“Skins” Retro Recap (3.05): “Freddie”

Freddie wants to know why she’s watching the performance again, because she knows she won, and it’s funny but also it’s another glaring difference between Freds and Cook, who is probably at this very moment at home self-Googling: "james cook giant knob" and "bristol boner cook." Karen adopts that special sibling tattle voice and shouts to her dad that Freddie says she’s ugly, and her dad insists that Freddie tell Karen she’s sexy. (Incest. There’s another Hamlet theme for you.)

[Rophy says: Damn Hamlet. So illegal.]

Freddie storms out to his shed, but in the magical woodland behind his house sits a magical creature called Effy Stonem, and the camera sees her through the frondescence, the same way Freddie sees her — the same way everyone sees her, really — and … I love this show. I am ruined for all other TV forever. Have you ever noticed how Effy never comes at a person straight-on? She’s always sliiiiiding up into the chair beside you or resting in The Shire behind your house. When she tells JJ everyone loves her, she’s not kidding. She’s knocked over enough people with her accidental enchantment to know what kind of power she has.

Effy tells Freddie she’s there to see his "marvelous" shed that is "marveled at," and I don’t even want to correct her for ending her sentence with a preposition. I just want to scoop them both up and whisk them away to a land where there are no demons or baseball bats, and only the kind of early morning and late afternoon sunlight that makes them even more gorgeous together than they are apart. Freddie lets her into the shed — and into his thirsty, thirsty heart — and she offers him a spliff before winding him right up to the line below his combustion point.

They barely have time to let their awkward adorableness rub up against each other before Cook and JJ bust in, and Cook, hopped up on who knows what, starts bashing the punching bag talking about some kid he beat the shit out of earlier in the day, I guess. Freddie’s face is like "of f-cking course" and Effy looks kind of terrified, not because she’s caught in Freddie’s shed, I don’t think, but because she’s caught with her guard down, which is what Freddie does to her. Cook is smashing the bag and it’s just the reminder Effy needs to button herself up and play the part of Effy Stonem, the mysterious, aloof girl with whom everyone unwittingly falls in love.

When Cook finally notices Effy, he walks over to Freddie and snatches the joint out of his hand because that’s what he does, and I’ll go ahead and share with you my unpopular opinion that this Freddie/Cook/Effy triangle has everything to do with the way Freddie and Cook intersect, and nothing to do with an actual shared love of Effy — because Freddie and JJ are Cook’s only family and when it becomes obvious that Freddie is going to force Effy into the geometry of their lives, Cook just goes ahead and takes her, not because he wants her, but because he doesn’t want to lose Freddie.

Cook drapes himself possessively around Effy and asks her right in front of everyone if she’s ready to leave for a shag. When she tells him she knows exactly where his "Crayola dick" has been (in Pandora’s box), he tells her to get out. And she goes. And Freddie tries to go after her, but Cook emasculates both him and JJ to keep him there: "I’d say even J’s got a better chance than you. I mean, when was the last time you breathed fire?"

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