Rin says: omfgomfgomfgomfg.
Sophy says: My thoughts exactly.
Rin says: STARS! I love this song.
And oh my god, Gracie. You would have a room like this, wouldn’t you.
Sophy says: She probably tried not to have a room like this and it just didn’t work. Like, she went to Ikea and bought a bookcase and by the time she assembled it it had grown tassels
Meanwhile, I can’t with these kids. I don’t care how wrecked they were, it seems physically impossible to me that they could have slept the night through in that bed, knowing Grace’s parents could come in at any moment. Because I highly doubt Mr Blood lets his darling daughter have a lock on her door. Or maybe he’s like my mum: I had a lock… she had the key.
AND I WASN’T EVEN NAUGHTY.
Rin says: Rich/Gracie. <33
And also, their little clutched hands as they sleep. Adorable.
Sophy says: Clutching is always adorable. Unless you’re clutching at straws. Then it’s just sad and a bit embarrassing.
Here’s where Grace wakes up and remembers her dad exists…
Sophy says: AND THEN SHE REMEMBERED RIN EXISTS.
Rin says: Just in the nick of time.
Rin says: So apparently Rich and Gracie went out and got drunk last night and Rich ended up staying the night. Which is very much not okay with Gracie, because of her dad.
Which. Geez, you must have a really fussy dad.
Sophy says: Please. Your dad didn’t even like your Orlando Bloom posters sleeping the night in your room. Or me.
Rin says: I LOVE RICH CHECKING OUT HIS HAIR IN THE MIRROR.
Really nice touch, Alex. <3
Sophy says: A GUY’S GOTTA LOOK GOOD.
To be honest, Rich’s furtive vanity is one of my favourite things about him.
Rin says: Gracie’s reaction to kissing Rich must have something to do with the fact that he hasn’t brushed his teeth yet.
And I love that they were rushing really quickly, and yet Grace had time to do her hair in a double plait.
Sophy says: I absolutely love that detail. I don’t care how in love you are, morning breath is gross – especially if you’ve been on the sauce the night before. I love this about Grace: as whimsical as she is, she is not a manic pixie dream girl. There’s an equally flat, practical side to her that I think makes her more relateable and more adorable than if she was just ‘la la la googly eyes, pixie dust’ all the time.
Rin says: The front door is locked!
Which. Okay. In what house can you not get out the front door because it’s locked? Why isn’t the key right there?!
But okay. They have to go out through the back, and…
Sophy says: Not gonna lie, I kind of expected Foster to turn out to be her dad when that front door was locked.
GRACE’S DAD IS PROFESSOR BLOOD?
I’m pretty sure I laughed and laughed and laughed and put my head in my hands.
Rich did not.
Sophy says: On the one hand I was completely shocked, on the other hand, I didn’t have time to be shocked because he and his wife were walking on sunshine all around the kitchen and Rich’s face was all stoically appalled and I was all laughing and laughing.
Rin says: OMFG WALKING ON SUNSHINE
Mr and Mrs Grace are dancing ADORABLY in the kitchen whilst making breakfast, and Rich is somehow expected to make it out the back door unseen.
It requires a lot of ‘lol right, yeah. They totally can’t see him. ‘
Sophy says: You know, I think the reason it works for me, is that it’s not just Grace who seems made up. Mr and Mrs Blood are even more made up than her. They’re a completely surreal family, and so it kind of makes sense that this is a disbelief suspension zone.
Rin says: He scoots from one bench to the other…
Sophy says: He really, really does scoot…
Rin says: I don’t even know. It was a stupid idea to begin with, and is even stupider as a macro.
But I love it?
Sophy says: Yeah, I don’t know if he was trying to pull a Naomi sidle here? Whilst crouching? Or he thinks he’s a teenage mutant ninja turtle?
“Alright, princess? You look a bit peaky!”
“Actually, I’m not feeling too great. Maybe I’m sick… or something? Dad, why don’t you come over here and feel my head too.”
Rin says: I almost died with the way Blood held out his hand to come check Gracie’s forehead. IT’S JUST. Wow.
S5 Blood >>>>>>>>>>>>>> S4 Blood.
Sophy says: I SWALLOWED ALL THE AIR WITHIN HALF A METRE OF ME. JUST. THE WAY HE CHARGED FORTH WITH HIS HAND HELD OUT. ABSOLUTELY MAGICAL.
Blood has just been an absolute delight this season.
And can we get a gold star for the fake, stilted way Grace delivers her lines about being sick? Amazing.
I love that the parents are worried about whether she’s getting enough iron in her diet when really she’s been on the turps. It seems completely ridiculous on the one hand, but on the other hand… I’ve seen this level of denial in the real world. In fact, I’ve seen worse than this level of denial. So.
Rin says: That second cap. Cannot.
I also like how apart from being funny, it also gives us a little insight into Gracie’s home life. She clearly can’t be that unwell if she’s dressed and ready for school, and yet they clamber over her as if she could be coming down with the black plague.
Sophy says: HAHAH yes. Overreaction much? It also gives us an insight into the ways Grace manipulates her parents by tapping into that freakishly overprotective ‘Our perfect and only child’ vein. And you know, that’s another way in which Grace defies the manic pixie stereotype. She’s actually awfully smart, and not just in the dreamy way where she reads Sartre and finds the hope in it. Grace is smart in the way where she’s smarter than everyone else around her, and not above using that to her advantage. She manipulates her parents because she can – and also because she feels such a responsibility to do so – to be everything they need her to be.
And look at that face? JUST LOOK AT THAT FACE?
Sophy says: Blood is still busy examining his daughter with disturbing and hilarious care when he hears the sound of teenage boy screaming. He looks up, out the window, and sees… an big gangly metalhead being mauled in his backyard.
Rin says: Ofc the dog gets Rich in the background. Ofcccc.
And idk, but Burke is a really cute name for a dog.
MRS GRACIE’S FACE. SHE IS TOTALLY CHANNELING MRS THOMAS AT THIS POINT.
Sophy says: So true. Anyone would think there were lesbians on the horizon.
Sophy says: Rich’s derpy faces are so priceless. And there’s just something so adorable about him being there all decked out in his leather with his angry hair, just trying to smile and be approved of, in a situation where it is completely impossible for him to be approved of, and would be even if he wasn’t the physical manifestation of their worst nightmare.
Rin says: The way the caps are placed, it kind of looks like Blood is a giant man.
And we all know how we feel about giants.
Rin says: MRS GRACIE
Sophy says: MRS GRACIE IS THE BEST. I DEMAND MORE MRS GRACIE IN S6.
Rich says he’d best be off now – “side gate unlocked – great” and rushes away. Mrs Grace is so clueless that she just shrugs and says he seems nice – absolutely no idea, apparently, that her daughter was naked in bed with him 10 minutes ago. Blood, however, is a little quicker on the uptake. He gives Grace a look, then goes inside, presumably to finish his morning dance before addressing the issue.
“It’s time you returned to Mayberry’s College for Young Ladies”
“No! You can’t send me back there! It’s in the middle of nowhere and everyone’s horrible and smells of horses!”
Rin says: ‘smells of horses’ is the best. THE BEST.
Sophy says: It was completely amazing. So amazing it should be on a tee-shirt, because I can see it right now, on a grey background in a bold red helvetica, with Grace standing forlornly beside in her little equestrian outfit from the last episode and I would buy two so I could wear it always and always be clean.
Why is the Skins merchandise team so useless? Why can’t they be more like Tegan and Sara in that regard? Why can’t everyone be more like Tegan and Sara in every way?
Rin says: I’m on it.
But also, the world would be a much better place if everyone was a little more like Tegan and Sara.
“But you don’t know Rich. Or my friends! And I get As for everything! EVERYTHING!”
Sophy says: You know, it’s funny, a lot of people complained about about this scene when the episode aired, saying it was the moment they identified Jessica Sula the weak link in the cast. Um. I couldn’t disagree more violently. I think Jessica’s acting in this scene is superlative. And it may be because I have a different take on the scene. I don’t think we’re supposed to be seeing this as a simple teenage bout of tears. I think we’re supposed to be gaining insight into her peculiarly layered personality. There are ways in which she’s sincere here, and ways in which she is calculating, and I’m not sure we’re really supposed to know what the balance is – because I’m not sure she really knows what the balance is. So I guess what I’m saying is that the amateur theatrics work as perfectly for me in this scene as Jessica’s slightly stilted delivery does in other scenes She’s not quite real, after all – not all of who she is – not all the time. Regardless of whether this is a conscious choice on Jessica’s part or a happy failing, I don’t think the character would work nearly as well as she does if she’d been played realistically.
Rin says: I adore her outburst, and especially her EVERYTHING! scream. So people who think Jessica is the weak link (which, WHY DOES THERE NEED TO BE A WEAK LINK? They’re all amazing kids.) can introduce their face into the wall next to them. Honestly.
I also love Blood’s reaction to her screaming. Something about it is just comical to me.
Sophy says: Anyway so after Grace’s little outburst, Blood is moved to cut a deal. He says that as long as she never ever gets an Asian F, she won’t be shipped off to the horse poo school. Grace agrees, because frankly, the idea that she could score anything less than an A+ is laughable to her.
MEANWHILE CAN WE LOOK AT HER FACE. HER GORGEOUS TEAR-STREAKED LITTLE FACE.
Rin says: Skins and their pretty criers. I bet they have a ‘Hall of Fame Criers’ or something similar on set.
Sophy says: Oh god, I can’t with that first cap. The way she wipes her little eyes before forging ahead… there’s something so lonely about Grace, in a way, which is a strange thought to have about someone so bubbly and bright and so popular and beloved, but there it is. This episode is very much about Grace’s loneliness – about a whole world inside her that is separate from everything and everyone – about all the ways she doesn’t fit in.
Rin says: She doesn’t fit in because she’s better than everyone else in that damn school.
Sophy says: Rich is still peeved about nearly getting mauled to death and Grace being Blood’s daughter. Moreso the latter for some unknown reason. Grace explains that her dad didn’t want people to know he had a daughter in college in case it “compromises his position”, which is why she never told him and why her name is Grace Violet.
Rich comes out with an utter piece of bullshit about how she just did what Blood said and she didn’t even tell him. Grace politely points out that he’s her dad and she didn’t have a choice. I would have given him the finger.
Rin says: I just realised that Grace is wearing some kind of overalls/apron concoction and it’s the best thing ever.
Sophy says: NAOMI, ARE YOU TAKING NOTES?
Sophy says: She sweetly tugs on his jacket and reminds him that they’re late for her rehearsal. And this just in guys, the play is Twelfth night and Rich is playing Aguecheek.
Rin says: GRACE/SHAKESPEARE. SHIPPING IT HARD.
Rin says: Grace and friends get to use the entire common room for their rehearsals, and apparently they’re going….swimmingly?
Sophy says: SWIMMINGLY, NOT DROWNINGLY.
“Give me my veil. COME! Throw it o’er my face.”
Rin says: Mini is the best fucking actor in the whole entire world. I don’t care what you say.
I want her in all my plays. Forever.
Sophy says: I firmly believe that the only reason Grace didn’t cast her in all the parts in a one woman production of Twelfth Night is because she was too amazing and may freak the audience out with her amazing.
Sophy says: Grace gets Mini to go sit down and moves onto Matty/Franky. Mini looks very sulky about this. (I’m sure fandom did also).
Rin says: Don’t worry fandom. You’re in for a rehearsal treat later on!
Well. Half of fandom.
Never generalise fandom. That way lies stones. Being thrown at your face.
Sophy says: Matty and Franky start their scene with a sweet little smile, and frankly, they have Grace instantly regretting the switch. Grace tells them to grow some chemistry, not realizing that the whole point is that they have all this chemistry and they’re kind of afraid to let it out.
Mini daydreams about how much better she is than everybody else in the background.
Rin says: Their shared little smiles are adorable. But who can get any quality work done around here when Liv is TEARING THEM A NEW ONE via the means of glare.
Rin says: And more glare.
Sophy says: To be honest I think Franky’s glaring more than Liv even is. What’s that about.
Sophy says: Matty and Franky try again, and this time they let everything they’re feeling for each other into the scene. They proceed to have the kind of cheek-grazing, eyes-rolling-back-in-the-head chemistry that left me with my head in my hands, most of fandom scrolling through the ‘Minky’ tag on tumblr, and Liv majorly pissed.
Rin says: His creepy eyes rolling in the back of his head is creepy and fantastic.
Sophy says: Liv instantly turns into one of those possessive, aggro, 8-pairs-of-pants-wearing girlfriends, and tells Grace she and Matty have decided they don’t want to do the play. Matty shrugs like a loser.
Meanwhile, out in the hall, Grace pleads with Liv to reconsider, because she really needs this play to work – or it’s horse poo for her. Of course she can’t tell Liv that – or doesn’t, anyway. Liv doesn’t seem to care much about her marks as it is.
She says she’s not feeling the love from any of them right now and she thinks they’re all “fucked off” at her for sleeping with Nick. Grace assures her that everybody is over it, and she suggests they have a girl’s night at her place to reconnect. “You’ll feel the love,” she says, “I promise. It’ll be magic.”
Rin says: I bet that’s around the time Mini popped into the picture and invited herself over, hearing ‘girl’s night’ and ‘feeling love’ and just assuming. Oh Mini. Tragic.
Sophy says: I love how he’s just sitting there accidentally threateningly reading the Mayberry’s prospectus when Grace comes in.
I also love how he says “Enter!”
Rin says: You know, I’m starting to think Blood’s plan isn’t all that bad…
Rin says: “…is that a gay school or just a school that appears gay?”
A gay school. Definitely a gay school.
Sophy says: THEY MAJOR IN GAY ALL DAY LONG.
Sophy says: Grace asks if she can have some friends over. Blood is predictably psycho about it, and starts going on about how “Education is war against idleness and chewing gum.”
Grace cuts up rough. “Dad, I want to have my friends around for tea and that’s that,” she huffs. She even wangles an invite to dinner for Rich and assures Blood that he’ll love him, and on the one hand Grace is all kinds of naively optimistic, okay, but on the other hand, she’s managing the situation like a pro.
Basically what she means is you’re going to love him. Or else I’m going to start screaming about the horses again.
Rin says: Oooh this Gracie has a bit more bite. I like it.
Sophy says: Blood reminds Grace that “in order to stay, we must get As” and I want to punch him in the face, because there’s nothing worse than people who use “we” when they mean “you”. It’s just the ultimate in condescending passive aggressive bullshit.
Grace heads back to rehearsal and we get a voiceover of one of her peptalks, in which she tells the gang and us that performing Shakespeare is “about catharsis – the outpouring of emotion you feel as the play finishes.”
Rin says: I do appreciate his ability to at least rhyme when he’s being condescending.
Also I love and adore and all things good and holy, love this scene with the voiceover. Skins rarely uses voiceovers, so it was a nice change of pace, especially when it’s used so well.
Sophy says: Yeah, it works here because it’s not disembodied, just displaced – as in we’re not crossing the line by getting inside Grace’s head – these are actually words she has spoken aloud.
Sophy says: She goes on to tell us that the most important thing about Shakespeare is that he knows more about you than you do, which is actually a really neat thought, and very true. I also think it’s interesting how we get all these closeups of Mini anxiously preparing for her scene with Franky as Grace is saying this. Gayly interesting.
Rin says: Oh my god, why are you making everything GAY?!??!!
Rin says: You would Mini. You would.
Sophy says: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHHA OH MY GOD. THE FRANKY GOAT GRUFF.
Rin says: Three Billy Goats Gruff! It was one of my favourite books when I was a kid… and then for some reason I rewrote the entire story. As in, I wrote over the actual pages. I think every time ‘goat’ came up I crossed it out and wrote ‘fart’ or ‘poo’ over it. I’m pretty sure it was very hilarious.
Sophy says: Mini gazes adoringly, without realizing it no doubt, Franky eats paper, Grace tells us that Shakespeare makes us better people, just as we’re about to cut to her father at his lowest scheming ebb.
MORE SHAKESPEARE MR BLOOD, LESS MAYBERRYS PROSPECTUS.
Rin says: Ahhh, Mini is still staring at her beloved goat.
Also, I really fucking love that blue wall in the common room. It’s okay to love and appreciate walls, right?
“Your life, like your father’s, will add up to very little – very little, indeed.”
Sophy says: Blood has called Rich into his office to tell him what a loser he and his father are and make him an offer he can’t refuse that he refuses of course.
Rin says: I love Blood’s delusions of grandeur. It’s very Snyder of him.
Sophy says: Basically Blood is going with the old ‘I’ll write you a cheque and you go away’ chestnut – a classic deal that evil rich parents of earnest young lovers always try to make to no avail, and if it were possible for me to stay mad at any part of this episode it would be this, because it’s just such a cliche.
But then I can’t stay mad at it, because I think it’s actually meant to be a cliche. Because Blood is a cliche, isn’t he? Sure, there is a level on which he’s a human being, but there is also very much a level on which he is a character in Grace’s story, and so he would take his next move straight from a soap opera script, wouldn’t he?
Anyway. Blood has this ridiculous idea that if Rich performs really badly in the play Grace will fail the exam. Which seems monumentally unfair, but whatever.
To conclude what I’m sure he thinks has been a successful interview, he says that Grace is “not for you, Richard – she’s my little girl. See you tonight!”
Rin says: Yeah, I definitely think this sort of cliche is meant to be very open and plain for all to see. Because right now we’re all in Grace’s fairytale. You might as well put a crown on Blood as the King who’s trying to keep the stable boy away from his Princess.
Sophy says: I think the reason this cliche works so well is because it never comes to fruition. It’s pretty much tossed aside as irrelevant in the midst of all the reality crashing in later, and that’s actually sort of brilliant.
Rin says: THE GREATEST TIE THERE EVER WAS. <333
I like to think it’s the only tie he owns and it was originally given to him as a gag.
Sophy says: Chris would approve of that tie. Cook would probably try to go all Franky Goat Gruff on it. Now I’m picturing Cook sucking on Rich’s tie. It’s very confusing.
Sophy says: Every door should open like this:
And nobody should ever have to sit across the table from that. Seriously, I don’t know how Alex got through the scene. Because lol oh my god. Also Addison has this marvelous way of opening his mouth a little too wide and using his teeth to harness his mouthful. It’s all very menacing.
Rin says: Grace’s bug broach! Nice way to setup what happens in the next episode! Continuity! Skins! So good at it! ……ha.
Also, I know it’s the perspective and whatnot, but that glass of wine on the right looks GIANT and oh my god why aren’t giant glasses more of a thing?
Sophy says: Because we know how we feel about giants, okay?
Sophy says: Rich sits on one side of a very lonely and daunting table and doesn’t try very hard to fit in. Or perhaps by his standards he is trying. Really hard. It’s difficult to say.
Rin says: How gorgeous is the styling behind Rich? And I have no doubts in my mind that they purposely styled this dining room (as well as the rest of the house) to look as lavish as possible. A castle fit for a Princess. Fairytales and all that.
Rin says: Oh my god. Gracie is so angry.
But to be fair, Rich should have known.
Sophy says: I don’t think she’s angry so much as embarrassed both by and for him.
Sophy says: Rich inquires about the food and is stiffly informed by Blood that it’s chicken. He looks down dejectedly and the dog growls at him for good measure. Mrs Grace asks him if he’s enjoying playing Aguecheek and Grace goes into raptures about his performance, dubbing him a “young, not black Sidney Poitier”. Jessica’s delivery is priceless.
Rin says: NOT BLACK. Just. Amazing.
Sophy says: Blood starts asking about Rich’s father, because his mouthfuls weren’t menacing enough. He says it’s very “conscientious” of Rich’s dad to work in the civil service, and Rich replies with a sullen “Not really.”
Grace tries to break the tension by asking her mum to pass the peas. Usually works for me.
Rin says: And who’d have thought such an innocent gesture as passing the peas would create such ridiculousness?
Sophy says: To be honest, I can see why Blood doesn’t like him.
Rin says: Omg, Rich looks like he’s in kindegarten and doesn’t want to share his crayon peas.
Rin says: The Peas song is the worst and best thing all at once. Everyone knows I love a good food song.
My favourite part is at the end when you hear Gracie saying ‘Again! Again!’ and Rich’s reaction. lololol.
Sophy says: It’s a definite best/worst. And I love how it’s to the tune of Here comes the bride. Foreshadowing much?
Also Rich has horrible table manners. My mum would probably make him sit outside.
Sophy says: Rich starts bitching about Grace’s dad and Grace believes in the Secret or something because she insists that it’s just his way, he really likes Rich. Rich keeps whining about how they’re different people – she’s different with her parents – she’s not her. I want to punch him. (I also love him).
The bottom line is that he just doesn’t get it yet – there is no her when it comes to Grace. Her essence is change. Identity sushi. All that.
Rin says: Floating Grace Sushi’s everywhere.
Sophy says: Grace runs to hug Liv, whooping adorably and saying “Girls’ night in!” Rich slinks awkwardly off home.
Rin says: The way Grace runs up to hug Liv, and only Liv, makes me think that part of her is just feeding the Liv’s NOT-FEELING-THE-LOVE-:( monster.
The way Rich acknowledges them all with a simple ‘Ladies’ as he leaves is pretty special.
Sophy says: I love that the girls are standing in pairs like they’re all ready for the gayest race to start or something. You just know Mini dragged Franky over to create the illusion of coupledom.
Meanwhile I’m not sure what’s going on with Franky’s outfit here. Normally I’m all for her cute little boyfits, but those pants, from this angle, in that cap? It kind of looks like she’s wearing nana-pants. Like you expect to find a depends under there or something.
I do kind of love that she and Grace’s dad have matching shirts though.
Rin says: I love her nana pants. Because they’re khaki/yellow. All the best people wear khaki/yellow pants.
Sophy says: Anyway, Grace cheerfully introduces her parents to her rather gobsmacked friends. Mini looks particularly bewildered, and asks what Mr Blood is doing at her house.
He’s all ‘LOL BEING HER DAD, PSYCH.’
Or words to that effect.
Rin says: Freya’s delivery is perfect. She’s basically doing a real life
Rin says: They’re into exhibitionism then?
Sophy says: At least they’re taking their shoes off first?
Rin says: A+
Rin says: FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF SO ADORABLE.
I JUST. MINI. THE HEIGHT DIFFERENCE.
And meanwhile, I’m kind of a bitch for threatening to shave Gracie’s head, and meanwhile here’s Mini with braid out on display and I’m just all ” So cuuuuuute.”
Sophy says: It’s like you don’t love Grace at all.
JUST COS SHE’S NOT A BIG GAY.
Sophy says: Blood tells them all to sew their mouths shut in the metaphorical non-gory way, and he’s out.
Rin says: And Mrs Gracie makes funny faces in the background just to see if anyone notices.
Sophy says: Upstairs Grace apologizes for not telling them about Blood, and Liv is all adorably mock-affronted with “Jesus Christ. What other secrets do you have Grace – if that is even your real name.” Franky follows up with something about her being the lovechild of someone I don’t know and that ugly Scotswoman who was on Somethingorother idol.
Whatever. It doesn’t hold a candle to Mini’s contribution. You see Mini thinks that perhaps Grace isn’t even a girl. And okay, Mini, what do you want her to do – prove it? Wait, don’t answer that, YOU BIG GAY.
Liv tries to divert Mini’s attention from her female friends’ genitalia by offering them all cocaine. I’m not sure it’s going to help, but points for effort.
She flops onto the bed, tells Grace not to worry about it – her sister’s in prison and it’s not like she tells everyone about it – and then she says “Anyway, let’s get fucked up.” And that right there, is why Liv is the coolest.
Rin says: “Do you have a little winky, Grace?” What even? Who? Why? No one was thinking that Mini. No one.
Also can we just all draw our attention to Franky pouring a drink. And keep your eye on that drink.
Rin says: Oh my god. Grace’s disapproving/disgusted face is magical. Why isn’t that everywhere on the internet forever?
Sophy says: I do no understand how it didn’t become a thing.
Rin says: MINI HAS THE DRINK. FRANKY. MADE. MINI. THE. DRINK.
Sophy says: SHE WOULD. Mini probably tried to smuggle the glass home. And pressed the umbrella between the pages of her favourite romance novel.
Sophy says: At first the girls seem a little reticent about indulging in that 1980s favourite that has melted many a starlet’s nose off, but then Mini starts getting all passive-aggressive with Liv, and Liv starts passive-aggressiving right back, because she is nobody’s bitch, and Grace is all YOU ARE NOT GOING TO RAIN ON MY PARADE, so she runs and shuts the door and says brightly “Okay! Let’s all do cocaine!”
Rin says: Oh Gracie. She’ll really do anything to keep the peace. ‘YAY COKE!!!!!!!!!!’
Sophy says: BOMBS AWAY!!!!!!!! Or something.
Mini on drugs is the cutest.
Rin says: She’s like an anti-anti-drugs ad.