Kaya Scodelario is a very composed sobber. If there’s anything I’ve truly taken away from Skins Fire, it’s definitely that Ms. Scodelario can cry like a motherfucker. But frankly, so can I, and this episode definitely brought the wetworks for me. (God damn it, Naomily.)
Effy Stonem is polarizing. There’s no other way to describe her. Sometimes you ‘get’ her. Sometimes you wonder what the fuck is really going on in her head. Either way, you can’t take your eyes off the screen. You’re waiting for a facial expression or even a lack of expression to stay on the edge of your seat as you wonder whether or not Effy will go back into oblivion. Thankfully for the viewer (and maybe Effy herself): she does.
But, on to the most important storyline probably ever in the history of Skins: the end of Naomily. BECAUSE NAOMI IS DYING. WHAT. THE. FUCK. While it was telegraphed from the first episode as soon as Naomi said she had cancer, there’s always the hope that Naomily will make it through. It was heartbreaking, gut-wrenching, touching, and such an eloquent exit for the couple (and more importantly Naomi) that instead of getting mad at the Skins writers for killing someone off every season, I instead actually felt for the characters.
Something like cancer is usually handled very melodramatic and over-the-top, and I expected this from Skins. Instead, Naomi’s character, and her reactions were collected, realistic and poignant. This was the end of her life. She was going out the way she wanted to, and Emily’s quote of Effy ‘stealing time’ from her broke me in pieces I never knew I could be.
The last 15 or so minutes of the episode play out like the epilogue to Skins Series 4 that we wanted originally from this series. Effy randomly hate fucks Dominic after setting him up to go to prison, Effy then confesses her crimes of insider trading to the woman she ethered earlier in the episode, she does her one redeeming act by getting Emily for Naomi, but then slightly grins after she signs a confession that will implicate her former boss/lover but also send her to prison for a short amount of time.
It’s something straight out of a previous series episode, but fits so well after the bulid-up from last week. everything had to fall apart at some point. It’s Skins, people. Because Effy has been so off-the-rails ever since we met her and started showing signs of that again in the back half of this episode, the question remains:
Why is Effy smiling? Is is because she thinks prison is the only way she can get her act together by separating herself from the outside world? Is it because she did a good thing by reuniting Naomily? Is it because she’s just that fucked up to think her life is still in a good place after ruining everything she’s ever touched for the nth time? We’ll just never know. That’s what makes Effy such a good character.
People hate the uncertainty behind Effy’s decisions and life choices. People love her whimsical nature to just live for living and grabbing life by whatever it offers. People hate her for being crazy. People love her for being crazy. Either way, the final cab sequence was the definitive Effy Stonem portrait: we’ll never really know what’s going on in her head, but we’ll always try to figure it out.