This is all about the personality of Nick Levan! It explores his motivations and feelings.
The journey of Nicholas Levan can be summed up as a boy learning how to be his own man.
To begin my discussion of Nick I have to start with his family. There is not much known about Nick’s Mom the only thing we know is that she is no longer in the picture. She left the family a long time ago. That left Nick with his older brother and his Dad. Nick has a complicated relationship with his older brother Matty. They are extremely competitive and Nick gets frustrated at how easy things come to Matty. Then lastly and most importantly there is Nick’s Dad. Leon Levan is a life coach who teaches his boys how to be alpha males. Be good at sport, score lots of women, and never ever fail. These messages are sent to Nick everyday by his father. Nick being a loyal person who likes to make people proud and likes to do right by the people he loves lives by these principles that his Dad preaches.
Nick joins the rugby team and embraces the life style that comes with it: chasing skirt, acting confident, and making ridiculous sex jokes. However rugby is not all Nick is yet it seems like it is at first. He is the popular, beautiful, and athletic guy who thinks he has this leadership role. In Nick’s episode though we see that like many teenagers he wears a mask and he pretends most of the time. Several times we see Nick take a big breath as he walks into the rugby locker room in order to fit a certain role. Even in dating he does things because it is expected of him oppose to doing things that he wants. In the beginning of the series he is dating Mini thisbeautiful blonde girl. Together they make the picturesque couple yet there is no spark between the two of them. He is expected to have lots of sex by his rugby buddies so becomes frustrated when Mini shies away from the sexual aspect of relationships. Especially when he learns that Ryder another member of the rugby team shags Liv. He gets frustrated, because by his Dad’s teachings he fails as a man.
Then Nick becomes attracted to Liv despite dating her best friend. He has sex with her and then immediately afterwards takes a desperate Mini back home to have sex with her as well. He even says “I love you” knowing that he does not truly love Mini the way that he should. Why does he do this? He does it because he does not know himself. All he has are expectations and his Dad’s misguided wisdom. Nick is so busy thinking about other people’s judgments that he does not have a strong voice that stops him from doing things he shouldn’t. He knows it’s wrong but he does it anyway.
In Nick’s episode he begins to doubt the rugby culture and he is forced to face several things in his life that burdens him. His brother Matty who was sent away is now back in the house dating Liv. The rivalry comes back and so does Nick’s feelings of inadequacy. He also has this new group of friends that seem to tolerate him oppose to genuinely want to hang out with him. Yet Matty who has been there for a few seconds seems to fit in instantly compared to him. In fact most of the group ends up laughing at Nick after telling a bad joke. Nick feels shunned by the new group of friends and starts questioning many things in his life. He feels stifled. When Nick reaches his breaking point he tries to reach out to his Dad who ends up lecturing him before going off to handle some work drama. Nick then loses it completely smashing the dining room and kitchen out of his anger.
This is another thing about Nick that is worth noting. He feels things so strongly yet many times he swallows down his feelings, because he is trying to do the right thing. He is trying to be a good brother, a good son, or a good friend. However by swallowing his feelings things become more complicated for Nick. He begins to get pulled in a million directions and all those intense feelings pile on top of one another. Building this pressure inside of Nick until he cannot take it anymore and he explodes. He does this right before he breaks things in his Series 5 episode and he does this yet again in his Series 6 episode as he deals with his split loyalties yet gets nothing in return.
After he breaks things Nick starts to take his life in his own hands. He goes to his coach and quit rugby in order to focus on himself. He also stands up to his Dad with Matty by his side. He is beginning to take control of his life and he is giving himself the opportunity to find himself. However it would not be Skins if finding yourself did not involve copious amounts of alcohol and drugs. Nick begins to binge drink and take drugs at a high rate towards the end of the Series. However Nick is beginning to learn things about himself and what he wants in life. One of those lessons comes from his episode as he is sitting on the swings with Franky talking about how he knows he can be a dick sometimes and he does not know why he does it. Change always begins with a question and an observation. That was Nick’s revelation. Then in Episode 8 he has a bonding moment with Alo who tells Nick that he is more than a dick he is also a good man. Nick wants to be a good man and he wants to stop with the bullshit. This is Nick’s journey.
It continues in Series 6 as well. Nick is always trying to figure out what the right thing is and yet always gets torn in multiple directions. Nothing is ever straightforward for Nick. After Grace’s accident Matty runs away. This leaves Nick feeling abandoned by his brother and also confused as to why Matty never told him about the drugs. Basically Nick is searching for answers and his brother is not providing them instead he left. He ran. He is also developing feelings for his brother’s girlfriend/ex-girlfriend which is complicated. Not just because she dated his brother, but also because she in herself is complicated. This begins the classic Nick build up.
He feels he needs to stay loyal to his brother yet he has issues with his brother himself. He wants to get closer to Franky but he knows he shouldn’t. Matty is trying to tell him to give messages to Franky. At first he does try to give those messages though not as explicitly as Matty would like; however, Nick begins to ignore Matty’s requests. Matty’s messages become more desperate and his demands become more abrasive. This leads to Matty’s final request for Nick which is to help smuggle Matty back in the country. The task though is dangerous and requires money that Nick does not have. He gets himself in a load of trouble. At the same time his feelings for Franky are at their peak. In many ways I think Nick is afraid to have Matty back. He thinks that it would upset the group and he also he wants Franky. He has never felt this way before.
All of these emotions are running through him and finally he snaps. Nick decides in the end not to help his brother. He instead goes to get his money back; however, this action in many ways acts a rebellion against his brother. It acts in similar ways like the confrontation he had with his Dad. Nick is saying that he is his own man and he is going to do what he wants. The truth is he loves his brother, but he is not ready to see him yet. So he makes a decision that changes everything. Shortly after he begins a relationship with Franky. Standing up for himself and going after what he wants. Something he never does.
Nick is also a protective guy. He is a guy who will stand up for his friends and do anything for them. We see him many times pushing guys off Franky. Then of course his actions in Franky’s Series 6 episode trying to save Franky from herself and trying to make sure she is okay. He definitely is a protector. A fiercely loyal friend. This is another reason why he gets so upset with the gang when they refuse to help him with Matty. He would do anything for them yet they seem like they would not do the same for him. In Series 6 we see that his protectiveness towards Franky increases and when Matty returns his protective instinct turns to obsessiveness. However he is different than Matty. He does not have the same intensity and his love is more laidback. He is willing to give space when needed and he is also willing to give Franky a choice. Though when Matty comes back Nick becomes more obsessive and he becomes desperate. He is scared of losing Franky.
There is a complexity to Nick that does not get explored as much as it should. In many ways his journey is about the fake becoming genuine. The superficial finding meaning. When we first meet Nick he was a superficial guy trying to do what was expected of him regardless of whether it was wrong or right or if he even wants it. Then over time he transforms into a man who wants a special someone to love and wants to do the right thing. Beautiful journey. That fun loving, protective, silly, and loyal Nick.
(gifs by jssula)