Skins Recap, just the Lesbian Parts: The Ballad of Naomi & Emily Part One

Today I’m going to tell you about the timeless lesbian love affair of Naomi and Emily (“Naomily”) in Season 3 of the British TV show, Skins. This’ll be similar to that time I recapped the lesbian parts of Home & Away, but instead of doing one epic recap that will break me, I’ve chosen to break this down into two sensible serves.

If you’ve never seen the show before and are just here to get your lesbian fix and go play with your cat, here’s the scoop: Skins follows the lives of a group of kids in Bristol, England, who have a fondness for spirits, promiscuous sex and MDMA. It’s funny, clever and occasionally confronting, filled with the kind of shenanigans that make you nervously reflect back on your own teenage years and ask yourself, ‘was I ever that bad?’

And as Autostraddle’s resident Australian, I thought I might be the best person to retell this story because although the UK and Australia are on the opposite sides of the world, we both love a good monarchy and are ruled by the same Queen. Our close ties mean that we can understand and interpret each country’s slang, an ability proven valuable for the recapping of this show. Whizzer! Surf & Turf! Shine yer shoes Guv’nah?

If you live in Australia or the USA and you haven’t seen Skins, the good news is that it is airing in your country right now!  (USA: Thursdays on BBCA. Australia: Mondays on SBS).

Before we begin, there are a few other things you need to know:

1. Skins is a really, really good show. If I had time, I’d recap the hetero and the homo parts. But I don’t, and so I encourage you to watch this season in its entirety. Even if you’ve already spent hours on YouTube watching ‘Naomily’ montages to the tune of Coldplay’s ‘Fix You’ and think you’ve seen it all. You haven’t.

2. If you haven’t seen Seasons 1 & 2 of Skins, it doesn’t matter. Season 3 begins with a brand new cast and brand new storylines, so there’s no requisite information or backstory to catch up on before you read or hit play.

3. If you’re an Australian, this recap contains spoilers. If you don’t like spoilers, come back in two weeks.

4. This recap would not be possible without the assistance of Intern X, and this YouTube user who has kindly posted the entire ‘Naomily’ story in an order that is easy to follow.

The Backstory [Skip this is you've seen the show.]
Skins has a large cast of teenage characters and many storylines  – but I’m only going to focus on one: the blossoming romance between Emily and Naomi. Before we start you should know that these girls have just started a new high school and have been thrown into the same social circle, which is forcing them to deal with the aftermath of a drunken party pash that happened the year before. We don’t see this kiss, we just witness the drama that follows.
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The Skins recap starts NOW!

Thisisnaomi

Think you just spotted a lesbian? Wrong! Naomi isn’t gay, she just has awesome hair. She’s one of those outspoken kids with a lot of  ‘tude and in my opinion, the best lines of the season.

Naomi is a hot topic in the school halls because everyone believes she tried to make out with her old school chum Emily at a party.

Thisisemily

Emily [played by Kathryn Prescott] is quiet, cute and closeted. She’s the one who started all of this drama, kissing Naomi but then lying about who-started-what in order to protect herself from her twin sister –

Emily_&_Katie
Emily’s sister, Katie, is the polar opposite to Emily: an overbearing, poorly-dressed slapper who treats Emily like a doormat and flaunts a football-playing boyfriend who you just know is going to give her gonorrhea by the season’s end. Katie likes to tell Emily how to live her life, particularly when it concerns Naomi.

And hey, have you met Effy?

Effie

Effy is a lead character in this series, but merely an observer to the Naomily lesbian love affair. I’m only including her picture so that we can all stop and appreciate her hotness for a moment.

Not too long, she’s only 17. If she’s younger than all the Autostraddle interns, she’s off-limits.

While Emily, Katie and Naomi all know each other already, Effy must have gone to a different middle school or something because she meets the girls for the first time here on the first day of high school.
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The First Day of High School

rollcallbig

Emily, Katie, Naomi and Effy and their new classmates are all gathered at the welcome assembly. The roll is being taken, and the class loses their shit when “Naomi Campbell” is asked to identify herself. Hahah! Like the supermodel! Get it? Like she’s like, rich, and beautiful, and has issues with Tyra Banks! Kids these days!!

Naomi handles it just as her namesake would’ve, but with slightly less cocaine (for now) —

Naomi_rollcall_finger


Cook (classmate):
“Hey Naomi, I heard you’ve got anger management issues.”
Naomi: “Only when I talk to wankers.”

The class may have just been introduced to Naomi… but from the look Emily throws her from across the room, it becomes clear that these two girls don’t need an introduction.

Their memories aren’t all fond, because Emily’s lust-filled gaze…

Emily_stare_rollcall

… is shot down by Naomi’s cold sneer.

Naomi_rollcall_stare
To be fair – if my parents named me Naomi Campbell, I’d probably be a little uptight too. On the brighter side, at least they didn’t name her “Draco.”

Effy Appreciation Society

Out in the hallway, Katie notices Effy’s smokin’ hotness and thinks that they should become friends. That’s when Naomi shows up, raining on the parade that is blocking access to her locker –

Naomi lockers


Katie:
“Oh here it comes… total lezzer bitch.”
Naomi:
“Excuse Me.”
Katie: [to Effy] “Don’t talk to her, she tried to snog my sister in middle school.”

locker showdown

Total lezzer bitch: “Watch out Katie, I might get confused and fuck you with my great big strap on by mistake.”

Oh Snap.

[Intern X: This is why British television wins. If someone said this on American TV, NOM would make a "PSA" about it.]

Naomi runs off, and Katie yells “muff-munching bitch” in her wake. I’m a little disappointed by Katie’s lack of imagination when it comes to insults, Naomi’s wardrobe offers up so much potential. For example, I had a couch like that once.

Speaking of bitches, Emily is clearly Katie’s because she just stands by and lets this all happen.

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Tell me – and remember, no lies.

The kids take a break from trash-talking in hallways and go to class, where they’re going to talk about their feelings.
class whole
I think it’s Psychology class, because the teacher asks everyone to share something honest about themselves. Here’s how that goes:

Katie: “My name is Katie. I have never gone without a boyfriend since I was 7.”
Teacher: “Congratulations.”

Emily:
“I’m Emily and…

Emily_class_boyfriend

Teacher: “Shit happens. Next.”
Naomi: “I’m Naomi. I hate injustice and…”

Naomi_class_lies
As Naomi delivers her fun fact, she shoots Emily a look that should put her dead on the floor. Speaking of injustice.

Oh and speaking of the floor, that’s where Emily’s eyes are glued to. She does this a lot, I guess it’s part and parcel of being the passive twin.
Emily class shame

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Cook Always Throws the Best Parties

Emily, Katie and the gang are hanging out at Cook’s birthday party. Who’s Cook? It doesn’t really matter, the most important thing to know here is that Effy can still look fine even when wearing a pointy birthday hat.

Bday
You know who else is invited to Cook’s birthday party?

Naomi enters party

Katie: “Great, it’s the lesbian. She’s come to gay us up.”

You know how we do. Magical lesbians; we enter rooms and girls just start kissing girls, we call it the “t.a.T.u Effect.” Anyhow, Emily doesn’t make any move to correct her sister’s misdirected homophobia or those shorts. before long Naomi feels a little uneasy and bails.

Emily chases after her, even though she doesn’t know what she actually hopes to achieve (perhaps she could take care of the shorts issue by removing them, having sex, or something) –

Naomily boat

Emily: “Don’t leave!”
Naomi: “Why?”
Emily: “I… I don’t know.”
Naomi: “Why does your sister think I’m gay?”
Emily: “I’m sorry…”

naomi_boat.jp
I’d like to point out that Naomi has a talent for saying “goodbye” and making it sound like “Fuck You”. It’s actually quite enviable.
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It’s interesting how even though on the surface we see a whole lot of resentment and unrequited love, but then when you look a bit closer then the story so far is actually kinda sweet. Sure, Naomi is nothing but cold towards Emily – and yet she still took the ‘blame’ for the kiss that’s inspired Katie’s bitchiness towards her. We can only assume that she’s keeping Emily’s secret to save her from torment, which’s selflessness at its best. Moving on.

How much is a pound, anyway?

Emily, Katie, Effy and the gang have rallied outside a nightclub because they need to help their newly-arrived African immigrant friend sell 13 pounds of weed. No, seriously –

Kidsonroof

Here we have the marijuana in the bag, and an example of what the world looks like after you smoke all of it directly to his left. Flowers! Death is Real! BIG YELLOW FLOWERS! ANARCHY!

Naomi enters stage right, judging by her power-blazer, fresh from her after-school job at the bank. Her entrance is cue for Katie to start acting like a total twat. She asks who invited Naomi, and throws an accusing look at Emily because she knows, it’s a twin instinct, just ask Tegan & Sara. They listen in, you should know this.

Naomi returns roof

Naomi: “I heard someone needed a hand.”
Katie: “Yeah you like giving hand, don’t you Naomi.”

I hope “giving hand” is the new word for “lesbian sex” and not an attempt at a homophobic slur. Aren’t hand jobs also incredibly popular for men with penises?

Naomi says “fuck see you” and starts to walk away, because she’s a lover and not a fighter. Emily’s finally had enough of Katie’s homophobic rants and decides to set the record straight (har!).

Emilyconfesses
The best thing about this scene is Emily’s use of the phrase “For fuckssake!”.  In Australia we abbreviate this to “For fucks!”, which would probably also be appropriate as Emily admits it’s sorta what she had in mind:

Emily: “She didn’t kiss me. I was drunk and someone gave me MDMA (ecstasy), and I felt like fucking kissing someone. Satisfied?”

Naomi is, because she stops in her tracks and returns to the party. Katie has stopped talking for the first time this season and it is bliss. Birds chirp, 12 pounds of marijuana float kindly into the sky, Effy looks hot smug. I think she just wants to see these crazy kids make it work. I always imagine the best for dear Effy.

Naomi roof 2
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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.

Crystal has written 296 articles for us.

41 Comments

  1. Thumb up 0

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    omg how the f*ck did this kid get his little teenager paws on that much pot!!
    13 pounds is roughly the weight of my very fat cat, but I think a pound is about half a kilogram and I don’t understand the metric system or numbers what I DO know is that that immigrant is for sure a drug lord and it might be a bit of a low blow that the black kid has 13 pounds of pot? idk.
    Great article! I might just… watch this show. now-ish.

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    do they really say “MDMA”? really?! that’s like saying methylenedioxymethamphetmine. And why do they measure in pounds. Don’t the english use the metric system too? I thought we were the same! How confusing.

    I love all the screencaps. I’m going to the bathroom to braid my hair like Naomi’s right now. And then i’m going to download skins stat. I’m excited.

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    When Skins is on it is literally ALL we talk about at school. It’s just a constant debate of who is hotter and “should Effy be thrown off a cliff?”
    N.B. I fucking wish general british teen life was as exciting as skins, maybe it’s just bristol but my life is seriously lacking in such shennanigans/weed!!
    And do Americans say grammes of weed or what, if not pounds?

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        haha it is true that certain areas of bristol (college green) always have the faint odour of weed floating around… and its a nice city anyways you should move there! plus pretty much everybody i know has either met or knows someone whos been in skins, or can be seen walking past in the background etc.

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      THIS.

      P.S. True, Effy is rather tasty, but really?! Her actual character/personality bores me. “I’M EFFY, EVERYBODY LOVES ME.” – That’s great, love, but you got WAY too much screen time.

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    It’s hard to appreciate how pretty Effy is on the show because her character is the worse one and you got so bored with how everybody loved her despite her awful personality most of the time. But seeing screenshots of her shows that she is very gorgeous.

    And Emily was so adorable but I always wondered why the twins decided to dye their hair the same burgandy colour. My twin and I never consulted on hair colour choices.

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      The hair colour decision is strange, huh. I’ve decided that Emily did it first, and then Katie copied. It seems like a Katie thing to do.

      I understand what you mean about Effy. That’s why I enjoy recaps, you’re able to just look at the pictures and pretend.

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    Nice recap, makes me almost want to watch & filter out the season for their storyline again. Man I can’t wait for next season, it feels like its been forever.
    Effy (whatever her real name is) should be 18 by then so I’ll feel a little more comfortable.

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    We say MDMA for MDMA powder which you snort / rub on your gums / put in baked goods or blow up your arse as you see fit. Ecstasy is different as it’s a MDA MDMA mix in pill form – we just call that E or pills and boring stuff like that. I think kids should have to call it methylenedioxymethamphetmine though so that when you can’t pronounce it anymore you know you’ve had enough. I have no idea why I felt the need to clarify that but clarify it I have.

    Also Emily is so supersweet but I think she’s the kind of girlfriend you want when you get older (and she’s older too obvs). When you’re young you fancy the bad girls yea? Or is that just me?

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      I think making the kids call it methylenedioxymethamphetmine is a brilliant idea.

      In the making of this recap it was brought to my attention that few people know what MDMA is, and so calling it ecstasy seemed a lot easier ;) I like to take shortcuts like that.

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    This is fun, ‘ere, eh. Thanks for brightening my rainy British evening. This is a brilliant recap, very well done (is it continued somewhere?). I’m english and even I don’t know what pounds/ounces/whatever are, we just grunt a bit at a spotty boy and give him a tenner (£), hope for the best. Actually weed tends to be sold in ‘eighths’ ‘quarters’ etc (of an ounce?)

    Not long now till Skins 4 – and the eventual ruin of Naomily, sob sob.

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    important news! pandora (the other girl who you failed to mention despite her being a total critter) is an irl gaymo! at a skins party in bristol last night she was making out with a hot redhead all night! exciting times.x

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    So I may be way late on this, but I thought it would be worth addressing (mainly because i am obsessed with skins):

    “While Emily, Katie and Naomi all know each other already, Effy must have gone to a different middle school or something because she meets the girls for the first time here on the first day of high school.”

    I’ll fill you in on Effy (and her undeniable gorgeosity).
    She’s the younger sister of Tony, who ruled the first and second seasons with his group of friends. In fact, Tony once had a fling with Maxxie, a fellow male (and 100% gay and out) castmate. Tony was, let’s say, a sexually liberated guy, though I’m pretty sure he was just experimenting. He liked to fuck with peoples’ minds.

    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_0KRN69leV-Q/SPKWHuQt-2I/AAAAAAAADDQ/9lZhnVVEEdw/s400/skins-s2e2.jpg

    There’s Tony on the left, Maxxie on the right.

    Anyway, Effy appears in S1E1, sneaking in from a party the night before. (can be seen doing so here at 1:25- http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-5746615477349915510&hl=en# ) She went to a private school, as she wore a uniform. There were a couple of other things that happened with her in the first 2 seasons, teenage rebellion and such, but throughout it all, nobody from the current season except Effy and Pandora were even mentioned until season 3, when Tony disappeared and Effy’s new scene took over the show. That’s where this article comes in.

    Was that a long enough sentence/post for you? Hahaha! I have seen every single episode more than once. Fanatic.

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    I was just wondering if (now that the 4th season is finished) you planned on finishing your re-cap! I just read the 1st 2 and must say I would love to see your re-capped ending for them!

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