Skins Rise – Part 2 Review

Well this is late, extremely late, and I do apologise. However rather than waste time on my shortcomings let’s just discuss the finale to not only a series but to a show that’s taken a little piece of ourselves. Skins Rise is perhaps the best damn way to end the entire series and I’m sticking to it. These final six episodes had thrown the fandom into a bit of a tizzy, hadn’t it? In retrospect I suppose it makes sense that it ripped the fandom into two camps, those who could easily have done without the final series and those who were grateful for it. I, for one, am glad for it. It didn’t claim to offer closure, it granted us access into the lives of three main characters from the first two generations and allowed us to see how they’d gotten on since we last saw them. That was it, no more no less. What we learnt was that time changes people, a concept we’ll all be familiar with, or at least one we’ll all come to face. People change and life goes on is the message. However let’s get into this episode, shall we?

The way part one ended had us intrigued, no doubt, and part two picked up right back where we’d left off. Cook, Emma and Charlie on the run from Charlie’s mental drug dealer boyfriend, Cook’s boss, and they wind up at Emma’s parents’ country house. We find out that Emma’s parents are actually there and that she’d been estranged from them for a while. In Skins no one’s life is perfect, something we learn very early on and the Redux series has reinforced. And before now there has always been a splash of humour that used to soften the blow for the audience against moments of complete anguish on the show, that distinct brand of humour only Skins could produce. The awkwardness between Emma and her parents, coupled with Cook and Charlie’s presence granted us a bit of that old Skins humour, the awkward scene in the pub before they got kicked out was a highlight. However eventually Louie, and the severity of the situation, catches up to them. The grisly events that follow are both reminiscent of the end of series four and intentionally parallels it. Once again Cook finds himself in a situation where he’s to make a reactionary decision and where it would lead to could take him back or propel him forward.

When Cook sees Emma hanging from the tree there’s an obvious resignation in the way he walks towards Louie, this was the moment we’d been waiting for. Her death sparked within him that primal rage he’d managed to contain since we’d last seen him in series four. In that moment, once Cook’s rage took over and he kicked the living daylights out of him, Cook could have killed Louie. Cook could very well have reverted right back to his old self. However ‘Time Changes Everyone’ and of all the Redux characters, for me, Cook had changed the most. Nothing signified this more than when he spared Louie’s life, choosing instead to tie him up. On top of this, rather than run away with Charlie, Cook opted to stay behind and wait for the police to, presumably, turn himself in. There’s an obvious Effy-like quality to Charlie, as Emma points out when she urges him to fight for her- to fight for something. Charlie represents a piece of Cook’s old life, the one where he took what he wanted no matter the consequences- Charlie herself states that she screws everyone, and you remember how Cook took Effy despite knowing that Freddie was in love with her, or sleeping with Pandora despite Pandora being Effy’s best friend.

It was an interesting parallel, having Cook yell out his signature line, and I suppose it was cathartic. In that moment he’d reclaimed himself, both in terms of confronting his past and making it right in this moment. He’s risen above it, he’s no longer that angry kid and he’s no longer that man struggling to live with the mistakes he made as that angry kid. And it seems he was ready to face the consequences of his earlier actions. We won’t know what happens next but that’s okay. You move on and live your own life, perhaps you’ll think back on it- maybe you’ll see something that reminds you of it. However in the end your life continues along and there’s nothing more to be done about the way this series ended. And you know what? It’s a good thing. It’s a good thing. And that’s all I’ve got to say about it. See what I did there? But in all seriousness, Skins was good while it lasted- careening onto our screens in 2007 with all the boldness of a self-possessed teenager, making us love a cast before shiving them for a new generation after their second series. It was a show that punched you in the feels and made you laugh about it, a show that reveled in its own brand of simple-but-complicated storylines and a show that that finally, in 2013 and after six years, we say goodbye to.

You think you know death, but you don’t know it until you’ve seen it. It gets under your skin and lives inside you. You also think you know life. you stand on the edge of things and watch it go but you’re not living it. Not really. You’re just a tourist, a ghost. Then you see it. Really see it. It gets under your skin and lives inside you, no escape. There is nothing to be done. And you know what? It’s good. It’s a good thing. And that’s all I’ve got to say about it.

Special Mentions:

– Was Emma’s death really necessary? I suppose it provided the catalyst for the change in Cook’s handling of the situation. He no longer wanted to run and instead faced Louie head on and beat the living crap out of him. Emma had practically begged him to fight for her and you get the sense that in the end he did- even if it was a tad too late.

– Because she was snarky and I loved it.

 

– I was shipping Emma and Cook so much, it’s just so sad how it ended for her. Tragedy. People are angry that Charlie got to live while Emma died, but I don’t think she would have been right following the death of her parents. Assuming Louie had them killed, which was very likely. Also, like I mentioned above, Emma’s death propelled Cook into action. Pulled him from the in-between he’d been living in since running away after killing John Foster. It just sucked that her death had to be the catalyst for his final movement into action.

– Uh, where was Louie’s right hand man?
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