Skins Recap Episode 407: Effy’s Spotless Mind

It’s Just That The Season is Ending Next Week and It Doesn’t Really Seem Like It’s Gonna End Well

When it’s Effy’s turn to read out hers, she tells everyone that the grades don’t matter, and that it’s just “numbers on a page.”  That’s a little contradictory because A is a letter, not a number, if she studied she might know this.

Effy: You’re all great. You’re all great people, but I think I’m finished. I think I’ve had enough.
Freddie: What are you on about, Eff?
Effy: You have to make sacrifices to get what you want… I’m in a different place now. And I’m sorry, I’m really sorry.
Freddie: So what are you saying?
Effy: I’m saying goodbye.

Effy clarifies that she’s finished with poor Freddie as well, and says she’s going home. To a place called Kill Joy. Katie turns to Freddie and points out that he got dumped again. Thanks Captain Obvious.

This is annoying, you don’t get to put your friends through hell and then be the one who walks away. I hope everyone is in denial and thinks she’ll come back because: 1. She will, 2. That’s what I’d do.


It Was a Rainy Night, When He Came Into Sight

Effy runs into Cook outside the pub. He tries to tell her that they have a lot in common, that she belongs with him, smoking cigarettes in the shadows. She tells him that he’s no good for her.

Cook: If this was us meeting for the first time, I’d do it all again – the fucks, the fuck ups, everything, I’d do it all again.
Effy: What’s that supposed to mean?
Cook: It means I still love you.

Cook looks sexy in the rain. Effy tells Cook to “piss off” and then runs home to rub Freddie’s name off her whiteboard timetable.

I Want You to Try a New Drug it’s Called Codependency on Your Doctor

At the next therapy session, John T. Foster hypnotises Effy to get rid of her bad memories which can obvs only lead to a positive outcome. He talks about how his office is a safe place with no fear or danger, just ask Freddie.


Love Means Saying You’re Sorry Right Now Plz

Freddie visits, he wants to know how she could say she loves him and then break up with him the next day. He challenges her to look him in the eye and tell him that she doesn’t find him attractive I MEAN SHE LOVES HIM, but she can’t. She’s just under John’s control. He tries to kiss her and she kisses him a little bit and then she pushes him away.

Effy: I went crazy when I was with you, and I can’t let that happen again. Love’s not supposed to do that, you made me go mad.
Freddie: You’re making me mad now, Effy. And that’s exactly what love’s supposed to do.

I have issues with both of those statements but I’ll let it go.

Happy Place

Once Freddie has stormed out, Effy shuts her eyes and in her mind replaces what just happened with unicorns and butterflies.

This is How I Feel When I Lose Tinkerbell Actually

Later Effy takes her medication and then has a near breakdown when she realises she can’t find Patto, her stuff giraffe. She pulls the room completely apart, pulling everything out of the cupboards and screaming for her mother. Mrs Stonem calms her by locating Patto but too late the room already looks like Hoarders.


The Firestarter

Rather than pack her past back into the drawers and wardrobe, Effy just gets out the lighter fluid and burns it down. Now her and Freddie have something else in common. Effy tells her mother that she needs John T Foster, he’ll make her better. Sheesh. I hope when she ditches the doc, she still gives meds a chance.


Coincidentally This Pond Also Looks Like a Hallucination

I don’t know what John did to Effy in their session exactly, but when Cook finds Effy at the park she’s not quite herself. When Cook tells her that Freddie called him upset about the break up, it’s clear she has no idea who Cook is or rather who she is.

Groundhog Day

Clear to everybody but Cook, that is. Remember how he told her that if he met her again for the first time then he’d want to do everything again? He thinks she’s putting an act on and giving him his chance. He asks her what her name is and introduces himself to “Elizabeth.”


He Ate My Heart

They get acquainted quickly, ’cause next thing they’re at a party with pretty people and red  lanterns and music and they’re dancing up real close. Even when Effy throws her arms around him, Cook keeps his hands and mouth to himself, and I’m not sure if that’s because of Freddie or because he just hasn’t found a window yet or because this time around, he’s gonna be more like King James, or James and the Giant Peach, I don’t think either of them fucked on the first day of meeting.

Effy: I wouldn’t usually go for a drink – let alone a dance – with someone I’d just met.
Cook: Oh yeah? Why did you?
Effy: You seem nice.
Cook: I am nice. So what are we doing next, mystery girl?
Effy: Something bad.
Cook: You’ve come to the right man.

They walk off in search of something bad. And coincidentally come to a road. You know, roads, the kind people get hit and almost die on. She has deja vu, which Cook says “Isn’t that a french word for what the fuck is happening?” which is funny. Then he says he calls chicken (something Cook never would’ve done the first time around). See, he cares now — and something’s wrong.

Effy says she’s been there before. And someone got hurt.

A Monster in my Head

Effy doesn’t think it’s a game. She really doesn’t know him. And Cook says that he knows her, she’s got a birthmark on her ass and they’ve fucked in every sense of the word.  Then a bus speeds past and she starts freaking out, remembering Tony but then getting confused because it never happened. Also she’s still dressed like Angela Chase per ushe.

Bad Romance

She pushes Cook to the ground and runs off, and by the time he catches up to her he finds that Effy wants to stand in the middle of traffic. That’s bad! Not fun-bad though like breaking the rules on the first day of school. She’s screaming that she’s not scared of anything.

Just as a van approaches, Cook jumps into the traffic and saves her. She kisses him, then asks him to take her to Freddie.

The End of the Road

Cook: You remember me though, yeah? You know who I am?
Effy: How could I forget? You’re my friend.

It stings.


These Friends of Mine

Effy passed out on the side of the road and Cook somehow got her to Freddie’s place. He tries to call the ambulance and Cook questions him about why all of his bags are packed and beside the door.

Cook: You fucking skipping out on me man?
Freddie: Yeah, I’m leaving, I was going to go tonight.
Cook: You were going to fuck off? Leave her?
Freddie: She broke my heart, man.
Cook: She broke my heart as well. You broke my heart. I bet you’ve broken hers at some point. So what are we gonna do, are we just three losers screwing each other forever, or are we something better than that? Fuck me, grow up. I’m done here.

And so it is; Cook is the better man.


Love Means Having to Say You’re Sorry Part II

Cook’s last words to Freddie were to not fuck things up. He must’ve listened because she’s back in hospital and he’s by her side, telling her that they’ll be together and everything is okay.

Another Day For You and Me in Paradise

John T Foster comes into the room to see Effy, but she’s finally woken up to his quackery and general creepiness and bad cardigans and doesn’t want him to be there. Freddie tells him in no uncertain terms to fuck off, that Effy isn’t his patient anymore. He clicks his pen and leaves. TAKE THAT HE CLICKED HIS PEN

This is Everything

With John gone, Effy tells Freddie that he deserves better. And that she loves him, she whispers it over and over again.

Since my Bag is Already Packed How About a Holiday

Freddie’s bottom lip is quivering and he has tears in his eyes. This genuinely brought tears to my eyes, knowing in advance that this is going to be the last moment that these two kids share. It’s sort of perfect but also really fucking sad. Freddie and Effy fall to sleep holding hands.

I Like Unicorns

Freddie is woken up with a phone call, it’s John T. Foster and he wants to have a chat about why he can’t be Effy’s shrink anymore and so Freddie goes to his safe and peaceful office.

I’m Having a New Friend for Pre-Dinner Air-Snacks

Freddie and John sit down for a man-to-man chat, in which John tries to convince Freddie that the Stonem family need to give this maverick therapist another shot. Freddie points out that his involvement in Effy’s life has only made her worse.

John admits that he was somewhat arrogant and creepy and mistakes were made, he apparently cared too much. He pleads with Freddie that he be allowed to continue to treat Effy. Again. Freddie tells him to fuck off. Again.

Freddie tells John to stay away from Effy and starts walking out. When he gets to the front door, it’s locked shut and John is right behind him with a baseball bat, calling himself a creature of instinct and telling Freddie that he cannot have Effy.

The last thing John tells Freddie, right before bashing his head in, is that Effy really did love him.

The sound of Freddie struggling and of the bat crashing against his skull in sickening. The blood spattering on the windows is disgusting.

Furthermore, it’s incidential and arbitrary. Who is this guy? He just came into our lives in this episode, and already he’s murdering a main character? Sorry, nah. Murders like this don’t happen every day. This is more than unlikely, it’s downright sensational, and honestly, I hate to say it, very Ilene Chaikenish.

This is the dumbest thing to happen on my teevee since Jenny “died.” Also, sidenote; the “in loving memory” bullshit that Skins posted on their website is so annoying — what’s “In loving memory” of Freddie Mclair? This episode? He’s not real, and also, this episode killed him, so it’s a weird way to honor his memory. Ugh. Just UGH.

Basically this is how we feel about that:

[Sidenote Riese is still in 100% denial that Freddie died, and is pretty sure he’ll come back next week. Only happy memories. No bad memories. Phone home.]

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Riese is the 38-year-old Co-Founder and CEO of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, blogger, fictionist, copywriter, video-maker, low-key Jewish power lesbian and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and then headed West. Her work has appeared in nine books including "The Bigger the Better The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image & Other Hazards Of Being Female," 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. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 2840 articles for us.

45 Comments

  1. This episode was ridiculous, and yes, very Ilene Chaikenesque. I thought that the writers of Skins were smarter than this. To randomly kill Freddie just seems so uncharacteristic of them–I can’t help but feel that there’s something more to that. Like, that it was all in Effy’s head or something.

    Also, what’s going on with the Sophia storyline? Her death was hyped as something that was going to bind the cast together and affect them all throughout the season. We’re only really seeing its effects on Naomily, right now. I wonder if there’s a connection between Sophia and John?

    • OMG. It WAS very Chaikenesque. I hated it and I probably won;t watch Skins again. Besides the fact that I liked seeing Freddie on my screen, this was SO pointless. It was shocking just for fuck’s sake, no reason. Hopefully it is in Effy’s mind but i doubt it.

  2. I felt like I needed a support group after watching this episode. Only 1 more with this cast. It’s amazing how they chucked away 2 whole seasons in one, second to last episode.
    ridiculous!

    -But damn that was a creepy, unexpected scene…well done on that note ha

    (*this time the music/doctor dance was an ineffective reused gag, which is too bad since it takes away from the odd/awesomeness of the earlier MJ scenes)

  3. Wow. Way to stick with it and not do what I would have done: Posted a recap that simply said “Skins Episode 7 did not exist. Sorry for any confusion. Do not mention any other alternative theories about this on our site. Thanks.” and then gone on to live in denial land.

    I noticed a Tegan and Sara reference and feel like I’m finally a proper lesbian (I can not explain why I only started listening to them a month ago… but it was an epic failure on my part).

    • Hah, I was tempted to suggest to Riese that we do something similar and pretend that the ending didn’t really happen, or maybe re-write it ourselves. But Riese hates hates hates spoilers and so there was no way of discussing it without giving away the ending or delaying the publishing.

  4. This was awful and when I watched it I shouted at the TV. Mostly because I couldn’t believe they were doing this again. I don’t know if you guys have watched the first two seasons, but near the end of the second season they killed off Chris, one of the main characters. No lead up beyond the last quarter of the episode. However, we got at least 10 minutes then of learning about his surprise brain tumour thingy, his death and then his funeral.
    This was so absurd. Do they think that 1 in 9 English teenagers die at the end of sixth form? We don’t.

  5. Yep, you’re not the first person to think of Ilene Chaiken.

    My responses to Freddie getting his head smashed in were:
    1) WTF
    2) No!
    3) Lazy storytelling
    4) LOL
    5) A baseball bat? Really? I’m sorry, I thought Bristol was in England. Not that many English people have BASEBALL bats lying around so they can kill people. If it were me, I’d demand a cricket bat at least, out of national pride or whatever. (And yes, that would absolutely be the first thing on my mind if a psycho came at me with a bat.)

    Just, really.

    What I think is sad is that the ending basically overshadows the entire episode about Effy trying to recover and will forever overshadow it. Because other than the creepy counsellor (I must admit, I thought he was sexually molesting her initially) I thought they handled it really well. (Except the three A’s bit; for God’s sake, that never happens either.)

  6. w.t.f….

    So, of course I was shocked when I watched this. Kinda freaked out a little bit.

    BUT think about it. This has happened in season 1 and 2 also, with Tony and Chris. Here’s hoping this turns out to be more of a Tony situation, although it’s the end of this cast so it will probably be more of a Chris.. sad.

    I hope this doesn’t become a running thing though: the end of 2 years, someone randomly dies.

    • The only thing different was that they hinted and danced around the Chris issue all season. His parents were split up, his brother dead, no one wanted him. They kept building on that story all season, but this crap happened in 20 minutes. Like WTH?

  7. I feel the demise of Freddie (with the baseball bat in the doctors peaceful office-yeah you wouldn’t guess that one in a game of cluedo!)symbolizes the hopes and dreams we had for this season (well, mine anyway).

    In that in the pre-season trailors Naomily were hyped up, making us think “YAY, can’t wait to their relationship bloom” and then…Whack-Sophia saga, then another blow-Emily cheating with that girl in the pub?

    Pretty much every episode has been fairly depressing.
    So yeah, can’t wait for next weeks, let me guess..blow everyone up,send them all off to Sh*tter Island?? Thank god they repeat Glee straight after these eps!

    P.s Worse still though is that after next week they’ll be no more of these utterly brilliant recaps, which I have to say are sooo much more entertaining than the actual show itself-so huge thanks to you both!

    • a huge you’re welcome!

      i think with how bad the naomi-emily clips are in the preview, i promise they have a happy ending, you know? it’s called The Rule of Tyra, invented on ANTM, that the more they try and convince you someone is going bad, the more good they will actually end up being.

  8. It’s weird that the book I just finished reading was Wind-Up Bird Chronicles, which also ends with a baseball-bat to the head scene. Is someone trying to tell me something?? Maybe.

  9. I’m ambivalent about it all.

    On one side I don’t entirely agree with the statements that imply that every event should be foreshadowed and/or built upon (either within the episode or along the series) because then it could become predictable and “unrealistic”.

    On the other side I do feel it’s the show’s structure itself that sometimes makes it feel very fragmented and condensed at the same time. Each week it focuses mainly on one character (occasionally two) and you see him/her/them go through major, life altering situations… a lot of times with characters, and in places, you have never seen and/or won’t ever see again. That formula added to the fact that the writers are “fast-and-loose with the space-time continuum” (as Heather Hogan said on AE) makes it for an often disjointed,“incidential and arbitrary” experience of a show.

    An experience that I mostly appreciate because as you can see ^, I enjoy inorganic writing.

    Some things I’m not ambivalent about:

    1. I agree with Fiona: “What I think is sad is that the ending basically overshadows the entire episode about Effy trying to recover and will forever overshadow it”

    2. I also agree that, foreshadowing or no foreshadowing, the ending did feel like shock value for the sake of it…especially with the whole “in loving memory” shit slap they did (It’s hard to think of something more offensive than the murderer(s) publishing the obituary…I almost makes it funny)

    3. I enjoyed this recap

    4. I don’t know how: (a) to link to other websites or to comments (h) to be concise (n) the alphabet works

  10. When I watched this episode, I guessed that it, specifically the ending, would be polarising. However, I didn’t anticipate that it would be 99% of the viewing population on one side, and me on the other.

    Admittedly I was only half concentrating on this episode, so maybe I missed some cues. After the psychiatrist started prancing round to Phil Collins, I wrote him off as another eccentric caricature that’s ultimately harmless, like all the other adults on Skins.

    So when the blood splatter hit the window, I was genuinely surprised. There’s so little on film or TV that’s surprising these days that I enjoyed the fact that something was capable of making me swear aloud in mild astonishment.

    Anyway, people are ignoring the most shocking thing about the whole series which was highlighted by the tacky memorial thing on the e4 website: there are people that were born in the 90s that are now ADULTS. This might have been the case for a couple of years now, but I was in denial.

    • “Anyway, people are ignoring the most shocking thing about the whole series which was highlighted by the tacky memorial thing on the e4 website: there are people that were born in the 90s that are now ADULTS. This might have been the case for a couple of years now, but I was in denial.”

      hilarious! i’ve been having that swirling thought in the back of my head for the entire series and frequently while out enjoying real life.

      i try to ignore it though, lest i feel even more like an old pervy grandpa.

      :)

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  12. I didn’t realise till I read the recap that the next episode is the finale.. It’s really weird – this season is two episodes shorter than the last two seasons, and Naomi didn’t get her own episode… the Emily one is JUST called ‘Emily’. I don’t get how they’re going to resolve everything next week.

    And with the Chris death comparisons – at least Chris’s death was partly realistic – illnesses happen, sudden deaths affect groups of friends all the time. This thing with Freddie is just… kinda stupid.

    Oh and Riese and Crystal – I’m right there with you on the denial-front. I actually took it for granted that he could still be alive, but now that whole memorial thing on the website is ruining it.

  13. my thoughts and feelings during the episode:

    when they started playing the evil music for the evil psychiatrist, “this is like when Lois’s psychiatrist tried to steal her from Clark, only Lois was an amnesiac, not a manic depressive.” (i catalogue life/tv events based on how they relate to Lois and Clark: the new adventures of Superman). this was weird for me though, because even in her vulnerable state, if there is anything Effy is a genious about it’s manipulating people when it comes to sex, so it seemed silly that we were to believe that she’d fall victim to it without actually being in on the plan.

    then it turned out E.P. was giving her amnesia, via hypnosis. “yep, douch on L&C hypnotized Lois, too. apparantly this is how it’s done.”

    E.P. approaches Freddie on the stairs with a baseball bat, “Freddie’s going to push that man down the stairs, call Cook crying, they’re going to hide his body and spend the next episode dealing with the cops searching for E.P./Cook…
    *gasp*
    going to my happy place, lois gets all cheeky and says “who’s asking, Clark or Superman?” and runs off, trying to get out of the rain, and the world thinks “you go get her Clarkie”.
    oh, next time on skins, that doesn’t look good. nope, that either. why do i feel ill? what did i eat today? oh right, they showed blood splatter. they showed blood splatter?! shit like this didn’t happen on L&C, worst case scenario Lois spilt something on her new blouse.”

    and scene.

    • “when they started playing the evil music for the evil psychiatrist, “this is like when Lois’s psychiatrist tried to steal her from Clark, only Lois was an amnesiac, not a manic depressive”

      wow hahaha, totally forgot until now that I used to watch Lois & Clark religiously and I remember that episode

  14. The recall to Tony’s accident was scary but the end was horrifying. Makes S2 look like a fairy tale.

    Side note: Effy goes into the hospital twice and Tony can’t come visit her?

  15. I don’t think I will be watching skins again after the upcoming finale.

    This episode just didn’t flow well and as much as I love Phil Collins, his musical prowess just thrown into a scene randomly did nothing for me. And now whenever I hear ‘Easy Lover’ I have visions of baseball bat murders. Cheers skins writers.

    This series has been depressing, there should have been a lot more hugs, stroking and happiness with all that MDMA knocking about.

  16. well, the finale of the first cast ended with all their lives in a not-so-happy state, so it’s not like i ever expected this cast to end on a good note either. i have been pretty pissed off with this season though, it has really sucked. i swear, before naomi & emily were really even together they became this fucked up couple-thing. what are they gonna do next week “oh wait yeah i forgot, i love you yay all is well~”. i can’t really see that happening, when the main focus is going to be on Freddie being dead/missing? also, he is definitely dead & not coming back, Kaya (Effy) confirmed it on her twitter account. in fact, the whole storyline with Effy and her depression seemed totally out of the blue to me :| ehhh i just hope that, if they make another season after this, the new cast is better and the writing is better.

  17. All I can really say is:
    a) EXCELLENT recap, wish I’d found this earlier
    b) I concur with basically everything already said – murder was disgusting/sounds sickening, storylines/writing = lazy, etc etc.

  18. AAAAH computer submitted before I finished…
    and…

    c) How the fuck did Foster get Freddie’s mobile number? Did Freddie not even stop to think about that???

    On the whole, this ep, and the series as a whole – WEAK. Except perhaps JJs ep, that was just pure feel-good!
    (Did anyone else think the first time we saw Cook appear outside jail that maybe it was going to be a sort-of ‘he died in jail’ ghost thing?)

  19. finally watched it &

    WHATT THEE FUCKCKKCKCKCKKKKKK SKINS!

    Freddie :_(

    everyone dies! ahhh! (RIP Chris!) & if Freddie comes back won’t it be too idk Tony-ish?? TOO MANY FEELINGS >:O looking forward to next season already though…need some fresh characters!

  20. p.s. quick story- so on youtube when i clicked to watch me some skins part 6/6 came up and couldn’t find 1/6 and went to comments to see if anyone had same issue…anyways bad idea cuz peeps were all like “omg skins why someone die” and i was all like fuck goodbye effy and spent the whole time thinking about effy’s last moments but omgwtfthatsnotatallwhathappened!

  21. So, I think it was a good call to recap the whole episodes. I was just thinking that if you had gone for just the Naomily bits, you might have won an award for world’s shortest recaps.

    Also, I had to do it. I watched the spoiler someone linked to up there. I’ll keep my mouth shut, but I do have to say that I love this cast. I wish the writers hadn’t gone all Chalken on this season, because I do think some of the actors are really great.

  22. WTF. WTF. WTF.
    This was absolutely ridiculous. You can’t kill a teenager in a absurdly unnecessary turn of events with an ironic touch of humor in the form of blood splatter at the end.
    WTF. WTF. WTF.

    (Cassie went to the same place, back in the days when the people in charge only had severe OCD.)

  23. I thought the ending of this episode was a joke. At first I was horrified, but it became more ridiculous the more I thought about it. I mean, c’mon.

    1. Why would Freddie agree to come to the Creepy Therapist’s house despite disliking and not trusting the man? Why couldn’t they have just spoken on the phone? In fact, why didn’t he just hang up on him? He plainly told him to fuck off, I don’t see why he’d give the CT the time of the day.

    2. Why would he ENTER the guy’s house? Why not speak outside the front door?

    3. WHY go down into the guy’s goddamn BASEMENT!?

    4. Freddie’s been in several fights (alongside Cook, I’m sure). He’s a streetwise, sarcastic teenager. To think that he would not have put up a fight is ridiculous. He could’ve kicked John T Foster down his creepy ass stairs and tried to kick the door open. Or turn the bat on the man himself. Whatever. But he just huddled there meekly, begging the man to open the door.

    I’ve never been a fan of Freddie, but it was just wholly uncharacteristic of him. Seriously. You’re right — it was purely for shock value. Fuck consistency and logic, let’s just pop in a COMPLETELY RANDOM MURDER.

    I was also greatly displeased with another Random Man Falls In Love With Effy storyline. She’s beautiful and a little bit crazy, but really? Really now? And to introduce a character in the second last episode to kill off a main character?! I, too, wrote him off early on as yet ANOTHER eccentric character of authority (how many have we had in Skins now?).

    A few people compared this to Tony & Chris in the first two series. But I think they’re incomparable. While Tony’s accident happened out of nowhere, it served the purpose of rebuiling his character, and making him realise his sociopathic ways. And with Chris — it was also built up over time with stories of his family, his brother’s illness, etc. And his death was just… heartbreaking.

    But what is this fuckery?! Ridiculous!

    (BTW – Great, great recap. You girls make me laugh.)

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