This review contains spoilers.
6.9 Mini and Franky
Last week, I mistakenly talked about the Liv-centric episode as the penultimate in the current series, but it’s actually Mini and Franky who take centre stage moments before the finale. In many ways, this episode actually feels like a last instalment, with the extreme lows, impossible situations, and delirious hope that often feature in Skins‘ enders. Mini and Franky have been a joint strong point to the current generation, so I’m glad the writers decided to give both a second outing before they walk off into the sunset next week (or not).
We begin in the girls’ pseudo love nest, as they hide away in Mini’s bedroom while her mother and stepfather are away on holiday. It’s been hinted at almost since the beginning of the fifth series that Franky and Mini could develop into more than just good friends, and there are several points in this episode that we assume this week will be their romantic crescendo. But both girls have bigger problems to think about (hence the hiding) and their tangled love lives must be resolved before starting anything new.
Starting with Mini, she still hasn’t told Alo about the baby. When she falls ill and ends up in hospital, however, things slip out of her control, and both boyfriend and mother quickly discover her secret. Alo’s reaction is brave, if not untypical for many teen dramas, in that his initial reaction is overwhelmingly negative. Of course, he’s been lied to for months and played no part in the decision to keep the baby, and that certainly adds some depth and justification to the usual “she’s ruined my life argument.”
With a little ‘friendly’ encouragement from Franky, and finding herself without support at home, Mini decides the best thing for her to do is run. Cue a rather short and sweet ‘Bonnie and Bonnie’ style adventure, playing out the unrequited love and companionship the pair have shared over the past two series. The girls’ storylines have been so intertwined that they’ve become the undisputed stars of the show so, while Alo sorts our his feelings back home, it’s the perfect time for the writers to pay tribute to them.
But of course, the boy comes good in the end, and just as we’re experiencing one of those delirious highs, the show pulls it out from our fingertips. Of course we can’t have a happy ending for the generation’s golden couple, but we’ll have to wait until next week to see what happens. Maybe someone does die this week after all?
Joint episodes can often spell disaster (remember the Russia-set Anwar & Maxxie?) but here we spend just enough time setting up the emotional meltdown of Franky, which will come to fruition next week. Her desperation for some kind of family, even if she effectively has to force Mini into her desired mould, is heartbreaking to watch, and everything move she makes rings true to those fans who’ve attached to her more than others.
Will she end up with either Matty or Nick? I can’t be the only one who thought a Mini/Franky partnership might have made the most sense at the end. Of course, more people want Mini to end up with sweet Alo, so that leaves one half of the couple stranded. Next week focuses on everyone, but I won’t be surprised if we spend more time on the girl who started it all.