“Skins” recap (4.05): Freddie McClair and the Beautiful Bomb


What do you reckon — bleakest episode of television ever?

I used to liken Skins to Gossip Girl because of the teenage drunkenness and the shagging and the handsome but absent parents and, you know, Dinosaur Jr and Temper Trap. After Chuck’s dad died on GG, he went on this opium/hooker binge and almost jumped off a building, and it was kind of scary and kind of sad, but compared to Freddie’s episode of Skins, Chuck’s meltdown looks like a Saturday morning cartoon. When Cook’s jailbreak is the brightest spot in a million moments, you know you’re operating under a cloak of darkness.

Here’s what’s going to happen: I am going to briefly recap this episode because of no Naomily anywhere. After the brief recap, we’re going to look at the photos of Emily and Naomi’s deleted scene from last week and break that down because we need a little light. And by light, I mean we need to see Lily Loveless smile.

So, Freddie and Effy are high on just about everything, including drugs and one another, but Freddie has to come down because he has a disciplinary hearing at school. Thomas and JJ take the piss when he shows up, and JJ even suggests he plead obsessive-compulsive sex as the reason he’s so behind on his coursework. The counselor informs Freddy that he has a week to catch up on everything or he’ll be following Cook down the well-trodden path of Roundview Expulsion.

Back home, Freddie finds Effy in her mum’s room, cutting out some insane photos of, like, crucifixions and nuclear explosions and illustrations from middle age plagues. (Seriously, what kind of magazines does Effy’s mum subscribe to?) Effy calls it her porn stash and tells Freddie she’s making the collage of doom and destruction so it will be easier for him to accept the end. He’s like, "And what f–king end is that?" And she says — kind of angrily, like she’s sort of disgusted at him for not knowing — "Mine, Freddie."

Effy passes out. Freddie traces a scar on her forehead because of how he loves her imperfections, and then heads downstairs to tackle his homework, have a smoke, and do some coke, which is — I guess — to help him stay awake and concentrate. Red Bull is a safer (and cheaper) alternative, but I can’t really claim to know much about that either, because (speaking of scars on foreheads) the last time I had an energy drink was to stay up and read Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and I’m still kind of blaming (spoiler alert!) Dumbledore’s death on the caffeine.

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