Something you’ll notice off the bat with Skins “Rise” is that unlike “Fire” and “Pure”[note]Of which I lost the review for but it honestly seems like a disappointing arc, based on the comments below[/note] the tone of the arc isn’t even remotely similar to what we are used to. For “Rise,” everything feels like a movie. The soundtrack feels more focused and experimental, using classical music as well as the usual club sounds Skins picks up and makes you go on a goose chase to find. Then the way things are shot makes you feel like this was how they may have wanted Skins to truly end. But, thinking back, who but Cook could really be written into what is almost like a crime drama?
Now, the episode starts off really strong and comes off like a movie, but as characters are introduced, the quality does drop a tad then steadies. The reason I believe the quality drops is because the story isn’t fresh or new what so ever. While the episode gets a lot of points for its cinematic look and feel, it borrows heavily from the expected when it comes to crime dramas to the point it feels the only thing fresh or new about the story is the fact we already know one character off the bat. I say this since we have the usual crime boss, though he doesn’t have the usual boss look; the girlfriend who he is mad about and which causes him jealousy; the best friend; the henchman; and then Cook who plays the outsider who no one knows nothing about. From there, things pretty much play out like any movie you ever saw with similar characters and themes.
One thing I did like though is Cook’s evolution doesn’t seem as a stretch of the imagination as Effy’s was, and it doesn’t skip over a huge plot like Cassie’s does. With Effy’s story, you assume she charmed her way into working at the hedge fund place; then with Cassie, we skip her whole America saga and she ends up in London with this huge chunk of story, which I’m sure many of us wanted to see, missing. With Cook, though, yes time has passed but it doesn’t feel like we missed a huge part of his story. Instead, we are following a trajectory where you can easily picture how he ended up where he does. Also, unlike “Pure” and “Fire,” when it comes to the absence of other characters in his generation, we finally get some type of explanation which allows you to forgive the writers for leaving us in the dark. Which, yeah isn’t satisfying, but at least the story allows you to understand why we aren’t going to get any new information or updates on so and so.
Overall, despite not being a big time Cook fan, I think they definitely saved the best for last. The story may not be over the top like “Fire” and may not seem like a run-of-the-mill Skins episode like “Pure,” but the title “Rise” surely does make you feel like they are raising the quality of Skins past anything we could expect. This episode right here is the type of work which makes you wish a series would go on forever. This episode is what brings tears to your eyes for you know a show you have loved through the great moments, and the ones which felt like lazy writing, is coming to an end.