Episode 4 – Chris
Happy-go-lucky party animal Chris wakes up one morning with a hangover and an erection. Nothing unusual there. Until he discovers a grand in cash and a note from his mum saying she’s gone away. So, like any not-so-average pill-popping 17 year old, Chris embarks on a bender to end all benders. But what do you do after you’ve thrown the mother of all parties and blown all the money? Well, you sell everything that isn’t nailed down and go again – and just hope that everything else will start to make sense. Sometimes though, life can make a little more sense than you want…
First up, I feel I must apologise for the delay in getting this post up. I know you would have been worried that we were going to miss it this week. Don’t fret guys. The majority of the Saturday Night Skins girls were watching (and working our way through European alcoholic beverages) Eurovision, and attempting to copy the Maltese foot dance, finding a better word than aphrodisiac to rhyme with maniac to prove to ourselves we could and, of course, turning ourselves into boats.
So without further ado… Welcome, one and all to SUNDAY MORNING SKINS.
It’s going to be a bit of a quiet one week I’m afraid, but I promise there’ll be lots of pictures. Let’s have a look, shall we?
“Besides… I don’t know what it would be like having a son like Chris.”
Chris Miles. Oh you wonderful, disgusting boy. This week’s episode is my favourite episode from this series. You all know Chris, don’t you?
He wakes up to find an envelope stuffed with a grand of cash from his mum. What does he do? Blows it all on a mad party. That’s all well and good until he realises that his mum isn’t coming home. Left alone, no money, a raging hangover and a hippy who has just thrown him out of his house…..naked. Literally. What’s a boy to do?
With the help of Jal, he visits his estranged dad and his step-mum. But is he wanted there? Is he wanted anywhere?
After an emotional scene at the graveside of his older brother, Chris turns to Angie, his psychology teacher, who puts him up in the college’s halls of residence (I think…). But how long can this arrangement last?
Also, SID AND CASSIE ARE FINALLY GOING ON A DATE! But is it going to end well?
Jo-I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say that Chris is one of my all time favourite TV characters. It’s mostly the second series when you get to know him properly but I love him from the get go. I love how he IS a bit of a dick and he’s such a boy but he’s so kind and sweet and such a gentlemen. When he offers to walk Jal home. D’aawwwwww. It makes me so sad when he’s so vulnerable- when he’s looking through those drawers. Such a brilliant example of how the Skins writers can deal with sadness/poignancy but then follow it with something HILARIOUS like when he’s in the wardrobe.
Also, he has a really nice bum.
Anna-This is my favourite episode so far – it completely turns everything on its head. When I first saw it, I had an idea in my head of the sort of character Chris was going to be and the sort of role he would play in relation to the others – randy, pilled up, joker – there to provide the comedy and light-hearted elements and all the angst would come from other characters.
But Skins folks are evil geniuses (geniii???) – they ripped the carpet out from under my feet – of course, because the other way would have been far too predictable.
Oh yes, and bum, arse, lovely, yes
And the way they show all the physical changes in his appearance throughout the episode since he mum leaves – his skin and his lips. And the low point when that passive aggressive hippy chucks him out – he looks like shit (sorry Jo)
Maggie-Who would’ve thought that an episode that begins with Chris waking up with a massive erection in Spiderman underoos and then peeing in his own face (literally) would end up being the most heartbreaking? He killllled me when he offered to walk Jal home. (Jal sidenote: I love that she went with Chris to his father’s house. Who else could/would have done it but her? Love her.) But then of course, he drops the baby. Oh Chris. Haha. Calm down, Million Moms. The baby was fine. But seriously, when people say humor is a coping mechanism, that ends up being the sad case with Chris because there’s so much fucked-upness in his life. But the little moments, like him offering to walk Jal home, show his basic goodness under the drugs and jokes and brightly colored clothing — not that he was wearing much this episode. I understand crazy Angie being conflicted about her feelings for him because I wanted to reach into the computer and give him and hug and protect him.
Rey-Okay, the opening sequence of the episode had me giving Jo the side-eye.. all the way from Australia. This guy, Jo? This guy?? He just peed on his face. Then “Prince Charming” by Adam & The Ants came on and I calmed down a bit. (I promise that I trust you Jo, I really do).
Flannery– Chris needs to drink more water if his piss is that gross color. Ew. But in all seriousness, this is one of the saddest Skins episodes ever. That bit when he looks through the drawers and recognizes what is really going on is absolutely heart-wrenching. I think I feel for him even more because he walks that line between being a druggie jagoff and actually showing anyone his true feelings. I get angry at him for telling everyone he had all that money but he wouldn’t be Chris if he did anything but throw a huge party. If even a quarter of the things that happen to Chris happened to me, I’d probably be bawling alone in my room. He really has no real role model. And even while I write that, I am thinking about how he doesn’t even shower the piss off himself in the morning. Did he wash his hands before he made that Pop Tart?
J-Why is Angie at a college party? She’s such a trainwreck.
A– I like how, in the episodes before this, when they’re building up this storyline, it would be safe to assume that Chris’s episode would have this relationship coming to a head (sorry, I honestly didn’t mean that to sound dirty), but it only gets a fleeting scene and it’s really all about him. Which is how it should be.
M– It’s not dirty — you know Angie was thinking it!
R-(Party side point: Anwar and Maxxie’s friendship. “I dunno, he sellotaped it to something”. LOL. I love that all these little scenes are still important, like showing how these two are good mates. FORESHADOWING, eh?)
J-Risking sounding like a broken record, I love Sid and Cassie in this. It’s so sad. I wish Sid would just get over Michelle and love Cassie. Crazy, fruit loop Cassie.
R-Oh, me too. And I will never stop saying it, NEVER!!
A-Sid is a bit of a prick in this episode – when he fobs her off because she’s annoying him. SID STOP BEING A DILDO YOU DILDO.
M-I LOVED that Cassie was the one who took charge and just asked him out. I hope that her doing that shows that she’s taking back control of her life and forcing people to fucking LOOK UP at her!
R-LOOK UP IF YOU LIKE ME!
J-“Your stiffy’s sticking in my back” – Crriiinge.
Going back to the wardrobe/drawers scene- I love how realistic Sid and Tony are. I mean, what are they supposed to say? What COULD you say? Normally in a YA book or TV show this would be a LIFE AFFIRMING MOMENT and the broody boy would discuss the meaning of life and everything would be in perspective. I love how they don’t know what to say so they just talk about knobs.
R-Chris in the wardrobe *sobs*
A-EXACTLY – THEY ARE BOYS – WHAT ELSE WOULD THEY DO, REALLY?!
M-At first, I thought that people had stolen all the stuff in the house and he would be in deep shit with his mum. Then you see the realization dawn on Chris’s face. :(
J-I laughed so much when Chris tried to take back the CD player- “You’ve got a very good face for memorising” and “Receipts don’t cover pop tarts” SNIGGER.
A-I love this guy’s West Country tones. Not so much his skin condition. M-Westside! Okay, that’s out of my system. West Country tones what? I couldn’t see/hear beyond the zits.
J-I wish they used Anwar more. He’s so hysterical in this. Incredibly cringey though. “Can someone rewind the tape so we all can see the nipple?”
A– Anwar is very underused in general, I think, but I can sort of see why. He just pure comic relief most of the time.
M-So far, while he’s been good, he and the cute gay boy seem like secondary characters. I barely remember their names.
J-Nicholas Hoult has the most bizarre eyebrows.
R-That he does. He’s actually a really unusual looking guy in general. He just.. pulls it off somehow, sometimes.
F– Just sometimes, though. Sometimes I think he looks like some sort of psychotic fish.
A-Even though I dislike Michelle 99% of the time, she does have a very crucial line which sums up a lot of the episode (forgive me, as I’m writing this from memory as Eurovision is still on so I’m not gawping at Chris at the moment), she says something like, ‘but can you imagine having a kid like Chris?’ When her and Tony are talking about his mum. And I guess it says a lot about how they all perceive him – he’s a laugh but no one else takes the whole drugs thing as far as he does.
M-It’s so sad. Like, he’s fun and they love to party with him, but they don’t take him seriously.
R-Even Tony saying: “he can be well sweet sometimes,” is sort of insightful by dismissive – if that’s even a thing.
A-They use Jal to very good effect here – she’s like the angel sitting on his shoulder in a way, trying to push him the right direction. I won’t say anything else. FORE SHADOWIIINNNNNNGGG.
M– Oooh, more Jal awesomeness?
J-Jal is so awesome in future episodes your HEAD IS GOING TO EXPLODE. CAPITAL LETTERS…… EXPLOSION.
F-I love Jal for going with him to his dad’s house and sitting with him and just trying to be there for him. I can’t see any of the dude characters really doing that for him–perhaps Sid but he’d have nothing deep to say, and perhaps Maxxie, but those two never really develop a relationship:-/ (side note: I accidentally just typed ‘butthose’ instead of butt those and then laughed for a solid minute. We should make that a thing.)
A-Oh, but Michelle also has possibly the worst line of the episode too – ‘your eyes should go blurry too!’ Or something like that. CRINGE Cringy McCringerson.
R-The scene in Chris’ bedroom with Tony, Michelle and Sid is pretty telling of what kind of people they are. Michelle does have a pretty cringy line, but I’d tell Tony to eff off too. Oh right, then she kisses him. Groan.
M-The random old couple outside of Chris’ house cracked me up. “Casanever.” Hehe. To quote Cher Horowitz, Old people can be so sweet!
J-It will be a sad, sad day when I don’t think a cute boy with a milk moustache is…um well, cute.
F-We had milk delivery for all of my childhood. And sometimes, if I was lucky, CHOCOLATE milk delivery! :) But it didn’t come in glass bottles, sadly. (though some of my friends’ milk farms used glass) I loooooove milk–all kinds. I love when people get milk moustaches, too.
Parents, Teachers and Other Ridiculous People.
M-The fucking hippie.
R– For a second, I thought Russell Brand was in the bathtub.
A- The Passive aggressive Hippy? This scene make my blood boil! But good how they don’t just have a big thug throw him out of his home – they way they do it makes it so much more annoying.
J-I am so sad. :( I completely forgot about all this part. When he goes to visit his dad and he drops the baby and the photographs aren’t of him and ALL THE EMOTIONS. It made me so sad. I had a lump in my throat through that whole scene at the grave yard. I love that story- I adore that Chris was in the cubs.
A-The scene at his dad’s house is a really difficult one to watch. Just so painful. And the baby dropping :/ When you think he’s going to have a ‘moment’ with his half brother and stop him from crying, and, well, yes… everytime I see it I can’t really bring myself to watch. Or watch through my fingers. Are they saying that he is incapable of bringing comfort to those he’s supposed to be closest to? Or am I just talking a load of bollocks?
M– It’s like he’s given this chance but he can’t help but fuck it up. :(
A-The graveyard scene is the best in the series so far – just so well written. and when he leaves the spliff on top of the grave for his brother. So many tears….
Chris’s house at the beginning -even before he realises his mum has left, it still looks cold and empty. Doesn’t look like a ‘home’ – no one’s personality has made its mark.
R-I can’t help but wonder about his Mum. And his Dad, I guess.. even though he sounds like a twat. Its pretty apparent that there is so much messed up stuff in Chris’ life that we’re not let in on.
J-I love that he does that. Very poignant. *looks at Anna in a serious way*
I honestly can’t think of many TV shows aimed at teenagers that can work their way around a SERIOUS ISSUE and still keep it humorous and full of personality.
A toast to the Skins writers!
F-I’d totally forgotten about the beginning of Chris’s story and the bit about going back to see his dad. My heart was so sad when they didn’t have any pictures of Chris growing up and it’s totally indicative of why he is the way he is and how much he needs love and attention from adult figures.
Joe Dempsie needs to be naked on our TV screens more.
Um.. I mean.. Joe Dempsie’s TALENT and GOOD PERSONALITY needs to be on our TV screens more….naked.
A-Oh, and it goes without saying that Joe Dempsie is the dog’s nuts in this. He is such a bloody marvellous actor. One of the best in this generation, I would say.
J-I’ve not even seen the rest of the generations but surely he’s one of the most memorable characters in any of the series. Every single person I’ve spoken to about Skins has yelled “CHRIS!!!” in my face. Surely that means something?
Seriously though, I know we’re supposed to be HIGH BROW and what-not but he is bloody brilliant in this episode (and this entire show), he can do comedy… he can do sweetness… he can do sadness…. and he has a lovely bum that he gets out a lot.
Do we need more?
M-I feel like a broken record saying this after each episode but THE ACTORS. Chris cracked me up and broke my heart to pieces all within the span of the episode. His performance was so fucking brilliant.
R-As I’m watching Skins and Game of Thrones simultaneously, I just feel the need to say something here. MUDDY ABS!!
F– Agree!! I look forward to seeing him every week on Game of Thrones and really, he got sexier as he aged. (and less illegal. Imagine that!) What I love so much about these actors is that with the exception of Nicholas Hoult, I didn’t know any of them from anywhere BEFORE Skins, and I remember reading that they try to pick unknown actors for the roles. The fact that they are fresh and young and REAL is what makes the show. I just feel like they are characters they are portraying, plus I bet a lot of them can relate to many of the storylines. None of it feels like acting.
Jal and Chris.
A-And his friendship with Jal. Yes, difficult to talk about much else without giving away any future storylines. THIS IS HARD.
M-The scene where he’s sitting in the living room of his father’s house and you can tell he’s one breath away from bolting but Jal’s presence keeps him there. His face when he hears his father brush him off like he’s worthless. There are so many little beats where he just blows me away. I cannot wait to see how his relationship with Jal progresses since she’s the only one who knows the truth.
J-It really is. I love Jal and Chris so much. Jal is so perfect in this episode, especially in the house. Like Maggie said, I love how she’s kind of an anchor. She doesn’t say that it’s going to be OK because she knows it might not be. She’s just normal. She’s like the YA love interest that we want every book to have. She’s going through her own problems but she wants to help Chris and I think he realises that. Especially when he opens up to her in the graveyard. I don’t think he’d do that for many people.
R-I love the milk drinking conversation they have. For obvious reasons, but also because it goes to show that even if Chris does appear to be mostly out of it, he still knows what’s going on with Jal, and cares enough to ask her about it. The part at Chris’ dad’s house was so hard to watch. The whole thing was so heartbreaking and awful. I was full of SAD RAGE. And the baby drop :(
A– She is very good in this episode. I think they do much better job of getting her character across here than they did in her own episode.
Skins as YA.
J-Chris is really one of a kind character, isn’t he? I wish there were more characters like him in YA books. It seems any messed up boy has to be serious and angsty.
A-The only thing I can think it might relate to in terms of YA ‘issues’ is maybe abandonment? BEing left home alone. But can’t actually think of any specific books at this moment in time. Will have a further ponder…But in terms of YA, a character like Chris wouldn’t generally be the main character, he’s more the best mate type, I guess. I may be wrong
M-The only person I could think of was Tom Mackee.(From The Piper’s Son by Melina Marchetta)
J-I thought of Tom too! But then I thought, are they similar though? Do you reckon Tom and Chris get on? I love Tom (YOU KNOW THAT!) but I think Chris’ humour and carefree attitude kind of sets him apart from others. Whereas Tom uses his past problems as an ‘excuse’ for the things he does (the drugs, the knobhead attitude, etc etc), Chris kind of does things IN SPITE of his past problems. He kind of doesn’t mention them… no one know about him unless it’s on his terms, right?
R-I totally agree with Jo here. I know you all love Tom – but he’s definitely more of a wallower than Chris. Tom uses his issues to self-destruct, and so does Chris, but in a less blatant way I guess. Chris doesn’t shout his reasons from the rooftops, you know?
J-But I get why you thought of The Mackee…. When I watched this I was like: I really want Chris and Tom to be friends.
Maybe Chris is the Jimmy of the group. You know…. the enigma. Even though I know what happens in future episodes, there is still so much I want to know…. like with Jimmy.
Either way, can you imagine the fun you would have with Chris Miles and Tom Mackee? I mean… I can’t… I just…. I can’t even create full sentences at the thought of that… *mind implodes*
My two favourite boys, right there.
Basically, Double M… you need to write a Jimmy book. That’s all I’m saying.
R– Hear, hear! (Here, here?) I second that.
F-Thirds! Yeah, I can’t really think of a YA character like Chris. I wish I could. When I was thinking about how many drugs he does, I thought maybe the other pizza delivery guy from Please Ignore Vera Dietz but…he’s not Chris. You’re so right that Chris is an enigma. When I think about Jimmy, I think about how that book, if it is ever written, has the potential to be my favorite MM book ever.
For British Eyes Only.
M–Does milk delivery — in freakin’ jugs no less! — still exist? And do Brits really drink that much milk?! The only milk I drink is the splash of half-and-half I put in my iced americano. I can’t remember the last time I drank milk straight up. And that milk is thick too. Is that even pasteurized or just straight from the udder? I love how this disturbed me more than Chris’s drug problem.
R-Milk delivery! *is nostalgic, even though I don’t like milk all that much*
M-Seriously. WHO DRINKS THAT MUCH MILK??? Especially over the age of 3?
J-CALCIUM IS IMPORTANT TO US BRITS, MAGGIE. You know, us Brits have to deal with the STIGMA of us all having Shane McGowan teeth. We take our bones and teeth seriously over here. YES. Also, I love milk.
M-Do most schools have dorms for teachers/students?
J-No, I never really got why Chris was given a room in the college. I have no idea where I’d stay if I had had to live in the college I went to… maybe under the science lab tables? A fort made of textbooks.
Also, why did Angie give it to him? Surely the headteacher would have something to say about it. I’m not sure, but I’m guessing Angie wouldn’t live on campus, especially not in the college.
R-Yeah, that was strange.. there’s no way one of my teachers would have been all: “yeah, here’s a spare room, move on in, just stay away from the bunsen burners, okay?”
Show Us Some Skin.
M-Twat count: ZERO! (But I called Tony a twat in my mind at least 10 times)
Maxxie’s Hair Watch
A-Oh, and Maxxie’s hair watch – fairly similar to last weeks, but it’s starting to get a bit of length. Don’t do it Maxxie, DON’T REACH FOR THOSE HAIR STRAIGHTENERS. JUST SAY NO.
Best Chris Quote.
“It’s been like a second leg… fucking third leg.”
Bloody Brilliant Cameo.
Sarah Lancashire as Chris’ step-mum.
Sunday Skins Singalong.
Don’t you ever…. don’t you evvvvveerrrr….
What’s Chris wearing?
Actually… what is ANWAR wearing?
R– I just need to interject here and ask what’s up with that green mesh singlet Anwar is wearing!?
Will Chris’ mum ever come home? How long can Chris carry on pretending that this arrangement is OK? Will Chris ever treat a goldfish properly? Will he ever stop wearing Hawaiian shirts? Will Anwar ever see that nipple?
Until next week….