“Skins” Retro Recap (3.04): “Pandora”


Downstairs, Panda is in full white-noise mode, explaining what they did last night and not even pausing to take a breath when she flips the story completely for her mum when she calls to see how her work went at the mission. Mr. Stonem is aghast about the the "pack of lies," and Panda unabashedly says (still on that same breath) that she can’t tell her mum the truth, of course, and Effy concurs, taking a swipe at her own mum about how the truth makes things go BOOM! Which is an interesting retrospective image, Effy Stonem, beautiful bomb.

Mr. Stonem’s one friend in the whole world shows up to confess his love for Anthea, which sends him shouting and storming out of the house, and Effy too, and Panda chases after her.

Panda: You think your mum and funny bit have been, you know, making monkey?
Effy: Yes, Pandora. They’ve been making monkey.
Panda: Wow. Surfed and turfed?
Effy: Yep.
Panda: Eff. Eff, don’t cry. Does this … does this mean you’re not coming to my pajama party?
Effy: I’m not crying.
Panda: Right — but my party?

There’s an interesting thing that happens in this episode with Effy and Naomi both needing to feel safe, and Panda and Emily telling them half-truths to make them feel that way — unselfishly because they love them, and slightly selfishly because Panda and Emily just want Effy and Naomi to stay close to them.

Effy says that Panda’s party sound like fun because they can get "totally, totally f–ked." And Panda explains, again, that it’s a pajama party, which involves pajamas — and Twister. Effy wants to know why she and Panda are friends, and Panda says it’s because none of Effy’s guys want to get off with her and she’ll do whatever Effy says, which isn’t true at all. She loves Effy more than anyone else because she sees her like this, in these moments, and this scene makes me sad the same way it makes Rophy sad because what a terrible, terrible waste not to explore Panda and Effy’s relationship in series four.

But I can’t stay sad for long because Katie Fitch’s laugh tinkles in my ears, and also there is the horrific sound of Danny guffawing like f–king Davy Jones some more. Danny leers at Effy’s breasts and ignores Panda — even though she is the most buxom buddy in this entire group of friends — and Katie is full-on propaganda about how Katie Fitch is played by Katie Fitch, with her weed and pills and skeezy boyfriend, but then she notices that Effy is upset.

Katie asks if she’s OK, and Panda goes with the jungle analogy about her mum making monkey and her dad going ape, and when Effy looks away, Katie makes the most beautiful, beautiful face, and it is so full of empathy and compassion, and it’s just a hint of glory Katie is going to grow into. But for now she just tells Danny to f–k off.

Panda’s mum has strategically placed balloons outside the house to let everyone know about Panda’s party, and did you know I am terrified of balloons? As soon as Panda starts touching them and her fingers start squeaking on the latex, I shut my laptop down. Every time. I can’t help it. Panda tells Katie and Effy that she also invited Emily and Naomi, and when Katie protests about Naomi, Panda says Emily wouldn’t have come otherwise. Effy goes, "Aww, sweet," and pulls out her "Original Naomily Shipper" flag and waves it around.

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