With additional reporting by Jennifer Fox.
It's hard to love (or even like) Skyler White, the long-suffering wife of "Breaking Bad" baddie Walter White. She’s an ever-pouty Debbie Downer who, at various points during the AMC drama, has kicked her husband out of the house, taken her kids away from their meth-dealer father, attempted suicide by walking into a pool (?!?), and was a wee bit responsible for the accident that led to her former lover becoming paralyzed (that is, after she gave him a sizable amount of cash to cover up his misdoings).
So before “Breaking Bad” launches into the back half of its final season this Sunday at 9pmET, here are five solid reasons that Skyler (played by Emmy-nominated actress Anna Gunn) is not really a nagging b*tch.
1. Her husband is a murderer.
Talk about staying with someone through thick and thin, for better or worse. Does Skyler know that Walt orchestrated a “Godfather” style massacre to protect his identity? That he shot his cohort Mike, strangled and then dissolved a man in a bathtub, and sent Jesse to murder Gale? Probably not, but there is blood on his hands – buckets of it. (Plus, he poisoned a small child.)
2. Yes, Skyler comes off as a nag, but she was the show’s moral voice for a long time.
Is it really nagging when you tell your husband not to sell drugs? “Breaking Bad” creator Vince Gilligan told Vulture, “People ask Anna Gunn, ‘Why is your character such a b*tch?’ In the early days she was the voice of morality on the show. She was the one telling him, ‘You can’t cook crystal meth.’ She’s got a tough job being married to this a**hole. People are griping about Skyler White being too much of a killjoy to her meth-cooking, murdering husband? She’s telling him not to be a murderer and a guy who cooks drugs for kids. How could you have a problem with that?"
3. She has tried to do the right thing, time and again.
Skyler invented Walt’s gambling addiction cover story to explain his extra income and secretive behavior, and then went straight to Walt’s shady attorney, Saul Goodman, to talk money laundering best practices. She has tried to keep the situation as plausible (and legal) as possible but is thwarted at every turn by Walt’s increasingly erratic behavior.
4. She really loves her family, even Walt.
Sending Walt Jr. and baby Holly to live with Hank and Marie while staying behind to deal with Walt was one of her most selfless acts. Through it all she's never tried to divorce him or take the kids and run. Skyler knows that if she ever reveals the truth, it could leave her children parent-less. And if cancer returns and takes Walt first, she’ll deal with that, too.
5. She's a survivor.
You don’t last long as the wife of meth dealer/self-proclaimed drug kingpin Heisenberg without some serious survival skills. Period.