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

Hello, welcome to the second installment of the timeless lesbian love affair of Naomi and Emily (”Naomily”), as featured in Season 3 of the British TV show, Skins.

Did you read part one? If not you should probs catch up.

We left off just after Naomi and Emily had shared a giggly platonic sleepover and the next morning, Naomi gay-panicked and ran. Then she stated for the record – and for the 100th time this season – that just because she keeps making out with Emily, it doesn’t mean that she likes her like THAT. Which brings us to where we are now, high school.

Naomi on the campaign trail

Naomi, trying to win hearts and minds in her campaign for student president, is standing on the cafeteria table with Emily dutifully by her side, promising the student body that she’ll “get to know each and every one of you,” which is code for “LET’S FINGERBLAST!”

Naomi announcement

Cook, Naomi’s adversary in the presidential race, feels left out and decides to interrupt her speech with his illogical demands, it’s practically an American Health Care Town Hall meeting up in here:

Cook: “No one here cares! We just want to party!”

Cook president

Emily cares, and she ain’t about to let Cook rain on their plaid parade –

Emily vs cook
Emily: “Cook, any chance you could go and be a cunt over there?”
Cook: “Oh that’s nice, getting your girlfriend to hold your hand. Moral support yeah, sweet innit?”
Naomi: “… Oh fuck.”

Sad that we know this still works and this fear remains real — that you can always be embarrassed in school simply by being called a lesbian. Naomi’s clearly not interested in the gay vote, ’cause she jumps down off her soap box and yells rather loudly at Emily before running from the room. Sigh.


Passive Aggressive Notes

We have a brief interlude where Naomi goes to confide to a male teacher and he lays a wet one on her little lips. So Naomi’s in a state, crying in her bedroom and looking vulnerable beneath her tough indifferent exterior. This is how she finds the little handwritten note that Emily left on Naomi’s pillow post-sleepover –

Naomi note


At first, Naomi stuffs the thing into a little ball. And then, she has a revelation: unlike men, Naomi realizes, women are willing to submissively pursue your desires and love you under all conditions and they are so soft! She changes her mind, unfolds the note and falls to sleep beside it, which sounds like something someone would do in a Tegan & Sara song. Also, this scene is more or less a metaphor for this season so far.


It’s a brand new day and Naomi is scoping herself out in the mirror, contemplating putting on something less mustard and, per ushe, deciding against it.

Naomi mirror

Hey! What’s that? Is that Emily’s name inked on her face? I guess it’s sweet in a prison sort of way.

Naomi face ink

[Intern X: This show is so SUBTLE.]

Naomi probably thinks it’s fate or something because she douchebag-dials Emily, pleading for her to take her somewhere, anywhere.

If You’re Not Gonna Autostraddle Me,

Please Autostraddle This Bike.

Emily – who I’ve come to believe is the world’s greatest opportunist – takes Naomi for a bicycle ride to her secret lake located on the English countryside. Light fairy music plays while they giggle and bump their bikes together.

Riding bikes

The only way this scene could be more gay is if one of them was wearing cargo shorts. Speaking of gay, Emily’s choice of location just happens to be the perfect place for skinny-dipping, the whole set up makes me feel as if Emily believes that the best laid plans will, in fact, often get you laid.

Naomi: “I didn’t bring a swimming costume.”
Emily: “Neither did I.”
[Emily makes suggestive taking-off-clothing movements]
Naomi: “Someone might be looking.”
Emily: “Honey, your body ain’t that special…”

Emily leads by example by stripping and now I have no idea where the girl is concealing her playbook.

Emily strips lake

Naomi warns Emily not to watch her get naked but Emily just has to sneak a peak.

So they start play-fighting and getting a bit handsy before falling in the lake like two little guppies in love!

Naomily stripped

Cut to the campfire, around which the girls are singing Kumbaya and drinking vodka in the rain. DREAM DATE. Emily is staring off into the distance and Naomi wants to know if she’s okay –


Naomi: “You alright, Em?”
“You know that’s the first time you’ve asked me something?”



I really dig this dialogue, I’m so blinded by hope that these two kids are gonna make it that it’s so easy to forget that there’s a huge imbalance in their relationship, that Emily chases and chases and beyond a little bit of cuddling, Naomi rarely never gives anything back. In fact one might argue that Naomi runs from the room when Emily enters.

Maybe if Emily were a bit more like that girl chasing Marcia Brady in The Brady Bunch Movie and a little less A-FUCKING-DORABLE, we’d have less patience for these charades.

Naomi: “Well answer it then. Are you alright?”
Emily: “No. I’m having the worst time of my life. The weather’s shit. The company is even worse.”

She’s having such a crappy time that it can only be saved by some hand-holding. Awwww.

campfire hold hands

The silence gets a little awkward and so Emily consults her playbook and suggests they do blowbacks.

Naomi: “I don’t understand blow backs, why can’t anybody just smoke the thing straight?”
Emily: “It’s fun. Have you tried it?”
Naomi: “No, but I’ve seen it and can tell it’s shit.
Emily: “Come on, anything once.”
Naomi: “Fuck it. Go ahead and disappoint me.”

I’d like to point out that Emily looks her finest when smoking a joint. If you don’t hear from me again then I’ve been arrested or at minimum, added to some federal list somewhere.

blowbacks e

blowbacks 2

Naomi wants to try the blowback again but this time without the joint, which defeats the purpose. Or does it? I used the ‘let’s do blowbacks!’ line the first time I made out with a girl and it worked like a charm. Emily, I tip my hat. Kids, take notes. JK don’t do drugs, just make out, unless you live in California and have a prescription –

All that really matters is that Emily made the first move, and that they re-undress really quickly …

campfire kiss 4

Naomi: “Say something.”
Emily: “I’m all about experiments, me.”

At least I think that’s what Emily said. I’ll be honest – at times the accent gets a little thick and I just make the dialogue up. But you know what I can’t make up? HOW ADORABLE THEY LOOK –

campfire kiss talk

You know what else happens? They have CAMPFIRE SEX, which is a shoo-in for the Autostraddle Hot 100 next year.

campfire sex

Spencer & Ashley Never Got This Close

I’m not going to give you a blow-by-blow because they’re minors and it makes me feel weird, so you should just watch it here.

The Morning After

Morning after alone

Emily wakes alone, to the sound of Naomi walking her bicycle away, which is less efficient than riding it, but doesn’t take so much time. Leaving Emily in the woods is cold. If Emily got eaten by a bear, Naomi would be very upset that she hadn’t spent the last five weeks scissoring.

Also, Emily’s hung and loud noises are hard on the ears.

morning after naomi bike

I Won't Go My Whole Life Telling You I Don't Need

Emily: “You’re going to do this to me twice? Naomi, no, you fucking stop right now. Don’t you dare leave me in your bed again.”
Naomi: “I’ve got to go.”
Emily: “I know you Naomi. I know you’re lonely. I think you need someone to want you. Well, I do want you, so -”


But Naomi isn’t really that brave, is she, and Emily is being very lesbionically sad. So Naomi moodily walks her bike off into the distance.
Next: Love through the cat-trap door.

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.


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.”

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?”


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.

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, 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.”


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.

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: “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.

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

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?”

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 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.


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.”
“I don’t want to do that.”
“Why not?”
“Em, it’s nobody’s business.
Emily: “Why? Who cares what other people -“
“Emily. I’m not like you. I’m not sure like you are.” …
“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.


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  –

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


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

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


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”

Not Gay, Stupid.

That night at the family dinner, Emily’s mum asks Emily if she was ‘roughed up’ by a boy. Emily she says no, she’s just looking messy because she’s just come from doing a chick.

Emily: “Her name’s Naomi. She’s rather beautiful…”


Katie calls her a liar and passes it off as a joke. She accuses Emily of conjuring up the Naomi relationship because she’s jealous of all the suburban magazine trappings of success she’s been socialized to desire but obviously does not because she prefers poonany –

Katie: “I get more boys than you. I look better in clothes than you. I’m more popular than you.”



This argument goes on and on, all you need to know is that nobody wins or asks why she has such rough sex with this allegedly “rather beautiful” girl. Meanwhile Dad is forcing their fattie son to do pull-ups, but that’s another story.

“Gordon McPhearson says you call them dykes because you have to stick their fingers in them,” says Emily and Katie’s little brother. Just a little fun fact for ya.

Meet the Parents.

Naomi and emilys mum

My Mom's Gross, Can I Have Yours?

Naomi eventually shows up at Emily’s house, likely to get back together because that’s what she does, it’s her thing. Very indecisive. Emily’s mother, however, is not ready to have a dyke as a daughter-in-law.

Emily’s mum: “I want you to stop putting ideas in her head. She is not gay.”
Naomi: “I’m not gay.”
Emily’s mum: “Good, then there’s nothing to worry about then, is there? … I want you to disappear now, Naomi…”


Asking her to disappear sounds very mob-ish, and gets me worried about the vortex. No problem anyhow because Naomi stands her ground, fighting for her right to date Emily. JK, she just runs out the door, as per ush.

I can’t explain Emily’s dress.

Emily and Katie have made up and are buying dresses for the Love Ball. Katie’s in high spirits, partially because she thinks she’s saved her sister from the dark side and partially because said sister looks like a cupcake ticker tape parade.


Katie decides that JJ is going to be the perfect heterosexual Love Ball date for Emily. She also finds out that Emily gave him that sympathy lay and thinks this reaffirms her ‘Not Gay, Stupid’ theory.

Katie really wants to run this theory by Naomi, and so when Naomi calls Emily later that day –

Naomi calling 3

Katie pretends to be Emily and asks Naomi to meet her for coffee. At said meeting, Naomi argues for Katie to just let Emily be who Emily is –

Naomi: “She can’t help who she is, Katie.”
Katie: “Oh yeah? Seems like she could help it when she was fucking JJ.”

Naomi finds out

Naomi does this magical thing with her eyes where she looks dead

Naomi is a little stunned, and she doesn’t argue much when Katie warns her to stay away from the college Love Ball. Katie says it’s out of love, but I have a sneaking suspicion that it’s also out of douchebaggery.

The Love Ball.

This is what a Love Ball looks like, in case you were wondering. There are no ladies for sale here, however. Just cardboard and Christmas lights.

Love ball 2

This is what individuality looks like, different hair accessories.

Emily Katie outside ball

One of these two is not like the other

The girls’ dates are JJ and Freddie, whose egos visibly shatter when Naomi defies Katie by rocking up to the ball, dashing all hopes the boys had of getting laid –

Naomi love ball

Fuck Your Mother I'm Wearing Plaid to Prom Bitches

Naomi: “How sweet, out on a foursome. It should be fun. Emily’s great in the sack, isn’t she JJ?”

Emily outside ball

Who looks better in clothes now, bitch?

Emily: “Naomi, I wanted to tell you.”
Naomi: “Yeah? But you didn’t, did you.”


Naomi is well pissed off. She brushes past them and runs into the Ball, conveniently forgetting to tell Emily about that time she jumped Cook. Katie chases after Naomi and they get into a scrag fight  –

Naomi katie brawling

Naomi: “I didn’t need to know about JJ, but you loved telling me, didn’t you.”
Katie: “She deserved it!”


I’m skimming through this scene intentionally because I don’t like girl fights. Emily seems to though, because she starts getting into fisticuffs with Katie and it’s a fuschia fest…

Emily and Katie brawling

Not one to really put herself out there, Naomi sits in an empty classroom thinking about what she’s done while Bono croons sadly in the distance.

Naomi sits ball

When All I Want Is You

Emily, who is now only one second shy of giving Katie a true beat down, has a change of heart  –

Emily after brawl 2

Emily: “Katie, I can’t stand this. I’m a person. I’m not you.”
Katie: “I know.”

Emily takes off her purple dress Clark Kent-style, revealing a little black dress underneath. GET IT!? SHE’S NOT KATIE ANYMORE.

Emily: “You have to understand – I love you, and I’ll never really leave you. But I can’t fix this. I like girls. No – I like a girl. No – I love her…


As Emily confesses her love for Naomi, Naomi’s in the background holding out her hand with a little bit of jazz in the fingertips and as far as high school prom endings go, this scene wins.

Naomi in crowd 2

Naomily leave ball 3

Naomi: “Some party.”
Emily: “Eventful.”
Naomi: “Yeah. … I love you too.”
Emily: “I know.”

Whee! It’s over! So what did y’all think? Are you still reading?

We’ll find out what happens to Naomily when season 4 airs in the UK next year – however if this season preview is anything to go by, this relationship will return to your TV screen at full force:

Pages: 1 2 3See entire article on one page

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

Join AF+!


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

Crystal has written 320 articles for us.


  1. I learned from watching Sugar Rush that when someone talks about someone’s fanny, they don’t mean their ass like they do in the US…

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

    • I agree. I don’t watch this show, and probably wouldn’t even like it. But your recaps are fun to read. I guess it runs in the Autostraddle family.

    • Kate, as we discussed OFFLINE, Riese is the true Queen of Recaps and the author of the scissoring quip. I do not use the word scissoring. Riese, on the other hand, likes to use it in every second sentence.

  5. oh, these kids are cute city! i kinda used to hate accents like the ones on skins, i guess i don’t really anymore.
    btw hilarious recap! good job.

  6. 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.

  7. Hmm. I just saw this recap now. Anyway, always last to the party, I just wanted to say on BBC America they occasionally use subtitles. LOL. Especially on Cook.

  8. Hi, I loved the recap. I just wanted to point out that, in her coming out speech to JJ, Emily says she likes soft thighs, not eyes.

  9. 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*

  10. 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

Comments are closed.