JJ — Part 2

Sophy says: IT’S A NAOMTRANCE. AND WHAT A NAOMTRANCE! When she pushes past people it looks like she’s dancing lamely up to Effy. I may be in love with that fact.

Rin says: Haha, she’s not dancing up to Effy! That’s absurd! Naomi would never encourage Effy like that.

AND HEY. Girl with the hair extensions. I see you giving Naomi a greasy in that 3rd cap. You should be clearing a path for her, then bowing at her feet. Peon.

Rin says: commiserable, deplorable, distressing, feeble, heartbreaking, heartrending, inadequate, lamentable, meager, melting, miserable, moving, paltry, petty, piteous, pitiable, pitiful, plaintive, poignant, poor, puny, rueful, sorry, tender, touching, useless, woeful, worthless, wretched

Sophy says: All of the above.

And either Kaya really meant it when she said she’d go gay for Lily or her lines are taped to Lily’s chest???

Rin says: “You okay?” Naomi asks Effy in the smallest of voices. To which she answers with a muppet shrug.

And you’d think after the greatness of the previous episode, Naomi would be sporting some kind of crown. Or maybe there’s a huge gold medal hanging from that gangsta chain.

Sophy says: Effy’s muppet shrug is adorable and a half. I think she may be starting out a new quest. This time she’s after Emily’s CHEs.


“No Cook?”
“Why would there be a Cook?”
“You’re seeing him aren’t you?”

Rin says: If I try to take my head out of the gay race, which is not made easier by how dilated Effy’s pupils are, then I see a friendship which I really wanted them to develop. I think by now I’ve said I wanted to see them develop like 100 more friendships than they did, but this time I reallllly mean it. Then again, if I had to choose between this and scrapey shakey trio, the scrapey shakey trio wins every time. It was nice of them to have a Neffy scene in 407, that they acknowledged there was a mutual understanding there, but it was so rushed and contrived that you couldn’t fully appreciate it. (Although Naomi’s three no’s were ace)

Sophy says: The Neffy scene in 407 was such a waste. As was the Nookie scene in 408, even if Lily was hilarious in it.

“I’m fucking him occasionally. I’m not seeing him.”
“There’s a distinction?”

Sophy says: I love this, I love this, I love this. Because yes, Naomi, there is a distinction, and fucking and running is not going to make you Emily’s girlfriend. As in you’re not going to have a say in who else she sleeps with at the end of this episode. We’ll see how you like that state of affairs in 309 shall we?

And then I love this because yes, Effy, there is a distinction, and maybe it’s a pretty clear one for you, but it’s blurring fast for Cook; maybe you think ‘This is emptier, this is easier’, but this? This is going to end with gateaus and getaways and another broken heart to call your own.

Rin says: “We’ll see how you like that state of affairs in 309 shall we?” Omfg, I cannot wait. There’ll be puppies, butter and salt, I’m sure!!

“No Emily?”
*Naomi’s about to protest*

“That obvious?”


Sophy says: Naomi looks so troubled there for a moment and it hurts my heart in the best possible ‘Those crazy kids will work it out’ way.

“Don’t have to be a genius to work out. So?”
“So I’m straight.”

Sophy says: Naomi’s face there reminds me so much of the face she makes right when she says to Emily “You’re gay.” I’m so glad she said nothing of the sort to Effy. We would never have heard the end of it.

Rin says: Oh my god, you’re right.

Okay, I went to go get that cap and was lost for hours in a vortex of sweet Naomily kisses. It was a good time.

Sophy says: I love that vortex.

“If I said no, would I regret it?”
“Probably, but…not because of me.”

Rin says: And I’m dead. This is the first sign of Naomi ‘coming out’ and Effy does the best possible thing she could have done. Let Naomi know that she had her support and that it doesn’t change a thing. GUH, I love you so much in this moment Effy. I love you so much that I almost want to let you wear the gayest crown for a single frame, but alas.

Sophy says: She’s not allowed near the crown. The crown has a restraining order. Srs.

I adore Effy in this moment, because she just gets it so right. There are no bullshit reassurances of ‘No! Of course not! Here’s a crate. Stand on it and yell out that you’re a lesbian. I guarantee sunshine and puppydogs from everyone in the known universe.’ She tells it like it is, albeit with a hefty dose of cynicism that is coming from a very personal place. When Effy says Naomi will probably regret coming clean, I’m pretty sure she’s thinking more specifically than sexuality. She’s thinking of love – of Naomi’s love for Emily, of her own love for Freddie. She’s thinking how maybe it’s probably for Naomi, but for her it’s definitely, isn’t it? She will break Freddie’s heart. She is sure of it. And that’s why she will do anything to not-love him.

So she’s not exactly encouraging Naomi to be brave, better, bigger, more, the way Emily does. But she is telling her one thing that is pretty important in that moment – I’m not going to judge you. You can be gay as a crystal palace, you’ve still got a friend in me.

“We’re objects of lust.”
“Making you feel good?”
“Not really.”

Sophy says: Lily’s “Not really” is toooo cute. Also this totally reminds me of Buffy and Faith with their little ‘Thank God we’re hot chicks with super powers.’ ‘Takes the edge off.’ ‘Comforting.’ ‘Mmmhm.’ exchange.

Rin says: THEY EVEN HAVE BLONDE/BROWN HAIR. They’re totally lining up to get into The Bronze right now.

Rin says: Effy says they should get monumentally fucked up (like that wasn’t already the plan), but stops mid sentence when she spots one Freddie McLair. All tall and moppy-head looking.

Sophy says: Seriously, Effy. How do you expect to become the gayest with this kind of behaviour? You can’t lose the power of speech mid-sentence and gaze into the distance like the gates of paradise have just opened before you whenever Freddie shows up.


I hope for your sake that you’re looking at Katie and just have issues with focus.

“Oh my God!”
“Oh, that’s fucked up.”
“You love him?”


Rin says: And Effy gives me one of my favourite caps of the episode. Srsly, HER HAIR AND THE SHADOW ON HER FACE. And hey Effy, you’re not the only one who doesn’t let anything slip by. Naomi relishes the chance to get back at Effy with a taste of her own medicine, and the amount of glee on Naoms face is so ridic. Sadist.

Sophy says: Whoa, Naomi. ‘Fucked up’??? I mean, sure, everyone knows Freffy is the most hated ship in all the lands, but still. Harsh.

“Oh yes! You love the lips. Oh my God. Go on, lie to me. I want to see this.”

Rin says: Naomi dares Effy to lie to her, and Effy gives the best child-in-trouble face she can muster.

Sophy says: She’s totally about to stamp her foot, say “I hate you!” and run off awkwardly with straight arms by her sides and hands balled into fists.

Sophy says: Thomas says he’s sold a “whacker load of tickets” and knowing what I know it makes my heart hurt. He also says “friends don’t pay” excitedly, and I immediately think of the fact that Cook is going to show up shortly and get into this club for free because Thomas’s friends don’t pay, and I feel sort of sick.

Rin says: Poor Thomosoobaleelamba. He never catches a break.

Rin says: ffffffffffffff. She makes for a flawless Minnie Mouse.

Sophy says: She was born to be Minnie Mouse. Or a baby seal.

Rin says: Um, roads should not look that pretty? And holy crap, white men can jump.

Sophy says: Thomas sees Cook and JJ approaching and says in his inimitably good-natured way “Look! More friends!” Yeah. Friends. I’m feeling a bit sick again, and unbelievably, inconceivably, I’m forcing myself to think happy thoughts about how at least JJ isn’t a first-class backstabbing asshole to Thomas, how he actually is a friend, and they have these cute little moments in this episode in series 4, I believe it was 406 and… WHO AM I???

UKULELES! Rinse Repeat.

Rin says: Minnie Mouse. Cannot unsee.

Sophy says: Yeah but… do you really want to? ♥

I love how Katie’s awkwardness here, it’s perfectly played. It’s about Naomi of course, about that pesky confirmation she’s gotten that Emily is gay, that this thing between her and Naomi is a big damn deal. But I wonder if a little bit of it is about Effy, too. Because I’ve always thought, all Keffy fantasies aside, that Katie chose to get into Freddie’s pants for a reason and that reason was Effy Stonem. Think about it. Her thing up until this point has been clamouring for Effy’s friendship. She hasn’t been able to get it, not really. So maybe this is a big fuck you to Effy? Maybe she’s pushing her buttons? Maybe she wants to get a rise out of her any way she can?

Or maybe she just wanted to be Effy’s friend to be popular and being with Effy’s cast-offs seems like it might work too?

Sophy says: Emily’s already inside and she’s a hot mess. A really, really hot mess.

Rin says: Sizzling.

Rin says: IDEC. I love this. Naomi is so adorably lame. She’d throw in a few casual shimmies after this, I’m sure.

Sophy says: I’m madly in love. MADLY IN LOVE. Rin, sometimes it’s just… all I can say is that you make my dreams come true?

Rin says: Hahahahha the blonde on the right.

Sophy says: Oh Emily Fitch, only you have the power to turn blondes everywhere into lust-filled zombies with a toss of your cherry-red hair.

Rin says: The song playing during this scene is ‘Superheroes’ by You Love Her Coz She’s Dead. Like all the music in this episode, I love it and it’s really spot on.

I know someone else who liked it too.

Yes, I cut poor Meg out. Yes, I’m a horrible horrible person.

Sophy says: Since when do we cut Meg out? WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU MAN?

Rin says: I DON’T KNOW. It seemed inappropriate to have a half-Meg included when I was trying to make a Naomily point. LIKE, IT’D BE WEIRD.

Sophy says: Sigh. This has got to stop, Cook. Although I’m less offended by this image than Pandora-in-the-hallway, because there’s no y-fronts/socks issue and pretty lighting will always bamboozle me. Annnnnd I suppose I should cut you some slack for this one, since, you know, you’re all drugged up on Veritaserum and… groping is your personal truth?

Rin says: Suddenly it looks like we’re in an episode of Buffy or True Blood.

Sophy says: Emily’s totally doing Faith dancing. Seriously…


Rin says: CHRIST. Twice in the one episode, Emily? This is getting out of hand. We need an intervention.



Rin says: Katie comes to Emily’s rescue, and if you don’t really think about it, it’s seems like nothing important is happening here. But the reason Emily is getting so fucked up in the first place is because Katie finding out that she was gay and wanting her to say it’s not true was the final straw. It was all too much for her and she needed to escape, and who was there to pull her out before she drowned? Katie. Her twin. Her sister. And not Naomi.

People don’t nearly give Katie enough credit for just how much she does care about Emily. It’s not always as selfish as it may appear.

Sophy says: Word to all of the above, Rin. So much word. And I’m going to echo something I’ve said before – if Freddie/Katie hadn’t been used as a plot device and largely treated like a joke, it could have been a really interesting dynamic. Because here they are again, both caring, despite everything. Both first into the fray to get their loved-despite-everything ones to safety.

lol, Freddie looks so pissy. I wouldn’t be surprised if he had a loaf of bread in his pocket, just ready to point.

Rin says: There aren’t any bats ftlog. Pansy.

Sophy says: HAHAHAHHHAHA. Oh Freds. I suppose it’s good that you’re practicing your cowering :(

Rin says: Cook is on the incredible STUN, so of course he’s spilling his guts. And he sums up the triangle perfectly (at least at this point in time, ffs put your hounds away). Cook tells Freddie that Effy loves him and is just taking the piss with him. It pisses him off because he’s got nothing.

And I like this dynamic.

It’s not that I think Cook doesn’t deserve love, he does, he really does. It’s just not going to be coming from Effy, and he understands that. Which we see in 403, his unseen from jail and at the end of 405. Which is kind of why the way Cook acts in 407 and 408 is jolting to me.

Sophy says: I’m going to go out on a limb and say that Cook doesn’t deserve love right now. Not from Effy or Freddie or JJ anyway. He deserves love from his mother and father, but hey, if he’d ever had that maybe he wouldn’t be acting this way in the first place.

At this point, given all the shit he’s pulled, he’s lucky to get what he does get in terms of love – which is basically a sometimes-irritable lapdog in JJ and a pseudo-mum in Freddie, the headshaking funsponge who can’t help coming through for him no matter how badly he behaves.

And yet… and yet. Somehow the fact that Cook agrees with me, that he’ll say it out loud and with such miserable conviction – I’m pure shit… it tugs at my heart. It hurts. It makes me sad that he feels that way, that he’s so lost, so lonely, so low-down that he doesn’t see any way out. I did wish for better things for Cook at this point when I first watched the series, and I do wish for them again this time around.

I may have been disappointed with his regression toward the end of series 4, but as long as we still have the movie coming, I’ll still have hope for James Cook.

Rin says: YES. I’m really looking forward to how Cook will be in the movie.

Rin says: Thomas overhears Cook talking about how he pops Panda and Thomas is ready to rip him a new one…

Sophy says: …but Freddie’s going to save him from that too, because that’s just the way he rolls. To be honest, if I’d been in Freddie’s shoes I might have let him get a couple of richly deserved hits in. But I’m not as big a person as he is. Really, I’m quite short.

Anyway, then Freddie proceeds to be somewhat bitchy and condescending to JJ, and really, if I were Luke I would have requested a rewrite of the line “You’ve had a busy day, haven’t you?” because it just sounds like some 1950s chauvinist coming home and chastising his wife for making a mess with her decoupage and overcooking the green beans. He should have taken a leaf out of Effy’s book – “JJ. What the fuck.” would have been more appropriate here.

Anyway, JJ apologizes, says he got locked on, says he got pissed off, asks, in a way I can’t deny I find completely adorable, if this means he can’t come to the shed anymore.

Freddie softens immediately. He leans forward and hugs JJ and it’s so, so lovely and it only gets lovelier when he says “Course not, you can still come to the shed. Just give me some space, okay?
I need time to think.”

And here we have it again, a theme which has been building nicely since the start of the show and which will continue to develop in the fourth season up until everything goes to thematic shit at the eleventh hour. Freddie is learning to be a full grown man, he’s learning to be kind but honest, reassuring but real. He’s learning to care without losing himself – to look out for others but look out for himself some too. Basically the theme is this: Freddie is growing up too fast for his two best friends and not quite fast enough to escape the memory of his mother, smiling for the camera, his mother, buried in the dirt.

Rin says: Under the blue lights, her tears are such LUMINESCENT BEACONS OF BURNING REJECTION.


Sophy says: I honestly think Freddie would have more fans if Luca had laid off those weird-ass facial expressions in s3. He looks like he’s about to go all Foster on her ass.

Anyway. He gives Effy a look that is a little on the crazy side of intense, and tells her this is hers. As in Cook’s misery is her mess this time. Because maybe Freddie and Effy are still falling in love, all the time, every day, as we speak, inevitably. Maybe they both know that. But it’s too late to start again, isn’t it? It’s too late, because Cook’s lines are well and truly blurred now, because Freddie is trying to get his nice and sharp, because maybe Effy loves him but she’s still not telling him. She’s still not showing him.

And Freddie will never be done caring – not with Cook, not with JJ, not with Effy either. But he is done playing games.

He’ll get Cook to safety, he’ll make sure he’s okay. But the rest is for Effy to clean up.

(And I wonder if she did? I wonder if after this scene ended, Effy pulled Cook to his feet, and Naomi, with an eyeroll of course, helped her drag him back to the Stonem house. I wonder if Naomi slept on the couch, clutching a spare vodka bottle and trying to think about anything but love and guilt and disappointment and the way things are. I wonder if Effy cleaned Cook up some, tended his wounds as silently and emotionlessly as possible, tucked him into her bed, lay down with Pato on top of the covers, and tried to think about anything but love and guilt and disappointment and the way things are.)

Rin says: *Takes Naomi out of your scenario* It’s for Effy’s own good, okay? We can’t lead her on.

Rin says: Hahaha Naomi why do you ever go out? You never seem like you’re having fun. Unless you’re in the woods, next to a lake, in your undywear with your lady. Interesting.

Sophy says: I love the way this eyeroll is so epic that it rolls all the way into the next cap…

Rin says: Even though they never have a scene together in this episode, that can’t stop them from being side by side in this recap. I don’t care if it kind of looks like Naomi is rolling her eyes at Emily crying on the kerb.

Sophy says: Who could roll their eyes at that? Seriously WHO? I’ve never seen anything so gorgeous as gutter-Emily, so don’t be surprised if I begin to press all the keys of my keyboard at once presently.

Rin says: Curse you Emily Fitch. How are you still the most adorable thing ever, when you should be looking like a trashbag. CURSE YOU.


Just so we’re clear, I’ll deny it in the morning.


Sophy says: I should tell you, I should – NO!

Rin says: What the hell. The design on JJ’s jacket and his tshirt is the same. What….the hell.

Sophy says: Well he’s a weirdo, clearly. Undeniable proof.

Anyway, JJ apologizes for spilling the beans and apparently sending Emily into a tailspin. Emily says it’s okay, he probably did her a favour. She says “Katie loves me. I know she does,” and I think of 404 and the Fitches and how they’re a family, always and no matter what. I melt. I yearn. I love this stuff.

Emily asks how the whole asking for things mission went, and JJ rather sweetly says “Bad. Or… too early to say.”

I love these two right now and it’s quite possible that if JJ’s s4 ep had revolved around Thomas and Emily, I’d have been a big fan of the character when all was said and done.

Rin says: Oh my god, that would have been so fucking good I would have ended up crying with joy.. instead of rage.

Rin says: This is the JJ I like. And the lack of scenes like this, where we see JJ just being, and you know.. not ukulele-ing, is probably why JJ lost a lot of his appeal.

Emily doesn’t want to go home, and JJ – awesome JJ – says ‘Right, so let’s think.’ Closes his eyes briefly as Emily watches on, and then he turns, opens his eyes and smiles.

Sophy says: Adorable. And the fact that Debussy’s first Arabesque floods the scene just as he smiles at her? That’s the kicker for me. I used to play that piece back when I was diligent and exam-doing and not wasting my life on TV. It holds a special place in my heart, and yeah, okay, so does this scene. So does this episode.

That’s right. JJ’s episode. Holds a special place in Sophy’s heart. Is this the first sign of the apocalypse? Maybe. Or maybe it’s too early to say.

Rin says: Don’t worry folks, I’m taking her temperature as we speak.

Rin says: The way he just sits on the bed and starts unbuttoning his PJs with all this uncertainty on his face. JFC. Pure brilliance. He looks like he’s about to sell his body for the first time and is frightened.

Sophy says: Well, I suppose it’s fair enough that’s he’s nervous. Keiko can be quite feisty.

Rin says: HOW CAN YOU SLEEP SO UPRIGHT. Uncomfortable.

Sophy says: Ngl, I thought it was insanely adorable that JJ wrote ‘Effy likes JJ’ on his wall. And it makse me wish they hadn’t dropped all meaningful connection between those two forthwith.

Rin says: His wall is actually quite insightful. Especially this bit.


Sophy says: Wow. In the context of ‘You’re my friend’ in 407, that… is kind of amazing.

Rin says: Don’t lie. You all threw your bra and/or panties at the screen for Emily Fitch in her…bra and panties.

Sophy says: WHEN IN ROME. Or something.

Sophy says: Emily teases JJ, saying “Please tell me somebody makes you wear those pyjamas.” JJ says no, he just likes them, and once again I am loving him.

No really, here’s a direct quote from the notes I made whilst rewatching:

“haha i love you jj. 100% egyptian cotton.”



Emily carries on with her teasing, tells him if they’re going to be friends, he’s going to have to give up the teddy-bears. And to you, Miss Emily Fitch, I say ‘You hand over your bow-stash first.’

Sophy says: And here’s where we get to the tricky part. Here’s where Emily offers – no asks – to help JJ lose his virginity. She tells him this is a one time charity event, because, well, she’s gay.

He suggests a “phased approach”, she dismisses his nervous protestations.

“In you pop!” she says, and it’s completely ridiculous and completely adorable.

Rin says: I…. don’t know what to say to that. Well I do, but I like to think we still have a  line that we do not cross on this blog.

Sophy says: Really??? My mum will be so proud.

Rin says: I am horrified. Does he leave it in the box so he can ~undress it?

Sophy says: Idk, maybe he thinks it’s safer if it stays in the box.

Rin says: JJ is such a moron. YOU CAN’T GET PREGNANT JJ, YOU’RE A MAN.

If I hear any of you say ‘Haven’t you seen Junior???’ I am going to slap you.

Sophy says:

Rin says: Aw of course! In fact I’m SO cool that I LOVE dinosaurs.

Sophy says:

Sophy says: Once JJ has popped in, Emily says “I’m lots of things, JJ, and I really like you, so this is between friends, yeah?” “Between friends,” JJ confirms. “And I can be quite cute?”

Emily laughs, says “Yes you can,” kisses him…

Rin says: HAhaa I really love the ‘And I can be quite cute’ part. Because, yes JJ. You can be. Because back then, you didn’t have a ukulele.

Sophy says: Claire de Lune drifts back in from the start of the episode, and all is delicate, all is sweet and unsure, all is somewhat magical.

And somewhat ‘WHAT THE FUCK’, too, but I’ll get to that in a minute.

Right now I just need to point that Emily’s feet deserve a CHE.

Rin says: CHE granted.

Sophy says: You really, really might be, Emily.

Rin says: First She was Moses, and now She is Jesus. I think that’s how it goes in the book too.

Rin says: In all the caps from this final scene, Emily deserves 100 CHE awards. It’s beyond ridiculous.

Sophy says: Agreed. She’s just so adorable in this scene that I kind of want to give her a CHE for each of the above caps.


Sophy says: Ridiculous.

Rin says: Ok, this is going to be ranty and not at all eloquent or making of the sense. Bear with me?

I know it’s the unpopular opinion, but I like the end of this episode. I soon learnt that one does not simply walk into fandom proclaiming your like for the ending of 307, and that you weren’t bothered by Emily sleeping with JJ. Was it too soon after what Naomi and Emily went through in the previous episode? Probably. Could they have avoided this whole situation altogether and achieved the same outcome? Maybe. Would I change it? No.

Emily says herself that she’s a lot of things. And I like that complication. I like that I still don’t really know exactly how to place why I like that they did this. I think it mostly has to do with that last cap there of Mrs JJ. I ADORE the way she is looking at her son at the end, and how she just watches on quietly. And you see it. YOU SEE EVERYTHING. The years of heartache his mother has had to endure alone (his dad was behind a newspaper the entire time??), just wanting the best for JJ and hoping that he’ll be okay. And Emily had a hand in that…so what is not to love? It’s not like they were pursuing them romantically, nor did it really harm Naomily. Noone really gets hurt. It works out. So. <3.

Sophy says: First things first. Let’s take a moment to give a shout out to the actress who plays JJ’s mum. Because her performance in this final scene is astoundingly gentle and raw. In a few brief shots, in a simple “okay”, in a quiet offer of tea, we see right into her soul, we see right into the parts of her that are worried and worn, the parts of her that are now suddenly, simply made new. And that one smile? The one that collides softly with the final arpeggio? It literally makes the episode. Kudos to you, Mrs JJ. You are a treasure.

Now onto trickier things. Things like Emily Gay Fitch having sex with JJ.

Upon rewatching the episode I had the same response as I did the first time: I don’t know how I feel about this.

Well, that’s not entirely true. I do know how I feel about this, but the trouble is I feel two things, two completely diametrically opposed things. I love this. I hate this. There’s no way around either of those feelings.

But maybe that’s what makes this such compelling TV. It’s an emotional riddle that I can’t work out, and maybe I never will, and maybe that’s okay. Maybe that’s exciting. Maybe that’s something special.

Let’s start with what I don’t like about this. First up, it grates somewhat that JJ’s resolution, his ultimate “normal”, is losing his virginity. I don’t understand the idea that sex for its own sake is some almighty life-changer, and frankly I don’t see why Emily’s friendship – genuine, uncomplicated friendship – couldn’t have been enough.

And maybe there’s a personal element to this. Because for me sex has always been about love. I’m not the kind of person that could have a one night stand or sleep with someone for the fun of it. To me, sex is the physical expression of love, and it would feel pointless and a bit embarrassing without it. But then I think two things: 1. Emily Fitch is not me. She is far braver and bolder than I could ever hope to be, and I do sometimes wonder how much fear of rejection and the need for absolute trust factor into my ‘Sex is love’ mentality. 2. Who’s to say Emily and JJ’s night together wasn’t about love? Okay, it’s not romantic love. But isn’t friendship love, too? The macros above are all in good humour, and I should point out that they do not reflect my opinion on what happened between JJ and Emily. It may not have been romantic, but it wasn’t meaningless or empty, not by a long shot.

Now onto the one thing that really, truly bugs me, the thing I will repress about this episode till the day I die. Emily sleeps with JJ. Okay. It’s a sweet thing. It’s charity. It’s friendship. Because Emily is gay. I’m fine with all of this until I remember a particularly jarring line near the beginning of the episode. When Emily flashes JJ and snaps him out of his anxiety attack, she turns around and says, somewhat sullenly, “The last guy to see my tits wasn’t quite as impressed.”

It’s a good thing that I was late to the show and could hurry on to the next episode and find that all was well in Emily-is-gay land. If I’d been watching week by week along with the rest of the world I may have had rage blackouts whilst waiting to find out what came next. Because the suggestion, the mercifully abandoned suggestion, is there: Emily is gay because she had a bad sexual/emotional experience with a guy. If they’d pursued that idea, Skins would seriously have been off my Christmas card list. I might have even started actually sending out cards, just to spite the show.

But, as I said, all is going to be well. Emily is still going to be Emily, gay is still going to be gay, and this episode… it’s a tricky one. It’s a little bit ugly-beautiful, uglier for some that for others, I know. And I respect your opinion, all you who were offended by this plot move, I really do.

I agree with your opinion and I don’t agree with it and I absolutely respect it.

But at the end of the day, all controversy aside, I have to say that I’d probably swallow anything for this last scene, this absolutely radiant scene, in which JJ has a lovely friend who giggles behind her toast at his jokes, in which his mother makes tea and looks on, her battered spirit soaring at the sight.

Rin says: Your longest rant came about in JJ’s episode. And not Naomi’s.

I’m going to need to be alone.

Sophy says: Jfc, the levels of pretty that await us in this next ep. I expect three pages minimum, Rin. Just so we’re clear.


Spitting image.

Sophy says: OMG EDWINA!!!! That’s Edwina.



Also Zombie-Rin is considerably creepier and considerably less stupid-looking than Zombie-Sophy.

Works for me.

Rin says: In this scenario, I honestly don’t know how I should feel. Why am I pitying a body billow? Why am I feeling sorry for Mandeh? Hating JJ/Ukuleles is standard though.

Sophy says: I am so touched right now.

Rin says: This is why we make such a good team. We’re the unstoppable force, you see?


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  1. KSchwen
    KSchwen at · Reply

    Yay! Good recap! I mean it’s 1:48am where I live, but I thought I should check to see if the recap came out yet, and it did! So exciting! Kat was so freaking adorable in this episode, and I wish they would’ve pursued the Effy/Naomi friendship further.

    1. Sophy
      Sophy at · Reply

      Thanks! Glad you enjoyed the recap and we’re honoured you stayed up to read it :)

  2. Brit B
    Brit B at · Reply

    Emily Fitch is my personal Jesus. I think I’ll just start wearing a WWED bracelet and a little locket around my neck that has CHE inscribed on it and has a picture of Emily in that oversized purple shirt so that I can look at it whenever I’m feeling down and remember THERE IS SOMETHING THAT WONDERFUL IN THE WORLD.

    Amazing recap as always, Rophy. There was so much lawling my dog vacated my bed, and that’s a victory. I’d say I wish we could skip 308 and go straight to the gooey Naomily center that is 309 but there’s Naomi and Emily being super cute in the back of a car (I MEANT THAT THE WAY IT SOUNDED) and the implication that they snuck out to roll in the middle of the night so I’m okay with it.

    1. Sophy
      Sophy at · Reply

      They really should make those bracelets. They’d sell like hotcakes wish they could sell.

  3. Mari
    Mari at · Reply

    Gotta love the Imagine You & Me reference!

    1. Sophy
      Sophy at · Reply

      Indeed you do! ♥

  4. Louise
    Louise at · Reply

    I’ve been checking every day since 306 was posted to see if this was up yet. NOT DISAPPOINTED.
    I love you guys so hard.
    My two bob re: Emily/JJ – I really liked it, actually. REALLY. Same way I feel about Nookie friendship. I love seeing Emily and Naoms outside of their relationship with each other every now and then, seeing how genuinely brave, cool, sweet and all-round freakin’ classy Ems is, and how vulnerable, lovely and loving Naomi can be. Emily never forgets or compromises herself, and the fact that she (OMG) sleeps with a boy doesn’t change all that we’ve come to love about her. Also I can say from experience some gay girls sleep with boys once in a while; still gay; no biggie. I did kind of resent the writers using this as a relationship hurdle for Naomily though – it’s a bit cheap and hypocritical on Naomi’s part and their dynamic is beautiful and conflicted enough without throwing freaking JJ in the middle of it. WHO CARES.
    I think the brief Em/JJ reprise in s4 is quite nice too: “You’re running on empty.” I did cry, I admit it.
    Great job guys. So many LOLs.

    1. Sophy
      Sophy at · Reply

      haha, Rophy wasn’t so fond of the running on empty scene. Given that they’d ignored JJ/Emily up to that point it felt kind of randomly inserted. idk.

      Agreed though, none of this changes who Emily is for me ♥

  5. Trinh
    Trinh at · Reply

    i haven’t seen tank top emily in so long! *drools*

    i can’t get over how BIG naomi’s gold necklace is. it reminds me of the bracelets joey got for him and chandler.

    lmao at naomi boogie-ing her way into the macro and the one with you guys ruffling up jj’s hair.

    i showed my friend, who’s never even heard of skins, the macro of naomi dancing, and she laugh and spit water all over my macbook. bitch.

    1. anat
      anat at · Reply

      Yeah the Naomi boogie-woogie macro made me laugh really really loud.. always embarrasing when a person laughs on his own when in public isn’t it? haha

    2. Sophy
      Sophy at · Reply


      And Rophy blush and giggle when non-Skins people lol at their work. Yes they do.

  6. Angela
    Angela at · Reply

    I loved this recap, even with the ridiculous amounts of love for JJ, and, even though you guys seem to disagree, I love Emily’s bows. =)

    As for the JJ + Emily sex — I don’t know — I’m still really ambivalent about it. I think Emily is the best thing since pockets, and if she had ever said that she is second coming of Christ, I’d probably believe her, but there’s just something so disconnected about her having charity sex with her friend so soon after her time with Naomi at the lake, that I just can’t reconcile it with her story. In theory, she’s the only character I could imagine being that selfless, but it just doesn’t work for me. Yes, JJ’s mom looked so happy and relieved that he was easily relating with someone else, but I can’t celebrate a scene for an outcome like that, when I can’t quite believe what was going on beforehand.

    I’m not angry per se, but I can’t help feeling a little bit disappointed, and I still am not quite sure why.

    Oh well, I do like this episode, if for nothing else but Emily’s “I like tits and fanny, ya know?” speech, and general Emily adorableness.

    1. Sophy
      Sophy at · Reply

      I LOVE EMILY’S BOWS. I just think she shouldn’t be such a hypocrite about cute.

      Best thing since pockets ♥

  7. haaaa
    haaaa at · Reply

    oh my god the hair ruffling gif. the best.

    1. Sophy
      Sophy at · Reply

      LOL, we were pretty chuffed about how that one turned out.

  8. blondie
    blondie at · Reply

    Okay, I may just be impartial to Naomi here when I say…LOL. So hard. It was bad enough when you highlighted that “When she pushes past people it looks like she’s dancing lamely up to Effy.” But then you actually had to have her boogie-ing up to Emily? ♥
    And then the Naomi eyeroll…”Don’t call me Naoms”. Genius.

    But all jokes aside, I absolutely love Neffy (not in that way JESUS). When you really look at them, they are both starkly similar. They’re both reclusive, scared, afraid of love, brash and unwilling to discuss their emotions or rely on other people. When in reality that’s all they want:
    Effy: “Thanks for loving me”
    Naomi: (to Kieran) “I thought I could trust you”.
    So that’s why Skins made a massive FAIL cos they could have been eclipsed all of the other secondary friendships. That scene between them at the top of the page? One of my fave friendship scenes. Effy just KNOWS…and understands Naomi. And vice versa.

    Moving along, the rest of the recap was just…I can’t even put words to it. Just very lawl-worthy. Especially the ‘fondling abuse’ macro. But I agree that the final scene was magic, and JJ’s mum is brilliant. She just knows at once what’s happened to JJ – and he confirms it in 309 when he says something along the lines of “my mum knew straight away. It was written all over my face”.

    I think this ep takes a few watches to really get the full significance of it, because when i first watched it I was left scratching my head somewhat. But now that I fully have a grip on it, it’s actually a really strong ep. Well done Rophy! Great recap as always! :)

    1. blondie
      blondie at · Reply

      Oh my god. JFC. Okay, I’m slightly traumatized right now so I’m going to discuss this with The Fandom. Because The Fandom is awesome.

      My family know I love Skins. What they don’t know about is my obsession with Naomily. I haven’t told them because it would seem very strange for me to be fawning over a lesbian couple because (a) I’m straight and (b) they just wouldn’t get the appeal of the Nation’s Favourite Lesbian Couple. Anyway, so here I am in my bed, about to nod off to sleep, when I hear the distinct voice of Emily telling her mum to ‘shove it up your tits’ in the next room. My initial reaction: SHIT.

      Channel 4 (a British channel/e4’s counterpart) have started replaying series 4 and last night ep 402 just happened to be on. So I could only listen through the thin wall in horror as my MUM continued to watch in her bedroom. I prayed she would change channel eventually – but no. I had to push down the cringing lols and and embarrassment as the familiar sound of trumpets blaring during NAOMILY’S SEX SCENE played and my mum continued to watch. And not only that, eventually my dad went to bed and they BOTH watched it! So i could only listen in disbelief as Naomi proclaimed “you can be my pyjamas”, they both donned Mexican garb and danced around, Naomi shouted “stay alive, I WILL find you” and Cook pummeled the shit out of some guy.

      They thankfully turned off the telly after that, at the final ad break, and went to sleep. But I am now rightfully horrified lol. My fam aren’t homophobic in any way, but you can imagine them wondering why I was watching some lesbian couple, no? I almost wish now that they’d watched the last part so they knew there was an actual storyline (Naomi cheating) and not just me mostly, you know, being a perv or something! Ugh…god…I just hope they forget about it or something, cos if they ask me about it today I’m going to be a bit lost for words…

      Anyway, I know that had nothing to do with 307, but I thought the Fandom could enjoy that and or/laugh at me.

      1. anat
        anat at · Reply

        Hahaha girl u should relax, Skins is quality tv, and to prove it – why else wouldn’t they change the channel until falling asleep? it’s a show they don’t watch, therefore don’t know the storyline, and still it managed to grab their attention long enough for them to keep watching.

        I actually showed skins to my mom (who’s 60 btw), and after the initial shock from all the creudness (spelling mistake? lol) of the first episodes of season 3 (cook mainly) she really liked it and we watched together until the very end (and along the way we learned to love Cook).
        Besides my mom, i was watching 4X02 when a friend of mine came by (straight girl with no knowledge of skins existence) and she agreed to let me finish the epi since it was sooooo important (for me), and u know what? she enjoyed it too! it’s such a good episode and there’s really lil meaning to the fact that at the base of the story are two (beautiful) girls!

        btw, I am wondering if did they had anything to say the next day?

        1. blondie
          blondie at · Reply

          Haha, I know I’m overreacting a lot. But at the time i was a bit mortified, even though my mum’s actually watched skins before, but she didnt know anything about Naomi and Emily. I nearly wanted to explain their appeal lol. And to answer your q, I haven’t been asked anything yet. But you never know – next time I mention the program she might just go “actually, by the way, I was watching…” etc, you get the picture. I think it’s rather funny now, and I’m not giving her enough credit I guess. I nearly wished she DID watch the entire episode to see how amazing it actually is and not just so close to the sex scene. I was lol-ing so hard when I copped on :P

          I dunno, she’s open-minded on a lot of things. I just like having skins to myself and my friends, and never think of my parents actually watching out of enjoyment, you know? haha. But it IS quality, like you said. It’s kind of my baby, along with the Fandom. My older sister already tunes in to watch skins every so often, so she knows what I’m talking about lol.

          Hope that didn’t come across a bit close-minded, cos im very open-minded on all fronts. but I’m one of those people who hates watching ANY sex scene with their parents. So it was weird listening through a wall and laughing to myself lol. I don’t mind with friends, just not my parents. I’ll have to get back to you if she ever comments and/or I introduce her to the greatness that is Naomily :)

      2. Sophy
        Sophy at · Reply

        haha! Just tell them you’re a Freffy fan.

        Although wait, they’d never buy that.

    2. Sophy
      Sophy at · Reply

      This is how Rophy works: one of us says something hypothetical, the other immediately makes it literal. We’re all about making each other’s dreams come true :)

      Nice observations on Neffy, blondie! I wholeheartedly agree.

  9. Lucy
    Lucy at · Reply

    that was genius.
    seriously there should be a book published
    ‘how to be more like Emily Fitch’
    i would buy it and worship it

    1. Brit B
      Brit B at · Reply

      There should be a store that sells all of these things. The Sophia Safari barbie, WWED bracelets, “How To Be More Like Emily Fitch: The Guide”. It would all be sold there.

      Skins*Mart. Always most awesome. Always.

      1. Angela
        Angela at · Reply

        Does this store also have Kat-in-a-pocket©? I’ve been searching everywhere for one of those. ♥♥♥

        1. Sophy
          Sophy at · Reply

          KAT-IN-A-POCKET. Wonderful.

      2. Sophy
        Sophy at · Reply

        Brit, you are dreaming our dreams. ♥

    2. Sophy
      Sophy at · Reply

      It would be like the bible.


  10. monkey1980
    monkey1980 at · Reply

    you made me love jj (i’ll deny that in the morning) but if only i can erase s4 jj episode from my mind i might still love him but no i can’t since i still have nightmares about ukeleles its not pretty….i loled so much i spit coffee all over my puter at the sophia/freddy macro it was unexpected but i should have known with how committed sophia is….but oh nos does that mean she will go after effy next since she and naomi had such a beautiful moment i shutter to think of it but giggle inside thinking what katy’s reaction would be lol and yes emily is jesus i pray to her every night for maor naomily and on a plus side for me i realized if i read this ridiculously funny laugh out loud recaps during the day i can not annoy or rudely wake up my lil monkey :D therefor mommy will not have to bribe annoyed monkey will mcd’s and best of all mommy is no longer crazy and i will not have a need for dr foster type person in the near future yeah me

    p.s just when i thought i couldn’t love you more :D you mention my other loves faith *swoons* buffy *drools* LENA *faints* gawd maybe i do need therapy afterall lol you do know the way to my heart don’t you

    1. Sophy
      Sophy at · Reply

      heeheee! Thanks monkey magic, glad you liked it :)

  11. Amelie
    Amelie at · Reply

    Loved the Katie/Effy macro when Freddie and Katie are in bed, I made me lol sfm!!
    And I’m gonna confess this, ( quite blashfully yes) that I loved the s3 ep of JJ, and the Emily/JJ scene in the end didn’t bothered me that much, it was necessary, as I heard Kat and Lily say.
    My love for this episode has also (and surely) sthg to do with the music : Debussy is pure win, and suited the character so well, I remember I used to play the Arabesque when I was younger, it was my very first piece I actually liked from my piano lessons, I keep playing it when I’m in the mood… :)
    Anyway : Debussy + Emily’s numerous CHE + Ollie’s acting without ukuleles = beautiful recap !!

    1. Sophy
      Sophy at · Reply

      Glad you enjoyed the end – I did too, though I can see why others might not. And look at us with our matching Debussy! ♥

  12. polymorph80
    polymorph80 at · Reply

    Cook’s “pure shit” line = eh. I know, in hindsight it’s supposed to be a sad line about him acknowledging his failings as a human being, but right there and then all I could do was nod along in agreement. I may be blinded by my love for JJ, who Cook routinely abuses for his own amusement and Freddie tolerates for Cook’s sake when all he wants is just one day of normality.

    And. The ending. I’m going to come out and say it; Skins is a lot of things, but the single thing it is more than anything else is quite defiantly British. It’s made in a country where it’s not abnormal to lose your virginity before the age of 13, where teenage pregnancy rates are the highest in western Europe, where the government is concerned about the rates of STDs (particularly chlamydia) in 14 year olds, where 18 year olds are lining up for their third abortions, where attitudes towards sex are best described as “casual”. In short, it’s a country where still being a virgin when you actually reach the age of consent is the act of a square, a nerd, a fridge, me (I was 22), a JJ or a Sid (see 101!). So I really do not have a problem with JJ wanting to lose his virginity as an act of normality; for him, for the people he associates with and the culture he lives in, getting laid is *the* most perfectly normal thing to want to do (this is why I think Skins USA will fail miserably, for the record). Yes, it’s nice if there’s meaning behind it, if it’s with someone you love, but if you can’t get that then you take what you can get; the book (sorry to bring up that wretched tome, but…) spells out the problems JJ has in the lady department in the bit with Holly.

    So to Emily. As she says, she too is a lot of things; sadly, one of those things is that at times she’s too fucking nice and decent for her own good. And she’s not exactly in the best of mindsets in this moment; riled by Katie’s denial of her sexuality and with Naomi still not entirely sure what’s going on, she goes off and gets fucked up in a club with Cook. Sleeping with JJ as an act of friendship, to help him achieve his goal of being a normal person even if only for a day, is a completely Emily thing to do; can you see Effy or Naomi doing that? (Pandora might if she wasn’t busy with Cook – I still think they should have gone JJ/Pandora in S4.)

    Of course, this is where we hit the other problem, the “Emily’s GAY GAY GAY so why is she shagging a guy” issue. I don’t buy it as Emily being gay due to a bad experience in the past (after all, the last bloke Naomi was with couldn’t get it up either), so much as – possibly – her own notions of what “normal” means. She’s never had a boyfriend. Her own sister thinks she’s a weirdo. We really don’t know a lot about the process Emily went through with regards to accepting her sexuality, we don’t even know when she first fell for Naomi (fanfic seems to loves to tie them together and say that Naomi’s 12 year old love at first sight was mirrored by Emily, but fanfic can think what it likes – for all we know it might have just been that party when they first kissed). The point, I think, is that Gay!Emily was momentarily sacrificed for Nice!Emily, willing to abandon her own identity for the sake of a friend’s goal of normalcy. In that moment, she was helping a friend. Nothing more, nothing less. She made it explicitly clear that this is in no way about her, so her sexuality is relatively moot at that point. (Which is part of why I don’t have a problem – because ultimately, even though Emily’s in that bed at that point, the story is nothing to do with her. It’s JJ’s story.)

    And of course, I can forgive pretty much anything for that look on Cecilia’s face at the end.

    1. Sophy
      Sophy at · Reply

      Not sure what you mean with that first paragraph about Freddie tolerating JJ for Cook’s sake? Or tolerating Cook’s abuse of JJ for Cook’s sake? I’ll give you that Cook treats JJ like crap (along with just about everyone else in the world, lol.)

      I haven’t read the Skins novel nor do I intend to. I took a look at a few pages and the quality of the writing made me want to cry. I refuse to allow it to taint Skins any further for me.

      1. polymorph80
        polymorph80 at · Reply

        The main point I think I was aiming at is: I really don’t think the show ever did a great job of showing us the friendship between Freddie and JJ. Yeah sure, Freddie cares about him and rescues him from messes a few times (Panda’s ep comes most obviously to mind), but mostly they focused on the Freddie-Cook angle (particularly as part of the Triangle Of Doom); consider 406, where the sum total of Freddie’s contribution is “delivery boy”. Somehow they managed to work more mileage out of JJ and Cook (both in terms of abuse and friendship), which has always led me to the conclusion that while JJ loves to think of them as The Three Musketeers, it’s actually a horribly lopsided triangle; Freddie hangs with JJ mostly because JJ is Cook’s mate (and because of his rescuer complex, but that’s another issue entirely).

        And yeah. The Skins novel is… not exactly high quality literature. It’s basically fanfic with a canon label stuck to the front, and fanfic is truly a field where Sturgeon’s Law is in full effect; it’s even got fanfic-level typos (“Noami”).

    2. Marie
      Marie at · Reply

      Your comment reminded me that I never fully thought of it from JJ’s side. I’ve never heard those reasons before and I feel like I understand the motivation a little better. (Yay!)

      Wasn’t James Fitch the last guy to see Emily’s tits? That’s my theory. Since I think he did and Skins didn’t show another guy after that.

      “The point, I think, is that Gay!Emily was momentarily sacrificed for Nice!Emily, willing to abandon her own identity for the sake of a friend’s goal of normalcy.” She’s not defined by being gay. I love that, even thought it’s it’s hard to relate with her (for me) in that scene.

      1. polymorph80
        polymorph80 at · Reply

        I’m pretty sure Emily regards herself as totally 100% gay; yeah, the label is rarely used and it’s not a fundamental part of her character, but it is *a* part of her identity.

        My hypothesis? Emily’s believed herself to be gay for a very, very long time; possibly since around the time she fell for Naomi, which was probably before that party (Emily’s brave enough to accept her sexuality relatively easily; Naomi isn’t). Naomi probably ran for the hills at the party after Katie caught them – Emily took that as a rejection and, in her own misery and almost certainly under some pressure from Katie, she slept with a guy (possibly even during the time of this series; remember this show tends towards monumental time skips. Katie may have been embarassed about Emily *still* not having had a boyfriend and publicly announcing it in 301 – I noted earlier that in Britain, being a virgin by Skins-age makes you odd to many of your peers, particularly a social animal like Katie). It wasn’t particularly enjoyable (she wanted someone else and the guy didn’t think much of her tits, the shallow and quite frankly monumentally stupid git), and Emily’s internal response was “nah”; that was the confirmation of her sexuality she’d never needed.

        James Fitch doesn’t count. :-p

  13. Mette
    Mette at · Reply

    Again, a brilliant recap. I’ll never be able to look at Katie the same way ever again. She will forever be Minnie Mouse.

    Anyway, I just wanted to come here and say that once I started watching Skins sometime last year, I watched it quite quickly and didn’t have to wait for a week between episodes. I remember when I was watching season 3 that I ended one night with this one, and I said to my friend who told me to watch skins in the first place that I thought it was really nice of Emily to sleep with JJ. And I still do.
    I mean, I understand why people are outraged about it, but I thought it was one of the sweetest thing anyone ever did for JJ, really.
    Just my two cents hahaha. They’re obviously not worth much :P

    1. Sophy
      Sophy at · Reply


  14. Weevil
    Weevil at · Reply

    Ha, poor Katie and Effy they will get it together some day.

    I actually love this episode for the reason you said. I love Emily and I love an Emily episode that doesn’t involve Naomi. I love Naomi/Naomily but its nice to see that Emily is sassy, sweet, brave, honest, and kind just all of the time. Not just as tools to get her girl. And I wish they had some Emily moments that weren’t based in her misery in Season 4 not because I didn’t like those scenes (she is an awesome little crier) but because there were times where we could use a reminder of why we all love Em so much.

    She is so hot on the dance floor it almost makes me uncomfortable. I loved that Katie just swoops in and prevents her from making a huge mistake. I read something elsewhere where they said they didn’t understand it because why wouldn’t she be glad that Emily was being all hetero. And it was so wrong because that isn’t Katie at all. She would never let Emily do something that would hurt her. She loves Emily something fierce. And her problem isn’t really that Em is gay but that she is moving away from her and is not conforming to the Katie Fitch world view. She has this whole world of secret porn boxes and lesbian wood sex that Katie isn’t privy to and it drives Katie mad.

    I didn’t have any probelm at all with the JJ sex unpopular as it may be. Emily couldn’t do anything about Cook and Freddie. She can’t make Effy love JJ. Or make Effy go away. But she can do one thing to make JJ feel normal for a day. Is having random sex with someone because they had a bad day kind of fucked up? Sure. But its Skins. And these are teenagers who don’t make the best choices sometimes. And this wasn’t really such a bad thing. Emily isn’t questioning herself or who she wants. She’s had a bad day and wants comfort without being left or pushed away the next morning (like Naomi would). And he has had a bad life and needs a boost.

    And later on we see that Emily is so gay that she would sooner have almost sex with a Giant Lesbian than a boy. So, JJ was a one time thing as an act of charity.

    1. Sophy
      Sophy at · Reply

      omg when I read that bit about some people thinking Katie should be glad about Cook/Emily because she’s being hetero… I felt bile rise in my throat. Because some guy groping your messed-up sister randomly in a club is so much more preferable to her being gay. ffff. Some people are just stupidshorts and really underestimate Katie as a person.

      Loved your paragraph about how Emily can’t make JJ’s troubles go away but she’ll help him in the way she can ♥

  15. Angie
    Angie at · Reply

    Ummm… how did you guys not talk about the moment that Naomi and Katie find out that Emily is already inside the club?? bawl

    Effy/red hair/blue bow = OTP

    I really like this ep. I mean, do I think Emily needed to sleep with JJ? No. But she did. I’m over it. It’s a beautiful episode.

    1. Sophy
      Sophy at · Reply

      WE FAIL. We missed a Freffy moment outside the club too, actually.


  16. bridget
    bridget at · Reply

    I think, for me, the reason I was never outraged by JJ’s episode had something to do with the atmosphere of the last two scenes.

    …And everything to do with Emily and the way she was made to experience the whole situation.

    Emily could have been nervous and skeeved out and showing signs of slight revulsion as JJ climbed in bed beside her. But the show didn’t go that route. They didn’t have her thinking, “Ew! A boy!” Emily wasn’t nervous; she wasn’t trying to prove anything; she wasn’t trying to shag away the fag. She was sure. The scene worked because both Emily and JJ knew that Emily was gay. There was no lingering question to that fact. It wasn’t a guy and a girl; it was a horny straight guy and a confused gay girl. It was JJ and Emily; it was two friends, whose gender and sexuality didn’t matter in that moment (as it doesn’t with friends). And just like the episode before, Emily wasn’t the nervous one, even though she could have been. JJ knew Emily was gay and at no point during the episode does he ever question it or do something stupid like falling for Emily. What they shared was something between two friends, not two lovers. It was cute and it was simple and it was Emily taking care of someone and making things okay… which is what she does when people let her.

    One thing that Emily and Jay share in this episode is that they both want simplicity in their lives; they want to be honest and they want for it to matter. After all, ‘it should matter when someone loves you, shouldn’t it?’ Emily says she’s lots of things, and she may very well be, but the truth is, she’s also simple. She likes girls; no, she likes a girl; no, she loves her. But it still isn’t enough, because Naomi isn’t simple; Naomi’s fighting so hard not to give in and no matter how much Emily tries to reassure her, Naomi won’t let it be as blissfully simple as it could be. Emily knows her sister loves her, knows her family loves her. But it’s not as simple as that, because Katie won’t just let things be okay – let the fact that Emily is gay and her own person be okay. Their relationship could be so simple… but it isn’t. And Emily isn’t capable of changing that.

    The world fucks things up and makes things complicated, but really things don’t have to be.

    In that moment in JJ’s room, Emily probably thought to herself, “JJ wants this… This simple thing. Just like me. He’s been shot down and pushed down all day. I may not be able to control what’s going on with everyone else… I can’t control my world. But I can give him this. He wants just one thing to be simple. I can give him that.”

    If you look at both their faces as they were coming down the stairs the next morning, you’d never have guessed that they’d had sex the night before. They are laughing and enjoying each other… and completely over it already. That moment is why I’m okay with what happened in the episode. Because there’s no assumption of anything sexual lingering between them. At the base of everything, they’re just two friends. They shared something, and they’re both okay with that. JJ gets it. Emily gets it. And in a weird way… I get it too. (Though Cook’s not gonna get it. Got it?)

    And why does no one appreciate the fact that Effy could quite possibly be Katie’s substitute-Emily, because I think subconsciously she knows even before the series starts that Emily is going to pull away sooner than later. Until s04, everyone saw Katie as a conceited little bitch who doesn’t like to be outshined by anyone, so didn’t anyone ever wonder why Katie would be friends with Effy. I mean, Effy’s gorgeous, but why would someone like Katie choose a friend who would most likely steal her spotlight (and we all know Katiekins loves her some spotlight). Katie says right from the start that they’re “the best looking in here really”. She wanted someone equally as beautiful as herself (because, let’s face it, she doesn’t exactly have a spare twin lying around). Aside from the goofy Pandora, I’m not sure Effy really has any other friends. Which means that, on the outset, Effy is shaping up to be the perfect candidate. She’s the quiet to Katie’s loud – just like Emily.

    What Katie doesn’t realize at the beginning is that she can’t replace Emily. She can’t even try. After getting hit in the head with a rock, she’s not just embarrassed because she got screwed over in more ways than one. It’s more than that; she’s also realizing she’s not going to have that safety net which Emily always provided and which Effy could have been. Because unlike Emily, Effy fought back. Effy allowed herself to stand in the background at times, but it was always her choice. And when Effy didn’t like something, she opened her mouth about it. The experience in the woods is more a wake-up call than anything else, because by that point Katie had pushed Emily away and she had lost the friends she’d tried to make to replace her. Dating Freddie was Katie doing the same thing to Effy that she did to Emily. Katie demonized Naomi in order to control Emily, to keep her, because she knew Emily would gladly skip off over the rainbow and leave her behind. Dating Freddie rendered the same result. By controlling the one thing that Effy loved, Katie got to keep her. Katie’s journey was about realizing that she doesn’t need someone to hide behind… that she could stand on her own and be just as beautiful… and appreciate the people she had around her all the more for it.

    1. Louise
      Louise at · Reply

      Fascinating theory re: Katie/Effy/Emily.
      Please tell me you write fic, I like the way your brain works.

    2. Sophy
      Sophy at · Reply

      Wow, interesting thoughts there Bridget! Nice to see Katie Fitch getting some love and insight ♥

      1. Bridget
        Bridget at · Reply

        I’ve loved Katie effin’ Fitch for a very long time… WAY before it was considered acceptable to admit she never really was a complete and total bitch. She was a bitch, sure. But I was her bitch because of it… and I loved every minute of it. lol

        It’s not about what they show you. It’s about subtlety… and what they’re holding back.

        Naomi knows a thing about that.

        *runs away weeping… “12!… Since she was 12!”*

  17. madeleine
    madeleine at · Reply

    You guys never cease to crack me up. The cap with Freddie and creepy-mcstalker-pants was maybe the funniest thing I have ever seen. And not only are you genuinely hilarious, the amount of beauty and subtlety of this series does not go unnoticed for the sake of your humor. You guys are going to do great things one day… wait, you already are!

    1. Sophy
      Sophy at · Reply

      Madeleine what a beautiful comment. We’ll treasure it always!

  18. utterlypuzzlified
    utterlypuzzlified at · Reply

    Fondling Abuse !!!
    I have never laughed so much in my life ^_^
    the thing that i didn’t like about the JJ/Emily sex was that it was right after Naomily
    it kind of made me think it was like the next day or something
    I wish they should of somewhat said it was a like a month later (or whatever the time frame was)…….
    You guys are magnificent both at lols and insight on the show :)

    1. Sophy
      Sophy at · Reply

      I think it was supposed to be a fair bit later, but yeah, I get what you mean. It feels sacreligious :((

  19. M
    M at · Reply

    thank you for the minnie mouse lawlz
    i’ve been having a rough time of it and oh my did i need the roflcopters.
    : )

    1. Sophy
      Sophy at · Reply

      aw, we love to provide copters for you :)

  20. M
    M at · Reply

    gutter emily is so coin laundry <3

  21. M
    M at · Reply

    who do you think you are
    barging in on me and my —liltjar? :D

    1. Sophy
      Sophy at · Reply

      Rin and I laughed SO HARD AT THIS COMMENT. Amazing.

  22. M
    M at · Reply

    did you ever wonder how heck knew that story about the unstoppable force?
    did H. tell it to him later?
    when did rachel hear about it? she knew it enough to get the reference with the forehead kiss?
    right…just me then: )

    1. Sophy
      Sophy at · Reply

      LOL, we’ll get to that when we recap IMAY.

  23. Louise
    Louise at · Reply

    PS moooooar

  24. Hybrid
    Hybrid at · Reply

    This was brilliant.

    I loved this episode and I’m so glad that you treated it like you did with others, because I know that JJ can be annoying sometimes, but he deserves some love too, right?

    I laughed so much at the Naomi dancing gif, how can you be so awesome? I have to admit that I seriously want the T-shirt that Effy wears in her room, it’s so funny, I don’t care if Emily will laugh at me, IDC. The head in the fireplace was really really creepy, were they trying to be foreshadowing, in a “Effy will lose her head” kind of way? I hope it’s some kind of joke, but it’s not really funny IMO. >//<

    HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!! *ruffles your hair*

    1. Sophy
      Sophy at · Reply

      Rophy is fair. Ukuleles and wasted airtime will get you mockery. Beautiful episodes with Debussy that make us want to cry at the end? They’ll get you love, even if your name is JJ.

      haha! Losing her head. Dear me.

      And thanks Hybrid *ruffles you right back*

  25. Aya
    Aya at · Reply

    Ok, so today I discovered the hard way that thinking about rophycaps and driving at the same time is a very horrible horrible idea (I almost rear-ended an armoured car with my little tiny volks >.> fortunately, I was able to brake in time) I read this yesterday but didn’t have the time to leave a comment. But I lol’d at jesus!Emily (this is what distracted me while driving behind the armoured car) very hard and for extended periods of time.

    One thing though, examining the Cook + Effy bit, it seems like it says Cook +Effy = (Delta) Friends (over) Time, meaning a change in friends over time, which makes more sense to me, because that’s what it would seem like to JJ at that point–Cook and Effy were banging and the three musketeers were splitting up… but I don’t know.

    1. Sophy
      Sophy at · Reply


      I like it.

      Interesting point about the Cook and Effy part! You might be right there. Although I would have thought it would be Cook + Effy + Freddie in that case.

  26. Julie
    Julie at · Reply

    Perhaps Emily knows she’s gay but wants to experience sex with a guy just the once.JJ is an ideal candidate , completely unthreatening and she would be doing him a favour too.Win/win?

    1. Sophy
      Sophy at · Reply

      Perhaps… that would fit with the fact that she says “I’m asking for something”, indicating that it’s not purely about JJ.

  27. Cassandra
    Cassandra at · Reply

    The conversation between Naomi and Effy that includes “If I said no, would I regret it?” is one of my favourite, favourite moments in the whole series. (Up there with Naomi appearing outside the Love Ball, and that was 90% because of the PHWOAR factor.) Both actresses are perfect, the writing is perfect, Naomi’s ambiguity about the whole thing is so real, Effy’s “Probably, but not because of me” might be the best line in the series and literally made me tear up, there’s humour and connection and…uh. That conversation owns me.

    1. Sophy
      Sophy at · Reply

      Agreed, Cassandra, it was just lovely. A beautiful moment for both Lily and Kaya.

  28. Liz
    Liz at · Reply

    Hey Rophy! I love your guys’s recaps so much. Got the link from Hogan and I’ve just been observing and not commenting since 301.But I wanted to comment now because I found some cool Skins fics. And yeah, I know, only one of you actually reads them and the other wants to remain strictly “loyal” to the show (I forgot which did which) or whatever.

    Here’s one where an apocalypse happen to the world and it was sad and touching but worth the time: http://shadowings.livejournal.com/137069.html

    Here’s an awesome Keffy one: http://jengrrrl.livejournal.com/595023.html
    Of course this is only if you hadn’t read these already. Great recap and I can’t wait for Effy’s.

    1. Sophy
      Sophy at · Reply

      Thanks Liz! I’m not loyal to the show in that I won’t read fanfic – I just don’t like fanfic that isn’t firmly based in the show.

      1. Liz
        Liz at · Reply

        Oh, I’m sorry about that. It’s my bad. I just assumed it and I know I shouldn’t have. And I do get why you don’t like drifting from show-based fanfic. I was the same way, but then I soon realized that no fanfic out there can have the same impact on me then the original Naomily story did. So I stopped trying to find a story that would make me as happy as the show did and decided to let loose and have fun while I still liked Skins this much. Anyways, I just had to get that out and you may carry on with your awesome recaps and read whatever the hell you want.

  29. Christina
    Christina at · Reply

    I’ve been following your recaps quite a while , but for some reason, I haven’t commented before now.. Keep up the awsome work!

    I really liked the Emily/Cook scene. Dunno why really, but I wish kinda wish there were more of them. The fact that Naomi and Cook are friends is one thing, but it would be nice to involve a little (, or a lot) Emily in there. Or am I’m just being weird?

    And another thing, I’m suprised you didn’t say anything about when Naomi looked up when Thomas said that Emily were already at the club. The way she just looked up at him and would have said, unless Katie hadnt beaten her to it, “Where?”. Naomi really isn’t very good at trying NOT to be obvious xD

    Oh, and after you’re done recapping the second generation, can you do the first? I know there’s no Naomily, but I really miss the first generation.
    (But there’s Effy and Panda! And mr. and mrs. Stonem!)

    1. Sophy
      Sophy at · Reply

      I don’t really see Emily and Cook as the type to be friends, personally, but sure, why not, moar Emily is always a good thing.

      And yeah, we did skip over that little moment, our apologies. We’ll be more diligent in future!

      Gen 1 is my beloved. We won’t be ignoring it.

  30. tapette
    tapette at · Reply

    I agree that the ‘charity sex for JJ’ is borderline problematic. Would we ever find such a storyline about a straight boy sleeping with a gay boy? It’s ironic that Emily announces that she wants to have sex with girls at the beginning of the episode, yet she concludes it by having sex with a boy. Yet we don’t worry for her because she’s Emily and knows what she’s doing.

    A macro of Mandeh’s Keiko with Liz Lemon and James Franco is begging to be made.

    Mrs JJ is obviously a formidable mother but to say she is the best of the Skins parents risks throwing Mrs Thomas under the bus. Remember who saw the lesbians and knew that they were good? She even had chapstick.

    1. Sophy
      Sophy at · Reply

      Yep, it’s a tricky one tapette.

      And lol! This is true. Franco really does need to make an appearance.

      And can Rophy just say how much we LOVED your reference to Mrs Thomas. Thoughtful.

  31. Chubbs
    Chubbs at · Reply

    :O Are there gonna be recaps for the rest of the eps???? IM DYING HERE!!!
    Btw : Loved this one , and all the others . Thank God for HH who’s sent me to amazing Rophy <3

  32. heather hogan
    heather hogan at · Reply

    Everything about this recap. I just … I’m going to take it out behind the middle school and get it pregnant.

  33. Jac
    Jac at · Reply

    Man am I late to the party. Just wanted to leave a quick thought here: the last guy to see Emily’s tits is probably her lil bro. Yeah. Remember the shower peeking and all that stuff? So she may have only been referencing that, instead of some other previous occasion where she was gonna do the nasty with some guy. Anyhow, great recap, made me chuckle and snort in an undignified manner.

    1. Sophy
      Sophy at · Reply

      Hi! Yeah, that’s a theory, but I don’t buy it. I just can’t believe she would use the word guy in that context. And meanwhile, James did seem pretty impressed to give him his due, lol.

  34. Nashi
    Nashi at · Reply

    Hey Rophy

    Thank you for your recaps! They are so fun, sometimes hilariously absurd, sometimes super serious and sexy; truly a labour of love. I can’t imagine how much time you two spent giggling, cutting, pasting, pouring over dialogue and deciphering Skins love tetrahedrons to create them.

    Much, much drool was spilled over hot, sweaty ‘I want to forget about my life right now’ Emily in the club. Emily is usually portrayed as sweet, innocent and cutsie, but she is transformed to red hot raunchy as she dances with absolute abandon. Wow, I need some help putting my jaw back when it dropped.

    1. Sophy
      Sophy at · Reply

      Thank you nashi! Glad you’re enjoying the recaps :)

  35. Beth
    Beth at · Reply

    Much belated thanks for the brilliant recaps, Rophy!

    I do like the fact that Katie was the one to “rescue” Emily when the latter was dancing with Cook, BUT I also think it would have been VERY interesting to have seen Naomi’s reaction to the sight of Emily dancing with such wild abandon, with Cook’s mouth on her throat and hand groping her breast. Wonder how long “I’m straight” would have lasted under those circumstances? Given Naomi’s obvious jealousy over Em/JJ when she heard about it second hand from Katie, it’s hard to imagine Naomi being able to avoid becoming a green-eyed monster over seeing Emily/Cook like that — not without making her own head explode, anyway!

  36. S.
    S. at · Reply

    Having watched the show after reading your recaps I thought I was going to hate JJ–but I actually rather like him. That is, I liked him generally, with the exception of his series four episode, which I just…couldn’t finish. JJ worked best for me when he was used in a more quiet fashion. JJ isn’t the kind of guy who can hold up ukulele tomfoolery. He’s goofy, but not nearly as out-there over the fucking top as Cook or Pandora. He’s the kind of guy who, story-wise, can carry going to a therapist, buying some model airplanes, and being sweet but awkward with friends.

    On a separate note, I totally understand why, in the bigger context of piss-poor lesbian representation, some people would not at all like Emily sleeping with JJ. But it’s one of my favourite Skins moments, because it was always clear to me that this story was never like those other stories. This is not about a show compromising a lesbian character’s identity in order to have her sleep with a guy.

    I very much think that Emily sleeps with JJ because she is 100% sure that’s she’s gay. That sounds weird, but hear me out. It’s not about sex for her, it’s about being a good friend. If she had been even a little uncertain about being totally gay, I don’t think she would have done it. She’s too in love with Naomi for her to have done that. But because it wasn’t, couldn’t possibly have been, about sex for her, that’s what made it possible on Emily’s end. Besides her being Jesus, apparently.

  37. Gins
    Gins at · Reply

    I so agree. I so agree and I will never stop agreeing because jfc I LOVED the ending to this. I think the first time watching the series I was like “EWWWW STRAIGHT COUPLES?!?!???? DNW” but upon rewatching it the first time I reconsidered that and rewatching this time it hits me HOW MUCH I love it. It’s so great because what Emily does is so lovely. And it is out of love. I mean, Jesus (Emily) she’s the only one who has treated him well this whole time. I love that you guys rekindled a hate for JJ in me, but he really does have his moments in which I very much adore him. And I feel so bad that no one shows him any kind of appreciation or gentle affection, until Em comes along. It’s so sweet. I don’t believe in mindless sex either, Soph – it’s always been an equivalent to love for me, too, but I don’t know. In the right circumstances, I think that it’s okay to share that kind of love and closeness with someone like what happened here. Emily doesn’t love JJ romantically but she sure as hell cares about him and actually sees him as a person and not just a “pet” UNLIKE ANyone else uguhuguh so I just think it’s great that she doesn’t really have to think that hard about it and just says, pop in JJ, let me love all over you for this once so that you can feel like everyone else.
    And it’s so wonderful because they don’t wake up and suddenly find themselves in total drama island. Instead they’re just happy and grateful and THEY’RE FRIIIIEEENDDSSS /sobseverywhere
    It’s lovely. Lovely lovely lovely. (Oh Cassie, how I miss you.)
    Anyway, shniglefritz I love your recaps and I LOVE YOUR MACROS. JESUS EMILY MOSES FITCH. I lOVE THEM!!!! I will never recover from some of these. See you in tha next episode (of course, these are 2 years later than you meant for them to be seen. sorry bout that)

  38. ohwowlovely
    ohwowlovely at · Reply

    I want my own Katie-Minnie-Mouse doll!! And I love Emily’s bows, I actually may have bought myself a few after seeing hers.

    One of us, one of us, reminds me of the song Freaks from Hedwig and The Angry Inch, which if you don’t know Hedwig, you need to. It’s so awesome it even has Rent mentions. It makes it funnier that the song plays in my head when I see those caps lol, like Sophia even has her own theme tune. Her random appearances crack me up now. So funny. Mandeh still just freaks me out though…

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