After countless hours of crying shamelessly into my pillow and after watching the episode three more times for good measure. I am finally ready to write about this episode. Spoilers lie ahead. Again, I try my best not to be the type of reviewer who does angry CAPSLOCK reviews or over excited CAPSLOCK and !!!!! reviews. I try my best to be as objective as one can be when giving their opinion. Let me know if I suck at it. : )
Part of my philosophy about being a fan and being a watcher of television shows is that you have to separate the preference from the art. Some people watch Skins for a certain pairing or certain character. So when that character or pairing is messed around with they begin hating on the show. Then they stop watching it. The truth is…I love Skins. I love being brought to tears or uncontrollable laughter. I love learning, analyzing, agonizing, yelling, laughing, worrying, and being disappointed by the characters. I may not like certain story lines or disagree with where the writers are going. However I cannot help but love Skins.
This episode is probably one of the most beautiful episodes Skins has ever created. Yes at the end of the episode we have more questions than answers. Yes we are left broken and defeated. However the journey we took was beautiful and filled with humanity, friendship, love, and acceptance.
During this episode I became Rich. I knew immediately something was wrong. Grace sounded like Rich’s guilty conscious egging him on to find her, disappointed at his failures, and pressure on himself to fix the situation. Plus, what teenage boy doesn’t want his Girlfriend to wake up from a massive head injury for a quick shag? In reality that would have been an impossibility. However like Rich I refused the nagging feeling in my head. I shoved it down. I held onto those moments. The banter, the laughter, and the love. Convincing myself that my mind was playing tricks on me.
Alo tries to distract Rich from his troubles the best way he knows how. The truth is that Alo is an immature boy who does not fully understand Rich’s feelings. He is trying everything that would have worked when Rich was younger or before he fell for Grace. Music, mayhem, and weed. That was what use to fix an angry or upset Rich. Only Rich has something more at stake…his heart…his Grace. I loved the part when Rich says, “Music doesn’t solve anything”. Then Alo said, “Yes it does. You have told me that all my life.” It was a testament to their friendship and I think it really showcased the desperation of Rich as well.
Mini and Alo. Mini seems to be on a road to destruction and it looks like Alo may be dragged along with her. Some people have been hating on Alo (I get that) I just don’t think he has many tools in his bag right now. He has some growing up to do. He means well though. Rich yelling at him was good as well. Some people thought he was being a dick. To be honest if I was Rich I would probably do the same thing. Only I would scream “don’t you guys get it? I am dying here. And you want to fuck the bad feelings away.” Only he did it in his Rich way. A stubborn, sulky, and angry bull dog with the wit to boot. Then of course this leads to the pathetic fight between Rich and Alo. I actually laughed while they were fighting. Until Rich got all badass and head butted Alo.
One of my favorite parts of the episode would have to be the interaction between Rich and Liv. Liv seems to be the voice of reason and reminds Rich of what he is. The Metal head who never let anyone tell him what to do. The guy who fucking finds solutions and doesn’t just take shit. Then when Liv started crying and an uncomfortable Rich asks for biscuits it made me laugh. Then the cute moment they shared outside. I hope I see some more Rich/Liv friendship moments. I feel like they could really help each other.
Of course the band scene was epic and fun. Love fucking Fuck Norris. Then when Rich sees Grace. i immediately knew I needed to stop talking myself out of the reality of the situation. Grace was dead. Only to be confirmed when he went into her bedroom to find a flawless Grace. I knew it. The love scene though it may have been in Rich’s head was probably the sweetest and most sensual love scene Skins has ever done. It was loving, sensual, and sexy.
Then the reality hit. Grace called to let Rich know she loved him and that life is beautiful. Though the phone was shattered. Professor Blood on the stairs seemingly broken and resigned. The truth comes out that Grace never woke up. In fact she died. This scene broke my heart. I started to sob. It was absolutely beautiful. From the acting, the music, and how they shot it…it was gorgeous. Rich also seemed resolved…broken…yes…but resolved with the knowledge Grace loved him. Then Prof. Blood acknowledging it. Gorgeous.
This episode also had a good balance of humor along with the heartbreak. Yes it was a surreal episode that left us with questions, but questions are not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes it allows us as viewers to insert the meaning we want into the show. Without someone having to tell us what we think all the time.
So even though this episode broke my heart. It was very respectful to Rich, Grace, and the relationship they have.
Alex Arnold also acted his ass off. I would not be surprised if it was one of the best performances of this series. It was brave, true, and moving. I literally felt what he felt. Absolutely fantastic.
So with that. That is my review. It is one of my favorite episodes though it does render me speechless.