Wow, Season 5 has already produced a masterpiece episode. Skins has spoiled most all other tv programs for me because of its quality. There are so many.. layers.
Only Skins can take severe things (drugs, guns, etc.) and- not soften them, but show them in a light where we can understand why they’re part of a character’s life; and, with our close connection to the character, what would normally be our shock or repulsion is more like fascination.. Like this scene, where a victimized Frankie retreats to some candid place, doing target practice as she indulges her anger and frustration.. She’s on the very verge of snapping; at the edge of the cliff, looking down into the abyss…
And then a stranger appears. And this is the amazing part. He’s her angel. He comes out of nowhere. His presence suddenly throws off of her isolation; her downward spiral. And he has an omniscient, all-knowing aura about him. What results is a gorgeous scene. Somehow it’s this event that saves Frankie. His actions were simple- yet profound- and maybe, most of all, gave her the sense that she was recognized, that someone saw her. She has lived with the torment of bullying for so long that she has naturally begun to believe that she’s worthless. But the angel sees something different. The difference is that he sees Frankie as Frankie. And although the gun reappears later on, she chooses not to act on her darkest thoughts. And with that choice- when she disposes the weapon- we see Frankie’s first step toward embracing her genuine self.
I really loved this shot as direct symbolism. It parallels the shot where Grace puts lipstick on the mirror Frankie is looking into.
We don’t know everything about Grace from this first episode but we can tell that she has a pure heart. Simply drawing the lipstick on the mirror was a mere suggestion- nothing forceful.