“Skins” Retro Recap (3.04): “Pandora”

Naomi stumbles outside to retrieve the alcohol Panda tossed earlier. She wobbles, says "Whoa," and Emily shouts from inside the house, "Get beer, lezzer!" And Naomi shouts back, "Keep your vagina on!" before teetering back in and peeking around the corner all shy and flirty and giggly.

Emily meets her halfway, a mirror of Naomi’s tipsiness and unabashed glee just because they’re hanging out together. Naomi asks her what she wants, stumbles over the names of the drinks she’s clutching, and Emily answers, "Anything." Her eyes wander all over Naomi’s face — just caressing it — before helplessly settling on her lips. "Just give me a f–king … just … just give me a …" Her eyes flit back up to meet Naomi’s, and Naomi is blitzed-to-sober in exactly zero seconds.

Naomi tries not to look at Emily’s lips — I mean, it is a concentrated effort — but she fails, and Emily really does attempt to give her an out. She glances at Naomi’s lips again, her eyes, her lips, her eyes, she gulps, and when Naomi doesn’t move, or stop staring at Emily’s mouth, Emily leans in and kisses her, softly, quickly. Naomi says, "Oh." Oh. That’s what you wanted; Oh. You taste just like I remember; Oh. My imagination didn’t actually displace history; Oh. F–k.

She says, "It’s just the drugs, right?" And Emily makes it safe again, the way she always makes it safe. Because she doesn’t just listen to the words coming out of Naomi’s mouth; she hears the thing Naomi is actually saying, and that’s what she responds to, always — the thing behind the thing. And what’s funny/sad about this is that the thing behind what Naomi is saying is, "I need permission for this to be just about the kissing, not the thing behind the kissing."

And Emily nods, her eyes as wide open as her heart and hands, and you always think it’s the other way around; you always think Naomi is the warrior. But Emily Fitch is standing unshielded and unarmed in the middle of the bloody massacre of love, carnage all around her, and she’s holding Naomi like a rabbit in her hands, Naomi’s tiny heart beating so fast: "Cage of fire! Cage of fire!" And Emily whispers, "It’s OK; I’ve got you." It’s just the kissing. It’s just the drugs.

And so they kiss again. And again. And again. And they don’t mean to mean it, but they do.

Their eyes stay closed for a moment when they break away from one another, memorizing, juxtaposing, comparing, pushing down the thing behind the kiss because if they want to do it some more, there can’t be a thing behind the kiss.

Note — again — that Naomi is holding something between them, ’cause I’m going to talk about that in a second. And also note that JJ, who originally tried to ruin this scene with his presence, has completely disappeared, which (as HJC123 commented on Twitter) means that JJ might not be as shit at magic as we originally thought! (Or it might mean that the Rophy Magic Removal Tool in Photoshop is perfection!)

Emily nudges Naomi, gently: "You liked that." (Just so we’re clear, the actual my-lips-on-your-lips thing? You liked it.) Naomi responds with a lip bite and a quizzical brow before brushing past Emily and declaring, "You’re gay." Once Naomi’s out of earshot, Emily agrees, out loud, for the first time: "Yes."

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