Marie Schrader

Marie Schrader (née Lambert) is a fictional character played by Betsy Brandt in the AMC series Breaking Bad. She is Skyler White's sister, Hank's wife, and Walter White's sister-in-law. In the series, Marie works as a radiologic technologist. She does not hesitate to offer advice to others, but often fails to practice what she preaches. She shoplifts compulsively-apparently a manifest symptom of kleptomania—a behavior for which she sees a therapist. She appears self-centered and shallow, but is very devoted to her husband and cares deeply for her sister's family. Nearly all of her household and clothing items are shades of the color purple.

Marie Schrader
Breaking Bad character
Marie Schrader.jpg
Betsy Brandt as Marie Schrader in a promotional poster for Breaking Bad's fifth season
First appearance"Pilot" (2008)
Last appearance"Felina" (2013)
Created byVince Gilligan
Portrayed byBetsy Brandt
In-universe information
OccupationRadiologic technologist
SpouseHank Schrader

Fictional character biographyEdit

Season 1Edit

Born Marie Lambert,[1] she is, a radiologic technologist, lives with her husband Hank, a DEA agent, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Walter White (husband of Marie's older sister Skyler) learns that he has lung cancer, but initially keeps this from his family, along with Marie and Hank.[2] Once Walt reveals this to Marie, Hank and his son Walter Jr., Marie tells Skyler (who already knows) about lining up an "oncology dream team".[3] After Walt initially refuses treatment, Marie sides with him.[4] At Skyler's baby shower, Marie presents her with an expensive white gold baby's tiara, much to Hank's irritation. When Skyler goes to return the tiara, she is detained in the store – it turns out that Marie stole it, but Skyler matches her description. She pretends to go into labor, persuading them to let her go. Skyler later confronts Marie about the theft, but Marie calmly denies it.[5]

Season 2Edit

Skyler refuses to answer phone calls from her Marie. Marie and Hank argue about whether or not she attempted to schedule a dinner with Skyler in a way that conflicts with another appointment that she has for therapy, revealing that Marie reluctantly goes to therapy for unspecified problems. Hank visits Skyler and asks her to make up with Marie. Skyler responds angrily, stating that her situation is worse than her sister's. Hank and Skyler both realize that the other knows about Marie's kleptomania.[6] At a cookout celebrating Hank's promotion, Skyler demands that Marie apologize for giving Skyler the stolen tiara, or it will irreversibly drive a wedge between them; Marie tearfully does so.[7] After Hank is left with posttraumatic stress disorder, having barely escaped a bombing, Marie becomes a major source of comfort and support to him.[8]

Season 3Edit

After an unarmed Hank is nearly killed by The Cousins, and left in critical condition with four gunshot wounds, Marie berates Hank's boss and partner when she hears they had taken his gun away (due to a battery charge), leaving him defenseless.[9] Marie is at a loss about what to do when she learns that their health plan will not provide the quantity and the quality of physical therapy Hank requires to fully recover the use of his legs. Skyler proposes that she and Walt pay the bills, claiming that they can afford it because Walt has become a successful gambler (hiding the fact that Walt is a drug kingpin), to which Marie agrees.[10] At the hospital, Marie is thrilled at the prospect of Hank's returning home, but he does not seem as pleased.[11] She later wheels him out of the hospital after winning a bet where she arouses him during a sponge bath.[12]

Season 4Edit

Hank struggles with life at home after his injury, snapping at Marie and becoming more preoccupied with collecting and cataloging minerals; Marie struggles to maintain her composure while caring for her belligerent husband.[13] Days later, Marie continues struggling to deal with Hank's deepening depression as he copes with physical therapy from having been shot. The bed-ridden and bitter Hank constantly ignores or insults Marie and, even after celebrating a successful session with his physical therapist, he refuses to share any of that excitement with Marie.[14] Frustrated by Hank's continuous cold shoulder, Marie resumes her kleptomania; she starts stealing objects from real-estate open houses, where she also makes up elaborate stories about who she is, but is eventually caught by a real-estate agent. A livid Hank pulls strings with a senior police officer to get her out of being charged.[15]

Season 5Edit

Part 1Edit

While discussing Walt's upcoming 51st birthday with Marie, Skyler begins to light a cigarette. As Marie begins to confront her about smoking, Skyler screams "shut up" repeatedly and suffers a nervous breakdown. Marie confronts Walt at home about Skyler's breakdown and demands to know the truth. Walt tells her about Skyler's affair with Ted Beneke and that her breakdown was due to stress over his recent[a] accident.[16] As Walt and Skyler have marital problems, Marie volunteers to take in their children – Walter Jr. and Holly – for a couple of days while they work things out.[17] While visiting Holly, a tearful Skyler is tempted to confess to Marie about Walt's criminal activities, but stops short when Marie discloses her knowledge of Skyler's affair with Ted. Marie mistakenly believes this to be the reason for Skyler's mental anguish.[18]

Part 2Edit

Hank, having discovered Walt's criminal activities,[19] shares this with Marie, and she confronts Skyler. Learning Skyler knew of Walt before Hank was shot, Marie slaps her sister and storms out of the room. She tries to take Holly with her, but Hank commands her to return the baby. She then tells Hank, "You have to get him."[20] Marie helps Hank try to stop Walt and Skyler, but their attempts are thwarted when Walt makes a DVD framing Hank.[21] Marie is eager to help Hank when Jesse Pinkman agrees to confess about Walt's crimes.[22] After Hank is killed by Jack Welker, she is initially unaware of his death and reconciles with Skyler on the condition she tells Walter Jr. everything. Marie learns that Hank is missing when Walt kidnaps Holly, and eventually receives confirmation he is dead.[23] Jack's gang raids Marie's house and finds Jesse's confession tape, leading to Marie being sent to a safe house.[24] Two months later, Marie warns Skyler to be on the lookout for Walt, but unknown to her, Walt is standing in the same room while Skyler is on the phone.[25]

Concept and creationEdit

In February 2007, Betsy Brandt was cast in Breaking Bad in the main cast.[26] She described Marie as a "bitch" when the character is first introduced, but noted that eventually the audience would find out there is more to her. She also has personal experiences having an older sister of a much older age that she related to Marie and Skyler's relationship.[27][28][29][30] Depicting Marie as a radiologic technologist was Brandt's idea; she did not want Marie to be a doctor or a nurse, but a medical professional.[31] Throughout the series, Marie is almost always shown wearing the color purple, which creator Vince Gilligan explained is symbolic of her being mislead, for example, Walt and Skyler were deluding Marie about who was behind the drug business.[32] Brandt refused to watch the scene of Hank being killed by Jack.[33] When asked if the scene where Marie learns Walt's criminal activities almost lead to Hank's death in the third season pushed her "over the edge", Brandt replied, "That they in any way would be willing to jeopardize Hank's life and then lie to her about it – that's a lot to swallow. The big watershed moment was Marie finding out that Walt and Skyler were willing to do that. It would be hard enough [finding out] that only Walt knew. But the fact that Skyler knew and just watched Marie worry about Hank's safety and not tell her? That's just painful."[34]

Gilligan revealed that he wanted to have Marie make a cameo appearance in the Better Call Saul season 2 finale, "Klick", but the Writer's Room objected, considering the idea to be distracting for audiences.[35]


A 2018 video by critical review channel The Take compares Marie's role as "Walter White lite," with many of Marie's actions and traits being similar to Walt's eventual criminal life, but on a lesser scale.[36] Writer Brad Klypchak linked Marie's kleptomaniac behavior to the emotional emptiness of material abundance.[37] In the series finale, Marie is shown wearing black-and-white instead of her usual purple; according to Screen Rant's Matthew Wilkinson, this symbolizes her grief.[38]


"Marie's Purple Cake" was a real dessert item offered at the "Breaking Bad Experience" pop-up that opened in Los Angeles in 2019 during the premiere of El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie.[39]


  1. ^ During the events of "Crawl Space".


  1. ^ Vine, Richard (August 19, 2013). "Breaking Bad recap: season five, episode 10 – Buried". The Guardian. Archived from the original on January 7, 2019. Retrieved April 30, 2020. Now there's no doubt about which of the Lambert sisters has really screwed up. Marie's kleptomania, meltdowns and fondness for purple home furnishings are nothing compared to Skyler helping to run New Mexico's premier meth lab.
  2. ^ "Pilot". Breaking Bad. Season 1. Episode 1. January 20, 2008. AMC.
  3. ^ "Cancer Man". Breaking Bad. Season 1. Episode 4. February 17, 2008. AMC.
  4. ^ "Gray Matter". Breaking Bad. Season 1. Episode 5. February 24, 2008. AMC.
  5. ^ "A No-Rough-Stuff-Type Deal". Breaking Bad. Season 1. Episode 7. March 9, 2008. AMC.
  6. ^ "Seven Thirty-Seven". Breaking Bad. Season 2. Episode 1. March 8, 2009. AMC.
  7. ^ "Breakage". Breaking Bad. Season 2. Episode 5. April 5, 2009. AMC.
  8. ^ "Better Call Saul". Breaking Bad. Season 2. Episode 8. April 26, 2009. AMC.
  9. ^ "I See You". Breaking Bad. Season 3. Episode 8. May 9, 2010. AMC.
  10. ^ "Kafkaesque". Breaking Bad. Season 3. Episode 9. May 16, 2010. AMC.
  11. ^ "Abiquiu". Breaking Bad. Season 3. Episode 11. May 30, 2010. AMC.
  12. ^ "Half Measures". Breaking Bad. Season 3. Episode 12. June 6, 2010. AMC.
  13. ^ "Box Cutter". Breaking Bad. Season 4. Episode 1. July 17, 2011. AMC.
  14. ^ "Thirty-Eight Snub". Breaking Bad. Season 4. Episode 2. July 24, 2011. AMC.
  15. ^ "Open House". Breaking Bad. Season 4. Episode 3. July 31, 2011. AMC.
  16. ^ "Hazard Pay". Breaking Bad. Season 5. Episode 3. July 29, 2012. AMC.
  17. ^ "Fifty-One". Breaking Bad. Season 5. Episode 4. August 5, 2012. AMC.
  18. ^ "Buyout". Breaking Bad. Season 5. Episode 6. August 19, 2012. AMC.
  19. ^ "Blood Money". Breaking Bad. Season 5. Episode 9. August 11, 2013. AMC.
  20. ^ "Buried". Breaking Bad. Season 5. Episode 10. August 18, 2013. AMC.
  21. ^ "Confessions". Breaking Bad. Season 5. Episode 11. August 25, 2013. AMC.
  22. ^ "Rabid Dog". Breaking Bad. Season 5. Episode 12. September 1, 2013. AMC.
  23. ^ "Ozymandias". Breaking Bad. Season 5. Episode 14. September 15, 2013. AMC.
  24. ^ "Granite State". Breaking Bad. Season 5. Episode 15. September 22, 2013. AMC.
  25. ^ "Felina". Breaking Bad. Season 5. Episode 16. September 29, 2013. AMC.
  26. ^ "AMC Announces Casting and Starts Production of Second Original Pilot "Breaking Bad"". The Futon Critic. February 26, 2007. Archived from the original on April 27, 2020. Retrieved April 27, 2020.
  27. ^ Neuman, Clayton (February 28, 2008). "Q&A;: Betsy Brandt (Marie Schrader)". AMC. Archived from the original on December 27, 2011. Retrieved April 22, 2020.
  28. ^ Harris, Will (August 30, 2012). "Breaking Bad's Betsy Brandt on the evolution of her character". The A.V. Club. Archived from the original on November 22, 2019. Retrieved April 22, 2020.
  29. ^ "Q&A – Betsy Brandt (Marie Schrader)". AMC. Archived from the original on April 23, 2020. Retrieved April 22, 2020.
  30. ^ Martin, Denise (August 18, 2013). "Breaking Bad's Betsy Brandt on Marie's Big Moment and Being Worried for Hank". Vulture. Archived from the original on September 2, 2016. Retrieved April 22, 2020.
  31. ^ Trumbore, Dave; Nelson, Donna J. (June 18, 2019). The Science of Breaking Bad. MIT Press. p. 146. ISBN 978-0-262-53715-5.
  32. ^ Longo, Donovan (September 30, 2013). "'Breaking Bad' Finale: The Color Theory And Its Significance In AMC's Smash Hit Series". Latin Times. Archived from the original on March 8, 2015. Retrieved September 30, 2013.
  33. ^ Couch, Aaron (September 27, 2013). "'Breaking Bad's' Betsy Brandt on Why She Refused to Watch Hank's Shocking Scene (Q&A)". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on May 29, 2019. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
  34. ^ Bryant, Adam (August 18, 2013). "Breaking Bad Postmortem: Can Marie Ever Forgive Skyler?". TV Guide. Archived from the original on April 23, 2020. Retrieved April 22, 2020.
  35. ^ Snierson, Dan (April 22, 2016). "'Breaking Bad' alum Betsy Brandt talks nixed Marie cameo on 'Better Call Saul'". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on March 2, 2020. Retrieved April 16, 2020.
  36. ^ The Take (September 2, 2018). "Breaking Bad: Marie Schrader – Walter White, Lite". YouTube. Retrieved April 28, 2020.
  37. ^ Klypchak, Brad (2016). "Baby tiaras and the false hope of material abundance". Breaking Down Breaking Bad Critical Perspectives. University of New Mexico Press.
  38. ^ Wilkinson, Matthew (February 4, 2020). "Breaking Bad: 5 Characters Who Got Fitting Endings (& 5 Who Deserved Better)". Screen Rant. Archived from the original on April 28, 2020. Retrieved April 28, 2020.
  39. ^ Konstantinides, Anneta (October 26, 2019). "'Breaking Bad' fans will love a new pop-up that serves drinks in beaker glasses and food inspired by Walter White". Archived from the original on April 23, 2020. Retrieved April 23, 2020.

External linksEdit