Now that the “everyone” episode is dealt with we can finally get knee-deep into these characters. Any sexual metaphor there is completely coincidental. Ahem. This one focuses on Rich and if he’s not in every frame, he’s at least in the very next room.
Warning: Spoilers follow.
So last time we were left with Rich, he was barred from visiting Grace in hospital after “the” accident.
We open with the band; Alo on electric guitar and vocals, Rich on bass, and some girl we’ve never seen on the drums. It had a whole Scott Pilgrim vibe going on. Rich is barely into it, he is consumed by Grace.
He sits outside the hospital during visiting time as he’s not allowed in. His phone rings. It’s Grace. Rich almost lights two cigarettes in his excitement. But Grace is a little peeved he’s not trying hard enough to see her.
Rich enters the hospital, ripping down a poster with his mug shot denying his entry to the ward. This made me giggle, and tingly on the inside knowing he was trying his hardest to see Grace.
On his hands and knees he sneaks past the desk with at least a dozen more posters, only to be caught in the act by the nurse from last week. Not to mention Professor Blood who is not at all happy to see him. He tells Rich he’s taking Grace to Switzerland for better medical care.
With his tail between his legs Rich leaves, but in the corridor he scrambles up a ladder into the air ducts. This may seem extreme, almost spy-movie-like, but you saw Blood right? He’s bloody frightening (please forgive the pun). It was really his only remaining choice. Rich crashes through the ceiling into Grace’s room and the two begin to kindle their love. That is until Rich is caught and thrown out with his pants down.
Here we are at Rich’s home. One thing Skins isn’t too good at is characterising the parents. While the teens may be dramatized at times, the parents are on a whole other level of cartoon. Rich’s mum is over-protective and over-emotional, while the dad is spineless and unwilling to get involved. There’s a whole debacle about Rich’s mum wanting the three of them to go on holiday. Rich firmly refuses, and she is next seen in the back of an airport van, waving a tearful goodbye.
Rich bikes off to Grace’s house hoping to talk to Mr. Blood. But they’ve already left. Rich gets angry at his phone and hurls it into the garden. He throws things a lot in this episode. He climbs in through the open window. He hears an alarm clock radio playing “Walking on Sunshine”. In his anger he smashes it through the window, which had me in hysterics. He finds a projector and plays a grainy coloured film reel of current-age Grace performing ballet. Hey, isn’t this 2012? What are they doing still using 8mm film?? There are a few clips of toddler-Grace, maybe the Blood family just have a thing for retro.
Alo finds Rich and the two take over the house, wearing the parents clothes, eating their food, and plain old trashing the place. I would’ve thought it a bad idea to make your girlfriend’s dad hate you even more than he already did, but Rich obviously wasn’t in the same mindset. They call the hospital in Switzerland, but Rich just gets an angry Blood on the other line. Rich tells Alo to leave him be, but instead of leaving Alo or “farm boy” invites Mini over for… well, a shag. Rich catches them in the act. He didn’t exactly have to be Sherlock Homes either, due to the sheer pitch of their love-making.
Rich receives a call from Grace that doesn’t last for long. He begs her to run away, to meet him in France. But she’s gone before he can get a response. Later he finds Alo has set up the band equipment downstairs. Rich is beyond reason, and after trashing Alo’s equipment the two give each other a lovely new complexion; red.
Rich leaves for lunch with Liv who is upset at not being told about Grace. After Rich shouts for emergency biscuits, outside they share a connection I had never thought about before. Possible romance down the line hmm? Franky turns up, less bitchy than in Morocco and even shows off her French.
The group arrive back at the house to find Alo packing his gear away, but also letting on that he had invited most of Facebook to a house party; David Blood’s house. Liv suggests they charge everyone on entry so they could fly off and get Grace back. There’s also a nice juicy exchange about Mini’s reason for being at the house. While it looked pretty obvious to us what was going on, everyone else hadn’t a clue. I guess the relationship between Alo and Mini really does defy expectations.
The house party commences. The band takes centre stage in Blood’s living room, and they’re good. The crowd is loving it. Then Rich spots Grace in the crowd. He leaves mid-song and chases after her. But she’s disappeared. Alo tells him he’s seeing things. The two embrace. Rich keeps looking for Grace and eventually finds her in her bedroom under the covers. She invites him in.
The next morning Rich wakes up in an empty bed. Everyone is gone, and the place is wrecked beyond imagination. He gets a call from Grace on his busted phone. She says that she has to leave. Rich is dumbfounded. He sees Professor Blood’s car and heads inside to see him sitting at the bottom of the staircase. He knows Rich is responsible for the state of his house but he’s not angry. He’s crying.
Now for the big twist. Blood tells Rich that Grace died yesterday in Switzerland. She had never woken up from the coma, her mind was gone, and he made the decision to pull her life support. Rich has been imagining the whole thing. Or was it something more? Grace communicating beyond the grave? We’ll never know. But it’s delightfully haunting and romantic.
I don’t know if you figured it out before the reveal, but there were a few hints that something was off. Firstly, how far away is Switzerland?! It seems taking flights in and out is as easy as hopping on through to the next town. Grace couldn’t have got back that quickly. I also noticed that when Grace was in bed her bruises were gone. Now those weren’t the sort of bruises to disappear overnight. But did I think something was off? Nope. I thought how nice it was for Grace to come back and see Rich. Just like Rich I had gone delusional, believing what I wanted to see. Blinded by my love for the character. Oh and that broken phone? It looked pretty trashed, perhaps it was only good for ghost calls?
Rich sits down next to Mr. Blood. Eventually, hesitantly, Rich puts his arm around him, and we cut to black. If there’s one thing Skins is good at it’s dealing with death.
And that my friends is Skins well and truly back. We have a new character next time so that should be fun. I will try my hardest not to think of him as Grace’s replacement, but it will be a little difficult. As much as we want to hate the writers for killing off our fictional buddies and tormenting the characters like Rich who still remain, it’s really for the best.
Rich and Grace’s relationship was really at its peak in Morocco on top the villa bathing in the sun. Where could you take them from there? Really? A spanner had to be thrown into the works. And would we have reached that emotional high without our characters first experiencing the same?