Sophy says: CREDITS! So far so pretty.
I spy a newb. All I know about him for now is that he’s gay. I’m sure that won’t be all there is to him though. I’m sure he’s here for all sorts of good reasons.
More on that in later recaps.
Rin says: Skins credits are always gorgeous..that we can’t fault them on.
I don’t play well with new characters.
Sophy says: WHAT, WE PLAYED WITH SKETCH. Sketch
Sophy says: So the Skins credits generally give cryptic little hints of what’s coming in the series. So it looks like Franky and Matty are going to be making out and then there’s going to be some distance between them. LIKE A CONTINENT LOL.
Or maybe they’ll just skip the making out and go straight to all the ways she hates him.
Pretty eye is pretty.
Rin says: They really love carpark rooftops don’t they. I do too.
Sophy says: Mini’s doing blowbacks! All I can think is that this must be a foreshadowing of her newfound love of blowjobs.
Rin says: But but but.. MINI. You’re not gay. You’re not allowed to do blowbacks. YOUR UNDERWEAR IS NEITHER STRIPED NOR BRIEF CUT.
Sophy says: Gorgeous. Look how they’re all crowding around Alo. That must be because he’s the “leader of the pack”. And stuff.
Matty’s closest to us. It’s probably because he’s on another continent. And stuff.
Rin says: I do love the overexposed decaying photo effect.
Sophy says: I figured we’d group these four shots together. The girls just looked so bereft without their special someones.
Rin says: Oh of course. CAUSE LIFE ISN’T ABOUT MAKING YOUR BOYFRIENDS HAPPY, EXCEPT IT REALLY IS. In Skins life.
Also that jacket is the best on Mini. THE BEST.
Sophy says: And that shot of Mini in the field is where my pants officially pooled at my feet. I also love how the yellow of the wall behind Liv links with the yellow of her dress. And the horizontal lines going on in both caps. And just. Mini/Liv, friendship OTP.
Rin says: It is so freaking gorgeous and yes, pants are off. But also, it’s so Glorious 39 that I can’t.
AHHA Mini/Liv friendship OTP. WHAT FRIENDSHIP. WHAT. FRIENDSHIP.
It’s like they never even bonded over their freckles or something.
Sophy says: OH MY GOD IT IS SO GLORIOUS 39 YOU ARE SO RIGHT.
Here, Rophites, have some free Romola, you deserve it:
Sophy says: MAYBE FRANKY DOESN’T HATE MATTY??? EXCEPT SHE REALLY REALLY DOES???
Rin says: No Sophy, she’s trying to break his neck
Sophy says: Ohhhhhhh.
Sophy says: Perfect darlings. Even if Rich’s styling makes me want to slap someone in the face.
Rin says: I almost don’t care because of THEIR ADORABLE FACES. That first cap is ridiculous because of Grace’s face and and how her arm is perched up and eeee. <3
Sophy says: You know, I find the remix of the theme this season a little too far over on the noise side of things. They should have just played ’99 Luftballons’ instead.
TEAM WITH THE THEME.
Rin says: Colourful balloons are always pretty… unless held by a clown.
The last shot of the group is very loveable though.
Sophy says: This just in, we are not in Bristol. We’re in sandy Morocco where the kids are holidaying, riding dirtbikes and howling excessively at their good fortune. This isn’t something Skins has done before, to my memory. The Russia trip in S1 was somewhat ridiculous, but it was a school trip so it was sort of Roundview’s ridiculousness. This is different, and I want to know how the hell this uniformally jobless gen of kids got the money for this epic summer holiday stuff – not to mention the permission. I was willing to suspend disbelief until I saw that Grace was along for the ride. That’s right, Grace Blood, the one with the psycho overprotective father who would never, ever in a million years let her go on a holiday like this, let alone fund it.
I bet he really, really wishes he’d been allowed to stay in character now.
Rin says: That’s always something Skins hasn’t really addressed though. The fact that they’re teenagers with no jobs, but they somehow always have money for drugs and alcohol and rent. So we can just assume they got the money somehow and are just in Morocco. Slumming it up. At least it’s pretty.
Which is I guess, why Daisy’s episode was a breath of fresh air. But that’s US Skins, and that’s like the distant relative we don’t really like to talk about too much.
Sophy says: I don’t know, I remember multiple references to jobs in gen 2 (JJ, Thomas, Freds), and gen 1 had much more concern for school so the lack of employment didn’t stand out. And I guess the salient point is that none of the stuff the kids did in those gens really seemed to require all that much cash, unlike, say, A HOLIDAY TO MOROCCO.
I mean, come on, Alo‘s parents sprang for this? I don’t think so.
Rin says: Oh, very true! I’d forgotten about JJ working at that lolly shop. Mostly because I block that episode out.
Sophy says: I like how Alo opens the season with a quirky, adorable map. It’s like he’s the new Franky or something! Do you hear that Mini? Do you? I think she hears it, you guys, judging by the way he stares at her tits and she seems… I don’t know? Flattered despite herself? Charmed because she just can’t help it?
Next up we have the old ‘girl thinks she has something on her, other girl fondles in response as all present males look on appreciatively’ chestnut. Pay attention to this, you guys. It’s important. It’s basically setting the tone for the way homosexuality will be treated in this series of Skins.
I was offended, of course – what right-thinking person wouldn’t be? But not as much as I might have been, given that at this point I had no idea that this shit was actually supposed to be part of Malo’s ship development rather than just an example of a horny boy being gross. I was calm. I was caaaaaalm.
Nick looks up at the sky with his adorable face on and sees a plane overhead. The four of them rush to meet their friends.
Rin says: We can be happy that we still have Nick’s derp face. That’ll never be tainted.
Sophy says: Rich and Grace are at the airport waiting for the others. As you can see, Rich is wearing a pink tank-top with a heart on it. The rationale for this is that “you don’t get heavy metal beachwear. It’s just not our scene.” Since you most certainly do get heavy metal beachwear and it consists of shorts and a t-shirt, I’m thinking the real reason for his get-up is that Bryan Elsley thought it would be funny.
Likewise I’m going to hazard a guess that Rich’s excuse for having had a trim since we last saw him is that Alex Arnold doesn’t like wearing that silly wig.
These are minor details, you say. I’m being a killjoy pedant. Maybe I am, but the fact remains that there is nothing metal about the boy in these caps. Nothing. And don’t point out the black cuff. Black cuffs are not metal. They are Avril Lavigne.
Still. I’ve missed Alex’s sulky face. It really is the best.
Rin says: That’s not even a black cuff, it’s a sweatband. Black cuffs are Ryan Atwood OH THE OC. I need to rewatch.
This recap might become about how much I can talk about other tv shows…
Also, I don’t think you’re being a kill joy. Because honestly? This is what Rich looked like not too long ago.
And it wouldn’t be so bothersome if he returned to a smidgeon of his look during any of S6, but he doesn’t. He kind of just stays in Morocco Rich mode.
Everyone kind of does actually…. maybe Skins chucked a LOST and they’re all dead???
See, that’s two different tv shows already.
Sophy says: Grace kisses Alex, sorry, Rich and tells him not to change. Too late, Gracie.
A random local who will later constitute Liv’s plotline for the episode comes up and starts speaking French. Grace, as it turns out, understands French perfectly. To the point where she knows the word for Ladyboy. It’s not funny when it’s moronically implausible, Skins. It is funny when Grace tells the guy that his offer of showing her wonders of Morocco sounds arousing, but I doubt that was intentional so much as someone’s translation fail.
Tip for the day: If you’re in a french-speaking country, don’t make the mistake of thinking ‘excitant’ substitutes for ‘exciting’.
Rin says: I still don’t know who the random is.
Or why he’s helping these kids. Or. Like. Anything. I’m sure it was explained, but I can’t seem to care because he’s in the episode for 5 minutes and serves no real purpose. He’s no Toxic Bob, that’s for sure.
Sophy says: Oh god, Toxic Bob I’M PINING
Sophy says: Anyway, the random makes fun of Rich’s get-up and Grace laughs, translates for Rich that he likes his shorts. Rich buys the compliment, and I’ve got to say that his appreciative face is adorable. Full marks to Alex for making it work.
Alo shows up and leaps into Rich’s arms. It’s completely amazing and I’m going to cherish it always and ignore the fact that Grace and the random are up to their third gay joke of the scene.
Rin says: Well this is kind of the last bit of adorable that we actually get to enjoy. After all this hugging we’re going to be dragging our feet through the dirt.
Sophy says: The others are close behind, and snuggles ensue, along with some weird thing the girls seem to be into now of calling each other ‘Black bitch’ and ‘Skinny bitch’ etc. Is this is a thing in the world of the young these days? I don’t even want to know. I just want to bask.
Rin says: Dragging. Feet. Through. The. Dirt.
Sophy says: Nick and Grace are the kings of the world. Mini is very excited about Alo’s erection.
I think this is supposed to be more ship build-up for these two. Depressing.
Rin says: I.
For a show that has given us things like, ‘I think I was born backwards.’
‘Do you remember when you rode with me in the ambulance after I tried to kill myself?’
‘That’s what love feels like.’
‘Be brave, want me back.’
‘It’s just when did it all get so fucking hard?’
‘Well… that’s what happens. But you adapt, don’t you? You look at what’s changed… and you find a way to own it.’
ETC ETC. THOSE ARE JUST A COUPLE CLASSICS. We could list pages of amazing writing.
Let’s just forget about this.
Sophy says: To be honest, there are times when I feel it might have been better this way.
(I’m going to let you guys guess who I’d let hang on to the plank of wood. I’ll get back to you on that at the end of the series.)
Rin says: Well, besides me, right?
And just so we’re clear, I will not go down with this ship.
Sophy says: The guys arrive at what turns out to be a kind of shoddy, half-finished villa, because life is like a box of chocolates.
Let’s treasure the above Mini/Liv cuteness, you guys. No really, everybody treasure.
Rin says: I shall put them in a treasure chest and bury them in my backyard like a Tegan and Sara song.
Sophy says: Alo runs and throws himself into the empty pool because he is a caricature of puppyish stupid. He’s completely fine though, don’t worry, because this scene is about lols, not physics.
Rider is on holiday with the gang, by the way. I can’t remember why. Probably because the place belongs to his father or something – that’s usually how the hilariously offensive character nobody likes is shoe-horned in.
Rin says: Not a single drop of Alo’s precious blood was shed.
Cause guys, this season? Alo is the golden boy, and nothing can touch him — no matter how much wrong he does.
Remember the Alo we cried over in his episode last season? When he went to Rich’s and talked about running away together but then he saw how happy Rich was, so he put Rich’s happiness ahead of his problems and and?
Sophy says: Don’t. Just don’t. I can’t take it.
Sophy says: Mini gives Rider a piece of her mind for having failed to fill up the pool while they were gone. She hasn’t had a shower for 43 hours and according to Rider she “smells like muff”. Ew. Ew. But hey, it’s Rider. He who makes jokes about Muslim women being stoned.
Mini tells Nick Rider is his fault. “He’s your friend!” she says, and Nick replies, with perfect doped-up delivery “I fucking hate him. Don’t I, Rider?”
Rider’s reply is nauseating. I don’t mean any disrespect to the actor, because he actually does a fabulous job with the delivery, so much so that on first viewing, before I put the remark into a wider context, I actually giggled at it.
But really, you guys, let’s just take a look at this:
“You love me, you homosexual. You all love me and you’re all homosexuals, especially the women, hopefully…”
So Rider is homophobic. I’m cool with that. He always has been. It’s part of what makes him the hilariously offensive guy nobody likes.
But the trouble is that this isn’t just Rider’s point of view. It’s Skins‘ point of view this season, whether the writers are consciously aware of it or not. (And I know they’re not, I really, really do.)
I will be talking about this as each instance arises throughout the episode recaps. But basically these are the guidelines:
a) Homosexuality is lols, and b) Lesbians are straight girls who make out for the entertainment of males.
I’m not being hysterical here – I wish that I were. But I can’t hear Rider say that stuff and not link it to the repeated gay jokes in the Rich/Grace scene, to the girl-on-girl action for Alo and Nick’s benefit right at the top there… and to other special little moments to come. And you know, maybe I could not sweat the small gay stuff, if the big gay stuff wasn’t fucked up too. But it is.
More on that later.
FRANKY’S HERE, YOU GUYS. I’M SO EXCITED!!!
WAIT, WHAT’S SHE WEARING?
OH WELL, I GUESS THEY DON’T MAKE MALE BEACHWEAR.
Rin says: And yet?? Rider? Still the least of our problems in terms of WHY WHY WHY?!
Also, this just in. Franky won’t be wearing pants at any time this series. AND NOT IN THE AWESOME WAY WHERE WE’RE SOMETIMES PANTLESS.
Sophy says: Wow, I hope they never tell us why!
Oh wait. They did. Not in the show, of course – Franky’s new look is just one of those ‘here’s something I prepared earlier’ deals. But Skins’ brand new stylist made it nice and clear for us. I’m going to quote from her description of Franky’s style this season and I’m going to ask that all you decent folks at home get the children out of the room before you read on. They don’t need to hear the screaming.
“The more messed [Franky’s] head is, the more her wardrobe suffers. The happier she feels, the better she looks. As the series develops we’ll see her take control of who she is. Gone are the button up shirts, Franky has started to embrace her sexuality and she’s not afraid of exposing some flesh and finally being noticed by all.”
Yes, really. That is a real, actual quote. And the saddest part is that it is 100% borne out in the show.
This is the thing. I’m sure Katie Newham is a really nice girl. I’m sure she has awesome fashion sense. I really don’t care what she thinks about Franky Fitzgerald. The quote is offensive, sure, but it really wouldn’t matter a jot if the thinking behind it wasn’t backed up by Bryan Elsley and his team. But it is. And that’s what hurts. That’s what honestly makes my heart ache.
Just in case anyone is unclear as to why the above quote is offensive, I’ll spell it out as best I can.
It rests on the following assumptions: a) Franky looked bad last season, b) She chose to look bad because she was afraid to get noticed, and c) She was afraid to get noticed because her head was “messed”.
Anyone who’s seen series 5 knows that all of those assumptions are false. Franky looked fucking awesome – okay, apart from the nana pants moment in 507. Franky most definitely got noticed, and it was most definitely her intention to get noticed. In 501 she consciously chose not to take the easy route and fit in with everyone else by compromising herself. She didn’t wear masculine clothing because her head was messed. She wore masculine clothing because she felt comfortable that way. And she didn’t feel comfortable that way because there was something wrong with her. She fucking felt comfortable that way because she was Franky.
Now I’m not going to deny that the show also hinted that Franky had some issues with her body last season. But that doesn’t automatically mean that wearing masculine clothes was all about covering up. If it were, she would have been throwing on baggy old t-shirts and track-pants, not tailoring her very own bad-ass little suits. Yeah that’s right, remember the part where Franky was into fashion design? Remember the part where she probably put more effort into her look than any of the other kids at that school?
The bottom line is that Franky’s new look and the reasons adduced for it send a very plain message: People who dress like Franky did in series 5 have issues. They need to embrace their sexuality (read: appropriate gender identity). They will be happier once they’re like everyone else. They will be more in control of who they are.
I have never felt so disappointed in a show I trusted so much.
Rin says: It’s funny because prior to S5 we never really had any Skins characters where their clothes were essentially part of the characters, i.e. as it is with Franky and Rich. Their clothes were part of their identity, whereas everyone else pretty much dressed in the usual Skins-esque kooky attire. But with Franky and Rich it was always pretty specific.. and now with S6 they abandoned all of that and seemed to have just chucked them in whatever everyone else would wear. And it wouldn’t be a problem if we didn’t learn these characters inside out during S5 and fall in love with them and become incredibly invested in them.
So yeah, it’s a little frustrating when a new wardrobe person comes in and decides that Franky needs to SEX IT UP and show some flesh because, HELLO SEXUALITY! When in all honesty, she was much more about embracing her sexuality when she was dressing like she was in S5 than becoming a bulimic fucking barbie.
Sophy says: Franky Fitzgerald is a bitchy, frustrated young woman with very little patience or compassion. She hates Matty Levan and isn’t afraid to show it – to him and to all of their gathered friends. I wouldn’t be surprised if she’s written to his grandparents to let them know.
If you’re worried you’ve missed something, you haven’t. This Franky arrived by stork, when we weren’t looking.
Everyone looks at Matty like what, even though he’s not the one who’s had a hysterical conversion in Tunisia. I guess they think he must have actually done something to deserve this screaming abuse. Like how I thought he must have actually done something to deserve this screaming abuse. Silly them. Silly me. Silly us thinking logic applied. It’s a new year! Anything goes! We’re in Morocco! Deal with it!
So not only did the evolution of Matty and Franky’s relationship take place off-screen, the dissolution of it did too. We left them at a hug – a beginning, maybe, a sweetness undeniable. We find them well past the end and very, very bitter. They should actually be broken up already, but Matty’s too much of a pussy and Franky’s too much of a bully to do it. That works for Matty – being too weak to end things. It’s in character. But Franky being abusive? That’s not in character.
And I say abusive because I damn well mean it. This is not an ordinary fight between two teens. This is Franky spewing all the bile in the world, while Matty scurries along behind her apologizing for existing. It’s ugly and callous, and it has nothing to do with the Franky Fitzgerald I came to know and love last series.
“All that hate, and blame… it’s toxic.”
No prizes for guessing who said that.
Rin says: OMFG MARISSA COOPER ILU. Even though I stopped watching The OC before I could witness you die in a car crash, because I think characters dying in car crashes is such an easy way out and..
Sophy says: Liv comes and finds Franky who is doing some sulky, enigmatic smoking. There’s going to be a lot of that going on this series. Let’s make it a drinking game?
They have a rather bland conversation to show that they’re super good friends now and have forgotten about that time they both wanted that useless idiot Matty Levan. Oh and to let us know that Franky has been losing her virginity lots. And, you know, I have a theory about this new Franky. Maybe what with all that sex, she threw herself off a cliff so many times she woke up and couldn’t remember who she’s supposed to be.
The other two girls show up for a group hug to remind us that they’re all super good friends too. Especially Mini and Franky. They are such super good friends that they can snuggle up and laugh at how they (don’t really) want to snog each other and Franky smells like muff.
(Mini, please don’t take any more leaves out of Rider’s book.)
Okay, at this point I’ll have to address the Minky-shaped elephant in the room. I knew, by the time I saw this episode, that there were rumours that Minky was not going to be pursued. And that was made very clear with the first scene they shared together. On a Minky level, Franky’s introduction is a big fat “WHAT TENSION?”
And maybe I’m disappointed, because Minky was one of the best things about series 5… no, I’m definitely disappointed because Minky was one of the best things about series 5. But by the time the two of them had shared any real screen-time it was all moot. Because it wouldn’t make any sense for Mini to be infatuated with this Franky, would it? She’s just a girl like any other now – and a pretty unpleasant one at that. Whilst I’d have loved to have seen a storyline that dealt with Mini’s obvious attraction to last series’ Franky… I’d rather watch Mini/Alo than Mini/this new Franky I can’t stand. In fact, I’d rather watch Mini/lump of coal.
What I don’t appreciate – and there’s a fair bit of it in this episode – is the faux Minky. That ship was never about empty titillation, and I hate the idea that we’re being thrown that kind of bone.
Rin says: All we get are the bones that everyone else, including the dog, have picked at.
I love that they knew this is the moment a lot of Minky fans had been looking forward to — and they addressed it with a lot of ‘LOOK HOW PLATONIC THEY ARE!!!!!!’
I will not eat your bones Skins. I WILL NOT!
Sophy says: Nick is giving Alo a bath with bottled water. Matty finds this hilarious.
Rin says: They’re all going to be doing a lot of stupid things and finding it hilarious.
And look at Matty in his lesbian underwear.
Sophy says: Alo spins around and sees Mini there. I think this is supposed to be build-up too. This was probably that special moment she saw how enormous his penis was and realised he was the one for her.
Rin says: I just don’t remember when Skins became just like every other show, and went for the cheap laugh that isn’t a laugh at all.
Sophy says: Mini has clearly forced Franky to talk to Matty, because as we’ll see later this series, helping each other patch things up with their boyfriends is a special bond Mini and Franky have.
So Franky tries to make things right with Matty by publicly humiliating him some more, which I’m not sure was what Mini had in mind. I guess she hasn’t adjusted to the fact that Franky is a heinous bitch yet. Neither have I, Mins. Neither have I.
Again, Franky is what I would term abusive in her interaction with Matty. I’m going to quote the whole section of dialogue to illustrate:
“Er, Matty, I’m sorry. I got cross.”
“That’s all right, I know I go on about -“
“Yeah. You know, I don’t even like Morrissey. And you just kept saying the lyrics and farting and, you know, it’s really irritating but, er… But, you know, it doesn’t matter. We’re here now, we’ve made it to Morocco and we can talk to other people, you know other than each other.”
So basically Franky gives an insincere, sour-faced apology. Matty does the verbal equivalent of scurrying along behind her apologising for existing. But he can’t actually even get a sentence out before Franky interrupts him, listing all the ways he is a nasty burden she is glad to shake off. It’s horrible stuff. If anyone ever treated me that way I would dump them in 0.2 seconds. If I ever saw one of my friends treat another of my friends like that, I’d be disgusted enough to take sides about it.
And yeah, it’s at this point that I actually start to hate Franky, and you guys it feels so wrong. She wasn’t everybody’s favourite in series 5, but she was definitely one of mine. Yes, that’s right, Franky was one of my favourite Skins characters. Of all time.
Now I look at the smug, mean face in those caps above and all I want to do is look away.
Anyway, once the round of kick-the-Matty is over, Mini announces that the girls are going to have a shower in the most titillatory faux-gay way she can.
“If I catch anyone checking out fanny festival, I’ll be taking your lemony balls for a long walk.”
Seriously, it’s like something out of ‘Are you being served’. I’m surprised she didn’t wink at Alo when she said it.
Rin says: Rachel Berry, I miss you so much right now. I would take so many ‘I’M MARRYING FINN HUDSONS’ over this right now. So. Many.
And can I believe I’m saying that? No, not really. But that’s how disappointed I am with this series of Skins.
Franky was definitely one of my favourites from last series, and that’s not an easy choice because they were all so WONDERFUL. But I literally can’t think of a moment in this episode where I felt like she resembled anything of the Franky I came to love and adore. There was a lot more ‘errr, okay?’ instead.
Sophy says: Up “in” their rooftop “room” Rich and Grace are being sweet in the moonlight. It’s pleasant to watch but not memorable, despite its transparent attempt to be just that when Grace starts singing a flimsy, feathery song about love and life and how it’s so unreal and like a ferris wheel and stuff. Yeah. That’s when you pretty much know she’s going to die.
Still I kept telling myself it wouldn’t happen, because I guess I found it hard to believe that the writers either didn’t know or didn’t care what the fans would think. And I’m not talking about the fact that a lot of people loved Grace. I’m talking about the fact that probably the #1 complaint I’ve seen about S4 in fandom was that it got too dark, with Sophias and the psychosis and the bats and whatnot. Over the hiatus I’d seen people making fun of the show for its compulsion to kill a character off in the second series of each gen. I’d even seen people saying how eye-rollingly obvious it was that Grace was going to cop it because she’s such sweetie-pie and it’s cheap drama. I think that’s why I’d convinced myself it wasn’t going to happen, transparent attempts to be memorable notwithstanding: because I thought the writers would want to surprise people.
And it’s odd, because they clearly do. ‘Surprise’ is the watchword of series 6 of Skins, to the point where things like continuity and build-up can go fuck themselves. But Grace dying? That couldn’t have been more obvious.
And oh my God I rewatched the scene to check if there was anything I missed and there was. When Rich is bitching about the state of the villa, Grace actually says exactly what I said earlier, out loud: “A holiday is like a box of chocolates”. I don’t think she was being bitchy with it, though.
Also, my holidays are nothing like boxes of chocolates, just so you know. Maybe that’s because I have a proper map. And a Michelin guide and stuff.
Rin says: HAHAH. I honestly thought all the hype about Grace being the one they’re going to kill off was absurd because I was all, ‘Shutup you morons. Skins is amazing and they know what they’re doing and they’re not going to kill off another character in the second series just because they’ve done it twice before. They don’t do gimmicks.’ And then. Well.
Skins series 6 became everything I always defended the show for not being.
Sophy says: I love Jess Sula, I mean I really, really love her. But it’s a no to the singing.
Rin says: It’s not really her fault. It’s everyone else who thought that Grace took up original song writing over the break and suddenly this was her thing.
I’m going to complain a lot about something similar to this for next episode too.
Sophy says: Alo is hunting for a party in the middle of nowhere. Is that continuity or rehashing? I’m honestly not sure.
Rin says: It’s what Alo does. ‘Cause he’s fucking magic.
Sophy says: Party found. Some douchebag opens the door. Franky does a coy, grinning We’re lost act. This charms the douchebag. Cue party montage.
Rin says: Oh and just so you know, they’re all a bunch of English white kids too, just hanging out in Morocco. Maybe there was a special on.
‘Come to Morocco! See the sights! Get killed in a car crash!’
Sophy says: Franky dances like she just doesn’t give a fuck and her milkshake brings all the boys to the yard and stuff. Matty watches and wonders where the fuck that girl he used to be so into went and why the writers are forcing him to be equally into this new one who is absolutely nothing like her. Douchebag stands on the roof with his shirt open and his collar up, gazing down at fit and mysterious Franky like he thinks he’s Damon Salvatore or something.
(He’s not Damon Salvatore. He needs to stop trying.)
Rin says: I don’t even watch TVD and I’m annoyed that he’s trying to be Damon Salvatore.
Sophy says: Matty comes up and irritates Franky with his existence again. Don’t worry he’ll apologise for it shortly.
Rin says: Cue pointless Mini moment.
Sophy says: Ding, ding, ding! We have a winner. Better blow him, Mini. First thing!
Rin says: Yep, better get a good nights rest. You’ll need all your energy!
Sophy says: Mini watches as Matty leads Franky away, then catches sight of Alo. Alo is stealing people’s mobile phones. It’s something he does now, apparently. Because apparently he is a horrible little street urchin with a warped sense of entitlement and a lack of empathy.
I’m serious, okay. I can’t be the only person who was bothered by this? I’m not saying stealing is the worst thing in the world or something Skins kids have never done before. Sure, last season Mini and co were nicking lipsticks at the mall and running away in fits of giggles, and Liv and Matty raided that convenience store on their day off from life… but this is different. This isn’t the shops. It’s a party and it’s people’s stuff. Their personal, private stuff with messages and photos and whatnot.
Just… not cool, Alo. Seriously not cool. And I really don’t think it’s something Alo would have done last series – certainly not so wantonly and with such a marked absence of remorse.
Rin says: I have no idea what the point of it is supposed to be. It’s not like it has ever happened before with Alo, or that he ever does it again. So I guess we’re supposed to think that Mini finds it adorable that Alo is stealing, and that stealing from other people is so badass and cool?
Your logic does not resemble our earth logic.
Sophy says: Matty apologises to Franky again, and she… well… just look at her.
She whines about how “all the stuff” of being with someone “gets boring” – specifically “all the fucking and the talking”. Oh Franky. You’re so complicated.
Rin says: God I hate her.
I HATE FRANKY FITZGERALD. I am officially going on the record.
Sophy says: Matty tells her it’s not fair, and she responds with what I’m sure she thinks is a very pithy and profound “What’s fair got to do with it?”
She stomps off. Matty looks bewildered. I choose to believe he’s wondering why he still has to keep on liking this girl.
Rin says: I know right? But it’s the only plot he gets okay? And they can’t think of anything else to do with him, so his whole purpose is to love Franky (LIKE EVERYONE ELSE IN THE SKINSVERSE) and never have those feelings properly reciprocated. This series, that is.
Sophy says: See the trouble with our Franks, is that the people she should love, she hates, and the people she hates…
Rin says: Just wait for her to end up on a pool table and…oh
Sophy says: Franky slinks out onto the rooftop in her little red barely-a-dress, all ready to be seduced by the douchebag. She brings out her full arsenal of girly, flirty looks, and it’s particularly sickening when she gives him a little smile and says, in a coy mockery of giving a shit, that she should go find her boyfriend.
Sophy says: Dark.
Rin says: Fall to your knees.
Sophy says: Douchebag calls Franky “weird girl” which is itself weird, because from where he’s been standing she’s exceptionally run of the mill. It should tip Franky off that he’s just using her, but I guess she’s too up herself these days to doubt her own special levels of attractiveness. He says they should “dance their fucking dicks off,” which prompts Effy to – Okay, that was a typo. And I think it says it all.
And douchebag, seriously, stop already.
Thank you and goodnight.
Rin says: I just.. EVERYONE IS SO SPECIAL AND WEIRD AND MAGIC AND SPECIAL this series. Yet.. nothing they do is any of those things.
Sophy says: Mini wakes up the next morning and gazes at sleeping Liv. I don’t know why.
Rin says: They needed to fill in 3 seconds of time.
Sophy says: Sleeping Franky is clad in the girliest possible underwear and is draped over Mini’s naked thighs. I do know why. So that Mini can nonchalantly kick her off.
Let’s go back over what we’ve learned. Mini is not, nor has she ever been, gay. All the crying and gazing and kissing and chin-lifting was because Franky is a really good friend.
Franky used to dress like a boy, but only because she hadn’t found herself yet. When she found herself there were pink bustiers.
Rin says: Maybe it’s a comment on how far she’s come. Like her journey is directly relative to her underwear. From those boy shorts in 501, to these frilly pink lacey numbers! Because! Embracing! She’s so much happier now! WITH THE UNDERWEAR!
Sophy says: So early riser Mini wanders through the wreckage of the night before in a beautiful but pale imitation of Cassie in 102.
Her ex-boyfriend’s arse tells her PUSSY and she replies “No thanks, I’ll have cock!”
Rin says: As fucking lovely and wonderful I still consider Freya Mavor to be… please don’t ever compare anything else from S6 to Cassie in 102. Even if you’re saying how much it can’t compare.. it just doesn’t seem right.
Sophy says: DON’T BLAME ME, BLAME THE SHOW.
Sophy says: So Mini goes to bathe, to prepare herself for the day’s labours.
It’s a really pretty scene, but ultimately it didn’t engage me, and I had to wonder why. Why am I not enthralled by a scene in which one of my favourite characters, played by one of the most expressive actors in the cast, wanders around being thoughtful and solemn in the hazy light of morning? Why was I enthralled when Cassie did exactly the same thing?
The conclusion I came to is that whereas Cassie’s morning montage was potent with discovery, Mini’s is empty. Because it really doesn’t matter how much tinkly piano and wailing about pilgrimages and not being sent away is going on in the background, Mini is not actually thoughtful and solemn here. Or if she is we have absolutely no indication as to about what. Honestly, I wouldn’t have a clue what’s going on in Mini’s head so far this season, so a reflective interlude like this is useless and self-indulgent.
And I mean, okay, the following scene does indicate that she’s probably thoughtful and solemn about how much she wants to get into Alo’s pants, but, well, wanting cock doesn’t warrant Cassie-esque montages. It just really fucking doesn’t.
Rin says: I do wonder what she’s supposed to be reflecting upon. It’s not like anything has happened to anyone else but Franky up until this point, so who knows? p.s. This may or may not be a trend in a lot of episodes this series.
Sophy says: Why don’t you just go masturbate into a sock, Alo.
Rin says: I have never hated Alo’s face before. I came to love and adore it.
Now I hate it. Every. Single. Time.
Sophy says: I loved Alo’s face so much last series It was a prince among faces
Sophy says: Aaaaand here’s where Malo happens. Approximately 20 minutes into the first episode of the series. Good thing there was all that build-up last series, what with the picture on Mini’s phone and that time she stared into Alo’s eyes and –
Rin says: They had that one scene in Alo’s episode, which is honestly one of the loveliest last series. Sophy called it the scene of the episode for her, and it was my second fave (only to the Rich/Alo) and I went to go read up on what we said about it and just seeing the caps from that scene breaks my heart.
But in no ways does it warrant this.
I was a huge Malo fan. But this sudden, out of nowhere, onslaught of ‘Let us partake in the sex!’ is truly baffling. If they had any kind of development in the same vein as last series it could be something I’d get behind. But I can’t get behind this.
I mean.. what was in the script?
Mini enters room.
Alo smiles with his stolen phone.
Mini has sex with Alo.
Sophy says: I KNOW RIGHT?
I loved Mini and Alo’s scene in his episode last series. And although I don’t believe it constituted build-up to anything romantic between them at the time, it might have worked as such if they’d chosen to actually follow on from it in this series. But they didn’t. They just nosedived from ‘sweet beginnings of friendship in a time of trouble’ to ‘SEX SEX SEX SEX SEX’.
Basically what I’m saying is, Malo could have worked for me. Why not? They are – were – two characters I wholeheartedly adored, after all. But it needed to be done right in order for me to like it. And doing it right involved two things. 1) Properly resolving Mini’s feelings for Franky. 2) Actually showing development of Mini and Alo’s sexual and romantic attraction.
Neither of these things happened.
Sophy says: Anyway. Alo shows Mini the things he stole last night, and explains that he’s using them to watch porn. He says he always steals from people who make him feel inferior by being wealthy or good-looking or having sex.
Mini suggests they have sex.
I can only conclude that there was something about the stealing, the porn and the insecurity that she found attractive.
Rin says: It’s so gross. How is any of that conclusive to being an attractive quality? No really, look:
“I suppose I was seeing if my porn app will download onto this iPhone that I nicked.”
“And you have no particular level of shame about that?”
“Er, no, I always steal from people who make me feel inferior.”
“Well, pretty much anyone, er, especially if they’re rich, good looking and having a lot of sex.”
Alo was sweet, caring, good, gay for his parents, etc. Now he’s kind of a self-entitled asshole.
Sophy says: Mini says if Alo tells a soul about this she will kill him and Alo pinches himself because all his sex-dreams are coming true. And with that, we are officially in paint-by-numbers territory, a place Skins rarely, if ever, goes.
But there you have it. The blonde hottie sleeps with the funny, funny-looking dude and swears him to secrecy out of shame.
Do you think Alo will have an enormous penis and give her the best orgasm of her life? Do you think maybe Mini will insist it was a one-time thing then cave and do it again and again and again because she just can’t help herself? Do you think Alo will break the rules and fall in love with her? DO YOU?
Rin says: IDK I HOPE WE FIND OUT SOON!!!!!!
Sophy says: Mini slides down Alo’s body to her prize. He grins when we get confirmation of that enormous cock cliche from her shocked, delighted exclamation “Oh my god… you’ve got to be fucking kidding!”
You’ve got to be fucking kidding is right.
I could vomit my lungs up.
Rin says: I. Don’t. Know.
Sophy says: Rich and Grace sunbake in their roof-room and drop anvils about how one of them is going to die. “I could die happy”? Seriously, show? SERIOUSLY?
The conversation quickly turns to all the sex they’ve been having, because sex is what love is all about this series.
I am even less inspired by this Rich/Grace scene than I was by the other one. And I really think they could have made more of an effort, given that this is the last time they’ll ever talk to each other. And don’t tell me it would have made the impending doom too obvious because I COULD DIE HAPPY???
Rin says: Btw, they don’t make ‘metal’ sunglasses either.
Let’s just be honest show, Rich is a hipster now. Everything he hated last series..he’s become.
Sophy says: LOL OH RIN. They’re not trying to hide it. It’s intentional.
Allow me to quote the new stylist again:
“Prepare to be shocked and amazed. Rich is growing up and with it his fashion conscious is awakening. He dares to wear his cousins bright ‘camp’ clothing on holiday, loses his metal uniform to impress Blood and finally, as he flushes with the confidence of a young man, we see his inner Julian Casablancas come out.”
Rich is Julian Casablancas. Rich. Is. Julian. Casablancas.
Rin says: Um. I have no words?
Except.. WHY? WHY????? Why do people need a fucking fashion conscious? There was absolutely nothing wrong with the way Rich dressed last series, and nor did it reflect in any shape or form his level of confidence. AND ‘LOSES HIS METAL UNIFORM TO IMPRESS BLOOD.’ IT WASN’T A UNIFORM. IT WAS. WHO. HE. WAS. And why on earth would he need to impress Blood? To see dead Grace? HE SEES HER ALL THE TIME, SHE’S ALWAYS AROUND.
I just wish they’d stop trying to make excuses and just admit that they wanted everybody to look as hipster as possible. To the point where it didn’t matter who they were before.
Sophy says: Sleep with one eye open, Rich.
Rin says: Aw, but he is kind of cute peeking out from behind the clouds.
Sophy says: I knooooow. I need to stop looking at it. It’s shaking my resolve to post this recap.
Sophy says: Franky is sunbathing.
Mini hands her a drink, and there is a part of me that is bursting to make all sorts of cute, fuzzy remarks about that time Franky handed Mini a drink in 507, but I’m not going to, okay? Because it’s all pointless and empty now and Franky is sunbathing and whatever.
Rin says: Whatever is right. I really want to fast-forward the entirety of this scene, with the speed of a thousand wild horses.
Sophy says: Matty watches Franky recline laughing by the pool like something out of a Jackie Collins novel – not that I have ever read a Jackie Collins novel, but when I try to imagine one the above cap of Franky followed by lots of sex is pretty much what I see.
Anyway, Matty watches Franky and muses to his brother that he doesn’t think Franky knows how to be with someone. And yes, okay. Love, love, love what is it good for. We get it. She’s Effy now. Though really she could have been a better Effy to Matty and let him know beforehand that she was going to break his doughy little heart.
Rin says: I love how that’s the reccurring theme this series.
None of the girls know how to be with someone slash love someone.
None of the alive ones anyway.
Sophy says: Mini watches Alo horsing around in the pool and smiles a soft, secret smile on account of how they’ve become so close via the sex.
She delivers a fondly sarcastic, tension-free “Oh the relief” when Franky tells them nothing happened with the drug lord last night. And hey, it’s nice to know that all the cracking chemistry Freya had with Dakota last series was down to her talent. She really did deserve all the praise for acting the hell out of that, because now that they’ve canned that plotline? The chemistry is gone. It’s completely gone.
Rin says: I felt that too. Even when they give them ‘friendly’ moments, it’s not the same. There’s nothing there any more, and I guess we must have been watching wrong because apparently this is all Minky was supposed to be, because they were ~never going down the Minky road.
No matter how gloriously scenic it would have been.
Sophy says: We were not watching wrong. I don’t care if I sound like one of those people who think the CIA has a space station watching my house. We. Were. Not. Watching. Wrong.
Sophy says: You tell her, Mini. And maybe you can tell the rest of us the tale of how you stopped hugging your midriff on the way to under-the-covers and came to embrace the bikini as a top?
Because here’s the thing. It’s not that I object to Mini getting over her body image issues. It’s not even that I object to it happening in a non-dramatic or swift way. It’s just that I object to it not being seen to happen at all. If you’re going to take the time to address the issue, then you damn well have to take the time to address its resolution in some way. This is basic stuff. It’s the kind of basic stuff I never thought I’d have to write about in a Skins recap.
Rin says: I told you. Amnesia.
No one ever truly deals with or speaks about what happened last series.
Sophy says: Grace tells Franky that she should sort things out with Matty, and Franky angrily asks her why. Because she’s that kind of girl now. Grace says because Matty is her boyfriend and she was kind of acting like a slut last night.
I expect Franky to get all up in Grace’s face about slut-shaming, but she seems more upset about the other reason Grace gave. And that leads us to what is, for me, the most cringe-worthy line in Skins history.
“Is that what life’s all about then?” Franky asks indignantly, “Not upsetting our boyfriends?”
Oh god, no. Really, show. No. WORLDS OF NO.
Does Franky think she’s in the fucking 1960’s or something? Is she going inside to get all her bras for a good burning? I just.
There is nothing worse than a petulant whiny little emo asshole. Except for a petulant whiny little emo asshole pretending to be a feminist.
Franky storms off and Mini quips that she liked her better when she might or might not have been a lesbian. The girls laugh their agreement. I say “Oh Mini, I liked it better when you might or might not have been a lesbian”. And I’m guessing that’s the whole point – Mini is so unambiguously heterosexual these days that she and her friends can joke about someone’s else’s past ambiguity without batting an eyelid about it.
But that’s not the reason I really, really hate this quote.
The reason I really, really hate this quote is because last season, when Franky was happy and sweet and at her most beloved, she was not a person who might or might not be a lesbian. Did Bryan Elsley miss the scene in 507 in which the girls ask Franky whether she’s a lesbian and she says a firm no? Did he forget that she said very specifically that she wasn’t bisexual either – that she’s into people? Did he not notice that the girls took this in, and, though they might have had trouble knowing quite what it was, actually seemed to care that there was a difference?
It’s bad enough that Franky being into people has been shoved under the rug with her tailored suits and whole personality. It’s even worse that her friends have forgotten who she used to be as well.
Rin says: She’s such a little shit
Grace was just telling you to be a decent human being and to not toy with people. If you don’t want to treat Matty fairly, then fucking break up with him!
OH WAIT NO SORRY YOU CAN’T BECAUSE LATER YOU HAVE TO BE A WAY FOR MATTY AND NICK TO LOVE EACH OTHER.
Sophy says: More. On. That. Later.
Sophy says: The drug-lord and his grinning side-kick show up just in time for the bikini-clad Franky to turn and gaze seductively at them.
Pass the brain bleach.
Rin says: I want to punch everyone and everything and set fire to the rain, or something.
Sophy says: Anyway, they’re here to pick up the drugs and look stupid.
What drugs, you ask? Sorry, I forgot to mention. The kids found a whole lot of weed in the villa and appropriated it. It turns out it belongs to the teenage drug lords, of all people!
Rin says: No! THE AMOUNT OF COINCIDENCES IS JUST TOO MUCH!
I may have to lay down so I can handle all of these curve balls they’re throwing at me!
Sophy says: They invite the gang to a party to make up for taking the weed back, and then something really fucking awful starts happening…
Rin says: I don’t understand why this exists, nor why it went on for as long as it did.
Sophy says: And she actually wanted to die.
Rin says: You made the right choice Buffy. Let Hell take over and destroy us all. Anything to make it stop.
Sophy says: Alo and the one with the stupid face start beat-boxing. And keep beat-boxing. It goes on and on and on. It’s more embarrassing than anything JJ ever did with a ukulele. Mini is, naturally, charmed despite herself.
Rin says: I don’t. Understand. And possibly never will.
It’s Kylie Minogue all over again, but still so much worse.
Sophy says: Look, you guys! It’s girl-on-girl action! Skins does respect the lesbian community.
Rin says: I’d rather just stare out at the ocean. Contemplate life and where my beloved show floated off to…
Sophy says: If this is not explained by the end of the series I’m going to scream.
I don’t hold out much hope that we’ll get any details on Mini’s, shall we say, sexual awakening, because I guess you can ignore vomitting, crying, fake moans and the fact that she was gay, gay, gay.
But you can’t ignore THROWING YOURSELF OFF A CLIFF.
CAN YOU, SKINS???
Rin says: I don’t even know how to respond to this. Because it wasn’t ever addressed. They just loved each other. And theirs is an eternal love complete with a barn and baby.
And the Franky thing was EVEN LESS RESOLVED. I can’t.
Sophy says: Yeah, you may have noticed that I wrote the above before the series has ended. So. I guess I’m going to go scream for a bit.
Rin says: I’ll get the paper bag.
Sophy says: Long beach party montage is long. Too long. There were times in this episode when I felt I was watching an advertisement for US Skins.
NICKOSAUR’S FACE. SO CUTE.
Rin says: At this point I don’t even know if comparing it to US Skins is a bad thing. Which is beyond worrying.
I’m so confused in all of this. If I’m not a rabid Skins fan.. what am I?
But yes, at least Nick’s face is still cute. For now.
Sophy says: We need to recap gen 1 to deal with this identity crisis, I think. Or, you know, 402.
IT WAS SPECIAL
Sophy says: Rich and Grace make out. Grace has flowers in her hair so we can all feel sad about it later and make music vids to that Mumford & Sons song.
Rin says: For so long I wanted to make a Gen 3 music video.
Sophy says: At least Matty still dresses like a girl.
Rin says: Is that the only piece of character continuation we have? IS IT?? I do love the orange and yellow with that backdrop though.
Sophy says: Yeah, these are probably my favourite shots of the episode. There was a surprising dearth of pretty in this episode given that we’re in Morocco and IT’S FREAKING SKINS. Go figure.
Sophy says: Franky watches, intrigued, as Teenage Drug Lord telephones intriguingly.
Rin says: She should go over and ask him to come and dance.
Sophy says: LOOK, DRUGS. It turns out there was a lot more contraband at that villa the kids are staying at than just the weed, and right now TDL’s cronies are picking it up.
The whole beach party invite was a ploy, you guys.
A PLOY I TELL YOU.
Liv is frolicking with that random local who randomly showed up at the airport and also randomly showed up at this beach party. Why not?
Rin says: I feel like the Skins writers took all the fans who thought S5 was too ‘normal and boring’ way too seriously and decided to add in everything ~dangerous that they could think of into this series.
Which is where Luke and his naughty drugs come in. Cause he’s such a bad boy you guys, and of course our new Frankeffy is going to be attracted to that. WHO WOULDN’T BE??? HE WEARS KHAKI PANTS WITH A BELT TO A BEACH PARTY! He’s so sophisticated.
Sophy says: Franky is sitting by herself doing the enigmatic smoking thing. TDL comes up and tells her what she’s thinking, which she finds super charming. He says she’s thinking that life is so fucking predictable, which in itself is such an agonizingly predictable thing for an enigmatically-smoking teen to be thinking, but okay.
He sketches out Franky’s miserable lot – having parents, an education, friends, all that – and then explains to her that she doesn’t have to care about any of that, because she doesn’t owe anybody anything.
I quote: “You don’t owe anybody anything. You owe nothing. Come with me.” “Where?” is Franky’s question. His answer: “Anywhere. Until we get bored. Then… whatever. This is real life. This is it.” “And we go right now?” Franky asks excitedly. “Right now,” TDL replies.
This is a revelatory moment for Franky, because she is one of those teenagers who is really angry and selfish. Some teenagers are like that. Not all. S5 Franky certainly wasn’t, after all. I firmly believe that that girl would have raised a wise eyebrow at TDL’s philosophy of life, and informed him that she most certainly did owe her parents coming home safe, that she of course owed it to her friends not to disappear on them in Morocco, that she owed it to her boyfriend to at least actually split up with them before fucking off with another guy, and that most of all she owed it to herself to finish high school and to generally be a decent human being, thank you very much.
This Franky? She basically swoons. She leaves with this stranger without a word to the people she owes so much better to.
Rin says: That’s why this is so frustrating. Franky was the GOOD one of the group, the one who always knew what the right thing to do was. And no, I’m not saying she had to stay that way, but the thing is we never get told WHY she had a personality transplant overnight. All of this is happening BEFORE Grace is in any sort of danger.
Unless this is Melancholia. But it’s not. She’s just a selfish bitch now. For no reason at all.
Sophy says: Did any Matty-hating Minky shippers even have the heart to enjoy this what with their hopes dashed too? Sigh.
Rin says: That hug is one of the most beautiful moments of Skins. I’m just going to enjoy it for that.
And I still don’t understand the point of Matty if they were never going to give him an episode or even an important chunk of someone else’s episode. And somehow ALEX got one? This just seems like a very large oversight and it’ll continue to boggle my mind for days and days.
Also it’s not because ‘no one liked Matty,’ we liked Matty. And Franky did. And Liv. And Nick. Mini.. not so much, but only because she wanted Franky. And we’re definitely not the only fans who liked Matty.
Sophy says: I loved Matty. Probably the thing I was most excited about this series was Matty’s episode.
And as for fandom not liking him, well… that’s cool. Everyone has a right to their opinion. And one of my firm opinions is that part of the reason some people disliked him so much is because he didn’t get the chance every other character had to explain himself to the audience. I mean, was anyone fangirling the hell out of Nick prior to 505?
If Matty had ever had his own episode in which we had seen into his own heart and mind, I honestly believe he could have been accepted by the fans. Perhaps even adored. You never know.
And now we never, ever will.
Rin says: You’re completely right. Remember how Nick was kind of the guy you liked least after Mini’s episode? AND THEN HIS EPISODE HAPPENED AND ALL YOU EVER WANTED TO DO WAS HOLD HIM CLOSE AND GENTLY ROCK HIM BACK AND FORTH?
That was the beauty of every single episode last series. You really fell in love with the characters after their episode because they took us on a journey with that character, and we got to explore all the sides of them.
Matty never got the chance.
Sophy says: All signs point to Malo. Especially the ones that point to the lavatory.
So, Mini has sought Alo out to remind him not to tell anyone about the sex that will never happen again. Do you think maybe subconsciously she’s seeking him out because she actually wants more sex because she’s actually falling in love with his penis?
Rin says: Wait? How do you know this? Or is it because you’ve seen it done on every show ever.
Sophy says: Alo boasts attractively that he “banged [Mini’s] brains out”. Mini insists that he didn’t, but obviously he did, because she’s subconsciously here for more and also he was a virgin who watches lots of banana porn.
Rin says: On his stolen iPhone. In the loo.
Sophy says: 0.23 seconds of persuasive grinning later and Alo is going down on Mini. In public. In front of the toilets. Where no one at a party would ever go.
This is the kind of stupid that’s just stupid.
Rin says: I can’t even enjoy Mini’s braid right now.
This is serious.
Sophy says: HAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH MATTY FIGHTS LIKE A GIRL. I love him so much.
Okay so the stupid looking guy has come over to look extra stupid and tell Matty about the nefarious plot that’s afoot. TDL has taken Franky away and Matty has to drive the drugs across the border if he wants to get her back. Matty is a fool who wants Franky back. HILARIOUS FISTICUFFS ENSUE.
Rin says: The whole thing is utterly absurd and stupid.
The drug lord has Franky. Drive these drugs across the border.
Does anyone see Skins here? Anyone? Who is this impostor?
Sophy says: It’s okay, Liv, your meaningful series-long arc will commence next episode!
Rin says: Or noone will have a series-long arc and we can look elsewhere for arcs and development. Like America’s Next Top Model.
Sophy says: Yeah, Liv makes out with Random and has a conversation that is pointless until it gets to the ‘Rocks fall everybody dies’ part. Random conveniently explains to her that TDL is evil and there will doubtless be a nefarious plot afoot. Liv looks up and sees Franky and TDL walking off into the sunset at that precise moment.
Rin says: Wow, a teenage drug lord can’t be trusted? They’re reckless and the type of company you don’t want to keep? Who knew?
Sophy says: TDL and Franky get into their car and Matty gets into his, ready to follow them and save his horrible girlfriend. Liv runs up and jumps in the car with Matty, because she also wants to save horrible Franky. Grace gets in the car so she can die.
Rin says: That’s pretty much what happens. Grace has no reason except that she ~wants to talk to Matty, so WHY NOT WHILST HE’S ABOUT TO ENGAGE IN A DANGEROUS CAR CHASE ON AN UNPAVED ROAD? HMM??
Sophy says: Matty speeds after TDL and Franky, the girls yell things like Hurry and things like Stop, Matty loses control of the car, plot point secured. Grace is slumped prettily, with all sorts of fatal injuries we can’t see from this angle. Matty has a cut. Liv has a bit of blood on her lip.
Meanwhile back at the beach, Rich is busy sensing that something terrible has happened to Grace because their love is so special it’s psychic.
Rin says: I don’t understand that moment either.
I mean it could be that Rich is just wondering where Grace is.. but it’s not. I mean, his expression, the way he’s frowning slightly.. it’s all, omg he’s so intuitive he knows she’s in trouble!!
And lol, honestly. Look at the fucking car, the whole ROOF IS CAVED IN. But no, Matty is fit enough to flee the scene and Liv pretty much sustains no injuries either, considering how well she looks at college in a few days.
Sophy says: Well she hops out of the car just fine to help Grace, so I don’t think she even needed any R and R
Sophy says: RUN MATTY RUN. A HOLIDAY IS LIKE A BOX OF CHOCOLATES.
Rin says: I was going to say how getting supplies is important, but then I remember Nickosaur’s lame massive box of condom supplies and.. it made me so nostalgic.
Oh how I wish for a massive box of condoms to save us now.
Sophy says: As mentioned above, Matty and Liv are both fine. Matty looks at Grace for a second and then fucks off.
Why? Maybe we’ll never know. For now let’s just assume that he’s a horrible, callous coward who would never tenderly wipe someone’s brow while they vomited up a bottle of vodka, or step up and take the consequences for something he didn’t do to protect someone he loves.
Rin says: We. Never. Find. Out. Why.
Sophy says: Sigh. Horrible callous coward who would never etc.
Sophy says: We transition back to Roundview with some Glockenspiel. It’s nicely done. It’s about the only thing in this episode that is nicely done. There I said it.
LOOK, IT’S NAOMI.
Rin says: As soon as I saw that blonde haired girl in the green I knew there would be ‘OMG NAOMI!!!’ comments everywhere. But she got ‘A, A, A’ remember? She’s a smart pants.
Sophy says: Everyone sits around looking sad. Except Franky. Franky looks how you look when you’re three and you’re about to be sent to your room.
Rin says: Spoiler alert. Her face stays like that the entire series.
Sophy says: OH GOD, DOUG, SO DO I.
Let the record show that Rin made this before 608.
Rin says: !!!!!
I’M PSYCHIC LIKE RICH!!!!
Sophy says: Doug takes care of the info-dump via a letter from Mr Blood to the student body. Grace is in a coma, not dead (yet).
Rin says: I was actually somewhat relieved when it was revealed that Grace wasn’t dead. Because I thought, ‘Yes! Of course they didn’t kill her. But that doesn’t mean we’re not going to get a whole bunch of repercussions and we don’t always need to kill everyone to create ~drama.’ And I thought Skins were being cheeky by having Grace not be dead, because they were winking and nudging us by saying they know they kill a character every second series, but we’re not doing it here!
Sigh. I always believed the best in you Skins. But now I’m just a disappointed parent and I wish I could send you to a boarding school where everyone smells like horses.
Sophy says: The moment I heard Josie’s voice I pretty much squealed. And this is despite the fact that I was pretty much sitting there watching like this by this point:
But you know, even this scene didn’t work for me. Josie felt shoe-horned in and she didn’t have the same chemistry with Nick that she had with Chris. It felt like Josie was there, briefly, to be there, briefly, to make everyone who loved gen 1 squeal… But the scene ran its course and at the end of it I was still…
Anyway, the point of the scene was for someone to tell Nick that that if Matty calls the police need to be contacted, on account of the drugs and the running away from the accident. But actually, since all of that is completely obvious, the point of the scene was Josie.
Rin says: Josie is by far one of the most beloved characters to come out of Skins. I think we all love her to death, because of Chris. Because of Gerald. But I’m with Sophy on this one.. in that it just felt, empty. And had no real point. I love that Skins continues to show its appreciation for Josie by repeatedly bringing her back. I just wish there was more
Sophy says: Nick angsts in the hallway. Mini stops by to lol at him. Well, not quite.
Rin says: Derp. Derp.
Sophy says: Earrings/jacket forever.
Rin says: Goons.
Sophy says: These caps are here for the things Freya Mavor’s face is doing. And not what it’s doing them about. Because honestly, Skins, bite me.
Matty got a bit obsessed with Franky. Mini wonders how that would feel. Weird, she supposes.
I don’t want to be unkind to Freya, because she handles the reference superbly with all the bittersweet reflection in the world. But honestly, I’d have preferred it if Skins had had no reference to Mini’s feelings for Franky at all, because calling this closure? It’s more insulting than just having her blow Alo some more.
Rin says: The whole shoving Minky under a rug really rubs me the wrong way. Obviously. Because yes, it was my favourite little non-friendship from last series and I’m bummed that they chose to completely abandon Mini’s attraction to Franky. I would have been perfectly happy if they decided they didn’t want to pursue Minky — after all both of us never really saw them ending up together, but the thing that ticks me off is how they’re trying to pretend like it was never there.
Sophy says: IT HAPPENED. But it didn’t happen.
Sophy says: Anyway, Mini delivers her nonsensical line about how Matty doesn’t call because he loves Franky, tells Nick if there’s anything she can do she would, kisses him on the cheek and leaves. It would be sweet if I felt it meant anything in the scheme of things, but unfortunately by now I’ve seen all the ways Nick/Mini means absolutely nothing this series.
Rin says: Nick/Mini had so much potential after what they went through last series. Alas, there’s a highly contagious case of amnesia spreading throughout Bristol and we’ve all forgotten what happened last series.
I would have been really interested in seeing how their relationship would develop into one of mutual respect and love.. but I don’t think they even get another proper scene for the rest of the series.
Sophy says: SPOILER ALERT.
Honestly, he may as well have just said it then and there. It wouldn’t have been any more ridiculous.
Rin says: This isn’t IMAY for fucks sake.
Sophy says: I think we probably said everything we needed to with the macro above.
Rin says: We’ll definitely talk about this more when the time comes, but for the love of god. Did they honestly look at S5 and say, ‘let’s ruin every adorable little moment that happened between two platonic friends for one scene BY MAKING THEM MADLY IN LOVE WITH EACH OTHER FOR S6.’
Sophy says: 1, 2, 3 penises for Franky this series!
You know, they’ve never really addressed it. I’m not sure if Franky’s supposed to have realized she’s straight or if she’s just a pansexual who happens to only have sex with males.
Rin says: Let’s be honest, they never really addressed anything with Franky. And somehow, she got the most screentime and had the entire series revolve around her and all of her ~troubles.
Sophy says: So Nick, having whined to Mini about Matty not calling, doesn’t pick up the phone when he does. At the time I was honestly confused as to why he would do this. That’s because at the time I didn’t realize that Nick was supposed to be falling in love with Franky. And also because that’s a fucking pathetic reason not to take a call from your missing brother anyway.
And seriously, what kind of a budding Franky obsessor does Nick think he is? He hasn’t even zoomed Matty out of the photo.
Rin says: I have no idea why he didn’t pick up the phone either.
Maybe it’s because I still can’t believe that they had Nick fall desperately in love with Franky overnight, that I still don’t really understand why he didn’t pick up the phone.
Sophy says: This makes more sense.
Rin says: He wishes he knew how to quit his phone.
Sophy says: Rich goes to see Grace’s music teacher to drop off her coursework which he has finished for her. And that, my friends, is why she was singing earlier. If you guessed that we would hear the haunting track over the credits, don’t bother raising your hand, it doesn’t make you special.
Anyway, the teacher doesn’t want to take the CD because he’s labouring under the delusion that Grace is going to come back and finish it herself.
Rin says: You know what’s kind of funny? Skins US did this better. The whole, character sings a song and then the episode ends with the polished version of the song playing over the credits.
And that was STANLEY. We hated Stanley, but we liked that touch. That song was actually adorable.
And then considering that was the last episode Bryan Elsley wrote for Skins US, and this is his first episode back in the UK.. It feels a bit like it’s being recycled.
And Grace Violet Blood deserves better than that.
Sophy says: Rich goes to the hospital to visit Grace, but a kindly nurse is there to enforce Mr Blood’s Rich-ban, so no dice.
AND YOU GUYS, THE KINDLY NURSE IS DOBBY FROM PEEPSHOW AND I JUST.
*makes grabby hands at the screen*
Rich gives Dobby the CD before flouncing off, so she can start playing it in time for the credits.
Rin says: Before I read why you were calling her Dobby, I assumed it was because you thought she looked like the house elf, and I thought that was a bit harsh… but now I know.
Sophy says: Less reading, more TV.
Rin says: Hahah let’s be honest. It’s basically ‘more tv, and then even more tv,’ for me.
Sophy says: Dobby, CD, Coma!Grace aaaaaaaaaand… Franky.
Why are we ending on a random shot of Franky? Honestly, why?
Is this to show us that she cares most about Grace? Does that mean she’s going to get the struggle-with-guilt plotline that Matty might have gotten if he was as special as her and therefore deserved an episode or feelings?
So much no.
So much motherfucking no.
I might not have objected to the series being framed around Franky, if it had been series 5 Franky – you know that girl who was one of my favourite Skins characters of all time. But this bitch? This bitch needs to get her snivelly face off my screen.
Rin says: I wasn’t that miffed by this episode on first viewing. Because it was still early days and just because it wasn’t amazing doesn’t mean everything else won’t be. So I actually didn’t rage, I just accepted and was very much optimistic for the next episode. So I watched that, and was left with the same feeling. Not very far into that ep I knew Grace would end up being dead and we’d just go through Rich’s mourning yadda yadda and I didn’t feel a thing. Still…maybe I just needed time to reconnect. And by the third episode? I wanted to kill everything in sight and punch things and I was heralding 603 as the worst episode in Skins history. And I stopped watching the show for 5 weeks because I was so MAD and put off.
And then coming back to it after everything.. well it’s not like it set up the series for brilliance, did it? These aren’t the same characters I fell deeply in love with during S5, and I’m sad that they never really returned. It’s funny how S5 and the way it was constructed is what I consider the best Skins series.. and S6 is what I consider, to be the worst. And yet, same gen.
Sophy says: I have to say that I was miffed on first viewing. To say that least. I may have actually been hyperventilating at the end of this episode. And it may have been the start of a very long grieving process that I’m not sure I’m actually done with yet.
Because series 5 was my favourite, you guys.
This gen? They were my favourite.
And that’s not even because I had anything less than frightening levels of love for gens 1 and 2… it’s just because these kids were that special to me. Never had I felt so warmly and fully attached to each and every character. Never had I been so proud of the show on every level.
Okay, the following gushy ramble really belongs at the end of our 508 recap, but since we’re saving that episode to make our happy Skins ending with, I’ll have to say it here.
Skins has always been amazing. There were some teething pains for me in series 3, and there was that unfortunate baseball bat mess at the end of series 4. But overall it’s been the kind of television my dreams are made of – 102, 104, 108, 203, 209, 210, 306, 402, 404, 405… I was in awe after all of these and probably after some I’m forgetting.
The writing in series 5, though, was just above and beyond. It was so tight, so clean, so endlessly resonant. Every episode was uniquely and thoroughly focused on its namesake, and yet also firmly connected to the group and to the ever-present overarching theme of who am I?
It was basically a perfect series, and Rin and I found ourselves sitting there after every new episode thinking “Seriously? We really have nothing negative to say?”
So you can imagine how sad it is for us to have to be such jerks about this episode. It’s been painful writing this, really. But the thing is that we don’t ever want to be anything but honest about our feelings with Skins. It’s that kind of relationship.
So let me say this:
I’m not thrilled with the actual stuff that happens in this episode. It seemed to me to be nothing more than a whole lot of partying followed by a car accident. And okay, Mini and Alo had sex. That happened too.
But why exactly did we even need to be Morocco? What relevance did that have to the plot? So Franky runs off with a pasty British kid – couldn’t that have been done back home where it turns out he lives? Matty speeds after her, crashes the car and runs away… this also could have been done back home. Grace dies. Well she’s going to do the actual dying part in Bristol anyway. So.
The bottom line is that there was no reason for us to be in Morocco beyond ‘It’ll be super fun,’ and I really expect better than that from Skins.
But that’s not even the real problem. The real problem is that these characters are not the characters I loved in series 5. They are new characters. And I don’t really feel like I’ve gotten to know them in this episode – or if I have, I don’t like them very much. This is what I can say about them:
Liv Malone – Pretty girl.
Grace – Sweet girl?
Rich – Loves Grace, dresses like a girl
Matty Levan – Socially awkward with very low self-esteem, callous coward who would never etc, dresses like a girl.
Nick Levan – ………… bit of a stoner?
Mini McGuinness – Heterosexual female, unusually sexually confident for her age.
Alo Creevey – has huge penis and knows how to use it, limited empathy/respect for his fellow human beings
Franky Fitzgerald – Heinous bitch with big jugs, thinks she’s really, really special.
So. I guess at the end of this episode I was just hoping I would like some of them more as I got to know them. Or that some of them would turn out to be more like their series 5 counterparts than they seemed. Or, you know, that this whole episode was all a dream and my darling Franky would open her eyes at the start of episode 2 and slip into one of her suits and saunter off to college and everything would be okay.
Denial. It was one of the stages.
Rin says: Haha, that’s pretty much the character descriptions for the rest of the series too.
Except maybe add in ‘has clean-slate baby’ to Mini, add ‘loves Franky’ to Nick and ‘dead’ to Grace.
Sophy says: After everything Skins has put Effy through, they pull this shit on her?
Rin says: You’ll never be Effy, stop trying. (p.s. she never does.)
And Sophy. My fucking heart. You can’t just throw in the most adorable Naomily gif, after all we’ve been through with this recap and expect me to be okay. It..
The one thing I’ve been saying over and over again to Sophy like a broken record is that I don’t understand how this is the same show that we’ve spent countless hours obsessing and thinking and writing about. And I guess, I never really will understand.
Rophy says: Yeah.
We didn’t feel the need to include any other caps from the preview.
Sophy says: Always.
Rin says: That’s pretty sick, even for Sophia.
Rophy says: To sum up: