Monday, December 31, 2007

Merry Xmas Everybody

...And a happy new year. Yep, I'm still alive. I'm moving on over to Wordpress, where you might just find a couple of brand spanking new recaps. More to come soon. Really. I mean it this time.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Holy Frelling Dren.

There will be new Farscape. THERE WILL BE NEW FARSCAPE.

I'm too ecstatic right at the moment to consider the details of it all, but I expect to remain cautiously optimistic that this could herald the return of more new Farscape further down the line.

NEW. FARSCAPE. It's been nearly five years since the series was cancelled. And there will be new Farscape.

Today is a good day.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Gender Bombs

Sugar Rush 2x03 - "Cock And Bull Stories"

Episode grade: B+

Previously: Saint is pretty awesome! And Sugar is still wasting away in prison, sigh.

Now, Kim is hanging around the Munch Box, playing with a whip and grinning mischeviously. That is certainly a good way to get my attention focused on this episode right away. KimVo proudly proclaims "It's been 48 hours, and I still haven't fucked it up yet." Kim should totally get one of those "[37] days since employee death" signs. "[02] days since I last sabotaged my own happiness for some stupid reason." Or just "[2] days", because she really would never need the second digit. "I'd already negotiated the most difficult question of any new relationship," KimVo continues; said question turns out to be, apparently, "lesbian outhouse or multiplex?" Right. Kim chose the worng answer, because the film they ended up seeing was reportedly awful, but that really doesn't make it the wrong answer as far as I can see. KimVo slightly awkwardly exposits that she and Saint haven't slept together yet, like DUH, that is obviously going to happen onscreen. Or, like, just to the side of the screen or onscreen but really, really blurry, or whatever way they decide to make it tasteful. You know, as this show goes, anyway. Kim's rather apprehensive about that subject right now, because "satisfying the girl who works in a sex shop was a frightening prospect." And she's been invited to Saint's place (which turns out to be right above the Munch Box) for lunch, "whatever that means." Kim whips her own hand rather too hard and winces in pain, but Saint's too busy serving a customer to see. Nonetheless, KimVo expresses concern about her inexperience with any of the crap that Saint sells, and we get a little Kim Fantasy Theatre for old times' sake; Saint's all decked up in crazy bordello gear and babbles something about black cherries and clit pumps and whatever, Kim looks positively terrified.

Record scratch back to reality; Saint, all decked up in normal people clothes, asks if she wants tuna or ham in her sandwiches; Kim picks tuna. (Hee hee. Subtle.) Kim makes a fairly lame attempt at small talk; "So, it must be convenient living here. You don't have far to go." Saint agrees and jokes that it's also handy because she can pop upstairs for a quickie with any customers that happen to take her fancy. Kim nervously says "That wass a joke, right?", Saint quite rightly chuckles "God, you're paranoid", and then suddenly affects a face of grim seriousness and says "Maybe." Kim rabbits in the headlights some more.

Later, Kim's perched on the very edge of the sofa, ready to bolt at the slightest movement, next to Saint, who is taking a relaxed sip from a gigantic mug of tea. Seriously, it's bigger than her head. I WANT ONE. Kim suddenly blurts out "So, how d'you want to do this?" Saint gives her an eyebrow raise and grins because our Kimmy is just so damn cute when she's completely out of her element like this. Kim realises off Saint's grin that she's fucking up here, but also realises that Saint doesn't mind. Saint kindly tells her they don't have to do anything except sit there and watch TV, if she's not ready, and so that's what they do, Kim resting her head on Saint's chest adorably. Awwwwwwww. And then she slowly reaches out and brushes her hand against Saint's knee, traces it across to Saint's hand and brings that up to her own face. And then slowly, achingly slowly, glacially slowly, they turn, and kiss, and we've got the ethereal music going and all, and it's so intimate and so wonderful.

I'm going to skip ahead a little here, because I just want to keep watching this next sequence forever, and if I attempt to recap the details, I probably will. Plus there's no way I can formulate the words to do it justice, you know? So we'll just go with this; They make love. It is the best possible description of what is happening right here. "That wasn't half as scary as I thought it was going to be", Kim admits, and the two of them bask in the afterglow.

Ballymeade. Kim's come along to boast, really, but only in body language. Sugar's looking thoroughly miserable, Kim assures her, as usual, that she'll be fine, "I thought you'd be pleased to be getting out of here!" Oh, she is? That is good news! Because two episodes was about the limit for the interesting storyline prospects of Sugar in jail, really. "You don't have a fat arse, you don't have a heroin habit," Kim continues, because of course she remembers every detail of that night. Sugar complains that, on the other hand, her tits have totally given up the ghost due to lack of attention and pokes dejectedly at them in demonstration. Kim breezily tells her she's just got to chuck herself back out there, take it one day at a time, take the good with the bad, hope springs eternal, and there's a light at the end of the tunnel, and everything will work out fine in the end, so just chill. Sugar finally notices Kim's blinding luminosity and yells "You've had a shag, haven't you?" Kim instinctively denies it, Sugar declares her to be extremely obvious and suddenly grabs her hand, demanding to smell her fingers. Um. Kim jerks away and then relents and stops trying to hide the glow. Sugar, a little bit too casually, asks "What's this one like then, you serious about her?" Kim, a lot more convincingly than usual, lies that she is just "picking them up, moving on." I know you don't want to hurt Sugar's feelings and all, Kim, which of course it would, even if she'd never admit it, and plus you are something of a pathological liar, but that's not really going to fly once Sugar is out of prison and totally able to observe with her own eyes that you are totally crazy about this Saint chick.

Anyway, now we are flashing back to some more post-coital serenity. Kim absently traces her finger over Saint's tattoos and asks her how many people she's had up here. "Only you," Saint says earnestly. "Or 365." Kim's all faux-haughtily "Oh, so it's like that then", and then Saint admits that neither is true, "but at the moment? Only you." And if you have read this and you have read this, then you can probably imagine the expression on my face right now. It is, in fact, remarkably similar to the one that Kim is sporting right now. Saint adds "I don't do this all the time, you know", Kim replies that she certainly doesn't, "Only twice, in fact." "Anna and...?" Aw, shit, I was getting tto caught up in the moment, and totally failed to realise that Kim hasn't even STARTED on that whole minefield yet. I'm worried. Don't let me down, Kim! Kim says "Oh, nobody you know." OK, that's fair enough, I guess. "Sugar," Kim continues, and then sort of shrugs her face and LIES "Don't really see her any more." She's definitely getting better at lying; there is a little telltale twitching and looking away, but that could easily be taken as simple nostalgia for her first time. Also, it looks like we're well on the way to setting that counter back to [0], guys!

Speaking of conversational minefields, let's head on back to Ballymeade and see what those two crazy kids are up to now! Smoking. Tut tut. Also, Sugar puts on her full bravado about how wonderful it is that Kim is "getting [her] end away", because it stops her mooning after Sugar so much and they can still totally be BFFs. Which Sugar is in dire need of, given that Kim is the only person who has ever visited her for her entire 18 month sentence. Kim brushes that off with a dismissive "That's not true", and Sugar doesn't even bother to argue, but, I mean, what if it is? Put yourself in Sugar's shoes there; that is going to affect you. Sugar, as lightly, casually as she can manage, tells Kim that as she clearly enjoys seeing so much of Sugar while she's in the slammer, she won't mind seeing more of her once she's out. Kim agrees without a moment's hesitation, obviously, and Sugar, tacitly acting like Kim hass already agreed to it, asks "So, can I stay then?"

So many masks being worn all over the place; Sugar's got the one she almost never takes off, and then this much more awkward one right here trying to pretend that Kim hasn't become the whole world to her. Kim's got her quiet desperation to keep Sugar and the past well away from Saint and the future. She doesn't realise it on a conscious level, but Kim really, really isn't happy about Sugar being released. Saint's got all her little teasing jokes with Kim and... well, we don't know her well enough to know what else. Right now, she could just as well be Beth, who never stayed around long enough for the cracks to show, but from the words "Sarah Jane Potts" written in the opening credits we know that Saint's in for the long haul, and something is going to give, very soon.

"So, can I stay then?" So many masks being shed right now, while Kim and Sugar stare into each other's eyes, daring the other to look away. Sugar ups the ante; "I haven't got anywhere else to go, Kizz", and that is enough to make Kim fold. "You know, that might be a bit difficult," she admits. Sugar quite ludicrously asks if Nathan is the cause of this difficulty, like he'd ever take enough of a hardline stance to cause a difficulty in this scenario. Also, we're getting close to the halfway point of this episode, and Stella and Nathan have not appeared yet, and I only just noticed. That is how much I am watching this show for their storylines. Kim shakes her head, and Sugar laughs "You then?" Kim just stares, unable to come up with the words. It's exactly like the time she finally came out to Sugar. Another staring contest ensues, and Sugar folds first this time; "It's alright, uh, Karen's getting out this week too, I can just kip with her." Kim smiles thankfully.

And heeeeeere's Nathan with the ironic juxtaposition! "So, does Sugar have any special dietary requirements?" Does she like tuna or ham, is what he is really asking. Matt deadpans "She only eats cock" and Stella giggles. Go away, Matt, you're ruining the subtlety. Kim complains that she hasn't actually agreed to let Sugar stay, but there's a telling "yet" on the end of that sentence. Nathan asks if she doesn't think it's a bit harsh, "dumping her when she needs you the most". Kim tells him that she's not dumping, she's just "taking a back seat for a while." Nathan's all "Does she have anywhere else to go?", Kim rants that it's Sugar's own fault that she's in prison and storms out. "If only she could have stayed in there another couple of months," KimVo sighs, so I guess I was way off the mark with that whole "doesn't realise it on a conscious level" thing. Huh.

CC! You set the fire in me! Kim watches Saint doing her DJ thang and rockin' her signature beret. Anna appears to once again personify Kim's paranoia. Dammit, I could have sworn we were shot of her already. Grrrr. So, she tries to make Kim worry that Saint is actually something of a ham fan, with the usual "Oh, I'm sorry, I'd have thought she'd have told you by now" bullshit, to which Kim fantastically responds "I think she was too busy telling me she wanted to fuck me." Hell yeah! Anna stalks off into the shadows, and this time it's the last we'll see of her, OK. I'm sure of it. Outside, Saint tells Kim she has an early start tomorrow, "but I'll give you a call, yeah?" They kiss, and Saint wishes her sweet dreams. "Never been sweeter," KimVo grins. Right on!

Next morning, Kim's walking down the street, carrying two cups of coffee, being obnoxiously cheerful to random strangers. I don't remember the last time we saw her this happy, so of course everything's about to come crashing down very soon, just like it always does. But first Kim's got to spread the happiness around as much as she can. She's so selfless like that. So, Sugar is indeed going to be staying at Kim's, and we all know that's going to be crazy awesome. And as soon as Kim has announced her relentment, Sugar's mask of bravado comes straight back on and she's making demands, because this means she's in charge of the situation again; "You'll pick me up, in a car that is, and I'm not going down on you, alright?" KimVo gives herself the appropriate deathblow as she enters the house above the Munch Box; "I'd found the perfect girlfriend." So of course, the door is opened by some sweaty dude in a white t-shirt. He and Kim stare in confusion, Saint appears, equally sweaty, and in the process of either removing or putting on a jumper. She and Sweaty Dude share a significant glance, then burst into a fit of giggles. Kim does not share their mirth.

Later, we've got Nouvelle Vague, who have their music all over this show, doing their version of the Buzzcocks' "Ever Fallen In Love?", which is really quite an amazing cover. Kim's down at the pier, throwing balls at tin cans with extreme prejudice, while KimVo announces that she is "sure there was a perfectly reasonable explanation for why they were both semi-naked [that's... really stretching the truth, honestly], soaking wet, giggling like idiots." Which you apparently didn't try, y'know, actually asking for. Honestly, Kim, sometimes I think you kind of deserve all the shit that routinely gets heaped all over you. "Surely I hadn't found myself another Sugar," KimVo moans, as stupid Anna's stupid words echo in her mind. Back at the Upper Munch Box, Saint introduces Sweaty Dude as Mark, and he explains that he was "just fixing the boiler", to which Saint playfully hits him and says "Yeah, right!", adds "he's an old friend" and starts giggling again. OK, even if Kim's totally got the wrong end of the stick, you're being kind of cruel to her here. Don't tell me you haven't noticed that stony expression on her face.

On the beach now, Saint comes over to smooth things over with Kim, finally, while Mark goes off to get get drinks for Kim and "Sarah". Saint asks what the problem is, exactly, and Kim, realising it all sounds pretty stupid and petty while she's saying it, but careening onwards to the end of the sentence anyway explains; "I didn't know you had an ex. Well, no, I assumed you would have an ex, but I thought maybe he would be a she. I didn't know you were called Sarah, either." Saint apologises for not telling Kim what was going on earlier, but tells her she and Mark were never serious, and they haven't seen each other in ages, "but I didn't know who else to call". To fix your boiler? Try the Yellow Pages, dear. Yeah, there's something decidedly suspicious about that, I must admit. Also, as Kim observes on his return; Mark has the same dotted swastika tattoo as Saint. "'Never serious', my arse", are Kimvo's words, and I think that sums it up pretty well.

"So, Kim, you're a student?" says Mark on his return, trying to warm up the icy chill in the air. Kim tries hard to mask her anger and disdain as she responds "And you're a plumber." Mark corrects her; he's actually an architect, and asks which university she's at. Saint corrects him; "Actually, Kim's still doing her A levels". Mark's all "Oh, that's when I met Sarah, at sixth form college!" and the two of them start bantering about The Good Old Days, until Saint notices Kim's discomfort. In her crazy obsessive jealous fantasy world, Kim throws her coke in Mark's face; in the real world, she asks him to pass her a straw, while KimVo hilariously rants "He was a proper adult, with a proper job, and a proper penis. Let's face it, I couldn't compete." Let's not be hasty, now. Kim and Mark shake hands and affirm that it was nice meeting each other, though KimVo does not share the sentiment. Saint tells Kim "I'll see you later", Kim gets all upset because she thought she was supposed to have a monopoly on Saint's time today, Saint says "I can't just drag him all the way out here and then desert him!" And, once again; if you had to "drag him all the way out here", then... well, the guy's got to have some seriously impressive skills at fixing boilers, that's all I'm saying. Saint assures Kim that she'll get Saint all to herself later and then departs. KimVo worries about "how long it would be before she missed men. How long it would be before she missed..."

"COCK!" Sugar continues, still in ol' Ballymeade, of course. "That's what it comes down to, isn't it? Plus, this whole lesbian thing's not really natural. Even cavemen know that if you wanna get a fire going? You need a stick, and a hole." You know, I'm pretty sure that rubbing two sticks together is supposed to be just as effective, actually. "I mean, I suppose it's alright to experiment, like I did with you, and you did with Tom, but you can't swing both ways forever, you've gotta land somewhere." So, why are we assuming that Saint hasn't already landed the same way as Kim, exactly? "And trust me, once you've had a nice, hard cock, there's no way you want to stick your lips around a load of fish. Fish, with toilet paper stuck to it. Eugggh." I don't think there's really much I can say to all that.

"Talking of being mad for cock, Stella was meeting our new neighbours." Oh, how I've missed those glorious segues. So, new neighbour is a fitness instructor named Ted (and his wife, and who knows what the hell her name is, but she doesn't have a proper penis, so why would we care?). Stella flirts away, Nathan looks on, trying to trust, but probably not succeeding.

"Some women just can't help themselves," KimV(em)o continues, "sometimes life seems to give you everything just so it can take it away again." KIM! Don't sit around feeling sorry for yourself; either accept the explanation Saint has given you, and be happy, or don't, explain why not, and demand a better one. It's not that hard, c'mon. There's a knock at the door, Kim says "Hi, dad", and, on his questioning, explains that she knew it was him because no one else knocks. I like that. They both lie to each other that they are totally fine and have not a care in the world, and then Kim roundaboutly asks for his advice, which he gives; "In the end, love is about sticking your neck on the line, knowing that it's probably going to get chopped off." Well, that is pretty much exactly the answer I would expect out of Nathan.

"So there I was. Sticking my neck on the line again." Saint and Kim are sharing another tender moment in bed; Saint gives Kim a present. Aaaand... it's a strap-on. Well, that's a fantastically stupid way of reaffirming Kim's penis envy.

Meanwhile, back at Manse Daniels, Nathan passive-agressives "The new neighbours seem nice, don't they?" Stella disinterestedly says "Yeah, I suppose," Nathan belabours the point as much as possible before finally coming right out and saying "You were kind of flirting with him. Do you have to do that?" Stella assures him, dripping with fake sincerity, that she is "with you, and only you, OK? You're just going to have to trust me." Nathan sighs and sticks his neck on the line, again.

Kim yawns and stretches in Saint's bed, and then hears the door closing and gets out of bed. "You'd better be making me breakfast, and you'd better be bringing it back to bed," she says, having apparently put all the doubts out of her head again, so of course it turns out to be Mark who just walked in. He explains that he came back to check the boiler, Kim hysterically rants "There's nothing wrong with the bloody boiler! Hey, would I be standing here in my underwear if I was cold?" Mark, at this, fully takes in the fact that Kim is indeed standing there in her underwear, looking... not cold. Awkward. She asks how he got in; he has his own set of keys. Naturally.

So, Kim storms into the Munch Box, where Saint is idly flicking through a book, and informs her that "this isn't funny any more." Saint denies Kim's accusations that she is still sleeping with Mark, which sends Kim off on a totally insane tirade. "You're not a lesbian at all! You're addicted to cock! And this is all just one big cover up for the customers. 'Oh, of course I'm gay, you bunch of sad, dried up old queers!'" She grabs a huge rubber cock for emphasis. "'Please buy my dildos!'" Saint just glances over at a couple of sad, dried up old queers who have been in the shop the whole time, and do not look particularly impressed; Kim gives an embarrassed "Hi, there" and storms outside, where she gets funny looks on account of the fact that she is still holding her emphatic dildo.

Ever fallen in love with someone, ever fallen in love, in love with someone, ever fallen in love? In love with someone you shouldn't've fallen in love with? Manse Daniels. Nathan appears to be helping Matt with some maths homework. Kim marches in, slams the cock down on the table in front of them, yells "Don't ask!" and stomps upstairs. Matt inspects it curiously for a while and then asks "Is it supposed to be that big?" Nathan mutters "Hope not, Matt. Hope not." then gets back to what he was doing. Hee.

Kim sits in her room, dejectedly. There's a knock at the door, and she yells "No, I don't want to explain to you how to use it, and no, you can't use it on Stella." It... doesn't seem like the kind of thing that require a great deal of explanation, as far as I can see. But, anyway, Saint asks "Who's Stella?", for it is she who is at the door. Jump forward in time what can't be more than a few seconds, for some unknown reason; Saint is now sitting on Kim's bed beside her. Kim admits that she might have said a few things that were slightly out of order, and yes, that includes the part where she accused Saint of pretending to be a lesbian. "He's clearly still in love with you," Kim pouts, which is pretty much one of those "I cannot comprehend other people believing something different to what I believe" things, because he really, really isn't. Saint tells Kim that there's plenty of stuff she doesn't know about, either, and they both agree that they are having a good time together and Kim really ought to stop worrying.

But then it's time for one of the things Saint doesn't know about to rear it's ugly head; a parole officer or whatever is here to confirm things about the living arrangements with Sugar; "I understand she'll be sharing a room with you, Kim?" Saint overhears, and quite reasonably objects to Kim's massive hypocrisy vis á vis exes and how much they are allowed to continue to be a part of one's life, and doesn't bother to stick around to hear an explanation. Not that Kim has anything much to say in her defence, of course.

Ballymeade. I don't really know why that wasn't the end of the episode right there, it would make far more sense from a storytelling perspective, the way I see it. But any way, Sugar is excited at the prospect of being out on the town once more, Kim does not even vaguely try to display enthusiasm or even pay attention to Sugar. Sugar figures that the whole "Picking them up and moving on" thing was pretty much a barefaced lie, and gently broaches this topic. Well, for Sugar, anyway. Kim admits that that is not so much the case, Sugar points out that if Saint cares so much about who will be in Kim's bedroom, it means that... well, she cares. That's gotta be something.

Sugar packs up her stuff to get out of jail (finally), including photographs, of which Kim appears to be present in every single one (aw, yeah). "Sugar had finally served her time," KimVo concludes, "but my punishment was just beginning." Is this going to be kinky? I get the feeling this is going to be kinky. "Repeat after me: 'I am a hypocritical cow'". Saint's god the riding crop out. It is going to be kinky. Kim repeats, and Saint goes on "'who must learn to trust her girlfriend'". Kim, sounding rather pleased with herself, repeats that last word in a questioning tone. Saint immediately wheels around and glares at her; Kim hurriedly agrees that she will indeed do that thing, very much so, ma'am, and then asks if the trust is reciperocated. Saint just reminds her that she is letting Sugar stay in Kim's room, which leads Kim to recall an important thing she was supposed to be doing right about now. Saint asks if she has to go; Kim, who we can now see is handcuffed to the chair she is sitting on, points out that she is fairly incapable of doing so right now, and they both giggle.

Cut to Sugar, standing outside the prison in the cold, cursing Kim's name. And that's a wrap.

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Thursday, June 28, 2007

Jane She Got Excavated

Firstly, I added post labels! I'm sure that has improved this blog tremendously. I'm probably going to do something about that lame-ass side bar soon because right now it's pretty worthless.
Look! ------------>

Also, I have hopped on a bandwagon and will be writing about every song ever recorded by the band Marillion, and you will find all of that here.

You might think it's stupid to commit myself to writing a post every day given my hopeless ability to stick to schedule here, and that this will slow me down on writing recaps even more, but... I have my own theory. We'll see how it goes.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Play That Funky Music, White Boy

Skins 1x03 - "Jal"

Episode Grade: C

Previously, Sid's in love with Michelle, which is a terrible shame, because Michelle's in love with Tony. And that's a terrible shame because Tony is mostly in love with Tony. And Sid and Tony are good friends. Really good friends, if you catch my drift. So, it's more of a real love triangle instead of a love V-shape like most of them tend to be. And I'm sure most of those could probably be solved if people would accept the threesome as a valid long-term relationship plan, but alas, most humans just haven't progressed to that Cylon level. Also previously, Sid was and still is being hunted with extreme prejudice by a man who managed to stand out as being the most irritating thing in an episode that involved Tony yakking on the phone for a few hours and Harry Enfield using "James Blunt" as rhyming slang.

We Plink Plink Plink! Plink! Plink! our way into a close up of Jal's eyes, and an offscreen voice tells her "No repeats. Don't get ahead." Jal starts playing her clarinet, and we zoom out to see this in case we do not know what a clarinet sounds like and have quite reasonably forgetten that she was also playing the clarinet when we first saw her, being as it was part of the Tony Is A Smug Git montage. She is soon joined in both sound and vision by the rest of the orchestra, who are, unlike her, an absolute shambles. The music teacher who is attempting to conduct the rabble yells "No, mezzo. Fucking mezzo, for fuck's sake!" See, because she is sort of posh, and using fancy musical terms, and yet she is swearing at the same time. It's a humourous juxtaposition indeed. I'm sure it will be a lot more humourous if we repeat it five or six times in the next ten seconds. Anyway, Jal tries her hardest to hold it all together for the rest of the orchestra, or maybe just block out the distraction of their uselessness, but either way, she's fighting a losing battle. According to her myspace, Jal likes the correlation between maths and music – Pythagorean triples – "my friend Cassie knows what I mean". Oh, mmm. Maths and music, science and art. Truth and beauty. It's a fine dichotomy indeed, and I love that she has the sense to realise that Cassie gets it. That Cassie gets things at all, outside of her own crazy little wild world. Cassie and Jal are probably the most intelligent of our kids, in their own ways; she might be the clarinet player, but Jal's clearly the maths/science/truth to Cassie's music/art/beauty. OK, Tony's levels of skill at manipulating clearly require a pretty keen mind too. He probably falls more on Cassie's end of the scale; there is a certain artistry to what he does, even if it is about as far removed from beauty as you can possibly get. It's possible I may be moving off point a little bit here, so let's get back to what's actually going down on screen.

Right, some time during all of that, the rest of the orchestra managed to slip away, leaving Jal alone with the music teacher, who is being encouraging about Jal's ability to win the competition she's entering. A camp Welsh chap enters to delicately raise the point that he's noticed the swearing during the orchestra's practice is a little excessive, and during this conversation they helpfully name each other as Doug and Claire. I'll leave you to fill in the obvious joke about filling in which is which. It's a really crappy joke, by the way, I hope you are ashamed of yourself. Claire promises to have a word with the orchestra about the swearing, which Jal finds highly amusing. Some exposition is clumsily delivered about Jal being a Young Musician Of The Year finalist, Doug ensures again that Claire will deal with the swearing and leaves, and Claire and Jal go back to rehearsing. "Yeaaahhh, fuck my donkey, that's good!" Claire declares of Jal's performance. Oh, Skins. If you stopped trying so hard to be down with the kids, you'd be a lot more down with the kids, I swear.

Elsewhere (and, as it turns out in a second, elsewhen), Tony and Michelle are making out on a couch. Slow pan across to show that Jal is on the same couch, attempting to distract herself from them with the TV. Tony's sister Effy is also hanging around, being her usual ineffable self. She's in more episodes than I remember her being in. It doesn't take long for Jal to decide she's had enough, and she flatly asks Michelle is she must "suck Tony's face off" in her every waking hour. Tony nauseatingly shrugs "She loves me", Jal exasperatedly reminds Michelle that they are supposed to be shopping, which according to her myspace, is not something Jal enjoys doing either, though I'm guessing it's the lesser of two evils in this particular case. Tony and Michelle do some irritating whispering and giggling, Tony feigns interest in the shopping for a moment so that Michelle can explain that Jal needs to buy a dress for her competition, which they will get right onto just as soon as they've gone upstairs and inserted tab A into slot B. By which I mean THE SEX. Jal disbelievingly asks "Jesus, are they really gonna...?", Effy answers her with a nod and an obscene gesture, Jal says "Fuck this" and walks out.

Or, she would, if Sid wasn't standing right in the doorway about to knock. He looks confused, as per usual, and asks if Tony's in. Jal says nothing and lets him hear the moans from upstairs by way of an answer. Sid says he'll wait until Tony's done, and steps aside to let her past, but Jal's too intrigued and/or disgusted by Sid's pitiful life to just leave now, and asks if he really spends his entire life hanging out with Tony. Sid shrugs "Pretty much, yeah." "And Michelle!" he realises, after some thought on the matter, which gets an eyeroll from Jal, after which she decides that Sid will have to do for someone to go shopping with her right now, since Michelle is all tied up. Sid gets mildly affronted that she assumes she can just drag him along without giving him any say in it, and at her lack of enthusiasm in doing so, but of course goes along anyway.

In a changing booth, Jal appraises herself in the mirror and comes to the conclusion of "Fucking hell." Outside, Sid fiddles with a rack of bikini bottoms and puts up a gigantic neon sign above his head saying "I HAVE NEVER KNOWN THE TOUCH OF A WOMAN". Jal drags him into the booth to zip up her dress, Sid does so as awkwardly as possible and comments "Looks... nice." Jal rolls her eyes and disagrees; "I can't breathe properly, look." Sid does as she requests, for a second, then relises where this requires him to look and quickly stops in case she notices. And then looks again, and there is pretty much a repeated cycle of all that throughout the scene, with Jal totally ignoring it. It's kind of funny. Jal asks how she's supposed to play clarinet when she can't breathe properly, Sid asks why she can't just where "normal stuff", Jal exasperatedly tells him "It's the Young Musician Of The Year!" Sid feigns interest in that, which just earns him some more eyerolling and condescension, and all the while Jal is sending his "Oh God, Where Do I Put My Eyes?" cycle into overdrive by taking off the dress to try on a nice shiny blue one. She asks Sid to zip her up again, Sid hesitates because the zip on this one goes way lower than the other, or, as he puts it, "it's in your arse, Jal." This, of course, earns him yet more exasperation, because 'exasperatedly' is Jal's Personal Adverb, and Sid gets on and does it. Or at least, he attempts to get on and do it, but somehow manages to be inept enough to get his finger caught in the zipper. Which cause him to cry out in pain, and Jal to say things like "Oh Christ, let me get hold of it", which means it's time for the Hilarious Misunderstanding Wherein People Who Do Not Have The Full Picture Think That There Are Sexy Shennanigans Going On When Really There Are Not, which I'm sure we all saw coming, certainly when Jal dragged Sid into the booth, if not earlier. They do manage to squeeze a little humour out of this dry, dry well though; Sid leaves to hand the first dress to a shop worker and a passing shopper tells him "You're disgusting", and Sid sniffs him armpits in confusion, assuming her disgust was a result of him forgetting to apply deoderant. Yeah, I did say "little", OK? Commercials!

Sid cheerfully sings to himself as they take an escalator down to the shopping centre's exit, which seems a little off considering all the misery that we know is being heaped on him right now, but I guess we're supposed to be focusing on Jal's pain at the moment. "It's just not right," she complains. Sid tells her it's just a dress, Jal snickers "You really know how to talk to a girl, Sid," and Sid's incongruent cheeriness makes him hilariously ask "Do I?" as if there was even the slightest chance she was being sincere. Jal moves onto the topic of Michelle and Sid's other gigantic neon sign regarding his infatuation with her, which puts a bit of a damper on Sid's mood, because it's yet another person who is able to notice the gigantic neon signs above his head, shattering his wild illusiory world a little bit more. Jal asks him honestly how he thinks this Michelle thing is ever going to work; Sid's plan involves copious amounts of alcohol, natch, and also the phrase "she goes crazy when she realises my tongue's double jointed", which will be leading me to copious amounts of alcohol right about now. Anyway, this epic fantasy gets our first smile of the evening out of Jal, and those things are pretty hard to come by, so I guess the boy done good. He suddenly declares "I want a cookie!" pointing in a random direction and happening upon a Starbucks, inevitably. I'd assume from the uncharacteristic happiness and sudden desire for food that he was stoned, but he's already indebted by three waterlogged ounces, even Sid wouldn't be stupid enough to buy even more at this point, right? Sid buys himself a chocolate chip cookie with gusto. (That's modifying 'buys himself', not 'chocolate chip cookie', obviously. Although requesting gusto as a condiment would be a pretty excellent thing to do, thinking about it.) Jal is amused by his enthusiasm for his purchase and says "There's more to life than sex, eh?" Sid nods sagely and agrees "You and me both", which gets Jal scoffs at in surprise, but if even Sid can see it, she's clearly about as obvious as he is. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Later, Jal's at home, preparing once more for clarinet rehearsal, this time with the added burden of the dress she bought in the previous scene. In the end, she opted for a pretty drab brown one, apparently, which I guess is a nice safe, sensible option, as befits a nice, safe, sensible character like her. She only manages to get a few bars into her practice before she's interrupted by an overpowering thumping noise coming through the walls. Jal let's out an irritated sigh and goes to sort this out, it's her brothers and their nerdy white friend, who are, to a man, like Kenneth without the sense of self-awareness and irony. They're doing practice of their own with their rapping and phat beats and what have you, and... well, they certainly need it. Jal pulls the plug on their equipment, Lead Brother yells "Oi, ba'ers! Why you messin' my flow, you get me?!" Jal, enunciating each word very carefully, tells him "I'm trying to do some fucking practice". LB's all "Who's stoppin' ya?" and Other Brother backs up his sentiment. Nerdy White Friend tries to get in on the action, and absolutely everybody finds it highly embarrassing; Jal, her brother, me, all four actors, I don't doubt, everybody. Jal slaps him on the back of the head a couple of times, he appeals to the brothers for assistance but just gets another slap from OB, who tells him not to call their sister whatever it was he called her. I don't know what the hell anyone is talking about right now; this is why I never recapped Shameless, every scene would just be like "Frank and Fiona yell some shit, and Steve nods sagely even though he has just as little clue as me as to what anyone is talking about. Debs is fucking awesome some more, I think." Anyway, OB tells Jal they've got some "seeeeeeeeerious balls goin' down", and would like to demonstrate, but NWF is just not in the mood to beatbox any more because he's still sulking about everybody slapping him. LB give him some reassuring words and they do the fist high-five thing which is basically the MANLY TESTOSTERONE GRRR equivalent of an emo hug. [Yes, this is indeed one of those gratuitous and pointless "HEY CHECK OUT THIS SHOW I JUST STARTED WATCHING" links I always do when I start watching a new show. Shut up.] And so the demonstration of mad skillz is back on. Jal is highly unappreciative, and storms off downstairs to tell on them to daddy.

Daddy, by the way, is one Ronnie Fazer who is, in the world of Skins, a pretty big name rap artist/producer, apparently. Anyway, on her way to a meeting with the esteemed Mr. Fazer, Jal runs into a ridiculously tall dude who is in some unspecific employment under Ronnie, I guess having something to with the bar he's standing in the doorway to. He compliments Jal's dress, or 'compliments', anyway; "I like it, it's... brown." For some totally nonsensical reason, Jal insists that the brown dress she is wearing is actually green, and will continue to do so throughout the episode, even though it is browner than a PS3 game, and everybody else tells her so. I don't know if this is supposed to make some cunning subtextual point about how Jal is extremely stubborn about things, or if it's just supposed to be funny or what, but... the dress is brown. This simple, unalienable fact makes the whole running gag or whatever it is just utterly fail.

So! Jal and her COMPLETELY BROWN dress go to see Ronnie, who is thankfully not an absolute caricature like most of the dads in this show, because I've had quite enough of that from the brothers, thanks. What that means thematically, of course, is that Jal is mature enough to actually see her dad as a real human being, unlike most of the kids. Good for her, I guess. Anyway, Ronnie's entertaining guests, including a young woman sprawled out on the arm of his chair, which Jal looks fairly disgusted by, because there are some things that no one of her age (or a lot older, probably) would be totally comfortable with. Jal registers her complaint, Ronnie tells her the boys need practice too, his friends laugh and agree that they really, really need practice. "Because those pussies are bad, and I mean fuckin' BAD." Subtly put, there. Ronnie defends his boys by pointing out that he didn't sound great either, "way back when". The woman on Ronnie's arm nervously tells him that she and Jal haven't been introduced yet, Ronnie does so (her name's Alicia), Jal gives her some major cold shoulder. Alicia attempts to shake off the awkwardness by announcing that Ronnie's going to be remixing one of her tracks later, Jal snarks "Has he shown you his special slider yet?", which Ronnie's pals just love. Alicia is either completely oblivious or chooses to ignore this in the hope of defrosting the atmosphere a little, as futile as it may be. Jal reminds Ronnie that her competition is this weekend, "not that you care", and storms off upstairs, as per her usual routine for moving from one room to another. Ronnie grumbles about "rooty-tooty music" and "dancing for Whitey", but it's pretty clear that his heart is not in it and he really does want his daughter to succeed. Ronnie's pals giggle some more about Jal's "serious attitude" and then randomly decide to throw an anvil at me; "She's looking more like her mother every day." Ow. Ronnie just stares moodily into space.

Upstairs, Jal gives Michelle a call, and I'd say it's pretty easy to establish the jist of the conversation from just her side, which goes like this; "'Chelle? Yeah. No, I bought one. Green [WHATEVER.]. Fucking horrible, of course. You don't sound very sorry. What's that noise? Is he...? Yeah, ring me back when you aren't actually being penetrated, OK?" And then she says "It's just you and me" to her clarinet, which is a sad state of affairs indeed. Jal needs to hang out with Maxxie more, I think they'd get along damn well, and they're both kind of lonely souls a lot of the time, but it seems like they only know each other in sort of a 'friend of a friend' kind of way. It's a damn shame. Jal's clarinet practice is once again interrupted by her brothers' intrusive pounding, so she heads out into a room labelled "STUDIO NO ENTRY", but Ronnie and Alicia are in there and I imagine it's probably quite difficult to play the clarinet whilst vomitting. Jal and Ronnie share a Significant Look, while Alicia's totally get into Ronnie's mix of her track, which features the lines "In my dreams/You're not what you seem/Pour sweet cream/On my strawberries". Awesome. Ronnie tells her "Needs work" and hands her a glass of wine.

Next morning, the Fazer family is gathered for breakfast, and Alicia is there too, wearing (I presume) one of Ronnie's shirts, so there is quite a lot of tension in the air. The brothers slurp the milk from their cereal with quite ludicrous volume, and goddamn, outside of scouse drug dealers with ridiculous moustaches, there are not many sounds more irritating than that. Jal just glares, which I think gets the point across far more effectively. Alicia makes another futile attempt to connect by saying "I hear you guys are musicians too?". The brothers respond, of course, by overplaying the lingo so she doesn't understand a word they say, and Jal smiles quietly to herself even though she hates that shit. And then Alicia commits a horrible faux pas by suggesting that Jal could maybe play her "flute" on one of Alicia's tracks. Oh, poor, sweet, stupid Alicia. Jal responds in the same way as the brothers, and she's pretty good at it, for all that. The brothers are impressed, Ronnie is not, and slaps them both upside the head and WAVES A STERN FINGER at Jal. And, OK, the kids are all upset that Ronnie appears to be replacing their mother so soon, because they are not ready for that, yadda yadda yadda. NEXT SCENE!

Mad Twatter. NEXT SCENE!

...Naw, just kidding. I'm sure I'd get through these a lot faster if I did that, but I guess that would get old pretty fast. So, actually, Jal is back at school to practice with Claire accompanying on piano. No oppressive drum 'n' bass to interrupt here, thankfully. But there is a camp Welsh fellow, bringing news that "the Director" wishes to see Jal right now. So Jal gets on to do that, Doug lags behind in order to unexpectedly declare his love for Claire, and oh boy, that sure did take me by surprise and astound and amaze me or some shit. Whatever.

So, right, Director. She's got the typical prim librarian look and mannerisms. Ah, joy, another caricature, I do so love those. Doug enters a little after Jal and hastily adjusts his tie, and explains "it's a little hot in here." Really, what was the point of that? So, the Director says "We're just delighted that we've produced such a talented pupil", Jal hastens to point out that "we" had fuck all to do with that, other than Claire, which the Director ignores in favour of blathering about how it's a particularly great acheivement considering Jal's "background", by which she means skin colour, and even goes so far as to refer to it as a "handicap". Ugh. Anyway, she wants Jal to do TV interviews bigging up the school and all the wonders it's done her under the I'm Not Racist, Some Of My Best Friends Are Black campaign and the If They Can Say Nigger So Can I It's A Fucking Double Standard Is What It Is initiative. Jal gives this all her "If you thought Alicia got it bad, baby, you ain't seen nothing yet" glare, but then Doug brings a little needed levity to the proceedings by listing all the interviews she has to do, which includes "Channel 4, they're ironic, OK?" which is some pretty fabulous meta what with the upcoming episode written by Simon Amstell. Anyway, Jal basically tells them to go fuck themselves, of course, but their heads are too far up their arses to hear.

But I guess Jal agreed to do the interviews in the end, and just completely ignored the "checklist of things to think when she loses" (not a paraphrase, by the way), because we now get to see her on some anonymous news channel, answering every single question with a moody "No." "So, if you win, will we see you in the charts?" "No." "Right. And... your family, they must be very proud of you?" "No." OK, that is pretty awesome. We're in Michelle's room now; 'Chelle and Jal watching Jal on TV, and I think it's pretty damn doubtful that that would actually get to broadcast like that, but whatever. Michelle sort-of-not-exactly-jokingly asks Jal is she has to be "so fucking sulky" all the time, Jal claims that she isn't. LIAR! They watch a bit more of the news ("Will you take a lucky mascot on stage with you?" "No." "So, tell me a bit about the clarinet, it's a kind of flute thing, isn't it?" "No. It's a single reed woodwind instrument." OK, this interview should absolutely be fired based on that last question. It's a kind of flute thing, isn't it?! Get out.) and then Michelle moves onto to despairing over Jal's choice of BROWN BROWN IT'S FUCKING BROWN dress, and squeezes out the fact that it is ridiculously cheap, or it would be, were it green, but seeing as how it is TOTALLY BROWN, £14 is probably a pretty reasonable price. Michelle throws the dress on the floor, Jal complains that she paid good money for that, Michelle eyerollingly tells her "You did not!" and goes to her wardrobe to find her some more suitable attire. And so the sprucing up of this ugly duckling into a beautiful swan is afoot, and oh, how wonderful it is that makeup and a slinky black dress can transform Jal into a routine vision of conventional attractiveness as perceived in today's modern culture. Rah rah rah. Jal doesn't look particularly enthused by the prospect either, at least. Commercials!

So, the lads are all outside this club, making an incredibly lame attempt to convince the bouncer that they are all over 21, complete with stupid moustaches drawn onto IDs. Not even Tony's mad manipulative skillz can make up for Chris and Sid in this case, and things are about to get ugly when Jal appears from inside, (because of course it is Ronnie's club) and says it's all OK, they're with her. Cue the boys all foaming at the mouth because Jal! Has breasts! And once inside, nobody will stop staring at them. Jal frustratedly reminds Maxxie that he is supposed to be gay, he's sighs "Yeah..." and continues staring, and then eventually his brain catches up and he's jerks his eyes away, embarrassed. Hmm. Jal turns next to Anwar and reminds him that his Muslim upbringing tells him to respect women's bodies, he points out, quite reasonably, I think, that he is certainly doing exactly that. Jal gets bored with it all a little later than me and exits in the direction of the toilets, Tony tells Michelle "Nice work," and wanders off to some unspecified location without making any mention of the equally nice work Michelle performed on herself, much to her consternation. On her way to the bathroom, Jal is accosted by some swanky geezer who appreciates her fancy get-up with a little more panache, and this sets her heart all aflutter. From the shadows, Ronnie glares at all this.

Later, Chris, Maxxie and Anwar have all disappeared somewhere, leaving Sid and Michelle alone. She's intently watching Tony, who is clearly flirting with Abigail, and angrily asks Sid what the fuck Tony is doing. Sid, also fairly angrily, tells her "I don't know, they're talking. Just talking." And in an actual surprising turn of events, Michelle notes his town, and tells him straight up, with the edge totally gone from her voice, "I know you fancy me." Hooray! No irritating stringing along of that plot then, right? Right? Uh. Anyway, Sid makes this hilarious strangled "Hey?" noise, Michelle tells him "I love you" which momentarily gets his hopes up because Sid is kind of an idiot sometimes. Well, most of the time. Michelle finishes that thought "but more like a..." Sid interrupts to tell her to please not say brother, but she was already saying it, so she does. It's a conversation you and I and everybody has seen so very, very many times before, but it's pretty nicely played, and also after Michelle gives him a chaste kiss on the lips, Sid pauses for a moment and then suggests that they could be "like, a Welsh brother and sister", which is pretty awesome, I think. Michelle tells him he's funny and then goes off to interrupt Tony and Abigail, which is awesome because she has to just sit there looking incredibly awkward while they make out in front of her. Hee.

It's also awesome because Cassie only talks to Sid when he is alone, and now he is. So, she has a pint for Sid already purchased to swoop in with just as soon as Michelle went away, which he grumblingly thanks her for, because he is in a serious brood mode what with all his lame false hopes having been dashed to pieces just a few scant seconds ago. He downs a whole lot of his pint, thanks Cassie again because he "need[s] to be drunk", and then... walks away. Shit! Not awesome! Abort! Abort! ...Damn. Cassie's heartbroken response is of course, well, heartbreaking. Sid, you fool!

Jal's brothers and their Nerdy White Friend are on stage, and one of them drops his microphone and breaks it, and they are awful again, and yet we have to watch them for a damn long time. Why? Eventually it all breaks down into Oasis-style infighting and horrible feedback and the crowd all boo them, and then somebody spots Ronnie and they all start chanting "Fazer! Fazer! Fazer!" even though hey already have two Fazers on stage right there. Ronnie is not going to perform for them, so instead they get a generic DJ set, and so we watch them all dance. I really cannot comprehend what the point of any of this is. There is no advancement of plot, there is no insight being given into any characters, there is no witty or interesting or even dull dialogue. It's just... young people dancing in a club look like this. I actually already knew that, thanks, Skins. Can we get onto some kind of plot or character development now? Even if it involves Mad Twatter? I won't complain, honestly. Well, OK, maybe a little. Well, a lot. Oh hey, wait, Tony's kissing Abigail! And Jal saw it! DEVELOPMENT!

Later. Sid is chilling on a sofa, feeling sorry for himself. Jal comes to join him and rests her head on his shoulder, he asks what she's doing, she explains that she is comforting him. Sid delusionally asks "What about?" even hough he already knows that she knows and all that. Oh lordy, give it up already, Sid. Anyway, once Sid is done lamenting the fact that everybody in the world knows he loves Michelle, he takes another gander at Jal's magically enticing dress and asks just how comforting she is feeling, exactly. Jal begins repeating Michelle's "I love you but..." spiel, Sid tells her not to fucking start, and I'll tell you who might have actually been feeling comforting if you'd had a brain in your head five minutes ago, Sid. Idiot. And then the swanky geezer from earlier shows up and offers to make good on his earlier promise to buy a drink for Jal. She points out that the bar is closed, he explains that a friend of his has a club just up the road that they could go to, and invites Sid along too, in an attempt to not seem totally skeevy. It doesn't work, as far as I'm concerned, but Jal and Sid are totally fine with it. Idiots. Seriously, I do not get why Jal at least does not pick up on the exceedingly bad vibe this guy is giving. Makes no sense.

The camera watches them wander down the road from a distance to emphasise the cold darkness of the night or some such, and Sid finally finds that tiny organ rattling around in his skull when the dude starts to lead them into a secluded alley and tries to call a halt, but it's a little too late for that. Turns out this guy is one of Twat's flunkies, so let's skip past the irritating speech and cut to the part where Mad takes Sid's credit card and demands the PIN, which Sid freely hands over in the hope of not getting the shit beaten out of him. Unfortunately, Mad decides that this isn't enough and sets his goons to ransacking Jal's bag. Sid makes a fairly valiant, if extremely stuttery, attempt to demand that Jal is left out of it, since this all has nothing to do with her, but of course it falls on deaf ears. Anyway, Jal doesn't have a credit card, but she is carrying her clarinet around with her. Yeah, that makes perfect sense. The daughter of Ronnie Fazer, artiste/producer extraordinaire, has no credit card. And carries her extremely expensive clarinet around in clubs, just in case she ever feels the need to whip out a sonata on a moment's notice. Whatever, Skins. So, Mad plays a jaunty tune on the clarinet and then smahses it to pieces, because THAT is the kind of GUY he is. The possible involvement of someone remotely as irritating as this man in your life is a pretty compelling reason to never take drugs, I must say. Deed now done, Mad and his goons fuck off into the darkness, Jal shreiks at them, her buffoon brothers arrive to give Sid the shit-kicking he inexplicably has not already received, erroneously perceiving him to be to object of Jal's ire right here, and basically everything is really, really shitty for everybody right now. Except Tony, the smarmy bastard. And I guess Chris doesn't have it too bad right now either.

Later, Jal is on the phone, telling Claire "I'm sorry, I should never have been carrying it." That is a good point. That is a really fucking excellent point. I'm so glad you addressed that one so thoroughly. Jal then says "Yeah" a couple of times, and then there is a sudden and extremely jarring cut to Claire, in bed, calling someone a "Welsh studmonkey". OK, I'm pretty sure that was an error in this recording of the episode. But, really, I don't think we've missed anything remotely important, and this episode is not inducing near enough thrills for me to bother finding out. I'm sure you can fill in the blanks yourself which as much wit and originality as the writers acheived on this day, honestly. Commercials. We're onto the last leg now.

Camera focuses on Jal with the background all blurred so we can't tell where she is, while her brothers (plus Nerdy White Friend, of course) make a whole lot of noise about the violence they plan to inflict upon Twat and his goons, so I'm sure it comes as no surprise to anyone when we zoom out to discover that they are all in hospital beds with, like comic-book levels of casts all over every part of their bodies. They make excuses for their absolute failure to deliver a richly deserved beating to Twat, Jal says she's sorry and tells them "I didn't mean you to do that", but of course they were all too ready to take up arms in defence of their sister because deep down these crazy kids all love each other, aww. Jal gives them sincere thanks for their totally useless 'help' and asks if there's anything she can do for them. They all think on it a while, then OB requests a kiss from Michelle, which the others both jump on also, but dude, first come, first served, finders keepers, losers weepers and all that.

And, OK, this next bit is actually pretty sweet. Ronnie's in his studio, totally unaware that Jal is watching from the room next door. He gets a phone call from one or other of his sons and tells him "I know you took a beating, but your sister's grateful. I know it. You did good. ...Yeah, I'll come down again in an hour. I love you too. I love you all. Even that [stupid, or something that sounds fairly similar and probably has much the same meaning] white boy." And then, right there, he starts laying down some impromptu rhymes, and it's pretty awesome, he's got a real Maxi Jazz style going down.

I'm inspired
I'm offline
A renegade
Disturbing the peace while I'm spitting a serenade
All this tension, miscomprehension
I'm in informed, on the level and might mention
That when I scream, it's just passion
I ain't angry at culture, I ain't angry at fashion

...and so on. I'm not going to transcribe it all, because there's a lot, and it does rather trail off at the end. Jal watches the whole thing with a smile slowly spreading across her face as she and Ronnie both remember what it is that made him such a big name in the first place, and she realises that he really does love her, even if he sucks at showing it, and it works pretty well right here. And then Ronnie finishes and Jal flicks on the light; he bitches at her for watching him when he's in his private place, she yells "Don't you talk to me through glass!", and his face softens and he comes outside to talk to her. And then they ruin it all rather by having Jal exclaim "It's not my fault! It's not my fault I look like her!" Jeeeesus, would it really have been so hard to bring that point across without beating me over the head with it? Who do you think you are, Chris Chibnall? Bah. So, Jal tells Ronnie to stop wasting his talent, he churlishly tells her to go tidy her room.

Except, not so churlishly, because there is a brand new shiny clarinet sitting on Jal's bed. Because, by the way, daddy loves her under all that gruff exterior. Had you noticed? And so there's just enough time left for the orchestra build-up to Jal's big solo at the big competition (though not Jal's actual solo; much like last week, we cut out just before the inanimate object that is the focus of our central character's life meets their mouth) to play over a wonderful scene of Ronnie and a goon of his own driving up next to Twat on a deserted street and dragging him kicking and screaming into the car, never to be seen again. It's a seriously lame cop-out to Sid's whole mortal peril storyline, but I don't care because I never! Have! To watch! This! Twat! Again! YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAH.

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