Skins (UK)

Season 3 Episode 2


Aired Thursday 10:00 PM Jan 29, 2009 on E4
out of 10
User Rating
121 votes

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Episode Summary

Cook prepares to celebrate his seventeenth birthday, although things take a turn for the worse when he encounters a gangster by the name of Johnny White.

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  • Far better than what the other reviews here might lead you to believe, this is a complex episode about a complex

    Despite what some of the negative reviews on here might lead you to believe, this is another excellent episode in the series, and one that continues the shows focus on the complexity of humanity. Cook does terrible things in this episode, he makes a total fool out of himself drinking himself into a stupor, snorting drugs, trying to have sex with every girl he sees and getting into fist-fights with notorious gangsters over a matter of drunken pride. He acts stupidly, rashly, without thinking, and he does it completely selfishly. But beyond all of that, there's still a heart in him. He's still capable of being a "good" person, a loving person, and it shines through during the end of the episode when he tells Freddie that he loves him to bits and that their friendship along with JJ's is the most important thing in his life. It's clear he's dealing with a lot of pain, anger, and deep family issues just from seeing the way he behaves, and the gangster mentioning his mother being a whore hints at that troubled past and family life. Now, because he's such an ass in this episode, it seems most of the reviewers here have written this episode off as stupid or silly. It isn't. It's just as well written, acted, and directed as any other brilliant episode in this show, and like those it focuses on a complex character with complex issues, something that has made this show so great from the start. These are real people, people you've met in your life, you grew up with, went to school with, drank at pubs with, even fought with. And like characters like Cook or not, these people exist, and their stories need to be told as well. That's what makes this such a great episode and has me already anticipating where the rest of this season could go.moreless
  • All Cooke did was prove how lost he actually was.

    He drank, partied, he snorted drugs and he tried to sleep with an engaged woman. What does all that prove? That he's obnoxcious? No! It proves he's upset. Cooke is by far the least character developed person on this show, and this episode changed that.

    With the first episode we had an idea to what Effy was like. Manipulative, uncaring, playful.

    Emily and Katie. Sweet and Sour. Dirty and Clean. Free and Grounded.

    Same with Freddie, sensitive.

    And all the others had traits visible aswell!

    Pandoar's innocense, Naomi's impatience with the world and JJ's misconceptions.

    It was just Cooke that missed out. He liked to party. Sure. But so did the others. In this episode it becomes clear that he obviously has other issues. We get clues to what problems he's had with his mother, and how much he values love and friendship. It's proved by that beautiful, touching scene at the end of the episode where he tells Freddie he loves him.

    Cooke has substance. He's not shallow. There's more than what meets the eyes, and it was great getting to know him.moreless
  • Misplaced and Ridiculous

    I was a real fan of the first series and slightly less so of the second series, but so far the third series has seriously suffered from attempting to be overly outrageous and somehow forgetting that it was the quality and writing and depth and believability of the original characters that made the show a success.

    This episode focuses on Cook, who appears popular although everyone appears to hate him, and focuses on his 17th birthday.

    The episode moves from one ridiculous scene to the next in Cooks quest to get smashed and have a good time. Unfortunately, however, the scale of consumption of booze, drugs and cake doesn't seem to have the expected adverse effects on him. If you're going to watch someone consume several pints and shots, a goldfish and then a large cake you should surely see him staggering around and covering the locality in vomit. The fact that none of the other characters either join in or are amused by Cooks antics makes you doubt that the group could exist in the real world.

    The later scenes mainly involve Cook's interactions with gangster Johnny White. Although not a greatly believable character, for pure comedy value Johnny White was a welcome addition to the episode.

    Following Johnny's mindless attack on Cook followed by everyone except JJ deserting Cook the ending crowned the ridiculous storyline in style. As luck would have it Cook found Johnny in a room on his own in a lap dancing club (that did extras) and bound with bondage gear! Cook, having now consumed enough booze and drugs to knock out a horse and freshly ejaculating at the hand of a large lady, still looked fresh as he confronted Johnny for the earlier attack. Not happy with the humiliating photographic evidence Cook gathers from the scene, he reacts to the old 'Your Mom's a slag' line from Johnny and then proceeds to rain punch after punch into Johnny's face. Johnny did develop a nosebleed but was otherwise unscathed!

    Although I didn't really care that Freddie had deserted Cook, I cared even less that he agreed to forgive him after getting him out of bed at 6am and continuing to insult him. Although the episode was quite funny, I'm sure I was laughing at the show rather than with it most of the time. I'm looking for a big improvement with the next episode or I'll give up on Skins.moreless
  • This was an episode that shows the inside life of Cook, but it makes him out to be a character is hard to like. The presentation of Cook was not the best approach, especially for the 2nd episode with the new informaiton.moreless

    They brought this episode on too early in the series. We barely know anything about cook, and they made him out to be a lousy lowlife that is hard to sympathize with. The show revolves around Cook celebrating his birthday, and how people don't take kindly to his style of partying. They could have done a much better approach of displaying this.

    Also, cook drank half a bottle of vodka, at least 5 shots of another liquor, ate a two layer cake, had an unknown number of beers, and swallowed a bag of drugs (x I think). And he is still able to walk fine, like he is barely even buzzed. The best part of the episode is when we see how Cook operates with people. But that was not worth it. They could have shown a different side of his life, instead of mainly showing how much of a jerk he is. Again, not the best way to have the 2nd episode of a new generation.moreless
  • Birthday Boy Written by Jamie Brittain Directed by Simon Massey

    I think this episode was misplaced. Had it occurred later in the season, I might have cared. Then again, given that the episode was about Cook, I probably wouldn't. Even Tony had some charm to him when he was being despicable.

    That birthday scene was just horrifying to watch. Nothing more fun than watching someone get repeatedly smashed out of their brains while gouging a nice cake (good touch by Emily there) - not! I wish that was as vile as Cook went but this episode went above and beyond to make him into a jerk.

    First thing, never mess with a gangster in this show, even if they are unconvincing and Mackenzie Crook was pretty unconvincing as Johnny White. Sadly he didn't get to kill Cook and we're still lumbered with him for another episode. Cook's stupidity nearly got everyone killed on him.

    I don't understand why certain people attended his party. Effy could barely look at him and Pandora doesn't strike me as the kind of person Cook would give the time of day under any other circumstance. Plus Katie and Naomi find him physically repellent and I bet Emily wouldn't be that keen on him either.

    Emily and Naomi do seem to be a slow builder. There's an attraction there but both seem to be suppressing it (a direct contrast to Maxxie, who was out when we met him). It was interesting that Naomi did point out that she was confused why everyone thought she was gay So far, her and Emily might be the best pairing.

    Not that we have great options - Katie's footballer is bland and I'm not sold on the Cook/Effy/Freddie triangle either. Freddie developed a bit more of a personality with this episode, what with his feelings towards Effy being more open and his disgust with Cook's destruction behaviour.

    Out of the boys, JJ is probably the most interesting one of the bunch and arguably the most sympathetic. It was nice that he couldn't go through with sleeping with that hooker. Didn't think he would either.

    The season hasn't hit it's stride yet and while this might have been a bad episode, I still think there's plenty of good stuff left in the season. At least I hope there is.moreless

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Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (3)

    • Johnny: So, my daughter's getting married and she couldn't have chosen a nicer bloke: Steve Heston. Unfortunately, Steve couldn't attend today without violating the terms of his probation.

    • Cook: Christina! We've had rejection. We need a bucket, a mop, and sixteen shots of TEQUIL-AAAAAAHHHH!

    • Johnny: No more rocks, no more knives, no more pliers. We're gonna be tight as a badger's bum. The Whites and the Hestons brought together by the marriage bed. Still fucking each other.. but in a good way.

  • NOTES (1)

    • Music In This Episode:
      "Ace of Spades" by Motorhead.
      "I Will Follow" by U2.
      "Great Gig in the Sky" by Pink Floyd.
      "Don't Stop Me Now" by Queen.
      "Counter Stroke" by 101's.
      "One of These Days" by Pink Floyd.
      "It's Dead" by Skallywags.
      "Millennium" by Robbie Williams.
      "Tambourine" by Eve.
      "Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor.
      "Songbird" bt Fleetwood Mac.
      "White Wedding" by Billy Idol.
      "Kayleigh" by Marillion.
      "Lake Control" by Fat Segal.
      "Break" by Son Lux.


    • Mary Poppins
      When Cook says "rum punch" after snorting, he references the film Mary Poppins in which the title characters says that rum punch is her favourite medicine. He also says "let's go fly a kite" which is a song from the movie.