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.
“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!!
*Naomi’s about to protest*
Rin says: “That obvious?” REALLY??? IT’S LIKE SHE DOESN’T EVEN LOOK IN THE MIRROR, EVEN THOUGH WE KNOW SHE DOES BECAUSE WE SAW YOU LAST EPISODE AND MY HEAD EXPLODED. REMEMBER?!!!
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?”
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…
Sophy says: COOK STOP BEING SUCH A MANDEH. STOP IT RIGHT NOW.
Rin says: CHRIST. Twice in the one episode, Emily? This is getting out of hand. We need an intervention.
Rin says: FFFFFF. THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU LET A FONDLER INTO YOUR HOUSEHOLD. It can never end well. Never.
Sophy says: :(((((((((( THEY SHOULD HAVE THESE ON THE WALL AT ROUNDVIEW, NEXT TO THE INCEST IS ILLEGAL POSTER. :(((((((
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: EFFY’S TEARS IN THE BLUE-LIGHT ARE THE GREATEST THING EVER. NO WAIT, NAOMI’S FACE SAYING NOT TO CALL HER NAOMS IS. NO WAIT. OH IDK.
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.
Sophy says: asdlkjafkjdlkadfjg. AND I LOVE YOU JJ. I LOVE YOU FOR GIVING HER YOUR JACKET AND SITTING DOWN WITH HER AND BEING SWEET. NOW I’VE TOLD YOU NOW YOU KNOW.
Just so we’re clear, I’ll deny it in the morning.
Rin says: TAKE YOUR HAIR IN THE MOONLIGHT YOUR BROWN EYES GOODBYE, GOODNIGHT.
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.
COOK + EFFY = FRIENDS OVER TIME.
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.”
Rin says: YOU THINK THAT’S CUTE? NAOMI WILL BLOW PYJAMA CUTENESS OUT OF THE WATER IN 402.
Sophy says: WHATEVER, NAOMI STAN WHO SPEAKS THE UNVARNISHED TRUTH.
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.
Rin says: Aw of course! In fact I’m SO cool that I LOVE dinosaurs.
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.
Rin says: WOULD YOU JUST LOOK AT HER? WOULD YOU???
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.
Rin says: I DON’T KNOW WHY, BUT THE SECOND CAP REMINDS ME OF JURASSIC PARK SO HARD. She looks like a Velociraptor.
Sophy says: OMG EDWINA!!!! That’s Edwina.
Rin says: BRAINSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS.
Sophy says: RIN YOU ARE PART OF THE SOLUTION. ILU.
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?
Sophy says: “IMMOVABLE” OBJECTS BEWARE!