by riese & crystal
Wow so, Skins! What fun! Crystal & Riese both really enjoyed this episode, especially the twist at the end! It was so twisty, like a wedge of lemon/lime in your Diet Coke, you know? JK, I hate Diet Coke. There’s other things I hate too but we’ll get to that.
First Riese wants to tell you a story: I had a pair of jeans that were too short on me after being slaughtered by the evil laundry people of East 115th Street in New York, New York. So I had an idea — what if I cut off the bottoms of the pants and turned them into shorts? So I did. These trousers had a great run as pants, and they were equally adept to their new role as “shorts.” Shorts and pants are both great things (though admittedly, we prefer girls in shorts). That’s just an example of how to reuse something in a positive, proactive way. I just wanted to share. Are you ready for the recap?
[again; feature graphic and all multi-photo graphics snatched from skinsftw, a fantastic tumblr you should follow.]
Skins Episode 407 Recap: Effy’s Vicious Cycle
One Flew Over the Cookoo’s Nest
A seemingly lucid Effy is living at the psych institution, the kind of place that’s built out of mahogany and the residents do art therapy and hit each other with foam paddles as “healthy anger expression.” Is this how it really is in Britain? Because the mental hospitals in the US available to commonfolk with regular health insurance have linoleum floors, one television, a ping-pong table, a stack of James Patterson books, terrible food, hideous lighting, and no real activities besides fighting with your doctor about when you can get the hell out of the place ’cause it’s making you crazy.
Effy’s new psychiatrist, John T. Foster, is trying to get her to open up about her older brother Tony (from series 1 & 2), who almost died when he got hit by a bus. Effy would rather talk about poetry competitions, unicorns and rainbows, but John isn’t interested in the happy stuff. It’s hard to manipulate someone when they’re happy, duh
Sooo… this is awkward
I actually think I’m going to have a hard time getting over how nice this place is, she’s even allowed to go outside whenever she wants! I wanna go crazy in Bristol! Things at the psych ward are uneventful, Effy just wanders the halls in a dressing gown and reads the Demon Headmaster. Mrs. Stonem sort of sits there quietly as well.
I Wish My Man Wore Old Spice
Mrs Stomen brings Effy one of Freddie’s cardigans by mistake, kid’s fashion is so unisex these days. Effy wants to keep it though, she can huff the MDMA vapour right outta that cotton.
Let Me Make You an Offer You Aren’t Legally Entitled to Refuse
After three weeks, Effy has decided to open up to John T Foster about her brother, she probably realises it’s the only way to blow that crazy pop stand. She recounts the moment that Tony got hit and how he lay in the gutter bleeding and she thought he was dead.
So many painful memories rising to the surface like a dolphin in the ocean but don’t fear, John T. Foster knows exactly to cure them.
John: I want us to try something now. I want you to close your eyes again and imagine that the bus never hit Tony. Can you do that for me?
Effy: It did hit him –
John: It’s just an exercise. Try to imagine it never happened.
I tried to do that with the baby shower episode of The L Word Season Six but so far no dice, I am haunted by Max in the Willy Wonka suit.
But uh, isn’t that a few steps backwards? Like back into “denial” rather than “acceptance”? What’s this guy trying to do? Make her vulnerable and split-open and terrible miserable sad?
Oh who cares THE LESBIAN IS HERE!
This Reminds me of a Cialis Commercial for Some Reason
Naomi visits Effy at the hospital and she’s all like “Hi Effy! How are you!? How’s that sanity thing going?” JK, she starts unloading about her & Emily, thank the lord, as we’ve been whet with curiosity.
Naomi: I just don’t know what we’re doing, if we’re okay or if we’re going to break up. Sometimes I think she can read my mind, I seriously do. I mean is that normal… Eff?
Effy: You mean, are you going mad? So you came to see me to see what a mad person looks like?
Naomi: No! No. No. … Yes.
Effy starts telling her to pass on a message to the Dog Lord. I’d like her to pass on a message to the writers that I’m not buying this scene, I mean Naomi genuinely thinks she could be mad because it’s like Emily can read her mind? Really?
Imagine There’s No Sophia, It Isn’t Hard to Do
But the one thing Naomi is good for in this scene is telling Effy that denial is a bad idea.
Effy: This whole thing with this girl, Sophia. Why don’t you just imagine it never happened?
Naomi: But it did.
Effy: Yeah. But if you tried to pretend like you didn’t…
Naomi: Am I missing something? You can’t change what’s already happened. I wish you could, but you just can’t.
Thank you Naomi.
And This is the Part Where You Give me Reese’s Pieces
Now instead of using her counseling sessions to talk about real problems, Effy just recounts scenes from ET. If you haven’t seen the episode and just read our recaps, you should know that this isn’t one of our jokes, this is really what’s happening here.
John T. Foster in his infinite wisdom tells Effy that she’s ready to go home. Effy doesn’t think so, but he assures her that if she sticks to a routine, continues to see him and lays off drinks and drugs then everything’s going to be hunky-fucking-dory. Unfortunately with her group of friends, that’s like just depositing her right into the pub.
Just Get Those Old Medical Records Off the Shelf
As soon as Effy leaves, John T Foster starts air-drumming and dancing to “Easy Lover.” Last time it was MJ, now Phil Collins… what’s with the comic relief via 80s pop references, Skins? It’s weird and ineffective, besides to show that all doctors are secretly Top 40 private dancers.
A Clean, Well-Lit Room
Effy’s home now, that was quick! Mrs Stonem has removed all signs of her delinquent & manic past such as the vodka bottles, wall of pain, crack pipes and Doc Martens. She also found Effy’s stuffed giraffe, Patto, which must’ve been thrown aside when she discovered underage sex & drugs. But sometimes a stuffed animal is all you’ve got!
She Forgot to Schedule a Little Time to Stop and Smell the Roses
Funny this used to be my daily schedule too.
Mrs Stonem has installed a white board so Effy can prepare a weekly timetable for her sleep and the suitcase of pills she bought home from the psych ward. If you paused the episode obsessively to see what they’re giving her, it looks like the middle bottle is Haloperidol, an anti-psychotic for severe schizophrenia, mania or other psychiatric disorders.
You Went Away? ‘Cause You Said That You Can’t Love Me?
The first thing Effy schedules in is some quality time with Freddie, who she probably hasn’t seen since he visited her in hospital and told him to go away. He’s speechless for a bit and then he’s excited ’cause she’s back! And sane! And still hot!
Freddie wants to know why she refused to see him and Effy explains that it was part of the treatment, under the guidance of her counsellor John.
Freddie: What did he do that was so special?
Effy: He took all of my bad memories and made them good.
Freddie: And some of those memories are about me right?
Effy: Only a few.
Well I Don’t Think We Have to Be Like This Forever
Freddie’s annoyed, he doesn’t like that he gave her bad memories or that she gave him the cold shoulder at the request of another dude. C’mon Freddie, stop being all mememe. I’d tell him to cut his fringe and grow a pair, but it’s not nice to speak ill of the dead.
Effy: I’m sorry.
Freddie: So those bad memories of me that you don’t like, you don’t feel them anymore?
Effy: No, they’re gone, he took them away. But you know what’s left? Love. All I feel for you now is love. Nothing else.
Not fair! Because guess who still has those bad memories? FREDDIE. Anyhoo…
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Effy tells Freddie that they’ll be okay; she says it over and over and you can’t really tell if she’s saying it to him or to herself. This is probably the first time that these kids have had said “I love you” and had sex when they’ve both been stone cold sober, which I think is a really big deal.
Pandora’s Outfit is Also in the Mood for Time Travel
Pandora phones Effy for a field trip to collect final exam results. They’re holding hands in the hallway and talking about how hopeless they are. It’s cute. Not Naomi-and-Emily cute, but cute. Remember Naomi & Emily? Good times.
There’s only one more episode left for them to make those kids live happily ever after, I’m starting to get anxious.
I Feel Like the Writers of Skins Had Really Messed Up Teachers
Effy’s psychotic break stopped her from taking the exams, so she’d like to retake. Professor Blood isn’t into that. See, thanks to Media Studies, every kid except Effy passed with at least a C, and rather than having to spend time watching her re-take when he could be listening to Elton John, Mr Blood dramatically destroys Effy’s failed grades in the shredder and give her a new, forged transcript that’s full of As. It’s good for funding, you know.
Effy: You want me to tell people that I got three As!?
Prof. Blood: In my experience, Ms Stonem, we are all living lies. Reality, as the sophists so elegantly informed us, is relative.
What I’m Saying Here is Monday, Tuesday – Happy Day. Wednesday, Thursday– Happy Day! You follow?
Effy takes her problem to John T. Foster, explaining that accepting these straight-A grades is like cheating at life. He reminds her that success and achievement is nothing compared to being happy and healthy. I guess that’s fine, unless you’re one of those weirdos who find happiness in success and achievement. I wonder if Mrs Stonem knows she’s paying for a “grades don’t matter” speech. Sidenote I thought it was just Americans who took happiness that seriously and so far it has been a total disaster.
Also a disaster? This doctor! He has broken like 50 rules of doctordom.
Yet No One Seems Much Smarter
The kids are having an exam results party at the pub, and they all stand up and read their grades out loud real quickly. Naomi gets straight As ’cause whatcha gonna do when your girlfriend won’t talk to you THAT’S RIGHT HOMEWORK and Thomas gets nothing because he got expelled.