Skyler White

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Skyler White
Breaking Bad character
Skyler White.jpg
First appearance "Pilot"
Last appearance "Felina"
Created by Vince Gilligan
Portrayed by Anna Gunn
Information
Occupation Short story writer, bookkeeper, car wash manager, taxi dispatcher
Spouse(s) Walter White
Significant other(s) Ted Beneke (ex-lover)
Children Walter White, Jr. (son)
Holly White (daughter)
Relatives Marie Schrader (sister)
Hank Schrader (brother-in-law)

Skyler White, portrayed by Anna Gunn, is a fictional character in the American television drama series Breaking Bad on AMC. For her portrayal, Gunn won two consecutive Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series in 2013 and 2014. She also won the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series in 2014.

In the Spanish-language remake Metástasis, her character is renamed Cielo Blanco and is portrayed by Sandra Reyes.[1]

Character biography[edit]

Over the years, Skyler has had several meager sources of income: writing short stories, selling items on eBay, and eventually working as a bookkeeper for the Albuquerque firm Beneke Fabricators. She and her husband, Walter White (Bryan Cranston), have a son, Walter Jr. (RJ Mitte), and an infant daughter, Holly. Her sister, Marie (Betsy Brandt), is married to a DEA agent, Hank Schrader (Dean Norris). Skyler is approximately eleven years younger than Walter, whom she met when she was a hostess at a diner near Walt's former place of work, near the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Season one[edit]

Skyler is in the middle stages of pregnancy with Holly at the beginning of the show. When Walter is diagnosed with terminal lung cancer, he initially does not tell his family. When Skyler learns about the diagnosis, she is both devastated by the news and outraged that Walter withheld the information. Their relationship becomes strained, both from Walter's reluctance to seek treatment and from his unexplained absences following his diagnosis. Skyler figures out Walter's connection to his former student, Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul), and confronts Jesse at his house. When she confronts Walter, he claims that Jesse is his marijuana dealer. Unbeknownst to Skyler, Walter has taken up cooking methamphetamine with Jesse in order to ensure his family's financial security after he dies.

Skyler faces other problems, as well. When Marie offers an expensive white gold tiara as a gift for Holly's baby shower, Skyler attempts to return it to the jewelry store, only to learn that her sister — a kleptomaniac — had stolen the item. Skyler is detained by the store's owner and escapes arrest only after faking labor pains. The incident causes serious problems in Skyler's relationship with Marie, who pathologically denies that she has done anything wrong.

Season two[edit]

When Walter is kidnapped by Mexican drug kingpin Tuco Salamanca (Raymond Cruz), his family — unaware of the connection to Walter's criminal activities — organizes a search for him as a missing person. When Walter escapes, he attributes his disappearance to a non-existent "fugue state". The marriage continues going downhill thanks to Walter's continued absences, devolving to the point where Skyler refuses to speak with him. Skyler is also perturbed by Walter's resistance to his son's efforts to raise money for Walter's cancer treatments, unaware that most of the donations actually constitute drug money laundered by Walter's corrupt lawyer, Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk).

Still unaware of Walter's meth business, Skyler believes his illness has strained the family's finances and returns to her old job working as an accountant for Ted Beneke (Christopher Cousins), whose sexual advances had caused her to quit earlier. She increasingly relies on Ted for emotional support as her husband grows distant; she also reluctantly covers up Ted's tax fraud. Shortly afterwards, Skyler gives birth to a daughter, Holly; Walt is absent for the occasion, having been forced to appear for a meth transaction with the drug kingpin Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito).

When Skyler becomes suspicious that Walter owns a second cell phone, Walter emphatically denies the charge. However, while Walter is doped up prior to cancer surgery, he indicates the opposite by replying, "Which one?", when Skyler asks if he has packed his cell phone. After Walter recovers, Skyler confronts him about that and other lies and then leaves him.

Season three[edit]

In the third season, Walter has moved out of the house. Skyler appears at his apartment, having deduced that he is in the drug trade. When she confronts Walter with her idea that he is selling marijuana, he admits instead that he is a meth manufacturer. Skyler demands a divorce in exchange for her silence about Walter's criminal activities. Skyler's rationale for remaining silent is two-fold: She does not want her children to find out their father's double life, and she fears that Walter's arrest could damage Hank's reputation and possibly even his career as a DEA agent. She also demands that he move out of the family's home. When Walter moves back into their home, Skyler retaliates by initiating an affair with Ted, and coldly informing her husband that she cheated on him.

Even as her marriage crumbles, Skyler permits Walter to take care of Holly and defends some of his actions to her lawyer, who advises that she leave Walter immediately. She later finds that Walter has signed off on their divorce and left the house for good. When Ted arrives at her home and tries to clarify the nature of Skyler's feelings, she refuses to answer and asks him to leave.

After Hank is shot by Walter's drug-dealing associates, Skyler tells Marie that Walter earned millions through card counting at underground blackjack games and offers to pay for Hank's physical therapy. She later admits to Walter that she never filed the divorce papers, slowly beginning to work her way into Walter's criminal activities by reminding him that spouses cannot be forced to testify against each other. Skyler suggests Walter should launder his drug money by purchasing the car wash facility where he used to work, and offers to handle the books.

Season four[edit]

Skyler buys the car wash and begins laundering Walter's drug money. She and Walter eventually have sex for the first time in months, and slowly begin to rebuild their relationship. At the same time, she begins to fear Walter, and worries that her children are in danger. At one point, she's so consumed with panic that she considers fleeing the state with Holly. When Ted is gravely injured during an encounter with Walter's associates, she feels responsible. Later, when Hank and Marie are under witness protection at their house, Skyler, Holly, and Walter Jr. join them at their house. When she sees on the news that Fring has been killed, she makes a panicked phone call to Walter, who calmly informs her that he has "won"; she then realizes that Walter killed him.

Season five[edit]

Part 1[edit]

Following Fring's death, Skyler becomes terrified of her husband, as well as the prospect of going to prison as his accomplice. Skyler breaks down in front of Marie at the car wash, and falls into a deep depression. During a tense dinner with Hank and Marie, she stages a suicide attempt in an effort to convince the Schraders to temporarily take custody of Walter Jr. and Holly. With the children gone, Skyler makes it plain to Walter that she will do anything she can to keep the children out of the house until his lung cancer comes back and kills him. Walter explains Skyler's emotional distress to the Schraders as the effect of serious marital discord, and he exposes Skyler's affair with Ted Beneke in the process. This taints Skyler's relationship with Marie, closing off a potential path of escape. Skyler then effectively becomes a hostage in her home. While she continues to launder money through the car wash, her attitude towards Walter devolves into a barely concealed hatred. Skyler eventually brings Walter to a storage locker packed with millions of dollars in cash, letting him realize he no longer needs money.

Part 2[edit]

When Hank discovers the truth about Walter, he goes to Skyler, assuming she was forced to keep quiet, but she refuses to give evidence. When Hank tells Marie, Marie meets her sister and is outraged to learn Skyler knew about Walter's drug empire before Hank was shot. Marie threatens to take Holly with her, but leaves the baby behind at Hank's insistence. When Hank is killed while attempting to arrest Walter, Skyler orders Walter out of their house at knife point as Walt Jr. calls 911. Walter then drives off with Holly, leaving Skyler in tears. That evening, Walter calls up Skyler, as the police monitor the call, and effectively exonerates her of his misdeeds under the guise of an angry tirade. He leaves Holly at a fire station.

As a national manhunt is launched against Walter, Skyler is questioned by federal prosecutors about his whereabouts. One of Walter's associates, Todd Alquist (Jesse Plemons), and his gang break into the White home and threaten to kill Skyler and her children if she talks.

A few months later, Walter learns that Skyler works as a taxi dispatcher and is using her maiden name; no court date has been set. Skyler and her children have moved out of the house, which is now abandoned. After Walter is sighted in Albuquerque, Marie calls her sister to warn her. But Walt is already at the home and has a long talk with Skyler, who is still angry at him. Walter finally admits to Skyler that he entered the drug trade for himself, not his family, and gives her a lottery ticket with the coordinates of the makeshift grave in which Hank is buried to use as leverage for striking a deal with the prosecutors. Skyler then allows Walter to see Holly one last time before he leaves.

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