Effy Stonem, for a number of reasons, is my favorite Skins character. She’s dark, funny, edgy, way too smart for her age, and no Skins character is bigger mess than her. This first season episode introduces us to Effy’s enigmatic ways long before she went nuts in season 4. Looking back on it now, this episode says one thing: Effy Stonem is here and we better get used to her.
This episode could easily be titled “A Tale of Two Stonems”. All of Tony’s lies and deceit have caught up with him. His friends want nothing to do with him and everything he has done is about to affect his little sister Effy, the one person he actually cares about.
After an uneventful Stonem family dinner and game night, the siblings set off into their normal routine: Effy sneaks out while Tony covers for her. Their parents never catch on to anything it seems. Effy never utters a word, but her eye rolls say everything. She is over this family and would rather head off into the night for a good time.
It’s worth noting that Effy never speaks yet she has some sort of magical hold over everyone around her. And because of it, she gets away with anything and everything imaginable. Effy and her friend (who dressed like a Nightmare Before Christmas extra) venture to some warehouse for a night of wild… fork lift riding. This is how the cool kids cut loose in Bristol; the freaks break into swimming pools.
Meanwhile, Tony is having a sad party of one on a bench somewhere. Wah wah. Well, he gets a call that Effy’s been arrested (shocker) and discovers that someone has bailed her out already. Tony sees Effy climb into the back of a van with her sketchy make out buddy of the moment right before someone attacks him. Okay, now Tony’s sad party of one is an semi-interesting sad party of one.
So what do you’re a proud member of Team Michelle/Tony Haters?
Right so Tony joins the group (Maxxie is noticeably absent), destroys their sugar cube pyramid, and whisks Sid away with him. Sid is a like that kid trapped between his parents during their bitter divorce. Sid doesn’t really have a choice right now. Effy’s missing and Tony needs his help.
(Sidebar: Sid and Tony are terrible detective duo. They are no Maxxie and Anwar. For starters, Sid keeps spotting Cassie everywhere. Keep your head in the game, Jenkins.)
As Tony and Sid go off on the Great Search for Effy some techno music is playing. Hey, this is just like Drive! This music goes perfectly with Effy’s drugged state; she is now running around a field with some dude and a firecracker. Meanwhile, sicko hipster Josh rolls up to win Michelle back once and for all. Sorry buddy, you aren’t getting back with her.
Effy and her dude end at a house party where the big reveal of the episode finally occurs. Effy has been romping around all night with Josh’s friend and it all was a set up to get her… and Tony to the house for pay back.
Tony and Sid finally get a call that leads them to a dark alleyway. (Probably some of Tony’s fantasies are coming true right now.)
Effy, who as we have learned never turns down drugs, gets injected with “Dr. Stock’s Marvelous Medicine” and then SHE SPEAKS. Effy’s first line of the entire series is this: “Sometimes I think I was born backwards. You know, come out my mum the wrong way. I hear words go past me backwards. The people I should love, I hate. And the people I hate…” And that, ladies and gentlemen, is Effy Stonem. Get used to her. She’s sticking around.
Her brother, on the other hand, is too busy berating Sid to help her out of this mess. The two get into the most melodramatic lover’s quarrel ever. (“I’m from Mars, you’re from Venus. I sleep with girls, you convince them to commit suicide.”) Bitch slaps are exchanged and Sid reveals that he no longer looks up to Tony. They’re breaking up. I’m not as crushed by this event as I probably should be.
With Sid gone, Tony gets whisked away to the house where Effy is by some dude on a motorcycle. This can’t end well.
Tony finds Effy passed out and unresponsive in a room with Josh and some of his friends. They agree to call an ambulance only if Tony fucks his sister. Josh roughs up Tony, rips off his clothes, and reduces him to tears. It’s a pretty creepy scene. One thing about Skins: nothing is off limits. Once Tony is a blithering mess, Josh lets him take Effy away. That’s his lesson. Don’t be a wanker or the people you love most will get hurt.
Sid then comes to rescue and drives the Stonems to the hospital. Michelle alerted him that something was seriously wrong with the night and Sid went rushing back to help his friend. Because Sid is always a better friend and bigger person than Tony ever will be.
At the hospital, it is revealed that Effy will be just fine (these resilient kids). Tony’s parents have had enough of his horrid little ways at the expense of other and accuse him of not protecting his little sister. (Hey, they aren’t oblivious after all.) Sid steps in and defends Tony. Kind of like in Spartacus. Sid practically pounds his chest and shouts: “I’m his best friend!” It’s precious. The two do make up, somewhat, at the end of the episode. Tony vows to not be a wanker because he’s more than that person who frustrates everyone.
But has Tony really changed? And will anyone other than Sid forgive him? That’s what the series finale will tell us.
Odds and Ends from “Effy”:
Line of the Episode: “Hello, Effy. I’m Jesus Christ.” – Josh, to Effy.
Best Exchange: Tony: “You’re not still afraid of the dark? You still sleep with that night light on, don’t you? Sid: It’s not a night light. It’s a glow-in-the-dark Batman. It’s retro.”
Moment of the Episode: Sid and Cassie finally kiss. I always get giddy during this scene.
Number of Jal Spottings: Two. Maxxie wasn’t even in this episode.
Questionable Fashion Choice: This prize goes to hipster Josh. Patrick Bateman proved that neon makes you a far less intimidating psychopath.
Random Thought of the Episode: Seeing Effy hang around with this girl Julie makes me pine for Pandora. Soon!