Skins Recap Episode 407: Effy’s Spotless Mind

by riese & crystal

Wow so, Skins! What fun! Crystal & Riese both really enjoyed this episode, especially the twist at the end! It was so twisty, like a wedge of lemon/lime in your Diet Coke, you know? JK, I hate Diet Coke. There’s other things I hate too but we’ll get to that.

First Riese wants to tell you a story: I had a pair of jeans that were too short on me after being slaughtered by the evil laundry people of East 115th Street in New York, New York. So I had an idea — what if I cut off the bottoms of the pants and turned them into shorts? So I did. These trousers had a great run as pants, and they were equally adept to their new role as “shorts.” Shorts and pants are both great things (though admittedly, we prefer girls in shorts).  That’s just an example of how to reuse something in a positive, proactive way. I just wanted to share. Are you ready for the recap?

[again; feature graphic and all multi-photo graphics snatched from skinsftw, a fantastic tumblr you should follow.]

Skins Episode 407 Recap: Effy’s Vicious Cycle


One Flew Over the Cookoo’s Nest

A seemingly lucid Effy is living at the psych institution, the kind of place that’s built out of mahogany and the residents do art therapy and hit each other with foam paddles as “healthy anger expression.” Is this how it really is in Britain? Because the mental hospitals in the US available to commonfolk with regular health insurance have linoleum floors, one television, a ping-pong table, a stack of James Patterson books, terrible food, hideous lighting, and no real activities besides fighting with your doctor about when you can get the hell out of the place ’cause it’s making you crazy.

Effy’s new psychiatrist, John T. Foster, is trying to get her to open up about her older brother Tony (from series 1 & 2), who almost died when he got hit by a bus. Effy would rather talk about poetry competitions, unicorns and rainbows, but John isn’t interested in the happy stuff. It’s hard to manipulate someone when they’re happy, duh

Sooo… this is awkward

I actually think I’m going to have a hard time getting over how nice this place is, she’s even allowed to go outside whenever she wants! I wanna go crazy in Bristol! Things at the psych ward are uneventful, Effy just wanders the halls in a dressing gown and reads the Demon Headmaster. Mrs. Stonem sort of sits there quietly as well.

I Wish My Man Wore Old Spice

Mrs Stomen brings Effy one of Freddie’s cardigans by mistake, kid’s fashion is so unisex these days. Effy wants to keep it though, she can huff the MDMA vapour right outta that cotton.


Let Me Make You an Offer You Aren’t Legally Entitled to Refuse

After three weeks, Effy has decided to open up to John T Foster about her brother, she probably realises it’s the only way to blow that crazy pop stand. She recounts the moment that Tony got hit and how he lay in the gutter bleeding and she thought he was dead.

So many painful memories rising to the surface like a dolphin in the ocean but don’t fear, John T. Foster knows exactly to cure them.

John: I want us to try something now. I want you to close your eyes again and imagine that the bus never hit Tony. Can you do that for me?
Effy: It did hit him –
John: It’s just an exercise. Try to imagine it never happened.

I tried to do that with the baby shower episode of The L Word Season Six but so far no dice, I am haunted by Max in the Willy Wonka suit.

But uh, isn’t that a few steps backwards? Like back into “denial” rather than “acceptance”? What’s this guy trying to do? Make her vulnerable and split-open and terrible miserable sad?

Oh who cares THE LESBIAN IS HERE!


This Reminds me of a Cialis Commercial for Some Reason

Naomi visits Effy at the hospital and she’s all like “Hi Effy! How are you!? How’s that sanity thing going?” JK, she starts unloading about her & Emily, thank the lord, as we’ve been whet with curiosity.

Naomi: I just don’t know what we’re doing, if we’re okay or if we’re going to break up. Sometimes I think she can read my mind, I seriously do. I mean is that normal… Eff?
Effy: You mean, are you going mad? So you came to see me to see what a mad person looks like?
Naomi: No! No. No. … Yes.

Effy starts telling her to pass on a message to the Dog Lord. I’d like her to pass on a message to the writers that I’m not buying this scene, I mean Naomi genuinely thinks she could be mad because it’s like Emily can read her mind? Really?

Imagine There’s No Sophia, It Isn’t Hard to Do

But the one thing Naomi is good for in this scene is telling Effy that denial is a bad idea.

Effy: This whole thing with this girl, Sophia. Why don’t you just imagine it never happened?
Naomi: But it did.
Effy: Yeah. But if you tried to pretend like you didn’t…
Naomi: Am I missing something? You can’t change what’s already happened. I wish you could, but you just can’t.

Thank you Naomi.


And This is the Part Where You Give me Reese’s Pieces

Now instead of using her counseling sessions to talk about real problems, Effy just recounts scenes from ET. If you haven’t seen the episode and just read our recaps, you should know that this isn’t one of our jokes, this is really what’s happening here.

John T. Foster in his infinite wisdom tells Effy that she’s ready to go home. Effy doesn’t think so, but he assures her that if she sticks to a routine, continues to see him and lays off drinks and drugs then everything’s going to be hunky-fucking-dory. Unfortunately with her group of friends, that’s like just depositing her right into the pub.

Just Get Those Old Medical Records Off the Shelf

As soon as Effy leaves, John T Foster starts air-drumming and dancing to “Easy Lover.” Last time it was MJ, now Phil Collins… what’s with the comic relief via 80s pop references, Skins? It’s weird and ineffective, besides to show that all doctors are secretly Top 40 private dancers.


A Clean, Well-Lit Room

Effy’s home now, that was quick! Mrs Stonem has removed all signs of her delinquent & manic past such as the vodka bottles, wall of pain, crack pipes and Doc Martens. She also found Effy’s stuffed giraffe, Patto, which must’ve been thrown aside when she discovered underage sex & drugs. But sometimes a stuffed animal is all you’ve got!

She Forgot to Schedule a Little Time to Stop and Smell the Roses

Funny this used to be my daily schedule too.

Mrs Stonem has installed a white board so Effy can prepare a weekly timetable for her sleep and the suitcase of pills she bought home from the psych ward. If you paused the episode obsessively to see what they’re giving her, it looks like the middle bottle is Haloperidol, an anti-psychotic for severe schizophrenia, mania or other psychiatric disorders.


You Went Away? ‘Cause You Said That You Can’t Love Me?

The first thing Effy schedules in is some quality time with Freddie, who she probably hasn’t seen since he visited her in hospital and told him to go away. He’s speechless for a bit and then he’s excited ’cause she’s back! And sane! And still hot!

Freddie wants to know why she refused to see him and Effy explains that it was part of the treatment, under the guidance of her counsellor John.

Freddie: What did he do that was so special?
Effy:
He took all of my bad memories and made them good.
Freddie:
And some of those memories are about me right?
Effy:
Only a few.

Well I Don’t Think We Have to Be Like This Forever

Freddie’s annoyed, he doesn’t like that he gave her bad memories or that she gave him the cold shoulder at the request of another dude. C’mon Freddie, stop being all mememe. I’d tell him to cut his fringe and grow a pair, but it’s not nice to speak ill of the dead.

Effy: I’m sorry.
Freddie: So those bad memories of me that you don’t like, you don’t feel them anymore?
Effy: No, they’re gone, he took them away. But you know what’s left? Love. All I feel for you now is love. Nothing else.

Not fair! Because guess who still has those bad memories? FREDDIE.  Anyhoo…

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Effy tells Freddie that they’ll be okay; she says it over and over and you can’t really tell if she’s saying it to him or to herself.  This is probably the first time that these kids have had said “I love you” and had sex when they’ve both been stone cold sober, which I think is a really big deal.


Pandora’s Outfit is Also in the Mood for Time Travel

Pandora phones Effy for a field trip to collect final exam results. They’re holding hands in the hallway and talking about how hopeless they are. It’s cute. Not Naomi-and-Emily cute, but cute. Remember Naomi & Emily? Good times.

There’s only one more episode left for them to make those kids live happily ever after, I’m starting to get anxious.


I Feel Like the Writers of Skins Had Really Messed Up Teachers

Effy’s psychotic break stopped her from taking the exams, so she’d like to retake. Professor Blood isn’t into that. See, thanks to Media Studies, every kid except Effy passed with at least a C, and rather than having to spend time watching her re-take when he could be listening to Elton John, Mr Blood dramatically destroys Effy’s failed grades in the shredder and give her a new, forged transcript that’s full of As. It’s good for funding, you know.

Effy: You want me to tell people that I got three As!?
Prof. Blood: In my experience, Ms Stonem, we are all living lies. Reality, as the sophists so elegantly informed us, is relative.


What I’m Saying Here is Monday, Tuesday – Happy Day. Wednesday, Thursday– Happy Day! You follow?

Effy takes her problem to John T. Foster, explaining that accepting these straight-A grades is like cheating at life. He reminds her that success and achievement is nothing compared to being happy and healthy. I guess that’s fine, unless you’re one of those weirdos who find happiness in success and achievement. I wonder if Mrs Stonem knows she’s paying for a “grades don’t matter” speech. Sidenote I thought it was just Americans who took happiness that seriously and so far it has been a total disaster.

Also a disaster? This doctor! He has broken like 50 rules of doctordom.


Yet No One Seems Much Smarter

The kids are having an exam results party at the pub, and they all stand up and read their grades out loud real quickly. Naomi gets straight As ’cause whatcha gonna do when your girlfriend won’t talk to you THAT’S RIGHT HOMEWORK and Thomas gets nothing because he got expelled.

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.]

Pages: 1 2See entire article on one page

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 2842 articles for us.

45 Comments

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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?)

  4. 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!

  5. 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!

  6. 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.

  7. 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.)

  8. 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.)

Contribute to the conversation...

Yay! You've decided to leave a comment. That's fantastic. Please keep in mind that comments are moderated by the guidelines laid out in our comment policy. Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation and thanks for stopping by!