Skins Recap Part Two: The Torrid Lesbian Romance of Naomi & Emily

Yes We Can.

After an uncomfortable run-in with her pervy male teacher and her mother, Naomi is hiding out in a classroom, toying with the idea of calling Emily, hopefully to apologise and not to colour-coordinate their plaid although that might be a good idea also.

naomi classroom phone

She doesn’t call, it’s election day and if Zac Efron has taught her anything then the girl needs to keep her head in the game.

Elections

We're All In This Together

Naomi is announced President, howevs she learned while hiding beneath the teacher’s desk that the teachers have rigged the vote. Instead of accepting the title, she reveals Cook as the true winner and gives him a really big  congratulations –

naomi and cook 3

Sigh. This is where Skins nearly lost me, where I almost switched off because I’m just so tired of this particular hetereosexuality-check scenario. Thankfully, Naomi changes her mind midway –

Naomi: “This isn’t right. I’m sorry, it’s not a goer.”
Cook: “Fair enough.”
Naomi: “You’re not going to try to convince me? Most guys would.”
Cook: “I’m not most guys babe. There’s obviously a good reason why you won’t fuck me because, you know.. you’re clever.”
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The cat flap

Naomi’s mother picks up some gay vibes and has a D&M with Naomi, telling her that love comes from the person you’d least expect, and so she should be a bit more open-minded, by way of revealing she wished she’d aborted dear Naomi. It’s a little inspiring, so Naomi visits Emily and I change my search preferences on eHarmony.

Naomi emilys house

If These Walls could Talk

Emily won’t let Naomi inside the house because she doesn’t want Naomi to see that she’s been crying. So rather than reschedule, they sit on opposite sides of the door and have ‘the talk’ through the cat flap –

Naomi at door

Naomi: “I do need someone. Want someone. You’re it.”
Emily: “And?”
Naomi: “And… When I’m with you, I feel like a better person. I feel happier. Less alone.”

Emily reaches out through the cat flap and they hold hands. Every lesbian in Bristol goes “Aww.”

Cat flap

Naomi: “It’s not as simple as that, is it. Being with someone.”
Emily: “Isn’t it?”
Naomi: “No. I mean, I don’t know. I don’t think so. I mean. Can’t we just sit like this for a bit?”

Emily_yeah_we_can

As sweet as this scene is – at this point I can’t decide whether or not it’s a step forward or a life sentence to the Friends Zone. I’m also worried about all that intimate contact in an area usually frequented by a cat. Oh, lesbians.
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This is JJ.

Emily and JJ
Emily runs into her highly anxious school friend JJ at the shrink’s office and catches him up on her emotional issues.

Emily: “I want to have sex with girls.”
JJ: “Right.”
Emily: “Yeah. I like girls. I like sex with girls. I like their rosy lips, their hard nipples, bums, soft eyes. I like tits and fanny, you know? There, I said it. And now…”

JJ_faints

JJ faints, and Emily makes a pledge to teach him how to be a little more normal.

The lesson gets off to a rocky start, when they head to their friend Freddie’s house and bust in on Katie and Freddie getting busy. What happened to Katie’s skeasy football-playing boyfriend? Who knows! Who cares! This is how the Skins girls roll.

Katie suggests that rather than interrupt them, JJ finds his own action  –

Katie: “Maybe my weirdo sister is up for it.”
JJ: “No that’s ridiculous, Emily is gay.”

Katie_wtf

I guess that whole making-out-on-the-bounce-house thing didn’t make Emily’s orientation clear enough to Katie, who is silent for the first time this episode and it’s wonderful. Emily runs out the door, she’s been learning from the master.
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At the Discothèque

Naomi bumps into Effy, who is waiting in line at a dance club. Effy, a keen Naomily supporter from the beginning, wants the 411  –

Effy: “Is it true?”
Naomi: “Is it that obvious?”
Effy: “You don’t have to be a genius to work it out. So?”

Naomi_I'm_straight
Effy_yeah_right

Naomi: “If I said no, would I regret it?”
Effy: “Probably. But not because of me.”

They agree that love sucks, and Effy suggests they go into the club and get so “monumentally fucked up” that they make out forget everything.

Inside said club, Emily is tripping and getting groped by Cook, who seems to be very popular with the ladies of Bristol what with his ability to inspire anarchy and get kids out of school —

Emily raving

Katie realises that Emily isn’t capable of making good decisions and drags her away, which is surprising given that Cook is a dude and Katie is usually all about dudes and their bad decisions.
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Sympathy sex

Emily JJ gutter

Outside, Emily is sitting in a gutter with JJ and her regrets. She doesn’t want to go home and face Katie, so JJ mentions a) he’s a virgin and b) he has a bed that she is welcome to share.

Emily: “This is a once only charity event, you understand.”
JJ: “Got you. Because you’re gay.”
Emily: “Yes. Because I’m gay.”

Emily JJ bed 5

Either sex or stabbing a cigarette out on my arm, you decide

I feel like I should be disappointed by this gay-girl-sleeps-with-guy scenario, but I’m not.  These kids are so willing to sleep with anyone that giving someone a sympathy screw is within character. To be honest, I even think it’s kinda sweet. Don’t judge.

The next morning they have breakfast and it’s too cute for words, these kids are gonna be BFs Forevs now that they’ve seen one another’s private parts.

Emily JJ breakfast
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When you go down to the woods today

… uou’ll probably find some magic mushrooms, Effy has. The gang are relieved it’s not weed and MDMA, ’cause a change is as good as a holiday.

Camp 1

Katie, an unexpected voice of reason, brings the party down by telling everyone that eating mushrooms is not an awesome idea. I’m confused about why Katie seems kinda normal now – first she’s being nice to Naomi, then pulling Emily off Cook, and now this, I don’t get it. Did I mention everyone was shrooming?

Emily shrooming

Everything is so BRIGHT

A whole lot of action goes down during the night, i.e. Effy nearly kills Katie and then fucks her boyfriend, but I don’t want to talk about it because it screws up my whole idea of good and evil and God.

On the bright side, it seems as if Emily and Naomi got to know each other a little better overnight, which is lovely.

Camp JJ tent

My Snuggle Came With Marijuana

JJ: “Bit cramped in there. Me, two girls and one tent. Nightmare. You ladies like to wriggle, don’t you?”
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Back at school

Emily is passing herself off as the injured Katie so that she can audition for The Lion King sit Katie’s exams for her.

Emily as Katie 2

I'll be the Slutty Teacher, And You Can Be the Girl in the Flowered Blouse

Naomi, who is now intimately aware of Emily’s physique, sees right through the disguise and stops by to compliment her on her cleave impersonation and also to break her heart.

Naomi: “I think I’m going away for the summer.”
Emily: “Oh.”
Naomi: “Cyprus perhaps. By myself. Spend some time by myself, you know? Do some thinking. By myself.”

Naomi_lets_be_friends

Emily_lets_be_friends

Naomi tells Emily to have a good summer and yep, she walks away. Emily calls out “I’ll miss you” and that’s enough for Naomi to 180, run back and slam her against the locker like this –

lockers kiss 2

Naomi: “I can’t stand it. I can’t.”
Emily: “It’s okay.”

locker kiss

We Just Can't Fight This Feeling Anymore

The hallway fills up with kids and Naomi says “let’s get out of here” and that’s what they do.

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Emily wants to go steady.

morning after 1

In bed, they’re stroking each other’s backs and arms and hair and talking about their problems and feelings with nice gauzy close-ups. Emily wants to tell people about Naomi, but she does that thing they always do in these plot-lines, which’s say, “I’m not like you,” which means I DON’T HAVE THE GAY DISEASE. Em suggests bisexuality. Then she suggests the LOVE BALL. They have different ideas about that.

Emily: “I want to tell people about us. Come to the college Love Ball (prom) with me. Like we’re together.”
Naomi:
“I don’t want to do that.”
Emily:
“Why not?”
Naomi:
“Em, it’s nobody’s business.
Emily: “Why? Who cares what other people -“
Naomi:
“Emily. I’m not like you. I’m not sure like you are.” …
Emily:
“Fine. You like boys too.
Naomi: “Maybe. Maybe I only like boys, apart from you.”
Emily: “Well that’s fucking great, you’re so in touch with yourself, aren’t you.”

Speaking of touching, Emily assures that there will be no more of that any time soon by jumping out of bed and shouting a lot, more lines from the lesbian storyline plotbook.

Emily_experiment

Naomi asks her to not to leave, but she’s too busy cursing fucking this and fucking that to pay much attention and she can’t find her shoes and is still ranting and raving, and Naomi’s sitting their speechless thinking  –

Naomi_bullet
JK! I’m going to give her the benefit of the doubt and think it’s more like this –

Naomi_bullet_2

What’s that? Oh it’s Emily, still yelling –

Emily: “I’m tired. I’m so fucking sick and tired of it.”
Naomi:
Emily: We’re still holding hands through a cat flap, aren’t we.
Naomi:

Emily_Cyprus

ZOMG AGAIN? All of this going back and forth is exhausting. On. Off. Yes. No. On. Gay. Off. Straight. Not. No. But it’s hard to complain, we all ask for realistic lesbian storylines on the television and by god, here it is, this is it. How do I know it’s real? It. Is. Draining. Me. JUST LIKE IN REAL LIFE.
dotted-divider2Next: The theme of the Love Ball is “extra-drama”

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Crystal

Founding member. Former writer. Still loves Autostraddle with her whole heart.

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19 Comments

  1. Ok I thought this storyline was so weird, like Emily was chasing her after and begging Naomi to be with her just because she could be there when Naomi felt needy, not b/c she actually expected Naomi to fully love her back in the same way. It was really cute at the end and the whole show feels so much more honest than anything else I’ve ever seen, but I was surprised based on the hype how weird it was in that regard.

    • You’re right, it is weird. For the first half of the storyline I sorta felt that Emily didn’t need Naomi to love her back, that she just wanted to be with her to see if she could. But maybe I’m projecting.

  2. naomi was totally doing jazz hands when she held out her hand at the end. it was probably because she was holding her hand out for so long and it started to fall asleep. the whole time i was watching that part i just kept thinking “that must be really awkward, putting your arm out and waiting for her to grab and but it would probs be even weirder to put it down now that you’re had it up for do long–oh wait she just said she loves you, i guess it’s ok.” i don’t know what i thought so many thoughts about that scene.

    • haha, yeah for real, that scene probably took a while to film. I thought the jazz hands were a really sweet touch, there’s something innocent about them, probably because they feature in a lot of high school movies that also feature dance offs.

  3. I’m pretty sure that you are the Queen of Recaps.

    “If Emily got eaten by a bear, Naomi would be very upset that she hadn’t spent the last five weeks scissoring.”

    Best. Line. Ever.

  4. I feel like the cat-flap scene has the potential to become really iconic in the rising generation of UK queermos. “When did you know?” “Ohmigod, the CATFLAP SCENE.” “Right?”

    • Hah right! It’s a memorable scene, for sure, I’m sure at minimum it probably planted seeds of doubt in one or two straight teenagers.

      I just noticed that in the recap we also referred to it as a ‘cat trap door’, which sounds sinister.

  5. Omgaaaaaaaaaaawd!
    This is by far the WORST recap I’ve ever read! No’no’no, just no.. DO NOT do anymore of this.. The rophy // Heather hogan ones we’re brill .. (oh yea, totally panda there)But this? NO! *Looks at this site whit a disappointed look, beyond words*

  6. oh I just love this two so fucking much.
    just…arrrgh, there are not words to describe all the feelings they make me feel.

    of course, I’m a kid, much like them so it seems more… important than lesbian storylines involving adults.

    the lake scene is one of those scenes I have seen about five hundred billion times and always always always reblog when I see on tumblr. they’re a permanent fixture on my blog,really.

    I must say, I remember Emily saying “I’m a lot of things” to JJ after clarifying it was a charity event.

    I saw so much of myself in Emily, it’s incredible. I’m not a twin but I am younger sister,so I understood her so much. and I understood Naomi, too. her fear and insecurity, the rebeliousness and the fight against injustice…

    I don’t think I had connected with a ship so much since Darcy and Elizabeth

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