But that must have been the reputation Skins had, given the way it seems to so aggressively fight against it, week after week. This episode, for instance, traps us in Sid’s house for an extended period of time, following only the members of Sid's extended family, and when we finally do return to our old gang we’re seeing them dully, through the lens of Sid’s grief. (This show does a wonderful job of CONSTANTLY recalibrating your expectations and is a master class in tone.) And a party scene, featuring a cameo from a real band (Crystal Castles), which should be exactly the kind of scene you’d want were Skins the kind of show it is perceived to be, is not fun at all but actually where Sid finally breaks down, weeping hysterically in Tony’s arms while the incongruous music blares.
This is Capaldi’s show, and the actor weathers Mark’s victories and humiliations with a certain kind of gruff charm. The Sid/Mark relationship is one of the better son/father relationships I’ve seen, and it’s all the better for being articulated subtly. No Cat Stevens on the soundtrack here, in other words.
Sid is mostly a passive bystander to the drama between his elders, but also is fuming over the mistaken impression that Cassie’s cheating on him while away in Scotland. But all of that gets pushed aside when, the night after briefly reuniting with his wife and finally telling off his father, Mark dies.
The coda to the episode is a goofy little O’Henry thing, where Sid and Cassie turn out to both be on trains going to see each other. I like that it pushes us even further afield from the dark, dusty house where we spent most of the episode—we’re there, we’re there, we’re there and then we slingshot away—but other than that it’s kind of silly. Unless we’re headed for a few episodes of “Sid’s adventures in Scotland!” That’d be OK. I <3 U, Sid.
So yeah, we're back to talking about Skins, okay? Did you guys watch this episode? What did you think?