Skins Recap Episode 405: Freddie (and Effy, That Crazy Diamond)

by riese & crystal

Without going into too much detail, it’s important that you understand that we were born to write this recap. Drugs? Check! Mania? CHECK! Psychosis? Check! Abandonment? Check.

And I mean really, why would you want to read a recap written by someone who’s never been led down the rabbit hole and ultimately to visiting hours at the mental hospital when you could read a recap by TWO people who’ve done just that? Also that means we can make fun of everyone still, right?

Sidenote! We’d like to acknowledge the following tumblrs which we thought had way better graphics than ours. You should all appreciate & follow: Kaya Scoldelario, Skins FTW and Fuck Yeah Katie Fitch. Seriously, SKINS FTW big up to you. Your tumblr is the best thing to happen since Skins!


Skins Episode 405: Freddie

I Am Nothing If I’m Not With You

405 opens on Sid & Nancy in the kitchen with the bottle, freebasing a suspicious substance — the legendary MDMA?

Sunday Night Fever

Kids. The room is really dark, I guess they spent their utility money on drugs. Always the gentleman, Freddie holds Effy’s hair back while she inhales. I hope she does the same with his fringe.

Party Monster

The Freddie & Effy Junkie Lovers montage begins; it’s all delirious trippy pills, joints, disco balls and running through Bristol with water bombs. Throw in some making out on the staircase to screamy music with dancey beats and some artificially enhanced orgasms and two beautiful kids that really who needs MDMA Goggles and you’ve got yourself Freddie & Effy’s glam ep of Intervention.

Where are these kids’ parents? Where’s Mrs Stonem or that dick who kicks everyone out of school?

We Are Really Cute Together, Aren’t We?

Freddie: I really fucking love you.
Effy: [we have no idea]

I Am Intense, I Am In Pain, I Am in Need, I Am in Love

Get a room! I mean; up the down staircase we go! Opening with a teenage sex scene, Skins, you daring little bastard.


How Do Druggies on TV Shows Always Maintain Such Clean White Sheets?

The morning after, Freddie is passed out bare-arsed in bed. Mrs Stonem is leaving a vice I MEAN VOICE mail. While Effy is chugging vodka from the bottle (that’s the cowboy way), she’s in Rome drinking “fucking macchiatos” in St Peter’s Square and is gonna stay there a little longer which is excellent for Effy’s adandonment issues, and mine. Where’s Tony?

Probs best Mum stays away, she might be surprised that somewhere between seasons three and four, her house transformed from a broken-yet-somewhat-loving family home into a crack den. With paper cranes!

Rome if You Want To

Freddie wakes up and remembers that it’s Judgment Day! No, not the Prop 8 Trial, but the disciplinary hearing at college ’cause his grades have been slipping. (Side effect of sex, drugs, and no supervision. Slippery slope.)

Effy is sad that he’s abandoning her, albeit momentarily, so she’s being all dark n’ shit.

Freddie: Eff, what’s the matter? I won’t be long, I’ll only get a bollocking for ten minutes or so.
Effy: Just —
Freddie: Are you coming down?
Effy: Still up. Way up. This is me happy.
Freddie: I can’t miss a disciplinary, Dad will flip.
Effy: Be a long time dead.

Luckiest Whiskey Bottle Ever

As soon as Freddie exits, Effy rebels by turning on the stereo and drinking whiskey straight from the bottle. Next up: Portishead and chasing the dragon.


Karen for Wax

Freddie runs home, where his sister Karen, dressed like Flight Attendant Barbie, demands that he allow her to cut his hair or else she’ll fail her Feathering module. She doesn’t realize that Freddie has perfected scrawny druggy hipster hair and the only stylist he’ll ever need is Shane circa 2004.

She asks when his fuckathon will be over. Listen Karen, no-one ever wants a fuck-a-thon to end, it’s not like a martathon even though they both use the word “thon.”

She shouts, “I want to cut your fucking hair.”

OMG ME TOO.

Headphones Per Autostraddle’s Queer Girl Accessory Guide

Freddie catches his disheveled, bag-eyed reflection in the bedroom mirror and double-takes, not even those magical cheekbones are pulling him through today. He should start taking his pills with food. He also catches his father hiding in the closet, he’d been snooping or “dusting.” Dad has a few words about neglecting his studies –

Mr McClair: I’m glad this young lady is making you happy, but —
Freddie: No you’re not, you’re jealous.
Mr McClair: What? … Clean yourself up.

Mr McClair is concerned about his son’s health, but doesn’t seem too jealous of Effy. Me on the other hand: very. Well, for the time being.

Also when Freddie bikes to school, he seemed very Angela Chase to me!

My So-Called Skins


Colour Me Good

Freddie runs into Thomas and JJ out front of the school, where I believe they are beatboxing in French or something. Kids these days.

Thomas: Hello stranger. I thought study was too 2009 for you and Effy. Where is she?
Freddie: She’s at home, she didn’t feel very well.

Thomas implies that Effy is worn out from all of the drug-fueled teenage sex they’ve been having. JJ, who has lots of experience having straight sex with a lesbian, doesn’t get how it can’t get boring.

Freddie’s gotta jet, he has a disciplinary meeting with someone they nickname “Tough Love.” JJ suggests that he blames “sexual OCD” for interfering with his study.

Pandora walks by Thomas and snarls “What are you looking at?” Um, probs her rack, not gonna lie.


It’s Gonna Be a Thriller, Thriller Afternoon

“Tough Love” is in charge of Educational Intervention. That’s what we used to call Expulsion. Firstly, Tough Love is in one of those scary rotating chairs like he’s Dr. Evil or something. Then he turns around like he’s in a porn movie and he’s about to ask Freddie to atone for his sins or be on a reality show.

Tough Love’s office is sparse except for motivational quotes plastered over the walls and a poster of Michael Jackson looking down on them. Get it? That’s foreshadowing. Because Michael Jackson is dead you guys. Because of drugs.

Rock of Love

Tough Love makes Freddie shift his seat until he’s lined up in the perfect position. For what? I dunno. Maybe as an offering to MJ. jk.

We learn that everything Freddie does is either late or inadequate, or both. As some weird intimidation tactic, Tough Love puts Freddie’s name in the shredder. I think this happened in Back to the Future 2, and it was kinda silly there too, and maybe involved a Dot Matrix Printer.

This is the New Egg-in-the-Frying Pan

That’s when a really weird and disturbing conversation happens. It’s like an SNL skit.

Tough Love: What would Michael say?
Freddie: Pardon?
Tough Love: Michael. What would he say?
Freddie: I’m bad?
Tough Love: Yes, and what else?
Freddie: Beat it?
Tough Love: No! He’d say “gotta be startin’ something!” Okay?

BTW Freddie already looked at the man in the mirror earlier and it didn’t do jack shit!


I Have Spent Nights With Matches & Knives

Freds returns to Effy’s house as promised and finds her in her mother’s bedroom, cutting pictures out of magazines. Aww, she’s made a giant collage out of crucifixion, torture art and Polaroids of Freddie. She laughs maniacally, breathing wild-like, throws papers in the air and tells Freddie she’s found her new “porn stash.”

Effy is muttering about “making thing easier,” Freddie wants to know what drugs she’s on. I’d transcribe, but really at this point it’s as hopeless to us as it is to Freddie.

Freddie: End? And what fucking end would that be?
Effy: Mine, Freddie.

This episode is showing us a whole new side of Effy. You know the manic depressive drug-abusing side. “Dual diagnosis,” as they say in the psych biz. Man no wonder I’m so attracted to her.

Your Face Don’t Look Like Before

There’s come close-ups as Freddie touches her skin, tenderly, listening to Stina Nordenstam’s delicate serious plucky voice.


Is the Drug Den Out of Adderall?

When Effy falls asleep, Freddie tries and fails at studying. He keeps doing more coke. Classic mistake! Now you’ll just get agitated and then want more coke! BTW, he’s got chest hair now. Kids grow up so fast.

Feeling, Sweet Feeling, Drops From My Fingers, Fingers

Freddie brings Effy breakfast in bed the next morning; perfect ’cause now she’ll have some cereal to pour in her vodka. She’s so badass.

Freddie: You alright?
Effy: Hunky-fucking-dory.
Freddie: Right, maybe just calm it down a bit yeah?
Effy: I’m not the one grinding my teeth.
Freddie: Both of us. For a bit. Do you want to fuck up your A Levels?

Effy puts her hand around his throat and pushes him back on the bed, kissing him. He pushes her off and tells her to “drop the dark shit” but she’s not hearing him.

You Make Love, You Break Love, It’s All The Same

Freddie: Effy, listen alright? It’s me. Me.
Effy: And this is me.
Freddie: Jesus, I thought we were happy.
Effy: Too fucking happy.
Freddie: What, so you want to end it then, is that what you’re trying to say?
Effy: No. It’s gonna happen.
Freddie: Why are you head-fucking me, Eff? I can’t handle it.
Effy: Better fuck off then.

Freddie runs out of the room, leaving Effy alone and distressed/abandoned/relentlessly insane. Poor Freddie’s got quite a bit to learn about walking away from people who obsess about The End. Jim Morrison wrote a song called “The End” once. Just sayin’.

But look, at least he gets to the heart of the matter, stat:

Manic Depression is Catching My Soul

Freddie’s in class, struggling to write a paper on “The Future Is History Repeating,” which is actually kinda what it’s like to be a manic depressive with the ups and the downs and the same stories every time and HEY-O! What’s that on the world wide web?

Manic Depression… Psychotic Depression. Will experience Manic episodes which will include Hyperactivity, Euphoria, Increased Sexuality, Paranoid Delusions, Reckless Behavior… and ain’t that the kicker… wondering if he’s part of the delusion, too.

Is Effy taking drugs because she’s having a depressive episode, or to enhance her manic episode, or is she depressed because she’s taking drugs?

Freddie walks the halls with his headphones around his neck not his ears but we can hear the music which is Sparklehorse. It’s kind of muffling, I’m sure. I mean, I imagine it is. In his head right now.


You’re Bad, You Know It

Freddie decides he needs adult help and so he goes to visit the Student Counsellor, only to find Tough Love’s in the house with his motivational quotes and BRAND NEW Michael poster, seemingly floating on top of the bookshelf. Tough Love says the Counsellor has a breakdown, so he’s taking over, which might be ’cause he is teaching in a SCHOOL OF MISFIT TOYS.

Freddie goes against his instincts and opens up a little.

SO BTW My Girlfriend is Interrupted

Freddie: So what do you do when you can’t tell anyone shit, ’cause it might really fuck things up. And you don’t know what to do, or what is happening – you just know that something really, really fucking bad is going down.

Tough Love looks to MJ for the answer but no dice, he’s dead, probs ’cause something really fucking bad was going down with him, too. Well, there you go Tough Love you just used up Freddie’s one chance at seeking outside help.

This “Tough Love” character and his Michael Jackson fixation is I suppose meant to be a little bit of comedy relief during what is otherwise a really heavy episode. But it just doesn’t sit right with me, and I keep thinking he might be a funny ghost, except not funny.

Just Like the Drugs You Are Keeping Me

Freddie sits on a park bench, studying a whole lot of texts from Effy that range from hate to love. Up… down. He doesn’t reply.

You’re Still Too Young to Drink, But HEY HERE’S A PAPER CRANE KIDDO

He folds the Psychotic Depression fact sheet into an origami crane and gives it to a little boy sitting beside him, I guess maybe he’s decided that he won’t stick around to help her after all. But nothing can stop the incredible force of giving Origami to children.


I Just Loved Playing Ping-Pong with my Flexolite Ping Pong Battle

Freddie visits his grandfather at a fancypants home. Grandad can see Freddie’s got ‘psycho junkie girlfriend’ written all over his face and so he leads him off to play table tennis and talk women.

Grandad: Who is floating your boat these days? Still not chasing that Elizabeth one?
Freddie: No, I’m not chasing anymore.
Grandad: So you finally snared her in the end then?
Freddie: She snared me, Grandad.
Grandad: Oh. You’ll never get out of that headlock.
Freddie: I just did.

Time for the “You Can’t Save Anyone Who Doesn’t Want to Save Themselves” Talk

Back in Freddie’s grandfather’s room, there’s a bookshelf full of Freddie’s Mom’s origami cranes. Apparently “the worse she got, the more she made.” Grandad pours him a whiskey straight up, a sweet gesture but seriously he should probably eat a toasted cheese instead.

Freddie: Grandad, when mum was young did you know that she was ill then?
Granddad: The days I spent thinking on that… Maybe I did. Maybe I didn’t want to. Memories play tricks.
Freddie: So did hospital make it worse? She did get worse in there, right?
Granddad: It’s the chicken or the egg. You never know with the mind. The old invisible universe.
Freddie: We should have been the ones to look after her, without anyone else butting in. We could have, if he hadn’t of just given up.

But You’ll Fight And You’ll Make it Through

Granddad: You can’t blame Leo for what happened to your mum.
Freddie: It’s his fucking fault, grandad!
Granddad: Anger will help you survive for a while, but then it’ll eat you alive. So let it go. Living in the past will only fuck you up. Do what you can now. Forget what wasn’t done then.

Freddie’s got a really hard decision to make, does he let Effy become someone else’s problem, much like he feels his father did to his mother? And risk that the hospital won’t fix anything, but only make matters worse, which happens? Does he know that sometimes the hospital makes things better? Regardless living with that fear is f*cking criminal, really.

Or does he chase her straight down that rabbit hole and deal with all of the pain and saddness and suffering that’s inside it? He’s only 17, really no kid should have to make that decision.

Oregon Trail Comin Through GET OUT THE WAY

He chooses the latter. Effy’s voicemail is “It is me, whoever that is. So leave whoever a message.”

I don’t think Freddie knows who Effy is at this point either, but he’s going to try to help her figure it out.

A rickshaw knocks Freddie off his bike. The driver reminds me a little of Mr Fitch, I think it’s the accent. Freddie doesn’t have time for a broken bike, he “needs to tell someone something,” it’s gonna be like the last scene of a rom-com and he’s going to the airport! Deliver the baby! I mean, kick your bike and yell!

The driver is a smartass. But he is also a smartass with a motherfucking carriage and Freddie has to go tell someone that he is going to take care of them, because maybe he doesn’t know yet how hard that really is, that you need more than just devotion. Like maybe Seroquel.


HEY-O! Someone’s having a party! Thump-Thump-Thump

Was it a Facebook Invite or Something? You Know I Never Check my Facebook Invites.

Freddie wants to know wtf is going on. Pandora says there’s a guy in the kitchen with his hand stuck in a cock ring and she can’t find a first aid kid. Katie delivers a half-second of comic relief with, “I am not mingling with goths!”

Apparently Effy posted the news of the party on the internet. I’m surprised she hasn’t already pawned off her computer to buy paint thinner or had it stolen during a long walk to find Jesus.

Panic sets in when Katie points out some graffiti on the wall –

via toonumb.tumblr.com

A Distant Ship, Smoke on the Horizon

Pandora walks past Thomas and as he attempts to speak to her, she slaps him. Then she kisses him. Then she walks off. It’s kinda sexy.


Freddie runs into Effy’s room, her collage has grown, there are now pictures of skeletons and darkness and devastation, complimented by words cut out like “loss” and “sick” and “ignore” and most troubling, “death” and “the way out”.

Your Filthy Room Your Drama Blues

His trance is broken when Effy’s voice comes from out under the bed. WHAT COULD IT BE?


Next:Freddie chases Effy down the rabbit hole, where Katie is dressed like a sexy angel!

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Crystal is Autostraddle's HR Director. She resides in Sydney, Australia, where she wears black clothing almost exclusively and listens to Green Day as enthusiastically as she did at 13.

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31 Comments

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    When I said I wanted Effy to be broken, I’m not sure I meant this. Maybe I did, but it’s getting way further into my mind than TV-shows are supposed to do, and I’m not sure if I like it. I had to watch Glee to get back up. Fictional worlds tend to spin in my mind for far too long. This is Effy, though, at least it’s not coming out of nowhere. It’s Effy. Also; Katie Fucking Fitch. I love you.

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    I dunno if it’s my age (32) or the fact I’ve recently watched seasons 1-3 but I absolutely loved this ep. The writers have done a great job since the beginning to interweave these characters way more than I originally realized and I haven’t given them enough credit until this episode. We have slowly witnessed Effy’s decent into mental illness starting from her not talking “out of rebellion,” dealing with Tony pre and post accident, her parent’s seperation, her mother’s increasing absensce, her constantly increasing self destructive behavior that included increased sexual activity and drug use. I was blown away that Freddie’s life has been completely taken over by his love/infatuation with Effy to the point Freddie’s ep was monopolized by their relationship. Plus Katie sitting on the same bench from s1-2 was a deja vu moment for me..Chris, Cassie, and Sid have all been there, hasn’t Naomi too? I love that the 2nd year is always darker than the 1st year and I went in expecting that so Skins has not disappointed me yet. It helps to watch the Unseen Effy scene from the website…really helped me “get” Effy’s “trip down the rabbit hole” into a more. Also read some things between the novel and s4 that also may explain some things such as Effy’s trip to Italy…there are some big plot holes that can be filled in for viewers if you look, but overall I’d have to say this is one of the best Skins eps to date. Great recap guys – I’ve been waiting for it lol and I’m not ashamed to have gone through a box of kleenex but I thought it was an incredible welly-written and powerful episode. Now if only Tony would call/come back to see Effy. THAT would be awesome and it does make sense considering their relationship and the prev seasons. And how long before we seen lil James crossdressing in the 3rd generation? lmaooo When Katie left him alone with the magazines I thought “nice set up there, next he’ll be stealing their leopard print skirts and hog the toilet like Katie did s3.”

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      I definitely need to do some catching up on effy’s story. I was really disappointed with how Ilene Chaiken handled Jenny’s bipolar disorder in The L Word and it seemed like from this episode at least that Effy’s was being handled with respect and consideration. It was very well done.

      I teared up too, a lot. Especially when Freddie’s Dad hugged him. I didn’t think the suicide attempt at the end was necessary that’s my only complaint. In a way it should be clear that dealing with Effy’s situation as is is bad enough, that it can be bad enough without suicide attempts there. But I’m not married to that complaint, I could be convinced otherwise.

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        I agree, I don’t think the suicide attempt was essential either. At least they didn’t reserve it for the final episode, I wouldn’t have liked to see her story end that way. So here’s hoping it doesn’t.

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          I’ve sat back and thought about it a little bit. I think they HAD to show Effy’s attempt. If you think about the 1st gen, Tony’s accident played a major role in year 2 and even that was a carryover from the s1 finale. After posting I dug around and for some gen 3 details (nothing big, but kinda spoilish so I’ll refrain from posting here). If the writers stick to their original concept, this gen is over in a few eps. The Stonehem story has to end. Not saying Effy has to die, but there needs to be some sort of story roundup, which is why I think Tony popping in somehow is inevitable (or maybe someone will go to NYC and find those 2 lol). Very telling was Effy has said one day Tony left, giving her his bedroom, a half bottle of peach snaps (I believe) and his duvet cover. I would love to see Effy return home to find Tony laying under his duvet cover….or even lil James somehow getting the duvet cover. But for those who were not fans of the suicide attempt, Effy’s been going down the rabbit hole since the 1st ep of s1. I think it would have been less realistic if we didn’t get to see the cummulative result. In fact, I would have been pissed if it was glossed over considering if I had watched the show when it aired in the US I would have been waiting for years for this (instead of a few months lmao). I had to rewatch the ep before I realized Effy’s true break in front of Freddie – she was halucinating in the field and Freddie scared the demons away before they could “get her.” Yup, here comes Effy’s 5150 hold, even watching the Unseen Pop again freaked me out because everything clicks now…yea this was a LONG time comming I can admit I was in denial in retrospect, but it was all there from the very beginning

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    I enjoy the idea that “sex in the rickshaw” had occurred so frequently that the driver saw it necessary to purchase a custom-made sign in order to deter it.

    (Also, thank god Katie the Angel featured in this episode – she was the one shiny ray of light in the entire thing).

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    When you mentioned the origami cranes, I thought “Wow! I guess it is a bit crazy to make paper versions of heavy-lifting machinery.” Then I woke up and realised it was the bird cranes, and was so disappointed, because I find industrial things very beautiful.

    I’m really looking forward to JJ’s episode next week, it looks like some much-needed light relief to break the waves of seriousness that have flooded this season.

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    This ep was exhausting, I felt as though all the drugs they were taking had seeped thorough my telly and into my room. Couldn’t take Will Young seriousely either, was half expecting him to break out into song. And then Bez from Happy Mondays comes cycling along on a rickshaw -wtf??!! Er yeah, left me in a complete haze. I really think we need a episode centered around James, can we start a petition to make this happen?!!
    p.s, You both deserve an award (or a stiff drink or two) for recapping that one!!

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      Oh okay I just googled Will Young / Tough Love and realised he is a gay Pop Idol winner. I wish I knew that when writing this. I guess Riese and I are going to miss a few of the UK-specific cultural references.

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    i don’t particularly care for freddie because he looks like a pretty girl at first glance but then is just a shaggy-haired boy, but i watched this one just so that i could laugh at your recap. and i did! i can’t wait for jj, though, because he is adorable and he says my name a lot next time, apparently.

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    They have raised the stakes with this episode. I’m glad we get a breather, hopefully comedic JJ episode this week because the last Effy episode is going to be a son of a bitch. I want to go back to her blinking at the end of Series 2, this god dammed episode gave me a panic attack.

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    love love love this show. just wanted to show comment love so that you keep it up!

    *comment love**comment love**comment love**comment love**comment love**comment love**comment love**comment love**comment love**comment love**comment love**comment love**comment love**comment love**comment love**comment love**comment love**comment love**comment love**comment love**comment love*

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    I thought “tough love” was hilarious, Freddie seems to get the episodes with the funniest scenes of the series. “Ass to ass…
    Ah yeah and good episode great cinematography

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    I’ve just got to say how amazing this episode was. I’ve been unfortunate enough to experience something similar with someone close to me (though not a girlfriend and without drugs) when I was at a similar age and this managed to capture all the feelings that I went through at the time.

    The initial denial (though this could just be me projecting) The anger with other people not able to help, the belief that only you can save them followed by the hopelessness and the realization that maybe there is nothing you can do and that hospital is the best place for them. For me this happened over about 5 days so the episode was very cathartic.

    My only quibble is the wall collage which appears to be a staple for ‘crazy’ people on TV and Film but then one experience and knowledge of another does not make me an expert. The attempted suicide was not too much for me as it’s shocking once it happens how quickly someone can get to that stage, also for me you just don’t get any warning when this happens, it just does. People are extremely good at hiding what goes on in their head until they can’t hide it anymore.

    This Series has been the best yet if a little dark, I am so glad you are doing the recaps, but I’m hoping the next one will have a bit more light. It makes the humor easier. Keep up the good work!!

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    This episode did a lot in explaining the Freddie/Effy relationship, which I never understood. I really felt for Freddie and saw how much he loved Effy. I still don’t get how Effy loves him back, because I don’t think they set up the beginning of the relationship in S3 very well. They didn’t make me believe in the story from Effy’s perspective. But it was disturbing and probably realistic to watch how quickly Effy deteriorated.

    However, Katie and Effy are still my OTP. I just can’t help myself.

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    -Much to heavy for my tasts. I feel drained
    – Freddie you are still sexy just lay off the drugs: coke, aderol, weed, MDMA and effy.
    -Great recap but I am frankly fucking… flabbergasted that they casted such white actors to play Freddie’s lineage. They are white. Was the goddamn brady bunch not availiabe?

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      Yes his dad is white, but if you noticed, his dead mum was asian (looking) in the family photo in season 3’s Freddie ep. Given this Freds and Karen look quite appropriately cast.
      Also the Freddie/Tough Love joke is just amazingly subtle and hilarious.
      TL: I think you’d better leave
      F: Right now?
      (hint: Google Will Young’s top hits. It wont take long)

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