“It was fairly early on that a guy stood up and said, ‘Why is your character such a b***h?’”
I started watching Breaking Bad late this summer, but before I started I already had a good idea of the characters and plot -- so the scene came as a shock. If this main character raped, or at the very least sexually assaulted, his wife, shouldn't I have heard about it? Why don't we discuss the fact that Walter White sexually assaulted his wife?
"Breaking Bad" is all about lies people are willing to live with, and it's not in anyone's interest to ignore the many factors that feed the ugly backlashes to female characters.
The season six premier of Breaking Bad ended with an Albuquerque standoff between Walt and Hank, giving us a performance from Bryan Cranston and Dean Norris that TV dreams are made of.
Ultimately Skyler's arc is an overt and concrete rejection of "the antihero's wife as victim" trope. "Breaking Bad" may have unconsciously fed into that trend when it started out, but it's energetically spent the last season and a half making Skyler every bit as formidable as Walt, Hank or Gus.
It goes like this: a female character judges the male protagonist's bad behavior in a completely rational way, and the audience hates her for it.