This review contains spoilers.
There’s a lot of talk about endings and separation in this week’s Skins, and that’s because the series, this generation, and the whole show (in its current form) are all coming to an end. This is the probably the last hurrah for Franky, Mini, Alo and co. and how else do you expect them to mark the occasion than with one final blowout? Overall, this week’s finale is the show’s most hopeful, opting for a sweet and optimistic tone to contrast with last year’s gloomy conclusion.
The cliffhanger left from last week concerned Mini, Alo, and the baby, but we soon see that no one is at death’s door quite yet. It’s also unclear how much time has passed, as the conclusion of the episode certainly suggests it’s been around seven months since Mini’s episode four weeks ago. We begin at the hospital, where Liv, Alo and, eventually, Franky, are looking out for their pregnant friend.
But Franky has to begin her own journey before she can look after anyone else, and her departure last week leads her to Birmingham. There she finds her older sister, who informs her that their mother has died. A heartbroken Franky hitches a ride home with one of those friendly truck drivers that seem to pop up a lot in Skins, but would rather jump out of a moving vehicle than return to the two soppy brothers after her affections. You’d feel sorry for her, if only she didn’t have the most perfect adoptive family in the whole world (or at least on this show).
Her injuries lead her to the same hospital where Mini lies, and Franky’s presence soon drives a self-centred (as ever) and angry Liv away. It seems the events in Liv’s episode two weeks ago didn’t really have an impact. We’re asked to care about her and Alex, as the latter prepares to take some time in Thailand. Afraid of being left alone with no best friend and no boyfriend, Liv simply lays down and spouts angry jibes towards those that might have cared about her. As Mini informs her early on, “being a bitch doesn’t help us.”
Nick and Matty are still on their shared mission to stalk Franky across the country, and the resolution to this tiresome triangle will be pleasing to many. While past love triangles have either faded away or fizzled out, here Franky finally takes some initiative and cuts both loose. The most interesting thing about this series has always been Franky herself, so to decide between two hopeless dweebs would always have been a little redundant in these final moments. She needs to sort herself out, and hooking up with a fugitive (or his equally earnest brother) wouldn’t be the best way to achieve that.
Someone who’s been resigned to the background since his solo outing in episode two is Rich, and he remains slightly subordinate here. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a good send-off though, providing us with the episode’s only moment of joy when he receives a conditional offer to university. With everything else going on, it’s nice to get some reality thrown into the mix. He and Grace also get one final kiss, even if it is a fantasy, and it’s one of the show’s best romantic moments. Grace has been an overarching presence all year, and series six has been about certain people, especially Rich, letting her go.
This notion fuels the final montage of the episode, in which everyone gets what they’ve deserved since we met them two years ago. Nick and Matty repair their relationship, Mini and Alo begin their lives together, Franky finds her family, Rich and Liv find peace with Grace’s death, and it’s all really, really lovely. Considering the open-ended nature of the first two generations’ ends, to be handed something so final, confident and hopeful is what long-time fans also deserve, and this, in lots of ways, summarises what Skins wanted to do in the first place. Your teenage years are painful, visceral, and bewildering, but they’re also some of the best times of your life.