Admittedly, I am a Freddie/Effy fan (although, hey, generally if it's a pairing involving Effy, I'm usually in), so this was always going to be an episode that got me. Nervous about what the hell they were going to do? Hell yes. I was full of keysmashy incoherence for a good half hour afterwards. Stupid fandom, getting me all attached and then doing this sort of thing!
My main sticking point is always going to be just how fast this came on. Last week and the week before, she was full of wise advice and smirky humour. This week; utterly broken and losing it completely.
Brilliantly as they did it, I really believe they could've done with a bit slower lead in than that. Three seasons of mildly unstable seems a little too vague. Maybe if they'd shown more cracks in her shell in the last couple episodes than a three second shot of her downing pills with vodka with a worried look from Katie and a throwaway love is "a bit of a head fuck, to be honest" comment.
None of this really stops me from thinking the episode itself was beautifully done, both from an acting standpoint, with great performances from both Luke and Kaya, and musically and cinematically. It was gorgeous, and fucking heartbreaking.
Freddie: "I can't miss a disciplinary. Dad'll flip.
Effy: "... Be a long time dead."
And the start of the downward spiral. I HATE that they used the novel tie in voice mail from her mum to kick it off. But, if you take into account the things that happened in that novel and her almost-breakdown... It does make sense as a catalyst, however much I dislike it.
Karen: "I never see you anymore! When are you done with that fuck-a-thon?"
Freddie: "Aww. You wanna sponsor me! That's good cause we're saving the polar bears."
A little humour break before the hard stuff starts coming through in force.
Freddie: "End? What fucking end would that be?"
Effy: "... Mine, Freddie."
Freddie: "You alright?"
Effy: "Hunky fucking dory."
As she tips vodka from the bottle in bed with her into her CEREAL. If that's not a sign of someone in need of some help, I don't know what is.
Freddie: "Why are you head fucking me Eff? Because I can't handle it."
Effy: "... Better fuck off then."
Skips from 'PRICK' to 'PLS COME BACK' without missing a beat.
Pandora: "Freddie! Some bloke in the kitchen hung one of Anthea's pans of his... knob ring. And I yanked it off cause that ain't hygienic, but he screamed and I can't find first aid, or Effy, anywhere!"
OH PANDA. ILU. There has to be some humour in Skins, and Pandora and JJ were about all we got in this one.
Effy: "You didn't reply. I didn't want to be on my own."
Effy:"I know you're the only person I can trust."
This whole next scene was just beautiful. This is the sort of scene that made me fall in love with Skins' cinematography. When I first saw the clips I was skeptical, but as part of the episode as a whole, it fitted.
Effy: There's faces. Behind the skin.
Effy: Between this world and the next. Their teeth, and their claws comin' out. Trying to break through.
Effy: The moment I saw you, I knew it’d be the closest I’d get to being… close. I didn’t know what to do with that feeling. Happiness.
Freddie: Listen, Effy. You are the closest I’m ever…
Effy: But they know now and they’re hungry. Really fucking hungry! Because, for as long as I know, they’ve been chasing me. And now they’re ready, now they’re strong enough to break through. And I can’t fight them. I used to be able to when I was strong but… you’ve made me weak. And now I can't-- I can't!
And then while it might be Freddie's episode, I love that we still get Effy's skewed PoV of the blurred people she sees as after her.
Anthea may be a kind of shitty parental figure, but her realisation when she gets back of just how bad things have been while she's been in Italy... Ow.
It's so British. She's having a massive mental breakdown and the immediate solution is, "Take her to the dining hall where they do a very nice cup of tea."
And then scene of AKJDKS! that I didn't put in the main spam because there is a certain triggery squick factor there. Katie... it was just really dumb to leave her alone. Seriously. ILU, but... DUMB.
What I don't really get is the E4 site's claim that this is a plan she's been "playing with for years". Yes, girl is messed up beyond belief, but we're never actually seen any real hint of suicidal behavior. Not after watching her brother get hit by a bus, and not when she was freaking out because she thought she'd killed someone.
I love the parallell of Freddie burning all her pieces of paper, to Effy's early season fixation. I only wish they'd brought in some of that a little earlier. Would've made a lot of sense in the state she was in this episode.
Freddie: What have I done? What did I do?
Cook: You went to the end of the fucking earth, man! The end of the fucking earth. You’re gonna have to go further now, mate. For her. For you. For me.
And that done, on to the Unseen Skins scene for that episode. (Why they gave us an 'Effy' unseen for Freddie's episode, I don't know. Not complaining, though.)
Anyway. For RP purposes and backstory I'd always assumed from the canon we'd been given that Effy stopped talking when she was older. Early-teenage rebellion thing. But this clip rather contradicts the explanations we've been offered; both Effy's own talk of Clara Bow and silent movies, and the creators and their 'she stopped talking because she was bored of life'.
Would imply she was a bit younger when all that kicked off then, wouldn't it?
Eh. As far as Jossing goes, it's miiiiild. Really mild. The video is freaking creepy, though, as expected really, from anything going on in Effy's fucked up mind.