Well, that was all very, very obvious.
It's odd. All those little touches are there to try and make you think it's Skins and the feel is there, and yet at the same time it's so clear that it's not. Dominic is JJ and Jane is Panda (and they're the most awesome things about this episode), and the boss whose name I can't remember and don't care about is Freddie and Freddie is not Freddie.
And Naomi was not Naomi. It was clear from moment one that something had happened; the biggest tragedy of the episode is not the OMG NAOMI HAS CANCER reveal, it's the fact that this person who used to have ideas, passions, big plans and big dreams and big big goals, who used to believe in something, no longer gives a shit about anything. My initial suspicion was that Gina had died (I still think that - lots of cancers have a genetic component, although if it turns out to be lung I'm calling it for the preachy shit it'd be), but this was equally predictable, thrown at us from the start with not a hint of subtlety. The single most depressing scene might be that one of Naomi sat alone in a hospital corridor, shorn of all of her connections.
For once, Effy wasn't unbearable. It's an interesting character switch to see her in a situation where her enigmatics don't work, where being fit and mysterious isn't enough (it works perfectly on schoolboys, but this is business), although I don't quite get why they had to cut to the odd few scenes of her getting wrecked in a nightclub (nod to S1 Effy, perhaps). As such, her progression through the shady corporate world (and it is totally shady), while written to be painfully slow (the Gray Leverson sequence took FAR TOO DAMN LONG to say "Effy doesn't quite buy this, Dominic knows what's really going on, Effy becomes superstar overnight and will probably be in jail by the end of the next part for insider trading"), and the development of the wardrobe throughout (the big Stibbard dress!) all hints that this is somebody finally ready to be an adult. The big theme of S4 was putting away childish things. Effy's just taking her time over it. And let's be clear, Kaya Scodelario knocked this one out of the park.
And then there's the horrible, horrible sequence between Naomi's standup gig (I muted my TV and stared through the gap between my fingers over my eyes for that part) and Effy's high-rolling high-flirting casino, showing how little they actually fit into each other's worlds, and I'm left with the same problem I've had since I first heard about how Skins: Fire was going to work: where has this come from? Book!Naomi says that while she and Effy have no major quarrels, she's not much of a fan because she's aware of how much Effy uses herself to manipulate everybody around her (the next episode looks riddled with that sort of shit), and yet now Effy is letting Naomi waste away under her roof? I'm hoping that next time will include some actual character development, some indication of how these people got to where they now are. Because god knows, that's what we've been waiting for.
Erm. EMILY'S BACK, NAOMI AND EMILY AND NAOMILY ARE BACK, it's all going to shit because Naomi is keeping secrets again (that ended so well for you last time, honey), Dominic looks like he's leaning towards the slightly unstable (he didn't look quite sane here - a touch of the John Fosters about him?), and Effy's going back to her old ways. If I know Skins previews, that means that everything will end perfectly.
Songs to download
Whatever that song was in the intro. Don't think much of Ellie Goulding, to be honest.
Like I ever post in this thing anyway.
- The End Is The Beginning Is The End