Skins Recap 401: “Thomas” (Naomi & Emily Are Back!)

by riese & crystal

Skins is back! Sorta. The season four premiere aired in the UK a few days ago, however if you live elsewhere then you’re gonna have to wait a little longer til it plays on your teevee. BBC America needs time to censor out all the good lesbian scenes. But I know you’re an internet-savvy bunch that doesn’t let geography get in the way of a good lesbian storyline, and so you’ve probably already seen the episode (viewable here).

If you’re yet to jump on the Skins bandwagon then you should know that it follows the lives of a group of kids in Bristol, England, who have a fondness for underage drinking and sex and MDMA. Two of the girls – Naomi and Emily, aka “Naomily” – had a lovely yet dramatic romance in season three and we’re all dying to see what becomes of it in season four. Catch up by reading part one and part two of our Naomily recaps.

So I’m going to take a little break from the Good Ship Audiostraddle and bring you the Skins recaps each week (with Riese, because teamwork makes a dream work). Last year I only recapped the Naomi and Emily storyline however this time we’re considering recapping the entire thing, straight parts and all, ’cause this is a really good show you guys. What do you think? Do you care about the other characters’ story lines? We won’t recap it if you won’t read it, so let me know!

Episode 401: Thomas

Every Skins episode is focussed on one or two of the characters, and this week it’s Thomas, the African immigrant who arrived in Bristol in season three.

Hey ho we have a new theme song! It’s actually just a progression from the original theme song, I like it. The theme song is not the only thing that’s grown up, notably all of the Skins kids look a few years older (but probably not wiser) since we last saw them in season three. That’s a very good thing, I now feel less like a creep for having adult thoughts about Effy.

I mean Naomi and Emily are cute and all, but Effy is why I am here.

At the Discotheque

The show opens to a black screen and the sweet, sweet sounds of someone snorting cocaine and sauntering, all lost and druggie, into a buzzing nightclub. Thomas is probably there to shift the few pounds of weed remaining from season three, remember how he had like ten pounds of weed? As the Bolivian Marching Powdered Mysterious Girl navigates the club she passes some of our favorite people from the neighborhood, like Cook; fucking a girl in the stairwell while some dude looks on. Kids these days.

Silly Girl, Gummies are For Kids!

But where are Naomi and Emily? Did their romance last the season break? Are they doing blowbacks? Are they at home with their cats, murmuring sweet nothings into the cat-ears?

OH HEY LOOK! They’re inside the club! Sucking face! On the stairwell! This is how every episode should start, continue, and end.

The Planet After Dark Meets Capricia meets Skins

They’re really going at it, too, they look happy and it’s a lovely few seconds. Teenagers of Bristol, I applaud you for letting these young lovers have a bit of a pash with no staring or interruption.

Well at least until the anonymous girl from the opening scene Jenny Schecters it off the balcony railing and dies with her head split open bleeding all over the floor!

It’s a Long Way Down

Then the Bobby shows up with a fey assistant, prepared to crack down on the club-owner and DJ Tommy Thomas, who organised the party but doesn’t know that dead girl or where she got the drugs or the idea that she could fly.

After the lady-cop & her assistant leave, the club owner throws Thomas a big envelope of cash – profits from that night’s party – and threatens to “snap his spine” if he mentions the club’s many illegal activities to the police, it’s all very dicey.


Pandora’s Box

It’s late and so Thomas brings his girlfriend Pandora home to his overcrowded apartment and gets busted by his mother, who does not believe in neutral colours but does have very strict beliefs regarding sleepovers.

Pandora bumbles about, promising Thomas’s Mom that they won’t have sex and that while they have done “stuff,” that “stuff” has yet to include sexual intercourse. The mother wants to know where she can find a virgin in this country. Probs in middle school, or Lezzie Town (according to what we presume is Thomas’s mother’s definition of “sex.”)

I feel like the real issue here is that mum is worried because Thomas’ brother is sick. Not common-cold sick, but oddly-immobile-like-a-mannequin-except-when-imbibing-strange-liquids sick.

Thomas should have shared some of his weed with the twenty-one year olds in the Skins writer’s room, so far this episode is super depressing. I’d prefer something more like the poppy fields in Wizard of Oz.

Sexual Healing

Pandora was exiled to the couch but she can’t sleep, she keeps seeing the dead girl’s face. And the best cure for Dead Girl Face is, obviously, sex, so she goes to her man in the night and so they do it.

We transition from serious actual f*cking to a giant musical number the next morning at apparently the Funnest Church of All Time. Thomas has been dragged there for some spiritual healing.

Last night’s sex with Pandora becomes merely a distant memory when Thomas spots a hot girl in the choir and they make sexy eyes at each other for the entire worship session. Well, “solemn eyes” is Thomas’s default facial expression, although he does smile for about three seconds in this scene, which makes me believe in God. ALMOST.

Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory of the Coming of the Lord

Thomas’ mum dobbs Thomas in to the Rev for spending too much time “fooling and fornicating” with undesirable types. This heavy episode becomes momentarily light-hearted when Thomas’ sister tells the Reverend his lecture is a plagarisism of Star Wars and “Obi Wan is like God but with better weapons.” [Riese sidenote: true story my Rabbi often used Star Trek The Next Generation storylines as a jumping off point for his sermons]

Next: No Sex in the Laundry Room at the hospital… OR IS THERE?

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

Crystal has written 320 articles for us.


  1. Arr! Major anger for the first ep of the new series! It was well boring: the final minute of the ep + tiny minute-long preview of Naomi & Emily’s episode was more exciting than a whole hour of Thomas! (Could just be cause it’s Naomi and Emily, though…). Still, can’t wait to watch next week’s! :D

  2. Recap the whole thing. The Naomi/Emily storyline is great for the lesbian action, but it’s the other characters like JJ and Pandora who have the funniest lines. Also, I hope we get more of Thomas’ sister; she was hilarious with that Obi-Wan line.

  3. Nice recap, I also loved the Effy reveal at the end, thought it was nicely done.

    I really liked the episode, though Pandora (prob my fave character from last series) was weirding me out a bit – I much prefer pyjama-Panda to nympho-Panda.

    Nice as it would have been to indulge naomily mania, I’m glad that they went for a different character first, and set up a story arc that will intertwine with their relationship. For me, where good and bad drama differs is in convincingly portraying how characters react to situations, and how these situations impact their relationships. It seems like the cause of the stereotype about all TV lesbians dying/turning psycho is that the writers run out of ideas after the initial “let’s make these girls dyke up!” revelation, and rather than think up anything fresh, they try and make drama out of the relationships imploding for no real reason.

    I know Skins will do a better job than that, so really looking forward to next week!

    • even when Panda was pyjama Panda and not yet nympho Panda, she’s always been overly hyper with impulse control issues (remember, Panda’s mom was like, “we do these breathing exercises”). so i guess discovering how fun sex is and wanting to do it all the time isn’t really too much out of character for Panda.

      hopefully Panda will get together with someone nice. or make Thomas pay.

  4. Your recap owned the actual watching of episode one. I dunno where they got those pop tarts from… not spotted in UK since, err… ’99.

  5. I would like to recognise how awesome it is that you used British spelling like “organised” instead of “organized”.

    PS- Not British but love subtle humor.

    • That’s why I help to recap the show, because I am Australian and can write and speak using British slang and spelling. I bring s’ to the table.

  6. Brill recap, so much funnier than having watched the episode… however you can be assured that everyone I know, including all the straights and the bis and the gays, want Naomi-and-Emily-love. We don’t care about gender, we just want the love, yo.

    Personally, from an overall story point-of-view, I’m glad it’s not all about them. Though the indulgent part of me disagrees.

    Perhaps it’s blasphemy to say this, but as much as I love Naomi and Emily, Katie (the evil sister, so everyone else says!) is my favourite character. I was gutted that there was, like, none of her this episode. Even Effy had more lines than Katie. (Not that I cared at the time of Effy, coz Effy was gaw-jus and Katie was lush in all two split-second shots she had to herself.)

    Then again, I like to think that Katie had such a problem with Emily being gay because she was repressing her own homo-sexy feelings, and we could have had Katie come out as a secret lesbian or a bisexual girl too, with all the self-loathing drama and finally acceptance to boot. This would be me dreaming, because it’s never gonna happen in the show.

    • I also noticed / thought it was weird that Katie was barely in this episode – I guess it’s possible that she has a really good scene in 402 and so they wanted to save that as the series introduction to Katie’s character.

      • I hope so! In the meantime, Emily is breaking my heart in all the promo shots for this week’s episode. Drama, drama.

  7. I think you should stick with recapping the whole show! I think Thomas could be alot more interesting but i feel like he never says anything! he just stares mostly. But anyway, next week should be intense. Lost tuesday & Skins thursday…I might not be able to handle it.

  8. I agree with everyone else: recap the whole show. Cause recaps are so nice. I like when you talk about inappropriate thoughts of Effy, so then I know I’m not alone.

    I was soo excited for this to start and then was seriously underwhelmed. It was dramatic, and it wasn’t ~bad per say, and it did set up for a whole shit-ton worth of angst and drama… but it was kinda boring on the whole. But that’s Thomas, I guess. He’s not as good a character anymore as he was when he was binging donuts and giving his shoes to Emily. Also, I just want to say PLEASE don’t let this dead girl turn into another Sketch (cause it kiiinda looks like that’s where it’s going, i saw you, shrine to namoi in her locker (not that i wouldn’t build a shrine to namoi, cause i totes would cause she’s hot, but i really hated the whole sketch stuff.)).

    • yeah i know what you mean. i saw 401 and 301 today (401 first, with my sister just to find out shortly after that she hasn’t seen any skins so far so we also did 301) and srsly 301 interoduces you to so much awesomeness i cant even tell! and then there’s the series four premiere who just.. you know, sucks as a premiere. i mean, if i hadn’t known skins before, i would deffo not go for more of it after this episode. just sayin’.

      oh and that girl thomas was bangin, she’s so getting pregnant. it’s so so so obvious.

      • OMG I didn’t think of pregnancy. FML there’s so going to be a teen pregnancy plot. It’s Chris and Jal part 2. Except this time she’ll keep it cause she’s super religious.

      • ‘That church girl is getting preggo’ is the first thing I thought when they headed into the closet. And/or maybe Panda (imagine her momma reaction!) because I don’t think Thomas knows what a condom even is…

  9. I think Effy should be in every show. I can picture it now…Effy’s Anatomy, (not) Ugly Effy, The Eff Word.

  10. The issue I had with this episode, only one because Skins is back and so is Effy (Yay), is that it seems like Emily’s nickname for Naomi is Naoms. Do any of you know if that is a common nickname? I found it odd and rather pointless.

    Also I would like to join the religion Thomas’s sister described.

    • I think it’s “Nomes”? There was a lot of nicknaming happening in this episode, I did notice that. Like a lot of people adding “s”es to names.

    • I think it’s cute and I would like it if my girlfriend called me something cute like Nomes. I picture her with a beard and big red hat.

    • I’ve known a few people that have gone by the nickname “Naoms”. Maybe it’s only common in countries rules by the Queen.

  11. I wish the drama was more like, “oh we did it with a strap-on yesterday, how about today you just go down on me, naked.”


  12. Please continue recapping the whole episodes! I totally love the other characters’ plots. I lke Thomas and think JJ is hilariously awkward/cute. And there’s Effy OF COURSE.

    So my favourite parts were definately “Obi-Wan is like go but with better weapons” and “Americans!”
    -Note, the little boy who says Lady Gaga totes has a rainbow xylophone in front of him…

    This episode gave me the sads AND the lols. It’s the magic of Skins.

  13. I watched this episode while in bed, half asleep. so, for the moment, I don’t really remember my feelings. Except, are Naomi and Emily SITTING ON A CUPCAKE in that photoshoot?!Also, the theme song reminds me of SBS. I don’t know if it’s the graphics?

  14. Ok so i’m totally thinking that they sexed up this season for sure. The massive amount of sex scenes is a given, but also, look at their clothes! Naomi used to wear cute little overalls with colorful funky leggings and baggy t-shirts, now she’s all into lots of sheer and all things black! I mean i still think she’s a hottie but i kind of liked her shorter hair before, and i also think she lost a lot of weight, that seems to always happen. anyone else notice this?

    oh and Emily looks great. i’m glad that the bangs are gone and they switched up her and Katie’s looks more.

  15. *Please recap the whole eps from now on; I like this!*

    Okay, that being said, I can comment on the show. I love love loved thomas in season 3 what with the doughnuts and peppers and giving Emily shoes and Panda a second chance but I am totes not feeling him in season 4. I thought this episode was kind of a let down from the awesomeness of season 3, but then again, season 2 was way sadder than season 1. Maybe it’s the pattern that is Skins. I trust it’ll get better though. Even if it doesn’t though, I’ll have the wonderful autostraddle recaps to keep me gigglin’…PLEASE!!!!

    Oh and for the record, Beyonce is totally married to Jay-Z.

  16. Riese, if my rabbi was as awesome as yours, we might have started going to temple a lot earlier in my life.

  17. “I mean Naomi and Emily are cute and all, but Effy is why I am here.”

    yes, yes, and YES!

    working from home includes watching the new episode, right?

  18. Prediction for next episode:
    Naomi approaches Emily (who is at the edge of a building) and is suddenly joined by the cast of Glee where they all join in singing Third Eye Blind’s “Jumper” and Emily comes to her senses or just remembers how sexy she finds Noami and steps back from that ledge, my friend, and they kiss and make up and oh-so-much-more and it’s all on top of a building with beautiful music playing and all is good in the world with episode 402 ending how 401 started- cute Noamily romance.
    Okay so maybe I’m an optimist not a realist.

    • I think any scene that involves the combination of music and cute girls on a roof top is a winner. Remember Empire Records?

  19. Did you watch the first generation skins? First season was light and funny and everyone was friends, and then the second season came around and suddenly everything was real heavy and serious. I don’t think this season is going to be as much fun as last season at all.

    • I watched the first generation, you’re right – I found the second series fairly hard to watch, it was quite confronting. In general I think one of the things this show does really well is to show the consequences of people’s actions. But that does get depressing.

  20. I reckons Naomi might end up in prison. DUN DUN DUDNNNDNNN Hopefully not, but they killed someone in the finale of the last ‘set’ of characters, and I can’t imagine they’ll want to just rehash that. Hopefully she’ll wear some sort of boiler suit, and Emily will bust her out of prison

  21. Favorite parts of this recap:

    – Linking to a definition of Bobby. :D
    – The graphic with Freddy saying “Haiii!”
    – the viral video of Single Ladies comment (we taught a 5yo camper just the “oh oh ooh” part last summer and it was THE cutest thing I’ve ever seen)
    – Effy and poptarts. That was such a brilliant build up to just the right surprise. Where did she get the poptarts? I don’t know. But if Effy wants poptarts then I will fly over with a suitcase full (after March when she’s turned 18).

    Please please do recap the whole thing!

      • I needed to know exactly how guilty I should feel. My carefully calculated conclusion (based on made up maths using my age, her age and an unnecessary variable labeled q): Not that guilty(q).

  22. it’s such a depressing episode. and i was thinking it better not turn out to be like L Word Season 6– where they start of with a crazy girl offing herself and plunging the rest of the cast into drama.

    • Somehow I totes feel it’s going to be exactly that. Please please prove me wrong skins. I can’t remembs how Sketch went down so I can’t compare it to that at all.

  23. I can’t remember where the interview was from (something tells me it could have been the Diva one…) but Lily Loveless and Kathryn Prescott were asked where they saw their characters in five/ten (again, memory failing) years. They said that Naomi and Emily would be travelling the world together, setting up orphanages, doing good… you know, stuff that would mean they’re definitely going to be together at the end of season 4! :)

    It was a pretty heavy episode to start with, I’m hoping it’s not setting the mood for the entire season.

  24. I think you should recap the whole thing because I’m not going to watch this show, just live vicariously through the recaps.

  25. i fastforwarded through all the parts that weren’t naomi and emily [aka 77/78th of this episode] so that i could get to the brill [!] recap faster.

  26. Thanks so much for recapping the whole show. I’m in Miami so thanks for the link too :) (Though I do have BBC America it pisses me off that they edit it at all — assholes.)

    Unlike say Grey’s Anatomy or even the L Word or any show with lez characters this is truly the first show where I’ve become engrossed with ALL the storylines not just the ones I relate to best. Hell I’m even fond of Cook.

    A “skins season 4” search brought me to your site so there’s this too. Good morning! :)

  27. Dude ‘watching’ Cook and nameless girl: pretty sure that was Freddie, altered and woozy. Swan Diver passed everyone (except Effy, obvs) during her trip around the club.

    I like Lily Loveless’ hair longer/softer like this, too. Her #alternativelifestylehaircut was too harsh and made her look really bitchy (which I guess was the point when she was introduced.)

  28. Aaaa, the preview for next week!
    Looks like “Noams” will continue to break Emily’s heart–nothing new there. But what’s Emily doing up on that roof? Lord. At least we know she won’t jump. They basically just did that this episode…
    I’m still a little worried though ’cause LESBIANS ALWAYS DIE!

  29. Kaya Scodelario (Effy) did an interview and she said that she would had loved to have been involved in the action between Naomily, take note Skins producers, take note!! So do you guys in the US get Skins the same day as it airs here in the UK?
    P.s, Totally love autostraddle, been following you for a few months and have been itching to comment, but always shyed away, you guys are just too awesome..ok, gushing over!!

    • I’m glad you commented! Commenters are too awesome.
      Whenever Effy’s character used to appear in series two as a support role, I’d pick up a gay vibe. So even though it was likely just wishful thinking, I was sorta surprised that when they announced lesbian characters that she wasn’t one of them.
      This season of Skins isn’t playing anywhere outside of the UK at the moment, and probably won’t for a while. We have to rely on youtube etc to do the recaps.

  30. Wow, thanks for replying,and so quickly too! I’m kinda embarrassed as having watched the grammys tonight on ITV2 I was interested to read about why Taylor won and Lady Gaga didn’t (I love Gaga and someone should of really turned swifts mic down during that duet with stevie nicks)anyway I noticed that you had already picked up on that interview, so please ignore my comment about that…see thats why I shouldn’t comment on these things as I make a complete num-nut out of myself!! Oh, i didn’t realise that about not playing outside the uk as your recaps are fabulous, well if ever you want a heads up after its aired here…thanks again!

  31. It’s tragedy. Not drama, tragedy. Like “they all end up dead” tragedy. I can’t handle it. I watched through 403 and it’s beautiful and honest and real but so so heavy. anyway now I’m going to either ingest an entire week’s caloric intake in ice cream, (hägen-dazs?) or… something. long walk calls my name.

    good job recapping though. you guys rock.
    def. keep doing full episodes.

  32. Just watched this episode.. Thoughts:
    – Why are PK’s so bad? It took Thomas 3 days to get in her pants. What a whore! Although that scene was nice, like it was love instead of just f-ing.
    -Thomas is very random and boring. No more Thomas episodes
    -STILL HATE Pandora’s voice. She still annoys me.
    -Cook is STILL a tit!
    -Freddie forget Effy and come see me!

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