This week's 'Skins' (as you can probably expect by now) had some good and some bad aspects. The episode revolved around Mini and Frankie's burgeoning friendship and Mini's impending parenthood - it was a long, drawn-out affair focusing on Mini's pregnancy, and was full of dubious character motivations.
One of the first scenes was what I have coined 'the most awkward hospital waiting room of all time'. Alo and Mini's mum both discover her impending motherhood, Nick fought with everyone and the whole gang swore and argued in a public place. It was magnificent - if only waiting rooms were usually this entertaining.
But after this scene, it all went a bit wrong. 'Skins' is at its best, in my opinion, when it's outside the realms of normal life, but it contains exaggerated versions of true events, to which characters react as you or I would in 'real life'. Instead, the episode saw Frankie and Mini plotting to run away to tour the world with Mini's baby rather than give it up for adoption, which noone was forcing her to do anyway.
Also, Mini and Frankie used to despise one another, and now suddenly they are supposedly the best and only friends in the group? There is definitely some sort of lesbian subtext to the episode, but once again, like all the characters say, Frankie is being a 'mindfuck'. There is definitely more to her behaviour than we can see - the running away was definitely more for her own secret benefit than Mini's - but will she reveal why next week?
Alo is the only character behaving as one would expect - he goes absolutely out of his mind at the thought of a baby, as I think anyone would. And Rich finally got a scene! I think that the Alo and Rich friendship has been massively underused this season, and has been one of the truest and most natural friendships of all Skins' characters - despite the fact that I don't think highly of either character individually, together, they are very realistic.
-Found myself watching the entire episode saying 'It's going to be an actual baby, not a new coat - you should probably be taking this more seriously'.
-Someone should probably put an end to Grace's phone contract because that money is just being wasted.
-Doctors don't say 'This blood pressure stuff can be a bit of a fucker'. They don't.
-Frankie literally didn't wear trousers/proper clothes all episode. Or even a skirt. I saw more of Frankie's thighs yesterday than I've ever seen my own. She lives in Bristol, not Miami.
-Mini quite literally pissed in a sink, in front of Frankie. Boundaries.
The episode ended in a lovely little Mini/Alo (Mino?) scene, in which they decided that they love one another, and they'll reunite and live together with a baby. All very lovely (the Can't Touch Me scene was very funny) but at what point did this become about love for either of them? They were, to use the vernacular, 'banging', and it is conceivable that Alo would fall for Mini, but the other way around? I don't buy it. And, the ending (spoilers now) - Skins couldn't just leave its characters happy could it? It also couldn't pick an original storyline could it? The episode ended with one of the most obvious 'oh no!' turns the plot could have taken. Shame on Skins.
In summary, whilst the characters of this generation and their behaviours are still a mystery to everyone but the writers, the episode did enthrall me somewhat - Mini's mum, whilst unbearable to start with, did mellow and the episode had an interesting, if unbelievable plot. The contrast in the final scene, between the music and the visuals, was expertly manufactured for maximum shock. But judging from next week's trailer, this will be followed by one of the oddest and most disjointed season finales of all time - good luck to them.
Written for: Great & Gold