People give Breaking Bad's Anna Gunn tons of crap for being the actor who plays Skyler White


#1

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#2

This is also why it's so weird that in the latest episodes (second half of season 8), she's so friendly to Walter.

After telling him "I hope your cancer comes back" she seems genuinely upset when it does, and comforts him in the bathroom after he collapses from the work of burying the money. That surprised me. Why the total about face?


#3

This post on Slate goes to that point, I think.
Basically, Skyler became complicit a long time ago, and she has to stick by Walt now no matter what. There was a time when she could have taken the moral and ethical high ground, but that train... has sailed. She has already bet on Walt, and now she has to hope that he has a way out, even though it may appall her.


#4

Yeah, but she was doing all that sticking by stuff while holding her nose and keeping Walt as far away as she could before, just fine.

Now she is actively comforting him, which is not required, it is entirely optional. Feels like a strange transition to me, unless Walt really went the extra 500 miles to convince her he had changed and given up everything about being a meth lord.

This abrupt transition from "I hope your cancer comes back" to this new, friendlier wife role is quite jarring. I can't say I find it totally believable at this point. And there's no way, to the point of the NYT article she wrote, the "ladies should always stand by their man" crowd could be pissed off about her behavior in the latest episodes!

I mean, Walt pretty much bet 100% on her turning on him in the conversation with Hank. It's fine that she didn't, probably not legally practical to do that even if she still hated Walt .. but her newfound empathy for Walt as demonstrated in the bathroom scene really shocked me. I just don't understand what Walt could have done to earn that since we saw him last, because she was (understandably!) so adamant that he was a monster. You may begrudgingly keep a monster in the basement if you have to, but you don't hug the damn thing.


#5

Skylar went cookoo while watching her world unfurl, her husband come clean, Ted Beneke get paralyzed, and then she walked into the pool. And then Walt built her back up, gave her the car wash. It is about Walt manipulating the world around him, and succeeding while his humanity recedes. I believe Skylar's transformation. She's been unpredictable from day 1.


#6

I disagree. They have been living together, happily, since he announced that he was "out", in Gliding Over All the last episode of the last season (or the midway point of this arc, whatever). In effect, Skyler won him over when she showed him ALL THAT MONEY they have to launder when she took him to the storage unit. Watch the last couple of episodes again to refresh your memory. She has had time to reconcile with Walt as the husband and non-meth manufacturer she married. If she had once hoped his cancer would return, she's had time to change that frame of mind. And she's also up to her neck in complicity, so she can't afford to go along with Hank. I think this is more about emotion than logic though.


#7

I dunno, I think @samthebrand's hypothesis that Walt has pulled the wool over her eyes too is somewhat more plausible.

Walt certainly lied like hell to Jesse about Mike, and we know based on the flashback (er.. flash.. forward) timelines that the "I won't live 6 months" statement he made to Hank was incorrect. So perhaps Walt is such a great liar and manipulator of people now that even Skyler is convinced.


#8

jimh is on the the right track in remembering the money, but before Walt collapses, Skyler says something like, "you buried all the money didn't you?" When he wakes, and she's playing the attentive wife, he explains his plan to turn himself in and for her to keep the money. She replies something to the effect that he can't turn himself in without the money. She was made complicit in this, and stands to lose everything. Only Walt knows where the money is, and only by backing Walt (at least for now) can she keep the money in sight.


#9

Back in the mid-eighties, my sister had a weird sighting, Shari Belafonte and Jeff Daniels at the same time.
She said that Mr Daniels seemed like a very, very disagreeable man, which puzzled me, because it's been printed often that he's an all-around nice guy and a very professional actor, no complaints from any front.

Then it hit me: Instead of seeing Jeff Daniels, my sister saw Flap Horton from 'Terms Of Endearment'. Caught red-handed on the silver screen, Mr Daniels didn't have a chance against the fury of a woman who's seen another woman betrayed, even in fiction.


#10

Agree w you @DenMcH and your last sentence @jimh:

I think this is more about emotion than logic...

Skyler was tough as nails (and that's why a lot of us hated her, as she mentions in the pretty amazing op-ed headlining this thread). But before it was about preserving family, and it continues to be that now.

The past couple episodes have been incredible TV.


#11

I'm not saying that Walt is being completely honest with her, only that Skyler being sympathetic to Walt at this point makes sense to me character-wise. And she may not be being completely honest with Walt, but they're locked in the lies together.

As for people treating Anna Gunn like crap for her character's decisions, I'll go with Vince Gilligan's opinion that it's "misogyny, plain and simple". People hate Prince Joffrey, but you don't see nearly as much vitriol spilling out toward Jack Gleeson in real life...


#12

I've never seen or heard of that film, and I think of 4 other Jeff Daniels films when I hear his name.


#13

Really? 'Terms Of Endearment' won something like 5 of the major Oscars, including Best Picture!

EDIT: But don't believe me, here's the proof.


#14

shit.


#15

This was pre- Dumb and Dumber!


#16

Yeah but he might have been like 5 years old or younger when that was released. Kids these days with their meth TV shows!


#17

"Well I'll be darned" gets the same point across without resorting to potty mouth, young man!

*What's the matter, mature young man?
Going to Hollywood, gonna be a big shot?
That town's gonna suck you up and spit you out,
you ain't gonna have a pot to piss in!
Don't come back to me for a job!*


#18

I thought I just didn't like a character on a TV show. Now I know it's my feelings about "strong, nonsubmissive, ill-treated women".


#19

My read is that Hank pushed her over to Walt by what he said and did at the interview. Which was the pivotal moment. She realized both that there was no way out and also that she had become the woman that launders money for a drug lord, that is, she likes it. She likes the thrill and she especially likes the money. She grabbed the moment and pulled out all the stops when she stood up and started shouting, "Am I under arrest?" At that moment she went for ever over to Walt with everything she has. Now it is a story of survival.

It was another amazing moment.


#20

To be fair he has kind of done that now hasn't he? In the first couple episodes of this half season (I don't know how to refer to it, I'm not even sure why it's the same season, as it's clearly not) there are a few moments where it's demonstrated to Skyler that he's distancing himself from it all.

Still a very valid observation, and I'm not sure I would have expected Skyler to buy into it. But that's my take.