Everything is good, everything matters.
I’ve had a few days to mull over Part Two of Skins Pure and mulled over it I have. I can’t quite put my finger on what it is about the episode that I liked. Was it the fact that Skins Pure ended on a much more uplifting tone than Skins Fire? Or was it the fact that Cassie, a character fraught with so many self-destructive traits, was finding her way in a world that she had tried to leave as a teenager? When the episode begins we’re with Cassie and Jacob in Wales, visiting Cassie’s dad (Neil Morrissey) and her little brother Reuben. What we discern during this visit is that Cassie’s father has not coped very well after the death of Cassie’s mother and it’s bled into his parenting of Reuben.
Obviously Cassie’s father doesn’t mean to let his grief get in the way of his parenting, however it does. It isn’t unlike the way in which Cassie had largely been ignored by her parents when her mother was alive in series one. Pure offered veteran fans of the series a few references to the past while not alienating any newcomers stumbling across the show with no previous knowledge of it. For instance when she mentions to Jacob that when her mother was alive they communicated through messages, namely one summer when she almost starved herself to death. I’m not sure how much her messages worked with her parents, they were rather wrapped up in themselves to take notice of her beyond having her put into a mental institution. However this time it isn’t bliss that blinds Cassie’s father but grief.
It seems that Cassie has always been waiting for her life to begin, or running from the ‘slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.’ When she begins to cry while Maddie says they’re all just waiting for their lives to begin you get the sense that it’s just hitting Cassie how unsure she is about where she stands in life. She’s no longer that damaged teenager harming herself in an attempt to feel powerful and in charge of her life, however she is working at a diner, the same thing she’d been doing at the end of series two. And so in Skins Pure when Cassie takes it upon herself to allow Jacob to keep photographing her and posting it online, we’re watching Cassie begin to reclaim her sense of agency. The girl who first brings the website with Cassie’s photographs on it to Cassie’s attention convinces Cassie to do a photo shoot with her and we finally get the sense that this is something Cassie was meant to do. Granted it seems a bit triggering for someone who’s suffered through an eating disorder and confidence issues to be thrown into the world of modelling, however since the beginning of Skins Pure it’s obvious that Cassie isn’t the same girl she was in series two.
Whether or not this leads to more modeling work in her life is irrelevant, what matters is the happiness it appears to bring her. However despite it there’s still something missing, Cassie isolates herself to talk to Reuben on the phone and that’s what you realise it missing, companionship. You think she has found companionship in Jacob, who’s even confronted Cassie’s dad about having messed Cassie up somehow. However, evident in his dissent into possessive crazy guy, she does not find long term companionship in Jacob. He goes back into stalker mode and follows her around until-
When Yaniv sees the message he beats the crap out of Jacob. Cassie stops it, telling Jacob not to spoil it, citing the need to remember something good. It harks back not only to her past but to her past relationships, with her mother, Sid, her friends. Remembering something good can keep you sane when it seems like everything’s gone to shit. Although I do reckon it should used in moderation, Cassie’s father is an example of allowing his memories of something good to interfere with his present responsibilities as a parent.
This, among other reasons, is why Sid doesn’t show up. As the audience we have to remember something good, Sid makes it to America and the show suggests they find each other and this is confirmed in part one of Skins Pure. We have to remember something good.
But that’s what it comes down to, again, is Cassie’s loneliness. She isolates herself often but, as Yaniv points out, it’s okay to get lonely. There’s this part of Cassie, however, that needs human connection. She’s starved of it, even in a room full of people there’s always been this disconnect between Cassie and everyone around her. When her father turns up on her doorstep with Reuben to tell her that he and Reuben would be going to Italy for a while Cassie takes it upon herself to keep Reuben with her and let her father leave to find himself. It’s funny that Cassie takes Reuben for a haircut from her co-worker, at the diner where they work no less.
It is with this mundane moment between Cassie and her brother, as well as her co-worker cutting Reuben’s hair, we’re told that ‘everything is good’ and for once I would like to believe that it will be.
– Maddie was nice. I liked her and it was sad that she was having such a hard time of ‘making it’ and here Cassie was just getting modeling jobs because a co-worker got to stalking her and posting his ‘artsy’ photos of her online.
– I love that Cassie’s boss at the diner has Reuben cover his ears before swearing at his employees.
– When Cassie asks Maddie whether one can be friends with a guy without sleeping with them and Maddie responds in the affirmative only after having slept with them you’re skeptical. However it’s Yaniv that proves that it’s possible.
– Even a small moment of taking action in her life, like taking the creepy dude’s coke and dumping it over the side of the building, is triumphant as she smiles to herself while it scatters away in the wind.
– We have Skins Rise, COOOOOOOOOOK! Go relive that epic final scene of series 4. Because in a few days we see the return of the Cookie monster and it looks like, as with Fire and Pure, Rise isn’t going to be what you’re expecting.
– Forgive any typos, it’s 4am in the morning here. I’m surprised I can even string together a few words