Finding out you have an STD probably isn’t the best way to learn that your boyfriend has been cheating on you, as Michelle discovered on Skins this week.
She received that double dose of unfortunate news, and also lost her friend Tea, all while lacking a mother to guide her through the troubles.
I was surprisingly engaged throughout this installment.
The principal gave a rather straightforward speech to Michelle that illustrated her behavior. She’s a smart girl with a lot of potential, but in her desires to please her boyfriend and fit in at school, she’s managed to lessen who she is as a person.Unfortunately, her mother doesn’t make matters better. More of a roommate than a parent, she spends her time cavorting with a variety of men instead of taking care of her daughter. Perhaps something in her past has made her act in such a manner. Maybe she’s just overly promiscuous.
It’s that lack of parental help that has led Michelle to be dependent on Tony. His moments of affection and attention led her to block out the times when he was a pompous tool with no regard for anyone but himself.
For Michelle to express herself emotionally toward Tony took a lot of backbone. He deserved that beating in the lunchroom and the consequences for his exploits. Even the “revenge” sex to take back the power that Tony has held took a lot of nerve. She did the one thing that her mother taught her, but she wasn’t emotionally prepared for an action like that.
Understandably, as the final scene depicted, Michelle isn’t like Tony or her mother. Her feelings over the whole situation ran deep and, despite her actions, she still felt lost. I can’t imagine having all of those problems dumped in my lap at once. Especially not when I'm all alone.
Stanley even managed to take part in the triangle of Tony and Michelle. He’s had a never-ending love for Michelle and apparently a friendship since they were little, but she’s only managed to harbor platonic feelings.
So, when she came on to him, I could imagine his confusion. While it was his dream come true, she ran to him because of his general friendly and overall demeanor toward her. Does Michelle hold any real feelings for Stanley or was it an attempt to make her feel better because she knew Stanley likes her? Teenage love is a confusing mess.
If Skins has illustrated anything, besides that teens have sex, do drugs, and chug down copious amounts of alcohol, it’s that none of the characters seem to find happiness. There are certainly moments where things are okay, but most of the time everyone is confounded in his/her quest to find his/her place in love and life.
While I still have a problem with some of the clunky dialogue, the storyline of this episode kept me interested. There was plenty of drama and character development. I even have to say that Rachel Thevenard, who plays Michelle, did a very good job of conveying her emotions. She took a command and helped move things along for her character and the show in general.
Way better than last week’s episode, Skins improved dramatically here. With only a few episodes remaining, hopefully the series can maintain some consistency and end on a positive note.
Sean McKenna is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.