Grace — Part 3

Rin says: Grace is beyond frustrated that no matter how hard she tries, it doesn’t seem to be working. And she needs it to work. She needs to not be sent off to the horse poo school.

BUT WAS IT WORTH 7 YEARS BAD LUCK GRACE? WAS IT?!

Sophy says: Maybe she won’t need 7 years of bad luck…

*shuffles away*


Rin says: It’s at about this time that I started thinking that Mrs Grace might be dead, like Dexter’s dad. She just kept popping up! Like she was always just waiting offscreen.

Sophy says: Oh wow. “And make a happy ending” means kill them all.

Yikes.

Anyway, Mrs Grace delivers one of the most simultaneously hilarious, creepy and heartbreaking lines in Skins history: “What’s going on, sweetheart? Tell Mummy, and she’ll make it better.”

Grace tells her she can’t make it work – she can’t make the happy ending. Mrs Grace tells her to try. When she says, pitifully, that she’s trying so hard already, all she gets back is “Try harder then, darling,” and it’s so brilliantly robotic and alienating and bizarre, and poor Grace is just sitting there like Why is my mum such an awesome weirdo and fuck my life.



Rin says: GRACE’S LITTLE HEAD IN HER HANDS, AND HER LITTLE FACE. Oh I could just hug her to death!

And this is Skins being glorious in their locations again. Just, beautiful.

I also like the idea that this is where Liv goes to hide and be by herself, but they’ve been such great friends for years that Grace knows where to find Liv.

Sophy says: Grace decides not to fuck her life. She decides to sort Liv’s out instead.

And yes, it’s so cute that Grace seems to know where Liv would be. And it’s so cute that Liv is sitting down by the water, sulking, smoking and reading a comic book. Liv, you are the best thing. Never change.


Rin says: The Naomily Testament???????

Where do I sign?

Sophy says: It’s a life-changer.



Rin says: She’s reading a graphic novel. A GRAPHIC NOVEL. I love Liv forever?

Sophy says: I love how I called it a comic book above. And got equally excited.



“I think everything is going to be fine. Everyone is going to get what they want. I promise you. I know it.”
“How do you know that?”
“Because it’s the only thing I believe in. Because it’s the only thing I’ve got left to count on.”

Rin says: Liv is feeling pretty down and out, on account of what she’s done in the past. But more than that she’s worried about what Grace thinks of her.

And on the one hand, Grace’s response is a way to get Liv to come back to the play, and on the other it’s a complete Grace response in terms of her unwavering optimistic outlook on life. And it’s one of my favourite things about Grace, that the fact she thinks believing is enough to make it real.

Sophy says: This is where Grace takes a leap of faith, and it is a true leap. Because this time a part of her is actually afraid it might not work – she might not be able to make a happy ending. Nevertheless there is nothing left to do but surrender herself to her mother’s blind mantra of try. Why? Just because. Will it work? Of course it will, now stop asking questions.

She takes Liv’s hand, hopes.



Rin says: It’s opening night! And the Bloods are front and centre with the marker.

And Nick is with that LOLLSSSYY girl from Alo’s episode, having a beer. Classy.

And Grace! Peering from behind the curtains. <333 But also it kind of looks like it’d be really easy to photoshop that picture into Grace playing a Cello.

Sophy says: Why on earth would you want to photoshop her playing a cello that is so weird. This one time I turned her into an eel.

I love how a student is just sitting there swigging a beer in the audience and nobody bats and eyelid. Nick’s sidelines spiral is both adorable and depressing. Lolsy girl is lolsy.

Also Rin, I’m a bit horrified that you didn’t pick up on her extreme transgression of the no braids rule. You’ve gone soft.


Rin says: All of their costumes and make up are amazing. I’D GIVE YOU TOP MARKS GRACE.

Rich has the skinniest legs ever. How does he keep upright?

Sophy says: He seems to be propping himself up against Alo there.

Mrs Grace waving is the cutest.


Rin says: Identical twins!

Sophy says: PARENT TRAP!!!



“I want to thank you all for everything you’ve put into this. I know it’s been hard for everyone. But we’re ready. So… let’s show those motherfuckers how this story ends.”

Rin says: Grace needs to take this on the road. As in, she should be a motivational speaker. Travelling around the country, speaking at schools. She’d make a great career out of it. 8-.

Sophy says: GRACE BLOOD, LIFE COACH. I see it. Although I have to say, she seems a little anxious when she delivers this speech, and I really like that. Because she hasn’t landed yet. There is still a cavernous emptiness beneath her and she won’t know till she gets to the other side whether it still works – whether her entire philosophy of life is sound, still, or seriously fucked.

If she can’t make this happy ending, she may never be able to make another as long as she lives. I think that’s what’s going on somewhere in the back of Grace’s mind right now.



Rin says: Rich comes up to Grace, all serious face with, ‘We need to talk.’ and Grace shuts him down quickly, telling him they’ll talk after the show. Which, fair enough. The curtains raising!

Sophy says: OH GOD. THIS IS NOT THE TIME, RICH.

He is such a dick. I mean. I really love him. But Rich is a dick.

Franky’s little smile-and-clap at Grace is so adorable. I love that even in the midst of all this guilty, jealous angst, she still has that bright spirit that has seen her through so much fuckery in her time. I think that’s something Grace and Franky recognized in each other very early on and it’s why they bonded so quickly – they both have a deep and abiding warmth – a special kindness – an infinite supply of love.



Rin says: Twelfth Night is well under way, and we’re right up to Mini’s favourite scene. Or it was her favourite scene.

I mean, look at the placing. Gracie is peeking, cause she’s the director and this is her baby. Matty is because it’s Liv and Franky.. and Mini? Looking all dejected? She has no place here..unless of course she’s there for Franky. And to see what their kiss is like.

Because it can’t just be about friends supporting friends, otherwise the others would be looking on too. So it’s very purposeful that Mini is included along with Grace and Matty.

Sophy says: Mini is totally just standing there thinking ‘Pff, they’re not going to win any e-online polls with that halfassery.’

And Rin is right. Mini has been purposefully included in the curtain-peeping, just as we purposely got a shot of her rolling her eyes like she doesn’t care but she totally does when Grace apologized for the last minute changes. You know, the ones that involved her not making out with Franky again. Oh Mins.

Rin says: HAHAHA. No one else is going to be winning any e-online polls any time soon. /shines tin-hat



Rin says: Matty, may you forever make crazy faces forever and ever.

Amen.

Sophy says: Seriously what. Is that.

I think the Matty hate in fandom is unfounded and irritating. But even I am just looking at this screencap thinking Seriously what. Is that.

Rin says: He kind of looks like the Transformer autobot symbol?


Rin says: Liv and Franky are kind of awesome and amazing at the whole drama thing. They need to do more. Or like, put on a little play every Christmas. 8-.

Sophy says: Oh god, that would be the sweetest thing. They really should have done a Christmas unseen to that effect. Or, you know, any unseens at all would have been nice.

*grumbles*

Rin says: Lawl, still waiting on Katie’s unseen.


Rin says: Sophia: Not just a one-trick pony.

Sophy says: MULTITASKING. :D


Rin says: Rich comes out, and glares at Blood, rather cheekily and full of determination.

Sophy says: Yeah, this is, I think, when we’re supposed to understand that Rich, all characteristic dickishness aside, was in fact wanting to speak to Grace about the fact that her dad is a bigger dick than he could ever hope to be, and that he’s going to stand the fuck up to him out there on that stage by being the best young, not black Sidney Poitier he can be.

8-.



Rin says: There’s a pause as we’re not quite sure (yeah, as if) what he’s going to do….AND HE NAILS HIS PART. Successfully winning a place in our hearts.

Alo wins his place by being deplorably bad. And he’s not even trying to sabotage Grace. It seems like Blood approached the wrong man.

Sophy says: THAT RANDOM. CAN’T.

Rin says: I like his tassels. They speak to me.



“You’re a sick bastard, do you know that?”
“What do you mean?”
“Me and her! It turned you on! Have you any idea how weird that is?”
“You were kissing another girl. Of course it turned me on.”

Rin says: Just the way Matty is all, :-j OFC IT TURNED ME ON :-j

Lol. Just lol.

Sophy says: Oh god, I loved “Of course it turned me on!” The delivery was so perfect, and in the midst of all the teen drama I was just laughing and laughing because of course it turned him on.

One thing I really appreciated about this scene was how it exploded the myth of Matty as the special sensitive snowflake. He was never the cliche of fit and mysterious that he might have seemed to be early on. I mean, yes, he calls strangers glorious headfuck things, but he’s also just a guy – a big dumb guy who inevitably, basely, gets turned on by his girlfriend kissing the other girl he can’t help liking. And he admits it openly. Like a big dumb guy.

As for Liv, I was kind of in full-body cringe mode during this scene, because really, creepy sex eyes aside, all Matty did was look at them the wrong way and she’s calling him a “sick bastard” about it? I kind of wanted Panda’s mum to sidle up and say “We’re caaaaaaalm, we’re caaaaaaaaalm,” because if there’s one thing I don’t enjoy it’s seeing characters I love humiliating themselves.

The whole possessive hysteria phase was rough for Liv. And I didn’t enjoy watching her suffer through it.


Rin says: He shan’t be beat.

Sophy says: He is to guyliner what Sandy Cohen is to eyebrows.

Why, Ringer, why.



Rin says: Liv has finally had enough of being a spectator to the Matty and Franky Show, so she confronts him. She asks if he loves her, and he responds with, ‘I love you.’ But that wasn’t the question Matty! And when she asks again, his silence is more than enough of an answer.

Sometimes when they throw around the word ‘love’ it’s a little off-putting. Cause I sit there going, “Love?? Really?” But then I think about how lame it would be if they used the word ‘like’, or if they had to expand on what they really mean in an overcomplicated way. So ‘love’ works in that regard, that it gets straight to the point and doesn’t make light of the matter.

Sophy says: I would have preferred it if they hadn’t gone with the word “Love” because it just allows people to mock and dismiss in a way that, say, “Do you want her” wouldn’t. But you know, as much as people deride Matty for idiotically thinking he’s in love with Franky when we’ve barely seen them get to know each other, I think it’s worth pointing out that Liv is the one who chooses the word. And would it really be appropriate for Matty to say “What? No! Of course I don’t love her – I barely know her – it’s just that I’m insanely attracted to her, that’s all.” This really wasn’t a time for splitting hurtful hairs, so I can understand why he said nothing at all.


“You can’t go now. You can’t leave me.”
“You told me it would all be OK.”
“It will be! It will. We just have to finish. We just have to finish the play.”

Rin says: Grace immediately does some damage control because she can feel her play coming apart at the seams. So she tries to focus Liv into just finishing. And part of me thinks that this isn’t just about the play, it’s about everything that Grace believes in. If you flounce and just give up, then you’re never going to achieve anything. Which is basically what her mother has taught her with all her stories — there is always hope, and things will be okay. There just always has to be a way. And when Grace breaks the mirror, it’s her mum that sets her on the right path again. And when she can’t at the end, it’s Rich who reminds her there’s always a way. Which is probably something he learnt from Grace.

Sophy says: I totally agree with everything Rin is saying, in a slightly darker shade. I think at this point Grace does feel like her play is coming apart at the seams – and like everything that makes her who she is is coming apart with it. When she says “It will be!” I think she is trying to convince herself as much as Liv. When she insists that all they have to do is finish the play, I think she’s starting to fear that beyond that finish line everything will be as fucked as it is now. Basically, I think she’s acting a role for herself… and she’s not really buying the performance.

Grace is the most confident, positive character Skins has ever written. But right now I think she’s hanging by a thread.


Rin says: Mini. Look on more forlornly.

Oh what’s that? You can’t? You’re at 100% full forlorn?!

Sophy says: She totally wants to jump into this conversation and be all “DO YOU LOVE HIM???” at Franky.

Rin says: Haha she already has her fist half-cocked to shake at Franky’s face.


Sophy says: You’re doing it wrong.

Rin says: Leave now and never come back.



Rin says: Liv tells Matty to forget Franky, which apparently translates into, ‘treat her like the invisible girl’ as he walks past her.

Sophy says: Oh God. You know what I mentioned just now about watching a character I love humiliating herself? This was truly one of Liv’s least fine moments. If the boy can’t answer you when you ask him if he loves someone else, that means he loves someone else. Or at the very least it means he doesn’t love you enough. So you dump him, Olivia. YOU DUMP HIM. You do not get all up in his face and order him to stay away from someone like you’re his mother?! Just.

It was such a horrible moment. And you know, Matty didn’t come off much better. I can well understand hanging onto limp relationships, even when, as here, they are beginning to become toxic. But not when you’re 16 years old? Not when you’ve been together all of a few short months?

Matty. When you can’t answer your girlfriend when she asks you if you love someone else, that means you do love someone else. Or at the very least it means you don’t love your girlfriend enough. SO YOU BREAK UP WITH HER.

Okay, maybe not in the middle of the play.

But, you know. At the earliest possible opportunity that’s appropriate.

I also thought it was kind of hilarious the way Matty bumped past Franky like some of this was her fault or something. Hilarious and angering.

The most Franky has done up to this point is be attractive and get the wrong kind of look in her eyes at times. Matty should be shooting her an apologetic glance, not an accusatory one.

Rin says: I just don’t get why he has to bump her along the way =)) So rude. It was all very over-dramatic.. or maybe they’ve all become caught up in the play and taking method acting way too seriously.



Rin says: Ah! The show must go on!

What I really liked about this portion of the play/episode was how dramatically the mood had shifted. Everything felt much heavier than it had before.. and I am utterly in love with the score at this point. Just. Gorgeous.

Sophy says: I totally agree with Rin. The score is stunning, and really helps to create this overall sense of how things have changed – how finishing the play will not fix this, even if it gets Grace her A.


Rin says: I don’t like where this is going……

Sophy says: Grace/Rachel is totally like Maggie/Monobrow baby on The Simpsons.

Rin says: Omg, that damn monobrow baby.

Sophy says: OMG let’s hope it never comes to fisticuffs for Grace and Rachel.





Rin says: GRACE IS PLAYING THE INVISIBLE CELLO AGAIN!!!! 8-.

Sophy says: Oh my god, stop.



Rin says: Liv/Laya during this scene is all kinds of amazing too.

Sophy says: Yes, Laya was particularly impressive in this scene. She really excelled at letting the personal hurt spill into the performance, whilst still believably making an effort to keep things contained for Grace’s sake.




Rin says: And then the mood is completely turned on his head when THIS GUY STARTS SINGING. And the way he finishes by holding out his arms. Oh random guy, well done.

As soon as the play ends, Doug (DOUG!) and the rest of the crowd burst into applause. A good show then! The cast come out and then turn to welcome Grace onto the stage with them, and RICH’S FACE. I CANNOT. AND WILL NEVER.

Sophy says: HAHAHAHAH THAT RANDOM.

He was kind of awesome to be honest. I hope he gets an episode in series 6.

On a random, shallow note, I really dislike Grace’s makeup in this scene. The green eyeshadow doesn’t work with the yellow light.


Rin says: Rich/Grace/Shakespearean-costumes forever?

Blood also looks deviously terrifying. I wonder what plans he might be concocting in that little mischievous head of his. Mayberry plans, perhaps??

Also in between these two caps, we see Mrs Grace ‘whooping’ enthusiastically which was SO ADORABLE and I have no idea why I didn’t include a cap. There was also a shot of the marker looking very pleased with the performance, so it seems like Grace isn’t going to get anything less than an A+.

Sophy says: Blood actually looks the most genuinely happy I’ve ever seen him. Like, I look at that and think ‘Aw, he’s decided to throw in the towel on the whole being evil thing, and give these crazy kids a chance’. So misleading.

MRS GRACE WHOOPING. ALWAYS.



“But I have decided that you will be returning to Mayberry’s after all.”
“What? What?! Fuck!”
“Have some decorum, young lady. You’re not in Scotland!”

Rin says: I like how the other people involved in the play, who aren’t our kids, conveniently slink off-stage for the final bow.

In the college halls, Blood is congratulating Grace on her play, which she gets to revel in for about half a second before he drops the “LOL, YOU WERE NEVER GOING TO GET OUT OF GOING BACK TO MAYBERRY’S ANYWAY :-j”  Grace has the appropriate reaction of ‘FUCK!’ and oh my gosh, despite being a huge asshole right now, I kind of love Blood’s response.

Grace pleads with her mum to help her out, but ah, Mrs Grace is the parent who just goes along with whatever the dominant parent wants. Despite knowing better.

Sophy says: Jessica’s “What? What?! Fuck!” was absolutely superb. Laugh-out-loud, head-in-hands superb.

It’s actually sad when you focus more closely on Mrs Grace in the background, because her demeanour totally bears out my ’emotionally stunted by domestic abuse’ theory. She looks so anxious. So afraid. And it kind of breaks my heart when she sides with Mr Blood on the school issue with the most retreating of not-the-reasons: “We wanted you to finish your school year in a good place.”


“Thanks so much!”

Rin says: And Grace’s response to her mum is PERFECT as she mocks her with an imitation of herself, complete with condescending tone.

Sophy says: Again, the Oscar goes to Jessica Sula. Perfect delivery. Hilarious and heartbreaking at the same time.



“I’m doing this because I love you. I just want better for you.”
“No, David. You just want a different daughter.”

Sophy says: Ohhh! Calling the parent by their actual name. That’s a burn.

This is an interesting moment though, because it’s a point at which Grace asserts her independence. She has worked so hard for so long to be all things to all people, and she’s starting to realize that it’s just not going to jive. Her father requires too much of her. She can bend and bend and bend and it’s not enough. She can bend and bend and bend him and he always bounces back into the same shape. Basically, they’re at breaking point – she’s at breaking point – because it didn’t matter that she finished – it didn’t matter that she made the happy ending. Time carried on and the world kept on failing her with it.

Rich stops Grace in the hallway, and she tells him, on the verge of tears, that she’s going away – for good.

His first response is “What about us?” because, you know, he’s a dick. But at least he’s a dick who cares now. At least he’s not saying “I don’t know” to things like “Shall we just not bother then?”

Rin says: ‘At least he’s a dick who cares now.’

I mean.

ALSO, I think a lot of us can relate to Grace at this point. That no matter how hard you try to make someone happy, it just doesn’t work. Even if you did everything that they asked of you. And when you literally have nothing left, no other options, that’s the kind of soul-crushing experience that brings people like Grace to the point of hopelessness.

And that’s what I really fucking love about this whole setup/plot. That it’s so simple and normal. If we take a step back, we could say that Grace doesn’t at all have to say goodbye to her friends at Roundview, she could stay in touch and it’s only for a year. Having to change schools really isn’t going to be the worst thing that will happen in your life (HAAAAAAAAA), but it is a big deal. Because she’s still in school and still safe in that protective bubble  of youth, where you shouldn’t have to worry about the big scary world. So of course when she’s being forced to do something she really doesn’t want to do, it feels like her world is ending. Roundview, Rich, the others, this is her world.


“You were right, Rich. You were totally right. I’m not real.”
“Yes, you are. You’re real to me. I was a twat for saying…”
“I’m a story. A character. A fucking fiction. But you’re not. The others aren’t. My parents aren’t. And I don’t belong here.”
“Where are you going?”
“To a fucking castle in the clouds.”

Sophy says: TO A FUCKING CASTLE IN THE CLOUDS. OH GOD. Perhaps it would have been more romantic and thrifty for me to quote that line only, but I really felt that the dialogue as a whole had to be honoured. It’s just that good.

It’s now that we see just how much everyone has been hurting Grace throughout this episode, just how much she’s suffered behind her many ready smiles. It’s now that we see her acknowledging her separateness – her loneliness.

Grace has let down her hair, repeatedly, and nobody has had the decency to climb up. This has led her to conclude that she doesn’t fit with everybody else. And I find it interesting that the solution, as she sees it, is for her to go away.

Go away, not change. Because like Franky, the one thing Grace absolutely will not do is conform. She may be a natural mediator, a born peacemaker, all things to all people. But on the question of being all of those things? She does not compromise.

Because she doesn’t say “I was kidding myself to think I could be part of a story that I wrote every day.” She says “I was kidding myself to think that the world around me would get it.” She’s not going to become a real girl – not for Rich, not for her parents, not for anyone. She won’t let her play-acting become real. She won’t let herself be trapped in the role of Grace Blood, person.

What becomes clear in this moment is that if Rich is going to be in her life, he’s going to have to be in her world – he’s going to have to believe in her fairytales. What becomes clear is how selfish he’s been, and how blind. And I love that the moment he recognizes his dickishness, he openly acknowledges it in a way that makes it impossible not to forgive him.

And can I just say that “To a fucking castle in the clouds” is one of the most memorable lines ever in Skins?

Rin says: It really really really is. Made all the more better because it’s such a Grace thing to say and Jessica delivered it perfectly.

And you were right to include all of the dialogue, because it’s necessary. I adore that Grace has been beaten down, but instead of becoming more like the person the world is telling her to be, she becomes even more determined to be who she is. And if people think that’s not real? Well, then fuck, she’s not real! She’ll be more fiction than ever.


Rin says: It’s just so clear to me how easily Grace slips into Miyazaki character.

Sophy says: I don’t even.


Rin says: Rachel Berry. Forever.

She’s who Sinead O’Connor was singing about.

Sophy says: Single tear and all.



Sophy says: My darling is lying in bed thinking about how much reality sucks when her mother walks in with supper on a tray. If she’d really wanted to help, milk and cookies would have been more of a soothing TV cliche.

Rin says: This scene is freaking gorgeous. The reds, the creams, her skin, the night gown. All of it.


Sophy says: Mrs Grace sits down on the bed and says it kills her to see her daughter like this. She assures her it will all work out okay, but Grace isn’t falling for that. She may be a fiction, still, but her mother isn’t, not anymore – she’s exposed the realness of herself by being dominated by her husband, by shrinking under his crushing reality. She couldn’t make a happy ending for Grace, because she had to be so very careful to keep her own. So what good are her assurances now?

Rin says: She’s a more English, black, Judy Fabray.

Sophy says: I heard you saying that in Grace’s not-black-Sidney-Poitier voice.




“You know, you’ve spent my whole life filling me with stories, things that aren’t true, were never true. You told me everything was going to be okay as long as I tried. All these stories, all these lies I believed. Great Expectations – lies. Sense And Sensibility – lies. I believed it all and now I’m miserable. And it’s your fault.”

Rin says: MRS GRACIE JUST MAKES A RUN FOR IT.

Parenting at its best you guys.

Sophy says: ROFL. GOLD STAR.

But on a serious note, Mrs Grace running out of the room is one of my favourite things in this whole gorgeous, fascinating episode. Because she can’t handle it. Grace is throwing things and telling her it’s all her fault. That’s one scary thing. But another scary thing is that the things she is throwing are the stories she has built her life on – and I don’t mean Grace here. I mean Grace’s mother.

It’s been traumatic for Grace to accept that the world may not allow her to fix things as she sees fit. But nowhere near as traumatic as it is for her mother. Grace is young. She has the rest of her life ahead of her. She has chances to break away, to be free, to make her own choices and be at peace with them. It’s too late for her mother; she’s given herself over. I think of it sort of like Stockholm syndrome. You know the situation isn’t okay, and that’s why you have to keep pretending that it is even harder.

All Mrs Grace has is pretending. And that’s why she has to run away before she gets too much reality on her.

Although it could be simpler than all that. Because to be honest, Rophy would probably flee the room if Grace started throwing our DVDs around and telling us TV was all lies.

Rin says: Flee from the room or punch her in the face and tell her, her face is all lies! =;


Sophy says: So it didn’t work. The play did. But the happy ending didn’t. And now perhaps it never will. Grace lays back down and ponders the fact that she may never again be able to bend the world to her will. This is it. It’s happening. She’s growing up in that cruel, dulling way you wish people like her never ever had to grow up. She’s seeing the evil in the world, and all the ways its strength and breadth exceed hers.

BUT HARK.

Rin says: I love how she just plops back down and resumes crying, and then we see her little sweet innocent face and oh my god she’s so young and small and puppy and please don’t kick it, Skins?


Sophy says: Grace skips out onto her balcony all Is it a bird?? IS IT A PLANE???

Rin says: Oh my god. Wouldn’t it have been the greatest if Superman (Dean Cain Superman) had shown up? 8-.


Rin says: It’s been over two fucking years. Give it a rest JJ.

Sophy says: He’s just not a nice person.


Sophy says: When Grace heard the pebbles and hurried to the window I realized they were going to go the Romeo & Juliet route, and quite honestly, I was apprehensive. Skins has used this cliche very well before with Tony/Michelle and Freddie/Cook, but the fact remains that you always run the risk of a cheesefest as soon as balconies are involved. You run the risk of letting the cliche use the characters, rather than having the characters use the cliche, and this scene sails close to the wind that way, because there is nothing cynical about it – because it is pure, unbridled, naive joy. Basically, it is as close to the spirit of the source material as you can get.

I am not a sucker for the source material. Or rather, I am only a sucker for the source material when read cynically. And I only really enjoy a Romeo & Juliet riff in my TV when it’s the asshole’s version.

This is not the asshole’s version. It’s Grace’s version, made for her by Rich.

And I absolutely adored it.

Rin says: And here’s where I just about started to die and melt and be a puddle on the floor.

Because oh my god. This is beyond sweet and lovely and completely within the realm of this entire episode. And Romeo & Juliet, it’s been done time and time again and somehow here it feels completely new all over.

And this is my FAVOURITE musical moment of the series. Radical Face – Welcome Home, Son — I can’t hear the start of this song without getting chills. Pleasant, pleasant chills.





Sophy says: Rich appears and belts out the classic It is my lady, it is my love. He’s only being about as ridiculous as he usually is, but Grace smiles, because he’s being more consciously ridiculous than he would ever have dreamed of being if it weren’t for her. It if weren’t for taking his own leap of faith, right here, right now.

There is a moment, in the midst of these caps, after the perfect bold relief of “It is the east and Juliet is the sun,” when Rich looks at Grace and Grace looks at Rich and everything clicks into place – the whole scene, the whole episode, their whole relationship, everything that makes them who they are and what they will be for each other – it all works. Grace’s world rights itself, suddenly, unexpectedly, and Welcome Home, Son starts to play.

This moment is a triumph of writing, acting, and musical accompaniment. This moment is a singer reaching for a high note and hitting it.

Rich hurries to the drainpipe, because this whole happy ending deal would not be complete without a heroic physical exploit of some kind.

And also because if he rang the doorbell at this hour Blood would probably call the cops. Or, you know, he would probably call the caps if Rich rang the doorbell at any hour.

Rin says: I’m sorry but, that third cap? All the awards.

Look at Grace, high up in her tower. Ready to let her hair down.



Sophy says: Rich struggles up the drainpipe in an ungainly, unhandsomeprincely way that makes it clear how very unsuited he is to this role. And that’s why it works. That’s why it makes Grace’s face and heart light again.

It’s because of all the damn effort he’s suddenly making for her.

In some ways Grace’s episode retraces Rich’s episode, only on a much larger scale. In Rich’s episode Grace was the initiator of all things. She was the one trying all the time, even if trying is not necessarily an effort for people like her. She’s all about the identity sushi, and so it is a genuine joy for her to spend a day learning to be metal. She’s not putting anything on in that episode, not exactly. It’s just that putting things on is who she is. She was born to meet people halfway, whereas Rich was born to stay buried inside his sulky, one-track self. So Grace makes all the running, over and over again, and just when you’re thinking he’s an ass who doesn’t deserve her, he gets lucky and goes deaf. This leads him to his first act of openness, and oh his face when he watches Grace dance.

In this episode again, Grace is the one trying, and not just for Rich this time, for everyone, including herself. Because if Rich’s episode was all about what Grace means to him – about him – for him – Grace’s episode is all about what she means to herself and to the world. The stakes are much higher for Grace in this episode. It’s about her whole way of life – it’s about the only way she knows how to exist in the world – it’s not just about a boy anymore, we have moved on from all that. And then this strange little coda happens and we’re right back where we started. It is all about a boy – the boy – because now he is all about her. Because now he is the one trying. And this time Rich doesn’t just tip-toe to the door of Grace’s world and peer in. This time he makes himself a part of it.

Rin says: And that’s the thing. This moment isn’t romantic and beautiful because it’s Romeo & Juliet, it’s because it’s Rich, completely abandoning everything that “Rich” is because he just wants to make the girl he’s in love with happy. Because if she’s not real? He doesn’t want to be real either.



“…as is a winged messenger of… heaven.”

Sophy says: Okay, so Alex’s delivery of the above line is one of my favourite deliveries of any line by any actor in all of Skins. It was just utterly perfect in the way where it lights me up. And so this was the moment I decided that alongside Freya, he was the standout discovery of this generation. And I actually think all of these kids are great, so.

Know what the funny thing is? The delivery was so perfect, because it was so damn out of character. Heaven was completely abandoned and almost drunk in the completely opposite fizzy light way to the dull somnolent way he was drunk at the club. He is drunk on love here – honestly, as cliched as that is, it’s the only way I can describe what I’m seeing. Rich is drunk on love and not in the least bit embarrassed about it.

Which.

CAN YOU IMAGINE? RICH HARDBECK NOT EMBARRASSED?

He spends his whole life being embarrassed – the first-hand kind, usually, usually disguised as the second-hand kind. Embarrassment is pretty much what he’s all about.

But in this moment Rich is free – of his own insecurities, of the limitations the too true stories of our lives impose on us all. And that’s because he’s in Grace’s world now, where he can buy flowers that are not for his mum, quote the girliest sappiest stuff out loud without a hint of an eyeroll, play the romantic lead, not the wacky sidekick, climb a drainpipe while he’s at it, and yes, he can propose to his girlfriend of far too few months – he can fully believe in the impossible dream of eloping together and living happily ever after.

Rich can do all of these things on this night because he is a fucking fiction, and he can do fucking anything.

Rin says: Um. So. I kind of feel like wanting to cry right now. And it has to do with this scene and the sheer beauty of it and how Skins can be so fucking perfect at times.

At times.



Sophy says: Grace hauls Rich up into her room and sits him down on the bed, at which point he is all adorably “Alack,” hand to the forehead. He continues to quote – to exist inside the story – and Grace persists in playing real, telling him to be quiet, her dad will hear them, he’s sweet but this – them – the fairytale, can’t happen.

Rin says: Haha I love that he’s just about ready to pass out from the climb. It’s the little things like that, that make this scene work so well. Because it’s already so out there with the Shakespeare and the balcony’s they needed to add in the touches of Rich being Rich, in order for us to have a bit of a giggle because they’re moments of self-awareness, from Rich, from Skins, that we’re being a bit ridiculous and we know it. But hey, it’s a story? Deal with it.



Sophy says: “There’s nothing we can do,” Grace says, “it’s over,” and Rich is all “Ohhhh,” because Grace is not playing the game right at all. “Wouldst thou leave me so unsatisfied?” he asks, and it’s supposed to be flirty, silly, fun, fanciful, but Grace still lingers in real world. “Tell me,” she says, “Tell me what’s left to do?”

“The exchange of thy love’s faithful vow for mine?” Rich says, like it’s just another day at the office. Grace is perplexed – gently perplexed. She hasn’t even gotten the place where he might mean what he seems to mean yet.

Rin says: And Grace has the most adorable perplexed face in all the lands?? Y/Y??

Sophy says: ELEVEN HUNDRED AND TWELVETY Ys.



“What do people in Shakespeare’s plays do when it’s all fucked, when they’re trapped? How do they work it all out? Maybe stories are just stories, or maybe… we can make our life a story. So marry me, Grace Violet Blood.”

Sophy says: He does mean it though. Sort of. As long as he’s in Grace’s world, he means it. Rich asks Grace to marry him, and it’s honestly one of the most ridiculous and most perfect proposals I’ve ever seen on television.

A lot of people were very anxious about this teen wedding stuff after this episode aired, and I can fully understand why, livid as I am now about Rachel and Finn on Glee. But I didn’t really feel anxious when it happened on Skins. The reason? I trusted these writers enough to know that they weren’t going to completely insult my intelligence. I was fairly convinced that the wedding would not go ahead in the finale, because this whole thing is about tonight. It’s about Grace being able to finish the story.

And look, there are similarities. Both Finn and Rachel’s decision to get married and Rich and Grace’s decision to get married are both about solving problems. But whereas Finchel are very earnestly trying to fill respective voids with each other, Rich and Grace are just trying to solve a logistical problem. They’re really just trying to say no to the horse poo school – no to the wicked witch Mr Blood and his attempts to keep them apart. But I always had faith that they’d realize they were kind of using excessive force with the whole matrimony thing, and choose to just be together instead. Once they realized that option was on the table.

Rin says: Yeah, I was surprised by how much I wasn’t worried that they were teens proposing and accepting. I was preeetty sure they weren’t going to go through with it, because Skins is always just so mature about a lot of things, and never treat these kids as kids. They respect them enough to not let them have a foolish teen wedding.

Unlike that so-called Finchel.



Sophy says: Grace smiles, looks tender and sad and as though she might be about to say something sensible like “You’re sweet, Rich, but…” Rich leans in to kiss her quickly, and by the time he pulls away, Grace seems to have understood what he’s doing – what they can both do together for tonight at least.

Because it’s not about getting married, not really. It’s about believing they can.

Rin says: There is.. nothing more. beautiful. than. this. and. them. and. the welled eyes. and.

being things for each other. And. how it makes me unable to capitalise letters. and. things.




“Oh, wonder
How many goodly creatures are there here!
How beauteous mankind is!
O brave new world
That has such people in it.”

Sophy says: Grace could not have found a more perfect way to answer the proposal. Jamie Brittain could not have found a more perfect set of words to end the episode.

When Rich says earlier “See how she leans her cheek upon her hand,” both of Grace’s hands are firmly upon the ledge. When he recites “And Juliet is the sun,” he doesn’t do something corny like substituting his girl’s name for the heroine’s. Because this is not about Rich and Grace being just like Romeo and Juliet. They really bear very few similarities to those two crazy kids, and that’s why it’s so perfect that Grace answers his proposal not with Juliet’s lines, but with a quote from another Shakespeare play altogether. Because she’s never going to let the stories tell her – she’s going the tell the stories.

Rin says: This is the kind of TV that makes me proud I love it so much. You know? The kind of TV that is art.

Because it is art. It’s a stroke of creative genius and deserves to be recognised as such. If people ever tell me that I’m wasting my heart on TV, I’ll shove this in their face and won’t let them go until they admit that they are wrong.

Everything about this scene is glorious. The acting, the writing, their shiny faces. And I just want to LAUGH in the faces of everyone who said Jessica Sula can’t act. Cause, lol. Get out. You. Morons.

This kind of verse is just one of those things that I would expect to find under Grace’s character description. Because it’s just so her and speaks of everything that she believes in. That the world isn’t ruined and filled with bad, bad people. And it really is the perfect set of words to end the episode, because Grace has found herself — and this time we feel like she’s never going to lose sight of that again.



“AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHFHFHEISFJ;SLOKGP’OKG’PMLSEKJ;GLKJR;LGKJD;LKJG’D;LK’;LKG”

Sophy says: Sorry. That wasn’t the episode talking. That was us. Talking with our faces on our keyboards.

BUT SERIOUSLY, THAT SILHOUETTE RIGHT THERE. I CAN’T EVEN.
I don’t think there’s much I could say about this scene that wouldn’t amount to me repeating myself like some kind of drooling, giddy fool. So I’ll just talk about how I feel about the scene (like some kind of drooling, giddy fool.)

I cried when I first watched this scene. Subsequently, just the opening hum of the song had the potential to set me off in various awkward places such as the bus. And, you know, as beautiful as the scene is – as beautiful as this couple is, I was a bit perplexed by the violence of my emotional response. Normally these kinds of feelings are reserved for ships I’ve watched grow over a long period, who have layered and layered their way over my heart, like some kind of papier mache of TV goodness. I haven’t spent nearly enough time with Rich and Grace to feel this way, and yet?

On reflection I realized two things. 1) That is a testament to the exceptional writing in both of their episodes – that with so little time such fullness of emotion has been achieved. 2) It’s not really about Rich and Grace at all for me.

Wow, that sounds wrong. I’d never want anyone to get the impression that I didn’t adore these two, and in fact think theirs is one of the loveliest romances Skins has ever written. It’s just that they’re kind of more than that for me. Just like this scene is not about a particular story, but the generality of stories – the very concept of concepts… so Rich and Grace are not about Rich and Grace for me, but about the pure, raw experience of love and learning, holding on, letting go, and that one bright moment in your life when anything seems possible.

Basically this episode sent me on a nostalgia trip of the most hideous and painful kind. Because the way Rich and Grace feel in this scene, the way they are in this scene… I know it. I understand it. But I also understand that I will never, ever feel it again. And that perhaps I never quite felt it right at all.

Skins pulls this shit on me a lot – guts me with the knowledge of how old I’ve gotten and how I’m now watching television looking back at an impossible dream, instead of forward at a dream equally impossible but not known to be so. That’s the point.

 

Rin says: Totally. I had a similar reaction in the way where I felt like on the one hand it’s Rich and Grace being their beautiful selves, and on the other it’s so-o-o-oooooooo-o nostalgic because of how free and optimistic they are. And how beauteous mankind is.

Although I think I was left feeling with a lot more optimism about everything, which may just be the way Rophy always works, but I felt like it was a closing of chapters. Almost like a cathartic experience, because we all lose our youth, but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing? The future can be as equally exciting? Something like that? I’m sounding more unsure as I go along?

Maybe Rophy aren’t good for each other in the way where we’re both addicted to the past.

Sophy says: LET’S BE CO-DEPENDENT NOSTALGIA-NUTS FOREVER.


Rin says: Careful, the wind might change.

Sophy says: I’d marry it in a heartbeat.


Rin says: So many slow claps.

Sophy says: I consider this episode to be among the most perfect of Skins episodes. I can understand why some other people don’t, particularly if they wrote it off as a trite teen romance with a ridiculous ending cribbed straight from a classic. But I think there is so, so much more to it than that, as I’ve no doubt made clear with the past three pages of gushing.

So, let me just say that I disagree, 507-haters. I disagree with all my heart and I will be clapping till my hands bruise.


Rin says: I DO! I DO! I DO!

Sophy says: GRACE, CHRIST. THAT BOW-TIE.


Rin says: HE JUST WANTS TO FUCK YOU AND THEN FUCK YOU UP!

Salivation was had.

Sophy says: The level of sheer madness Rin and I went through on first watching this ‘Next time’. I can’t even tell you.

We were two crazy people. And by that I mean crazy for us.


Rin says: That second cap? How? Pants?

Sophy says: Sorry Franky, Effy’s winning.


Rin says: Our hero.

Sophy says: And so say both of Rophy. 8-.

74 Responses

  1. NiQky
    NiQky at · Reply

    OhmygodsomuchLOLing!!

    ““Give me my veil. COME! Throw it o’er my face.””
    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.
    — yessss!! A million times, yes! :D

    and gosh… talk about suffering from Glee withdrawal – Berry’s College For Young Ladies – hahahaha!!!too good though :D

    And Frank the Goat!! LOL!!!

    And I KEPT MY EYE ON THE DRINK! I didn’t notice that before! *gleeeee!!!*

    “Mini and Grace’s little synchronised ventriloquist shrug is the best thing in the world” - that IS very cute ^^

    “This is such a dreamer/realist moment. I can’t. All the best ships you guys, all the best ships.” - ah… yes… in a nut shell 

    I love how Mini delivered this line: “Um, but… um, but rather reason thus than reason fetter. Love sought is good, but given unsought is better.”

    Rachel Berry/Sophia/IMAY cameo – LOL!

    “She let me kiss her” cap – LOL!

    Naomily testament! – LOL!!!

    Effy – Matty – Sophia - I can’t… … LOL!!!!!

    And O_O … Howl’s …. You included Sophie…. … I didn’t pay much attention to anything you included after that bit…

    Brought back by Romeo-Rich … those two pictures of him on the lawn, holding the rose… I love

    Rich beheaded JJ …O_O… that was… gruesome… what even… …… O_O

    1. NiQky
      NiQky at · Reply

      well… if that wasn’t my longest comment on rophy ever…! >_<

    2. Sophy
      Sophy at · Reply

      Oh Nicky! Your list is the best :) Thanks for commenting… and yeah, Rich went a bit far, I guess :(

  2. Beatrice
    Beatrice at · Reply

    I miss Grace terribly. I haven’t realized how much I loved Jessica’s face. It’s all sorts of amazing.
    That thing you said about the past and being nostalgic about the innocence of it all and all the endless possibilities, that really hit home.
    I’m 20 now and I feel all that has passed for me. And then I remember I never was like that and it saddens me. (or maybe I’m just edgy because I got an office job for 5 months and it was like a flash into the future and God, I hate it for so many reasons, the main one being I’m not a kid anymore.)
    But that has less to do with the episode.

    The proposal was perfect and to be fair, I didn’t mind if they got married or not. Because all of it worked so well and was so hopeful and beautiful that it made me believe that they could work. (unlike Finchel, where every time they mention marriage I cringe).

    Oh Rich and Gracie, you were so beautiful and I will always love you.

    I also loved all the Minky in this episode. Freya is wonderful. I want to see her in everything ever. Alex too.

    Rich reminds me so much of myself when I was younger. The don’t compromise, be yourself (with just a side to yourself that you present to everyone).

    Now I wanna be Gracie when I grow up.

    1. Sophy
      Sophy at · Reply

      Beatrice, honestly… as much as I get what you mean by feeling like it’s all behind you at 20, I have to tell you that when you’re 25 you’ll look back on 20 with a miserable fondness, so. Enjoy it as much as you can, I guess? But I know what you mean about office jobs and the sinking reality of them. WORST.

      Now I wanna be Gracie when I grow up.

      This is a solid life goal.

      Thanks for commenting :)

      1. Beatrice
        Beatrice at · Reply

        Thanks for responding.

        I must say I’m more at peace with the idea now. If Skins and your recaps are able to stir such feelings in me, I assume someone is doing something right.
        I think I feel old because I was the oldest one in class and I have a friend who told me I’m almost 20 (with a really dramatic #yourlifeisover voice). When I turned 18. :)) Can’t wait for September to return the favor. >:)
        Then again I’m one of the youngest ones at work, so..
        Speaking of work, fortunately the company decided not to renew my contract which means that in about a week I’ll be unemployed. And that makes me happier than it should ’cause I’ll have more time to paint and draw and study for my Art Uni entrance exam). I fucking hated the job, despite it not being that bad (QA tester in the games industry). It took me 1 hour to get there and another one to come back home. 11 hours a day ruined by crappy work. (The pay was good though..) I think I’m too young for a desk job.
        Now to be frank, I have one think that I look forward too. I have a concept for a painting that I really want to see IRL in the next 10 years. I say the next 10 years because the piece is so rudely and impractically large (made of 50 100×120 cm canvases). Also really expensive. Basically a bad idea on so many levels. But, that’s just kinda making me want to do it more.
        So there’s that ahead. *and being Gracie*

        1. Sophy
          Sophy at · Reply

          Oh how awesome! Definitely do it.

  3. Sanji
    Sanji at · Reply

    So I take it you’re not liking series 6 much? :(

    Anyway, I’m not a Jessica Sula hater at all, but I do think she’s the weakest link and I had problem with a couple of her scenes in the past so I was really worried about this episode. I get uninterested really quickly if an actor can’t do his job, it’s one of those things I just can’t get over when I’m watching TV. The thing with Jess imho is that she has some amazing moments and some really weak ones, so you never know how she’s gonna be next. I had some problems with her in this episode too but on the other hand her Shakespearean is the best I’ve ever heard (along with Alex’s) and it made the final scene one of the most memorable of the series.
    What ruined the episode for me (and I’m not saying I hated it but I could have liked it a lot more) was Mrs Blood. I just can’t stand the actress, I hated all her scenes despite the amazing dialouge because. I feel like this is the only (half) false step in the series and it’s really a pit, because all the other episodes are amazing and this could’ve been too very easily. It’s just a good episode now.

    Agreed on the love/Matty/Liv thing. It’s not love, but they’re in a middle of a play when they’re supposed to be silent and they’re 16, of course Liv is gonna say love even if it’s not exactly what she means, and I hate when people bring it up to diss Matty. It was just a poor choice of words dictated by the hurry of the situation. I have the same feeling on Grace/Rich as you do. I love them but whenever I see them I’m reminded of something else too and that’s the first time it happened on Skins. And just to get back on the love topic, I feel like they’re the only couples who truly loved each other since Tony/Michelle.

    I’ll talk about Minky in the finale. I feel like it’s more about Mini’s journey than anything ship-related and we obviously have very different opinions about it, but I’ll save it for later.

    1. Sophy
      Sophy at · Reply

      We’ll get to series 6 soon and all our feelings will be revealed.

      To be honest, I can understand thinking Jessica is the weakest link – as in thinking she’s the least good out of the group. But thinking she’s the weak link, in the sense that she’s bad to the point of letting everyone else down… that’s what I can’t agree with, personally. We’ll have to agree to disagree on the actress who played Mrs Blood too – probably for the exact same reasons we disagree on Jessica’s performance, as detailed in the recap.

      Ahhhhh Sanji. Always pushing Rophy’s envelope. Obviously you know we think Naomi/Emily and Freddie/Effy loved each other at least as truly as Tony/Michelle ever did ;)

      As for Minky in the finale, we very much agree that it’s about Mini’s journey. We are only ever invested in a ship if we feel it is important or interesting in terms of the character’s separate development, and so we enjoy Minky because it’s about who Mini is. We would never allow attachment to a ship to cloud our judgment in terms of characters and writing, especially not with a show we take as seriously as Skins.

      Thanks for commenting Sanji. Like Rin said, some of your opinions sure get under our skin, but we appreciate that you’re always cool about it. *highfive*

      1. Sanji
        Sanji at · Reply

        I may have trolled a bit skipping Naomily (is there an emoticon for the eyeroll?). And just to be clear, I wasn’t saying that your shipping coulds your judgment at all – I think you’re one of the few people who try and manage to be as objective as they can when they want. I have kind of the same feelings on Minky as I have on Faberry in the sense that I don’t really see it as a ship but rather a one sided crush and focused more on one character’s journey rather than a couple, that’s all I was trying to say. As for Jessica, I think she’s a good actress, just not as good as the rest of them. The level in this gen is amazing, imho they’re the most talented cast Skins has had. She’s absolutely not a let down or anything of that sort.

        1. Sophy
          Sophy at · Reply

          You and I agree on Faberry and Minky both. It’s just that I really enjoy that kind of ship, I guess! And seriously, Sanji, mate, you don’t wanna troll Rin about Naomily. Bad things will happen.

          And the eyeroll is…… 8 – )

    2. Nemesis
      Nemesis at · Reply

      Please… Matty’s actor is clearly the weakest link! He produces great chemistry with people, but every word he says is just… you know it’s scripted and he doesn’t bring it across. Jess may not be the strongest actor by Skins standards, but she’s still better than many others.

  4. mandorla
    mandorla at · Reply

    Oh god, hero-Rich! LOL!

    oh, back when this generation was good…. it was sweet to have a nice Rophycap to remind me.

    1. Sophy
      Sophy at · Reply

      We live to give! Glad you enjoyed Rich’s exploits, even if they were a bit caveman :)

  5. Amy
    Amy at · Reply

    I want to comment on everything (seriously, I would recap your recaps if I could) but I can’t so I will just pick two things to say:

    SCOOPED IT OUT OF THE PUNNET. I just, when I realised that’s where you were going. BEST.

    “Skins pulls this shit on me a lot – guts me with the knowledge of how old I’ve gotten and how I’m now watching television looking back at an impossible dream, instead of forward at a dream equally impossible but not known to be so. That’s the point.” …so ngh.

    Oh, and one more thing, because: how devasating was it to read this in light of series 6? :( :( :(

    as usual, a perfect recap, but this was especially beautiful.

    1. Sophy
      Sophy at · Reply

      HAHAHAHAHA OH AMY. I’m so glad you got it :) I got really confused too, because I was checking the exact quote from the movie and kept finding “Scooped it out of the tub.” And then I looked on youtube for the scene and found it AND SHE WAS SAYING TUB. AND I WAS SO FLUMMOXED BECAUSE. PUNNET. WHAT. Turns about Americans can’t be trusted to find out what punnet means, so they dubbed over the original. Which. Lol.

      I must admit, part of the reason Grace’s episode was so long in coming, was that it was so hard to recap it in light of season 6 :(

      Glad you enjoyed it though, and thanks for commenting :)

  6. Pocketsized
    Pocketsized at · Reply

    I had to google what ‘on the turps’ meant but now i know it’s australian slang for alcoholic beverages. OH SOPHY YOU CUTE AUSTRALIAN DINOSAUR YOU :)

    ps awesome recap. back to the old days of JJ hate, sophia and just general skins fangirling, i love it :’)

    1. Sophy
      Sophy at · Reply

      HAHAHAHAHAAH. I have to say, Rin and I honestly were discussing how we kind of miss JJ and his ukuleles. It was unnerving.

      1. Pocketsized
        Pocketsized at · Reply

        oh god :| I do love ukuleles but JJ? no.

        1. Sophy
          Sophy at · Reply

          You’re probably right. That was kind of too far.

  7. carol
    carol at · Reply

    The graphic novel Liv is reading (Blankets by Craig Thompson) is the best graphic novels of all time.
    And then you manipped Naomily into it.
    And I just.
    I can’t even?
    I love you?
    Please never stop?

    PS: Awesome recap, I particularly agree on your commentary of the Minky kissing, just. Yeah.
    I missed your Skins recaps. A lot. Carry on.

    1. Sophy
      Sophy at · Reply

      EVERYTHING IS BETTER WITH A LITTLE MANIPPED NAOMILY. Even the best graphic novel of all time.

      Thanks for reading and commenting. We shall carry on! :)

  8. lauren
    lauren at · Reply

    I’m glad you guys are back to recapping. I have to say I’m one of those “morons” that thinks Jess’s is sort of the weak link (but not by much), and I’m glad you guys explained how you think her stilted and sometimes slightly unbeliveable line deliveries actually go along with her character. That makes me appreciate her acting a bit more, but I still don’t think she’s the most natural actor. Sorry.

    I find it interesting to see how your priorities in tv watching and shipping has kinda changed. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but you used to include sophia/mandy/naomily manips and gifs in every recap, and this one had mostly Glee manips with a few sophia and naomily ones. Obviously you guys can do whatever you want, but part of me wishes your obsession with Glee could stay with the Glee caps.

    One final thing – I found your talk of “fandom” a bit condescending in this recap. I’m by no means a Franky/Matty or Franky/Mini shipper, but I think you guys risk alienating your Minky fans with the way you talk about their “irritating” and “unfounded” hate of Matty.

    Anyways, I know you guys don’t take criticism well, so I’m sure you’ll either bash me in a response or not respond at all, but I just had to share some thoughts I had. Obviously this is your website and you can write/do whatever you want with it, but as a huge fan of your past recaps, there were some things that bothered me.

    1. Sanji
      Sanji at · Reply

      Not to start anything, but it is really irritating, and Matty is not even my favourite character. He’s been getting a lot of shit (just like Alo is now) and mostly by shippers. Dissing another character because of a ship is stupid. I’ve never understood why anyone would spend so much time hating on someone and making sure everyone knows about it. Still, the Skins fandom lately has become one of the worst I’ve ever seen. Frankly I’m glad they called part of the fandom out because it’s embarassing. I’ve stopped looking thought the Skins tags because I’m ashamed to be a fan of the show.

      Also, they don’t bash anyone who hasn’t got their opinion. I don’t always agree with them but they’ve never insulted me and I’ve always felt welcomed. It’s all a matter of how you say things, and saying you’re sure they’re gonna bash you or be rude certanly isn’t the best way to start a conversation. No one is going to come at you for having an opinion.

      1. Sophy
        Sophy at · Reply

        Aw, Sanji ♥

      2. Nemesis
        Nemesis at · Reply

        The weirdest thing is I don’t dislike Matty from any shipper pov. It’s just because of everything he’s ever done. Shippers may be the loudest in their dislike, but don’t discount the fact that Matty just has those EYES. And constantly creeps around like a pedo in a playground, just watching… it’s just, he’s too creepy for me to like. I can’t describe it any better. He makes my skin crawl.

    2. Sophy
      Sophy at · Reply

      Lauren, your comment perplexes me. That last paragraph makes it seem like you’re just here to attack us. It’s rude to say to someone that you know their MO is to bash people. And in our case it’s actually untrue, which makes it doubly hurtful and confusing.

      So I’m not sure if you’re really here to raise your concerns with us, or just to make us feel bad, and that makes it difficult to answer your comment. I’ll try anyway.

      Our references to fandom in this recap were not supposed to be condescending, as we consider ourselves a part of fandom. Also, being big Minky fans, it’s never our intention to mock people for… being big Minky fans. As for the specific instance of me saying I think the Matty hate in fandom is unfounded and irritating. Well… I do. It’s my opinion. It doesn’t mean I think people who don’t enjoy Matty’s character or his relationship with Franky are stupid. It certainly doesn’t mean I’m attacking Minky fans – you are the one who linked Matty hate specifically to Rophy’s fellow Minky fans, not me.

      Look, I can get people not liking Matty or Fratty. I can respect that. But I think the level of sheer vitriol against the character is disproportionate and grating. It was the same thing with Freddie. I didn’t think it was reasonable then and I don’t think it’s reasonable now. I’m afraid I can’t pretend otherwise.

      Re: Jess, we don’t literally think people who think she’s not the best are morons. Rin was having a hysterical response to the amazingness of the final scene. I’m sure she never meant to offend you with that. Anyway, I can understand how you might think she’s the weakest link, that’s your prerogative. It really only offends me when people say she’s the weak link, in the sense of being awful. That I find unfair. It will be interesting to see whether Jess is a natural actor or not. I guess we’ll only know for sure when she takes on another role that requires her to be natural.

      I’m sorry our Glee obsession overlapping with our Skins obsession irritates you, but I really don’t think we can contain it. There were only 4 Glee-related macros in this recap to my memory, out of 26 macros overall. If we start nearing 50/50 I’ll send us both to Gleehab, I promise.

      Anyway, I hope that clears our intentions up for you, at least. And I hope we can all go forth in peace.

  9. Elysse
    Elysse at · Reply

    I heard Welcome Home, Son the other day on an advert for cameras or something and I was so upset because I was like “that is Grace and Rich’s song forever! Not for selling cameras!”

    In other news, I was so excited to wake up to a Skins recap! I miss them and I was so glad to see Jess’ adorable little face all over. Reading the recaps always reminds me of the best parts of Skins.

    Also, poor Matty, he gets no chance for love because he’s never in the episodes and/or getting his own. He just get stuck with creepy eyes…

    1. Sophy
      Sophy at · Reply

      THAT IS SO WRONG. RICH AND GRACE DON’T WANT TO SELL CAMERAS.

      Um.

      Thanks for commenting Elysse, we appreciate it. And yeah, Matty really got the rough end of the Skins stick. To match his rough end of the fandom stick. He has a lot of rough ends. I’m sure he treasures them.

  10. Elaine
    Elaine at · Reply

    I loved this recap so much! It reminded me of how much I adored this episode and series 5 in general.

    I really liked your analysis of Grace’s mom. I originally thought her character was a bit too ridiculous/unbelievable, but thinking of her as “emotionally stunted by domestic abuse” adds a whole new layer of amazing to this episode and makes me anxious to re-watch it!

    I’m interested to hear your thoughts regarding season 6, particularly where the writers have gone with Mini. I’m just not sure what to think.

    On a side note, Franky/Goat is my new favorite thing.

    1. Sophy
      Sophy at · Reply

      Thanks Elaine! We’re always glad to remind people of HOW GREAT SERIES 5 WAS OMG.

      It’s cool that you’re more interested in Mrs Grace based on our analysis. I’m not even sure we’re right about her or anything, but it’s interesting to think about, for sure!

      We’ll be onto s6 soon.

      FRANKY GOAT GRUFF. ♥

  11. Robyn
    Robyn at · Reply

    Great recap, as usual. It’s been a while since I’ve seen the ep, but I remember thinking that Mrs. Grace seemed really brittle. I thought it was more like a sort of expired version of Grace’s ability to be whoever she wanted/needed to be in the moment. Expired, like it’s not fun anymore and she just didn’t have a true personality of her own. Not explaining this well, but I don’t think it’s going to get better. Seeing her as a domestic abuse victim makes a lot of sense in explaining her fragility and lack of spine. I also wondered how long Mini, Liv, and Grace had known each other considering that Blood came as such a shock. Weren’t they like friends for years or did they just meet each other an hour before Franky showed up?

    1. Sophy
      Sophy at · Reply

      You know I think you’re right – it’s as though Mrs Grace is a cautionary tale for Grace in a way – what she could become if she lets her storybook attitude to life devolve into a self-destructive denial.

      It always seemed to me, based on the show, that Mini and Liv had been friends for years, but their friendship with Grace was relatively new. And like you say, it just wouldn’t make sense for them to have grown up with Grace without knowing Blood was her dad – especially because he wouldn’t have known to conceal his identity prior to Grace starting at the school.

      Thanks for reading, glad you enjoyed it :)

  12. Mad
    Mad at · Reply

    OH LAWD remembering all the brilliance of this episode. WALKING ON SUNSHINE OH MY GOD.

    Lol for real, the Rich escaping thing was ridiculous, but his enormous stature just made it so funny.

    OMG I FORGOT ABOUT THE HILARIOUS DAVID BLOOD TEMPERATURE CHECK. XD YES. HIS HAND. JUST. AHAHAHA. Yes, series 5 Blood is great, his hilarious physicality kills me.

    ANYONE WHO CHANNELS MRS. THOMAS WINS.

    The cast of this gen is just PERFECT, EVERYONE CAN SHUSH THEIR FACES.

    “THROW IT O’ER MY FACE” IS POSSIBLY MY FAVOURITE SKINS THING EVER. I may have screamed a bit when she said it from SHEER DELIGHT. MINI <3<3<3

    THE PEAS SONG. I CAN'T.

    I JUST LOVE MINI’S GANGLY ARMS + DANCING

    AH YES, good to see Sophia is still popping up all over the place.

    DOES ANYONE KNOW WHICH GRAPHIC NOVEL THAT IS? I am CURIOUS.

    MONOBROW BABY. I love you guys.

    RICH’S ALACK! It was beautiful. GOD I LOVED THAT SCENE SO MUCH.

    Now this is how you do a teen “marriage” storyline. TAKE NOTE, SO-CALLED FINCHEL.

    THIS FUCKING SCENE THOUGH. I just. I am remembering all the emotions. I THINK I NEED TO DO A SERIES 5 REWATCH.

    I will join you in your nostalgia-nuttiness. THAT’S SO ME.

    Spoilers in this paragraph for S6! Seriously this is just making me sad that series 6 is disappointing me in many ways. (Though not all. Mini's episode was YES. And Alo is still my ginger king. I think the return of BE might have been a bad thing though. There is just so much OOC behaviour. They seem to be trying to turn Franky into Effy, which, no. Also I think BE has made it less gay, which, whyyyy. I've only seen up to ep 5 though so far. I don't want this show to go back to the depressing mess of series 4 though!)

    Oh, also, are TV writers not aware that there are other interesting relationship problems in life besides cheating, love triangles and death? Seriously I have been dating the same person for over three years, I CAN SEND THEM A NICE LONG LIST. NOWHERE ON THAT LIST IS THE AFOREMENTIONED THREE THINGS.

    1. Sophy
      Sophy at · Reply

      We’ll save our thoughts on S6 for the recaps, but I’ve got to say I wholeheartedly agree with you on that last point – and that’s why I think there was a lot more juice in Rich/Grace.

      Thanks for reading and commenting Mad! ♥

  13. Federica
    Federica at · Reply

    I’ve missed your skins recaps so much!

    I nearly died of laughters at the Miyazaki reference and Rich having JJ chopped head as a gift.

    Reading all your comments about Grace/Rich and Grace/Mini’s gayness made me sad. All of this just went down the toilet with season 6 :(

    1. Sophy
      Sophy at · Reply

      OH FEDE. *jumps*

      I really miss Freddie and Effy. I really really miss them.

  14. Kim
    Kim at · Reply

    OMG! Is it true? We’re getting 3 skins specials in 2013? Please let it be true. I wan’t to see Naomily again so bad!

    1. Sophy
      Sophy at · Reply

      It’s true that Bryan Elsley and co want to make them! We’ll just have to wait and see if it all works out.

    2. Nemesis
      Nemesis at · Reply

      I’d prefer a new season. One that has Poppy in it.

      1. Dom
        Dom at · Reply

        Same here. Plus did you notice that Poppy was sitting at the same bus stop as Effy and Pandora in Thomas’ debut ep?

  15. Nemesis
    Nemesis at · Reply

    No words, just… can you believe it? LOL perfection:
    http://www.apetogentleman.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/Guyliner.jpg
    Why does this exist? It’s a male ego thing, right? Cause it’s EXACTLY the SAME product than eyeliner! But if you put manly words on it then it’s not “gay” anymore – like, don’t be gay, Gracy… man… good god!

    Loved your recap, the pictures were fantastic! I feel kind of cheated that Franky and Mins turned out so heteronormative in the end. It’s like… I liked their chemistry, but why did we even go there? Confusing…

    The weirdest thing about this episode though is that I loved things I thought I’d hate and hated characters I think we’re supposed to love. The proposal made me realize I had something in my eyes. Both of them. It was just so beautifully absurd! Especially Grace’s Shakespeare quote, that’s like, my favourite ever, I can still recite it. But Liv – are we supposed to feel sorry for her? If one of my friends bitched around how anyone dares to be mad at her, just because she repeatedly fucked my other friend’s boyfriend… I think I’d yell at her for an hour that she doesn’t get to play the victim card and then make her go apologize. I have absolutely no patience for people who fuck up their friend’s lives and then continue to demand that everyone should organize their lives around them, no matter how many broken hearts and bad grades other people get. Skins used to be good at calling people like Tony, Effy and Cook out on their bs and they continue to do so with Matty, Nick, Alo, Rich, Mini. Somehow Liv and later on Franky get a free pass for everything. It’s just weird.

    I really wish they had stuck with the Minky chemistry. It had more potential than what they did instead.

    And Grace… how can I never be mad at how cheesy her life is? Seriously, she’s like a real-life Disney princess, but I just adore her! And I want all doors to be opened by her that way, forever.

    1. Sophy
      Sophy at · Reply

      Haha, so glad we both love our real life Disney princess, Nemesis! Thanks for your lovely comment ♥

      1. Nemesis
        Nemesis at · Reply

        Everyone loves them, it’s like a universal law! I have a six year old cousin who is growing up to be a total princess and I support her 100% in that lif goal. Because she’s the cutest. Also, because she mixes being a princess with playing soccer. Clearly, she is perfection!

  16. viovio
    viovio at · Reply

    what are your favourite graphic novels? apart from blankets which you mentioned here

  17. anamewhatsinaname
    anamewhatsinaname at · Reply

    i honestly though you wouldn’t continue wit the reviews..or at least not skins. so glad i was wrong though
    :D

    “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.”

    i never though of it that way..wow /oprah moment

    “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.”

    rofl at the last part

    “Rin says: A pair of sweaty palms that want to gently cradle Franky’s face like a sparrow.”

    lmao

    needless to say i can’t wait for the next one and then S6. like most i’m super disappointed/mad/sad etc. with it so this will be a good catalyst for me i think haha

    p.s. got my rophy short not oo long ago (finally). i’m not a big merch person but it’s just so pretty. would have gotten it sooner had i known how freaking soft/comfy it is :)

    1. Sophy
      Sophy at · Reply

      Thank you for commenting whatsinaname! We’ll get to our S6 recaps soon, promise. I’m glad you enjoyed this one, and so chuffed you bought a shirt!

  18. Anna
    Anna at · Reply

    Franky Goat Gruff is the greatest thing I have seen in a long, long time. I feel a chuckle brewing from simply typing about it…

    Thank you for a lovely recap! And for reminding me about how lovely Season 5 was! And… yeah. Not going to comment on Season 6. But Season 5! Perfect. :)

    1. Sophy
      Sophy at · Reply

      We’re glad you enjoyed the recap! And Franky Goat Gruff in particular! Isn’t she precious? ♥

  19. digga
    digga at · Reply

    Glad that long, talky, funny, insightful Skins Rophy is back. I missed you guys.
    (I can kinda only do Glee when I’m inebriated.)

    1. Sophy
      Sophy at · Reply

      Glad you enjoyed the recap digga :)

  20. Dom
    Dom at · Reply

    I might not continue the current series of skins right now, seeing as the fact that I live in the US and I have to stream it online (which is not the case for The Fades bc it comes on BBC America), which is an extremely tedious process because my internet connection is sucky, so I think I’ll stick to these recaps for the remainder of the show, and in the meantime keep streaming my episodes of Daria whenever I can find a link.

  21. Essbe
    Essbe at · Reply

    It’s odd. When you asked the question, “Who stands around in their 16 year old daughter’s room wearing pearls and reading a book of fairy tales?” my first thought was Katie. I see a lot of similarities between the two. I don’t get the abusive vibe from Mrs. Blood as much as the I-have-created-this-narrative-for-myself-and-I-have-to-keep-it-going-no-matter-what. (Just like Katie in series 3.) For Mrs. Blood, the narrative is that she’s married the perfect guy, she has the perfect house, she has the perfect kid, etc – just what Katie wanted before her own episode.

    I think this shows a path Katie might have stumbled onto if she got her fantasy. But, then again, she did have a mouth on her… God Bless Katie FUCKING Fitch.

    1. Sophy
      Sophy at · Reply

      Interesting parallel… I do see what you mean, but I’m not sure it really fits for me. I can’t ever see Katie Fucking Fitch letting herself be pushed around by a paranoid husband. I think she would have kicked Blood to the curb a long time ago and I most certainly think she would stand up for her daughter if she ever has one. I see Katie as a lot more fierce than Mrs Blood.

      But you know, you’re right – maybe this is who Katie could have become if she hadn’t grown so much during s4. It’s food for thought.

  22. Essbe
    Essbe at · Reply

    Oh! Plus, PEARLS. Katie believes in them, and so should you.

  23. Rebeccapedia
    Rebeccapedia at · Reply

    I’m so glad I watched Liv’s S6 ep (best ep this season so far) before I watched this, because I have to say, I’d forgotten just how MAGICKAL (you can’t escape her, not ever) this gen was to begin with and how much I genuinely adored watching them unfold during their happy season. I get that things that happen during s6 would obviously majorly mess you up and change who you are as a person, but sometimes I feel like half the kids this season are totally different characters, I miss that Mini so much, it’s like they cut her open and scooped out her insides with an ice-cream baller, which I guess is what it feels like when that thing that happened happens.
    Even just the sight of Rich and his jacket and crazy hair makes me want to cry.
    God, their little faces during that last scene… I can’t.

  24. Tammy
    Tammy at · Reply

    Okay, this might get long. My apologies in advance.

    So, I’m a bit late to the party. I just watched S5. Like this weekend. But, I’ve been a bit late to the party for all of Skins. I watched my very first episode of Skins about a year and a half ago. I kept seeing references all over AfterEllen to some couple called “Naomily” and had no idea what people were talking about. So, I did a little research and discovered they were talking about this show Skins, from the UK.

    I hopped on to Netflix and found that they had S1-3 available. I had figured out that Naomi and Emily didn’t appear until S3, but I have always been a start from the beginning kind of person. So I dove right in with S1. And it was good, but I didn’t feel moved by it. For two reasons, I think. First of all, my entire purpose for even watching Skins was because it was supposed to have, according to everything I had read, one of the greatest representations of a lesbian relationship on television ever. I was watching while waiting for Naomily. So of course, S1, upon first viewing, just felt like filler until I could get to S3 and see what the hell everyone was talking about. Another reason I don’t think I completely appreciated S1 (and S2) was because the blatant drugs/alcohol/sex/this is what teenagers are really like concept blew my mind at first. I live in the US, and it’s absolutely true that all of our entertainment is completely whitewashed to a romantic view of what life is like, and it’s just absolutely not real. But I had never considered that, or even thought about it because I had never explored non-US entertainment. So Skins caught me off guard.

    I now want to go back and watch gen 1 all over again. I’ve only seen those episodes once, and I feel like now I could appreciate them for what they are. But, I digress. So, anyway, yeah. I was watching Skins only for the Naomily of it all. And then, somewhere along the way, I fell in love with Freddy. And Panda. And oh my good, Cook! I hated him at first, but he just grew on me before I realized it. Eventually S4 was available here, and I watched it and loved them all even more. But I was still a little convinced that the only reason I really loved Skins was because of Naomily.

    So, I discovered this weekend that S5 (and most of 6) are on Hulu. I was a bit apprehensive. But, I thought, what the hell. And then they had me. 10 minutes into to Franky’s episode and I realized, no, I don’t love Skins for Naomily. I love Skins because it’s Skins. And then, Rich’s episode. And it just kept going. And I realized that gen 3 will have a special place for me because they made me realize I love Skins for Skins’ sake, and not for just one isolated relationship (amazing as it was).

    So, anyway, all of that is a pointless lead up to this. Grace’s episode. And I realized that for what may be the first time, I don’t agree with Rophy! No! My heart broke you guys! Skins is the reason I found your website! And then, your website is the reason I love Faberry! And…and….NO. How can I be on a different page than you?

    So dramatic of me, yes? :) But, it was actually through reading your recap that I realized why I disagreed with you, and that it was okay. See, here’s the thing. The entire time through Grace’s episode all I could think was that I found her to be so fake that it annoyed me. I had really liked Grace through all the other episodes. She was so sweet, and so nice to everyone, and all the little things. The text to Franky on that first day? Sub, short for Subrosa? Come on! But, this entire episode I found her to be fake and over the top sweet. And a bit selfish and manipulative as well. Case in point…when Liv wants to leave in the middle of the play. Okay, poor behavior on Liv’s part because how can you leave a friend in the lurch like that? But Grace, instead of just telling Liv what was going on with her grade, and her father, and not wanting to leave, instead of just pleading to their friendship and asking Liv to stay for her, she (in my opinion) lies to Liv and tells her everything is going to be okay. No! It’s not going to be okay, not for Liv. And by failing to recognize and acknowledge this, Grace was being a poor friend. But she needed Liv for the play, so she manipulated her. As Rich pointed out, she was who she needed to be depending on the circumstances. That was my take on it upon first viewing. And to me, that meant insincere.

    But, here’s where Rophy is SO much smarter than me. When you were talking about Rich/Grace outside the bar and he is essentially calling her fake, you said something about Rich being so solid, and Grace being so dreamy, and it hit me. I’m Rich. Not in a metalhead kind of way, but in an uncompromising, stick to my guns no matter the situation or consequences kind of way. So of course I don’t totally understand Grace, or people like her in general. Because Rich certainly didn’t. He did by the end of the episode, though. And he was better for it.

    And by the end of your recap, I understood her too. So. You guys are the Grace to my Rich! And I feel so much better now. :)

    I haven’t watched S6 yet. I’m a little scared. I don’t know anything that happens, but I have heard that people were not totally happy. And this gen has become special to me, opening my eyes to the true glory that is Skins. *Gulp* I will bite the bullet soon though. I have to know.

    Thanks for letting people post long winded, pointless comments that are completely self-involved. :) And thanks for seeing all that there is to see under the surface of these characters.

    1. Sophy
      Sophy at · Reply

      awwwwwww what a LOVELY comment. Not pointless, not self-involved, we really appreciate you taking the time! Also I’d recommend that you give gen 1 another go sometime, but perhaps never ever watch series 6. Um. No, give it a go – there are some people who enjoyed it!

  25. brook
    brook at · Reply

    To prove she loves her more than CHEs. That pretty much made my life

  26. Ylva
    Ylva at · Reply

    I think you guys did an amazing job with this recap, I mean they’re allways amazing but this really helped me look at the episode differently and appreciate it so much more! Because I wasn’t totally convinced at first, or I wasn’t sure I understood what the writers wanted to say with some of the stuff in this ep, but I totally buy ur analysis cause it makes perfect sense, so thanks a lot!

    also, the comment about Franky and Grace having
    “an infinite supply of love” was so wonderful and spot on! thats why I love them to death! and it’s a pretty rare quality for well-written/acted tv characters I think, that they have that without being any less layered or complicated or “real”.

    also 2, The Naomily Testament is so fucking true to me, like it literally was a life-changer, in the best and scariest of ways! nd its still what I turn to when in doubt :)

  27. ohwowlovely
    ohwowlovely at · Reply

    Just, wow, lovely lovely lovely!

    I was thinking the exact same about Rich in the balcony scene before I read what you wrote!

    And Grace is quite a lot like me.

    Except I’m kind of old and bitter now, and I look back a lot too, just like Rophy.

    “To a fucking castle in a cloud” sheer genius.

    In fact everything about this damn show, it never ceases to amaze me. I agree, awards for everything and everyone!! Bravo Skins!

    I always forget half of my planned comments because there is SO much to comment on and compliment and I just love it and your recaps are so wonderful to read, I love the little personal comments about yourselves too, they always make me giggle, in a good way of course, you are totally my kind of people!

    Rophy deserve awards too!!

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