This Skam review contains spoilers.
Skam Season 4, Episode 5
That karaoke scene is going to go down as one of the best TV moments of the year and the best Skam moments of all time. A perfect encapsulation of the world this show strives to reflect, even as it recognizes that — even in a world that aspires to be inclusive, supportive, and fair — its people will sometimes fall short.
Of course, because this is Skam (and Skam also tends to break your heart and poke at your anxiety in between everything turning out OK), this beautiful high is followed by some serious lows for our beloved Sana. But, before we get to what went down in Friday’s clip, let’s talk about the rest of the week…
In the lead-up to the bus contract signing, things seem to be going well between our gang and the Pepsi-Max girls. Eva, Chris, and Vilde spent last Friday night out partying with the Pepsi-Maxers and Sara even goes so far as to apologize to Sana for maybe bossing her around a bit. It soothes Sana’s worries that Sara has some kind of nefarious plot to take over the bus.
Of course, as we find out later, Sana should have been worried. Following some other terrible encounters, Sana overhears some of the Pepsi-Max girls talking about how naive Sana is for believing that the Pepsi-Max girls would actually let her stay on the bus (let alone lead it) when all they needed was her temporary approval in order to secure the bus purchase.
It’s a classic hitting her when she’s down moment. Perhaps, Sana could have dealt with this blow if she hadn’t just seen one of the Balloon Squad-ers punch Isak or had an angry and devastated Noora ask her if she knew about William’s new girlfriend. And, because racism is a consistent part of Sana’s existence as a Muslim in a majority non-Muslim country, this news is wrapped up in the kind of microaggressions that demonstrate how racism often manifests.
In other words: racism is not always major aggressions. It is also the Pepsi-Max girls assuming that the Balloon Squad punched Isak because he is gay. It is the Pepsi-Max girls policing Sana’s own religion while simultaneously exiling her for it. It is the Pepsi-Max girls characterizing both Elias and Sana as psychos because they have exhibited anger and stoicism and other normal human emotions that white (especially white male) people don’t get judged for.
And, though it may seem like it from it like that rant, it isn’t just the Pepsi-Max girls whom Sana has to deal with racist assumptions from. It’s sometimes her friends, too. These assumptions aren’t always meant to hurt her, but that, presumably, doesn’t make them sting any less.
Following what Sana overhears in the bathroom, she exits in a daze to find Sana and Yousef making out. Now, to be fair, Noora doesn’t know that her good friend has serious feelings for the man she is currently locking lips with. Sana has never said anything, and she’s had ample opportunity. As for Yousef, this sucks a little bit. He has to know that Sana has feelings for him, right?
Point is: tensions were high. I don’t think anyone specifically set out to hurt Sana, though that’s what ended up happening. And because this is Sana’s season and we are the ones who are in on her thoughts, feelings, dreams, and desires, it’s impossible to see that kiss and — especially after everything that has just gone down — not want to defend Sana with everything we have.
Jonas! Eskilde! The rest of Isak’s squad! It was great to see so many familiar faces at the Syng party, even if it eventually led to a fight.
What were the events leading up to Isak’s bloody nose? We need to learn more about this showdown.
The scene between Elias and Sana was so sweet. It was a much-needed moment in this story, showing us just how strong this sister-brother relationship is and just how sweet Elias can be. When Sana is sad, he is sad, Elias tells her, making Sana smile. He also has a progressive perspective on the Yousef situation, pointing out that Yousef might not believe in Allah, but represents the beliefs of Muslim in his respect for others moreso than many other people who believe in Allah, but who don’t live the teachings of the Quran.
Is Syng the party that the trailer hinted at? It seems like it.
It’s sad to see things between Sana and Yousef hit such a road bump just when Sana seemed to be coming around to the idea of dating Yousef.
When Isak, Jonas, Magnus, and Mahdi starting singing along with a struggling Even I thought my heart was going to melt right out of my body. In so many ways, this scene was a culmination of four seasons of this show. (The moment when Chris and Sana reflect back on Sana’s introduction to the friend group?) I wasn’t expecting a scene like this so early in the season, but it tells me that I am in no way prepared for the final scenes of Season 4. (Not that I didn’t already know that.)
Sana’s mom is such a good mom.
Why is Elias having such a rough time right now? He’s been getting sloppy drunk and gets in a fight with Isak and his friends? Is he dealing with his own pressures that Sana knows little about? As Skam tells us: Everyone you know is fighting a battle you know nothing about. (Unless they’re this season’s central character, of course.)
Eskild’s new hair. Discuss.
Even’s pre-karaoke wink at Isak. Discuss.