Sophy says: The gang, yes, the gang, that’s what I’m calling them, DEAL WITH IT. Um… the gang are at college, having a right good laugh, about, well, as Rich so kindly puts it, “Princess Puke.”
Looks like the story’s gotten around. Ouch.
LOOK AT FRANKY’S LITTLE FACE. SHE’S IN HYSTERICS. And I love this. Because Franky is a good person; she’s a profoundly loving and lovely young woman… but even she can’t resist a laugh at the expense of the bitch who tried, and thankfully failed, to ruin her life at Roundview. It’s little moments like these that allow big moments like we’ll get between Franky and Mini later. Because without the balance of some trivial mean-spiritedness, Franky would run the risk of coming across as a Mary Sue.
(Which, okay, I’ve been watching Downton Abbey, and that is totally the mistake they made with Mr Bates on that show. Thomas and O’Brien lie, cheat, steal, frame him for the like, and he won’t report any of it when he has the chance because what? He’s fucking Jesus Christ? Please.)
Also I love Alo and his face.
Also, Skins, how is it that you even make boring old interior shots gorgeous? I mean… Mini’s hair with the top… and the blue of the wall behind her. Guh.
Rin says: They’re witches Sophy. Burn them at the stake!
So, who do we think told everyone? Rider? I’m going with Rider.
Sophy says: Another stunning shot. Blue walls, green towel. Amazing. Mini still can’t find Nick anywhere. She keeps calling him, heading to the guys’ locker room as she does and… he’s not there, but his phone is.
Please note the contrast: Mini’s phone has her and Nick as its background. In a loveheart. Nick’s has what I’m thinking is his rugger team. I think we all know what his priorities are, and I’ll be interested to see this rugger business play out in his episode.
Rin says: That is a great little touch, the differing phone wallpapers. Although I never really understood the urge to make your significant other your phone wallpaper. Then again some people have a picture of a can of lilt and a jar as their wallpaper, so I guess everyone has something.
Sophy says: Other people have Lena Headey’s dog?
Sophy says: Anyway, so, Nick has 7 missed calls from Mini… and he also has 3 from Liv. Oh dear.
Rin says: MINI XXX. What’s the bet Mini entered her own name into Nick’s phone?
And again, it’s all signs point to Nick/Liv, yet I was still trying to tell Mini to stop freaking out. MISSED CALLS DON’T MEAN ANYTHING!
Sophy says: I love the message over the loudspeaker as Mini walks down the school hall. “For those of you involved in tonight’s fashion show you need to be at the outdoor area for a dress rehearsal in 15. The rest of you… look sharp and keep your heads down. That is all.” lol, classic Skins.
So Mini finally finds Nick and Liv, and they’re right where they’re supposed to be, but it’s not okay. Nothing is okay.
Because they’re dancing down the runway, laughing, having fun.
And I think Must be love… is probably playing in Mini’s head as she watches.
Rin says: Ha! I didn’t notice the latter half of the message over the loudspeaker. Ah Skins, always so thorough.
I loved their little runway setup, it was quite impressive.
Sophy says: Mini gets all up in their faces, because this is all too much and she might be a little crazy right now and hey, guess what, Liv is even wearing her dress.
It’s an accident of course. All of this is an accident. Liv never set out to ruin Mini’s life any more than Franky did.
Rin says: I think perhaps, Mini just needs a giant burger and the kindness of a taxi driver to make her see straight. She’s looking a little wafery.
Sophy says: “Liv, dress off now,” she says, and it’s rather reminiscent of Now get the fuck out of my party. Liv obeys and helps Mini get into said dress, and as she’s doing so Mini rather uncharitably complains “Your saggy tits have stretched it.”
Liv tells her not to be a dick, which is a whole lot more chill of her than I would have been if someone had spoken to me like that.
Mini’s really at breaking point now though, and perhaps Liv can sense it. She whirls around and accuses her of being the one to spread the story about Nick’s chest/her banana chips around school, but of course she’s wrong. And just as Rich underestimated Alo’s love for him in the last ep, so Mini underestimates Liv’s love for her here… well… except Alo didn’t like… get it on with Grace or anything. But whatevs. Parallel is bendy but still sort of parallel.
Rin says: You know it’s moments like this that makes Liv’s outburst later okay. Well, not okay, but more understandable.
Sophy says: People start bombarding her with Mini this and Mini that, Nick shows up and say the stupidest and most monumentally insensitive thing on earth – “No offense, but that looks way better on Liv” – and Mini screams for him to shut the fuck up and I honestly can’t blame her. Blood screams louder for silence, and… hey, it’s time for that nervous breakdown not!Elvis was singing about earlier. It’s time for that personal crisis Gracie was supposed to be having.
“WHAT IS THIS FOOLISH NONSENSERY,” shouts Blood, and oh my god, it’s a foolish nonsensery in itself and I love it so much I’ve been quoting it all week.
Rin says: I’m liking Blood a lot more this series than last. I guess cause the sting of losing Harriet has lessened, and he’s not as OTT as he was in S4.
Sophy says: Mini looks around herself in the silence… and promptly passes out.
Rin says: That’s some good breakdown going on Mini. And that’s what being extremely hung over and still doing exercise can do to you. And that’s why I never mix the two…..or why I never exercise.
Sophy says: Next up, Blood’s office. He berates her for getting the fashion show into this mess, making her read the ticket till they get to the start time, and oh gosh, the way Freya delivers “Five pounds,” MY FUCKING HEART.
Mini begs him to let her sort it out. “Please,” she says, with some serious puppy-dog eyes. But to no avail. “I’m saying you’re unwell,” says Blood, “So, you’re unwell. Go home, Mini.”
Rin says: Freya is wonderful in this scene. She’s completely clawing at straws which is something Mini isn’t supposed to do.
Sophy says: Mini goes home as ordered, communes with her mirrorball to the most absolutely gorgeous little piano interlude.
Rin says: I love the mirror ball motif, I really do.
Rin says: I knew it all along. They’re just a bunch of perverts.
Sophy says: Omg this is such a burn on Effy, like. I can’t even.
Sophy says: A quick look in the mirror and it’s time to fuck with everything she sees. On goes the self-tan, in go the bleach streaks. Lindsay Lohan, here Mini comes.
Rin says: When she first started putting on the fake tan I didn’t know what the eff it was. It creeped me out quite a bit, but then I realised what she was doing. I love that 3rd cap of her, it also reminds me of Nina at the end of Black Swan.
Sophy says: Aaaaand before you can say ‘bulimic fucking barbie’, voila! Mini walks past the reflection of her photo of Nick on the way out, and hey, can you guess who she’s going to see?
Rin says: Her whole get up is fucking psycho. I love it.
Sophy says: She walks in, she smiles big, she thanks him for meeting her.
Rin says: And suddenly I’m left wondering whose outfit is more ridiculous.
Rin says: NO ONE IN THIS UNIVERSE OR ANY OTHER CAN COMPARE TO ANGEL KATIE.
And I love that you chucked Effy in there, just for good measure. She’s never living it down.
Sophy says: POOR EFFY. SERIOUSLY. WHY IS EVERYONE ALWAYS PISSING ON HER????
Sophy says: She says they don’t need a catwalk, he says “What have you done?” She goes to kiss him, he ducks it, and okay, here’s where things start to get really, really painful.
Mini basically propositions him – “Fuck the show – let’s go, just us, back to yours” – but Nick isn’t having a bar of it. He says he can’t abandon the troops – “reward comes from dedication, hard work, passion. You can reward me after.”
Hello Mr Type A, looking forward to get to know you better.
“No, now,” Mini insists, and it’s useless and she’s desperate and this really is hard to watch.
“No,” says Nick, like he’s talking to a naughty child. And then he adds the worst possible thing of all worst possible things.
“Liv needs me to close the show.”
Nice one, Nick. You really are reaching almost JJ-esque levels of knowing just what not to say.
Rin says: I do find Nick interesting when he’s not too busy being a scumbag. Which he’s a bit of both right now, with his mantra ‘hard work and passion!’ And following it with, you can reward me after.
Sophy says: Mini watches the fashion show from a solitary window upstairs. That last cap may be the greatest thing I have ever, ever seen.
Rin says: Oh god, GRACIE!!! Look at her face. I want her to strut down a runway in every episode.
I also find it beyond adorable that Alo and Grace are walking down together. I can just imagine Rich looking up fondly from the crowd. He’d be all singletear/creamycheek again.
Sophy says: Yes, yes, yes! Alo being the one to do this with Grace rather than Rich not only makes sense because omg Rich would probably rather body-pop to Lil Wayne, but also, it totally develops one of those all important bonds between non-romantically involved members of the group.
Sophy says: Nick is an angel and Liv is a bride, and Mini watches them dance like she was supposed to dance – first in the reflection in the window, then directly.
Nick is exactly what she wants him to be with the wrong person. And this is when Liv really steals her outfit.
Rin says: And she still hasn’t asked for it, she never does. And that’s something I hope Mini will be able to see in time.
Sophy says: Liv takes the mic and thanks Grace, and Franky, and then… Mini.
“And I would like to thank my best friend Mini McGuinness. Tonight was all her idea. She’s always encouraging us to do new and exciting things. Unfortunately she is unwell and couldn’t perform, but I’m sure she would be very pleased with the show, and we really hope she gets better soon.”
The sweetness of it, the gratitude, the sudden validation… it’s too much for Mini. It’s too fucking confusing, I think.
Rin says: Aw this broke my heart a little bit. Liv could have stopped after thanking Mini, but she continues past that — even gives her an excuse that wouldn’t hurt her reputation.
Sophy says: The crowds cheer as she walks slowly down the hall, and oh the tragicomic way her tears make tracks in the clown-whore make-up…
Rin says: Gosh this was so perfect. After spending all that time covering up, putting on her armour, real emotion is always going to cut through and show. You can’t stop that from happening, no matter how hard you try.
Sophy says: OH MY GOD. PRETTY LIGHTS. I CAN’T.
Also Mini’s earrings are so ridiculous. They might be the most ridiculous earrings ever.
Rin says: HAHAHA Now I can’t stop staring at her earrings. Bobble bobble bobble.
Sophy says: Mini walks into the after party at which everyone seems to be having a grand old time. Everyone also seems to be very happy to see her, which, again… confusing, I think.
So she lashes out. She blanks Gracie, she scratches at Liv: “Where’s Nick. My boyfriend, where is he?”
A beat, then “Stay away from us.”
Rin says: Another amazing face Laya, thank you.
I love Gracie for getting-the-fuck-over-things all Katie style, but Mini is still spiralling downwards and no matter how many ropes she’s thrown, she aint catching.
Sophy says: Gracie dances her way over to Rich and says “Hi!” which he thankfully manages to say back, with something of a smile to boot. See how much progress he’s made!
Unfortunately he seems to have taken some sartorial steps, well, shall we say sideways into bizarro world. I don’t know what that studded white collar is about but it is seriously upsetting me. Grace lies and says he looks nice, and he’s still a bit too stupid to say it back to her, which, well Rome/day.
Instead he asks if she should be talking to him, to which she replies “Mini’s not my friend anymore.”
Rin says: HAHAHA ‘Grace lies.’ I think Rich was just trying to embrace the fashion show blind people spirit by adding as much tactility to his collar as possible. But yes, let’s hope he never gets an idea like that again.
I love how black and white Grace can be in her outlook on things (and in her choice of relationship 8-.), she doesn’t have to adhere to making Mini happy anymore so it’s, hello Rich, hello relationship!
Sophy says: If it’s about the tactile theme she should have said he feels nice. Um.
Okay, might have been a bit forward.
Sophy says: “Are we still friends?” Rich asks, and it’s so adorable.
“I was hoping more than that – if that’s cool with you,” says Grace and it’s AS ABOVE.
Rin says: I LOVE THE DORKY DIALOGUE. Like, it’s perfectly suited to these two for sure. I don’t think either has much experience in the dating arena, so it just makes me giggle all the more, seeing them find their way.
Sophy says: “That’s cool!” says Rich in a moment of gloriously unchecked enthusiasm. “Cooool,” croons Gracie and then…
Rin says: HAHAH OH THESE TWO. Seriously.
Sophy says: THERE IT IS, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN. OUR FIRST KISS OF THE GEN. Nick/Mini doesn’t count, because it’s ghastly, k thx.
I love how awkward this is and how obvious it is that Rich has never done more than give his mum a reluctant peck on the cheek at Christmas before. SO CUTE. ;SLDKFJ;DLFKGJ.SFDG/SD.F,GDSF.FD.G SHIPPING IT FOREVS!!!!!!!
Rin says: To be honest I did have reservations about Rich/Grace happening this soon, because we had such an angsty ending with them in the previous episode. Then again, I’m also nicely surprised that they didn’t do what I expected them to do, which was draw them out for the entire series.
AND HOW CAN I DENY SUCH AN AMAZINGLY ADORABLE FIRST KISS? I can’t.
Sophy says: You can’t really see it from these caps, because, well, Rin had to whittle okay? But Alex’s face does amazing things right after they kiss. He looks so awkward and embarrassed and kind of sad and then comforted and then sweet and thankful as he looks over and sees…
Rin says: And seriously, if I was having any reservations I certainly wasn’t after what followed.
Sophy says: HIS BEST MATE ALO CLAPPING AND SMILING LIKE THE AWESOME FUCKER HE IS. Seriously, I think this so, so, SO sweet. And I’d like to take this opportunity to say that this gen is the first to present me with a comical sidekick figure that I can actually like. Anwar? JJ? Alo > you.
Rin says: ALO IS THE BEST. I really love him, and I’m so happy that I get to. He’s a brilliant character and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for him.
And agreed Sophy, Alo is what Anwar and JJ was lacking. And Skins shows that they are learning from their past mistakes, and listening to the fans. Not in a pandering way, but in a way that is taking criticism and applying it.
Sophy says: Liv finds Mini and tries to talk some sense into her, and jeebers that second cap is stunning. There’s just something about the orange/red light and the green background coupled with the intense opaque black of his hair and eyes. Utterly gorgeous.
Rin says: Yep, I love the strong contrast on Nick’s face.
Even though he’s being a scumbag again Seriously, he sees Liv yelling at Mini and instead of going after Mini he makes a play to get into Liv’s pants.
Sophy says: What a prince.
Sophy says: Liv tries to talk to Mini, and I’m thinking it might have gone better if she’d sat down and, you know, made some palm cards first or something. Because wow. She has not thought this little speech through, and everything just comes tumbling out amid the cacophonous music and the flashing lights, and it’s an ultra nightmare is what it is.
“Mini, what’s going on with you? You’re freaking me and Nick out. I know you haven’t slept together. Just don’t do it! He doesn’t love you.”
My face. My palm.
See this is good advice – this is exactly what Mini should be listening to. But there’s no sugar on that pill, and all it makes Mini do is lash out again. She accuses Liv of bitching behind her back, says it’s typical, says she’s always been jealous of her.
Mini: “Explain why you’re calling my boyfriend. Sleeping next to him. Dancing next to him on stage. I’m warning you. Keep your whore hands away from him.”
Liv: “I am not gonna let you shit all over me. Because I know you and I know that underneath all that makeup, you’re just a frightened little virgin.”
Mini shoves Liv, because virgin is uncalled for.
And here’s the part Mini really needed to listen to – the part I hope will ring in her ears the rest of the series or as long as it takes her to damn well take note.
“Look, I still love you. But I am the only one. So grow up, okay, before you’ve got no one.”
And then, as Mini storms off, “Get it together you stupid bitch!“
‘Stupid bitch’ is said with such love. Seriously.
And okay I just about cannot handle how wonderful and direct the parallel is to Alo’s scene with Rich. I mean. Magic.
(Dear writers, this kind of thing does nothing to quell the obstinate-as-she-is-fanciful Alo/Liv shipper in me.)
Rin says: Liv really did need some palm cards. I do appreciate where she’s coming from though, cause she cares, she really does, she just probably should have left out the abuse when telling Mini just how much. I like how before we had Gracie calling Mini and Liv bitches and it was all laughs back then, but now we have Liv calling Mini a stupid bitch and it’s not all fun and games any more.
I adore the complexities of Mini/Liv, and there have been a lot of moments since the start of the series that have told us what their dynamic is. Liv will always see the good in Mini, because of how they became friends. Yet, I get the impression that for the last few years Mini hasn’t been the kindest of hearts, and while Liv has been okay with it in the past, even participating — it’s time to grow up.
And then things get even more complicated next episode when all Liv wants to do is grown down. But that’s another story for another day.
Sophy says: I WISH IT WAS FOR TODAY. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. WE NEED RECAPPING JETPACKS.
Sophy says: So Mini leaves and Nick is right there, like an open road for all of Liv’s rage.
“I’ll dump her,” he says, “if you want.” And it’s like we’re in primary school here. It’s crass and ugly and petty and it’s never going to lead to anything good.
Liv looks close to tears. She turns. She kisses him. She bolts down the open road.
Rin says: As much as I think it’s wrong and completely unjust on Liv’s behalf, I can’t hate her. Mini doesn’t deserve this and wasn’t Liv just saying how much she still loved her? But Liv is someone who seriously lacks guidance, self-worth and control, and this will always be more about that than it ever will be about Mini.
Sophy says: Okay, so when I reached this part I said to Rin “I’ve reached Minky. I’M IN MINKYLAND.”
“kyjthgfdef IS IT NICE THERE”
“IT’S FUCKING SUPERCALLAAAAA”
I think that about sums up how we feel about these two. And let’s get one thing straight… erm. It’s not that we’re shipping them that way, not necessarily. We’d be quite happy for them to just be the wonderful angsty little sort-of-friends they are and have that be that, but oh the chemistry. Regardless of the context, we just want to see more of these two, forever and ever ahhhminky.
Rin says: OH GOD, I NEVER WANT TO LEAVE HERE.
Just so you know, when I saw that it was Franky who was walking up to Mini I might have had a slight heartachey-fangirly moment. I love seeing these two together because their chemistry is off the charts, and just getting to see that is a delight.
And I’m totally on board with them being just mix-matched friends. I kind of adore that. But if they want to kiss too…we won’t mind.
Sophy says: Franky walks up to Mini, and her face is all preparation, preparation, preparation, just like it was when she was walking into her dads’ living room to confront the girls in the first ep.
“You got a lighter?” she asks, all suave gentle-lady, and Mini looks up, all damsel, complete with fascinator over haunted eyes.
Rin says: That’s the same word three times!
And gentle-lady is totally what Franky is, I love that! I hope it sticks. She does, after all, have an incredible blazer collection which rivals that of Katie Fitch and her leopard print.
Sophy says: Mini’s still calling Nick, but she’s not going to get very far with it, on account of him being busy fucking her best friend in the toilets. Franky prowls into her silence, sits down beside her.
Rin says: Prowls?? It sounds like you want her to jump Mini’s bones!
Sophy says: “Looks like you’re having a pretty shit time,” Franky says, and hey, that about sums it up. You expect Mini to come back at her with some barbed and bitter form of This is the best night of my life… but she doesn’t. She lets her vulnerability show, and it’s shocking and lovely.
“I can’t find Nick,” she says softly.
“Grace is here,” Franky says, and it means You don’t need Nick, he’s probably fucking your best friend in the toilets or something cos he’s a lowlife piece of pondscum.
“I know,” Mini says, but she makes no move to get up and go find her.
Rin says: I love that about Franky. That she’s straight (….erm) with people. She doesn’t beat around the bush or bullshit you.
Rin says: That shot of them sitting perpendicular against each other, they’re like the unconventional bride and groom with Mini in her bridal gown and Franky in her tux…I just might die.
Sophy says: I can’t even with the way Franky is sitting. It’s so cute.
Sophy says: “I’m not trying to ruin your life, Mini.”
“Could’ve fooled me.”
And oh really, Mini? Really? Franky’s bold statement shows just how well she understands Mini, and Mini’s response shows just how little she understands just about anything.
Mini likes to blame Franky – because it’s easy – because she’s weird. But the truth is that Franky hasn’t done a single thing to hurt Mini. She’s right – she’s not trying to ruin her life – in fact, right now she’s her little port in a very big storm.
Rin says: SHE’S HER LITTLE PORT!
It’s funny how Mini tries to rationalise any of this as being Franky’s fault. She was after all the one who stirred up the pot, starting with Grace. But I’m pretty sure even Mini knows she can’t fool herself when it comes down to it.
Sophy says: “When I first met you girls, I thought you were a nasty bunch of self-absorbed, attention-seeking cocks.”
Genius move. Genius. There’s nothing like admitting your own prejudices to help people to see their own.
Mini’s not quite ready to give in though. “Are you looking for a fight?” she asks.
Franky ignores it, charges ahead.
Rin says: I have to say I love Franky and her swearing.
And like Sophy said before, it would be easier if Franky was looking for a fight — fighting is something that Mini can handle. But realising that Franky is a good person who is trying to be there for her when no one else is, even after all she’s done to her, that’s a harder pill to swallow.
Sophy says: Yes. But see there’s sugar on it this time. Because Franky is clever and thoughtful. Because Franky isn’t in the thick of it emotionally like Liv is. And so often it’s easier to hear the right things when the person saying them isn’t all tangled as my heart is with yours.
Sophy says: “It was hard to see why you hung out together. But then… I got it. You make each other laugh. You look out for each other…
Rin says: GUH, Mini’s face as she listens.
Sophy says: … you love each other.“
Gosh Dakota’s delivery is perfect there. The genuine sense of discovery in the words, the smile on her face.
She puts her smoke in her mouth and turns around to get Mini’s attention. Mini fumbles for her lighter.
Rin says: And that was exactly what Mini needed to hear, to be reminded of what friendship is and why it’s important.
I guess everything is going to be sunshine and lollipops from now on.
Sophy says: Of course! What else could everything be!
Sophy says: A;DLKFJA;LDSKFJ;LSKDJFSDF.
Christ. This has got to be one of the sweetest moments in Skins ever. No words needed, nothing but the rendering of a small service and a small smile for a chaser. They bond in that moment – I choose to believe they do, whether Mini is able to recognize it yet or not.
Rin says: OF COURSE THEY BOND. IF THERE WAS ANY MORE OF IT GOING ON THEY’D BE IN BONDS.
I love the way Mini lights Franky’s smoke, after it lights she makes this hand movement which is almost playful and accidentally lets herself smile.
Sophy says: “Come and dance,” Franky says, and my heart is just about to fucking burst, because it goes right back to When you feel like dancing, it goes right back to “She can’t dance,” it goes right back to the moment in the first episode where Mini’s thread snapped and she floated away from the group.
Rin says: OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD. “COME AND DANCE.” It might be one of my favourite moments of this gen so far, and the start of what could potentially be one of Skins’ finest relationships. It’s all been set up so beautifully for these two, that they’d be hard pressed to screw them up. All we want is more of this, moments of kindness and caring even when they’re undeserved.
Sophy says: Mini gets up. She follows Franky back to the party. It’s so beautiful I could fucking weep.
Rin says: Yeah, I’m weeping forever. And it’s not just from the sheer beauty because I was pretty certain that Mini wasn’t going to follow Franky back to the party, but jfc she does and when she does it’s hello beautiful silhouettes in the coloured light.
As they head back, the music gets louder and almost shimmers with hope.
Sophy says: THEIR FACES. THE EYE CONTACT. SERIOUSLY, IT KILLS ME.
And I am so hopeful for a minute and I think perhaps Mini is too and then… Liv comes out of the toilets pulling her stockings up…
Rin says: In the moment I totally felt like we were going to get a mildly happy ending, that there was hope for Mini and it rested with Franky and the gang. But as soon as Liv comes out, everything is shattered.
Sophy says: … and Nick follows, grinning from ear to ear. It’s all too obvious what has happened, and THANKS A LOT LIV/NICK. MOMENT RUINED.
Rin says: THEY DON’T WANT ANYONE TO CARE.
Sophy says: Mini is all IT HAPPENED BUT IT NEVER HAPPENED, and tells Franky she didn’t just see that. And it’s all over, it’s well past midnight and Cinderella never even got to dance at the ball. And more than anything I want one thing from this gen: to see Mini dance like nobody is watching – to see her free, to see her just be.
You’d better deliver show. *shakes fist*
Rin says: This is when Sophy told me she was LEAVING MINKYLAND and she said she’d enjoyed her stay and she bought me a mug and a badge. I wear my badge proudly and drink my tea obnoxiously.
If Mini’s epiphany somehow turns out to be her dancing I will never doubt anything ever again in my life because there is a god. And Skins would have proved it. Scientifically.
Sophy says: Mini exits, and that other person Franky has glorious chemistry with shows up, just standing there in the crowd, possibly twiddling his thumbs below frame.
Franky looks at Matty and smiles the sweetest little smile – but it’s unclear whether he is looking at her or at ~somebody else.
Rin says: I was about to ask who else he could possibly be looking at and then I remembered, oh oh, no spoilers for next episodes! And seriously, Franky, how many ships. Just stop it okay? At this point the only people I’m not shipping you with is Rich, Nick and Liv. Franky/Liv could be arranged though. IDK.
Sophy says: Matty disappears, Houdini-like, and we’re back to Mini who is launching her lips at Nick’s.
Rin says: NOOO Don’t go back to him. Just don’t do it.
Sophy says: Meanwhile, Matty looked pretty freaked there…
Maybe it’s cos… he caught… the whole show…
Rin says: Wow, that’s just. Horrifying.
Sophy says: THREESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111
Sophy says: “Take me to yours,” Mini says, pitiful but sure, and as Franky watches, Nick leads her away.
Rin says: Franky is definitely a key observer, but she also doesn’t just sit on the sidelines. At this point she knows more about Mini/Liv than they do.
Sophy says: Annnnd here’s where things get rather horrible.
They move things to the bed and Mini asks Nick if they can just ‘blank’ this day out.
Rin says: God. Mini takes off her dress, with her back turned to Nick. When she turns around, she’s covering her mid-section and looking down, letting her hair cover her face. And if you’re there trying to hide yourself before sex, and I don’t believe that Mini’s never been in a bikini at a pool either, you just probably shouldn’t go through with it.
And with all that. Mini asks for, well she can’t even really say it.
Sophy says: I love this. I mean, I hate it because it’s vile and tragic, but I love it because it’s brilliant. This scene is all about the lies Mini tells about herself, all about the things inside that don’t make sense.
Remember her mid-riff top in the first episode? The one she was wearing when she was the queen surveying her domain?
Now, in the privacy of her must be true love… she can’t stop her arms from wrapping around her mid-section. And gosh, who would have thought when the series opened that Mini would be more afraid and ashamed of her naked self than Franky Wifebeater Fitzgerald?
That might actually be one of the most dazzling things about this episode – the role-reversal revealed. See when Franky slouched into town she wasn’t the happiest of campers, and things only got worse when Mini rained the Oxford hell down on her at Roundview. And yet… where did all the angst go?
It’s as though it’s evaporated into thin air. Because somehow the cruelty didn’t catch on, and Franky made friends who got her throwing her head back with laughter.
She’s happy now.
Mini, on the other hand… well, she’s the one whose life is really miserable, isn’t she?
Rin says: This is so inappropriately good.
Sophy says: So good. Baby Spice you are a fabulous bitch.
Rin says: And this is about the time when I was hoping Nick would actually do something decent and stop this from happening. And that’s how I felt right until the very end.
And this is just. I don’t know how they’ll redeem Nick for me.
Sophy says: I finished this episode hating Nick with the passion of a thousand fiery suns, but… I’m prepared to negotiate, show. Just… give it your best shot in his episode and we’ll see if I can manage to get this bad taste out of my mouth.
For now, I’m quite content to dislike him, since I never got the impression throughout this episode that they were trying to pass his behaviour off as entirely normal. He’s quite clearly the bad guy, for now, and is represented as such. I only hate characters as opposed to people when the show tries to pretend they’re a golden god despite all the shit they pull.
Anyway so yeah. Nick tears the condom out of its wrapper and holds it out to Mini and she is all ‘What the fuck do you want me to do with that? Make a sandcastle?????!!! =;’
But um… seriously. There’s something so tragic and pathetic about the gesture and it forces us to wonder if Nick really is just that fucking clueless or that fucking in denial about things because… why the hell would he expect someone who is clearly, clearly, CLEARLY a terrified virgin to want to put the damn thing on for him?
Rin says: As Nick puts on his supplies, Mini takes off her bracelets. And we get a shot of the two of them in bed and this is definitely not about love or even lust.
Sophy says: It’s so horrifically sad. And I guess the thing with Nick is… he can’t possibly be enjoying this on any but the basest of physical levels. He can’t possibly be having fun with this. So why does he do it? Why doesn’t he just… not?
I think he feels he owes this to Mini, as twisted as that may sound. I think he thinks that after what he’s done he owes her the lie – that he loves her, that this is fun, that she’s his sexy girlfriend, that tonight is amazing, perfect, etc. And judging by what comes next I’d say he feels he owes her the secret kept – she’s not a frightened little virgin, not tonight, no matter how obvious it may be to them both that she is.
Rin says: Nick asks Mini if there’s anything she wants to tell him, because now he knows for sure and Mini is determined to continue to lie. Her response is heartbreaking, she kisses him and says, ‘I love you. Anything you want to tell me? You love me too, don’t you?’
‘Yeah, I love you too.’ And this is where Nick is cruel. He lies, of course he doesn’t love her, but he knows that this is what Mini wants. This is Mini’s picture, not his, and her ideas about sex is that it should be about love and if it is, it’s okay. Nick took advantage of that, and guh Nick, you’re making it really hard to like you. But I am intrigued.
Sophy says: See I have so much trouble with this. I simply can’t decide whether it’s an act of cruelty and an act of mercy.
He gives her her lie.
It’s what she wants, isn’t it?
Sophy says: OH GOD. Her faces. I can’t. I just.
Rin says: This has to be one of the most upsetting consensual sex scenes that I’ve ever seen on TV.
Full props to both Freya and Sean for handling such a delicate scene with great maturity.
Sophy says: Absolutely. The points lorry will be painted black in honour.
Sophy says: Mini wakes up the next morning, deflowered and miserable. She looks at the inadequate note Nick has left her, then around his room which is just about as atmospheric as a panting Liv.
Rin says: The morning after hits hard, and everything is definitely not how Mini pictured things to go down. No matter how hard she’ll try to make herself believe otherwise.
Rin says: Oh god, you big dumb brute.
Sophy says: lol omg, Emily should open up a school, I swear.
‘The Emily Fitch school for gentlemen and gentle-ladies.’
Franky could be vice principal.
Sophy says: Walking home, just as she walked to school at the start of the episode, only with rather a different mood. “Love is simple,” Akron/Family tell us, “Don’t be afraid,” they tell us, “You’re already dead,” they tell us.
And even the wolf-whistles don’t work anymore – they’re old now, they’re ugly, they’re tainted… they’re just how Mini feels inside.
She pulls Nick’s rugby jacket tight around the dress that looked better on Liv.
Rin says: Seriously, why do seedy old men do that? It’s the worst. I guess it’s because they’re seedy old men.
I love that we don’t know that it’s Nick’s jacket just quite yet.
Sophy says: I can’t even cope with this, I just can’t. The idea that she’s picked the roses herself – or bought them, more likely. And now she’s just crumbling them away… it’s perfect disillusionment in an image – it’s He loves me not, no need for words.
Rin says: BEAUTIFUL. For all the lies she tells about herself, Mini was just a ‘little girl’ and her ideals have been crushed. So she heads to the park, reverting back to her childhood, trying to scrounge up the remains of everything that went wrong.
Sophy says: Yellow roses, on the ground. And please note that yellow roses represent love, but not the romantic kind. The platonic kind.
They represent friendship.
And it makes what Mini does next pretty damn interesting…
Sophy says: She takes her shoes off and steps on the roses on the bitumen. And oh god it is so poetic my heart caught in my throat. She’s stepping on it all – on He loves me not, on the falsehood of friendship, on all of her girly little childhood dreams.
She’s crushing the bridal bouquet. She’s walking on thorns.
Rin says: She uses her bare feet because she needs to feel it, the coldness of the ground as she presses the petals into it. Bruising and wilting them just as she now is.
Rin says: It shouldn’t be okay that Mini is basically what we’d normally consider a trashy blonde oompa loompa, and yet, still stunning.
Burn her at the stake.
Sophy says: WITCHCRAFT!!!!!!!
Sophy says: Yeah, um. Rin and I still haven’t decided which of these two shots we want to marry. We’re leaning towards the first, but you know, marriage is a forever kind of deal. We need to think hard about this.
Rin says: I’ve decided to marry the first one, loom-and-doom of forever be damned! I just can’t get past the movement that is felt in the first cap. The benefit of the second is that we see the flower in all of its glory, but we don’t get the feet or the swooping of the dress. So it’s the first cap. With its bare feet, the dress dropping to the ground, the shadows and shapes. It’s freaking stunning and one day I’m going to plagiarise the shit out of it.
Sophy says: Plagiarising Skins is Rophy’s main ambition in life
Sophy says: Mini leaves the playground behind, starts the long walk home, shoes in hand, train billowing behind her.
Rin says: Only on TV and Skins does overgrown vegetation look awesome.
And see, this is where it MAKES SENSE to be carrying your shoes. When they’re heels and you’ve been out all night, doing the walk of shame home. Not like Tea carrying her PERFECTLY COMFORTABLE shoes, after not even taking them off prior to walking home. I just. Why.
Sophy says: And when she gets to that street, that same one she walked so beautifully down earlier in the episode, there is her mum, barefoot and blonde before her, and it’s like looking in a mirror, if a mirror could smile for you.
Rin says: All throughout the episode Mini is surrounded by mirrors, the mirror ball, the gym, Rider’s bathroom, Liv helping her into her dress, the window reflection of the fashion show, her bedroom mirror as she put on all that stuff, yet this right here is the only mirror she can’t handle. The one she wishes she didn’t have to look into.
Sophy says: All Mini’s mother does is stand there and smile at her, gesture slightly to the road they’ll both be walking down, offer a faint ‘Come on’, as the refrain tells us everything that’s true and everything that’s not – love is simple.
The actress who plays Mini’s mum is wonderful. She does so much here just with her face, it is really fabulous and moving.
Rin says: She made me think of Morwenna Banks (Anthea) because she plays a character you absolutely wish was better, yet there’s a sympathy and sadness that prevents you from completely writing them off.
Sophy says: And hey, so does Freya. I’ve said it before, I think – I certainly have to Rin… but I’ll say it again. The girl has a big future in acting if she wants it.
Rin says: She should definitely pursue it if she wants to.
And this moment. The hesitation. Holding our breath to see what she does — she could have chosen to not follow her mother, but then where the hell would she go? And would it really ever change things now that the damage is done?
Sophy says: Oh Mini. OH MINI. YOU ARE NOT RUINED. YOU ARE NOT.
Sophy says: Mini lets her mother get ahead of her, and stands for a moment, stiff, unsure, unable to quite face up to the footsteps she’s following in. Finally she turns and starts down the road, and oh god this final image. One of the most stunning final images of a Skins episode, which means any episode of anything.
Her dress is pink, which is childhood and glamour and sex too. But it has a train like a bridal veil – like the bridal dress that was actually Liv’s. She walks, all grown up, bouquet crushed, gift given and who was he to get it, her shoes in her hand, her dress billowing, Nick’s number on her back. She follows her mother down the aisle to a dead end as the music fades out to the sound of, wait for it, organ chords.
And I just… wow. I mean, really, who didn’t give this a big old Cassie Wow when they first saw this?
Rin says: After seeing her walk down this street the first time I thought there couldn’t possibly be anything better than that in this episode. Oh how wrong I was.
Skins is renowned for its ability to capture some really spectacular shots, and sometimes that’s all it is. A really gorgeous shot.
This is not one of those moments. This is far and beyond one of those moments. It’s everything you want from a TV show or a film. It was everything coming to a head and everything coming together, visually, conceptually, musically. It’s really spectacular to see, because it’s very rare that TV is ever this good. It just feels like a treat, and we didn’t even have to pay.
Sophy says: FREE TREATS. Thank you, Skins.
Sophy says: CONGRATULATIONS YOU TWO. IT’S OFFICIALLY THREE FOR THREE FOR GEN 3.
This episode was another triumph. All my attempts to nitpick and wound-poke were in vain.
Some things I loved about Mini:
– The continuity and parallels. Continuity and parallels are me-nip. Really.
– The fact that the whiteboard is still with us. I can’t get over how beautifully this gen is being put together, both in terms of the gentle grouping of the characters and in terms of the deliciously obsessive retracing of thematic steps. This episode is all about who Mini is and who she wants to be. It’s about the lies we tell about ourselves even to ourselves, and the choices we make that define us.
– Those Skins glory shots. I mean Christ.
Rin says: Gosh, I could not appreciate you two ladies more than right now. Miss Lester for first giving us Katie and now this?! And Miss Langdale for Emily, Cook, Rich and now this?! It’s almost too much.
I say almost because if you want to keep giving us such brilliant episodes, what kind of monsters would we be if we refused?
I am going to chuck my final thoughts on Mini here. I really loved this episode and it met the bar the previous two episodes had set so highly. This isn’t something Skins has dealt with in such close proximity in the past, a girl losing her virginity. The closest we got was probably Pandora, but even then she definitely had no hesitations on the matter. She was very gung ho. And I know I’m going to get hounded if I don’t mention her, Emily Fitch. I do believe Emily’s first was Naomi, but they were very much in love and if Emily had any reservations they were more to do with Naomi than herself. She had a box of fannies ffs.
ANYWAY. I thought this story was incredibly beautiful in its devastating honesty. I felt like we were given an insightful look into Mini and what drove her to do the things that she does. So much of her is about image and control, who she wants to be, see’s herself to be and who she really is. I felt for her throughout the entire episode, and I still don’t think of her as malicious or mean-spirited. (That may slightly change..) Maybe that has something more to do with me and how I feel like most people are ultimately good, but there have been enough moments from 1-3 that show Mini to not be as ruthless as she appears. And that’s the Mini I’m kind of in love with at the moment. That’s the one I want to see at the end of the sixth series. And I’m really excited to see how her journey will pan out.
There were a few moments in this episode that really stand out to me, and will continue to whenever I think of Skins and its brilliance. Mini in her room trying to practice positions, Mini/Franky and the ending. They’ll flash in my mind together with Cassie and benches, Tony carrying Effy, Tony getting hit by a bus, wild world, Chris dying and Cassie running, biting the apple, give me a fucking…, the lake, a catflap, a loveball, a rooftop, Cook confessing, Fitches and pizza, a sofa kiss, welcome to Bristol, ballet, and now these. And they’re just the ones off the top of my head. Skins has everything stacked against it when you compare it to most other shows, younger cast, younger writers, less episodes and a lack of respect from the general public because it’s categorised as a teen show. And I don’t know why this has suddenly turned into a love letter about Skins, and less about Mini, it’s just that there has been an insane amount of negativity from the Skins fandom as of late that I felt like I needed to say something. I guess just thinking about all the amazing stories it has given us makes me upset that the focus has completely shifted from love to hate.
I don’t even know what I’m on about any more. It’s a television show that people make for us. I think that’s just the thing to remember next time, before you go saying you want to punch Bryan Elsley or JB in the face.
Sophy says: Now you’re making me want to go back and check that we never actually said we wanted to punch Jamie in the face back in the days of 407…
CRIME OF PASSION.
So. I completely agree with Rin on this one. There is nothing wrong with criticizing a show you love, god knows judging like a bastard is basically my number one hobby… but show a little love too! I can understand if some people still don’t feel connected to this gen the way they did to gen 2, but I’d implore everybody to try to love it, rather than try not to.
(Please don’t tell me I’m not trying to love Skins US. My heart is actually damaged from straining, okay?)
For my part, I, like Rin, have already added at least 5 moments to the instant recall Skins vault from these 3 episodes alone. So I’m happy. I’m more than happy. When the show you love is delivering on this level, it’s wonderful to just sit back and bask.
It’s been said that we have our heads up gen 3’s arse. Well, actually, that’s a load of, well… shit? The fact is that we genuinely think these episodes are of an extremely high quality, and I’d say our willingness to say otherwise in the past proves that this has nothing to do with sucking or licking or sticking of any kind.
We have an opinion. We’re sharing it. End of.
And okay, fine, whatever. If we’re up gen 3’s arse, then let me tell you, it’s the best damn arse we’ve ever been up.
Rin says: So safe. So warm.
Rin says: LIV!!!! I am seriously loving this arc that they’re taking us on.
Mini has got a massive bag of weed, and she’s presenting it to the rest of the gang. What on earth?!
Sophy says: There’s something so mismatched about Mini and weed. From what we saw in this episode I very much doubt she does much in the way of partying – control freaks never want to lose it, however much fun it may be.
Rin says: OMFG FRANKY AND HER RED TUX.
OMFG OMFG! RICH/GRACE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And see kids, this is an example of when you can where a polka dot dress.
Sophy says: I LOVE GRACIE’S DRESS. AND HER TIGHTS. AND RICH’S HANDS ON HER KNEE. I CAN’T.
LOOKING SHARP, FRANKS!!!!!!
Rin says: I spy Matty to the left of the screen.
Liv is telling Mini how they don’t tell each other secrets, and I’m thinking that this is their Keffy moment by the lake.
Sophy says: So Keffy. Although Kini is the new thing, Rin, okay?
Rin says: HM PRISON. Who’s in prison Liv, who?!
Rin says: This is totally how I thought things were going to end.
Sophy says: As of this moment, it’s how it did end.