Sophy says: I can’t deal with how gorgeous that first cap is. The colours. The black and white cross and the filmstrip of the rugby field behind him. It’s amazing.
Rin says: Yes, the way the field in the back is in focus??? Hng. Also how his black hair has a TEALE-Y tinge to it. See what I did tharrrr?
Sophy says: Heh. Um. But yes, Sean’s hair is fabulously light-reflecty. LIKE A DUCK’S FEATHERS. Or something.
Sophy says: The fact that the picture of his dad telling him winning is everything is centre and Mini is off to the side tells us a lot.
I love Sean’s expression in that cap, and honestly, it was quite a jolt to see right from the start that Nick was going to be a legitimately comedic character, after all the darkness he’s been caught up with in other people’s episodes.
Rin says: Yeah, I really didn’t expect Nick to be so amusing. It was a really nice, welcomed, surprise.
Rin says: I loved seeing Nick in action and seeing how he’s actually a really good leader/captain. And this scene is also why when Nick says later that he hates rugby, he doesn’t actually mean he hates RUGBY. More on that later.
I’m pretty fond of their purple/yellow jerseys too.
Sophy says: I love his positivity and supportiveness of his teammates in this little snippet. He’s not the dick jock by a longshot and he has this puppyish enthusiasm that makes it hard not to love him a bit already despite everything.
Rin says: Rider continues to be gross and disgusting, nothing new there.
I love that right from the start you can tell that Nick really looks up to Coach Pooter (I don’t even..), really admires and respects him and in a very genuine way. I think it was clever to put this strong, yet not hard, father-figure/role model in the episode to contrast against Nick’s actual father.
Sophy says: “Last one in the showers is a homo.” Lol, whatever kids, why don’t you just go join the Warblers already.
And yes, Rin, absolutely, the coach is what parenting is all about and makes such a great contrast to Daddy Levan. In some ways Nick’s very different relationships with these two father figures remind me of how Cassie got nowhere with her therapist or her parents then ultimately found exactly what she needs from Alan the Taxi Driver.
Coach Pooter gives a rousing speech about being a man who fights for what’s right, and how he fought with his countrymen and together they defeated the greatest injustice in the world – apartheid. And okey dokey coachie, I’m not sure a high school rugby match is really commensurate with the battle against racial segregation, but I hear you, whatever gets them going.
OR SO I THOUGHT. Then I started reading about South Africa and rugby and how apartheid was a pretty damn big deal in relation to the sport. It was only in 1994 with the first legit elections that anyone but whities were allowed on the national team which… wow. Kind of hard to understand that level of racist bullshit growing up in the time and place that I did. But having read about the situation I can really see how a South African rugger coach would see the defeat of racial discrimination as being inextricably bound up with his sport.
And then things get personal… at the end of his speech he says something deeply significant, something that will be at the heart of Nick’s journey in this episode, something that his own father does not understand:
“The fact is success in life is only as important as the people you share it with, hm? This is your family, this team. And if you can stand up for each other out on that pitch, you can do anything.”
Take out the rugby references and there you have it – everything the final scene is all about.
Rin says: I think Matt Damon was in a movie about that.
Sophy says: And that’s all that matters.
Rin says: It’s like she has a sixth sense.
And even with that, she still can’t win.
Sophy says: She’s a walking facepalm.
“Cos this is a team of winners. We’re not gonna allow ourselves to fail, cos failure’s a giant bitch with sharp claws. We’re gonna gang-rape failure. We’re gonna hold it down and we’re gonna…”
“Nick, I think you’ve taken that metaphor far enough, ja.”
Rin says: Lol okay Nick, going a bit too far now aren’t we? Gang rape is not exactly great material for an inspiring pep-talk. It is, however, great for showing us how out of touch Nick has become with himself in order to fill a role.
Sophy says: Oh my god, I laughed so hard. I can’t. I probably should have been a bit squicked by the whole rape metaphor after the very unpleasant sex scene in 503 but… I wasn’t. I was too busy LAUGHING SO HARD.
I think it’s Sean’s puppyish delivery – you look at his face and there’s just no way in the world there could be anything sinister about his enthusiasm for rape metaphors despite everything.
Rin says: A MAN’S MAN’S GUIDE TO BEING A MAN. Classic. I love that Matty’s even managed to get that far and how he had a constant expression of, ‘lol you’re not serious are you?’ whilst reading.
Sophy says: I think our next poll should be for best Skins book title. Because wow.
Sophy says: So clearly Nick must have spoken to his dad about Matty as requested, because it looks like he’s back in the fold – grudgingly.
Rin says: As Nick makes some kind of protein shake (I can only assume so because of the rugbyrugbyrugby), Mr Levan dumps a contract onto Matty that is a two-pager full of rules and regulations. He’s officially on probation.
Matty says he was thinking of getting a job and focusing on his music instead of attending college, and of course Mr Moustache is having none of that while he lives under his roof.
I’m quite interested to see where this ‘Matty is a musician’ will go, I assume it’ll be further explored in his own episode next series. (IF HE DOESN’T GET ONE I’LL BE VERY VERY CROSS.) I know Skins has released some of “Matty’s music” but I haven’t had the chance, or the real desire, to listen to them yet. That’ll probably change soon enough though as this Skins drought gets harder and harder and I’ll be scavenging the internet looking for a drink from anywhere.
Sophy says: hahaha! Poor Rin. She’ll be stumbling from oasis to oasis
I haven’t listened to Matty’s music either, because I guess I find it tough to really feel it as part of the character until we’ve seen it as part of the show – I mean properly, with his own episode and OH MY GOD I CAN’T BELIEVE I HAVE TO WAIT AT LEAST 10 MONTHS TO GET A MATTY EPISODE. /wrist.
I do love the fact that Matty doesn’t argue with the term “drug music” or with the fact that he’s not going to make money out of it. He’s a kid, not a prodigy – and he knows it – and he doesn’t care. I much prefer that to him thinking of himself as some tortured musical genius who’s going to change the world with the tinkling of the piano keys. They often do this with Matty – set up cliches and then quickly stamp them out. He has consistently been… not quite what I expected him to be.
Also I need to take a moment to bask in the brilliance of the phone conversation Daddy Levan is having at the start of this scene. He’s a life coach, see, and he’s bitching out one of his clients who’s threatening to kill himself because his wife left him. And oh my god. This part:
“Feel that pain in your chest, Warren. It’s not stress. It’s not cholesterol either. It’s breasts… budding where your pecs should be.”
“Oh, yes, Matthew, you’ve got a choice. You can stay here, obey my rules and behave. Or you can fuck off!”
Rin says: Nick senses the increased tension between his dad and his brother so he immediately tries to diffuse the situation with a ‘It sounds good to me! The Levan boys, back together. Cheers guys!’ and omg he’s so cute already and some of the dislike I was harbouring for him after 503 is already beginning to dissolve.
Mr Moustache tells Matty that with a can-do attitude he could be just like Nick and isn’t that just what every child wants to hear from their parent? Nick flashes a huge grin at Matty that would make Sophia beam with pride. Not that she’s ever not beaming really… well. Except for that time she died. But you know.
Sophy says: Seriously, my dislike started to dissolve from the first shot of him. This episode is really cheeky that way.
I love that Nick steps in and tries to pour smiles on the fire… there are ways in which his situation is quite similar to Liv’s – they’re both younger siblings caught up in the drama between an older sibling and a single parent… and the tawdry love triangle is the final straw for both of them… what sends them head-long into chaos and self-destruction.
But Nick is different from Liv. He’s younger, somehow.
Nick is the little brother who’s not yet ready to grow up and be his own person – and that’s what Matty’s been trying to do, and it’s why everything has gone to shit in their family – because there are rules in this house, not just about having girls in your room or not using sporting equipment to trash the place, but about the kind of man you’re allowed to be.
Matty can’t play by those rules – he won’t – but Nick’s still trying to pretend that he can – that they both can and will… and so right now he’s desperately trying to make everything okay, to pretend that none of this gets to him, that none of it is spelling disaster… he’s trying harder than ever to believe that he wants to be the man his father wants him to be.
And that’s why as fun as this scene is, I also found it profoundly sad.
Nick, in his home environment, has an extraordinary innocence to him that is quite at odds with the ‘I got supplies’ image we’ve seen up to now. And I guess the thing with this episode is that it’s all going to come together – in a kind of a crash, bang way. All the parts of who he is and who he’s trying to be and why… he’s going to smash things up, and when he begins torebuilds himself… he’ll start trying to be the person he wants himself to be.
Nick is his father’s son, the good brother, the team’s star, Mini McGuinness’ boyfriend, Liv’s fuck buddy, Rider’s best friend… and it’s all too much. And here’s where I think the apartheid metaphor kind of works again. Because Nick’s dad’s rules kind of force him to split himself in two – into the man he wants to be and the man he thinks he should be… this episode is all about the unification of Nick – ending the division of his true self, I guess. And the only way that can happen is through destruction – of himself and of the world around him… I guess in a way, this episode is Nick’s war – it’s his struggle to break through, no matter what the cost.
“Well we all need a role model, right?”
“Is that sarcasm?”
“Dad, chillax. Look at his face. It’s super sincere.”
Rin says: Ahahah Seb played his insincere sincere face perfectly.
Sophy says: I adore his insincere sincere face. Magic.
Rin says: HE MAKES NICK SIGN AS A WITNESS. Hahah I can’t. Perfect.
Sophy says: Totally perfect. I also love that in that little bit of the contract we can see there are rules about music in the house, of all things. Also totally perfect. Especially because he’s gonna be playing that music nice and loud in due course.
Sophy says: That first cap may possibly be one of the greatest things I have ever seen in my life.
Rin says: Roflll, he’s such a dork. And I must say, this recent golf motif is quite alright with me. It’s as inclusive as Asian Fanny Fun.
Sophy says: And that second cap is pretty fucking glorious too. As is Matty’s reaction shot.
Rin says: I approve.
Rin says: When Sophy and I were going through our routine cap-squee-fest she pointed out something that I will never be able to unsee. In that first cap Mr Levan has a really fucked up moustache. Now you can’t unsee it.
Sophy says: HE HAS A TUSK MOUSTACHE. IT’S AMAZING.
Anyway, Monsieur Tusks takes Nick aside after their little golf cabaret and tells him to just ignore it if Matty starts any of his “mind games”. He says he’s better than him, which… wow. Way to put a nice fine point on it, dad.
I like the way Nick nods and is all “phase that shit right out”, because on the one hand it has a rather hilarious double meaning in that I get the impression he’s totally trying to phase his dad’s crap out right then there, and on the other hand it indicates that they’ve had this conversation many times before… basically his father has been consistently brainwashing Nick with regard to Matty and trying to set up a good child/bad child dichotomy so as to keep Nick under his thumb. He’s probably been doing it ever since Matty started to rebel against him even in small ways, and has been filling Nick’s head with all that ‘he’s nuts, you’re better’ stuff for a long while now – which is why Nick has this weirdly schizophrenic attitude to his brother – one minute he’s a psycho, the next he’s misunderstood – it’s his dad’s reading and his reading in conflict.
Anyway Tusks hops off to play golf with the guy who wants to kill himself, because that’s what men who want to be men’s men do apparently.
Rin says: The way he poked his head in through the door asking if Matty’s, ‘got a minute.’ It’s so adorable. And he’s being so formal with him that oh my god this siblingness is so darn cute that I can already see it taking its place alongside a history of amazing Skins siblings.
Sophy says: I LOVE THEM SO MUCH. I love that they stick up for each other and protect each other and make each other better and stronger.
Nick says he’s psyched for his rugby game and asks if Matty’s going to come and Matty is all “Of course.” And oh gosh, it’s so sweet. And it’s made even sweeter by the fact that their dad is actually way less interested than Matty is in what Nick is up to. It’s about winning to him, see. It’s about his son being the best and knowing that to be a fact – it’s not about his son having fun or giving it his best go and being there to cheer him on.
Nick returns the favour by telling him that whatever’s happened in the past it doesn’t matter and they’re moving on from it – “We’ve had beefs, yeah, but… fuck that shit. You said sorry.That was all I needed.”
And hey, I’m pretty sure that’s not something he got out of his dad’s book. And I love it.
Sophy says: Matty happily accepts the offer of moving on and putting everything behind them, but… “What about Liv?”
He thinks they should discuss that little issue, but Nick is all bluster and bravado. He tells Matty with an adorable falseness that the Liv thing was “just a bit of fun”, that she was into him, but he was just “dealing with shit.”
And honestly, wow. Isn’t it just the opposite? Nick was so clearly genuinely into Liv in Mini’s episode – because she represents the side of him that wants to break free – to have fun – to just be. And as we’ll be informed by the lady herself later in the episode, it’s Liv who was just “dealing with shit.”
Matty may not have seen what we’ve seen of Nick’s affection for Liv, but he’s still not entirely convinced by his story. He presses, asking if Nick is sure and if it’s okay for him to be with Liv. Nick says it’s not only fine but “super fine”, that he and Mini are “better than ever.”
And then he adds the most wonderful follow up to that…
Oh Nick. Way to try not to say what you mean but wind up saying it anyway.
Rin says: It’s rather nice of Nick to put aside his own affections for Liv, to make Matty feel all that more welcomed and included. And yes parts of it is Nick trying to play off whatever feelings he thinks he has for Liv, but ultimately I like to view this as Nick trying to be a good brother.
Sophy says: Absolutely. Their goodness to each other is wonderfully reciprocal. “Compromise. Give. Take.” It’s kind of a joke in this scene, but on the whole it’s something these two are very good at. ♥
Sophy says: Once that’s all settled the doorbell rings and Matty is all nonchalant with “Cool. That’ll be her now.” Meaning Liv is coming over, which is in direct contravention of article three million and eleventy! Oh noes!
“Matty, the rules!” Nick objects adorably, and Matty offers the rather cheeky explanation that he didn’t know about the rules when he asked her to come over. After a brief scuffle Nick lets it go because of the compromising and giving and taking, and there again, he’s probably parroting his dad’s book, but I’m not sure his dad would approve of its application.
In fact I’m not sure he’d approve of it at all. Compromise is for girls! He probably just put some of that Dr Phil bollocks in there to get it past the publishers.
Rin says: What. But. You love Dr Phil?
Sophy says: Yes, but he still talks a lot of bollocks sometimes. I especially love it when he makes up words. Like when he says how you have to “consequate” your children.
Rin says: She keeps it in her back pocket. At all times.
Sophy says: AT ALL TIMES.
Sophy says: Lol. I can’t.
Rin says: This is what the shippers wallpapered their walls with.
Sophy says: So I’m sure it’s perfectly normal for horny teenage boys to get erections whilst listening to their brothers have sex with the girl they like but still… illegal.
Anyway, he tries to avoid JAIL by calling Mini about his boner. Romantic.
Rin says: DO NOT PASS GO, DO NOT COLLECT $200.
Sophy says: Oh god, I laughed so much at this. Just… the expression on his face and the flowers and chocolates. Plus it’s super pretty. THAT GREEN WALL IS SO HOT.
Rin says: lol, I just. The booty call of it all.
Sophy says: HAHAH I KNOW RIGHT. “Flowers, chocolates, oils.” I can’t.
Sophy says: Nick’s a champ
Rin says: That’s a good boy Nick, now just turn around and head on home okay?
Sophy says: I absolutely adored Freya’s bewildered face, followed by the ridiculously big smile as she reaches for the flowers.
Rin says: It’s also so funny how he’s at her bedroom door as if it was the front door. It just reiterates their youth, and it’s actually pretty cute, if we forgot about the whole Nick’s only there because he was horny from hearing Liv having sex with his brother thing.
Oh and just a small thing, the picture frame that had all of Mini’s friends photos? Yeah, it’s moved. You can see it sitting on top of her drawers now. I feel like Mini moved them because her friends aren’t wall-material any more after all the betrayal and abandonment and whatnot. Nick’s the only one who gets to be beside her bed now, and oh Mini. How backwards you have it all.
“Of course, I can’t eat the chocolates, but Mum… Oils?”
Sophy says: This tiny throwaway detail absolutely breaks my heart. Of course she can’t eat the chocolates – obviously.
I also love the way she looks up with that slightly worried look on her face at ‘Oils’? Because it’s not just about the first time for Mini… she was lying when she told Liv they were at it like rabbits and it was all golden… every time is a struggle for her and it’s wearing her down.
Rin says: I know I’m so sad about the chocolates. You can eat them Mini, you can!! It’s also just another sign that Nick and Mini aren’t right for each other. I mean.. not that he shouldn’t be buying her gifts but probably get her something that she wouldn’t feel bad about rejecting.
OILZ. AND STUFF.
Sophy says: Oils
And you’re so right – the generic and non-Mini nature of his gifts is one of those stark reminders of how not-in-love these two really are.
Sophy says: Still, when Nick says she’s “in for some Nick nuzzling,” she smiles, and kisses him and invites him in… because it’s what she’s supposed to do, isn’t it? This is what she’s supposed to want.
As much as I don’t think I could ever in a million years ship these two, I do love that last cap. So pretty. And they’re both smiling whilst kissing. They’re SMISSING. It’s nice.
Rin says: I love Mini’s face, and hair, and purple walls.
Rin says: HAHAHHAHA. His tongue, her face.
They’re both amazing in the following scene.
Sophy says: Seriously, both of these kids are so good at the funny stuff.
Sophy says: So Nick gives Mini a Really Bad Massage and their faces are priceless and let me tell you there is nothing worse than receiving a Really Bad Massage and being the kind of person who doesn’t want to just say so.
(I’m also the kind of person who won’t send food back under any circumstances. Like this one time I ordered Steak Tartare and got a lump of slightly frozen raw mince. I slowly repaired it to my napkin-lined handbag, smiled, paid up, and deposited it in a nearby rubbish bin. Yes really.)
Rin says: lolwut, are you serious?
SIIIIGH. This is why you need me. I’d send back all inadequate meals for you Just for you though.
Sophy says: Mini tells Nick that his ‘it’ is jabbing into her, and far from spoiling the mood it seems to have a Barry White effect, as Nick cheerfully tells her that “Yeah, he’s feeling left out.”
And on that cringeworthy note we head into an awkward sex-scene – because isn’t that what Mini and Nick do best?
Rin says: They’ll just never get their rhythm.
Wrong choice of words.
Sophy says: I don’t think there’s anything worse you can have to say whilst having sex with your boyfriend than “Not there.” Just. Really.
Rin says: I don’t even. Ouch?
AND THE WAY NICK IS LOOKING OFF TO THE SIDE, CONCENTRATING SO HARD.
Wrong choice of words.
Sophy says: Nick asks if she wants to go on top to solve their wrong hole problem ( ) and it’s so tragic and sort of sweet because he’s really bad at this emotionally and she’s really bad at this physically, but they’re trying, because they both think they need to win at being in love and having great sex but… it’s just not a go-er, is it?
“Quickly,” Nick says, “I’m trying,” Mini shoots back, and oh man that’s another really, really bad sex conversation right there.
Rin says: Oh dear.
She’s getting tennis elbow, you know?
Sophy says: I think this pretty much sums it up.
Rin says: AHAHAHA. So true. She’s so proud too.
Sophy says: So. Mission aborted. Nick and Mini head off to college talking about his big game and how there’ll be scouts there and how she can be his WAG.
Rin says: I’m kind of in love with Matty’s outfit here. Mini……..not so much. Seriously. Do people actually wear that shit to college cause..seriously.
Sophy says: Yeah the mesh is just… somehow it looks really wrong on Freya. I like Liv’s massive jumper.
I love the way Nick says he went to meet his favourite girl and adds an unnecessary “Mini” a hilarious beat too late.
Rin says: I love these two, I really really do.
The freckleship to end all freckleships.
Sophy says: Oh my freckleship
“Isn’t this great? Two brothers, two best mates. The awesome foursome in the perfect storm.”
“Didn’t everyone die in The Perfect Storm?”
“Details, mate. The point is, we’re wet… and… dangerous.”
Sophy says: HAHAHAH THIS DIALOGUE. I CAN’T. So much love.
I also adore the way Seb delivers the didn’t everyone die line.
Rin says: THE WAY NICK SAYS ‘DANGEROUS’ IS SO PERFECT. He’s such a dork omg. Nick, you couldn’t be dangerous if you tried.
Rin says: Nothing gets by the judges Mini. I’d listen to Liv.
Sophy says: She’s wise.
Rin says: lol god this is so embarrassing. NICK. Why do you do it
Sophy says: Oh. My. God. This whole part. I just. It’s a trainwreck and it’s marvelous.
Sophy says: “Jizzball, you big gay!” I CAN’T. And both Sean and the guy who plays Rider are completely REAL with it which just makes it a thousand times funnier.
Also, I think we can officially say that the boyband act in ep 1 doesn’t seem so out of place now.
AND I MEAN JUST. ALL OF THEIR FACES ARE PRICELESS. EVEN MINI, MATTY AND LIV’S LITTLE ONES IN THE BACKGROUND. PRICELESS.
AND LIKE. HOW I FEEL ABOUT THIS WHOLE PERFORMANCE IS BASICALLY LIKE. SOMETHING AKIN TO HOW THE WORLD FELT ABOUT THIS:
Rin says: DAVID BRENT WILL ALWAYS BE MY HERO. FOREVER AND EVER.
Nick’s face as he wipes his hands Best face ever.
I think I read somewhere that Sean and the guy who plays Rider had previously worked on a small film together, which I find rather cute.
Sophy says: awwww, want! I actually love Rider. I mean. In a love to be disgusted by way. But the guy who plays him is so good!
Sophy says: Nick turns back to his awesome foursome with an absolutely magically embarrassing “Love those guys!” and before they can decide whether to laugh or cry Daddy Levan shows up for the meeting with Blood.
Rin says: I think the second cap perfectly sums up the situation of Nick/Mini/Liv at the moment.
Sophy says: Aaaaand that leaves the girls alone. Mini sits down beside Liv, clearly in a mending mood – interesting that she’s already sad about their breakup, already sorry on some level for her part in it. Liv however is not having a bar of it, perhaps because her love life is great right now and she doesn’t feel as vulnerable and as lost as Mini does. Sad but true: human beings are selfish creatures, most easily bound together my mutual need.
Anyway before Mini can even say anything Liv tells her not to and promptly goes on her way.
Stop fighting Be more like the vhs tape
Sophy says: Oh Mini You’ll find your way back to each other!
Hey look, it’s Blood, and he’s being a hilarious prick! You wouldn’t read about it.
Rin says: BLOOD!! <333
“Matthew’s record is hardly unblemished. In fact, it is positively flecked with failure, disobedience and misdemeanour.”
Sophy says: FLECKED WITH FAILURE
It’s fucking poetry Alliterate Blood! Alliterate like the wind!!!!!
Rin says: I’m going to try my hardest to start using ‘flecked’ in my daily vocab.
Sophy says: So Blood has a good old whinge about it being well into the term and Matty being a shit student and having a history of drug abuse and violence. And this scene is so, so, so gorgeous, because it’s not Matty’s dad who advocates for him, it’s his brother. Nick is the one who makes all the parental noises about how they dropped those charges and that Matty is in the past and he’s just misunderstood and he won’t step out of line out of respect for him… All Mr Levan does is try on a little blackmail about taking Nick out of the school if Matty isn’t allowed into it – see apparently Nick is seriously good at this rugby stuff – good enough that it’s leverage.
Rin says: OUT OF RESPECT FOR HIM Omg so cute.
And the best part is that it’s probably very true.
Sophy says: The fact that’s it’s true is my absolute favourite part. And it’s one of those other ways in which Matty subverts my expectations. I held my breath when Nick said that, and for the rest of the episode, because I so expected Matty to resent the hint of authority in those words… but he didn’t. He took them exactly as well as they were meant and he stood by them and I just love that.
Sophy says: Dad’s threats, Nick’s cajoling and Matty’s fake smiles have done the trick! He’s in! Nick is very pleased and gives his bro two thumbs up which is so adorable I could cry.
Rin says: Nick and his thumbs <333
Actually he has very similar thumbs to me.. being all double-jointed and whatnot.
Sophy says: One of my thumbs is double-jointed but the other isn’t. I’m a freak. Take me on the road.
“Just you remember, every move you make, every step you take. I’ll be watching you.”
“Isn’t that the police?”
“It will be my boy if you fuck up.”
Rin says: Aaahahah the delivery from both parties was perfect. And oh my god, I love that song. <3
WHAT, IT’S COOL.
Sophy says: OH MY GOD I LAUGHED SO MUCH. This is one of those moments that could go so wrong or so right. And it went so right. And oh my god it was delicious.
I think it was made all the more brilliant by the fact that Daddy Levan still has his little headset thingy on.
HEY, HE AND TEA SHOULD START A CLUB. CROSSOVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
“High five, Mattattack, you’re in!”
“Fuck me, dude. I don’t know how you put up with this shit.”
“What do you mean, “put up”? I’ve got it all right here. It’s all right here in the Nickosaur’s mighty palm of destiny.”
Sophy says: I love this quote – how Nick is so oblivious to the unfair pressure he’s under – or pretending to be, it’s hard to tell where pretence and belief begin and end sometimes.
ALSO. JUST. Matty there are some slang phrases you should never use around your brother, okay?
ALSO ALSO. JUST JUST.
Rin says: Nickosaur/Sophysan forever.
Sophy says: Beauteous.
Rin says: The way Nick says ‘my gang’ oh my goddddddd. That and the ensuing scene just speaks all kinds of volumes about how little Nick knows about real friendship and also how much he craves it.
Sophy says: I almost died when he called them “the gang” just because that’s what I called them in the previous recap, but then I died even more because he called them “my gang” and it was so pathetic and adorable and sad and cringeworthy and sweet and JUST OH.
Rin says: Oh my god Gracie, Emily would be proud to have you following in her CHE footsteps. Look at her clapping after she wins!!
Sophy says: AHAHAH! I know right! And just the way she said “Shithead” so primly. Oh god, I adore her.
“Officer on deck. How’s the wriggle team?”
Rin says: Nick introduces Matty to everyone, and aw it’s so cute cause he’s the little brother. <3
Sophy says: haha I love that. And cos he’s littler too.
Rin says: Matty and Franky get it on with their usual eye-sex, and this is the first time they’ll actually be introduced to each other instead of just knowing each other as glorious fucking head fuck things.
Liv is taken aback as soon as it’s clear that they know each other.
Sophy says: I love the way Franky smiles at him. And I love the way he looks at her. I can practically feel both their hearts leaping with shock and anticipation in those few seconds.
Rin says: HER LITTLE SMILE YOU GUYS. Cutecutecute.
It’s unfortunate that Matty/Franky get so much hate, even after the finale because I thought their arc was just as good as anyone else’s.
Sophy says: I’m going to save my ranting on that score for our 508 recap. Watch out everybody, it’s going to be a Sophy says deluge.
I love how Rich always looks too big for his environment. Like. He’s like an enormous spider with denim legs.
Rin says: lolol spider with denim legs.
Rin says: When asked if it was hard to be homeless Matty makes a joke that once you get used to the taste, blowjobs aren’t that tough. And everybody laughs, but my own reaction is a bit closer to Gracies.
Oh Gracie, I’d run away with you if you asked.
Sophy says: I LOVE HOW ENTHUSIASTIC RICH IS ABOUT THE BLOWJOB JOKE. JUST.
Also Laya is so cute it hurts.
Sophy says: “That’s not true,” says Nick as everybody else laughs and it’s so fabulously nervous and silly and out-of-the-loop of him.
Rin says: Matty’s face after Nick is all awkward about it, <33 Like he can’t believe his brother is so lame.
Sophy says: Nick recovers from his moment of extreme lame, only to stumble straight into another one with “Isn’t this wicked? The Bloods and the Cripples together at last. You get me?”
Grace asks Rich what he’s on about and Rich explains the failure of Nick’s metaphor in the kind of matter-of-fact tone that is like acid. He’s a lot less sweet about it than Matty was with perfect storm, that’s for sure.
“Nick’s suggesting that we’re a bunch of cripples and that he and Mini are similar to a black, violent, LA street gang.”
Honestly, the delivery is perfect, as in perfectly deadpan and just a little bit dead cruel. Oh Rich, never change. (Or not too much!)
Rin says: Hahaha oh he’s such a try hard. But the absolutely best thing about this series is how everyone soon learns that you’re much more likely to be happier and feel accepted if you just be yourself, because you’re real friends will always love you for who you are. And that’s what they all learn from each other And it’s beautiful
Sophy says: MORE ON THAT LATER
Sophy says: haha Liv looks so smug. Mini looks so sad Nick senses that he’s just been dissed, whether he quite understands why or not, and he says he’d better go.
Rin says: I feel for Mini because her situation since her episode hasn’t really changed. She still feels like she’s lost her 2 best friends, and she’s never really connected with the others, apart from being really terrible to them previously. I guess she’s still paying her dues for that, but don’t worry minikins, you’ll be buddies with them soon enough.
Sophy says: Before Nick can slip away to lick his lame little wounds, Matty asks him if he’s coming out with them later. It’s a sweet gesture, but a bit of an unfortunate one, as it just highlights the fact that Nick’s gang to whom he has just introduced his brother, have already made plans with said brother that he, as self-proclaimed gang leader, is not even in on. Aw.
It doesn’t help that no one except Matty is exactly welcoming of him. COME ON MOTLEY CREW. YOU CAN DO BETTER THAN THIS.
Rin says: Oh if looks could kill. Nick takes note of Liv’s death stare and says he’ll probably have to give tonight a miss considering he has his BIG GAME tomorrow.
Unfortunately he kind of forgets about this later and turns up anyway.
Sophy says: Nick kisses Mini and leaves her alone and just about as lonely as he is.
Rin says: It is rather sad how they’re both so lost and confused, and can’t connect with each other over that. They’re both in similar situations, trying to do the ‘right’ thing, being with who they’re supposed to be, doing what they’re supposed to do.
Sophy says: I know right. I said earlier that Nick’s episode has a lot of parallels to Liv’s, but it turns out he also has a whole lot in common with Mini. Oh irony.
Rin says: I loooved this transition because you can feel the change Nick is going through in that short walk just to get himself into that ‘space’ where he has to be the rugger captain. He even pauses for a second outside the door before he bursts in all smiles and peppy.
Sophy says: JUST LIKE FRANKY IN EP 1 OMG.
And oh he is so sad. And I’ve just got to say how beautifully that whole gang scene there played on the joke in Liv’s ep about how Nick’s “having trouble making friends.”
Rin says: I love the camera movement and how Nick enters the lockers.
And they actually chest bump you guys. I can’t.
Sophy says: They are ridiculous. I love it.
Rin says: I think this was around the time when I started to see how handsome Nick is.
Sophy says: He’s beautiful! I never really thought much of his looks from still photos, which is not because he isn’t good looking it’s just… it’s always the way. Whether it’s characters or real people… they become prettier the more you get to know them and like what you find out.
Rin says: Rider starts running his mouth, about Matty and Liv. Two sore spots on Nick’s radar so he slams him against the wall, unable to let Rider and all of his shit slide any further.
And yayaya, I can see the cracks in Nick’s armour starting to form.
Sophy says: He used the phrase “sloppy seconds.” That has never and will never be okay. Also…
Sophy says: It’s disturbing enough that two separate minds came up with that line in fiction. Let alone in real life. Although I’m getting the feeling it must be like… an established expression. Which is EVEN MORE DISTURBING WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE WORLD.
Rin says: Rider/Bus OTP
Rin says: HAAHHAAH Rider with his two rude fingers up. Oh god, he’s such a fabulous douchebag.
Nick takes this training session as his chance to properly beat down Rider, so he picks him up and drives him to the ground. If I saw that on tv.. I mean. If I saw that in a real match I would be cheering and laughing.
Sophy says: I can’t look at the tubby kid without thinking of the truffle shuffle in Mini’s episode.
I wasn’t sure how I felt about this scene on first watch… and I’m still not. So let’s try and work it out right now via the means of recapping!
I mean, okay. It’s a big old cliche. Enough of a cliche that I recently watched the exact same thing on the Vampire Diaries, but see… when they did it on the Vampire Diaries I wanted to stab the main character? With something wooden so he’d go away forever?
I had no stabbing urges here, because it was well executed and entirely organic and had nothing to do with propping up a vomitty little miss perfect vampire hero.
I don’t know. I want to say that I wanted to see Nick have a less obvious way of getting his aggression out on Rider but then… in the context, would that really be believable? I guess the difficulty is that cliches are often cliches for a reason, and no matter how many times this has been done, it still makes sense – so much so that it’s almost unavoidable.
Rin says: After the game the coach is giving him a rub down, and now that I know nothing icky is going on between these two (WHAT? IT’S SKINS. CAN YOU REALLY BLAME ME?) I can appreciate them much more. He’s a really good coach and mentor and I’m really thankful Nick has at least one person in his life who can give him some guidance.
Sophy says: HAHAHAH I WAS SCARED TOO, RIN. So much more enjoyable on second viewing. I really love this scene, especially this line:
“I can read a body like a book, boy, and this is a depressing book about an anxious young man.”
And then this:
“You know what I think about those types of books?”
“They’re no good to me before a big game.”
OH COACH POOTER I can’t even express how great all the adults have been this series. In fact, that should be a poll too. Best gen 3 adult
And yeah, the rest of the scene is pretty interesting too. Coach Pooter sees the new addition of Matty in their midst and assumes Nick’s tension is about him – and in a way it is… but in a way it’s not. I think on many levels Coach is extremely sensitive and perceptive, but I also think that to me this episode is about how nobody truly knows you inside and out – not even you, yourself… but for Nick the closest he’s ever going to get is Matty, who has lived exactly what he has lived.
Sophy says: Oh my god I can’t even. Nick is the little match girl. THAT WAS HIS LAST MATCH
He does this so much better than Duncan and his pig-nose.
Rin says: Bloody Duncan and his pig-nose. Nowhere near as cute as yours Sophy.
BUT AWWWWWWWW NICK <333
Sophy says: That first cap is absolutely gorgeous.
Rin says: And so is the second.
Sophy says: YES, YES. ALL THINGS INVOLVING FREYA ARE GORGEOUS.
Rin says: After Nick does some really bad back-peddling about how he was about to call Mini, he heads inside. But not before Mini gets a look at what Nick was so upagainsttheglass for.
AND HER FACE
Sophy says: Her expression is perfect.
Rin says: May I please direct all of your attention to the amazingly cute Grace/Franky that’s going on.
They’re the best. Right? RIGHT?!?!?!!!
Sophy says: THEY ARE. CHAMPAGNE BOTTLES FOREVER.
Rin says: ONE IN EACH HAND, FOREVER :((((
Rin says: LOL JESUS. Nick’s face as Mini goes to sit on his lap. Just another hint that they’re really not right for each other. Especially considering that Nick has a penis.
As we join the others we find out that they’re all talking about potential love-interests for Alo, and I’m right there with them! Can’t wait to see if he’ll get anything in that area for next series.
Nick takes the calculative approach, asking what ‘the brief’ is, short-time lover, desperate fuck, the love of your life?
Sophy says: I love the cap of Alo. He looks so cuuuuute.
I also love that Nick is trying to pretend he knows oh so much about dating. Oh Nick.
And his speech is kind of similar to Chris’ on US Skins with the “You’ve got to set your aim on your prey, know their weaknesses, then… ah, hunt them down,” but it manages to come off as endearingly lame rather than nasty, because it knows when to stop. And because the delivery is in another league.