Skyler White

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For other uses, see Skyler White (disambiguation).
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 (deceased)
Significant other(s) Ted Beneke (ex-lover)
Children
  • Walter White, Jr. (son)
  • Holly White (daughter)
Relatives

Skyler White (née Lambert), 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, Walt Jr. (RJ Mitte), who has cerebral palsy, and an infant daughter, Holly. Her sister, Marie (Betsy Brandt), is married to a DEA agent, Hank Schrader (Dean Norris). Skyler is approximately 11 years younger than Walt, 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 Walt 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 Walt withheld the information. Their relationship becomes strained, both from Walt's reluctance to seek treatment and from his unexplained absences following his diagnosis. Skyler figures out Walt's connection to his former student, Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul), and confronts Jesse at his house. When she confronts Walt, he claims that Jesse is his marijuana dealer. Unbeknownst to Skyler, Walt 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 emphatically denies that she has done anything wrong.

Season two[edit]

When Walt is kidnapped by Mexican drug kingpin Tuco Salamanca (Raymond Cruz), his family — unaware of the connection to Walt's criminal activities — organizes a search for him as a missing person. When Walt escapes, he fakes a "fugue state", claiming to have no memory of the last few days. The marriage continues going downhill thanks to Walt's continued absences, devolving to the point where Skyler refuses to speak to him. Skyler is also perturbed by Walt's resistance to his son's efforts to raise money for Walt's cancer treatments, unaware that most of the donations actually constitute drug money laundered by Walt's corrupt lawyer, Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk).

Still unaware of Walt'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 Walt owns a second cell phone, Walt emphatically denies the charge. However, while Walt 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 Walt recovers, Skyler confronts him about that and leaves him when he lies about it.

Season three[edit]

In the third season, Walt has moved out of the house. Skyler appears at his apartment, having deduced that he is in the drug trade. When she confronts Walt with her idea that he is selling marijuana, he admits instead that he is a meth cook. Skyler demands a divorce in exchange for her silence about Walt'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 Walt's arrest could ruin Hank's career as a DEA agent. She also demands that Walt move out of the family's home. When Walt 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 Walt to take care of Holly and defends some of his actions to her lawyer, who advises that she leave Walt immediately. She later finds that Walt 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 Walt's drug-dealing associates, Skyler tells Marie that Walt earned millions through card counting at underground blackjack games and offers to pay for Hank's physical therapy. She later admits to Walt that she never filed the divorce papers, slowly beginning to work her way into his criminal activities by reminding him that spouses cannot be forced to testify against each other. Skyler suggests Walt 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 Walt's drug money. She and Walt eventually have sex for the first time in months, and slowly begin to rebuild their relationship. At the same time, however, she begins to fear him, 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 Walt'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 Walt, who calmly informs her that he has "won"; she then realizes that Walt 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 Walt that she will do anything she can to keep the children out of the house until his lung cancer comes back and kills him. Walt 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 is now effectively a prisoner in her own home. While she continues to launder money through the car wash, her attitude towards Walt devolves into a barely concealed hatred. Skyler eventually brings Walt to a storage locker packed with millions of dollars in cash, convincing him to get out of the drug business, as they now have more money than they will ever need.

Part 2[edit]

When Hank deduces that Walt is a drug kingpin, he goes to Skyler, assuming she was forced to keep quiet, but she refuses to give evidence. When Hank tells Marie, she meets with Skyler and is outraged to learn Skyler knew about Walt'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 Walt, he and Skyler get into a physical confrontation that ends with Skyler ordering Walt out of their house at knife point as Walter Jr. calls 911. Walt then drives off with Holly, leaving Skyler in tears. That evening, Walt calls 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 Walt, Skyler is questioned by federal prosecutors about his whereabouts. One of Walt'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, Walt 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 Walt 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. Walt lies to Skylar telling her that he entered the drug business for himself rather than his family to make her happy, and then he 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 Walt to see Holly one last time before he leaves.

References[edit]

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