Here’s A Fun ‘Breaking Bad’ Theory Foreshadowing The Death Of Skyler


It’s been a while since we’ve had any kind of hard-core discussion of Breaking Bad, and it’s a good idea to keep our brains churning during the offseason, so let’s consider a theory foreshadowing the death of Skyler, shall we? Is there a better way to kick off the Monday after Thanksgiving than to talk about the best drama on goddamn television (OK, yes, there is, but we’ll talk about last night’s Walking Dead in the next hour).

During the course of the fifth season, I wrote a lot about Breaking Bad theories, easter eggs, and allusions. There was the post on the pink Teddy Bear recurring motif, on the use of Checkhov’s Gun in Breaking Bad, allusions and neat facts about Breaking Bad, and at the end of the first half of season five, we discussed nine open questions remaining for the final eight episodes. Since then, readers have sent us a lot of theories about the show, some good, some not so good. I loved, for instance, this insane theory backed by questionable evidence. Over the Thanksgiving weekend a reader named John K. sent me one that foreshadows Walt’s killing of Skyler that I think has some merit.


The gist of the theory is this: On the show, we know that whenever Walt kills someone, he takes on one of their characteristics. The most obvious one was, after the death of Krazy 8, he began cutting the crusts off his sandwich like Krazy 8. John K. points us to three other instances in which Walt takes on the characteristics of someone he kills:

When he kills Gus, he starts driving an estate car just like Gus, to hide in plain sight.

When he kills the guys who worked for Gus who used a child to do their bidding (Shooting Combo) he also started to use kids.

When he kills Mike he has his whiskey on the rocks, before then he had no ice in his whiskey (as you can see by the episode where Mike hits him in the bar)

I don’t know about those first two (I had to look up what an “estate” car is, and it doesn’t fit the garish car that Walter leased for himself in season 5, and using kids is a stretch), but the third bit checks out, and I hadn’t seen that before. But it’s true: He has no whiskey at the bar where Mike hits him, and in the final episode while he’s sitting at the table with Hank, Betsy, and Skyler, he has a whiskey on the rocks.

The point is: It’s clear from at least a few instances that Walt takes on the characteristics of a character he killed. So, what do we know from the flash-forward that opened season five? That Walt is arranging his bacon into the number of his birthday, just like Skyler did, AND, he took Skyler’s maiden name, Lambert.

Is that enough evidence to point toward Walt killing Skyler? Perhaps. It certainly makes sense that, left with no choice, Walt would kill Skyler, although it would certainly break Walt’s promise that, in the end, Skyler would like him again. The biggest problem, unfortunately, with that theory is that, at the end of the mid-season finale, according to Vince Gilligan himself, they don’t know how the series will end yet (or, as of the midseason finale), so the writers may not even know the fate of Skyler. It would be cool, however, if they laid down those clues pointing toward the death of Skyler just in case they offed her.

Good theory or not, it’s at least fun to get Breaking Bad in our minds again, as there’s only seven more months until the final eight episodes of the series arrive.