Saturday 23 January 2010

Skins - Nobody breaks my heart.

Skins: 3x05 Freddie. 

I think when we see this episode, it’s important to consider what the writers of the show had in mind and see it as a separate entity to the actual execution of the plot. Thinking about the character of Effy, I’ve come to the conclusion that I like the idea of her (which I feel the first two seasons of “Skins” alluded to) more than the actual execution of the character in Season Three – and by that, I don’t mean Kaya Scodelario’s acting, who inhabits Effy perfectly, I mean the stories the writers chose to tell us about the character once she became the centre, and not just the mysterious person on the fringe of the show.
Finally, we get some background intel on Freddie: we already knew that he likes to skate and smoke weed, but “Freddie” sheds light on why he seems to be quietly in pain all the time yet not able to articulate his feelings. His mom died, and now his dad is more busy at supporting his sister who is trying to win a ridiculous contest (called “Sexxxbomb”, which seems completely over the top until you remember how bad “real” reality tv already is) than figuring out the needs of his son.
It’s Freddies calm despair and the fact that he shares Effys ability to communicate solely with looks (at least I think that’s what they were trying to show us in previous episodes?) what drives Effy to him. He is so very much unlike Cook, who always articulate what he wants, and doesn’t hesitate to act even if the consequences are bad, and, as we find out this episode, Effy actually considers herself to be “too bad” for a good boy.
Effy, in the beginning of this episode, is set up well. She is in Freddie’s garden, entering the “Three Musketeers” shed, looking around, touching the walls, wondering about who this person is. It’s easy to be with Effy for a little time, but to actually see her intrigued about someone, we know, is unusual.
The two connect for short period of time, then the two other Musketeers come in and Cook basically tells Effy that the only role she can play is as someone’s girlfriend, she can’t just hang out there – and she retaliates by telling him that she’d “rather fuck JJ” than be with him. When Cook throws her out, JJ and Freddie just watch and do nothing to defend her – later Freddie lets out some of the frustration on his sister, once again proving that he is incapable of articulating his thoughts, or the main issue he has with her involvement in the singing contest (that she makes their mom’s death a story, while he keeps silent about it and feels like this is cheapening their memory of her). The course of his character in this episode is starting to question his brutal treatment of his sister, and finally realizing that she really does participate in the contest to honour her memory, even if this seems ridiculous to us and her brother. When he supports her, in the end, and beats up Cook for voting against her, ultimately costing her the win, he finally realizes that he’s been selfish, and that’s a long way from asking the interviewer “how does it feel to be a cocaine snorting, low level corporate puppet?” (to which he replies, quite accurately, ““how is being an angsty little prick working out for you?”).
The episode tries to parallel Freddie’s family conflicts with Effy’s: Effy is torn up in the brutal fighting of her parents, and she hates seeing them torn apart like that. The experience of seeing this shapes her perception of love: she doesn’t believe in a happy ending.
Freddie: “We’d be good together, don’t you think?”
Effy: “No.”
Freddie: “Why?”
Effy: “Because I’ll break your heart.”
Freddie: “Maybe I’ll break yours?”
Effy: “Nobody breaks my heart. And anyway, why would I want that?”
Of course by the end of this season, they’ll both be right.
The rift between Cook and Freddie is the second important issue here. Freddie finds out from JJ that Cook has slept with his sister (JJ can never keep stumm. Emily should have seen this coming.), and by the end, Freddie heatbutts Cook but Cook decides not to fight back, and Effy will break his heart, even after this romantic declaration of love (once again, not with words), when she goes back to Cook and Cook makes sure that Freddie knows this.

Random things:

Pandora reading a Harry Potter novel instead of “Hamlet”, and giving a wacky overview of the plot in class, priceless.

I love how Effy has insight into Naomi and Emily’s relationship because she sees little details, but it’s Naomi this time around who realizes the Freddie-Effy-Cook triangle and reinterprets Hamlet’s character to fit Freddie.

I like Cook’s declarations of love for his mates. “I really just fucking love you you fucking bastard”. Also with the kissing.

No comments: