Breaking Bad considered killing off Skyler White (Anna Gunn), but series creator Vince Gilligan couldn’t move forward with the plan. Gunn starred as the wife of central character Walter White (Bryan Cranston) for all five seasons of the AMC drama. Skyler wasn’t always a fan-favorite among viewers, but much of the criticism thrown at her arc was unwarranted based on the trouble caused by her husband’s drug empire. She survived the events of the series, but that almost wasn’t the case.
Skyler’s Breaking Bad ending was always going to be tragic, as her marriage with Walter White and her involvement in her husband’s business meant that the possibility of a normal life was impossible. But similar to the fate of Heisenberg and Jesse Pinkman, the conclusion to Skyler’s Breaking Bad story could have gone many different ways. She could have doubled down on supporting Walt, gone on the run with him or by herself, surrender to the authorities, or simply become a casualty of Walt’s actions.
Shortly after his final encounter with Skyler, Walt ambushed the neo-Nazi compound, freeing Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) and dying in the process. Whatever happened to Skyler after seeing Walt for the last time is left a mystery, but according to Gilligan (via The Wrap), there were several alternate endings considered for Breaking Bad, including Skyler’s death by suicide. Here’s why the original Skyler plan was scrapped.
Breaking Bad Planned To Kill Off Skyler
When discussing the considered endings for Breaking Bad that didn’t make the cut, Gilligan touched on the plan to kill off Skyler. He revealed the idea by stating, “Skyler and Walt are tied up at a Motel 6 kind of place, and he’s talking to her in a bathroom saying, ‘It’s going to be alright… I’ve got a plan.” Walt then opened the bathroom door to find Skyler dead in the bathtub after cutting her wrist. Interestingly, Skyler attempted suicide in Breaking Bad season 5 — or at least appeared to — when she seemingly tried to drown herself in the pool. Skyler’s suicide would have been a dark twist mirroring that earlier incident, but Gilligan and the writers deemed it too “unnecessary.”
Why Skyler’s Suicide Plans Were Scrapped
Considering the suicide would have been a bleak turn of events, Gilligan took a step back by pondering whether or not Skyler would have sought a new identity from Ed Galbraith (Robert Forster), aka the “Disappearer.” In the end, the Breaking Bad writers struggled with the notion of Skyler leaving her life behind since Walt Jr. would never be on board with the plan. Breaking Bad‘s alternate endings heavily involving Skyler were scrapped altogether. The series didn’t need to kill off Gunn’s character, nor give her a new identity, to prove how badly Walt turned his family’s lives upside down.
Skyler’s suicide would have been the ultimate sign that Walter could never return to his old life, but considering how his life was falling apart all at once, it would have seemed like overkill. Although Breaking Bad was filled with violent deaths, each one had an evident impact on the characters and the events that followed them. Since Skyler’s death would have happened near the end of the series, the final episodes would have lacked the time needed to explore its aftermath. The Breaking Bad finale ultimately managed to give her another chance at rebuilding her life after Heisenberg destroyed it. Despite her flaws, she was able to overcome the pain Heisenberg brought against all odds. Her death, on the other hand, would have leaned too much into mere shock value.
What Happened To Skyler At The End of Breaking Bad
After being kept in the dark regarding Walt’s meth cook alias, “Heisenberg,” Skyler learned the truth in Breaking Bad season 3. With the tension already growing between them, Skyler demanded a separation. Rather than turn him in, Skyler elected to keep Walt’s double life a secret as the revelation would destroy the family. She also convinced her husband to purchase a car wash to secretly launder the drug money. By season 5, Walt’s dealings got out of hand, putting the lives of his family in harm’s way. Walt Jr. (RJ Mitte) was especially distraught when Walt’s involvement in Hank’s (Dean Norris) death came to light. Walt went into hiding for a time, but he visited Skyler before his suicide mission.
What viewers last saw of Skyler was her staying with her children, clearly broken, vowing to build a new life. It was unclear what truly happened to Skyler and the rest of the White family since they were absent in the sequel movie El Camino. Walt left his wife with key intel to cut a deal with prosecutors in connection to her participation in Walt’s illegal activities. Skyler’s Breaking Bad ending is left ambiguous, but after Walt’s death and the end of his crime empire, suicide is one of the least likely possibilities in Skyler’s future.