Skins Rewind: Sex, Power, and Relationships

The first season of Skins has been building up to this episode and the bitch slap heard round the world. Michelle has finally had enough of Tony and his lies. So, episode 7. Here it goes.

To recap: Michelle and Tony have been dating for eons and are constantly sucking face. But Tony is a jerk off who cheats on Michelle, who either turns a blind eye to it or doesn’t notice. Until Tony decided to go down on their friend Maxxie… because he was bored. Tony, naturally, has no idea that Michelle caught on his philandering ways so he is shocked when Michelle clocks him in front of their friends. Tony still doesn’t get it. Michelle will come back. She always does.

Meanwhile, every woman watching this scene rejoiced.

In her rage, Michelle is irrationally upset at everyone. She blames Jal for never telling her about all the girls Tony has been with (it’s way more than just Abigail) and ever accuses Jal of wanting to sleep with Tony. Okay, Michelle, I know you’re hurt but that’s ridiculous. You know Jal is asexual until the second season.

And Maxxie asks Michelle to forget the whole thing so people don’t get the wrong idea about him. (“Think what Maxx? That you’re a dirty little slut who fucks around with other peoples boyfriends?”)   His hook up with Tony, the shortest hook up in the history of TV show hook ups, meant nothing to him.

I wonder how many times Mitch Hewer practiced his "Maxxie so sad" face in the mirror before settling on this.

Since this is an episode of Skins, the next logical step Michelle takes is to get drunk in the school supply closet and then puke on/cry to Angie about her problems. Never mind that the psychology teacher is trying to dodge all calls from Chris. (Look! The season’s subplots are coming together!) Angie’s advice to talk to Tony, which Michelle does… if screaming at your ex-boyfriend to “fuck off” is talking. After this, Chris pops in to see his Mary Kay Letourneau, leading to one of my personal favorite scenes:

"Mom?" "Dad?"

To Tony, however, Michelle’s reaction to his cheating is just a game. He was bored. Maxxie was bored. Michelle was bored. And now they’re not. He’s manipulated her emotions for his personal enjoyment and so he can stand under her window, reciting Romeo and Juliet. Thank god Sid is there. Sid defends Michelle (something Tony scoffs at), grows a pair, and punches Tony in the face. It’s a good thing too because if he hadn’t, I would have reached through my TV and done it myself.

The next day, things unravel more in psychology class. Naturally, Tony is presenting on the role of sex in power relationships. (My high school psychology teacher must have skipped this lesson.) So Michelle and Sid are ignoring Tony, Chris (and Angie) are covered in hickeys, and Maxxie reveals his transgression. Did anyone notice when Maxxie tells the class about his hookup with Tony, Anwar instantly perked up. (Whoops, pun.)  Don’t worry Maxxie, everyone will forgive you for being a slut because

"My boyfriend cheated on me?! Oh no!"

The next step in Michelle: Story of a Woman Scorned is to get revenge. She seeks out Abigail and reveals that Tony is a huge slut. He even screws around with boys “so you have that in common”. I love pissed-off Michelle on the attack. Almost as much as I love Abigail’s face when she comes unhinged.

Tasmanian Devil on the loose

After this Tony finds Michelle sitting on a park bench deleting pictures of them from her Razor phone (so 2007). When Tony won’t say that he loves Michelle like he would die for her, Michelle continues to ignore him. (Insert slow cap here.) But Michelle immediately enters the next phase in her Lifetime movie: sleeping with the ex-boyfriend’s best friend. Poor Sid… and just when he was oogling a pretty picture of Cassie. Hey, remember Cassie. She was a big deal a few episodes back. As expected, the Sid and Michelle Attempt Sex Educational Video fails miserably. (Perhaps some season 2 foreshadowing?) Sid cares too much about Michelle to sleep with her in this vulnerable state. And when he fancies someone else.

Michelle and Sid head to the clinic to find Cassie. I hate how mental health institutions in Skins are always presented as some twisted Alice in Wonderland fantasy land. But that’s a topic for another post. I’m too distracted by Cassie’s face being on my computer screen again.

This is just perfection.

So yeah. Sid asks Cassie for another shot but she is now dating Simon, a fellow patient she has more in common with. Poor Sid. He never wins. Meanwhile Michelle manages to pick up Abigail’s brother, Josh. Only Michelle could find a date/fling at a mental health facility.

Doesn't Navid need his cousin in the 90210?

With Michelle off in Navid 2.0’s bed, Tony gets up to his own plan: sabotage. If you haven’t noticed by now, he’s quite talented at this. The plan goes like this.

Step 1: Get Abigail to pose for slutty pictures.
Step 2: Transfer pictures to phone.
Step 3: Get random kid to steal Josh’s phone.
Step 4: Text pictures of Abigail to Josh’s phone.
Step 5: Text pictures to all of Josh’s contacts from Josh’s phone.
Step 6: Creepily quote Romeo and Juliet as you do this.

Actually, that’s a pretty clever. Well done, Tony.

But where does this leave Michelle? She ends things with the creep Josh and goes crying to Jal. Shocker. In the midst of all her relationship drama, her mother’s current husband (step daddy number 3 but who’s counting?) walks out. Michelle is left to deal with her heartbroken mother. Michelle and her mother are frighteningly similar in how they deal with relationships; they both blame themselves for how things ended.

The episode ends with Michelle helping her mother and stepfather make up, and with Michelle dumping Tony for good. Hallelujah.

Odds and Ends from “Michelle”

Best Line: “Sidney, do you want to tell me what’s going on? It’s like a fucking episode of “The O.C.” in here.” – Chris.

Best Line #2: “Are we going to practice… safe sex?” Sid to Michelle, as she is throwing herself at him.

Best Fashion Choice: Michelle’s yellow blazer

Cry all you want, girl. This blazer is amazing. Way to pull off bright yellow.

Best Plot Progression: You know, I didn’t hate Chris and Angie’s scenes this episode. Their car ride with Michelle was hilarious.

Best Song: “First Day of My Life” by Bright Eyes and “The One You Really Love” by Magnetic Fields.

Number of Jal Spottings: 3. 4, if you count her disembodied voice in the psychology class scene.

Best Parental Interlude: Who cares about Michelle’s mom and her weird husband Malcolm. Give me Peter Capaldi as Sid’s dad any day.

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