‘Fire – Part 2’
Skins has never been called lighthearted and there’s very little of Fire that takes a break from the serious. So much of what drives the characters, particularly Effy, is decision making. Many scenes focus on Effy (Kaya Scodelario) trying to understand something and dwelling of her own ability to shape her life through the choices she makes, without always understanding the consequences.
This conclusion to Effy’s story shows that she’ll probably always be a bit mentally aloof, on the perpetual cycle of journeying to stabilise herself, only to be caught up in danger and drama where her only survival technique is to cling to the people around her as they all spiral down. In the end she’ll be happy, because she’s just happy to be alive.
The second part of Fire shows Naomi’s (Lily Loveless) social party life turn quickly into a cold, lonely isolation as she deals with the Doctor’s news that she has cancer. The little colour in her life fades as the autumn and winter seasons change. She and Effy have poignant scenes in the hospital and at home as they both struggle to make the right choices about how to cope with Naomi’s illness. The answer being that there isn’t a right way, it’s just about coping and being there. Effy struggles to juggle her work life, which takes a downward turn, with her friends. She takes her romance with her boss to a level that all her co-workers can see, and she’s all the worse off for it. It’s her biggest gamble that won’t pay off. Effy, as played by Kaya, shows so many emotions and effortlessly becomes the working girl and nervous wreck with ease and believability.
This episode bounces around a lot as it tries to fit both Effy and Naomi’s stories into a short space of time. It could easily have been drawn out, with a third or forth episode, so that they could show more about how Effy struggles at her work and Naomi’s decline, whilst making better use of guest star Emily (Kathryn Prescott) who brings life to her few short scenes. At times if feels like she steals the show.
The entire cast are wonderful at what they do and showcase personality with only a few characters driving this two-part show. Particular praise should go to Craig Roberts, as Dominic, who despite being the lovesick puppy shows strength and resolve standing up to Effy.
Skins Fire is better than a conclusion to Skins as a series; it’s an example of the lack of endings in people’s lives. Some people’s stories are shown by the periods of time when they knew certain people and that’s what this is. Effy could easily come back in five years and have new, relevant adventures. Maybe then she’ll break the forth wall like she used to.