Mere words are inadequate to explain how disappointed I’ve been with the character of Franky (Dakota Blue Richards) during this, the last full series of Skins. I really liked her in the previous series, but this one? Not so much. So when I heard that this episode was going to be about her and Mini (Freya Mavor), another non-favorite of mine, I was less than pleased. But…well, the result was far better than I thought it would be.
We start with Franky and Mini lying in bed together. Ah, yes, Skins. The series that doesn’t wants slash-fiction writers to have to go through all that trouble. Anyhow, we learn that Mini has an appointment to see a doctor about her pregnancy, something I would have thought she’d have been doing fairly regularly.
The two of them seem quite pleased and domestic together, with Franky even going downstairs to prepare breakfast. This winds up being a mistake when Mini’s mother and step-father return to the house without warning. Her mother is Not Happy at what’s been happening, and it’s clear she suspects something is wrong, but doesn’t know what.
Meantime, Nick (Sean Teale) has been trying to call Franky, but she’s quite uninterested in talking with him. To make matters worse, his brother, Matty (Sebastian de Souza), also Franky’s former lover and on the run from the law, has been hanging out outside Mini’s house. He follows the two as they head off to Mini’s doctor appointment and as Franky and Matty argue, Mini collapses.
She wakes up in the hospital, where her friends are all wondering what’s happening, especially Alo (Will Merrick), who still isn’t aware that Mini is pregnant by him. Mini learns that she’s a bit anemic, which I understand is common with pregnancy, and has high blood pressure. She also learns that the baby is a girl. Alo learns a bit of this when he sneaks back into the exam room and discovers her pregnancy. He responds by vomiting, which I’ll admit is fairly unique.
Back in the waiting room, a fight has broken out between Matty and Nick, because they’re both in love with Franky, or whatever. To be honest I find the whole Franky/Matty/Nick love triangle to be even less interesting than the Freddy/Effy/Cook love triangle from the previous generation.
We also learn at about this point that Mini has been calling Grace’s phone and leaving her voice mails as a form of coping. Yes, somehow, even after all this time, Grace’s phone still hasn’t been turned off by her parents.
Mini’s mom is horrified to discover her daughter is pregnant, and plans to arrange for adoption. Mini freaks out about this and her and Franky go on the run together, something which seems to please Franky to no end. Yes, it seems that, for some reason, this girl who comes from a happy, loving home, feels unhappy and unloved and wants to set up housekeeping with Mini and the baby.
They wind up at a homeless shelter and claim to be a lesbian couple. They have one of those conversations about love that remind me how much I hate teenage romances, and then they drift off to sleep, safe for the night, but unsure what’s going to happen in the morning…
Despite this being a Franky-heavy episode, I found it to be better and more interesting than I’d expected. Mavor really continues to surprise me with how good she’s gotten with the role of Mini, though it could just be that the character is being written better.
But while I continue to be pleased with Fanning’s acting as Franky, I really do dislike the character intensely at this point. I don’t understand really anything about her motivation, aside from a desire to run away from reality. Which I guess is somewhat reasonable, but I still find it a bit “blah” when on screen.
Still, this was a good, solid lead-in to next week’s finale, when it looks like we’ll get
more of Alex wandering about shirtless one last look at our characters before next year’s three hour-long specials. Here’s to hoping it’s good!