Skins (UK) Recap: The Frightened, Little Virgin

In five seasons of Skins, there has never been a bitch quite like Mini. She’s the kind of bully who wants to control everyone around her and just laughs when other people (Grace) stand up to her. She hides behind perfection. Deep down Mini is incredibly insecure and she’s a sad, sad character. I found it generally hard to sympathize with her but I did walk away intrigued by how this week’s events will effect the rest of the season.

Let’s get into it.

Mini McGuinness

Mini is the star of her own delusional fairytale. She wakes up in her pink sanctuary surrounded by pictures of her and her boyfriend Nick. She pretends that is was the perfect relationship and Mini thrives on perfection. She barely eats and obsesses over her exercise regiment. She’s the Queen Bee and no one can get in the way of that.

Everything is perfect in Mini's life.

At Roundview Mini is putting together a charity fashion show. Gracie has made some avant garde designs but Grace made a huge mistake. She brought Franky on board as an assistant causing Mini to go into full bitch mode. “Gracie those are not what we discussed,” as she demeans her friend. “This is show is not about you, Grace. It’s about raising money.” This is Mini’s way of taking over when Grace decided to go on her own path. New theme, new outfits new models (Mini and Nick will be the grand finale of course)… with only two days until the show. Mini will get her way even if it will end her friendship with Gracie.

Gracie tries to stand up to Mini. She calls Mini and Liv bitches and Mini tells Grace that she has a major attitude problem. Mini and Liv just laugh at Gracie. Don’t worry, Grace. You have Franky… and Rich!

The Queen Bee and her sidekick.

We finally get a look at the relationship between Mini and Nick. Despite its appearance of perfection, this relationship is breaking fast. Nick wants one thing from his girlfriend: sex. He agrees to do the fashion show for her, if she finally stays over. There seems to be a reason for Mini’s apprehension about having sex. She’s a virgin and Nick doesn’t know. Secrets are never a good thing Min.

At the fashion show rehearsal, Mini is in charge. You can tell because she wearing ridiculous glasses and carrying a megaphone.

Nothing screams "I'm in charge!" more than looking like a fool

Nick brings up Mini spending the night again and she tries to get out of it. Maybe Mini needs to loosen up so Nick suggests that he, Mini, Liv, and Rider, one of Nick’s rugby amigos go out.  Naturally, Mini needs to prepare. She works out, figures out some sex positions, and talks to her mom. Her mom tells her: “Hold onto him angel. You don’t want to end up like me. Remember men only want one thing and once they got it, they disappear and abandon you.” Ah, motherly advice.

The foursome head to the bowling alley. To spice things up, they swap teams – Nick and Liv (uh oh, he’s been eyeing her all day) and Mini and Rider. They also start taking shots, and honestly, good thing they did. Bowling is the most dreadful activity ever. While the group is getting rowdy, Mini hides Nick’s keys so they can’t go back to his place, rather than just tell him she’s not ready to have sex. Then they get kicked out of the bowling alley.

How to get kicked out of a bowling alley, Skins style

Nick realizes he’s lost his keys but Mini is not getting away that easily. Rider invites everyone back to his house for more drinking and a game of Never Have I Ever. This whole sequence starts to reveal how insecure Mini is, compared to Liv. Mini uses control and dominance over her friends to hide the things she is embarrassed about: her body.

At Rider’s everyone is having fun. Liv and Rider begin to hook up and Nick sees this as the perfect place and time for him and Mini to do the same. Not before Mini freshens up.  It’s a wonderful sequence of Mini in the bathroom, set to Diane Cluck’s “Petite Roses”. She assesses her body, sucks in her stomach, stares herself down in the mirror. She’s completely vulnerable. Does she want to lose her virginity? This is the scene where you should feel some compassion for Mini.

What does Mini want?

Mini leaves the bathroom and encounters a dreadfully awkward situation: Liv and Rider having sex and Nick waiting for her. I don’t blame her for being uncomfortable right now. Just as Mini is about to show Nick that she loves him, Mini gets sick. With Mini passed out, Nick reaches out to Liv. He wants to know why Mini, who keeps insisting she loves him, won’t sleep with him. Liv tells him, “That’s Mini. She’s full on, all the time. It’s the best and worst thing about her.” Nick reveals that he doesn’t even know Mini (“She’s hot and she makes me laugh. But that’s it”). Their relationship isn’t as perfect as Mini makes it seem.

Mini wakes up to find Liv and Nick looking too comfortable on her bedroom floor.

Uh oh. What's going on here?

Mini goes to the gym to work off her burgeoning anger and stress. She finds out that she gained some weight, which a night of drinking will do to anyone. She kicks into full fashion show prep mode, running around while calling Nick and Liv. Except they are ignoring her. Then she finds out that the story of her throwing up on Nick has gotten around when Rich and company call her “Princess Puke” and have a laugh. On top of this, she finds Nick and Liv practicing her dance for the fashion show. Mini to go off on Liv. Mini accuses her of telling everyone about the previous night. Everyone else in room starts asking Mini questions. The combination of the stress and not eating causes Mini to faint. Professor Blood sends her home and tells her to forget about the fashion show.

Mini may be crushed but she isn’t one to back down. She is going to outdo everyone and get Nick back by changing her look with some self-tanner, some bleach, and a fugly purple tiara.

Mini channels her inner Lady Gaga

Nick is mortified when he sees her again. Mini tries to get him to leave with her so they can finally be alone, but he denies her. “Liv needs me to close the show. You can reward me after.” Ouch. Mini watches the fashion show, featuring Grace’s original designs, from a distance. Her face, her world… it is all crumbling.

Mini McGuinness: Hot mess

At the after party, the shit hits the fan. Everyone is having a great time without Mini. Grace, Franky and Liv are acting perfectly chummy. Grace and Rich finally get together. Mini storms onto the dance floor and confronts Liv. “You’ve always been jealous of me. I’m warning you. Keep your whore hands away from him!” Mini shouts at her. “I’m not going to let you shit all over me,” Liv retorts. “Because I know you and I know under all that make up you’re just a frightened, little virgin. Look, I still love you. But I am the only one so grow up before you got no one.” Go Liv! And then Nick swoops in, says to Liv, “I’m done with her, if you want.” They start to hook up. Okay, Liv and Nick just lost some points.

Mini storms away and it is Franky who follows her. Franky, proving why she is the best character this season, says to Mini: “When I first met you girls, I thought you were a nasty bunch of self-absorbed, attention seeking cocks. It was hard to see why you hung out together. But then I got it. You make each other laugh. You look out for each other. You love each other.” Can Franky give me a pep talk? She convinces Mini to come and dance.

Unlikely Companions

Back on the dance floor, Mini sees Nick and Liv. She realizes that they just slept together and she chooses to ignore it. She goes with Nick to his house and finally gives it up as an attempt to keep him. In all the seasons of Skins, there has never been a scene that shows what it like to lose your virginity. It’s a painful scene to watch. Mini is stoic and removed. She covers her body from Nick’s view. She still doesn’t tell him that she’s a virgin. She utterly frightened why she whispers, “I love you” to him. This isn’t the special moment she clearly wanted.

Mini wakes up the next morning alone. Nick is gone. She walks home looking absolutely devastated and emotionless. (The song playing here is “Don’t be Afraid. You’re Already Dead“.) Mini encounters her mother doing the same walk of shame. With that, perhaps Mini’s biggest fear has been realized: she’s just like her mother.

All alone.

What did you think of the episode? Freya Mavor is a stunning actress and played the fragile Mini perfectly. It will be exciting to see how Liv and Nick’s hook up plays out in the next episode, which is Liv-centric. And are we finally going to see more of Matty, who made a brief appearance during the party scene? Sound off below.

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