Skyler White Has a Fate Too, You Know

It's inconceivable to think that come Sunday, the Breaking Badseries finale won't provide any information about Skyler White's fate as part of Walter White's menagerie of destroyed souls. Skyler played a huge role in Walt's elicit activities, eventually taking charge of a portion of them herself. Yet, we've spent a great deal of our time theorizing what will happen to Walt and Jesse, and hell, even Todd. But what about Skyler?

Sure, Walt is the big question mark hovering over the final hour and fifteen minutes of the series. And yes, Jesse's fate is the other big unknown. But Skyler is arguably one of the most important characters in Vince Gilligan's beloved series. She was part of Walt's reason for cooking meth. She resisted against his thirst for power and control in their relationship, angering Walt. Skyler cheating on Walt hardened him further, pushing him towards full-blown Heisenberg status. She corroborated his lie for Hank and Marie about gambling. She laundered Walt's earnings and ran his sham of a car wash business. She said "Have an A1 day" about a million obnoxious times. She was Mrs. Ozymandias until Walt tried to clear her name with a tapped phone call. So why aren't we obsessed with theorizing her final moments on AMC?

Well, some of us are. And we have a few ideas about what might happen to Skyler, aside from the all but completely debunked "Walt uses the ricin on her" theory, which makes little sense considering how hard he tried to send Skyler and the family money and the fact that he's so unwilling to let go of his marriage that he still wears his ill-fitting wedding ring around his neck on a string. If I'm wrong and Walt kills Skyler, you will find me standing outside of Vince Gilligan's house with One Directioner-style mascara stains on my face and a sign that just says "WHY?!"

Instead of dwelling on that improbable thought, let us theorize about Skyler's fate, Choose-Your-Own-Adventure-style.


...then the moment at which Skyler walked to the depths of her own swimming pool while her family watched in horror may rear its ugly head again. If Skyler is forced to leave her kids and go to prison, it doesn't seem all that impossible that she'd try to take her own life once more. After all, she's perfectly fine with leaving her kids with Marie indefinitely (she already tried that once). And while she wasn't willing to hand the kids over when Hank was after Walt, the circumstances were wildly different; Walt hadn't just stolen her child and Hank was threatening her freedom.

We also have to consider the extreme stress that Skyler has just witnessed. She got in a fight over a butcher knife with Walt, kicked him out of their home, chased him down their street when he stole Holly, witnessed him disappear and attempt to exonerate her, lost her money and her business, is barely making enough money to feed her kids, and just had her life and Holly's life threatened by a strangely polite man in a ski mask. Oh, and the DEA is asking her to answer for Walt while the entire country is chattering about her drug kingpin husband. If the pressure was too much for Skyler before Walt's little "empire business" went public, it's certainly too much now.

All that being said, I sincerely hope this is not Skyler's fate. And should she escape the DEA now that Walt has dragged them out to a New Hampshire dive bar, she may not need to serve a jail sentence after all.


...with the heat off of her, Skyler still has no money. She still has no protection from the thugs who threatened her. She's still in a town where her emotional wounds are reopened every time she turns around.

So even if she escapes the DEA who were thrust upon her by her husband's actions, she's still stuck in purgatory. She will still be as glassy-eyed as the woman in the briefing room at the DEA. Even if she continues to protect her children and work menial jobs to make ends meet, she will be thoroughly ruined. She's a shell of a human, her autonomous spirit will have been thoroughly broken, replaced by a robotic need to keep her children fed and alive. She will cease to be Skyler and become the shattered person she's shown flickers of each time she's reached what she thought was the end of her rope.

And there that could lead is entirely up to Vince Gilligan.


Aaron Paul has jokingly said he tells fans pressuring him about the end of the series that "everybody dies." Now, that's just a silly way of getting fans off his back, and one that echoes every 7th grader's summation of Hamlet. But what if the hint-dropping Jesse Pinkman portrayer is actually telling the truth and tricking us by veiling it as a joke? That would mean Skyler is going to die too — certainly anyone in the main cast photo counts as "everybody."

The aforementioned suicide certainly comes to mind for Skyler, though it seems unlikely that she would leave her kids unless something else is forcing her to do so (like the DEA moving to convict her for participating in Walt's schemes).

Skyler also smokes cigarettes constantly when she's thrust into terrible situations — she even did so when she was pregnant with Holly as a sort of self-destructive rebellion against Walt. Could those harbingers of her deteriorating mental state be the match to her final flame? Possibly, but having Skyler accidentally set fire to her dwelling seems like a bit of a tangential consequence to Walt's actions, though not entirely impossible.

There's also the constant threat of Uncle Jack, whose authority has been cut off by Todd's desire to keep Jesse around. While Todd may respect Walt too much to kill Skyler, Uncle Jack is not nearly as trustworthy and even if Todd got her to promise she'd keep quiet, Jack's not exactly the trusting type. He could go rogue to protect the secrets of his meth operation, giving Walt even more ammunition for his eventual revenge.

When it comes to Skyler, more than a few things could come her way, but my ultimate theory is that while we're all waiting to hear what happens to Walt, Skyler's fate is just as pertinent to the end of Breaking Bad. She may not be a partner-turned-rival like Jesse, but Skyler was just as integral to Walt's operation, as well as his transformation and his fate. Simply dropping her into extreme poverty and leaving her there with her two kids is punishment for Skyler's decision to launder Walt's money, but it isn't nearly enough of a consequence for Walt.

And while I honestly hope my various suggestions land far from the truth and Gilligan's sure-to-be-genius finale (it'll be far more satisfying that way), the undeniable fact is that it doesn't make sense for Skyler's fate to be simply fading away into the wave of gloom in Heisenberg's wake. Skyler's mark on the series is too great to go out on a whisper.

Image: AMC