Sophy says: Grace starts saying how the play is so great, because they’re all so much like their characters. She describes Liv’s Olivia as being beautiful and desired by all, but still really vulnerable – and really what possible response could Liv have to that other than the gagging motion?
Rin says: Franky seems to take some delight in Liv’s gagging motion. What’s up with that?
And can we just take a moment to bask in the glory that is how Mini/Grace are sitting? LOOK AT GRACIE BEING HUGGED BY MINI’S LEGS. See. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with hugging your friends with your legs.
Sophy says: IT’S PERFECTLY NORMAL. And the following makes it clear that it has nothing to do with Mini putting on a
minky minxy girl on girl show for Franky.
I mean that in the most sarcastic way possible.
Sophy says: Mini turns things around to Franky promptly, because, you know, she’s leg-hugging a female, so she’s ready, and also that’s just what Mini does these days. Earlier when they’re talking about Grace, Mini’s mind goes straight to boys who look like girls, because her mind is always on that girl who looks like a boy, you know? And now when they’re talking about Liv, she’s all *grabs Grace, leans forward intently* What’s Franky’s story then?
Liv takes over, with a too intent and focused “The girl who dresses like a boy who doesn’t get what she wants – whatever that is.” Franky doesn’t shy away from what she seems to know is an attack, answers with an aggressive calm: “I know what I want.”
Rin says: Mini is so nosy when it comes to Franky. She ships her nose/Franky’s face.
“Franky, you haven’t really told us whether you’re a…you know… or a…”
Sophy says: And you know, of course, Liv and Franky’s conversation is all about the Matty thing, but Mini? She seizes the opportunity to discuss the possibility of Franky wanting to get into her pants.
Rin says: Oh my god. That 3rd cap is the greatest cap so far.
Sophy says: It’s so glorious. Mini and Grace’s little synchronised ventriloquist shrug is the best thing in the world. In fact it’s so special it probably needs to be giffed…
Sophy says: Liv decides to hurry things along by cutting to the chase, because really it would be awfully helpful for her if Franky could just be A LES-BI-AN and she could go back to pretending that that eyesex with Matty earlier was just the product of an unfortunate squint of some kind.
Rin says: Snorting, sans cocaine, was had.
But also this moment is kind of sad because Liv previously had Franky’s back last episode when she was REALLY sweet and telling Franky that it doesn’t matter and kissing her hands. But now that Matty’s in the picture and Liv is clearly aware of it.. we have a Liv who seems to have changed her tune.
Sophy says: Grace objects to Liv’s bluntness, but Franky says it’s okay, she doesn’t mind. She says “the answer is no, I’m not anything.”
Mini really wants to nail this ‘Is Franky going to get into my pants’ thing down, so checks that that means Franky is bisexual. Franky says a firm no. She says she’s “into people,” which I guess, if you want to put a label on it might mean she’s pansexual… but having thought about it I’m not at all sure that it’s really as simple as a label for her. Her ‘no’ to bisexual seems to me to be a deliberate attempt to dodge being defined into sexual terms at all, which is, of course, completely intriguing.
Rin says: I can’t help but be reminded of The Great Mdma Brownie Pyjama Party of 2009. Girls. Drugs. And truth-booms.
“Who are you into at the moment?”
Rin says: Oh my god. Mini’s little face. She has it so bad. “ME! PICK ME!” The poor thing. *pats her tiny blonde head*
MEANWHILE. GRACE. Distracting once again by pulling the BEST face and saying she loves this track.
“Everyone dance! Dance with me!”
She’s so precious.
Sophy says: She is precious. And meanwhile I love how she’s fully aware that the person Franky is into is Matty, Liv is partially aware that it’s Matty, and Mini? I’m pretty sure Mini’s still hopeful about Franky/her pants.
Rin says: Hilarious dancing ensues. I think I guffaw-ed when Mini started dancing up and down the bed post like a monkey. What even.
Sophy says: OH GOD THESE KIDS, I LOVE THEM SO MUCH.
Franky, stop being a downer.
Sophy says: SHE STOPPED BEING A DOWNER.
JUST ADD MINI-KISSY-FACE. INSTANT FRANKY-SMILE.
Rin says: ….
KISSY FACE <33333
Sophy says: And you know, you were right, Rin. Mini really does ship her nose/Franky’s face. Literally.
Sophy says: Blood knocks at the door and complains about the noise, Grace yells loudly about hiding the stuff, then tells him she’s going to walk her friends home – all of them.
Rin says: WALKING HOME ALL OF THEM was one of my favourites. Just his displeased face and Grace giving him a quick kiss on the cheek as she runs off. Perfect.
“We should do cocaine every day, it’s marvelous.”
Sophy says: The group take the party to a bar and resume dancing around adorably, Grace drops another instant classic re: cocaine.
Mini asks loudly where all the men are, like she has something to prove.
Rin says: Lol. Mini asking for men is the best joke.
Sophy says: Next thing you know she’ll be checking their penis size to see if they’re MAN ENOUGH.
Sophy says: Mini decides she needs Franky to join her in her quest for the penis, and points out a couple of comically unattractive dudes at the bar, suggesting she “get [her] balls wet,” and that’s when I realize that this is not as run of the mill as Mini anxiously proving to everyone that she’s really into guys, this is as awesome as Mini wanting to prove to Franky that she’s really not. I mean, you don’t pick those guys out of a crowd unless you want the experiment to fail. Basically Mini wants to test this “I have no preference” business by putting her gorgeous, female self next to a couple of chubby, male nerds. Nicely played.
Rin says: Um, I’m trying to focus on what’s happening. But I’m having major issues when Liv and Gracie are looking so ADORABLY DISGUSTED together. Look at them, with Liv’s boyfriends arm and their threaded fingers.
And you’re totally right. Out of all the guys (I’m sure there are other guys), they pick them. It’s not just that they’re obviously meant to be unattractive, but they also look over 30. Which. D:
Sophy says: Franky laughs incredulously and suggests Mini go by herself – Liv says that’s a good idea and makes one of her super subtle cracks at Franky about Matty. This one’s how Franky “likes to watch,” which judging by the expression on Mini’s face she’s filing away for future reference.
Or else she’s just absorbing the brilliant fact that Liv’s passive aggression made Franky grab her hand and scurry away with her to see how much they can fail at being into guys.
Rin says: Column A/Column B?
Sophy says: Liv and Grace have an adorably heterosexual girl-on-girl moment, and then… peekaboo!
Rin says: It’s so adorable how you can’t even see Rich’s shoulders because he’s that much taller than Grace.
“How dare you! I’ve only had seven drinks, and they were teeny tiny little dwarfy drinks!”
Sophy says: Rich and Matty show up to surprise their ladies. Rich is drunk, Grace is unimpressed. She will be significantly more unimpressed in due course.
Rin says: I think it’s equally adorable that Matty can barely be seen from behind Liv. I THINK ALL HEIGHTS ARE ADORABLE, I DON’T KNOW?? I picture Matty on his tippy toes too.
Rin says: Just face it Matty. They’ll never love you. With or without an episode.
Sophy says: Practice your cry-face now
Sophy says: Matty locks crazy eyes on Franky and the chubby nerd. He asks Liv what’s going on and Grace answers with prim simplicity that Mini and Franky are trying to get laid. Rich sprays his dwarfy drink everywhere because he is amazing. Matty, much to Liv’s dismay, saunters over to intervene in the Franky/sex situation because he thinks he’s tough like that.
Rin says: I just. Franky has been talking to the guy for 10 seconds and he’s already all grabby. Gross gross gross.
Rich. What is so hilarious about Mini and Franky trying to get laid? Oh. It’s the fact that they’re trying to wrangle in a man each, instead of laying each other, right?
Sophy says: Matty, you’re not tough like that.
But oh Franky is moved by your girly little arms ready to pummel in the name of her virtue, yes she is.
Rin says: GIRLY LITTLE ARMS.
Really though. He’s wearing a scarf with a sleeveless tank.
Sophy says: Mini is not moved by Matty’s girly arms. Or his girly scarf. Or his girly ruining of her chances with the chubby nerds. She squeals and gesticulates at him for a while, while Franky kind of slinks guiltily in the shadows. Grace seems to think this is all her fault in some kind of the-Director-is-God way, and asks Rich mournfully “What did I do?”
Rich responds by vomiting. Like I said – significantly more unimpressed.
Rin says: Unless it’s in the toilet, vomit never belongs indoors. Okay???
Sophy says: Now she’s impressed.
Rin says: That second last cap, Grace really is in wonderment at how clever Rich is.
Sophy says: Rich is politely shown the door and Grace goes with him. She seems rather irritated by the continued hurling and general ruining of her fun night out, but quickly returns to form, putting on the sweetest brave face in the world and slinging Rich’s arm over her shoulder. She remarks that he’s heavy, with the shiniest smile, as though that is some kind of silver lining to the vomit cloud. Rich, however, is feeling less sunny and less charitable.
Rin says: This is how we know Grace really loves Rich. Because she’s freaking smiling and still sickly sweet when he’s trashed. It’s really not fun or pleasant taking care of someone who’s wasted when you’re completely sober. Well.. Grace seems pretty sober, despite the cocaine.
Sophy says: He slumps down by the bins and starts emoing like nobody’s business. First he says how everything’s okay, because he has Grace to look after him – but the thought sours before he even reaches the end of that sentence, which is “because that’s what you do.” It becomes clearer and clearer that the drunk crashing of her night out is all about still harboring resentment for her lying to him about Blood and his general unease at her having so many sides to her shiny, bauble self.
He asks if she’s Grace Blood or Grace Violet – is she daddy’s girl or is she his girl.
And the answer to that, Richard, is a good slap in the face.
She’s her girl, you fool. She’s whatever she needs to be. And okay that’s precisely the response Grace has – minus the slapping, because she’s nicer than me.
“I’m who I need to be, Rich. We all are.”
Grace you are amazing.
And I also need to mention what a brilliant drunk Alex does. Him singing “My girl” and grinning hopefully at Grace like she might think it’s as hilarious as he would never without the dwarf-drinks? Just absolutely priceless.
Rin says: God this moment is gorgeous, and completely why I love Grace. I mean, at the start it was because she was adorable and sweet and good, but now we have all these layers underneath that — that show that all of that goodness is a calculated choice. I’m not saying that she’s not inherently a nice person, but I think it’s interesting how she’s fully aware of herself and her personas, and that everyone has them. It’s like how everyone has a ‘phone voice’ that is as polite as possible. Yes, just like that.
Sophy says: Grace continues, smilingly linking her situation back to her school drama project: “Haven’t you heard the phrase “All the world’s a stage?”” she asks.
Rich scoffs. He says yeah, but it’s not true. Grace is more than a little wounded by this.
Rin says: This is such a dreamer/realist moment. I can’t. All the best ships you guys, all the best ships.
“Rich. Tell me why you’re unhappy.”
“Hey. All the world’s a stage, right? So none of this matters. Doesn’t matter at all.”
Sophy says: Because Grace is gloriously mature and all, she simply asks Rich why he’s unhappy. Rich is gloriously immature and sulks about how if the world’s a stage none of this matters. What he means of course is – if you can be so many things, how can you be all mine? Basically, he’s being an insecure twit. And he’s actually making Grace feel deficient about it. Like she’s not good enough – not real enough – to be trusted.
Rin says: I can understand why Rich is being a dick, cause he’s hurt and drunk and lashing out, but that doesn’t make it okay. IT WILL NEVER BE OKAY TO BE A DICK TO GRACE, YOU HEAR??
Rin says: Being a Rachel Berry stan myself, I can see where Mrs Grace is coming from.
BUT STILL. There are easier ways to let a girl down…
Sophy says: Yeah, I mean, I stan Rachel Berry like I’m the only stan left alive on a barren earth, but still… it’s harsh coming from your own mum.
“That’s not a happy face, Gracie!”
Sophy says: You know, it’s a tough contest when it comes to favourite Skins mum, but honestly Grace’s is up there with the best. I mean, she’s just so wonderfully not real.
Seriously. Who stands around in their 16 year old daughter’s room wearing pearls and reading a book of fairy tales? MRS FUCKING GRACE, THAT’S WHO. BAM.
Rin says: WITH A FLUFFY TURQUOISE TOP TO BOOT.
Sophy says: Way. Harsher.
Rin says: Where the fuck does Mrs Grace keep all of these props?
“Rapunzel had to let down her hair so the prince could climb up.”
“So what’s that got to do with anything?”
“It’s got everything to do with everything, Grace.”
“So what do I do?”
“You get them on that stage no matter what. You are the director. Take control and be creative. Make a happy ending.”
“Let down your hair, princess.”
Sophy says: This is one of my favourite Skins scenes ever, and a lot of it comes down to the writing, but a lot of it comes down to the acting from Mrs Grace, who I honestly think is superb. She has such a strange, unnerving certainty and yet there’s a brittleness behind it and a hint of fear. It’s almost like she really isn’t… real. It’s almost like she’s terrified of being real, and, you know, she’s a peripheral character – who knows where any of who she is comes from… but I got major domestic abuse vibes from her countenance and her whole attitude to problem solving: let down your hair – let the prince climb up – get them on that stage – peace at any cost. And as far as I’m concerned that jives pretty well with what we know of Blood. He’s hilarious, sure, and kind of adorable from a viewer perspective, but he does wave a lot of “If I weren’t here for the lols I’d be an abusive, controlling creep” flags, you know?
So I guess all I’m trying to say is that you can totally enjoy this scene in all its frothy glory, and at the same time get a sense of some murky shit that may or may not be murking around below the surface.
PS. I am more in love with the way Mrs Grace says “Make a happy ending” than I suspect is normal…
Rin says: I love how she is freaking talking in riddles.
“Mum, I have this huge drama project and I’m having trouble getting my friends to take it seriously.”
“What? Look, this is really important to me and I want to do well. How should I let my friends know that this means a lot to me?”
“It’s got everything to do with everything.”
“What? Mum, I’m asking you a question.”
“Make a happy ending.”
“Let down your hair.”
“My hair is down.”
Sophy says: AAAAAAAAHAHAHAHHAA. OMG.
Sophy says: Grace takes her mother’s useless and brilliant words of advice back to the drawing board and… rearranges them to spell ‘M-I-N-K-Y’. Good decision.
Lol, the randoms.
Rin says: So ‘make a happy ending’ translates into…
Sophy says: Oh. My. Mini. To be honest, Grace clearly just doesn’t appreciate great acting when she sees it.
But thankfully her failure to recognize genius leads to, well very special things.
Rin says: Fucking hell. Freya Mavor. You are a delight.
Sophy says: Grace thinks Mini and Franky should make out. Call it divine inspiration?
Rin says: The extra in the back is wondering why the fuck she isn’t being included in this.
Rin says: I had the exact same reaction Alo. Trust me.
Sophy says: Oh Alo. I bet he wishes he had a banana handy, or something.
Rin says: Compartmentalising.
Sophy says: Mini is a tad flustered by the divine inspiration. She points out that there was no girl-on-girl action in the script, and Grace is all ‘Whatevs, the bard would have loved it.’ And you know, I think he probably would.
Rin says: That extra is still looking on forlornly from the back.
Sophy says: Grace hops up on the desk and wishes she had some popcorn. Mini looks every way that isn’t Franky’s eyes, which, in contrast are keenly focused on her. Her line-reading is about as bad as it was the first time, but completely different. Where the first reading was huge and hilarious, the second is small and very insecure – basically it’s the aural equivalent of a pair of sweaty palms.
Rin says: A pair of sweaty palms that want to gently cradle Franky’s face like a sparrow.
The complete 180 that Mini and Freya do, is amazing. And it is so-o-o-oo-ooo telling. I doubt that if Mini was asked to kiss Liv or Grace she would crumble into a pile of nerves. Or even any other girl/guy for the matter. It’s Franky that does this to her.
“Um, but… um, but rather reason thus than reason fetter. Love sought is good, but given unsought is better.”
Sophy says: SERIOUSLY LOOK AT HER. She is a rabbit and Franky is headlights.
And can we just talk about how brilliant this whole deal is? Because it seems kind of random, doesn’t it – with all those extras floating around Grace chooses Mini to fill in for Liv, and randomly decides to get them to try the kissing at this rehearsal, when it’s really not all that necessary because there’s no way in hell Mini will be playing this part so… why is Grace worrying about their particular chemistry? Because she’s playing matchmaker here – whether she quite realizes it consciously or not. Life is overlapping with art, and she is the director in both worlds. She wants Mini and Franky to kiss, because she wants to make a happy ending and that happy ending is never going to happen while Franky is making eyes at Matty and he’s making eyes right back and Liv is making a whole other kind of eyes at both of them in the corner. Grace has seen the way Mini acts around Franky. She knows on some level, that there is something there. And she’s exploiting it in the name of peace. She thinks: ‘if I can just get Mini to realize her feelings… maybe Franky will realize she has them too’. After all, it’s obvious to us that Mini is gay as a window – it’d certainly be obvious to Grace – and she’s just had it confirmed last night that Franky is not put off by a vagina either. Why not give it a go?
Rin says: That was a pretty classy paragraphy, until the end.
I can’t with the vulnerability and uncertainty on Mini’s face. It’s all there, and Grace can definitely see it. You’d have to be blind to not be able to see it. And even then…
…there’s always face-braille.
Sophy says: Oh.
Rin says: An Effy ‘Oh’ indeed.
Sophy says: So Mini kisses Franky and it’s… electric? Seriously, Alo kind of looks like he’s been struck by lightening. I sort of expect to see smoke rising around him.
(I also still expect him to pull a banana out of his pocket.)
Rin says: We’re perhaps, not over the banana porn.
Um. This kiss was, to say the least, surprising.
I remember just being absolutely shocked that it was even happening because a) Out of nowhere, but completely also not. and b) Minky wasn’t even supposed to really be a thing, were they? and c) Of course they fucking were. and d) Wasn’t even hinted at in the Next Time from the previous episode.
I may applaud that last option for a long time coming. Because Skins was never about the titillation. Never.
Sophy says: Yeah, I remember being all starry-eyed that they didn’t use the girl on girl action to try to reel viewers in. Because Mini/Franky really isn’t about that. The show really isn’t about that.
Sophy says: Grace isn’t all that impressed with the Minky. “Fine” is all she says, and Mini is all “Was I not… good?”
And Grace is all OH I THOUGHT YOU WERE A PRO.
And okay, sidetracked.
Basically Grace is bummed because Mini and Franky kissing didn’t fix things for her by fixing things for Liv. The spark just isn’t there – at least not for Franky. Her smile is sweet but serene, amused but unmoved, whereas the things going on on Mini’s face… yikes. The spark wasn’t just there for her – it clearly exploded inside her. I mean really, if this were Glee we would have been cutting to fireworks the moment she withdrew from that kiss, breath shaken, eyes made open.
And so that’s the whole set up right there, reflected in and charged by Grace’s play. Mini is feeling things for Franky – big, scary, invigorating things. And maybe Franky notices just a little – because how could you not notice someone looking at you like that… Maybe Franky notices, and maybe she liked the kiss too. But it’s too late – it’s no good. Her heart belongs to another.
Rin says: Now I’m having all these fantasies about Grace putting on a Buffy play and she would make such a great Angelus and oh my god it should be on Broadway.
Sophy says: Grace says they’re screwed without Matty and Liv, and Mini is all ‘lol whatever, okay, I thought it was all pretty fireworks myself.’
Rin says: Mini really doesn’t want Liv to come back if she keeps getting to do what she just did.
Sophy says: THINK ABOUT IT.
Rin says: Only time will tell.
Sophy says: So anyway, Grace calls a time-out, and Franky escorts Mini out of the room. SHE FREAKING ESCORTS HER OUT. I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH THAT IMAGE. I’M JUST. STARING AND STARING. AND IT’S SO CUTE IT IS CURRENTLY TELEPORTING TO A SAFE IN THE BASEMENT OF EMILY FITCH’S HOUSE AND SCAVENGING ALL THE CHES FOR ITSELF.
Rin says: SHE’S TREATING HER LIKE A PROPER LADY. I MEAN, IT’S THE SENSIBLE THING TO DO.
Emily keeps her CHE’s in a safe? I figured at this point she’d be living in a house made from CHE’s. Or maybe she just threw them all out to prove to Naomi that she loves her more than CHE’s.
Sophy says: Grace and Rich are left alone together, and he promptly apologizes for his behaviour last night. Grace, because she is adorable and sweet and a little bit disturbingly in line with her mother on the whole shades-of-abuse, peace-at-any-cost thing, says it’s fine, he was just drunk, she knows he didn’t mean what he was saying.
And okay, I love Rich/Grace, I really do, but ‘You were just drunk ‘ is a thousand red flags all in a row, and I really didn’t like hearing her say it.
Rin says: I know right.
But how does she get away with dressing like a flight attendant and still look adorable?
Sophy says: Rich says he’s sorry for being drunk, but he in fact did mean what he said. Grace takes offense, which, let’s face it, how could you not. The drunk part was never the problem – it was the hurtful things he was saying that she was trying to shake off. She clarifies, checking that he meant all the stuff he said about her being fake, and Rich tries to dodge, to rephrase, to rearticulate – because obviously he doesn’t like the word ‘fake’ and I think he’s having trouble putting his finger on what he means exactly. He says she an actress – not a director – she’s always playing the part of whoever the person she’s with needs her to be.
Grace brings it down to its essence again – “So, fake then,” she says.
And you know she’s hitting the nail on the head – Rich is saying she’s fake, but it’s not because she is fake… it’s just because she’s not solid like he is. She’s so many things, and it frightens him, because if she’s not always the same, who’s to say she’s always going to feel the same about him. Hello, insecurity.
Grace is pushing him into a corner with the negative label, because she wants him to see that it doesn’t fit – and that maybe being the way she is is something else entirely – something that you can trust is real, even if it’s a lot of different kinds of real.
Rin says: It’s very offensive because Grace is the farthest thing from fake. And like Sophy said, just because she is a lot of things, it doesn’t make her any less real. She may say things to avoid certain confrontations, but I think she does it because she is able to recognise what’s worth fighting about and what isn’t. She’s not going to get worked up over the small stuff. That’s not to say that she sweeps stuff under the rug, I just believe she is mature enough to let the little things go, because they don’t matter. She does speak up and let herself be known when things do matter though, like right now.
“You always say that you’re made of stories. And you are.”
“I don’t understand what’s wrong with that.”
Sophy says: That right there is why I love Grace Blood so very, very much. She’s honestly one of the most brilliant characters Skins has ever created, in that who she is has something to say.
Grace goads Rich further, insisting that he say it – what he’s really thinking – what he’s really trying to get at. And it’s kind of brilliant, because she’s doing it right now – what he’s so worried about – she’s being his therapist, basically – gently manipulating him into a place where he’ll understand and process what he needs to understand and process. Basically Grace is a brilliant human being and will one day be a psychiatrist or a great writer.
Rich finally gets out what matters – “I don’t know what we are,” he says, “I don’t know if we’re right.”
Rin says: Grace is the kind of character that everyone wishes they were able to write themselves. They always manage to toe the line between fantasy and utter ridiculousness with Grace. She’s unbelievably believable.
Sophy says: Grace quickly says she knows what’s going on here, and I think she does, but it’s not what she says. Things have gotten really dark, really quick, and Rich is saying the kind of dangerous things that can lead to breaking up when neither of you really wants to. So she evades, she lightens the mood. She boils what is really about his insecurities and her insecurities too down to “You’ve met my parents and now you’re freaking out.”
Rich takes the easy way out too and pretends it might be as simple as that. Grace laughs – “Don’t be such a girl,” she says, “It’s not like we’re getting married!”
OH I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE, SHOW.
Rin says: They are the cheeks of bastards!
Sophy says: Rich won’t let it go at a laugh. He cranks the tension by standing up and saying, really rather rudely, that it was “one mental dinner”. Grace snaps – as gently as you can snap. She’s been managing during the whole scene, but at this point some of her own emotions start to sneak in.
“So… shall we just not bother, then?” she asks with some frustration and much hurt in her voice, “Just screw all this?”
Rin says: It’s nice that we get to see the cracks start to form in Grace’s fiction, her armour. She’s still just a girl after all.
Sophy says: Rich doesn’t give the answer he needs to give, which is “No, of course not, you’re really important to me, I’m just confused.” But of course the trouble is that he really is confused, so instead he instead waffles on about how he doesn’t know what to do about “us”. And then he goes one step worse: when Grace miserably tells him to go away… he does. Oh teenage boys. You are so fucking stupid and useless.
Skins breaks out the devastatingly atmospheric music as Grace walks out alone onto an pure, shadowed stage.
The song, by the way, is Trace a Line (Montag Remix) by Au Revoir Simone.
Rin says: And Rich is just a boy. A silly silly boy.
Rin says: IMAY2 needed????
Sophy says: Omg look at them, they’re so happy. Gracie stans for life.
And yes. Needed.
Sophy says: Doug appears out of nowhere and tells Grace that the stage needs christening – she should try out some lines, get a feel for it. And so she does.
Rin says: It’s moments like these that Doug is a much better Doug than Doug usually is.
Sophy says: Grace starts off with a little To be or not to be, which really, could she be any more whiteboardy? But she abandons Shakespeare for expletives somewhere along the way. “No fucking way,” she says, “No fucking way.” Doug asks if she’s okay, and she says she’s absolutely fine, with all the smooth aggression of a woman with a plan. Jessica Sula is really wonderful in this scene – you can really see her slipping into Hamlet’s hopeless inertia as she recites his soliloquy and then bam. No. No. No fucking way.
If there’s one thing Grace does not believe in its impotence. She is mightier than any penis. If there’s a way she will find it and there is a way. Grace is the embodiment of optimism.
Okay that’s part of it. I realise that the other slightly more obvious part of it is that this is the moment when she’s realizing she may have been lied to her whole life by her mother, and that life doesn’t have fairytale solutions. That’s definitely happening too, and it’s freaking her the fuck out.
Basically this is the moment in which Grace is thinking she might actually have to “grow up” insofar as “growing up” means admitting defeat. And it’s also the moment in which she’s reaffirming that she won’t do that. She won’t. And you’d think for all the world that the show would not side with her. You’d think for all the world that they’d go in the obvious direction – burst the bubble, bring on the angst. And maybe they do, for a time… but then it is fairytales, you guys. Because the bubble will be back at the end of this episode, and bigger than ever.
The obvious route is ‘Grace grows up’. The obvious route is ‘Grace changes to fit the world’. But for all that it seems like we might be going to go down it, we’re not. Because this season is all about being and all the different ways you can. And Grace’s way is valid. It is real. Skins wants us to believe that and to believe that whatever we are, we are valid and we are real too.
This is what we mean when we say Skins doesn’t talk down to kids. Sure the show acknowledges that they do silly things and have silly ideas about the world. But it’s not all about teaching them lessons. It’s about letting them be who they are and having that be okay, even if the universe is going to tell them it’s not, nine times out of ten.
Rin says: Skins being Skins is the best kind of Skins.
And I couldn’t agree more that this is a real moment for Jessica Sula — when Grace stutters and stops mid-way through her soliloquy because NO FUCKING WAY! She won’t have it, she’s not just going to stand by and watch Rich ruin his life and marry Finn Hudson you guys. She’s not going to do it.
Sophy says: Grace storms into Matty’s room like it’s next door to hers or something, and he appears not to notice, engrossed as he is in A Brief History of Time, because oh Matty you just would, wouldn’t you?
Rin says: Does no one lock their doors in Bristol? You’d think after all the battings of last year, they would be a little more cautious.
Sophy says: Grace tells him he’s back in the play. He immediately gets out of bed and starts tucking his shirt in. See? Grace Blood > all penises? Meanwhile, he tells Grace that while he may be a crappy boyfriend, he really does love Liv. And it would actually be quite a sweet, sad moment if it weren’t for two things: Matty hasn’t done all that much wrong, so I’m kind of thinking everyone should lay off a bit. And two, he said I really fucking love her, and I just flashed straight back to Freddie and Effy and it felt wrong.
Rin says: My brain did the flashback to Freffy too. I think our brains are plugged in to each other? That or I’m always kind of half-watching things with Sophy eyes.
Sophy says: I’m picturing you on a sofa watching TV with my eyeballs in your lap next to the popcorn.
Sophy says: Grace doesn’t seem all that comforted by the masses of irrelevant platonic love that Matty feels for Liv. And as Runaway by The National starts, she’s sitting there behind her camera, staring rather hopelessly at the inevitability that is Matty/Franky, just as so many fans were sitting there in front of their TVs, staring rather hopelessly at the inevitability that is Matty/Franky.
DEAL WITH IT, FANDOM/GRACE. IT’S HAPPENING.
Rin says: Skins using more songs by The National will always be okay with me. Especially Runaway.. I think that was the first song of theirs that I put on repeat forever.
Sophy says: She watches intently as Matty and Franky, in the absence of Liv’s glare, let themselves be, and succumb completely to the chemistry between them. It’s beautiful, and if Grace didn’t have Liv to worry about she’d be pretty excited about her play right now.
And the cap really doesn’t show how fabulously Dakota looks at him in this moment, so I’m going to have to make a gif:
Rin says: I don’t even have a thing for hands, but the hands in these caps are just..
Sophy says: Okay can we please note that during Matty and Franky’s scene we get reaction shots of exactly two people. Grace, who is the director and who is also the person the episode is focusing on… and Mini. The person who kissed Franky earlier and had that cathartic experience, you know?
Rin says: This is the kind of stuff that can’t be argued against. Because that kind of reactionary shot isn’t just done on a whim, or thrown in there to make time. It’s very specific with the intent of setting up the Franky/Matty/Mini triangle.
Sophy says: Burn.
Although on a serious note, I think it’s pretty clear that the reason Franky doesn’t let Matty kiss her is because of all the feelings. She knows a kiss with Matty won’t just be a kiss – the things they feel for each other are much too big to fit into the confines of the play. Oh and Liv will burn her earlobes off with the power of wrathful gaze.
Rin says: Still. Mini 1, Matty 0.
Also, I just realised how rhyme-y Mini, Matty and Franky are.
Rin says: Mini’s face. MINI’S FACE. She is not a Fratty fan, then.
Also, Franky’s face is definitely a muppet face. But I’m thinking more along the lines of A Christmas Carol muppet..
Rin says: Grace knows where it’s at, that’s for sure.
I do wonder what she did with the video…
Sophy says: Check Emily’s box. Um.
Rin says: I feel like Grace is making a fanvid of her friends. Which? Awesomely creepy.
Sophy says: Don’t be surprised if the next post at rophydoes involves fanvids of each other. We’re very suggestible.
Rin says: That second cap is so freaking adorable, like Franky is on the verge of bursting out laughing because Mini is so terrible and can’t be helped.
And Grace has the face I get whenever I try to design something and NOTHING COULD BE UGLIER AND OH GOD WHY DON’T I JUST GO AND WALK DOGS FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE.
Sophy says: Pssssh. You’re the least maker of ugly ever.
Rin says: It’s ‘I Robot, You Jane’ all over again.
Sophy says: Terrifying.