This episode is a real doozy (and comes with a trigger warning for sexual assault), so we’re only doing one episode this week. Rae’s chafing under the restraints of being sixteen, but she’s got some Major Shit to work out before she can really strike out on her own–and it’s no more clear than during this chapter.
The Official FYA My Mad Fat Diary Drinking Game
Drink once every time:
Rae doubts herself
Rae compares herself to someone else
Rae’s diary includes a drawing of genitalia or swear words
Rae’s mum says something dorky but well-meaning
Karim manages to communicate how lovely he is
Drink twice every time:
Rae sasses Kester
Rae gets positive attention from members of the opposite sex (take a shot if she actually acts on it without overanalyzing)
Rae does something to set back her progress
You exclaim, “I love this song!”
2.5 “Inappropriate Adult”
Let’s catch up with the gang, shall we? Archie’s having a rough time after coming out, Chloe has forgiven Rae, but is hanging out with a pack of 23-year-olds, Izzy and Chop are madly in love, and Finn is dating a 24-year-old. (NOOOO.)
Oh, and Karim caught Rae smoking pot, so she is in T-R-O-U-B-L-E.
While Rae is grounded and getting around on an ancient BMX, Chloe gets a car for her 17th birthday. Everyone is growing up, and she’s stuck in a rut, and this will simply not do. She’s SIXTEEN, after all. So she tries to drown her sorrows by sucking Liam’s face, but even he brushes her off and tells her she’s too young. Oh, and he doesn’t want a girlfriend.
Totally grown up.
TAKE A HINT AND RUN, RAE.
Which she does. She runs right into the next thing she hopes will help: finding her father.
This episode might as well be called “Daddy Issues,” because the theme is repeated over and over again. Between Karim, her real father, Kester, Liam, Finn, and the older boys Chloe hangs around with, everything comes down to Rae not feeling good enough for the men in her life, while most of them let her down. She still eagerly takes nearly any positive male attention that comes her way, even (especially?) when that means she’s putting herself and her self-esteem at risk.
Predictably, meeting her father is not really what she had expected or hoped for, although she does her best to manipulate a driving lesson out of him. For a brief moment, it seems like things might go well, but this is a guy who abandoned his own daughter and never really made any effort.
There’s no better example of her issues with men than when Finn pours his heart out to her, confesses that he’s thinking of taking a job out of town, and practically begs her to give him a reason to stay. She bolts. WHY RAE WHY. (Well, we know, but.)
Self-destruction is also the name of the game at the party, where Chloe is sniffing coke (I never would have realized this at 16, I would have just thought “Chloe has allergies!”) and she and Rae make out for attention from the creepy older dudes. Some things never change.
It really goes south when Saul, one of the older dudes, corners her in the bathroom and starts coming onto her—and then assaults her, over her protests. There are a lot of scenes in this show that are hard to watch, but this ranks in the top three. Not only is she assaulted, but Saul tells her she’s lucky for the attention at all: a final blow from a dick bigger than Liam. Rae is horribly, understandably upset, and when she wants to go home, Chloe is drunk/stoned off her ass and refuses to leave.
The one smart thing she does in this situation is run to Kester’s house, who has a lady friend over and awkwardly urges her to call her mother to take her home. Seems the lady friend doesn’t like Rae showing up, and it’s pretty clear Kester isn’t exactly on board.
When the night is over, Rae finds herself picking up the pieces: Chloe’s calling her frigid and immature, Finn has left, the gang is falling apart, her mother is freezing her out, and her father gave her his work phone number.
So Rae decides to go sleep with Liam…who tells her to keep her clothes on because neither of them are particularly fit. The way her face falls is so painful to watch, and she still goes through with it…because she’s accepted that men don’t really want her, and she doesn’t deserve the ones who do.
BUT RAE. YOU TOTALLY DESERVE A DECENT FELLOW.
Shittiest Teen Comment
Rae: “Chill. Out. I said I’m sorry. I’m sixteen, I can do what I want. WhatEVER.”
Even I want to slap her, and I spend 90% of this show identifying with Rae fiercely.
Awkward Mum Moment
None; her mom is too angry to be awkward.
Best Song of the Episode
Gangsta’s Paradise! A Girl Like You! Too bad they’re all during the Little Party of Horrors.
The Moment When We Are All Rae
Rae’s decision to go against her instincts and hook up with Saul and Liam is practically a low self-esteem rite of passage; we’ve all been there and it sucks.
Rae: “Does the Pope shit in his hat and punch it? …Oh nevermind, just give me the spliff.”
That’s it for this week! Phew, is it reeking of feels in here or is it just me? I feel like I’ve been hit by a truck after all that.
Join us next week as we finish up Series 2 with Not I: Parts 1 and 2.