Friday, October 4, 2013

The End of "Breaking Bad" And Why Skyler White Rocks

SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you don't want to know the ending (yet)!!

This past Sunday, my favorite show came to a close. I am referring to "Breaking Bad," of course. Since 2008, "Breaking Bad" has changed the way we look at protagonists. Walter White starts off the series as a nerdy high school chemistry teacher who is diagnosed with cancer, and he ends the series with his well deserved death. At first, he is a sympathetic protagonist, and at the end, you cannot help but find yourself cheering for his death. He is the ultimate anti-hero.

Many people will disagree with me. One of my friends told me he cried when Walt died. I personally cried tears of joy. What started off as innocent chemistry in a van with a former student turned into Walt becoming an evil drug lord who took many lives. I lost all sympathy for Walt when he watched Jesse's girlfriend from the second season, Jane Margolis, choke on her own vomit and die.

Since Walt is the main character and originally gets himself into the meth business for good reasons (to support his family), many people could not help but sympathize for him throughout the entire series. Aaron Paul, who plays Jesse Pinkman (Walt's original partner and junkie-turned-into-meth-cook) in the series, said in a 2012 cover story with "Rolling Stone," "I mean, he does so many horrible things and yet the fans are still like, 'Yeah, Walt! Fucking poison that kid! You're dying of cancer. I understand!'" He is referring to when Walt poisoned Jesse's ex-girlfriend, Andrea Cantillo's son, Brock in order to convince Jesse to help him kill their former boss, Gustavo Fring.

As a result of fans' ultimate devotion to Walt, many have viewed his wife, Skyler White, to be the series' antagonist. Yes, I will agree that at times Skyler's actions have frustrated me, yet I do not understand why she gets such a bad rep. Many times I found myself on Skyler's side. She was disgusted by her husband's actions and his dirty money, but she still managed to stay by his side for most of the series. Yes, she cheated on him for a very brief period, but that was when they were separated and can you blame a woman for cheating when her husband refuses to stop engaging in dangerous, highly illegal activity?

Fans' hatred of Skyler got so intense that many "I Hate Skyler White" pages surfaced Facebook, Twitter, and other popular social media sites. This hatred for Skyler even turned into hatred for the actress who plays her, Anna Gunn. In fact, Gunn received so many threats that this past August she wrote an op-ed in the New York Times voicing her concerns that perhaps the reason that so many people hate Skyler is just because she is not the stereotypical submissive wife.

She wrote, "I finally realized that most people’s hatred of Skyler had little to do with me and a lot to do with their own perception of women and wives. Because Skyler didn’t conform to a comfortable ideal of the archetypical female, she had become a kind of Rorschach test for society, a measure of our attitudes toward gender."

I completely agree with Anna Gunn and I do not understand how so many fans can love such a horrible main character and hate the strongest female character in the show just because she does not fall for his crap.

To all of you who hate Skyler White, I want you to consider this. Skyler stood by Walt's side even when she hated his actions and was disgusted by his money. She stood by him, but more importantly, she stood by herself and her children. Walt did not deserve the wonderful family he had. In the final episode he admits that he did it all for himself, not for his family. And let us not forget that he was responsible for 32 deaths, including his own.

Skyler doesn't seem that bad now, does she?

Even though this cat does not have the most favorable opinion of Skyler, he's still pretty funny.

Also, this: 

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