Alo — Part 2

“In those clouds. Look, there’s Kanye West and there’s the pig.”
“Oh! Poor pig.”

Sophy says: I cannot even deal with how beautiful they are in that first cap. I love that it’s chaotic in the sense of ripping the insides out of the house, but it also has this strange, suspended kind of peace to it. It’s basically youth in a screencap.

Rin says: I love the couch being outside, as they rest from their epic farm battle. And it’s the same couch they’re sitting on later, so at least they brought it back indoors too! :) They’re not that reckless.

Sophy says: They put things away after they use them :X My mum would love them :X

I also absolutely love that Matty asks if it’s okay for Nick to come over. Trying to work his awkward baby brother into the group :(( So much love :((

And Alo’s fine with Nick coming, as long as he doesn’t make then “run drills”. In fact, he wants the gang to call everyone they know. That’s right, he’s taking this rebellion up a notch.

Sophy says: Oh hi Nick. How’s the depravity?


Rin says: I like how they’re still all floury <3

Sophy says: This part. Oh my god. When he’s trying to recount to nobody in particular the story of his great revolt, and he winds up just saying “Muuuuuuuuum!” over and over again. I was giggling like a maniac.


Grace cannot either.

Rin says: I guess there are some relationships you just can’t break up.

Sophy says: You guys, Mini McGuinness has arrived! WHERE IS THE RED CARPET? WHERE IS THE CHAMPAGNE TOAST??????

Mmmm champagne toast. I might experiment in the kitchen later.

Rin says: Her outfit right now is the best ever. And Mini can wear a braid any time she likes. :)

Sophy says: Do you know what I love so, so much about her outfit? How incredibly ‘tactile textures’ it is. In my mind she has dressed this way on purpose; it’s like a subtle physical apology for dissing Franky’s epic work for the fashion show, and a way of saying, the moment she walks in the door: I’m embracing what you stand for. I’m embracing you.

Rin says: My palm. It is on my face.

Sophy says: Omg I’m starting to ship Nick/Blandy. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME.

Sophy says: Mini spots Nick who is off carousing with quite possibly the most random woman he could possibly be carousing with. Okay except for that sex mum in the last ep.

Freya gives us the most beautiful wistful look and I’m all oh, Mini, you don’t need this sweet-bleak nostalgia anymore, and then I remember that she’s just going to swap that aching for the giddy sort and oh oh.

Rin says: Those dreads, I just. Don’t.

And are those pink expandy ear things? D:

Talk about downgrading.

Sophy says: Thankfully she runs straight into Mr Sunshine and Lollipops! And just look at her face! I think it pretty much proves my theory: instant happiness, just add Alo.

“Minerva McGuinness!” Alo exclaims, because he has convinced himself somewhere along the line that that’s her full name, and I’m all lololol *waits for cat* and she’s all “What the fuck, farm boy,” and my heart swells, because am I right in thinking that’s the first time she’s called him that?

The first… and not the last. :(((((((((

Rin says: Farm boy is an adorable nick name for him, I mean, coming from Mini I’d pretty much accept any nickname. Including cow shit and bull shit <3

Sophy says: Alo/Robot forever? And ever? Can he please serenade the robot with that witch’s hat? Please?

Rin says: Alo’s dance moves are pretty amazing.

And I like the small detail of Liv/Matty being the DJ’s for the party.

Sophy says: I just have to get something out of the way: I love the way Rich and Grace are curled up on the sofa together, just like they were at Liv’s place. It’s just so outrageously… teenage.

Okay, so that’s done.

And now.



“Hi babes.”


Rin and I almost had a meltdown when we first caught that opening gambit, and afterwards we struggled so hard not to get our glorious gaytastic Minky hopes up about it. IN VAIN WE HAVE STRUGGLED, IT WILL NOT DO.




Rin says: So. I. Um.

I love how she plops herself down right next to Franky, completely ignores Grace/Rich, and calls Franky ‘babes’. They haven’t even had a lot of interaction in the past couple of eps, but ever since Franky stumbled into school on that first day, Mini has had an interest in her. Sure it started out as her trying to ruin Franky’s life, but what’s important is that it ended with her trying to get into her pants. And that my friends, is the circle of life.

Sophy says: I love the way Mini goes straight to “Who’s your crusty boyfriend?” Like, she can barely get out a “Hey babes” and a crack about not touching anything and BAM, she’s in jealous girlfriend territory.

Rin says: HAHA ‘CRUSTY’ ..HAHAHA. That’s totally the best adjective for that guy. Seriously.

LOOK AT HER FACE. She’s just about ready to shank the guy.

Rin says: Oh Mindow, Mindow, Mindow. You poor lost little puppy.

Sophy says: Seriously. Spot on.

Sophy says: Franky is all “Fuck off, he’s Matty’s mate or something,” and Mini laughs, because right – Matty’s friend.

“We wouldn’t want Matty getting jealous, would we?”

Remarkably perceptive, Miss McGuinness. It’s almost as if you have a trapdoor under your bed that leads down to a secret chamber with photographs and flowcharts on the walls and candles burning beneath a giant golden Franky-doll.

(Don’t be shy, Sophia would approve.)

Anyway, she tells Franky to “go for it,” because Liv would do it to her “in a heartbeat,” and okay Mini, that may have been your experience, but there were other factors at work in that whole mess. If you only knew how many heartbeats Liv had where she didn’t “go for it” with Nick, if you knew that when she caved it was all about you, maybe you’d be less quick to assume she’d do the same to Franky.

But nevermind. That’s really not what this is about. This is about goading Franky. It’s about pushing and pushing to get some kind of a reaction – a clue – a hint – anything that will tell whether these rapidly building feelings are the stupidest ones she’s ever had in her chest or not. And then it’s about the complete opposite of that too…

Rin says: Freya Mavor’s face is never the same in any cap. NEVER.

“You know what, Mini? I’m trying really fucking hard to show people that you’re not a complete bitch.”

Sophy says: This really is a classic case of ‘bitch bitch bitch – why don’t you love me? :(‘ Mini was so desperate to please, so desperate to be girlfriends in that innocuous way she’s been girlfriends with Liv and Grace, so desperate to find a way to never work out why watching this whole Matty/Franky thing is so much like watching someone walk the plank.

And it didn’t work – in fact, it backfired. Franky just chastises her and oh my gosh it’s the worst thing in the world.


Rin says: It’s the worst thing in the world? Cancer babies?

And the reaction Mini has to Franky’s jab is interesting, it’s interesting because of how it obviously cut to her core. A girl like Mini has surely heard worse things said about her, but then again those things were probably said by skanky bitches from school, not Franky. Franky’s the girl who was her little port, even after all the horrible things she did to her when they first met, so the fact that she gets pissed off at Mini is a huge thing. So huge that it kind of ends up being the start of Mini’s turnaround. To stop playing games and trying to manipulate people…so what does she do? Well.. more on that in a tick.

Sophy says: IT’S THE WORST THING IN THE WORLD TO MINI. I still think cancer babies win. Just so we’re clear.


Rin says: While Franky leaves to go dance with Matty and Liv, Mini is left on the couch to her own thoughts. Her own ‘what the hell just happened’ thoughts.

Sophy says: I love two things: I love how hard Franky is trying to be a good friend – to not let this thing she can’t help feeling with Matty come between her and Liv. I love how hard she’s trying to show Mini that they can all love each other – that that’s what friends are supposed to do.

And I love that Mini is so lost in that moment and then…


Rin says: This is so ‘come and dance’ that I can’t.

ablaze, bright, clinquant, coruscating, dazzling, effulgent, flashy, fulgent, gleaming, glittering, glossy, incandescent, intense, lambent, lucent, luminous, lustrous, radiant, refulgent, resplendent, scintillating, showy, sparkling, vivid



I just think it is genius that Mini goes right over and dances with Alo. It’s sort of like she wants to prove it, right here, righ tnow: she’s not a complete bitch, she can fit in, she can be fun, she can be someone Franky could make sweet love to be friends with.

And I love how completely stunned Alo looks for a second when she comes up to him. He’s like… what the hell? Are we about to have fun? You and me?

Well, I guess there was a pig in the sky earlier.

Rin says: Mini has to be the most attractive girl that has ever wanted to dance with Alo, hence the face. I bet his mouth is dry and his palms are sweaty.

Sophy says: OH MY GOSH, COULD THEY BE ANY CUTER? Personally I get no romantic tension from Malo, and never have, even prior to the finale and all the super gay gayness going on there. Having said that, I can see why some people ship it. They are adorable. It’s just that I see them more as being adorable friends than as a viable couple.

Rin says: Malo is adorable and lovely and their scene later is one of my favourites from the episode. But yeah, I never really saw them as a romantic ship, but I do ship them in that way where I want them to be the cutest friends in the entire world? They’re already halfway there.


Rin says: Aw, just imagine if there hadn’t been an error in communication. ALSO, FRANKY LOOKS SO PISSED OFF =)) IT’S HILARIOUS =))

Sophy says: I like how she’s pissed off, but simultaneously undressing Mini with her eyes. Well. Mini’s face. She’s undressing her face. Um.

Sophy says: Awkward grope-dance is awkward. I’m going to direct my gaze to the background of that second cap. Oh yes. Soph-scoping. All the way.


And my my my Sophy. Your scoping is top-notch!

Rin says: Such fucking douchery! It’s never okay for a guy to push a girl, let alone a girl half your size. I want to get my tiny fists all up in his face.

Sophy says: I’m picturing you just swinging your tiny fists over and over like a propellor on a helicopter. Or wait. LIKE A PROPELLOR ON ONE OF THOSE HATS. Yeah. :X

Sophy says: Nick getting all up in that groper’s face is the best of best things. Oh Nick.

Franky sitting alone like that picking up stones and throwing them down again like a four year old having a tantrum? It’s the other best thing. I love that she just sits down right outside the front door and commences pouting. It kind of reminds me of how I used to run away when I was a kid… to the backyard.

I’d put a banana, a jumper and some leggo in a backpack and flee to the lemon tree. 8-.

Rin says: I think she actually had her own sparky rock things, which make that sparky noise when you throw them. I don’t know how else to describe them, but I used to have something similar when I was younger.

Nick defending Franky is amazing and a follow-on from their scene in the previous episode. Franky showed Nick a spot of kindness by telling him he’s not all prick, and now he’s getting rid of the prick who was a douche to Franky. <3

And Sophy, of COURSE you packed a banana. We couldn’t be more star-crossed if we tried.

Sophy says: Actually I think we’re the opposite of star-crossed :-? We’re star-straight-lined :-? Like the world is just one big open highway straight to Rophy :-?


“I mean like… do you like boys or…? Cos no-one cares. Fuck, I could tell you some stories about Mini that’d surprise you.”


Stop trying to make me read the Skins novel, Liv. I see what you’re up to. But seriously, I’ll be just fine with my imagination. Just fine.

(Less reading, more TV. :-.)

I love how this scene sets up the Mindow, nudges the elephant in the room re: Franky’s sexuality, and shows us how much of this is wishful thinking on Liv’s part too. Mini’s seen the way Matty and Franky look at each other. Well I’d be willing to bet that Liv has too, and she doesn’t like it one little bit.

Rin says: Yes, this scene was so many things! They were finally addressing Franky’s sexuality and I like the way it was handled here. The complete non-answer is a perfect lead up to what she eventually says next episode. (WHICH I ALSO LOVED, LIKE FIERCE.)

And really, will any ‘stories’ about Mini really surprise us? I’d be more surprised if there weren’t stories.

Rin says: I love how TINY Franky looks here. All curled up on the floor, hiding out from it all.


Rin says: This is the cutest. It reminds me a little of the Fitch-twin scene in 404, where Katie reaches for Emily’s hand — forcing the other to allow themselves to be comforted.

Sophy says: THE CUTEST OF THE CUTE. And yet I also get this slightly uncomfortable feeling that it’s also about pushing the friendship angle in the hopes that Franky will think twice about getting all aflutter over Matty. Or it’s a pathetic attempt to get ahead in the gayest race? I don’t know.

“SHIT MY BALLS!!!!!!!!!!!”

Sophy says: Alo’s parents are back!

Rin says: Quick! Everybody behind the curtains!

“Attention, everyone, please! Can I have your attention? I just wanted to thank everyone for coming. My parents are back now and they are gonna be dicks.”

Sophy says: Alo gets up on a table and commences rallying the troops. His parents may be back, and they may be dicks, but this party is about sticking it to the man, right?

Rin says: He kind of looks like a maestro in that second cap, readying his orchestra.

Sophy says: See this is why I ship Alo/Liv. Look at her. LOOK AT HER.

They’re basically doing “I want you!” at each other. What? WHAT? Shut up, I don’t care, go away. Alo/Liv. OTP.

Rin says: HAHAHA. I won’t say no to it happening.

Also I like how Nick still has his eyes on Mr Crusty. Daring him to push another small girl and see what happens.

Sophy says: Also, Alo.

Sophy says: Alo suggests they all get naked. Mini seems awfully pleased with the idea, which I guess makes sense seeing as she’s got Franky right behind her there. Seriously, look at her, she’s praising the lord. SHE’S GIVING THANKS FOR THE NAKED FRANKY SHE IS ABOUT TO RECEIVE.

Rin says: ahhaha, I’m surprised she’s not on her knees to be honest. I just hear her saying, ‘THIS IS THE BEST COMMUNION EVER!!!’

Sophy says: That extra looks really familiar. Maybe he’s just really British. That could be it.

Um, so anyway, then this happens…

Sophy says: I love the way everyone’s cheering him on about sticking it to the man, and the second someone says his dad has a few measley old guns? Stampeding out the door. Poor little Alo, so bereft! I can’t believe even his friends bailed. I see you, Gracie, bolting in your horsey-pants.

Rin says: So what if his dad has a gun =)) He’s not going to murder you =)) =)) Calm down! No need for the Lion King stampede.

Poor Will. I can’t imagine it being that flattering having to walk around in those orange long johns all day.

Sophy says: HAHA! Look at the way he’s waving. Will Merrick is tremendous with the dead-pan physical comedy, so much so that he can even make me laugh out loud in cap-form.

Rin says: And he still has his little bone necklace. Skins wardrobe department = best wardrobe department ever. THEY SHOULD WIN AWARDS. Like how every other department of Skins should.

Sophy says: That first cap is kind of hilarious. It looks like he’s suspended in mid-air.

Rin says: How Jesus of him.

Sophy says: Alo smartarses that he didn’t leave the farm, and daddy is not impressed. And okay can I just say that Mr Alo’s ‘not impressed’ face is one of the most glorious things I’ve ever seen? Honestly, if Rophy ever interviewed him Rin wouldn’t even need to draw a cartoon. We’d just use that first cap, right there. 8-.

Alo goads his dad – “Come on then dad, let’s have it, shall we?” He teases that he should tell him exactly what his mum thinks, and when said mum tries to defuse the situation, he just snarks harder – “Oh, sorry, Mum. Does he need your permission first?”

Rin says: This outburst is amazing, and it feels very authentic for a teenager and all the angst that brews in those years.

Sophy says: And then it gets really horrible. Alo gets all up in his dad’s face with a contemptuous “Look at you,” follows it up with a tirade about being “ball-less and miserable and fucking… old.” Then he shouts “What are you going to do?” and it’s the final straw. Just when you think his dad might be going to lunge at him, he collapses instead.

Rin says: Poor Mr Alo. Poor Alo. Poor Mrs Alo. Poor Alos all round.

Sophy says: Mrs Alo runs to her husband’s aid and Alo runs away. He’s sorry – instantly – the instant he works out what he might have done – but his mum wants him out of the way – she wants an ambulance and she wants Alo out of her sight.

Rin says: Is that what you see? I see..


Rin says: Priorities.

Sophy says: Poor Alo. Sometimes he thinks that chip is the only thing he has in the whole world. :(

“The old boy’s off conferencing for the weekend and Matty said we should party so I just thought, “Yeah, why not?” Just the kind of guy I am.”

Sophy says: Oh Nick. I am dying of adorable. And could this be the start of a beautiful Alo/Nick bromance? (YES IT COULD 8-. )

I can’t get over how much Nick has changed since, say, Mini’s episode. It’s truly as though he was exorcised in his episode and now his spirit is free and he’s just all dork all the time. It’s rather wonderful.

Rin says: He’s so much better for it, no more of that rugger bullshit nonsense, just all dork and good times from now on.

Sophy says: I love the way Franky just turns and smiles at him. I don’t quite know why but there’s something oddly mysterious and totally sweet about it.

Rin says: I found it a bit odd too that she didn’t say a ‘hi’ back or anything, just smiles. It made me think that she might be a little wassssttted.




Rin says: Or he’s wondering where his massive box of supplies has gone.


Also, I was rewatching, and I noticed that when Nick wanders off he’s singing to himself and what he is singing is “Aint no party like an after party!” And I just…


Sophy says: This scene is so interesting in the context of the finale. And even without that context, I pretty much gathered at the time, what with the close-ups and the clenched fists and the general spooky vibe of the whole thing, that this was not about Franky being a devious little creeper getting her rocks off.

I don’t think this is really about jealousy. I don’t think it’s really about Matty at all – at least not in any immediate sense. I think it’s about Franky and sex. There’s something about sex that terrifies her, every bit as much as it fascinates her, and when she’s watching the two of them going at it, completely unashamed and free, completely primal and at ease with their bodies… she knows what she’s up against. She knows what he’ll want from her if she lets herself want him.

It’s funny how Franky is every bit as dealthy afraid of sex as Mini was. More on this in series six, please writers?

Rin says: Yeah, a lot of this scene has to do with Franky comparing herself to Liv and also seeing Matty in action. Not to mention both Liv and Matty are her friends too and she’ definitely shouldn’t be watching.



Sophy says: She is tragic.

Sophy says: Matty catches sight of her and she’s all ‘Abort! Abort!’ and flees into the darkness, but not before Liv turns and gets a glimpse of her too.

And can I just say a huge bravo for the direction of this scene. It’s beautifully shot and so heavy with mood, and also, wait a minute Matty/Liv, I know you’re liberated and all, but you can’t close the fucking door???

Rin says: Psch, I’m surprised there wasn’t a neon sign flashing ‘VACANCIES’ outside the door.


Rin says: Fucking JJ. Still ruining lives. Years later.

Sophy says: Well at least in Rophyland the horror of the experience stopped her going through with it and we got JJ/Keiko instead which is so much more appropriate.

(If Effy was behind the dissemination of the hetero porn there… backfire.)

Sophy says: FFFFFFFFFFFFFF HERE IT COMES. The scene of the episode for me.

I love so much of this. I love that Mini is sitting quietly on her own in the dark. I love that Alo comes in and sits down and is composed, just for a moment. And then he starts to cry. Like a little boy. And my heart breaks.

Rin says: Not my scene of the episode, but it’s definitely a very close second. The awkwardness of when Alo starts to cry and Mini tries to ignore him for as long as humanly possible. Until finally she becomes the person Franky has been trying to convince everybody that she is…

“You okay, farm boy?”
“I think I fucked up.”
“It’s only a bit of flour and eggs. I can’t say the place was a palace to begin with.”

Sophy says: I CAN’T. His face. And the lighting. And just. You okay farm boy. And It’s only a bit of flour and eggs. MY HEART. MY. FLIPPING. HEART.

Rin says: This is probably one of the things that I love about Mini, that she’s always going to be a bit bitchy. She’s turning leaves, but she’s not just going to become sunshine and puppydogs overnight, she’s still going to make fun of your house.

Sophy says: Somehow the fact that she’s not doing a complete 180 makes the kindness she does offer that much more sincere. <3

Sophy says: I love the way Mini kind of edges slowly closer to him, because she still feels like a fish out of water, she still feels like something that doesn’t fit right… but maybe he feels like he doesn’t fit either. And maybe if she’s very quiet and very careful, she can make a friend of him.

Rin says: SHE PUTS HER HAND ON HIS SHOULDER, and it feels like the first time she’s ever had to comfort somebody. It’s the right amount of awkwardness, but not pushed too far where it becomes almost comical. It’s Kelloggs Just Right. 8-.

“It’s just when did it all get so fucking hard?”
“Well… that’s what happens. But you adapt, don’t you? You look at what’s changed… and you find a way to own it.”

Sophy says: You find a way to own it. YOU FIND A WAY TO OWN IT. More on that when we get to the finale.

But gosh, this is so lovely. How Mini is so gentle, so tentative with her newfound wisdom. How she’s absolutely right and her careful words do help.

Rin says: That might be one of my favourite Mini quotes. It’s absolutely nail on the head, and she’s speaking from experience, but also I think it’s the first time she’s starting to realise just how much she’s changing and that she herself has to own it. I love that Mini and Alo are both growing in different ways, with very different circumstances, but it’s all kind of the same experience.

Freya’s delivery is of course flawless as always, but this is especially special.



Rin says: HEHE YES. I LOVE HOW WE’RE ALWAYS SAYING THE SAME THINGS <3 God, they’re fucking glorious.

Sophy says: Alo says he’ll just go see Rich, because at this point he still thinks that is his answer to everything, and he’s about to find out that it’s not, and this is all very difficult on my heart, Dan Lovett, okay?

I hate growing up. Even just watching it.

Rin says: Heheh the way he says he’s gonna go see Rich makes Rich out to be like the fucking Wizard of Oz.

Which I’m still not convinced that he’s not, btw.

“You’re actually all right. Aren’t you?”
“Yeah… I am all right…?”

Sophy says: This is the acting moment of the series for me, and surprise, surprise, it goes to Miss Freya Mavor. (Well okay, actually it’s a tie, but we’ll be getting to that in the next episode.)

Anyway.The way she delivers Yeah, I am alright, is so utterly magnificent that I had trouble punctuating it above. It’s halfway between a statement and a question, and oh she just trembles it into a smile, and his eyes are so puffy and holding such a heaviness, he’s so sad, so serious, and so on the other side of something, and so is she, isn’t she? And it’s half hurt and half hope and one of the most intimate and moving moments between two characters in the whole damn show that is Skins.

Rin says: AHHHHHHHHHHHH. SEE! THIS IS AN EXACT RESULT FROM FRANKY TELLING MINI OFF EARLIER. Like. Mini wants to be a better person, whether to show Franky or to prove her wrong, either way it’s because of Franky. And that is just, perfect. And see, the moment Mini stops being a complete bitch — dancing with Alo and just having fun, comforting Alo when there’s no one else.. she gets immediate recognition for it. AND JUST, HER LITTLE FACE WHEN SHE SAYS THAT SHE IS ALL RIGHT. Like she’s always wanted to believe that all along but somewhere along the way she lost sight of that. Ahhh, Malo. You lovely lovely thing.

And when she says, ‘I thought you were fucking off.’ MY HEART. IT’S SO CUTE I DIE. They just shared a really initimate moment, but Mini can’t leave it at that. She still has to be Mini. And it’s also like they’ve crossed over into friends territory and now they can have cute banter. a;eorhsemrgozpsirhnbfA:Lsrkh. <3

Sophy says: “I thought you were fucking off” is the CUTEST. It’s like… she’s so uncomfortable and insecure with what she’s just done that she wants him to just go away right now please, so that the moment can be over without having gone wrong? It’s gorgeous.

Sophy says: Alo shows up at Rich’s place, and quickly decides he’s too tired and desperate for throwing stones or ringing doorbells or any of that foolish nonsensery. He just yells RIIIIIICH! at the top of his poor, tired, desperate little lungs and it’s all very, well…

Rin says: FUCK =)) =))

Hehe well he threw one rock but then a second later went for the STELLLLAAAA cry. And you guys have phones, I’ve seen them. Matching phones.


Rin says: They could have been epic. :(

Sophy says: Effy would have fled the country in the face of such epic gay.

Sophy says: Rich gestures for Alo to come to the door, and when he opens it he looks like the cat that got the cream. Seriously, I’ve half a mine to put some ears and whiskers on him right now.

Rin says: HAHAHA HE’S SO HAPPY HE CAN’T CONTAIN HIMSELF. It’s so fucking sweet.

“Mate, I’m sorry, I know it’s late and your dad’ll go mental, but… remember when we were kids and we used to talk about just… just fucking it, running away and becoming roadies? Well… Has Hannah Montana died or something?”

Sophy says: If the look on Rich’s face wasn’t enough, Alo punctuates it with the Hannah Montana gag, and I can’t.

Also, Alo’s shaky little rant about running away together and becoming roadies breaks my heart. Because that’s the kind of thing you kid yourself you can just do when you’re young and scared and everything has gone to shit. And then you take a deep breath and realise how ridiculous you’re being and grow a whole inch in your heart and mind in that one moment.

(Unless you’re Cassie, in which case you just go to New York.)

Rin says: But who wouldn’t let Cassie get to New York. Screw visas. Just let her through god damnit.

It’s so right that he brings up a memory from when they were kids, ’cause that’s all Alo wants to be right now. A kid. When everything was so much easier and simpler and you didn’t have to think or feel. Nothing like he’s feeling anyway.

“Guess what I just did?”


Rin says: =))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))) CUTEST OTP EVER.

“With Grace?”
“Yes, of course with Grace.”

Sophy says: I cannot. The acting from both boys is just utterly perfect.

Rin says: Hehe I like the way he says, “Yes, of course with Grace!” Because he really does love her and it’s absurd to even think of another girl at this point. It’s really cute.

AND can I just say that I freaking adore how they’ve made up Alo to look ridiculously tired and sad and puffy eyed. It’s gorgeous.

“I keep thinking, you know, me and you. We’re growing up and it’s fucking awesome. This is it, mate. We’re fucking living… You all right?”

Sophy says: Absolutely spectacular writing. Rich’s giddy revelation is perfect and perfectly timed. It’s honestly the happiest we have ever seen him up to this point – the most complete open – the most completely alive. And I think it’s just about the hardest thing Alo’s ever had to cope with, because he’s so unusually and utterly angry with the world right now, and if he can’t count on Richard Hardbeck of all people to be angry too, then what is the world coming to?

Rich notices, just barely. It’s hard to notice these things when your head is full of rainbows and twittering bluebirds and candy mountains and even body-popping doesn’t seem so bad.

Rin says: Guh yes, the writing. How what Rich says is the complete opposite of what Alo was just saying. How Rich is the last person of the group we expected to think of growing up as awesome. And we’re so happy for Rich, but also incredibly sad for Alo.

“Yeah. Just chuffed for you.”

Rin says: I cried like a little baby at this point. This is the scene of the episode for me.

Sophy says: It’s. So. Sweet. I just can’t bear it. I’ve got to say, you’re really challenging me on calling the Malo scene best. I just don’t know anymore.

A lot of people talk of this episode being the funny one, which okay, it is funny and all… but it’s so much more than that. This episode is actually quite singularly raw. It is pure coming of age, and for a dino like me it really really hurts in that most beautiful of ways.

Also, for all his faults, can I just say that Alo is just a wonderful, wonderful person. HE’S JUST WONDERFUL. I MEAN. LOOK AT HIS FACE.


Rin says: This bit made me cry a lot because of how beautiful Alo is, in the way he unconditionally loves Rich and puts his happiness before his. This right here is why I love Skins. The friendships. It’s all I wanted from S5 and they delivered in a big way.

“Give her one for me, yeah?”
“Fuck off!”

Sophy says: Rich asks why Alo came to see him and Alo shrugs it off, lets his friend go with a quick parting joke. It’s a moment of enormous maturity for him, even if he himself doesn’t know it.

And I’d just like to take a moment to address the fact that Rich and Grace’s first time happens off screen. I know a lot of people were very disappointed by that, but honestly I thought it was kind of brilliant. The fact is that with a show like Skins the writers don’t have time to show you everything – you’re not going to get every kiss, every conversation, every set of sweaty palms, every morning after. You have to extrapolate, you have to read between the lines and imagine what you don’t get to see.

Or, you could be like me, and really really not imagine certain things, such as two adorable 16 year olds having sex for the first time. Um.

But I guess the point is that this episode was about Alo. It was his journey. Rich and Grace had a journey alongside that, but what matters is how it impacts Alo. That’s why having their big moment happen off-screen works so well. Alo is completely blind-sided by the revelation that it has happened. This huge thing that he and Rich have been teasing each other about from the start of the series has suddenly just happened while he was looking the other way. Quite without warning, his best friend is growing up. And actually, he is too.

Poor Alo. I’m sure he’d much rather grow up with sex than with dead cows and heart attacks. :(

Rin says: WILL YOU LOOK AT WILL’S FACE?! THAT SMILE, DOOR CLOSE, THEN BOOM. No wonder he’s being nominated for awards…although having said that, I think every single member of this cast should be nominated for awards too. All of them.

I really didn’t mind not seeing Rich/Grace’s first time either, for the reasons Sophy listed above. It works perfectly for the way this episode is constructed. But I understand why it might have ruffled some people’s feathers. I mean, if they didn’t show Naomily’s first time I’d still be sending them angry letters, filled with anthrax.

Sophy says: You still kind of want to send angry letters, just because they didn’t show Naomily’s 14th and 37th times.

Rin says: He’s kneeling down because RAGS IS STILL ALIVE AND WELL!!!! 8-.

Hopefully that was always the mother’s plan. To not actually send Rags away… but bluff it.

Otherwise that’s totally Mark Hammer-ish [-(

Sophy says: SO MARK HAMMER-ISH. [-X

Unfortunately I don’t think she was bluffing, so much as she got talked down from the edge.

On a purely aesthetic note, I really love that second cap of Alo. There’s just something about the light and the angle and the expression on his face. Lovely.

“Oh, Rags, I’ve missed you. Rags.”
“Your da’ wouldn’t let her do it, would he, boy?”

Sophy says: Dewi is at the hospital, rambling on about CAT scans and cats, and letting us all know that Mr Alo is a prince among men, because he was the one doing the bluffing earlier – he may be meek and bumbling and let his wife wear every pair of pants they own, but he would never let her take his son’s dog away.

Single. Tear.

Rin says: Creamy. Cheek.

Sophy says: So it turns out Alo’s dad has had a blood pressure issue for a good long while now, but hasn’t wanted to tell Alo so as not to stress him out with it. I’m not sure exactly what happened to him before, but it looked like a heart attack, so I’m just going to go with that.

Regardless, Alo is quite rocked by the news, and I think quite humbled and rather ashamed of what his behaviour has been. It’s a big moment.

Rin says: It was probably a mild heart attack, not too serious because he’s back home by tomorrow.

And if there was ever a wake up call, this is it.

Sophy says: Dewi says he knew Alo would come by – that’s why he waited. And it’s that kind of faith that can make all the difference for a kid. His mother has spent so much time doling out the negative reinforcement, making him feel useless and unworthy. In this little moment, Dewi recognizes the good in him, reassures him that there’s hope for him yet, and that he’ll always be “a Creevey man, boy”.

And hello whiteboard! This whole episode has been about what you want to be, what you need to be, how you balance the two. It’s been about being a boy and being a man. About being you, yes, but being the best possible version of you that you can be.

Rin says: This is the 3rd time that we’ve been given this shot and I love how it has been inserted throughout the episode as we go along with Alo’s progression.

“I’m gonna try, okay? I’m really gonna try to be better. But you need to try too. Sometimes you make me feel so fucking useless. But I’m gonna do it. I’m gonna grow up. If you want me, I’ll be on top field.”

Sophy says: OH ALO. What a simple and fine speech that was. And though for various reasons it was vastly less angry and more about compromise, it really was a great parallel to Nick standing up to his dad.

Rin says: I loved this fucking hard. This is about as manly as one can get. He’s owning his mistakes and saying he’s going to try, but also not letting his mum slip by because she’s been an asshole too. Both of them need to try to be able to make this work, and oh Alo. Oh Skins.

And this is big for Alo, because change isn’t just about feeling and accepting. The bigger part is saying and doing, and that’s exactly what Alo is going to do. And from the tone of his voice and the look in his eye, you know he’s going to follow through. He’s not going to stop being a kid altogether, but he’s definitely maturing.

Sophy says: Absolutely. What this episode got so right is that Alo may be a fuck-up, but he has all the ingredients in him that make a fucking awesome man. The important thing is that he believes that – that he owns it – and that’s what he’s doing in this moment.

Sophy says: Mrs Alo really does have the most marvelously expression face – and it’s a good thing too, because the script is quite thin on the ground in terms of the emotional resolution for that character. She doesn’t really get a moment, the way Alo does – the way Dewi does and Alo’s dad does. All she gets is silence and this look on her face that nobody but us sees. So it had to be good – and, thank goodness, it was.

Rin says: She was brilliant here. You see everything and it’s much like JJ’s mum in 307. Where we don’t need words, because their face says it all. Everything they’ve been through is right there in this moment. And it’s this face of utter regret and remorse that makes me believe the Alo’s are going to be just fine.

Sophy says: Alo kicks things off with a symbolic mission. He’s going to shift that damn rock, if it’s the last thing he does – though hopefully it will be the first.

He ties a rope around it, hooks it up to his tractor, but it’s not budging.

Rin says: And he’s using his birthday tractor! Which makes it all the better. And sure it’s all a little, ‘yes we knew he’d move the big rock’ but still. It fits and it’s not completely in your face and neat-little-package, plus it wasn’t like they spent a whole lot of time trying to be clever about it.

Sophy says: Yeah. And I do like the throaway set-up earlier – his dad insists that he won’t be able to move the rock, because it’s always been there – and it means ‘Things will always be this way.’ It means Alo will always be lazy, his dad will always be weak, his mum will always be hysterical. It means they can’t reshape themselves anymore than they can reshape the land… and what Alo’s telling us with his tractor and his rope is: Screw that. I can change and so can the people I love.

The metaphor may be obvious, but the episode gets away with it.

Sophy says: His dad shows up in his dressing gown, which omfg, and tells him to try alternating somethingorother – I’m a meek little girly girl, okay, I don’t pay attention to the car stuff.

Rin says: I think the fact that you called it car stuff tells us everything.


Sophy says: It’s pretty special. There’s also just something about the way he’s standing. Or maybe it’s just his body shape. I don’t know. IT’S JUST HILARIOUS AND BRILLIANT?

Rin says: It’s the farm gloves and farm boots matched with the pyjamas.


Rin says: I’m such a sucker for shots with a shallow depth of field. I mean, it’s just a rope around a rock, but it’s fucking glorious?

Sophy says: I love the way Rin looks at the above caps and sees the beauty in not the second one.

“Nice one, bey.”
“Nice one, Da’.”

Sophy says: Everyone, altogether, with feeling:


Rin says: Perfect ending. It’s just so father son and glowy and glimmery and perfect.

Rin says: It’s my understanding that Lovett was a competition winner and that’s how he first got involved with Skins. This is his first episode though, and can I just say, fucking impressive.

Sophy says: He should win every competition ever. Even the ones where you just have to pull a label off a pepsi bottle.

Also, if Skins were a stage play, I’d be giving Will Merrick a standing ovation. He carried this episode so beautifully, from start to finish, in the big moments and the little moments, the funny parts and the parts that bruised you to the bone. He got everything right.

Almost everything else was right too. The only things I’d take issue with are that business with peeing in the cup, and the comical masturbation scene, which isn’t really my cup of… yeah nevermind. Also, the curmudgeon in me isn’t quite on board with the whole ‘big rock’ thing. It was pretty in-your-face metaphorically, and if the rest of the episode hadn’t put stars in my eyes I might have been rolling them a bit at the end there.

But it did. Put stars. Because everything else was just… glorious fucking headfuck thing?

Rin says: It was just another stunningly gorgeous episode in a line of stunningly gorgeous episodes. This series, I can’t even.

And yes, it was aesthetically beautiful, and I feel the need to say it every time because I never want to take it for granted. We’re so incredibly lucky to have a show that takes its direction and cinematography as serious as the plot, and that they never feel the need to be fancy about it. A stunning shot is a stunning shot that doesn’t need to be played around with. Less is more, yadda yadda.

Sophy says: YES. They know when to push the pretty, sure, but they also know when to just let it speak for itself. But that’s just Skins, isn’t it, through and through. 8-.

Rin says: I .. I… :-.


Rin says: So many things about this episode. I’m scared I won’t be able to express them all.

Sophy says: I fear this episode. I fear it for the Rin/Too many Naomis place it will make my brain go to.

I expect to throw a book at a mirror whilst writing commentary. And do a lot of cartwheels, I don’t know.

Rin says: I’m always excited for new Skins eps, and the preview for this looked amazing as always. But we didn’t know. WE JUST DIDN’T KNOW!!!!!!!!


Rin says: Just like the house always wins, the bread always wins.

Sophy says: Always and forever.

18 Responses

  1. Shannon
    Shannon at · Reply



    A+ as usual, ladies. Loved this ep, love Alo, love Will…made my night!

    Sorry my grammar’s so bad…I can’t.


  2. Lily
    Lily at · Reply

    This episode was beyond lovely episode. It’s raw and it hurts and it’s just amazing. I love the subtlety of Skins compared to a lot of other shows, and how they weave so much emotion into such simple, perfect moments. Plus, Mini & Alo have been my favourites from the start, so there’s really no way I couldn’t have loved this episode! Malo are adorable.. I really want them to develop a Chris/Cassie type friendship.

    And, as always, amazing recap Rophy!

  3. Michelle
    Michelle at · Reply

    As I was reading the commentary on Alo starting his birthday tractor to pull that rock down, an engine started revving in the song I was listening to. <3 It scared the shit out of me.

  4. Jess
    Jess at · Reply

    Fishponds tavern is so close to my house. It never has burlesque dancers in haha.

    1. Lucinda
      Lucinda at · Reply

      Oh my god. I am so jealous of you!

  5. Natasha
    Natasha at · Reply

    Franky is throwing caps (at least that’s what we call them here in the UK). I think they’re on the step outside when she gets there.

  6. Sanji
    Sanji at · Reply

    My thoughts on Malo and Minky are the exact opposite of yours. I really can’t understand why anyone would ship Minky (romantically, I mean). They have amazing chemistry as friends, but that’s all I see. Malo on the other hand – I ship it more than anyone else this gen, even more than Grace and Rich. I really hope they’ll be a couple in series 6.

    This is my favourite episode of the series and one of my fav of all time. The rock metaphor was a bit too in-your-face for my tastes (considering that’s Lovett’s first episode though, he did a truly amazing job) but I’ll take it over a dead father any day.

    I was one of the people upset that we didn’t get to see Grace and Rich’s first time, but their romance has always been subtle and this was Alo’s episode, so I’m ok with it. It would have made a great Unseen though, and the same for Alo’s birthday party. I miss them so much :(

    1. Lily
      Lily at · Reply

      i agree! i love the minky friendship to bits..i think it has a lovely dynamic, but the idea of a mini/franky relationship doesn’t sit right with’d feel a bit too forced, i think. As for Malo..I’d like to see them in a relationship but i think ultimately it’d be a diataster for them lol

  7. kay
    kay at · Reply

    Is the actor who plays Alo’s dad also the man who sid/tony steal Chris’ coffin from? in series 2 and also the guy who comes and repossess the Fitch’s house? in series 4? Cause I swear they look the same.. saying that I havn’t gone through and checked but yeh????

  8. kay
    kay at · Reply

    #oh wait no i got that completely wrong just youtubed.. the episodes again

  9. Renee
    Renee at · Reply

    I found this episode to be quite devastating, honestly. Alo’s struggle is his lack of choice. Everything’s been laid out for him and he eventually just had to give in because he loves his family. It’s a real contrast to his friends, since no one’s forbidding them to be whoever that want to be.

    I find Mini and Alo to be quite an interesting dynamic. Their family issues are quite analogous so it made sense that it would be Mini to talk to Alo. I’m not sure if the show will go there romantically but what I do know is that I want to see more of this duo. I’d like to see Alo be there for Mini in s6.

  10. Riley
    Riley at · Reply

    I have “expanders.” Sophy doesn’t like me then. :(

    1. Sophy
      Sophy at · Reply

      LIES! That was Rin.

      Although I’m not particularly fond of them either, but each to their own!

  11. Kiki
    Kiki at · Reply

    I loved this episode. It was so heart-breaking and funny, all rolled into one. Excellent writing!

    I want Alo to become Mini’s best lesbro. To me, they don’t fit romantically, because Mini’s just I like Mini and Franky together because Franky calls Mini on her bullsh*t and makes Mini want to be a better person. Mini challenges Franky’s past and the prejudices it’s created against the so-called bulimic Barbie Dolls . Also, I like that you validate all of my feelings about what Mini and Franky are feeling re: each other. I hope they don’t mess them up next season, because they have so much potential to be so darn epic.

  12. Atlas
    Atlas at · Reply

    How did the Rinscope miss the fake fitch twins (looking at Prince William??) in the screencap above the “shit my balls!” line??? Admittedly “Katie” is looking a bit rough, but still…

  13. tapette
    tapette at · Reply

    Peeing in the sink is a Frank Harlow thing to do, it is never acceptable.

    I love how they recycled Naomi and Cook’s ‘you’re actually a nice person’ interaction with Alo and Mini and it didn’t feel stale.

  14. Brynn
    Brynn at · Reply

    “It’s funny how Franky is every bit as dealthy afraid of sex as Mini was. More on this in series six, please writers?”


  15. Gina
    Gina at · Reply

    Just reading those now! But, you guys keep teasing the recap of the finale, except I can’t see it in the menu at the top of this page. Does it actually exist? I’d love to read it!

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