Skins series 4 episode 4 review

The family Fitch get stuck in a financial hitch. Is this a mess that Katie can fix? And stop her sister from being such a massive grump?

Skins

So, we’re at the halfway mark with Skins and now, finally, the other twin Katie has her turn in the spotlight. You remember her, right? She’s the one who’s not a lesbian. Footballer for an ex. Had a brief fling with Freddy last series in order to maintain some artificial drama.

Katie’s appearance in the last series was limited to failing to make friends with Effy, telling Naomi to leave her sister alone, and looking pretty. So, it’s pretty understandable if you’ve forgotten about her.

Since then, she’s ceased going out with footballers and has settled for a gormless plumber. As if the men in her life couldn’t get any worse. And her brother has now stepped up his creepy voyeurism to become a part time transvestite. I don’t know why either.

At the start of last night’s episode, she’s bafflingly wearing an old woman costume. Hair in a bun, pearls around her neck and a dress suit. All she needs is a bus pass and a hatred of modern music and the look is complete. But rather than imitate the elderly, Katie is dressed as such to help out the mother of clan Fitch’s new business venture, wedding organisers ‘Let’s Get Fitched!’

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With a whole one client so far, business isn’t quite booming. The client is a friend of Katie’s (who’s upwardly mobile northern mum bears more than a passing resemblance to Jenny Eclair.) and has planned a ‘Sluts ‘n Studs’ hen party. No one has told Katie that men aren’t usually invited to these things.

After a dress fitting, Katie meets up with her gormless boyfriend at the health centre to find out for sure if she’s pregnant or not. Home tests are nowhere to be found in Bristol, I suppose. Katie is knocked for six when the doctor breaks the sad news that she’s now infertile in a manner so stunningly condescending she may as well have acted out the diagnosis with hand puppets. “Jemima is sad because she can’t be a mummy-wummy.” So, now Katie has the womb to match her old lady costume.

As if this wasn’t bad enough, Katie is then forced to attend a hen party from hell only to find out that the theme has changed. All the other blonde clones are dressed up as footballers, one in particular takes great delight in showing off her new boyfriend’s name on her shirt: the name of Katie’s ex. The final straw comes when the bride to be’s mum proudly announces her daughter’s pregnancy. After Katie is involved in a fist/chin interface, ‘Let’s Get Fitched’ loses their one customer. Oh, well, it was never going to work out anyway going by Katie’s organisational skills.

There’s more woe in store when they get home. The Fitch family are now officially bankrupt! Just like they were two episodes ago, but this time they’re super bankrupt. As in the bailiffs are knocking on the door bankrupt. Oh, noes! It turns out they owe the not insubstantial sum of £13,000 and are having their house repossessed.

So, the whole family are forced to move in with stroppy couple Naomi and Emily (Or Naomily as rabid shippers are no doubtcalling them). Emily isn’t best pleased with this situation after all the disapproving her mum has done and defiantly snogs her girlfriend in order to prove a point, which is, of course, the best way to convince anyone your relationship is going strong.

Now, the last couple of reviews I’ve been a bit hard on Naomi. After all, she only cheated on her girlfriend and is partially responsible for manslaughter. Such things crop up on EastEnders all the time, after all. But no matter how hard I’ve been on her, it’s nothing compared to what Emily pulls out on her. Continually sniping at Naomi about the MDMA she gave Sophie, then openly kissing another girl in front of her! It seems the only reason she got back with Naomi is to make her feel like crap for what she’s done, which , as a portrayal of a young gay couple goes, is bordering on homophobic and sends out some seriously questionable messages. Most shockingly of all, Katie is now the sensible twin and it’s up to her to make Emily realise that she’s being out of order.

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The gratuitous nudity this week comes from Thomas walking in on Katie having a bath. And her natural reaction is to pull him in and suck his face off. But suddenly she breaks off from the kiss to tell him that she can’t have kids. As pillow talk goes, it’s not a mood enhancer. This leaves them both feeling weird so they decide to remain friends. Awwww.

Soon Katie breaks the news to her mum about her infertility in perhaps the only worthwhile moment of this whole episode. Ronni Ancona and Megan Prescott give this scene just the right amount of gravitas without going into melodrama.

Again, Skins gives with one hand and punches you in the stomach with the other. Last episode we went with Cook on a voyage of self discovery and redemption. Here we have a disjointed mess which throws out needless things like ‘consistent characterisation’ and ‘believable development’. You could be forgiven for thinking that you were watching a bad sitcom in the opening few minutes.

Emily’s sudden shit-fit at her BBQ came out of nowhere and was even more of a shock after Emily seemed so determined to prove her mum wrong about her relationship with Naomi. And there’s a big heart to heart with Thomas where he talks up Katie as if she were an angel descended from the heavens to walk amongst us. Pretty surreal, considering that Thomas and Katie shared, at most, two words together last series. It’s these sudden turns that make Skins so hard to follow at times.

Following the formula for this series so far, there’s one great episode followed by a not so great episode. Next week’s is all about Freddy and Effy. Freddy, the boy so uninteresting he couldn’t even see himself in a hall of mirrors. And Effy, the girl with one facial expression. Sigh.

Check out our review of episode 3 here.

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