“Skins” Retro Recap (3.04): “Pandora”


Naomi: I don’t know why she invited me anyway; I hardly know her.
Emily: I asked her to invite you.
Naomi: [Sighing] I thought we sorted this out.
Emily: No, I didn’t mean it like — well, it doesn’t hurt to get to know each other, does it?
Naomi: Emily —
Emily: We’re in the same class. We’re going to be hanging out together for the next two years, and —
Naomi: You going to tell people you’re gay anytime soon?
Emily: What? I’m not. I’m not gay.

No? Not gay? Hang on to that declaration, Emily Fitch, and we’ll revisit it in … oh, ten minutes.

Naomi: [Smiling, sighing] I’m telling you, Em, you haven’t thought this thing through, have you?
Emily: No.

OK, two things — Naomi: liar-pants, Emily: liar-pants.

Naomi. "Em"? Really? Did that just fall out of your mouth on accident or what, because four milliseconds after you scoffed at the idea that you and Emily should get to know one another, you dropped an "Em" like it was the most natural thing in the world. And just in case you don’t know, when you shorten someone’s name like that, or toss in her middle name? That’s familiar. That’s endearment. And I can only assume that it feels normal on your lips because of the way Emily camps out in your mind.

Emily. You haven’t thought this through? Puh-lease. You’ve been thinking this through fifty-eleven billion different ways in every kind of weather pattern every day for the last five years.

Naomi wants to reiterate that she is, in fact, a cock-cruncher and not a muff-muncher, and this is where Emily’s magic gets very Naomi-specific. She makes their Naomily space safe. I know you. I’ve seen you. But OK, you like cock. How’s that going for you then?

Naomi says it would be going brilliantly if the guy with whom she was trying to get off didn’t have erectile dysfunction — which: if you’re having to try that hard with a teenage boy you don’t even care about, what’s the thing you need to prove? Emily and Naomi giggle with one another and are great because that’s what Emily making a safe space allows them to do: breathe, relax, fit together, snap into place.

Over Emily’s shoulder, Naomi notices creepy neighbor glowering, so she goes, "Yes, can I help you with something?" And the way he tilts his head, it’s like he realizes something about them; not that they’re vodka-bearing hooligans in his quiet cul-de-sac, but that they’re "disgraceful young women." You know, gay. I really think that’s what’s happening there.

Naomi rightly tells him he can "go f–k himself." But then Panda opens the front door screeching like a banshee, and in one fluid movement, grabs the bottles and cans from Naomi and Emily’s hands and chucks them into the shrubbery before shuffling them inside and un-shoeing them.

Panda explains to her mum that Ems and Naomi are "really good friends, you know? Really good." Naomi smirks and turns around to look at Emily like, "Seriously?" but Panda’s mum has moved on to the fact that Emily and Katie are twins. She asks if they like all the same things, and Naomi is all, "Even my face — with its astonishing, ethereal assortment of ways to display emotion — is running out of ways to express the total gayness of Emily Fitch." Emily just says, "Not sure."

Panda slips up and says something in French, which causes her to mention Thomas, which causes her mum to flip out about how boys only want to get into her box. And is this the right time to say that Sally Phillips is my favorite Skins grown-up of this generation?

She is pitch-perfect with every line delivery, every face she pulls, every move she makes to Bon Jovi. And also, because she played Shazzer in the Bridget Jones movies, I keep hearing her go, "F–k ‘em! F–k the lot of ‘em! Tell them they can stick f–king Leavis up their f–king arses!" ("Shazzer. Journalist. Likes to say ‘f–k’ — a lot.")

So Panda’s mum is like, "No boys." And Emily is like, "No problem."

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