to deal with.

#45 Edited by CustomOtto (496 posts) -

I agree with this guy.

It feels like Walt and Skyler's relationship has really shifted into an awful new gear . . .

Yes. It very much looks like Skyler is in hell these days. You know, Walt always talks a good game about doing what he does for his family and in the early days of Breaking Bad, that was very much the case, but now, it seems to me Skyler is the member of that particular team who really is worried for the family. To that end, is she making the right choices? Maybe not. But she definitely has her heart in the right place when it comes to her family's welfare. And these days she's just scared out of her mind.

And the source of her terror is Walt.

She's come to realize in this first episode of Season Five that the man she married is not at all that she thought he was. This is a truly scary individual. He said back in the middle of Season Four, 'I am the danger,' and now she believes it more than ever. This is a man capable of blowing up a nursing home in order to kill one guy. This is a scary person indeed, and she shares a bed with him. What does she do about this? Should she call the police? Should she tell her brother-in-law, Hank? Perhaps. Probably, in fact. But so far she doesn't seem capable of doing that. The last image of this episode is all of that in a nutshell.

We've watched Walt go from being a good man doing bad things, to almost a straight-up bad guy. Is there any of that good man still left in him?

It's an excellent question. I think the answer is up to the individual viewer. We're watching a character in a constant state of flux, a constant state of transformation. In every individual episode, Walter's a little further along the continuum between good guy and bad guy. And because our audience is not monolithic, and every viewer has his or her own interpretation, with every episode, I like to picture viewers losing sympathy for Walt. With every episode yet another viewer or two is saying, 'You know, I'm not with this guy anymore. I'm watching him, but I'm not sympathizing.' This is a guy moving along a continuum toward ultimately becoming Scarface, and it seems in episode 501 he's already Scarface.

When Walt says, 'I forgive you' to her, it is one of his most chilling lines yet.

Exactly. It's an interesting line because on the one hand, it seems out of touch with reality for him to think that he is being magnanimous about forgiving her when he's in fact, the monster, the cancer, if you will, that's destroying her and her family. But it's also very manipulative on his part.

How so?

It's this feeling of, 'I'm going to be magnanimous here. I'm the bigger person. And we're going to pick right up where we left off and things are going to be good and it will be that way, because I decree it. I will it. I'm the king.' That's where Walt's head is at and, unfortunately for Skyler, she is – very much against her will –along for the ride.

We've watched Walt go from being a good man doing bad things, to almost a straight-up bad guy. Is there any of that good man still left in him?

It's an excellent question. I think the answer is up to the individual viewer. We're watching a character in a constant state of flux, a constant state of transformation. In every individual episode, Walter's a little further along the continuum between good guy and bad guy. And because our audience is not monolithic, and every viewer has his or her own interpretation, with every episode, I like to picture viewers losing sympathy for Walt. With every episode yet another viewer or two is saying, 'You know, I'm not with this guy anymore. I'm watching him, but I'm not sympathizing.' This is a guy moving along a continuum toward ultimately becoming Scarface, and it seems in episode 501 he's already Scarface.

etc

#46 Edited by whatisdelicious (1259 posts) -

@leebmx: I concentrated on Skyler in my original post, but I'm not arguing Walt is a good person. Like I said, one of my current housemates absolutely hates his guts, and again, like I said, I think he's fun to watch but I certainly wouldn't want to hang out with the guy. Walt is a terrible, terrible person. He's committed some of the most atrocious crimes I've ever seen on television. Remember when he let Jessie's girlfriend choke on her own vomit and then let Jessie go on a downward spiral, believing he'd killed the woman he loved? Remember how that eventually led to a plane crash, killing dozens, if not hundreds? The guy's a fucking asshole. I'm not denying that at all.

But I don't hate Walt because he's a man just like I don't hate Skyler because she's a woman. They both commit some pretty despicable acts. If you're defending the shit that Skyler does, then that's the point of the show. We all rooted for Walt in the beginning because he had good, understandable motivations behind the stuff he was doing, and he didn't enjoy any of it. He was selling his soul and putting himself in great danger for his family. It was selfish at all in the beginning; it was selfless. But of course, that all took a turning point and we stopped defending Walt.

You and a lot of other people make the same kind of excuses for Skyler and her heinous, illegal actions that leave people like Ted hospitalized, and that's the brilliance of the show. You can empathize with these people even as they cross all sorts of moral lines. You try to justify their actions and often even root for them. It's only once you've taken a step back that you realize the horror of it all.

I think Hotline: Miami is a good video game comparison. The world is neon and the music is loud and exciting. You're murdering so many people in so many gruesome ways but don't really think about it until the music stops and you have to walk through the aftermath to your car.

#47 Edited by leebmx (2247 posts) -

(I stopped watching the show in Season Two or so, whenever Saul shows up. Because I was getting bored with how slow it moved. And I was starting to be frustrated with the characters, more Walt than her.)

I didn't like her character simply because the part of the show I was interested in was if Walt was going to be able to achieve his goals (give his wife and kid a nest egg after he dies). I'm not in the show to enjoy when Walt drops what he's doing in order to do whatever his wife tells him.

When she would stand in the way of Walt succeeding at dealing drugs, I would just wish she would stop. In the same way when Walt gets drunk and loses control of his rage, or is simply acting like a complete asshole, I would wish he would stop. But when I wish Walt would stop, that's fine. When I wish Skylar would stop interfering (and apparently later she fucks him over out of pure vindictiveness), that's not just me disliking a character; it's because misogyny and toxic masculinity and how-dare-you. It couldn't possibly be because I just don't like that character.

If the audience doesn't like a character, it's misogynist because she's a woman and if you dislike a single woman, then you hate all women. Amazing.

I think you are the only person in this thread to bring up the m-word. Most other people are just arguing about their motives, irrespective of gender.

#48 Edited by Milkman (17193 posts) -

On Breaking Bad, the murderous, meth dealer is regarded as a hero by the general public and his scared wife is regarded as a "fucking bitch." (I know that Skyler's character is much more involved in Walt's dealings now. I'm talking about the majority of the series.) It could not be more obvious that some people (NOT ALL) simply hate Skyler because she is a woman.

I continue to support articles like this and Anita's videos because even when they make the most obvious observations, it becomes extremely clear from the reaction that even those are incredibly difficult for the majority the internet public to get through their heads.

#49 Posted by martyarf (250 posts) -

A huge amount of the reaction that Skylar provokes is fundamentally misogynist: you will hear her called a "bitch", a "cunt", and so on endlessly. Walt - who let us not forget, is a multiple murderer, abuser, who threatens people regularly, is extremely manipulative and at this point seemingly divorced from reality - is held up by many (in countless threads like these) as some kind of badass, a renegade who has to Do Bad Things But Is Ultimately Good. These same people probably think Don Draper - a misogynist, cheating, abusive, lying advertising executive is also some kind of hero.

Complex shows: The Sopranos, Mad Men, Breaking Bad, The Wire, nearly anything you can name, do not have heroes. They all have fundamentally immoral characters that you are tricked into sympathizing with. It is a hallmark of 20th century fiction. If you're going to defend Walt to the end, you should at least be aware of the genre conventions that you're in the process of ignoring.

#50 Edited by KentonClay (257 posts) -

People don't hate Skylar because she's a woman, but female characters have a hard time being antagonistic without instantly getting the "bitch" label, especially if they're getting in the way of the male protagonist on anything other than a purely physical level.

@golguin: Walt's ENTIRE character arc is about how he started doing a bad thing for good reasons but eventually became a power obsessed monster fueled partially by the shame of his past failures in life. There have been multiple points in the story where he had the chance to get out with more than enough for his original goal. Hell, once he learned that he was in remission, he didn't really need all that money.

He's essentially the New Mexico, drug lord version of Macbeth.