Saturday, 20 March 2010
TV: SKINS SERIES 4.8, NAOMI & EMILY
It needed to pull a rabbit out the hat to salvage the mess of this series but, despite some good scenes, it didn't do what was needed. But then what was needed was for most of the scripts to be scrapped and rewritten from scratch before the series started.
It ends with Cook breaking into the home of psycho-shrink, conveniently discovering Fred's bloody clothes neatly folded and bagged in the first room he enters, having a confrontation with psycho-shrink where he declaims himself over the course of a diatribe to be totally worthless climaxing with a screamed, "I'm Cook!" and launching an attack on psycho shrink. Black screen. Credits. The end.
It begins with Thomas running around a track and being discovered by a coach who, it seems, within 24 hours gets him an athletic scholarship at Harvard, though this last information isn't announced until nearly the end.
Pandora visits Effy in hospital, Katie is already there, and sings Effy a song she's written especially for her. It's lovely, sweet, a little bit clumsy and absolutely perfect as is the scene itself and also reminds us how criminally underused this character has been during this series. Later, and before Thomas's revelation, Pandora says she's going away, to Harvard on a history scholarship, shame-facedly admitting that she might have taken more exams tham she let on. This is a lot more believable than Thomas's miracle scholarship as there was always more to Pandora than at first appeared.
Saving money on paying the actress who plays Lara, JJ appears at one point with baby Albert to let us know that they're still together.
But the key characters this final episode are Naomi and Emily. For a full description, and a more perceptive one than I can provide, I refer you to AfterEllen's recap which is well worth reading for the insight into these two much-loved characters.
Much of the first half of the episode takes place at Naomi's house where several people have been crashing out including Cook (who is fucking an Effy-lookalike) and Pandora. Also Mandy, the tall girl from the previous episode who has designs on Emily and who we find in bed together. Nothing has happened as Emily was, the previous evening, too drunk to fuck as the saying goes and Naomi thinks Mandy is straight,though she is shortly disillusioned of that fact when Mandy says bluntly to Naomi, in a very brief scene where the actress playing Mandy is very powerful, that if Naomi doesn't want Emily, she most certainly does.
Turns out it's Freddy's birthday so the gang get together in Freddy's shed for, unknowingly, a wake and here several things are resolved. Most notably Naomi and Emily's relationship. Naomi arrives just as JJ is asking who's going next in a truth game. I will, she says and does, revealing all the truths and motivations for actions and behaviour since the beginning of Series 3. She's loved Emily since she was 12 years old and it took her three years to get the courage to speak to her; she went with men to convince herself she wasn't gay and failed; she was terrified of the power that loving Emily gave Emily over her and everything she's done was in order to push Emily away so she won't be frightened any more; and its all been for nothing because despite herself she can't stop loving Emily. And, finally, they come together.
And that, really, is the end of Skins. Series 4, I suppose, hasn't been all that bad -there are certainly many good things in it- but it just doesn't come anywhere near the exhuberance and magic of Series 3 when these characters were introduced and really is a massive disappointment.