The first part in this sort of epilogue for the Skins series begins with us seeing one of the most popular characters Effy as she leaves the madness behind and begins venturing into adulthood. The 1st episode, within itself, almost seems like a spin off more than a continuation as we watch the ever femme fatal Effy move about her way in the finance world. Luckily, the blunt attitude of Effy remains, though at times it does seem Kaya Scoderlario is just playing Effy for the sake of the fans more than because she necessarily wants to keep playing the part.
To me, Kaya still has the ability to use her piercing blue eyes to capture you while creating this weird dance when you aren’t sure who is manipulating whom in a scene; but when she isn’t in that mode when she is almost like a femme fatal, it feels like the magic of Effy is gone. I’m not sure if it is because of how badly the character was written during series 4, or maybe the nostalgia for the earlier seasons not being strong enough, but it does take some adjusting to see her become an adult.
Meanwhile, I’m lost as to why out of all characters they have her with Naomi. Much less, I am trying to understand how Naomi basically became a moocher. Out of all characters, I imagined that at the very least they all would have done something with their lives. I mean, Cook maybe what we’ll see in two episodes, but he is doing something. Naomi is just living with Effy and seemingly hasn’t really progressed at all since we’ve last seen her. And the writers try to at the last minute make us sympathize with her felt very cheap. Especially considering we will only see her for two episodes.
Overall, I felt that this certainly is a likable episode, but I personally felt conflicted about them trying to continue characters who really didn’t end their original time on the show that well. But, I think for Effy they can remind us why many loved her in the first place. As for Naomi, when Emily visits maybe I can remember what made her an interesting character, but as of now she just seems bitter, lost and just someone who was willing to commit to reprising their role so they were given a script.
To me, Skins Fire: Part 2, while being an emotional experience, I think it was more so because you knew this was the nail in the coffin for Effy, Naomi, and Emily more than anything else. And with that said, I almost feel the two-part arc was almost a waste. First, it is broken down into the usual Skins series format where one season, in this case, episode, is all the fun and games and then the second part deals with consequences and ultimately one death. The issue I have, though, is the Fire arc feels so incomplete and rushed.
In my opinion, it would have been nice if the final season featured two episodes featuring each generation instead of just focusing on Effy, Cook, and Cassie. Not to say I don’t like Effy and the others, but in Fire arc, we just saw Effy, Naomi, and Emily with no mention how everyone else was doing. And I get they probably couldn’t get everyone, but at least give me an idea what is going on! After all, with Facebook and everything else, there are many opportunities to just drop a line saying if Pandora and Thomas maybe together, what happened to Katie and everyone else. What makes it worse though is Emily is interning/ working in NY and makes you wish that Pandora and Thomas may have contacted her in some way and she could have brought news. Thus far, based off the fire arc, I feel like their attempt to wrap things up for Skins was more so done out of ego and then planned based off who they could get their hands on.
That aside, Effy and Naomi’s story I felt, as a whole, was well done. Effy’s story fit her to a T and though I hate to admit it, you must admire the way she is almost like Poison Ivy in Batman and Robin. Her kiss is intoxicating and just being around her lures you into this weird splendor, at least if you are a man. Then, once her spell is broken, you realize that she has jeopardized everything you had and all she can do is apologize or smile. For Dominic, he felt himself drawn in and as much as he seemingly tried to get out of her grip, he couldn’t help but fall for her lips. As for Jake, truth be told I sometimes wondered who was using who? Was Effy using him to get love, compliments, and affection? Could it be she wanted revenge on Victoria for not citing what she found and/or wanted to move up quickly in the business, proving she isn’t the screw up she once was? Or was it Jake saw money and a nice body, and decided he had to solidify her loyalty? Either way, both got what they deserved.
But then poor Naomi. I must admit, I wasn’t fond of the turn Naomi’s character had in the first episode, but her deterioration and with Naomily back in action, I found myself quickly reminded of what made me like her character. The love Naomi has for Emily is almost like mutual dependence in a way. Even though Emily is far, her love remains strong and Naomi remains one of her biggest fans. You can see this by her not wanting to ruin all Emily has worked for by telling her about her cancer, and then see how upset Emily was at Effy for not telling her. Much less, as she says, stealing her time. It really almost made you wish that Emily was there, no matter how tragic it would have been to watch.
Overall, though I’m not fond of how this ended, at the same time at least it is done. I would have liked it if they would have dedicated Fire to the whole gen 2 instead of split things between Cassie, Effy, and Cook, but they surely have their reasons. Either way, the first quarter of this send-off season, or series if you are in the UK, I won’t necessarily say was lackluster, but maybe just a taste to build up something in us as we move onto Cassie.