OK, enough with these endings. Fool me once by dangling the fate of Sid and Cassie over my head, shame on me. Fool me twice by dangling the fate of Sid and Cassie over my head, well, when that happens it becomes clear that their relationship is more important to the audience than it is to the showrunners. So… shame on them! (This episode ends with Sid hooking up with Michelle in his room ("FINALLY"-No one) unaware, for a while, that Cassie is sitting there in the corner watching. Ugh, right?)
Now, sometimes a kind of adversarial relationship between creator and consumer can be fun and interesting (see Sopranos, The), and sometimes going too far to please your fans is a bad idea (see Harmon, Dan). So it’s not like there’s a hard and fast rule for this kind of thing. But this particular ending is just cheap and grabby. I thought I could hold Skins to higher standards.
(And what’s funny is that a move that was meant to cash in on my enthusiasm for Sid/Cassie instead neutralized it. I was irritated and bored and realized I didn’t really care what happened to them. So, good going, Skins! You’ve ruined something beautiful.)
Another reason ending the episode on another Sid/Cassie cliffhanger is lame is that the only thing this one really has going for it is a sustained mellow tone. It follows Michelle as she moves, with her mother, into a house with her new step-father. Michelle hates the house and hates the step-father. Then the guy’s (eerily affectionate) daughter shows up, and (surprise!) Michelle hates her too.
Her birthday is coming, and she wants to go camping. Nobody else really does, but they go anyway. Except Tony, who can’t pitch a tent. HEYYOOOOOOOO. But seriously folks: he can’t achieve an erection anymore! And suddenly the deep and abiding love Michelle feels for him is neither deep nor abiding. The Skins gang sets up shop on the beach, and then we’re mostly dealing with a lot of sun-drenched footage of sand, and water, and tides coming in.
Michelle’s problems aren’t very serious, and they particularly pale in comparison to what Sid is going though. It becomes clear almost immediately that Michelle’s new step-sister isn’t so bad, but it takes our heroine a long time to come around. The scale and scope of her problems aren’t much of an issue, however, as they seem commensurate with the scale and scope of the episode. This is supposed to be light and airy. A sorbet episode after the bottle episode.
Anyway, Sketch turns up and seems sort of normal now. Then step-sister makes a play for Sid which only seems to depress him, and he wanders off. Michelle follows, and they end up having sex on a dune. How much do you know about sand dunes? I took a coastal morphology class in college (my friend Jill told me it would be easy and that there was a trip to Cape Cod at the end. She was right about the second part) and I feel like, for a while, I was kind of an expert. Now I couldn’t even tell you how they’re formed. I mean, wind, yeah, I know, but what else? Can you tell how much I don’t want to think about Sid and Michelle having sex?
Everybody goes home, and Sid and Michelle prepare to hook up again. And then the tense music starts playing, totally harshing our mellow. BOOM: Cassie. (“Whatever.”-Me) Sorbet doesn't work if you add a dramatic twist at the end, just like how metaphors don't work when you mix them.