Effy — Part 2

Rin says: Look at the contempt in her eyes! Oh god, watch your back Emily.

Sophy says: Seriously, that cap! Sometimes I think Kaya is doing this just for Rophy. Then I remember that Rophy Does didn’t exist back when these episodes were filmed. I assume she is psychic.

Rin says: This woodland is kind of…idk, really beautiful? Just look at all those greens!

Sophy says: The woodland with the lake and the semi-naked lesbians was better. Just sayin’. And the way you say “greens” makes me think the forest is made of tree-sized vegetables. Weird.

Sophy says: Oh look at you, Effy Stonem, turning on the full fit and mysterious. ‘When in the woods’ I guess!

And Katie, not to be outdone, is doing her very best Little Red Riding Hood. And saying that… yeah… it had to happen…

Rin says: KATHERINE FITCH. LOOK AT YOU. And oh my god, Effy. Cute.

Sophy says: They are so cute when they’re trying to rebuild their relationship with kinky sexcapades.

Rin says: JJ gives us a quick catch-up of how it’s just WEIRD how Thomas is acting all normal even though he found out about Cook/Panda. Freddie does this cute run up to Thomas to have a man-to-boy conversation.

Sophy says: I love how when JJ says Cook had carnal relations with Pandora, Freddie is somehow deeply offended and asks him not to call it that. Since when is ‘carnal relations’ particularly offensive??? Seriously, settle down Freds, I’m pretty sure you’ve heard worse from Cook, like, on a daily basis and at ear-splitting decibels.

Anyway I love this, and I wish it had carried on. But I guess if Freddie had been allowed to stay in the Bonding With Thomas plotline, it would have detracted from his tortured bromance with Cook, and it wouldn’t really have been conducive to the epic isolation that needed to be going on for 405 to work. And I will basically suffer anything for 405. ♥

I would add that it would also have detracted from JJ’s choosing-my-own-friends storyline, but Lara and the baby and the ukuleles managed that anyway. Hmph.

Rin says: Thomas pretty much tells these two clowns to STFU about Panda because he’s handling it. And Thomas is a little scary. But awesome. Scary awesome. Scawesome.

Sophy says: Yes, he is somewhat scary… and, rather brilliantly, ‘ominous.mp3’ resumes at this point. The horror-movie mood is beautifully played in this episode, as red herring threats abound – the crazy woodsmen, the cheated lover, Cook in a balaclava…

And meanwhile it looks like Little Red Riding Hood and her Big Bad Bitch are on the rocks again because…

Rin says: I’m surprised it even took her this long to try and coax Panda into her pursuit of ultimate gayness. Sadly, the time it took really works against her. Naomi would have been on this by the afternoon on the first day.

Sophy says: If anything Effy’s been stubbornly refusing to explore this gayest avenue! Panda put herself out there way back in 304, but noooo. Effy just ran off to the docks to find Katie.

And now that Panda’s finally got her chance… she can’t even giggle right according to Effy. :(

Sophy says: That second cap may be one of my favourite caps in Skins history. Panda’s silly little face, the way Effy is looking up, with something like trepidation, something like excitement, a sense of impending something, the contrast of their clothing – Pandora is bulky, colourful, too much, Effy is black, sleek, waif-like – and their hands, clasped tightly… Seriously two females are only supposed to hold hands like that if they’re under 10 or gay. In Skinsland Effy wishes she could be the former… In Rophyland she wishes she could be the latter… Effy stop wishing for impossible things, it’s only going to end in tears/suicide attempts.

Rin says: I’ve just realised that this is why you’re friends with me. You’re trying to hold onto your youth. You’re Effy and I’m Panda. IT’S ALL SO CLEAR.


Rin says: Look at that camouflage mat/blanket thing. Seriously. GAY GAY GAY.

But also their outfits are so coordinated it’s not even funny

Sophy says: THANKS RINSCOPE. Love your work.

Sophy says: Oh, look our beautiful twosome, just look at them! No one does contrasting hair and matching wonderment like Naomily. No one.

Rin says: I’ll be honest. I don’t even ship them. I ship the hair.

Sophy says: Now I’m picturing you like… sneaking into their rooms at night and cutting off their hair to make corresponding wigs, which you would then put on two Keikos and oh man.

Sophy says: I love the way the camera focuses on Naomi even though she’s in the background. It’s like the Rinscope is haunting it.

Rin says: I should work for Skins. Well. I don’t want to now. WHAT WOULD BE THE POINT? ……….OR I COULD WORK ON THE MOVIE.

:) :) :) Hi Messrs Elsley & Thorne

Sophy says: Ah, Rin, so single-minded in your devotion. If someone offered you a million dollars you’d ask if it came with free Naomily.

Sophy says: Once they’re all set, Freds proceeds to be incredibly lame again, just like in the car, just like, well, just about ever, unless you count that misleading rebel-skater intro sequence in the first episode.

It’s okay though, like a certain young ingenue doctor, I like lame :)


I thought the howling thing was really cute, like a throwback to when they howled at Cook’s birthday party in 302. It’s just something these guys did, like all groups of friends have their own silly things they do.

Sophy says: Yeah, like the way Ropher rophers I guess :-?

Sophy says: Katie whisks Pandora away from Effy without so much as a ‘Hello’, and the part of me that loves her wants to say how sweet it is that far from living up to the Queen Bee cliche, she indulges someone as ridiculous as Pandora, even likes her… And then there’s that other part of me that sees this pretty much the way Effy does and is all ‘What is it with Katie Fitch and wanting the people Effy Stonem loves?’ I’m a bit sad this thread was never fully teased out actually… I’m not silly enough to think we ever would have or should have gotten girl-on-girl action out of Keffy, but they did have an interesting dynamic, and the potential for Freddie/Cook-esque platonic romance sings to me.

Rin says: I thought they did eventually go there, although yeah, not to the same levels as Freddie/Cook. I think maybe we’ll get glimpses of it in the movie though? Cause they were definitely going in that direction. Which is awsome.

And I really love Katie for liking Pandora. And it’s not just this one time, is it? It’s also next episode when she tells Panda they can all go together to the Love Ball and it’s when she starts playing scrapey along with Panda. OH YOU SCRAPEY SHAKEY TRIO. You are wonderful.

Sophy says: I KNOW, I KNOW. I’m not complaining. The Keffy we did get was gold. And SCRAPEY SHAKEY TRIO FOREVER.

PS. Rophy got a lovely email whilst finishing up commentary, from a clever girl called Ruth. She pointed out something we’d never noticed before – Katie’s insistence on a drug-free good time in this episode may be partially motivated by guilt at having screwed up Panda’s pyjama party with the MDMA. So maybe this is a control-mission, maybe this is a fuck you to Effy… but maybe it’s also about making things up to Pandora and how gorgeous is that.

Rin says: Yeah, the MDMA and Danny. I do love the thought of that though.

Rin says: And noone ever need know where the fuck this came from. Nor really understand it.

Sophy says: Yeah, I think it’s just one of those ones you have to ~experience rather than understand. Unless you’re a full-time member of Rophy.

Rin says: Naomi likes this place. She’s enjoying herself already, and what’s the first thing she does? Checks discreetly if Emily likes it too.

Sophy says: Oh the sweetness. I think Naomi is thinking to herself “I’d really like to frolic right now… I wonder if Ems would like to frolic right now. :*)

Sophy says: Running around trees. I love this, I love this so. I want to hang with these kids, right now. Later… not so much.

Rin says: I think you should be a little clearer Sophy. You mean you want to sit quietly on a log covered by a clean blanket and watch them running around trees. You will not partake in any running activities.

Sophy says: This is true. I’d just watch and reminisce. Ahh the unscuffed glacial parlours of my youth, white and resplendent and quivering with the anticipation of more of my kind…

Rin says: This scene is also very 405 Freffy, is it not?

Sophy says: It is, rather! Which is interesting given how tied that episode is to this one.

Sophy says: Effy isn’t impressed with this everyone being happy except her business, and she crushes her can in her misleadingly delicate fist. Macho, Eff! Trying the butch angle are we? Godspeed.

Rin says: Girls crushing cans only ever reminds me of this.

It’s a toss-up between JJ’s and Thomas’ for my favourite comparison.

Sophy says: LOL OMG. I haven’t even seen this film and yet I am loling like a bastard.

Sophy says: No words. No. Words.

Rin says: Just love. Just. Love.


Rin says: …………..

Sophy says: Yeah, I don’t even know what to say to that.

Sophy says: The leaves. The colours and textures are just… it’s so pretty it looks fake. And the contrast of the warm, earthy tones of nature with Effy’s ghost-pale skin is amazing.

Rin says: FFFFFF. Those leaves are amazing.

But I’m also wondering if Effy laid amongst them in the hopes that she would ~blend in so Naomi would pick her!

Sophy says: Oh lord. I can think of one particular part of this episode Effy is really not going to like…

Sophy says: lol, I always find Kaya’s smile here so creepy.

Rin says: I know what you mean. She looks absolutely psychotic…oh wait. Hmm.

Rin says: This little cutaway scene has long been debated amongst Naomily fans because ‘what the fuck are they doing?’ Apart from, you know, being adorable. I think the main consensus is that they’re bird calling.

Like complete dorks.

Sophy says: Whatever they are doing, I could watch a whole episode of it.

Sophy says: Katie’s cooking her sausages, but Effy’s back with the amuse-bouche. Uh-oh! Look at her, all slinky and predatory with her mushrooms of shaking-things-up doom, checking Freds out like she’s picturing him in a french maid’s outfit! For a moment she’s all about the hunt… but then she sees Pandora alone and uncharacteristically subdued…

Rin says: You describe her as ‘slinky’ and this is all I can do.


Oh no! I should have read the rest of your comment first! I missed my opportunity to manip Freddie into a french maid’s outfit. :(

Sophy says: Your haste deprived the world, Rin. Shame.

Sophy says: So Pandora’s not herself and Effy cares. And I love it. A lot of people think of Effy as being cold, and I guess it makes sense because that’s exactly the impression she tries to cultivate 90% of the time. But even as far back as series one, the truth was there if you looked hard enough. Effy Stonem isn’t made of stone. Deep down she’s full of love, reluctant-compulsive in her caring like Freds, even if she plays her strictly stoical cards a lot closer to her chest than his scruffy, frustrated ones. Bottom line, she has her soft spots. And Pandora is one of them.

Rin says:

Sophy says:

Rin says: Don’t be down Pandora. Your hair grew back just fine. :-j

Sophy says: Yeah and she promptly braided it again. How are you okay with this?

Rin says: Um. It looks like JJ is gently caressing Thommo’s hand with the back of his own hand. And Thomas is pulling back all shyly, about to look down at his shuffling feet.

Sophy says: Oh jesus, it so totally does. I may dig the whole JJ/Thomas thing, but not in that way. SORRY GUYS, FREDDIE AND COOK HAVE THAT ACTION COVERED.

Rin says: That first cap is amazing, with all of its ‘I’m in deep thought about all these things I’m not supposed to be thinking about and oh, I’m going to try and not show it on my face but it totally is showing, oops.’

And what on earth is that ice cream thing in the 3rd cap? It reminds me of that forlorn ice cream used during the S4 promos.

That is.

Sophy says: Fake food! I always take fake food camping with me.

Anyway what’s been going on in the caps above is: Effy asks if Panda is okay and Panda says that she is, launching into a wonderfully wobbly speech about relationships and how they change: “Relationships just can’t stay the same, can they? Can’t always be lovely and lush and not full of weird silences all the time. People can’t always be perfect, ’cause that’s not real, is it? It’s not real ’cause things change. Don’t they?”

She glances meaningfully at Thomas, who, it seems, would rather hang out with JJ than her, and Effy glances just as meaningfully at Freddie and Katie and their sausages and plastic icecream as she agrees “They do”.

Sophy says: She genuinely looks like she’s about to cry when she turns back to Panda and insists very earnestly that she can talk to her if she has worries. Pandora in turn insists that she loves Thomas and Thomas loves her and things are just “ticketyflippingboo.”

Rin says: Really Panda. With that eyeshadow? Really?

Sophy says: Yeah, Lisa really drew the short straw in the eye makeup department. I guess they figured if they put sexy, smoky eyeliner on her like Effy she might look too pretty and not ridiculous enough.

Sophy says: And on that note! Mushroom time.

Rin says: Aw I love that cap of Panda and her hair. WHAT. WHAT DID I JUST SAY. *RAGES ON SELF*

Sophy says: Katie storms over at the mention of mushrooms, and Effy, all sweet-sly, invites her to join them and partake.

Rin says: Wow, if that’s not an attempt to get into Katie’s pants then I don’t know which way is up anymore.

Sophy says: It’s sort of criminal that we didn’t make a Keffy macro with these caps. The trouble is, Kaya just never stops with the ~looks – we’re spoilt for choice!

Sophy says: The caps tell the tale. Katie is all ‘OH NO YOU DIDN’T HIJACK MY PARTY.’ And Effy is all ‘Ohhhhh yes I did. *munches hallucinogen*’

Rin says: I can see it. Heads shaking from side to side and errrything.

Sophy says: Katie is pretty much enraged, and reminds Effy that this party is supposed to be sausages and beers, not mushrooms. As soon as she says the magic word, Freddie appears, all childlike excitement in the body of an old codger. “Mushrooms?” he asks eagerly, “Who’s got mushrooms?”

Rin says: HAHA. He is a total grandpa. Look at his arms, who even does that?

Sophy says: Yeah, that was not helpful Freddie. Especially since it’s Effy who has the mushrooms. Freddie seems oblivious to how pissed off Katie is and sits down with mummy-bird and her stash.

Rin says: MUMMY-BIRD!!! *Cuts up your banana bread for you*

Sophy says: HAHAHAHAHAH oh my god. CHIRP CHIRP :)

Sophy says: And it just gets worse for Katie-kins, because Emily approaches, and the minute Katie snarls “Don’t you fucking dare,” her eyebrows shoot up – she’s gone from interested in the crazy fungus party to determined to be a part of it.

“Don’t listen to her, Ems,” we hear Naomi say as she sits down, and I’m pretty sure Katie doesn’t find it half as adorable as I do.

Rin says: Emily’s eyebrow raise is pretty epic. And here’s a little Emily defying Katie going on in preparation for next episode. And it might just be the last straw for Katie because if even EMILY abandons her, what does she really have?

Rin says: Skins is SO good when it’s good. IT REALLY IS. Their attention to detail is impeccable at times like these. The group all sit together sans Katie (which is expected), but also JJ is left alone in the background with his sparkler. And it’s not just the whole ‘JJ DOESNT DO DRUGS’ because he could still go over and sit with them and NOT do the mushrooms and just laugh and have a good time with the rest of them. But he stays by himself, because even though he took a number of steps to becoming ‘more normal’ last episode – he’s still not like everyone else. Maybe he finds it hard to join in with their circle even though one of them is his best friend. Or maybe he just really fucking loves sparklers.

I don’t even know why I’m trying to speak for JJ. THAT GEN 2 QUIZ DID THINGS TO ME SOPHY. IT DID THINGS AND I DON’T LIKE IT :(((((

Sophy says: JJ and his sparkler is so easy to mock… and so easy to secretly find adorable at the same time.

Rin says: We’ve been hanging out with Heather too much. Katie, save us.

Sophy says: We can always count on Fleeing-Katie to get our priorities straightened out.

Rin says: Those pre-mixed drinks are awful. Yet appropriately coloured.

Sophy says: Freddie’s drink is better at coordinating colours than he is.

Effy offers a mushroom to Pandora, saying “live a little”. Panda nervously declines, and attempts to romance Thomas with a shiny, bright “Love is our drug!”

Sophy says: But Thomas thinks the mushrooms are a good idea, saying, in an undeniable display of passive aggression, “Sometimes we need a little more sugar in our bowl”. He adds in French, ‘It’s true that, my pretty,’ and it’s a lot sad and a little creepy and I’m fairly sure Panda doesn’t know what he’s on about since she hasn’t become a francophone genius yet… but she gets the vibe. Everything is definitely not ticketyflippingboo between them.

Rin says: I don’t like mushrooms NORMALLY, like.. cooked and prepared nicely. So eating them straight from the forest? A world of no thank you.

Sophy says I’m a bit iffy on mushrooms at the best of times too. These ones definitely don’t look right.

Rin says: Now I’m wondering what the fuck they got these kids to really eat on set. THEY SUFFER FOR THEIR ART.


Oh wait it’s just her fingernail. I thought she was having jelly beans with her mushrooms. CHAMELEON JELLY BEANS.

Turns out Naomi just knows how to dress herself. And really, she has improved dramatically in that department since the start of the series. I am digging this ensemble in all its quaint-rustic, English, headbandy, woolly jumper-y, checked shirt GAY GLORY.

Rin says: When I started reading your comment I was face-palming because I was like ‘ummm that’s her fingernail, your eyesight is fading lololol.’ But then you said ‘CHAMELEON JELLY BEANS’ and I wanted to scream BERTIE BOTT’S EVERY FLAVOUR BEANS!!! 8-.

Sophy says: I’m going to distract you from my stupidity with Harry Potter forever.


Sophy says: Giggle, giggle, giggle, sparkler. ONE OF THESE KIDS IS DOING HIS OWN THING, COME ON, CAN YOU GUESS WHICH ONE?

Rin says: *Chases JJ around the circle*

Wait, what is that in the background to the right? lol. Is that like, equipment?

Don’t cry. Don’t fucking cry.

Rin says: To be honest I’d be a little pissed off too. It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to?

It’s hard to tell if Effy is actually doing this on purpose, as a response to Katie taking away a few of her things. I don’t think she is, but she also isn’t exactly making Katie feel welcome either.

Sophy says: I’d be way pissed off. I’d be so pissed off I wouldn’t just be huffing off into a corner to not-cry, I’d be huffing all the way home. But then I remember that Katie can’t get home, poor love, and maybe she set the bar a little high for herself on this whole Katie’s Rules challenge – trying to control Effy Stonem all alone out in the middle of nowhere was always going to be a big ask. It’s like choosing to battle the most badass T-Rex in town in the shade of a volcano.

(It’s not fun, don’t do it.)


Rin says: Oh Effy, stop flashing that ridiculous expression. ;;)


Sophy says: Pandora was born to open this segment.

Rin says: I refuse to believe Lisa didn’t really take something for this scene.

And let us commence the most difficult passage of Skins, let alone anything, that I’ve ever had to screencap. Seriously, I hate the night and I especially hate double vision.

Sophy says: Bask everybody. Bask as I did in Rin’s hard-won pretty…

Sophy says: You notice a lot in this segment, in this whole episode really, that background-Freddie is often focused on foreground-Effy. It’s a nice consistency and at its most adorable here, where he seems to want to light her up with his sparkler.

Rin says: I suddenly can’t unsee that Lily wore a similar big pink jumper on ‘The Cafe’ show.

Sophy says: They should seriously make a music video out of this footage.

Rin says: Interesting suggestion. :-?

Rin says: I get the feeling that for these individual shots they gave the direction to just ‘mess around with the sparklers’ and that’s why Kathryn Prescott gets 5 caps, because this feels like a totally unplanned moment. And it’s beyond adorable.

“How many?”
“ALL OF THEM!!!!!!”


Rin says: WE’LL MELT THE CHILDREN INTO MORE CHES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 8-.

Sophy says: Freddie holds out his spliff and Effy takes a drag. It’s sensual and unbound, it’s a sweet moment of forgetting to not be in love, and the look on Effy’s face in that fourth cap? It might be the softest we’ve ever seen her.

Rin says: Okay, now I’m REALLY certain she is the love child of Kate Beckinsale and Evangeline Lilly. It’s fact people, jot it down as fact.

Sophy says: A sober Katie watches as the night slips away from her.

Rin says: In some of the previous caps you can see her attempting to join in with the sparkler fun, but it’s just not working. Oh Katie, who hurt you that sparklers can’t even make you happy?

Sophy says: Well, I guess it might have something to do with the fact that she’s just witnessed Freffy’s spliff-sharing.

Sophy says: A sobre JJ manages to fit right in with the mushroom crowd.

Rin says: Now I hear ‘Love Lost‘ playing in my head. NO NOT BECAUSE OF JJ, FFF.

He looks incredibly creepy in that cap.

Rin says: Jesus christ. This juxtaposition of Effy with the cold light and then the franticness and excitement of the colours behind her. Oh skins…SKINSSSSSS.

Sophy says: I know right. The symbolism of this is amazing. All her pretty friends, jumping around the fire behind her, happy and warm and giddy, full of the future. And a second ago Effy was in the thick of that, a second ago she was laughing it up with the best of them but now… beware the moon, Effy.

Sophy says: And this is where it just gets more perfect. Because there’s Freddie, between light and darkness, colour and the absence of it… he is her half-way point, her conduit, maybe, if she dares to reach out, if she dares to risk ruin…

He’s also a ginormous dork. He hovers over to her, says he’s fucked, asks her if he looks fucked, leans forward with the most stupid-adorable ‘Shit, someone gave the old hobo drugs’ look on his face… and Effy’s about to be in fits of delighted laughter again…

Rin says: It’s quite lovely. That moment when you purposely tear yourself away just so you can have an extra second, away from everyone else.

Sophy says: Cliffs Notes version. Sigh.

Rin says: The rose with the scattered hearts. That font. Oh man, so deep.

Sophy says: Oh Effy. Right now you’re so young and unabashedly happy it’s almost scary. Freddie? Right now you’re a ginormous dork who is not hiding his puppyish adoration for the other woman very well.

He says he was “just wondering” what Effy was going to tell him in the shed. Effy smiles, opens her mouth, turns and sees Katie approaching, says “I’ll tell you later. Bye!”

She slinks off, and Katie says in a baby-voice “Katie’s cold”. Freds puts his arm around her and they pretend to be on solid ground.

Meanwhile, the SOPHscope is going to make a little outing here…

I was going through making a few extra caps and Naomily were just way too adorable in the background to be ignored. Ffff. 8-.

Rin says: ……………………………………………………………………………………

The GFC finally got me.


Sophy says: At this point Effy gets very excited about some leaves. Not sure what that’s about, but I worry…


Sophy says: Christ.

Rin says: You were specifically told to BEWARE THE MOON. No gaze up at it adoringly. Yeah, good one Elizabeth. We’ll see how far rebellion gets you.

Sophy says: She never listens, does she? Don’t look at the moon, Effy, they said. Don’t embark on this foolish mission to be the gayest, they said. Sigh.

Anyway this is pretty interesting actually, this beware the moon business and the repeated shots of said moon, round and white and swathed in smoky cloud. I’m pretty sure Kirkwood is consciously referencing the widely held superstititon that the lunar cycle affects not only werewolves, but human beings – that mental illness is exacerbated around the time of the full moon. I’d probably blame the drugs and the emotional strain for triggering Effy’s psychosis, but hey, whatever, the moon’s an asshole too…

I didn’t mean you

Sophy says: Our drugged-up sparkle-kids are weary, and decide to have a bit of a lie-down.

Rin says: You know what is really stupid? Lanterns. WHY DO THEY MAKE THEM SO DAMN UNSAFE? Seriously, I burnt myself with a lantern on a school camp once. And I still haven’t forgiven them. *shakes fists with contempt*

Rin says: Panda and Effy look like two 10 year olds. LOOK AT THEM.

Sophy says: I know right. They are so ridiculously adorable here, and seriously, needed moar – and not just at the last minute on the way to Harvard. Ideally their friendship would have been right at the centre of the gen.

As for that last cap… it’s hard to really have any feelings about Freddie/Katie, because as amusing as they occasionally were together, the whole thing is just so unapologetically tacked-on and Wrong, with a capital ‘W’. I think, since they went there, they really should have had it at least have some relevance throughout the rest of the gen. I’ll be interested to see if they deal with Katie’s reaction to Fredster’s death in the movie. Yeah I may or may not have just read Heather Hogan’s fanfic and pretty much fallen in love with her version of events.

Rin says: Yeah ’cause after 309 I think we get very little, if any, Freddie/Katie interaction. There’s the bits in 405, but you can’t really count that as any sort of development. Like I think a ~knowing smile or quick shared moment would have been really nice. At least acknowledging that they did share something and that even if it obviously wasn’t love, they would still care for one another.

Anyhoo, depending on what the movie is about, yes, I would love to see some sort of reaction from Katie that is along the lines of Heather’s fic. Sue me.

Sophy says: Oh gawd, here we go with one of the most devastatingly beautiful moments of the gen. Freddie, barely aware of himself, reaches out. Effy, more aware of herself than she ever allows herself to be, reaches out too.

Rin says: “It’s just the drugs, right?”

Sophy says: FFFFFFFFF. Connections. So many.

That’s what it’s all about isn’t it, forget about all that other shit. It’s not about that, it’s about everything else. Like when you open your eyes at night and you see that face. You can’t breathe because you’re that happy.

Sophy says: So Freddie and Effy lie still in the still forest, each close to safe people, reaching out in a lazy, inevitable kind of way, to one another. Their arms stretch wide across the bed of dead leaves, and as their hands intertwine, they smile, like they don’t realize that this secret bit of You and me isn’t secret at all, that at any moment, someone could see, like it doesn’t matter that this is all they have, like it doesn’t matter that they shouldn’t be having anything at all.

Like nothing matters except their hands joined and the silent agreement that they belong to one another.

Emily is oblivious and entirely in tune at the same time – she’s not processing that Freddie is betraying her sister right now, because she’s too high and too preoccupied with what the image means to her. She stands above them and speaks, and it’s like a lullaby or an incantation maybe, it’s strange and faraway, it’s directly, devastatingly to the point – this is what it’s all about, she says.

This, for me, is one of the most painfully romantic, sweet, sad, even unsettling scenes Skins has produced.

Rin says: I love this scene and the fact that it’s Emily saying it. Well noone else would have really been able to pull it off. I didn’t even have a clue that Emily was even saying anything during this scene until some people pointed it out to me and I was like, ‘eshailsejglawelsnl fffffffff.’ It’s a really lovely gem of a scene.

Sophy says: I know, I didn’t realize until someone pointed it out to me either. (I’m forever grateful, Erin!) And yes, it absolutely has to be Emily. Because none of them gets love like Emily, or at least, none of them will admit that they do. And as she looks down at Freddie and Effy, she’s thinking of Naomi, she’s saying Look, look at this, this is us, this is the absolute truth of us. Because when you think about it, this is almost a memory for her – what she’s watching right now, Freddie and Effy and their faraway-so-close… this is a perfect echo of the cat-flap scene.

And right about now I say to myself, once again, that I love the way these two ships mirror one another throughout series three.

Sophy says: Uh-oh. Here’s where it all starts to go to shit. Effy wakes up to find Katie standing over her, telling her she’s ruined her night, she never wanted her to come in the first place, she only invited her because she could drive. She says Effy is embarrassing herself, and is clearly referring to the hand-holding that was happening a moment ago.

Rin says: The transition into this scene is stellar. I love the sound editing here, where we start out with the muffled sounds of Katie’s voice and we immediately feel the mood shift. It’s not longer warm and cozy and hand-holding, it’s cold and confusing and we’re right there with Effy.

Sophy says: Effy’s still pretty out of it, and doesn’t seem to catch onto the fact that Katie is giving her hell. “Katie…” she says with a kind of dopey benevolence “Come sit down,” and the sweetness of that unburdened desire to have Katie sit by her makes this scene all the more upsetting. Katie ignores her, finishes up her tirade with “I’m not being nasty or anything! I don’t even think you realize you’re doing it. It’s just, it makes you look like a desperate whore.” It’s really, really, really cutting. Far more cutting that if she’d told her she was a homewrecking bitch and she hated her slinky, calculating guts. That Effy might have been more comfortable with – being cast as the ice-cold seductress would work for her, because it’s a role she’s played many times before. But this? This ‘Poor pathetic little Effy’s in love and can’t control herself’? It’s the worst possible thing she could hear.

Rin says: Um, I’m a little in love with how Effy looks here. Kind of like a baby deer. BAMBIIIIIIIIII, IS YOUR MOTHER SAFE?


Rin says: Hm. Meanwhile, Naoms and Ems are having troubles of their own…

Rin says: Naomi’s romancing. Needs a little work.

Sophy says: I am totally picturing Naomi and Angel co-brooding and doing tai-chi right now. It’s weird.

Rin says: REVELATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sophy says: Oh noes. Effy notices that their stuff is gone – meaning someone has been prowling around in their midst while they’ve been tripping. I’m kind of surprised neither Katie nor JJ saw or heard Cook, since they weren’t supposed to be out of it, but nevermind.

Rin says: Naoms continues to puff along like a trooper.

Rin says: I AM NEVER GOING CAMPING AGAIN. EVER. This shit is too frightening.

Also I love how Naomi just tells JJ to shutup.


Sophy says: Naomi, alert by firelight. So pretty.


Sophy says: Shots ring out, somebody says to kill the lights. “Eff, I don’t like it,” Panda says, clearly about to have another Fainting-goat moment. Effy tells her it’s okay in as steady and reassuring a voice as she can muster.

Rin says: Fainting goats. Ahhhh. Such a laugh.

Rin says: Ok so I know I will get called out if I didn’t talk about this moment. A lot of people think Naomi is protecting Emily in this second cap (yes that’s her forehead at the bottom there) but I gotta say guys. I don’t see it. ;)) She’s not huddling over Emily.. she’s behind Emily, with Emily in the foreground. It just sorta looks like she’s crouching over. A few caps down you’ll see how far apart they really are. (in the one with freddies LOL face)

If they wanted to present us with a moment like this, they would have made it a little clearer with more intent.

Anyway, no need to get anyone’s knickers in a bunch.

Sophy says: Whatevs, we all know that if anyone was doing the protecting it would be Emily Fitch. She’s tough that way. Labrador/Chipmunk ♥

Annnyway, everyone is seriously starting to freak out, and to be honest, I probably would too if I didn’t know it was just Cook in a balaclava, because he’s putting on a nice show of flashing lights and maniacal screaming as he runs toward them.

Sophy says: The close-up on Effy’s wide pink-scribbled eyes is fantastic. It really illustrates the fact that, sure, everyone is pissing themselves, but nobody’s having quite the experience Effy is – because it’s not about men with guns for her, or it’s not only about that. Suddenly her demons are inside and out… and she doesn’t know where to hide anymore.

Rin says: Um. Freddie. Falling prey to hysertia once more.

Sophy says: I have a theory that he’s afraid of trees. He looks at them and sees the potential for bats. Thousands upon thousands of bats.

Sophy says: At the last moment, Effy screams, lurches forward and hits their attacker over the head. He falls to the ground and so does she, breathing hard…

Freddie steps forward and removes the balaclava, aaaand it’s Cook, of course. Effy exhales in relief, because it’s not a monster, it’s just a boy, it’s just Cook, and now that she can see him, she thinks maybe the outside is out and the inside is in and everything’s going to be okay…

But it’s not going to be okay. Because there are words coming. There are words that are secrets, secrets that are going to spill things inside of Effy, and by the time she runs away from them nothing will be clear anymore, everything will be inside out, and Cook won’t be just Cook, he won’t be just a boy, he will be the catalyst for her first psychotic episode, and the last time she looks at him before she bolts, she will see one of her demons.

And this is why it’s fucking brilliant that Cook goes to the carnival in 405 dressed as her plastic devil figurine. This is why, despite the fact that at that point they’re friends – close, important friends – she wants him the hell out of the house when he shows up. Because he’s not just Cook at that moment. It’s psychotic episode number two, and Effy hasn’t forgotten the way he looked to her the last time she was like this.

Lucy Kirkwood & Sean Buckley, you, me, marriage?

Rin says: I thought you only saved thrifty proposals for me? I’m hurting.

Also yes yes yes. When you watch this the first time you’re wondering why the hell Effy freaks the fuck out to the extent where she charges ahead of the rest, screaming at the top of her lungs. And then faints. Actually faints. Which isn’t normal in itself. (Unless you’re goat-Panda.) Then you rewatch it in the context of everything that’s ever happened with the character of Effy and it makes sense.

Sophy says: Can I also just say that yes, okay, Effy’s going to do some dodgy stuff in this episode, like bludgeoning a Fitch twin and making monkey with her boyfriend right after but. Let’s cut her some slack, okay? Seriously, this is the way the world looks to her right now…

Sophy says: It’s the storyyyy of a crazy ladyyy!

Rin says:

They don’t nearly have enough musical opening credits for shows these days.

Sophy says: “I should fucking kill you,” Freddie says, “Scared the shit out of us, you stupid prick,” Naomi says.

Cook protests earnestly that it wasn’t him! He just came to join the party, it’s these mental people in the woods who stole their stuff!

Sophy says: He can’t keep up the innocent act for long, because the whole thing is such a triumph of hilarity in his eyes. He claims credit, explaining to this group of “daft wankers” that the people in the woods are just poachers, “after rabbits and shit, not you.”

Rin says: Haha with the caps laid out like this. It almost looks like some sort of fanart with Cook floating in the sky.

Sophy says: That would be the most random fanart ever. Two floating Cooks and four people looking at the ground. What does that mean????

Sophy says: “Oooh turn off the lights, ooh we’re gonna die,” he mocks, in a very David Brent-esque way. Nobody is amused.

Rin says: I miss Brenty. We’re going to have to recap The Office.

Sophy says: Katie’s had enough of this fuckery. She walks over and stands over Cook, tells him he can fuck off because he wasn’t invited. He objects, saying they were all having such a nice time, tacking on a lewd comment about her breasts for good measure.

Rin says: Urgh. The only one who can comment on Katie’s breasts is Katie.

Sophy says: Apparently Freddie has gotten better at defending his lady in a timely fashion since that unpleasant moment in the shed in 305, because he charges at Cook, ready to make out clock him, yells “What is your fucking problem???”

And Cook responds with: “What do you want, my fucking blood? Cos you’ve fucking taken everything else. You’ve taken fucking JJ” – he turns in Effy’s direction – “and now he’s nickin’ her off me as well.”

Oh Cook. Oh Cook. You’ve got the wrong guy. Freddie didn’t take JJ from you. JJ took JJ from you. And you know all too well that you never really had Effy in the first place.

But this is the way Cook sees the world: if there’s something worth loving it’s worth keeping, and if you want to keep it you have to call it yours – yours, the way a small child calls its mother “Mine” – you have to cling to its skirts no matter how it tries to shake you off, you have to grab hold and hold on tight, squeeze when it squirms, whisper It’s okay that you don’t love me, and if you close your eyes, if you close your eyes and then you open your eyes and its gone, it’s because somebody took it from you.

Rin says: :(( :(( :(( Lovely.

Rin says: It must hurt more than any of us could ever imagine.

Sophy says: I just feel bad for everyone involved here. Heartbreaking stuff :(

Part 3

15 Responses

  1. spacedog
    spacedog at · Reply

    Kat/Sparklers = OTP

  2. M
    M at · Reply

    oh my sweet vulnerable jesus, i want to have that “little rascals” macro’s babies. it’s freakin’ miraculous.

  3. Aya
    Aya at · Reply

    I am so enormously glad for Rophy because of the amounts of Naomily that escaped me when I watched this episode. Didn’t even know Emily was anywhere near the Freffy reaching-across-the-leaves moment, and all the background goofing-off? Adorbs.

    I have to say the what-Effy-is-seeing bit has to be about the most amazing thing… I just… the effyvision!Thommo with the hotdog reminds me so much of Thommo in 404 (or, your recap of that anyway) “Want my meat?” (Effy ready to answer for Katie. With her fists. Heart.) And then the ellen!Naoms is just incredible… but what gets me is that JJ is just that ukelele-playing fuckhead that ruined series four.

    I think what’s driving the wedge between Keffy a the moment, though, has to be all the black Effy’s wearing: Katie specifically said she’s not mingling with goths! (even though she made that particular declaration in the future…?)

    Also: that Little Rascals comparison at the top? I’ve never even seen it but lovelovelovelovelove. Love.

  4. M
    M at · Reply

    omg, rophy, do you think http://rophydoes.com/images/skins/308/205.jpg
    looks like this?
    is the neverending story big in australia? ’cause effy as the child-like empress just blew my mind…

    1. Sophy
      Sophy at · Reply

      omg OMGOMGOMG I totally see it and I’m dyyyyyinnnng. The child-like empress and Atreyu were totally my first crushes. FFFffff.

      1. M
        M at · Reply

        ::bawl!:: sophy, i *know* her! when she’d come into my studio i couldn’t even *look* at her!
        i’ve talked to her on the phone and i just wanted her to be like “m, why don’t you do what you dream, m?”
        ::sniff:: i love atreyu so much, i still quote that movie and i always will : )

  5. Angie
    Angie at · Reply

    Labrador/Chipmunk <3

  6. anat
    anat at · Reply

    I should totally start taking notes while reading these, cuz by the end i never remember all the awesome stuff i wanted to comment about.. But since most of my comments would go by the lines of: HAHAHAHAHAAAABwaHAHHAHAHAchhhh *cough-cough-choking-still laughing-mom pops in to ask if i’m breathing-ect*
    Aaanyhow.. If i would write down EVERYTHING it would take me forever :p
    I’ll try to focuse. Effy’s vision was amazing + i’ve never noticed Emily standing over them!!

    so thanks :D

  7. rarareis
    rarareis at · Reply

    lol the little rascals thing <3 HILARIOUS. How do you think of this stuff?!

  8. Federica
    Federica at · Reply

    I was really lolling in real life when I’ve seen your “How Effy sees the world now”.
    The last image is just fucking hilarious..Frook =Q_____________

    And by the way,thanks Sophy for all these connections you seen ç_ç It’s so beautiful to read them.

  9. Atlas
    Atlas at · Reply

    I can’t believe you didn’t show the Naomi pic from the sparklers scene when she blows smoke at the camera :( Best shot of that scene! *has a hands under chin moment*

  10. bridget
    bridget at · Reply

    Oh, my God, the Little Rascals!!! HAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
    I had to stop for two minutes just to stop laughing before I could continue on. lol

    When I saw the pic of Katie “little Red” Fitch and then of Effy as the big bad wolf, I nearly choked of the food I was eating. Thank you. Effy’s just so chill, with her can of soda in hand and wolf ears in place. I guess she’s not phased or even surprised anymore by Katie’s penchant for role-playing. “Just hand me the the damn hat… But I swear to God, Katie, I am not howling. The neighbors complained last time.”

    …I don’t know why I keep going back to Katie, especially since 1) I adore Naomily and 2) this is Effy’s episode, but here I go again: I really like that Katie becomes friends with Panda.

    In real life, when most people make a friend with someone who has a pal like Panda (or even JJ) it’s more often than not that they simply *tolerate* that person for the sake of their original friendship. But that’s not the case with Katie. She genuinely takes an interest in Panda. She likes her. And I honestly think that has a lot to do with Effy. I think some of our biggest S03 hints as to what Katie was to become later on occur in her interactions with Panda. There is a softer, almost nurturing side of Katie that reveals itself when she’s around her (much like Cook with JJ, I suppose).

    I think Katie’s love-hate relationship with Effy has a lot to do with jealousy and also with the bits of Katie which weren’t fleshed-out until S04.

    Katie looks at Effy and she sees things she wants for herself. Effy is cool. Effy has such lovely things:
    She has Freddie, a guy who’s genuine and actually would probably be pretty great – albeit completely dorky (but nowhere near as cute-dorky as Naoms becomes) – in a relationship.
    She has Pandora, a girl who’s sweet and innocent and accepting and all-around loveable as a Teddy bear.

    This party isn’t just a party for Katie. For Katie, her relationship with Freds is real. And the party?… this is Katie showing the first signs of what she was doing in S04. This is Katie going all Jenna Fitch and trying to have her “perfect” life. Katie wanted to be with her sister, and her boyfriend, and her close friends. She wanted it to be a lovely get-together. She wanted perfect; she wanted control; she wanted ‘lovely’. This is Katie playing house. But then Effy ruined it for her… and just like when mother nature threw a wrench into Katie’s dream of a perfect life in S04, Katie flipped the fuck out for a bit.

    And on the flip-side, Effy knows that Katie is capable of not only having but appreciating the things that Effy can’t allow herself to open up to. Effy wants those things. She wants them, but she doesn’t know how to have them. She knows that there will always be people like Katie who are normal and who can have those things. She knows they’ll all leave her eventually. But right now Effy sees them slipping away, and she’s panicking. She isn’t ready to let go.

    It’s an interesting dynamic.

  11. Kelly
    Kelly at · Reply

    Fffffffff, I want to make a fansite for the nail polish used in Skins.

  12. ohwowlovely
    ohwowlovely at · Reply

    I need to start making notes too, I’ve always forgotten what I was gonna comment. Though maybe that’s for the best.

    I loved The Little Rascals and Brady Bunch macros lol.

    That Banana Slugs song is so trippy and perfect for the scene, and again, bananas in Skins, oh mayne that’s the whole banana obsession, cos bananas are in Skins! I’m a genius! Lol, maybe not…

  13. ohwowlovely
    ohwowlovely at · Reply

    I never knew about that Emily quote either. Now I feel so lonely. Oh well.

    I’m really beginning to wish they hadn’t even bothered with the guys in Skins and just made it one big lesbian show :-)

    And those mixed drinks are awesome. Though I’m Irish, so every drink is awesome (yay for true stereotypes lol)

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