“Skins” Retro Recap (3.07): “JJ”


Claude Debussy is the Monet of the music world because they both sort of capture the epic scope of Impressionism with their sensual dissonance and the quick way they take their crayons outside the lines. And "Claire De Lune," which bookends JJ’s episode, is Debussy’s "Water Lilies." It’s the most famous movement of "Suite Bergamasque," and it actually takes its name from Paul Verlaine’s poem Promenade sentimentale, which goes, in part, a little something like this:

Me, I wandered alone, taking my wound with me
Along the lake, among the willows
Where the vague mist conjured up
A great milky ghost, and despairing,

And tearfully crying with the voice of the teals
That called one another while beating their wings
Among the willows where I wandered alone,
Taking my wound with me…

Verlaine, meet JJ.

JJ has smashed the shit out of his room. It looks like Space Camp threw up all over the place. Overturned robots are moving their little mechanical legs in the air because they’ve been flipped onto their backs, and lab mice are running free like a revolution, and somehow JJ has managed to get jam or something on his face. Maybe its Vegemite. I always feel like destroying something with someone tries to replace my peanut butter toast with Vegemite.

Rophy says: It’s not Vegemite. Vegemite hates JJ.

JJ’s watch beeps. He acknowledges that he’s needed somewhere. But first we get a look at the chart on his wall where he tracks how every lesbian has boned every other lesbian’s girlfriend his relationships and tries to make sense of the world. The key to JJ is that thing right in the middle: He is normal as long as he is connected to Freddie and Cook and they are connected to one another.

On his way out out of his house, he gets accosted by some neighborhood thugs half his age. They chase after him like a pack of wild Dudley Dursleys shouting, "Gay Jay! Gay Jay! Gay Jay!"

JJ’s not gay, but I learned from his wall chart that he is a virgin.

Rin says: You have no idea how happy your usage of ‘pack of wild’ has made us.
Sophy says:
I was more excited about the Dudley reference to be honest…

Sadly, there’s no remedy for that where he spends his Saturday mornings — at the model airplane shop. He requests two dozen model war machines and the shop owner wants to know what happened because he just sold JJ the same stuff two weeks ago. JJ says it was the culmination of several rage incidents, and the shop owner knows just the thing: "I have missiles on special offer! The intercontinental kind! These bitches won’t just blow up France; they’ll reach all the way to India!" I don’t know about JJ, but I feel calmer already!

JJ takes his bag of toys to Psycho(logical) Support and things get very British very fast. Like every scene that happens inside this building is executed with such Englishness that it’s impossible to watch without a cup of tea in your hand. One old lady doesn’t know where she lives, and when her friend tells her she lives with a group of ladies now, she starts swearing. Inside, a woman panics because she doesn’t want to stay at Psycho(logical) Support, but it’s totally her job. And when JJ flips the fuck out in a minute and starts bashing chairs and destroying rubbish bins, no one bats an eyelash.

JJ’s explains to his counselor that he’s been getting locked on, that he’s worried because his friends hate each other, and that he’s stopped doing magic because there’s no point to it. Aaaand he may love Effy, just a little bit. The counselor tells him to just not do all that first stuff. He gives JJ some new little pills to take in addition to his old little pills. And then he advises him that the queue for people who love Effy starts three blocks over and wraps around the building twice. "I just sent someone named Katie over no less then ten minutes ago. Shouldn’t be hard to find. Incandescent red hair. Angel costume."

Rophy says: JJ is such a squib. And you. Trying to sneak in a little Keffy. We adore it.

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