Skins Recap Episode 405: Freddie (and Effy, That Crazy Diamond)

by riese & crystal

Without going into too much detail, it’s important that you understand that we were born to write this recap. Drugs? Check! Mania? CHECK! Psychosis? Check! Abandonment? Check.

And I mean really, why would you want to read a recap written by someone who’s never been led down the rabbit hole and ultimately to visiting hours at the mental hospital when you could read a recap by TWO people who’ve done just that? Also that means we can make fun of everyone still, right?

Sidenote! We’d like to acknowledge the following tumblrs which we thought had way better graphics than ours. You should all appreciate & follow: Kaya Scoldelario, Skins FTW and Fuck Yeah Katie Fitch. Seriously, SKINS FTW big up to you. Your tumblr is the best thing to happen since Skins!

Skins Episode 405: Freddie

I Am Nothing If I’m Not With You

405 opens on Sid & Nancy in the kitchen with the bottle, freebasing a suspicious substance — the legendary MDMA?

Sunday Night Fever

Kids. The room is really dark, I guess they spent their utility money on drugs. Always the gentleman, Freddie holds Effy’s hair back while she inhales. I hope she does the same with his fringe.

Party Monster

The Freddie & Effy Junkie Lovers montage begins; it’s all delirious trippy pills, joints, disco balls and running through Bristol with water bombs. Throw in some making out on the staircase to screamy music with dancey beats and some artificially enhanced orgasms and two beautiful kids that really who needs MDMA Goggles and you’ve got yourself Freddie & Effy’s glam ep of Intervention.

Where are these kids’ parents? Where’s Mrs Stonem or that dick who kicks everyone out of school?

We Are Really Cute Together, Aren’t We?

Freddie: I really fucking love you.
Effy: [we have no idea]

I Am Intense, I Am In Pain, I Am in Need, I Am in Love

Get a room! I mean; up the down staircase we go! Opening with a teenage sex scene, Skins, you daring little bastard.

How Do Druggies on TV Shows Always Maintain Such Clean White Sheets?

The morning after, Freddie is passed out bare-arsed in bed. Mrs Stonem is leaving a vice I MEAN VOICE mail. While Effy is chugging vodka from the bottle (that’s the cowboy way), she’s in Rome drinking “fucking macchiatos” in St Peter’s Square and is gonna stay there a little longer which is excellent for Effy’s adandonment issues, and mine. Where’s Tony?

Probs best Mum stays away, she might be surprised that somewhere between seasons three and four, her house transformed from a broken-yet-somewhat-loving family home into a crack den. With paper cranes!

Rome if You Want To

Freddie wakes up and remembers that it’s Judgment Day! No, not the Prop 8 Trial, but the disciplinary hearing at college ’cause his grades have been slipping. (Side effect of sex, drugs, and no supervision. Slippery slope.)

Effy is sad that he’s abandoning her, albeit momentarily, so she’s being all dark n’ shit.

Freddie: Eff, what’s the matter? I won’t be long, I’ll only get a bollocking for ten minutes or so.
Effy: Just —
Freddie: Are you coming down?
Effy: Still up. Way up. This is me happy.
Freddie: I can’t miss a disciplinary, Dad will flip.
Effy: Be a long time dead.

Luckiest Whiskey Bottle Ever

As soon as Freddie exits, Effy rebels by turning on the stereo and drinking whiskey straight from the bottle. Next up: Portishead and chasing the dragon.

Karen for Wax

Freddie runs home, where his sister Karen, dressed like Flight Attendant Barbie, demands that he allow her to cut his hair or else she’ll fail her Feathering module. She doesn’t realize that Freddie has perfected scrawny druggy hipster hair and the only stylist he’ll ever need is Shane circa 2004.

She asks when his fuckathon will be over. Listen Karen, no-one ever wants a fuck-a-thon to end, it’s not like a martathon even though they both use the word “thon.”

She shouts, “I want to cut your fucking hair.”


Headphones Per Autostraddle’s Queer Girl Accessory Guide

Freddie catches his disheveled, bag-eyed reflection in the bedroom mirror and double-takes, not even those magical cheekbones are pulling him through today. He should start taking his pills with food. He also catches his father hiding in the closet, he’d been snooping or “dusting.” Dad has a few words about neglecting his studies –

Mr McClair: I’m glad this young lady is making you happy, but —
Freddie: No you’re not, you’re jealous.
Mr McClair: What? … Clean yourself up.

Mr McClair is concerned about his son’s health, but doesn’t seem too jealous of Effy. Me on the other hand: very. Well, for the time being.

Also when Freddie bikes to school, he seemed very Angela Chase to me!

My So-Called Skins

Colour Me Good

Freddie runs into Thomas and JJ out front of the school, where I believe they are beatboxing in French or something. Kids these days.

Thomas: Hello stranger. I thought study was too 2009 for you and Effy. Where is she?
Freddie: She’s at home, she didn’t feel very well.

Thomas implies that Effy is worn out from all of the drug-fueled teenage sex they’ve been having. JJ, who has lots of experience having straight sex with a lesbian, doesn’t get how it can’t get boring.

Freddie’s gotta jet, he has a disciplinary meeting with someone they nickname “Tough Love.” JJ suggests that he blames “sexual OCD” for interfering with his study.

Pandora walks by Thomas and snarls “What are you looking at?” Um, probs her rack, not gonna lie.

It’s Gonna Be a Thriller, Thriller Afternoon

“Tough Love” is in charge of Educational Intervention. That’s what we used to call Expulsion. Firstly, Tough Love is in one of those scary rotating chairs like he’s Dr. Evil or something. Then he turns around like he’s in a porn movie and he’s about to ask Freddie to atone for his sins or be on a reality show.

Tough Love’s office is sparse except for motivational quotes plastered over the walls and a poster of Michael Jackson looking down on them. Get it? That’s foreshadowing. Because Michael Jackson is dead you guys. Because of drugs.

Rock of Love

Tough Love makes Freddie shift his seat until he’s lined up in the perfect position. For what? I dunno. Maybe as an offering to MJ. jk.

We learn that everything Freddie does is either late or inadequate, or both. As some weird intimidation tactic, Tough Love puts Freddie’s name in the shredder. I think this happened in Back to the Future 2, and it was kinda silly there too, and maybe involved a Dot Matrix Printer.

This is the New Egg-in-the-Frying Pan

That’s when a really weird and disturbing conversation happens. It’s like an SNL skit.

Tough Love: What would Michael say?
Freddie: Pardon?
Tough Love: Michael. What would he say?
Freddie: I’m bad?
Tough Love: Yes, and what else?
Freddie: Beat it?
Tough Love: No! He’d say “gotta be startin’ something!” Okay?

BTW Freddie already looked at the man in the mirror earlier and it didn’t do jack shit!

I Have Spent Nights With Matches & Knives

Freds returns to Effy’s house as promised and finds her in her mother’s bedroom, cutting pictures out of magazines. Aww, she’s made a giant collage out of crucifixion, torture art and Polaroids of Freddie. She laughs maniacally, breathing wild-like, throws papers in the air and tells Freddie she’s found her new “porn stash.”

Effy is muttering about “making thing easier,” Freddie wants to know what drugs she’s on. I’d transcribe, but really at this point it’s as hopeless to us as it is to Freddie.

Freddie: End? And what fucking end would that be?
Effy: Mine, Freddie.

This episode is showing us a whole new side of Effy. You know the manic depressive drug-abusing side. “Dual diagnosis,” as they say in the psych biz. Man no wonder I’m so attracted to her.

Your Face Don’t Look Like Before

There’s come close-ups as Freddie touches her skin, tenderly, listening to Stina Nordenstam’s delicate serious plucky voice.

Is the Drug Den Out of Adderall?

When Effy falls asleep, Freddie tries and fails at studying. He keeps doing more coke. Classic mistake! Now you’ll just get agitated and then want more coke! BTW, he’s got chest hair now. Kids grow up so fast.

Feeling, Sweet Feeling, Drops From My Fingers, Fingers

Freddie brings Effy breakfast in bed the next morning; perfect ’cause now she’ll have some cereal to pour in her vodka. She’s so badass.

Freddie: You alright?
Effy: Hunky-fucking-dory.
Freddie: Right, maybe just calm it down a bit yeah?
Effy: I’m not the one grinding my teeth.
Freddie: Both of us. For a bit. Do you want to fuck up your A Levels?

Effy puts her hand around his throat and pushes him back on the bed, kissing him. He pushes her off and tells her to “drop the dark shit” but she’s not hearing him.

You Make Love, You Break Love, It’s All The Same

Freddie: Effy, listen alright? It’s me. Me.
Effy: And this is me.
Freddie: Jesus, I thought we were happy.
Effy: Too fucking happy.
Freddie: What, so you want to end it then, is that what you’re trying to say?
Effy: No. It’s gonna happen.
Freddie: Why are you head-fucking me, Eff? I can’t handle it.
Effy: Better fuck off then.

Freddie runs out of the room, leaving Effy alone and distressed/abandoned/relentlessly insane. Poor Freddie’s got quite a bit to learn about walking away from people who obsess about The End. Jim Morrison wrote a song called “The End” once. Just sayin’.

But look, at least he gets to the heart of the matter, stat:

Manic Depression is Catching My Soul

Freddie’s in class, struggling to write a paper on “The Future Is History Repeating,” which is actually kinda what it’s like to be a manic depressive with the ups and the downs and the same stories every time and HEY-O! What’s that on the world wide web?

Manic Depression… Psychotic Depression. Will experience Manic episodes which will include Hyperactivity, Euphoria, Increased Sexuality, Paranoid Delusions, Reckless Behavior… and ain’t that the kicker… wondering if he’s part of the delusion, too.

Is Effy taking drugs because she’s having a depressive episode, or to enhance her manic episode, or is she depressed because she’s taking drugs?

Freddie walks the halls with his headphones around his neck not his ears but we can hear the music which is Sparklehorse. It’s kind of muffling, I’m sure. I mean, I imagine it is. In his head right now.

You’re Bad, You Know It

Freddie decides he needs adult help and so he goes to visit the Student Counsellor, only to find Tough Love’s in the house with his motivational quotes and BRAND NEW Michael poster, seemingly floating on top of the bookshelf. Tough Love says the Counsellor has a breakdown, so he’s taking over, which might be ’cause he is teaching in a SCHOOL OF MISFIT TOYS.

Freddie goes against his instincts and opens up a little.

SO BTW My Girlfriend is Interrupted

Freddie: So what do you do when you can’t tell anyone shit, ’cause it might really fuck things up. And you don’t know what to do, or what is happening – you just know that something really, really fucking bad is going down.

Tough Love looks to MJ for the answer but no dice, he’s dead, probs ’cause something really fucking bad was going down with him, too. Well, there you go Tough Love you just used up Freddie’s one chance at seeking outside help.

This “Tough Love” character and his Michael Jackson fixation is I suppose meant to be a little bit of comedy relief during what is otherwise a really heavy episode. But it just doesn’t sit right with me, and I keep thinking he might be a funny ghost, except not funny.

Just Like the Drugs You Are Keeping Me

Freddie sits on a park bench, studying a whole lot of texts from Effy that range from hate to love. Up… down. He doesn’t reply.

You’re Still Too Young to Drink, But HEY HERE’S A PAPER CRANE KIDDO

He folds the Psychotic Depression fact sheet into an origami crane and gives it to a little boy sitting beside him, I guess maybe he’s decided that he won’t stick around to help her after all. But nothing can stop the incredible force of giving Origami to children.

I Just Loved Playing Ping-Pong with my Flexolite Ping Pong Battle

Freddie visits his grandfather at a fancypants home. Grandad can see Freddie’s got ‘psycho junkie girlfriend’ written all over his face and so he leads him off to play table tennis and talk women.

Grandad: Who is floating your boat these days? Still not chasing that Elizabeth one?
Freddie: No, I’m not chasing anymore.
Grandad: So you finally snared her in the end then?
Freddie: She snared me, Grandad.
Grandad: Oh. You’ll never get out of that headlock.
Freddie: I just did.

Time for the “You Can’t Save Anyone Who Doesn’t Want to Save Themselves” Talk

Back in Freddie’s grandfather’s room, there’s a bookshelf full of Freddie’s Mom’s origami cranes. Apparently “the worse she got, the more she made.” Grandad pours him a whiskey straight up, a sweet gesture but seriously he should probably eat a toasted cheese instead.

Freddie: Grandad, when mum was young did you know that she was ill then?
Granddad: The days I spent thinking on that… Maybe I did. Maybe I didn’t want to. Memories play tricks.
Freddie: So did hospital make it worse? She did get worse in there, right?
Granddad: It’s the chicken or the egg. You never know with the mind. The old invisible universe.
Freddie: We should have been the ones to look after her, without anyone else butting in. We could have, if he hadn’t of just given up.

But You’ll Fight And You’ll Make it Through

Granddad: You can’t blame Leo for what happened to your mum.
Freddie: It’s his fucking fault, grandad!
Granddad: Anger will help you survive for a while, but then it’ll eat you alive. So let it go. Living in the past will only fuck you up. Do what you can now. Forget what wasn’t done then.

Freddie’s got a really hard decision to make, does he let Effy become someone else’s problem, much like he feels his father did to his mother? And risk that the hospital won’t fix anything, but only make matters worse, which happens? Does he know that sometimes the hospital makes things better? Regardless living with that fear is f*cking criminal, really.

Or does he chase her straight down that rabbit hole and deal with all of the pain and saddness and suffering that’s inside it? He’s only 17, really no kid should have to make that decision.

Oregon Trail Comin Through GET OUT THE WAY

He chooses the latter. Effy’s voicemail is “It is me, whoever that is. So leave whoever a message.”

I don’t think Freddie knows who Effy is at this point either, but he’s going to try to help her figure it out.

A rickshaw knocks Freddie off his bike. The driver reminds me a little of Mr Fitch, I think it’s the accent. Freddie doesn’t have time for a broken bike, he “needs to tell someone something,” it’s gonna be like the last scene of a rom-com and he’s going to the airport! Deliver the baby! I mean, kick your bike and yell!

The driver is a smartass. But he is also a smartass with a motherfucking carriage and Freddie has to go tell someone that he is going to take care of them, because maybe he doesn’t know yet how hard that really is, that you need more than just devotion. Like maybe Seroquel.

HEY-O! Someone’s having a party! Thump-Thump-Thump

Was it a Facebook Invite or Something? You Know I Never Check my Facebook Invites.

Freddie wants to know wtf is going on. Pandora says there’s a guy in the kitchen with his hand stuck in a cock ring and she can’t find a first aid kid. Katie delivers a half-second of comic relief with, “I am not mingling with goths!”

Apparently Effy posted the news of the party on the internet. I’m surprised she hasn’t already pawned off her computer to buy paint thinner or had it stolen during a long walk to find Jesus.

Panic sets in when Katie points out some graffiti on the wall –


A Distant Ship, Smoke on the Horizon

Pandora walks past Thomas and as he attempts to speak to her, she slaps him. Then she kisses him. Then she walks off. It’s kinda sexy.

Freddie runs into Effy’s room, her collage has grown, there are now pictures of skeletons and darkness and devastation, complimented by words cut out like “loss” and “sick” and “ignore” and most troubling, “death” and “the way out”.

Your Filthy Room Your Drama Blues

His trance is broken when Effy’s voice comes from out under the bed. WHAT COULD IT BE?

Next:Freddie chases Effy down the rabbit hole, where Katie is dressed like a sexy angel!

Your Eyes Don’t Like Me No More, They Shiver and They Shift to the Floor

Effy: You didn’t reply. I didn’t want to be on my own.
Freddie: Effy what the fuck is going on? … I’m sorry. I’m sorry that I shouted at you as well.
Freddie: You’re really taking the piss this time.
Effy: Yeah. Freddie I don’t want them here. I thought I did, I thought that was me but… I don’t know what is but.. I know you’re the only person I can trust.
Freddie: Effy nothing bad is going to happen. I’m going to take care of you now, I promise. I promise.

Freddie tells Effy to stay right there while he empties the house, he’s gonna take care of her now. Oh, no.

This is My Homeless Druggie Yenta Look

Freddie is trying to take care of Effy now that everyone’s gone. He’s got her a smoke on the staircase and they hear a noise downstairs, Freddie thinks it’s a fox and he’s sorta right, prison’s been good to Cook, that FOXY BASTARD!

Tip of the Hat To Ya

Cook: You threw me a break-out party man, I’m fucking touched.
Freddie: In the fucking head. Cook what are you playing at?
Cook: I’m Bristol’s most wanted, what’s the problem?

Freddy tells Cook he needs to leave, which probably wasn’t the reception he was looking for. Cook sees Effy sitting on the staircase as he’s being shepherded out but she isn’t exactly the welcome wagon either — there’s a moment of recognition. Cook knows her well enough to know something’s not right.

Effy: Get out.
Cook: Huh?
Effy: Get out! Freddy get him out!

Cook mutters “she looks like that fucking chick from The Ring.” Freddy doesn’t think it’s funny, I disagree, it’s fucking hilarious.

Although to be fair, Effy is way hotter:

I Dunno I Just Don’t See The Resemblance

A Little Something More for the Installation Art on the Wall!

While Effy sleeps, Freddie attempts to write that “The Future Is The History” essay. Instead he gets distracted doodling about how much he loves Effy and he’ll be with her forevs and evs or maybe just at least until her next psychotic break.

Can’t a Fellow Get a Snuggie Up in Here?

Freddie visits Cook, who suggests that things between Freddie and Effy have gone “tits up.” Freddie swears that everything is hunky-fucking-dory, but he’s got shit to do and having a convict stowed away in the shed isn’t helping.

Did You Tell Your Mom You Carpet-Bombed Before You Left Here?

Freddie runs into his Dad during his trip home to pick up food and Dad isn’t impressed. Food doesn’t grow on trees!

Mr McClair: If you want to fuck up your life Freddie, if that’s really what you want to do, then just don’t come back.
Freddie: Fine. You know what Dad? You’re just fucking angry because I’ve got a life.
Mr McClair: A life? Look at you! You act like an animal. Who are you?
Freddie: Your pride and fucking joy!
Mr McClair: If your mum could see this..
Freddie: Well she can’t, can she? Thanks to fucking you.
Mr McClair: I was trying to fucking help her!
Freddie: Well she fucking killed herself dad.
Mr McClair: I had no choice, Freddie.
Freddie: Yes you did. You could have done something, but you didn’t.

Freddie! Don’t yell at your Dad! You’re going to find out really soon that he had no choice, and then you’re gonna feel guilty, and guilt like secrets is no fun, and hurt everyone.

Also everyone on this show has serious roommate issues, everyone’s parents keep kicking them out, which so far has a minimal success rate as the houses they ARE allowed to live in generally sport bath towels that smell like meth.

The Way You Punish Me and Then You Shrug

As per ush, Effy is passed out in bed with her trademark cigarette in hand and empty liquor bottle by her side. It’s like Junkie Barbie, and Ken’s ready to get cleaned up!

Freddie: Right we’re going to stop this. This has to stop right now.

Srsly There Are a Lot of Baths in This Show

Freddie gives Effy a shower and dresses her, it’s sweet and tragic all at once. Then he opens the door and the sunlight pours in, they hold hands and Freddie encourages her to step out into the world where her carriage awaits.

Nice Day for a Daydream

Effy: Why the fuck did you bring me here.
Freddie: It’s fresh air and that. Look at it! It’s good to get away, yeah?

Effy’s not convinced about this fresh air thing, maybe because the last time she was out in a field she also bashed Katie’s head in with a rock.  They glance out and see a bunch of ladies with babies in strollers. It’s so weird to see normal people doing normal things when you’re on a one-way road down the rabbit hole.

Then they spot this lovely sign.

This Sign Also Comes in “Champagne Room”

The driver leaves them alone and in lieu of sexing the rickshaw, they frolic dreamily around the trees. Effy’s laughing almost like she’s happy, but that isn’t what she said happy looks like so idk. Mostly it’s just kinda dreamy like a commercial for cotton.


Show Me Your Teeth

Freddie: I totally fucking love you.

Effy isn’t interested, she’s busy staring at the clouds and pointing at the faces behind the skin, you know the ones between this world and the next, those faces that have teeth and claws coming out and yup, Effy’s hallucinating.

Freddie: Did you drop something in the cart?
Effy: Like a fart or something?
Freddie: No like a tab or something
Effy: A tab with your face on it.

Does that mean yes?  Freddie’s got a pretty face and all but I’m fairly certain no-one is plastering it on pills or that diet soda but really I mean really she is out, she is lost

Let’s Stop and Sleep for a Spare

Effy: From the moment I saw you, I knew it would be the closest I’d get to being… close. I didn’t know what to do with that feeling… happiness.
Freddie: Listen Effy, you are closest –
Effy: But they know now! And they’re hungry, really fucking hungry. Because for as long as I know they’ve been chasing me, and now they’re ready, now they’re strong enough to break through. And I can’t fight them. I used to be able to when I was strong but you’ve made me weak. And now I can’t, I can’t.

I guess this explains why Effy has always held everyone at arms length, that there’ve been these demons inside her and up until now she hasn’t dared to let them see any chinks in her armor.

Effy starts freaking out when she sees silhouettes of people on the horizon. Freddie tries telling her that no-one’s there, but then he gives in and goes to chase them off.

Freddie: Effy there’s no one fucking there! Listen, what do you want me to do?
Effy: They’re ready! They’re coming!
Freddie: I’ll fight them, is that going to stop you? I’ll fucking fight them!

Around This World Will I Be Enough?

And he does, he runs off yelling “Fuck off! Fuck off you cunts I’m gonna kill you all.” It’s deranged and sweet and it makes Effy laugh.

Effy: I need to go home. Get me the fuck out of here Freddie, please!

Maybe part of why Effy has been drawn to Freddie is b/c that piece of him that still believes someone could’ve saved his mother all on their own shines through to Effy, it makes him not judge her and not want to give up on her.

We’re Never Gonna Get Our Security Deposit Back Now

Meanwhile Mrs. Stonem has returned home from Rome to discover that that her house has been destroyed by a party, and then she gets upstairs to the room that her daughter has turned into a house of pain and then she knows, then she knows that this is sort of like the opposite of a party, except in Effy’s head, maybe, where apparently there are demon spirits and teeth.

Freddie’s Quads Are Gonna Hurt Even More Than His Heart Tomorrow

Freddie stole the rickshaw to get Effy back home, but changes direction when he sees that Effy’s mum is standing out the front of the house with the police. So he changes route into a massive street party! hAYYYY

It’s Like a Day of the Dead Mardi Gras Gay Pride Parade

Freddie rides head on into some sort of street carnival that looks like Mardi Gras. Of course all of the noise and people and costumes and giant floating skulls reminds Effy of the demons that are out to get her, she freaks out and Freddie loses her in the crowd.

Like Where’s Waldo, But With Drugs!

Freddie finds Cook before he can find Effy, and they both run off to find her. Good idea! Cook’s dressed as the devil, that’s really gonna help locate and sedate the paranoid hallucinating chick.

It’s fine though because Katie, who’s dancing on top of a float, spots Effy in the crowd and pulls her out / rescues her! Katie is dancing on top of a float that reminds me of the floats gay bars always get for Pride Parades. Wouldn’t that be a fun twist?

In the Arms of an Angel

Unsure where to turn, Katie and Freddie take Effy to the Old Person Manor.

An Angel Was There and He Said Listen to That Boy’s Song

Grandad: Freddie, what a lovely surprise.
Freddie: I didn’t know where else to go.
Grandad: Now which of you lovely girls is Elizabeth?

Really? I’d guess it was the one who looked out of her mind, not the one who was immaculately dressed for the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. Although really these days who knows. I want her to say, I’M KATIE FUCKING FITCH but instead she says “I’m Katie,” and so he sends them off for some tea so he can have a heart to heart with his grandson.


Katie is being a champ, lovely and selfless, like she cares more about people than leopard print. It’s nice to see her new attitude has carried over from last week. I guess losing your house and having your family nearly break up and living in a caravan will probably bring you right back down to earth. In an angel outfit.

Listen Son Just Ask Yourself What Would Michael Jackson Do

With the girls gone, Freddie and his grandfather rehash the argument they were having earlier.

Freddie: I did what I could, granddad. I did everything.
Grandad: I know you did son, but you need help. You can’t take this on all by yourself.
Freddie: I’m going to have to, granddad. No one cares! Nobody!
Grandad: Now I know that that’s not true.
Freddie: No I don’t think you do actually, I don’t think you understand.
Grandad: I do. You care, and that’s what’s killing you. What use are you going to be, doing this to yourself.
Freddie: I don’t give a fuck. I can’t let this happen again. I’m not gonna let this happen again.
Grandad: Do you have any idea how hard your dad fought to keep your mum in this world? He fought-
Freddie: No he didn’t! He gave her up Granddad, he let her do it. He boggled it. He fucked it up. We all did.
Grandad: No, he did the best he could and that’s what you’re going to do. You think the world of this girl, hey?
Freddie: I really love her, Granddad. I can’t manage without her. She’s like nothing. I’m not ready to lose her yet.

This situation is sad from all angles.


I Wish My Arms Were Wider, I Wish That I Could Hide You, So You Can Rest & Repair

Katie says Effy won’t come out of the toilet, which means they’re gonna have to go in there and pump her out of the toilet JK by toilet she means bathroom oh those British kids.

Freddie kicks the door in to find Effy on the bathroom floor with her wrist cut open. Oh, Effy, I love you, but right now I also hate you, because Freddie can’t take this on, and he is trying and he doesn’t see that it’s out of his hands, and he’s more vulnerable than anyone ’cause of his Mom BUT ALSO really Skins? I dunno, this seems a bit much. I mean what she just whipped the razor out of her pocket, “well this could be a good time.”

Freddie is clearly devastated, crying and calling out for help. Um where is everyone? Shouldn’t they have been right behind him?

Cut to the hospital!

Here We Are Again

Now that Effy is officially a threat to herself, health insurance will cover her illness! Oh wait, this is the UK, they just help people there.

In the hospital waiting room, Freddie is folding an origami crane again but his hands are shaking. His sister is there, she’s nice.

But The Lows Are So Extreme That the Good Seems Fucking Cheap

Mrs Stonem walks out of Effy’s room and so Freddie walks in. Effy’s awake. Freddie sits down and places the crane beside her table.

He doesn’t speak, Effy says “go away”, and he does so promptly.

Out in the waiting room is Freddie’s Dad, he just hugs Freddie. I love Freddie’s family. I love that his Dad knows and that it’s all okay and that he understands why Freddie yelled at him, and he gets it.

Life Is Like a Box of Chocolates and MDMA

Out front of the hospital, Freddie and Mrs. Stonem are sitting on a park bench. Mrs Stonem does not have luck with the health of her children. She lights him a cigarette.

Mrs Stonem: Before she hit the world she was this fire heating every part of me. It was so intense, it burned. I think I knew even then that she was going to be remarkable. And when I held her for the first time it was like holding this beautiful… bomb of energy. Even then it scared me. So I think I’m prepared for this, whatever this is. She’s going to need us. To help re-build her again.
Freddie: She’s gonna need you.

I gotta say [hai this is Riese now] as brutal as this scene might seem, I think this experience is really frightening for parents and they often cope by pushing some of the responsibility onto the boyfriend/girlfriend. But it’s such a load to carry, and it’s not the same, the boyfriend/girlfriend can become a ruthless target of the psychotic person in a way a parent never truly can because they have something you don’t; the assurance that when it’s all over, they’ll still be there. Because family is forever. Freddie’s got a lot to think about!

Maybe he can figure it out with a quick jog!

Freddie just gets up and starts running, he runs and runs until he gets to Effy’s house.

Please Sir, I Want S’More

He runs up to the bedroom and tears down the collage. He’s gonna burn that shit so that it never actually happened. Hell, Effy won’t remember it anyhow chances are. Cook comes out of the shadows, he sees Freddie holding a polaroid of himself.

Freddie: There’s no future without her.
Cook: Fuck the future.

This Screencap From my Hard Drive Saw the Fire and Wanted to Play

Jenny: You know what, nobody knows who they are. You know? That’s what life is about, you walk through life and you try to figure it out and you probably won’t figure it out.
Moria: It seems like you know who you are.
Jenny: Absolutely. I am the picture of togetherness and sanity.

Freddie throws the picture into the fire. But he doesn’t take his hand away. Cook pulls him away, Freddie breaks down and holds him.

My Heart Don’t Beat Like Before, Never Been This Alone, No

They cry and hold each other. BFFE. Cook & Katie FTW this episode. It’s nice when they focus on the friendships that keep these kids together.

That Old Blanket of Sorrow Could Be Feathers & Down

Well kids that was sort of emotionally exhausting! We are going to go sit in a closet and cry now. No but really… as you perhaps noticed, there was no lesbian action in this episode. And although at first I thought it was gonna be awesome, now I just feel sort of depressed & angry!

Again, you all need to go follow SkinsFTW Tumblr. It’s kickass! All the good photos we used we stole from there!

Next week, JJ meets a cute girl at Walgreens!

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

Crystal has written 320 articles for us.


  1. When I said I wanted Effy to be broken, I’m not sure I meant this. Maybe I did, but it’s getting way further into my mind than TV-shows are supposed to do, and I’m not sure if I like it. I had to watch Glee to get back up. Fictional worlds tend to spin in my mind for far too long. This is Effy, though, at least it’s not coming out of nowhere. It’s Effy. Also; Katie Fucking Fitch. I love you.

  2. I’m sure there are more intelligent and insightful first comments to be made, but OMG THE OLD PEOPLES’ PLACE IS MY UNI HALL (dorm)


      • The entrance they use is somewhere else entirely, but the ping pong room is where we have formals, and the ‘bedroom’ is the music room. It’s the nicest hall in Bristol, I’m sat about 100ft from the house right now.

  3. I dunno if it’s my age (32) or the fact I’ve recently watched seasons 1-3 but I absolutely loved this ep. The writers have done a great job since the beginning to interweave these characters way more than I originally realized and I haven’t given them enough credit until this episode. We have slowly witnessed Effy’s decent into mental illness starting from her not talking “out of rebellion,” dealing with Tony pre and post accident, her parent’s seperation, her mother’s increasing absensce, her constantly increasing self destructive behavior that included increased sexual activity and drug use. I was blown away that Freddie’s life has been completely taken over by his love/infatuation with Effy to the point Freddie’s ep was monopolized by their relationship. Plus Katie sitting on the same bench from s1-2 was a deja vu moment for me..Chris, Cassie, and Sid have all been there, hasn’t Naomi too? I love that the 2nd year is always darker than the 1st year and I went in expecting that so Skins has not disappointed me yet. It helps to watch the Unseen Effy scene from the website…really helped me “get” Effy’s “trip down the rabbit hole” into a more. Also read some things between the novel and s4 that also may explain some things such as Effy’s trip to Italy…there are some big plot holes that can be filled in for viewers if you look, but overall I’d have to say this is one of the best Skins eps to date. Great recap guys – I’ve been waiting for it lol and I’m not ashamed to have gone through a box of kleenex but I thought it was an incredible welly-written and powerful episode. Now if only Tony would call/come back to see Effy. THAT would be awesome and it does make sense considering their relationship and the prev seasons. And how long before we seen lil James crossdressing in the 3rd generation? lmaooo When Katie left him alone with the magazines I thought “nice set up there, next he’ll be stealing their leopard print skirts and hog the toilet like Katie did s3.”

    • I definitely need to do some catching up on effy’s story. I was really disappointed with how Ilene Chaiken handled Jenny’s bipolar disorder in The L Word and it seemed like from this episode at least that Effy’s was being handled with respect and consideration. It was very well done.

      I teared up too, a lot. Especially when Freddie’s Dad hugged him. I didn’t think the suicide attempt at the end was necessary that’s my only complaint. In a way it should be clear that dealing with Effy’s situation as is is bad enough, that it can be bad enough without suicide attempts there. But I’m not married to that complaint, I could be convinced otherwise.

      • I agree, I don’t think the suicide attempt was essential either. At least they didn’t reserve it for the final episode, I wouldn’t have liked to see her story end that way. So here’s hoping it doesn’t.

        • I’ve sat back and thought about it a little bit. I think they HAD to show Effy’s attempt. If you think about the 1st gen, Tony’s accident played a major role in year 2 and even that was a carryover from the s1 finale. After posting I dug around and for some gen 3 details (nothing big, but kinda spoilish so I’ll refrain from posting here). If the writers stick to their original concept, this gen is over in a few eps. The Stonehem story has to end. Not saying Effy has to die, but there needs to be some sort of story roundup, which is why I think Tony popping in somehow is inevitable (or maybe someone will go to NYC and find those 2 lol). Very telling was Effy has said one day Tony left, giving her his bedroom, a half bottle of peach snaps (I believe) and his duvet cover. I would love to see Effy return home to find Tony laying under his duvet cover….or even lil James somehow getting the duvet cover. But for those who were not fans of the suicide attempt, Effy’s been going down the rabbit hole since the 1st ep of s1. I think it would have been less realistic if we didn’t get to see the cummulative result. In fact, I would have been pissed if it was glossed over considering if I had watched the show when it aired in the US I would have been waiting for years for this (instead of a few months lmao). I had to rewatch the ep before I realized Effy’s true break in front of Freddie – she was halucinating in the field and Freddie scared the demons away before they could “get her.” Yup, here comes Effy’s 5150 hold, even watching the Unseen Pop again freaked me out because everything clicks now…yea this was a LONG time comming I can admit I was in denial in retrospect, but it was all there from the very beginning

    • I keep on expecting Tony to reappear too! When Cook was sitting in Effy’s kitchen, before he turned around I was really excited for a moment that it was Tony.

  4. I enjoy the idea that “sex in the rickshaw” had occurred so frequently that the driver saw it necessary to purchase a custom-made sign in order to deter it.

    (Also, thank god Katie the Angel featured in this episode – she was the one shiny ray of light in the entire thing).

  5. When you mentioned the origami cranes, I thought “Wow! I guess it is a bit crazy to make paper versions of heavy-lifting machinery.” Then I woke up and realised it was the bird cranes, and was so disappointed, because I find industrial things very beautiful.

    I’m really looking forward to JJ’s episode next week, it looks like some much-needed light relief to break the waves of seriousness that have flooded this season.

  6. This ep was exhausting, I felt as though all the drugs they were taking had seeped thorough my telly and into my room. Couldn’t take Will Young seriousely either, was half expecting him to break out into song. And then Bez from Happy Mondays comes cycling along on a rickshaw -wtf??!! Er yeah, left me in a complete haze. I really think we need a episode centered around James, can we start a petition to make this happen?!!
    p.s, You both deserve an award (or a stiff drink or two) for recapping that one!!

    • Oh okay I just googled Will Young / Tough Love and realised he is a gay Pop Idol winner. I wish I knew that when writing this. I guess Riese and I are going to miss a few of the UK-specific cultural references.

  7. amazing recap as usual crystal & riese! i love how the whole episode was so dark and serious and then you put a picture of calvin and hobbes and that girl from the fucking ring??? i LOLed.

  8. i don’t particularly care for freddie because he looks like a pretty girl at first glance but then is just a shaggy-haired boy, but i watched this one just so that i could laugh at your recap. and i did! i can’t wait for jj, though, because he is adorable and he says my name a lot next time, apparently.

  9. They have raised the stakes with this episode. I’m glad we get a breather, hopefully comedic JJ episode this week because the last Effy episode is going to be a son of a bitch. I want to go back to her blinking at the end of Series 2, this god dammed episode gave me a panic attack.

  10. love love love this show. just wanted to show comment love so that you keep it up!

    *comment love**comment love**comment love**comment love**comment love**comment love**comment love**comment love**comment love**comment love**comment love**comment love**comment love**comment love**comment love**comment love**comment love**comment love**comment love**comment love**comment love*

  11. I thought “tough love” was hilarious, Freddie seems to get the episodes with the funniest scenes of the series. “Ass to ass…
    Ah yeah and good episode great cinematography

  12. I’ve just got to say how amazing this episode was. I’ve been unfortunate enough to experience something similar with someone close to me (though not a girlfriend and without drugs) when I was at a similar age and this managed to capture all the feelings that I went through at the time.

    The initial denial (though this could just be me projecting) The anger with other people not able to help, the belief that only you can save them followed by the hopelessness and the realization that maybe there is nothing you can do and that hospital is the best place for them. For me this happened over about 5 days so the episode was very cathartic.

    My only quibble is the wall collage which appears to be a staple for ‘crazy’ people on TV and Film but then one experience and knowledge of another does not make me an expert. The attempted suicide was not too much for me as it’s shocking once it happens how quickly someone can get to that stage, also for me you just don’t get any warning when this happens, it just does. People are extremely good at hiding what goes on in their head until they can’t hide it anymore.

    This Series has been the best yet if a little dark, I am so glad you are doing the recaps, but I’m hoping the next one will have a bit more light. It makes the humor easier. Keep up the good work!!

  13. This episode did a lot in explaining the Freddie/Effy relationship, which I never understood. I really felt for Freddie and saw how much he loved Effy. I still don’t get how Effy loves him back, because I don’t think they set up the beginning of the relationship in S3 very well. They didn’t make me believe in the story from Effy’s perspective. But it was disturbing and probably realistic to watch how quickly Effy deteriorated.

    However, Katie and Effy are still my OTP. I just can’t help myself.

    • Thanks for the links! I just spent 8 minutes watching Lily and Kat be totally adorable in an interview posted on the lily loveless one.

      • ur welcome..yeahhh..lily and kat were adorable in real life or on screen..i just love them together!!!tx again 4 the recap!!!

  14. All I have to say is that this show is giving me chest pains with how depressing it is right now. I mean. Come on you guys. It’s going to be worse than tragic if Effy doesn’t live to the end of this series. :(

  15. wow. I cried for basically the whole second half of the episode. Mixing Skins with PMS… dangerous.

  16. Soz, but this whole recap should have been centeref around the fact that WILL YOUNG WAS IN SKINS. Life = made.

  17. -Much to heavy for my tasts. I feel drained
    – Freddie you are still sexy just lay off the drugs: coke, aderol, weed, MDMA and effy.
    -Great recap but I am frankly fucking… flabbergasted that they casted such white actors to play Freddie’s lineage. They are white. Was the goddamn brady bunch not availiabe?

    • Yes his dad is white, but if you noticed, his dead mum was asian (looking) in the family photo in season 3’s Freddie ep. Given this Freds and Karen look quite appropriately cast.
      Also the Freddie/Tough Love joke is just amazingly subtle and hilarious.
      TL: I think you’d better leave
      F: Right now?
      (hint: Google Will Young’s top hits. It wont take long)

  18. I should simply say that this show is giving me chest torments with how discouraging it is at the present time. I mean. Come on you folks. It will be more regrettable than lamentable if Effy doesn’t live to the furthest limit of this series.

  19. I ought to just say that this show is giving me chest tortures with how deterring it is right now. I mean. Come on you parents. It will be more deplorable than shocking on the off chance that Effy doesn’t live to the uttermost furthest reaches of this series.

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