Skins Recap 403: Cook (and the Terrible No Good Very Bad Week)

by riese & crystal

Crystal & Riese are here to present to you the recap of Skins Episode 403, “Not Naomi and Emily.” This week is all about Cook. Cook is not a lesbian. He is a man-born-man who likes to punch people in his face. What lies beneath his aggressive exterior? A soft heart of gold? Secret powers that could save Metropolis from the evil influence of vipers, dinosaurs, Sarah Palin and the Marshmallow Man? Another tiny little person? The Heart of Doom?

Let’s begin to unfurl his mystery. You can get all the scoop on Skins at the e4 website. Just let’s say from the get-go this episode was very well-done, quite brilliantly written, and gave us lots of feelings. Howevs also we were both somewhat under the weather this weekend. LET’S BEGIN!

Skins 403: Cook

Jailhouse Rock

Remember in last week’s 402 recap when Cook beat the crap out of an innocent party-goer after seeing Freddie and Effy have a bit of a pash at the house party? Well we didn’t really think twice about it because a) Cook beats someone up in every episode and b) we really are primarily concerned here with Naomi, Emily, and whatever dead lesbians they’ve slept with.

Well, you missed a very important moment. Because now Cook is in jail with only boys, just like the Tegan & Sara song. Oh and this foxy lay-guard:

Don’t Drop The Soap Etc

See children, actions have consequences! A bloody-fisted and mean Cook sits down with his public defender, Duncan, who is eating a cheese sandwich and talking while he’s chewing, so it’s kinda hard to follow amid my TOTAL REVULSION!

Hard Times at Skins High

After finishing his sandwich, Duncan suggests that life’s going to be easier for everyone if Cook just smiles, says sorry and pleads guilty to “punching the fuck out of Shanky Jenkinson.” If he’s lucky/typical, he’ll just cop community service. But obvs if Cook was interested in an easy life then we wouldn’t be here. Or else he just seems a bit dumb.

[Cook must have already anticipated his fate ’cause he’s already got the prison ink:]

Cook: Not guilty.
Duncan: James, you did punch the fuck out of Shanky. In front of 83 witnesses.

Judge Judy Would Be Proud

Cook claims he’s not guilty because he was provoked by Freddie and Effy’s tongues, and you’re kinda ready for the Law & Order music to begin and for Mariska to be like, “Are you sure about that?” all sexy and stuff.

Duncan does not think that Cook is being clever but doesn’t protest too much, he’s got bigger things to worry about like that moustache. Casey Novak wouldn’t let this shit go down. She’d be like “your honor,” and then Mariska would be like, let’s make out, etc.

Stop in the Name of Love

On the stand, Cook says he’s not guilty and so the judge passes down an electronic tagging order until his trial, meaning he has to wear an ankle tag like Michelle Rodriguez but not as hot.

He’ll have to be home all the time, but Cook doesn’t have a home. A-HA! Case CLOSED! Nope, he’ll be going home with his Momma, Mrs. Ruth Byatt, who he says he is defo not going home with until threatened with, “Yes you will or we’ll arrest you, bang you up. Probably bang you about while we’re at it.”

Mrs Ruth Byatt is waiting for Cook in reception, passing time by flirting with police officers. This is anarchy.

Cook: Mum.
Mrs Byatt: Hi Jimmy, how you been?
Cook: No-one calls me Jimmy now Mum.
Mrs Byatt: Hello smelly.

Firstly, that’s such a lame insult. What are we, 7? Regardless, I get the feeling Cook never had a chance.

Lifestyles of the Rich & On Probation

Guess it is a bit like Michelle Rodriguez after all, ’cause Cook’s Mom is actually a famous artist, probs like Thomas Kinkaid, and therefore Cook will be doing probation in a mansion. Mum is drinking wine out of the bottle as she saunters out of the car, that’s nice.

This is Cook’s little brother, he is like Cook before he was destroyed by women and the cold icy touch of drugs, alcohol, and rock ‘n roll, except clearly still with the rock ‘n roll:

Rock Bandit

Cook’s little brother is inside, his name is Paddy and he’s wearing suspenders and rocking out to Motörhead’s “Ace of Spades” on Rock Band. Cute overload. What’s with the little brothers on this show being so adorable? Also, Cook is happy to see him. They share a tender moment of brotherly love that endears us to Cook for the time being.

He gives a little away –

Paddy: Mum says she forgives you, and you can come back.
Cook: Yeah.
Paddy: And we got pizza to celebrate.

There are like 20 pizza boxes. Maybe this is a crazy harem or something.

If These Walls Could Yell Loudly 2

Cook lies in his ex-bedroom while his brother sleeps beside him. It’s 6:35 in the evening and there are loud sexy noises coming from the room next door, but this is not a harem, his Mom just likes to ride the pony. Cook is thinking about how this is his life now and he is never going to leave ever. He checks his bracelet just to be sure.

I thought his tattoo said “Fuck Me Dead” but it actually says “Jack the Lad.” Jack is the name of the actor who plays Cook, maybe the make up dept ran out of concealer I dunno.

Oh Right And the Dead Girl

This episode’s not depressing enough and so they bring the dead girl back up, with Cook finding the police poster in his pocket. He picks up the phone to call Freddie, then changes his mind and starts dialling Effy, then realizes this is all their fault and instead stares meanly/wistfully at a poster on the wall of him and his friends before they made out with Effster.

A Writer with a Farmer’s Tan, WHAT ARE THE CHANCERS

Downstairs we’re greeted by enough empty champagne bottles to um, go with all that pizza, as well as Alex, an art critic who is studying Cook’s Mom, which seems like a little bit of a conflict of interest.

Alex obvs wants to get laid again because he calls her the greatest conceptual artist since someone whose name I’m not familiar with, but definitely has the sound “douche” in it because it made me giggle. It’s really the only entertainment I’ve had so far.

All in the Family

Cook’s mum tells Alex that Cook’s a criminal, and the dude tells Cook: “Your mum says you’re her greatest creation, a walking conceptual installation. That’s cool man.” But you and me and Cook and Mom all know the truth: Cook will never be like The Gates, or like the Statue of Liberty or anything. He will just be Cook, the boy from Skins in the polo shirt, la la la.

I guess that’s sweet but it’s probs best coming from his mother and not his mother’s lay. Speaking of conceptual installations, check out her latest –


Even Bette Porter wouldn’t hang this in her art gallery. It’s dumb and Jesus isn’t in it. Cook looks unimpressed.

Alex: They’re so tactile, you know? You just want to touch them. You just want to come on them.

So we cut to Cook wearing cute plaid pants and walking with his cutie patootie little brother.

It’s Like Billy Elliot But With Less Dancing

It’s a sweet moment, they’re sharing chips even though it’s probably 7am or something.

Paddy: Will you go to prison?
Cook: I might.
Paddy: But if you say sorry won’t they let you go?
Cook: I’m not sorry.
Paddy: Why?
Cook: Never say you’re sorry.
Paddy: Why?
Cook: ‘Cause you’re not a pussy, are ya.
Paddy: No.
Cook: Then we don’t play that game, do we. We don’t play anyone’s game.
Paddy: Except for Rock Band, we can play that..
Cook: Yeah, yeah we can play that.

Paddy calls Cook “barmey” and on top of reminding me of a miniature Angus Young, he could not get any more adorable.

Oh whoops wrong picture! Here’s the right one:

Little Cooky

They arrive at his private school, where lots of cute little boys are wearing cute little hats also and Cook throws intimidating looks at the ones that have been giving Paddy a hard time and kicking him in the balls. He’s going to need those balls later, when he becomes a massive pimp like Cook. Because balls are where boys keep their sperm right. I don’t know, I’m a lesbian.*


Foosball Prelude to Ultimate Surrender

At college, the kids are playing foosball and JJ’s team wins, they chest bump and are only two seconds away from patting each other on the ass. JJ’s sporting a huge shiner that he must’ve gotten from Cook when he tried to break up the fight last week. [Riese sidenote: I am watching this as I read/recap and I thought that JJ was Cook until I read this paragraph, Crystal!!] Where’s Emily and Naomi?

Pandora’s looking miserable on the couch and JJ suggests they go cheer her up, but Freddie points out that it’s hard to cheer someone up when her boyfriend cheated with a girl who is the “hottest of the hot”. He has Effy though so STFU.

Love Doctors

Freddie: Are you alright, Panda pops?
Pandora: No, not really.
JJ: You know, love’s thoroughly overrated. I’ve never had a girlfriend and look how happy I am. In between minor psychological breakdowns.

JJ starts talking about endorphins but all he’s doing is making a depressing episode even more depressing. But hey speaking of the hottest of the hot – someone is having a fashion disaster! But Cook still loves her, even if the bra strap don’t.

I’m Just Effy From the Block

Effy has arrived. The next thing on her to-do list after being hot is to sit on the couch with Freddie and swap some spit. Cooks shown up and looks heartbroken, but barges into the rec room like he doesn’t care and hasn’t just put a kid into hospital and gone to prison.

Hey Kind Friend

Cook thinks they’re all suckers for being in school and so he tries to convince everyone to go to the pub with him. OH HEY LOOK WHO HE ASKS.

Where Did the Good Go?

Cook: Naomi? What about you? Bring your lady and we’ll make it a threesome. … What’s up with you two?”

Naomi and Emily look so depressed that even Cook senses it, and Cook doesn’t sense anything. From this scene I assume that Emily and Naomi are still together, I’m no body language expert but I think if they did split up then Emily would be in the bathroom crying and Naomi would be having breakup revenge sex.

The best part is when Cook turns to the black guy and says, “Black guy?” But the black guy doesn’t want to go either.

Pandora saves them from answering by wanting to know if Cook’s scared of going to the “bloomin’ jokey”. He’s not. Oh but look who wants to skip out:

We’d Like a Drink Before We Make Sweet Love Later

Effy & Freddie feel bad for Cook and offer to join. Do they not understand that Cook’s hard heart breaks a little every time he sees them so easy breezy beautifully in love? Cook says that’s a’ight, he would rather just have a sandwich by himself in his locker.

JJ declines as well. Out of character, but not surprising as he’s got a big giant bruise on his face. Cook asks who it is that roughed him up b/c Cook is gonna give that asshat the stare of death, just like he did earlier that day with his little cutie brother, but what Cook doesn’t remember is that it is HIM, COOK! Yes, he must look at the man in the mirror like Michael Jackson said.

He Wore Pink Today Just for This Occassion

Professor Blood, the new college director, breaks up the party, acting very hoity-toity.  He offers Cook his business card and suggests that he and Cook need to “pow wow,” which I think is actually something that Cook should stop doing. Cook apprently missed the year they studied Native Americans and pow-wows and such, but no matter this is actually gonna be more like a ‘public beheading’ which I believe is part of traditional early government both in the US and in the UK and surely he caught a tad of that lesson.

The Professor explains that because Cook’s been implicated by the law, he’s automatically expelled. And expunged. And ex-communicated. All those other E words, this dude likes to Enunciate. Effy. Edie. He tells Cook he needs to “scoot off,” or else an Enforcer named Jonathon will Escort him out with “Extreme prejudice.”

Cook: Jonathon can kiss my ass. That’s if he’s not tired from licking yours.


I think Cook and Thomas should start a little club for kids that got kicked out of school. They can go to the mall, learn how to use bunsen burners, be big brothers to underprivileged children, take anger management courses and develop valuable technical skills for the workplace.

Jonathan is held by the guard while Professor Blood, apparently confused thinking this is like a Vietnam protest or something, sprays Cook in the eyes with pepper spray. For a second I think Effy and Freddie are going to leap to his defense and a brawl will break out, but they don’t. SHEEP!

The kids are all standing by shocked, including Naoms and Ems. I hope they bond over this trauma later.

Dead Like Me

When Cook gets his vision back, his eyes fall on Sophia’s memorial. Who had the baby chair idea? That baby chair is sad. They should’ve gotten a wall or something like they have for Vietnam.

Mean Streets

Cook is wandering the streets like the vagrant he still is when he comes upon Naomi’s house, where she’s taking out the trash. Emily’s scooter is on the sidewalk… good sign? I guess cohabiting with the strayer is better than cohabiting with the Fitch family. Also Emily’s gotta keep her eye on Naomi. Never know when she’ll sneak off to an Open Day and come back with a yeast infection.

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Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3182 articles for us.


  1. Although it seems like you didn’t enjoy this episode too much, I have to say I liked it. And I think I love Cook a little bitt.. he’s pretty.
    People I love a little bit/a lot:
    (And by next week, probably Katie as well.)

    • I really like this ep and my like for Cook turned to love. Mostly because he is a pretty crier and I’m a sucker for people who are sad/hurt and need a hug and someone to understand them.

      • one thing that is interesting/opens me up for people to talk shit about me is that this is the first season I’ve watched, though I did help a bit with the Naomi/Emily season three recaps and watched most of those scenes. It seemed to me like cook was supposed to be the bad guy, but I felt real bad for him.

        also i liked this episode too — last night at 4am when Alex made me shut it off and go to bed I was upset b/c I was like 14 minutes into it and I think it was really, really well-written and well-acted.

        • Yeah, it was really well written and acted, IMO. It’s a lot like (here comes my full-force nerdery) Tom Felton as Draco in Harry Potter 6. The character is supposed to be ‘the bad guy’ but the actor does such a beautiful job of making that character just a flawed human with no where left to turn that you can’t help but feel for them. They allow their surface to crack just enough/in just the right way that you are drawn in and you start to understand. And, if you are a sap like me, you just want to help.

          • Very well said. People are not entirely good or bad, we all have so many FEELINGS. Conflicting feelings. Sometimes, they do show a little bit between all our efforts of being tough and distant. Good job Elizabeth and Jack the lad.

          • Yes, see this is what I said about how much I loved Jenny Schecter. Also when someone’s entire life falls apart — like when he was outside throwing up after breaking the art exhibit — I was like, fuckin’ a. I mean even the best human loses it a bit at that point… and he went on to rise above the situation with Naomi when she initiated a self-destructive kiss. I thought that was very redemptive.

    • I really liked this episode, I was sick when writing my part of this and so I didn’t have the energy to say much other than what happened on screen. I still don’t, but I will say that one of things I love the most about this show is that it doesn’t shy away from showing the consequences of everyone’s actions, and this ep did so brilliantly. I also really dig the relationship that has developed between Cook and Naomi, I think that scene on the grass is one of my favourite Skins moments. That doesn’t involve cute girls holding hands/making out/being adorable.

      • I think some of the best friendships in Skins are Cook/Naomi and Emily/JJ. I obviously like Emily/Naomi, but I think the way Naomi acts in the last series hits a bit too close to home for me to really get into her (although, I have to say, she’s played brilliantly by Lily Loveless… can we talk about that name?).

  2. I thought i wouldn’t like this ep as much but i did! I think Jack O’Connell did amazing and that it could have so easily been a really irritating episode if he hadn’t.

    Also when Cook and Naomi are sitting on the hill i think he says “I’m well hard” rather than “well odd”. The only reason i’m pointing it out is because i liked that little moment.

    Yous should have recapped the Next Week On Skins bit as it was probably the best bit of the episode. “I’m Katie fucking Fitch! Who the fuck are you?!”

  3. I stopped playing BioShock 2 to read this – that’s how excited I was. Skins recap is my favourite part of the week!

    I like Cook a lot and I really just want to hug him all the time. He’s like this cast’s Chris. Hopefully he can turn it around and be awesome like Chris did. Except without the dying cause that was really sad. :(
    That scene with him and Naomi was the best part of the show and not just because Lily Loveless is nice to look at it. But because it was just a really good scene and like you said, the kiss was harmless. It made me feel good instead of mad like it did when they showed the preview.

    Normally I don’t like Katie, but I’m looking forward to next week’s episode a lot and it’s all because of “I’m Katie Fucking Fitch! Who the fuck are you?!” YEAH!!

    • I was SOOOO nervous about that kiss scene, like please no let’s not do THAT story, you know? But then the way they did it ended up working quite well into the episode and maybe a bit of redemption for Cook as well.

  4. what’s up with the tracey emin rip-off? that was too obvious, I hate it when they do things like this in series or movies. but in favour of cook’s mum – she only needed a matress for all her cocks, good ol’ tracey needed a whole tent – and that one didn’t only have male names on it, btw.

    • i am a bit of a sucker for a Hot Mess Mom character. I should do a top ten; Rayanne’s Mom in My So-Called Life, Kelly’s Mom in 90210, Brenda’s Mom in Six Feet Under, Alice’s Mom in The L Word…

      • dips on lily van der woodsen, uh, bass! she’s so uptight, it makes me go crazy, in a good way. and with her 100 marriages and counting, she makes the hot-mess list, too, doesn’t she?

        and I have a feeling that ruth emin byatt has done the dirty with a woman or two as well. ;)

  5. I think it will take a lot to beat this episode this series (although the trailer for next week’s did look awesome). They’ve made Cook the most three-dimensional of all the characters, and really fleshed him out beyond being a typical bad boy.

    Tanya Franks was ace as his wretchedly selfish mum too, but she should have had a lot of practice as she plays an almost identical character in Pulling.

    I believe they’ve got the green light for skins series 5, which will refresh the cast again. How’s about they drop the average age a bit, and make the main characters the brothers Fitch and Cook, going on drug+cider-fuelled violent cross-dressing rampages across the west country!

  6. For some reason it really seems to bother me that there appear to be only 2 pictures of Sophia in existence.

    Also, “I just get scared for people who are empty with nothing to rely on.” So nicely put.

  7. number one: the sky in the “mean streets” still makes me want to move to skinsland. i thought it only rained in england. can a british girl help me out here?
    number two: why does everyone have hot mums?
    number three: i cannot wait for the katie fucking fitch fight. someone screamed this at me once [only with their name, obvs]. art imitates life, guys!

    • Ah, tis only a misconception, England has gorgeous weather, well, when its sunny….! It only ever rains when…
      1.You don’t have a coat/brolly with you
      2.You just step out from the hairdressers
      3.Plan to go out somewhere nice for the day
      4.Having a summer party/fancy eating al fresco/dust the bbq off
      5.Your half way taking the dog for a walk
      6.How could I forget, when Wimbledon is on too!
      But apart from that, yeah its absolutely lovely!!

        • I thought that too, and maybe ’cause I’d spent the day dealing with Final Cut filters I was a bit biased, but my first thought was, “omg, what filter did they use to make that sky?” rather than, “wow the sky sure is pretty over there”

    • I’m pretty sure they use fake skies sometimes. Like, the bit where Naomi tells Cook to deal with it – I thought it was in Spain for a second, with the square houses and the glorious blue sky. And then my friend said, “You know it’s fake, right?” And I was like, “Ah, that would make sense, we’re talking about Bristol.”
      Also Skins seems to have an amazing ability to skip seasons. Christmas would not work on Skins. I wish I could skip winter and summer every year and live in eternal September.

  8. I only really got into Skins in the last series (wonder why?!)and I never really took to Cook, but after this ep I’ve warmed to him more as they scratched below the surface and we got to see his vulnerable side. The scriptwriters are doing an amazing job with keeping it edgy, yet still believable.
    Hope you guys feel better soon.
    P.s, Hope you all having/had a great Valentines Day too.

  9. I might be nitpicking right here, but is Naomi’s house the same as the one featured in her episode last year?

    I did not really like this episode, but I am looking forward to Katie’s episode next week.

    • naomi doesn’t seem to live in the same place she lived in last year. the house looked different from when the Kieran teacher guy visited. i think panda’s house looks different also.

      why is this season so much heavier than season 3? what happened to the funny lighthearted stuff?

  10. “Naomi comes across the street to apologize for that necklace she’s wearing” HA Thanks lol-makers. Poor girl has the worst line in necklaces, did you see that button abomination in series 3?! Cook was brilliant, well done Cook m’boy.

  11. Dude, brill work on the recap. Made me laugh a lot :p
    Next week should be fun, CAUSE SHE’S KATIE FUCKING FITCH. WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU?! Or smt, idk

  12. I really liked this episode. I like the relationship that Cook and Naomi have, like they’re both really destructive characters so I guess they understand each other more than the others do. If that makes sense. I also really like this recap. And I’m really looking forward to next weekkkk.

  13. WTF is going on in that headline graphic? Are they hurdling or playing leapfrog or something? I don’t get it…

  14. the art critic was referring to Marcel DuChamp.
    this was the first episode i didnt entirely loathe cook.

  15. I just watched the first 3 season while working midnights.It’s quite good but I think they should have made Effy the gay girl,before they made her kinda crazy she was written really edgy and cool but still messed up she would have been a great lesbian character.

  16. Loved the recap! Spot on as usual!
    >“Casey Novak wouldn’t let this shit go down. She’d be like “your honor,” and then Mariska would be like, let’s make out, etc.” …oh, really?
    *this gives me a burning desire to read/write some Law&Order femmeslash*
    >“bloomin’ jokey”: I think it’s actually “bloomin’ chokey” as in brit slang for prison
    >“Yeah, I’m well odd.”: I think he actually said “Yeah, I’m well (h)ard” as in brit slang for..uh the opposite of emo, maybe?

  17. I did a bit of research *cough* wikipedia *cough* and learned that “Jack the lad” is Brit slang for a cocky young man.

  18. -Cook was genetically designed to be a F-Up. It all makes sad sense.
    -Effy says four words a day, stares alot and dresses like a hooker..What is there to love?
    -That tit ‘art’ looked like the pre-requisite class to photoshop 101
    – Naomi and Cook had a great scene prob one of the best of the series. The kiss was sweet. Even though I wouldnt touch cook with a 10 ft pole wearing a space suit but thats just me. I hope they contiue to show there frienship.

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