Skins (US) Recap: Teachers Aren’t Grown Ups

Ah, penultimate episode of Skins, I never thought you would arrive. Seriously. After the major hype the American adaptation of Skins received, I fully expected this show to have been given a firm boot or be severely reedited. Am I glad? Yes, because after tonight I don’t have to care about what happen during this season for quite some time. I’m looking forward to most story lines being wrapped up and very ready for Tony Snyder to never grace my television screen again.

But first things first, the penultimate episode, all about teacher Tina, did something Skins has never done before: let the episode take place from the perspective of an adult. Or in the case of Tina, a 23-year-old woman who is sleeping with a 17-year-old boy and someone who hardly considers herself a grown-up. Was it a success? Well, let’s get into it and find out.

"If I just sit here and pretend to grade these papers, no one will know that I just slept with my student in a tree house."

The episode begins with the show’s raunchiest (or most awesomest ever, if you ask Chris) sex scene yet. Tina and Chris are going at it in Abbud’s tree house. (So that is where he has been living.) Tina bursts into tears; it’s her birthday and she doesn’t have much going for her right now. Sleeping with her student, bribing his friends that know , being treated like she is immature and constantly disrespected – 23 is not a great age for her. And Abbud revealing that he climbs onto the roof of the tree house to watch is just gross. Isn’t he sleeping with Daisy now? Can his pervert ways end now?

I'll make you a deal you can't refuse.

Determined to change her life and end her relationship with Chris, Tina decides to make her move on her unsuspecting neighbor. She acts ditzy (“And that’s why they call them fish sticks!”), accidently sets off her car alarm, and talks about getting assaulted in parking lot. I’m starting to see why she’s sleeping around with a 17-year-old.

At school, Tina is distracted; the new guy friended her on the Skins-version of Facebook. She doesn’t see Tea convincing some girl to flash her and other students playing video games. Creepy teacher Dave is back and is awkwardly flirting with Tina again. This time with some Physics toy.  Dave also catches a glimpse of Chris’ risque paper, “How I’m Going to Bone You Tonight”. (The kid’s a poet.) Dave wants to go on a date (“What seems creepy now is a great how we meet story”). Saved by the fire alarm.

And you wonder why she's just not that into you

Are we surprised that the frequent fire alarms are caused by Stanley whenever he forgets to study for a test? Not at all. But Tina is. She is also surprised by the fact that Stanley and Abbud would light a joint on school grounds right in front of her. And that Chris would propose they move to Nebraska and run a hot dog stand together.  This woman really is clueless. She spends most of her time trying to be a friend to her students and not their teacher. Michelle wisely points out to Tina that she doesn’t have any real grown up friends. “Teachers aren’t grown ups. We hang around kids so much that we’re infected by this weird kid disease that destroys our adultness,” Tina tells her.

Tina's not a grown up. She eats Fruit by the Foot.

Tina’s day only gets worse. She learns that she has been replaced by a 15-year-old as the Yearbook Committee President, that her student’s have low standardized test scores, that her students don’t respect her (“You will call me Miss Nolan!”) and that she forgot to create a test for her class. She pulls the fire alarm to escape. That’s when she realizes that there is a rumor going around that she likes to bone students.

Tina tries to break things off with Chris, who she finds lighting a bong in the science classroom. He brushes it off. “We will see each other. Every day. That’s what’s so great about high school,” he says. Most would argue the opposite Mr. Collins. Tina also tries to evade creepy Dave but unintentionally invites him over later that night.

There is a saving grace. She runs into the cute neighbor and he takes her out for her birthday. Finally, Tina thinks she will be wooed in an appropriate way. Cut to them eating burgers in her car in a parking lot.

Burgers to go. Isn't it romantic?

Tina goes for it and jumps the poor guy. Her stash of condoms freaks the dude out. He tells her that he is 30 and doesn’t want to have sex in a strip mall parking lot. Burn. She makes her way home to discover that Chris and company have a surprise for her.

v
Surprise! Seriously? Who are most of these kids?

What every high school teacher wants is most of her students drinking, taking ecstasy (Michelle), urinating on her walls, having sex in her bed (Daisy and Abbud), and  partying up a storm in her house. Tina is mortified. Meanwhile, Tony makes an appearance. I never miss this kid and don’t care when he shows up. Neither does Michelle for that matter. All she cares about is the shag carpeting. Abbud, Daisy, and Cadie kick him out. Tina just wants the part to end and Chris tries to make up for his bad decision.

He reveals to her that he stole Dave’s science contraption. That is apparently an aphrodisiac and they get busy. Creeper Dave shows up. Instead of being deterred by the noises coming from the room like any normal human being (this is a man who not so cleverly tried to put of moose out of its misery), Dave enters the bedroom. Chris and Tina are busted. Like seriously busted.

The next day Tina tries to cover her tracks. She breaks things off with Chris for real. Things decline further. She gets arrested for statutory rape and her soon to be prison girlfriend takes a crap in front of her.

Nobody knows the trouble I've seen

Tina does manage to get out of her predicament. Chris refuses to indict his teacher love (aw, see he does care!). Best buds Abbud and Stanley back him up. So this becomes a case of Tina’s word versus Dave’s. Tina ends up losing her job and moving back in with her parents. Chris sends her flowers and tells her to call if she changes her mind. Tina deletes his number instead.

Catch ya later doe-eyed Tina.

With that, this teacher-student relationship has come to end. Dare I say that Skins handled the often overdone teacher-student relationship storyline better and more realistically than most other teen dramas? (Ahem, Pretty Little Liars.) The teacher actually paid for her mistakes this time around, albeit she got off easier because Chris doesn’t have a parent who could care about what was happening. I was never crazy about the Tina character but I came to appreciate her by the end of the episode. What are your thoughts on the episode? Are you excited for the season finale tonight? Leave a comment and let me know.

 

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