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In Breaking Bad Season 3 Episode 05 - Mas, there is a scene in Ted's house, in the bathroom, where Skyler puts down a towel under her feet. In earlier episode Ted speaks about how the contractor talked him into having a system that heats the floor.

As I see it there are 2 possible explanations to Skyler's action: one, that the floor had become too hot/cold for her liking or two, her current stance in which she starts to doubt her relationship with Ted and softens on what Walt has done, makes her feel guilty. So it could be her way to put a sheet (read towel) between her two lives.

Which is it? Is there something I missed or am I reading too much into a simple scene? (I sincerely doubt that. Nothing, absolutely nothing is inconsequential in Breaking Bad).

PS: I remember, moments before this particular scene Ted walking out of the shower and hugging Skyler from behind and asking her to keep back some of her things since she comes in regularly. He did not mention the floor being too hot/cold, so the first possibility looks dim!

Please mention spoiler alert in-case you reference something that happens after this episode.

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5 Answers 5

up vote 18 down vote accepted

AMC's own description of the episode explains that at first

Skyler basks in the luxury of Ted's heated bathroom floor

but later

Skyler stands in Ted's bathroom, fixing her make up post-tryst... Suddenly aware of and uncomfortable with the luxurious surroundings, she looks down at the warm floor, grabs a towel and stands on it.


Personally, I took it as Skyler feeling guilty about this whole situation with Ted. She tries to resist the temptations this "new life" offers, because she doesn't want to give up on her "old life".

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Do you mean she is resisting the urge to lead a luxurious and affluent life as deep within she is scared that she might accept Walt's drug money to shed the "old life"........ –  KeyBrd Basher Jan 24 '13 at 12:05
    
@KeyBrdBasher - Not quite. I don't think it has anything to do with the drug money (she finds the bag full of cash after that bathroom scene). She later admits to her lawyer that she knows that the affair with Ted is wrong, but: 'it is the only thing in my day where I don't feel like I'm drowning'. Nonetheless she refuses to rat out Walt: "We have a history. He is the father of my children... I didn't mary a criminal." –  Oliver_C Jan 24 '13 at 15:33
    
But she did know about the money, and had also seen the bag earlier. Let me jog your memory a bit. Remember the morning Walt shows the bag to her and presents his defense?? On that very evening Skyler starts her affair with Ted......to get back at Walt. –  KeyBrd Basher Jan 25 '13 at 7:11
    
@KeyBrdBasher - Ah, I remember, that happened two episodes earlier. But, as Skyler explains to her lawyer, she is seeing Ted to make Walt leave/divorce her. - I still think the motivation for putting the towel under feet is that Skyler doesn't want a future with Ted. Right after that bathroom scene we see her, Walt and the kids at dinner. When the baby cries, Skyler asks Walt if he wants to hold it. Walt it suprised about this "olive branch" but gladly takes it. I guess this prompts Walt to finally grant Skyler her wish of a divorce. –  Oliver_C Jan 25 '13 at 10:50
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@KeyBrdBasher - Yes, I think Skyler doesn't want to get too comfortable with Ted. Why does Walt sign the divorce papers? My guess is he tries to mend fences with Skyler. He doesn't want her to hate him, he wants a good relationship with his family, even if it means not being married to Skyler anymore. –  Oliver_C Jan 25 '13 at 11:57

Here's the full text of the scene where the floor is introduced.

SKYLER - Oh, my God, I love this floor.This feels fantastic. Can you control the temperature?

TED- Yeah. There should be a switch right next to you there. It's a thermostat.

SKYLER - Ted, this has gotta be the most amazing invention ever.

TED - I know. Contractor talked me into it. Seemed kind of extravagant, but I gotta tell you, once you try it, you can't go back.

SKYLER- I can never find anything in this Buick. (referring to her bag)

TED - You know, you could leave a few things here if you want.

I think the significance of her putting the towel underneath her feet is a hint on the part of the filmmakers that she has decided that Ted is a fling and is preparing to make the transition back to her family less painful. She's contradicting Ted's line "Once you try it, you can't go back".

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I think she just misses her own house/family, and is getting tired of the affair. In a previous episode, if I recall correctly, she mentions the heated floor and she seems impressed by the luxury and enjoys it. But by this episode she's just going through the motions in the affair and is reconsidering continuing the affair.

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Yes, that is the overall essence of the scene. But what was the reason behind her putting the towel to stand on? I suggest you read the accepted answer and the comments following it. –  KeyBrd Basher Jul 3 '13 at 10:39

An act of defiance. By putting down the towel she rejects the offer of life with Ted and everything that comes with it.

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This seems more like a comment/opinion or half-hearted answer at best. To add more value to your answer, I suggest you add more content and back it up. –  KeyBrd Basher Sep 30 '13 at 6:37

It was really obvious to me. The heating floor and Ted are basically the same thing to her, comfort away from home. The chat she just had about Marie before going in Ted's house to get some deep and dirty to paraphrase Saul started to make her think that she might be a bit too harsh with Walt. That's also why she actually smiles when he picks up Holly (the only moment where I can't help but have some tears in the whole show). Walt never looked happier in the whole show than at that moment. When he turned around and saw Skyler left the room, he understands that it's over with Skyler but that their feud is also over so he accepts the divorce.

Funny how in the beginning of the next episode she's speaking to Walt about the divorce papers he signed how she looks like she has cried before calling him. This and the last talk she has with her lawyer makes it obvious she actually still cares for Walt but is really confused. The not feeling the floor is not feeling Ted, who's also a crook, who actually steals money, unlike Walt, who earned what he's got.

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Not sure how this really adds much outside of the already accepted answer. –  MattD yesterday

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