Skins returned this year for its final series to the hopes of many with the promise of tying up loose ends and to the dismay of many more with the news that there would be no more after this. It is bittersweet in a way with the show’s death knell ringing, yet joyous as three of everyone’s favourite characters are back in all new stories.
The first up was Effy in Fire, the first two-parter which takes place not too many years after high school. Effy works at a dead-end job and looks to rise above it all. And this is where the show’s subtitle factors in for there is a fire in Effy; it was there when we last saw her and it is there now. She is just unsure on how to wield it and never seems to do so successfully. It was nice to see how Effy has grown and yet is still the same person she always was – troubled, lost and searching. She simply burns too hot and too bright. At the end of her arc we finally see her gain a small measure of satisfaction with her life, even though it may not be everything she wants.
Pure featured Cassie from the first generation of the show and featured her in a new light having conquered most of her demons as well as her mental sickness. While watching these episodes you realize that Cassie is pure in nearly every sense of the word. The innocence she projects throughout the show is simply amazing. No matter the situation she finds herself in she seems almost angelic, even when angry. It’s a true testament to the writing and Hannah Murray’s acting ability to make it appear so. The other great things about the episodes were that everything from the directing to the lighting, from the atmosphere to the choice of music was simply perfection. Pure referred to everything about and everything within the shows and made for two of the best episodes of television ever made.
Rise on the other hand was almost the opposite of Pure. The last two episodes dealt with Cook from the second generation of shows and the downturn that his life has taken over the years. Again these shows were aptly named as they chronicled Cook not rising up, but rising out of himself. He has been kept down for so long by his own doing that he is a conquered man. Over the course of the story, as he is torn from doing what is wrong and what is right – he chooses to live, chooses to Rise. Very well acted television by all involved, especially the second part and the tragedy, and the triumph, within.
All seven series of the show are good TV. Fantastic television in fact. You can watch them all repeatedly and take something away from them each time. They also connect with you on an emotional level, for we were all young once and when watching the show – any episode – you can empathize with the characters. And it all comes down to the mastery of the young actors and their craft and the series writers and creator Jamie Brittain.
As everyone knows, every second year the show ended in a cliff-hanger. It was up to the viewer to create their own endings if they wanted find out where the characters ended up. With this current series, there was a faint promise of those cliff-hangers finally being resolved and everyone gaining some closure. Such as it was, this never happened, nor was there any real explanation on how they chose the characters for these arcs that they did.
Suffice it to say, there was a plan which was executed and we got what we got – which in the end was brilliant. No one could have asked for anything better because those six episodes were perfection. And as for the cliff-hangers, and what happens next for Cook, Effy and Cassie… let your imagination run wild.
5 out of 5