Title: Skins S2.E08 “Jal”
Released: 2008
Series:  Skins (2007)

Previous episode: “Effy”

We are in the final three episode stretch of series two of Skins. Guess what that means? Literally every sad thing you could imagine that could happen probably will.

Speaking of sad things, Jal’s still pregnant and can’t figure out how to tell anyone including Chris. With final exams coming up and the weight of her pregnancy looming, Jal’s not doing so well. Here’s what we learn about Jal.

1. She can’t hide her pregnancy for much longer

Jal’s pretty much at the point where she has to decide whether or not to keep the baby or have an abortion and she’s not sure what to do. Her counselor keeps asking her what she wants to do and that she needs to figure it out immediately.

She’s so stressed she can’t have sex with Chris because she’s too afraid. And then she keeps avoiding Chris and pushing him away in a very Jal manner.

Jal finally seems to have her come to Jesus moment during her Spanish oral exam when she talks about being pregnant to her Spanish teacher.

2. She’s feeling very alone

She tries to reach out to Michelle, who in a finals craze, will only speak in Spanish until their oral exam. After Michelle stops blabbing about getting back together with Tony and exams, Jal tells her in Spanish that she’s pregnant. Of course that’s the one word Michelle doesn’t understand.

Cassie asks Jal to talk but she won’t crack until Cassie does an impression of her and drops the P bomb. I mean it’s obviously unclear how Cassie knows (maybe she could sense a moon cycle or something?) but in some sense it’s nice that someone finally does know what Jal’s going through. Cassie takes Jal to a casino for “peace and quiet” which is an extremely Cassie thing to do. She also vaguely alludes to other people’s secrets (i.e. Chris) because Jal clearly needs more things to stress about. At least Jal wins at gambling I guess?

3. She also has to figure out about moving in with Chris

After making her dinner, Chris asks Jal to move in with him, so she can add that onto the enormous pile of shit she has to worry about.

He keeps bugging her about moving into the apartment, even though she’s avoiding him. He’s also rightfully paranoid that she’s going to get into music school and leave him. But it’s so apparent from her face that she really loves Chris. FYI, she crushes that music audition.

4. Her relationship with her dad is fraught as always

Jal’s relationship with her father is still super tense, even more so now because of Chris, of whom he doesn’t approve.

Her brothers are still ridiculous and are now shifting over from rap to performing reggae as they inform everyone in a family meeting. Jal comes to her breaking point during said meeting and blurts out that she’s pregnant. Her dad is pissed. He’s afraid that she’s going to waste her life and screw up her shot at music school and her exams.

Jal brings up her missing mom as ammo against him, even though her dad still claims he has no idea why she left. But her brothers are actually super supportive and cute towards her.

And that’s when Jal’s mom shows up. She remains just as mysterious as you’d expect. Apparently, Jal’s dad doesn’t actually hate her. But basically it sounds like she just bounced on the family because she couldn’t do it anymore.

5. She doesn’t go to Chris until it’s too late

When she’s finally decided to tell him, he’s gone. She finds Cassie sitting on the table in the dark and Chris in the hospital. Cassie won’t tell her what’s going on with Chris because she needs to keep his secret.

Basically Chris has the same condition that killed his brother. He had some sort of seizure and talks to Jal while he’s totally fucked up. He’s been afraid to tell Jal because he thought she wouldn’t want to live with him anymore. When Jal finally tells him she’s pregnant, he’s already passed out.

He has to get brain surgery for the swelling and clot situation. Jal gives him her casino coin for luck on his way into surgery. AND THEN THE EPISODE ENDS.

Necessary Jal Judgment

“I hate my life right now.”

Additional Cassie Thoughts

At first it seemed like maybe Cassie was just being extra crazy or actually giving everyone #realtalk, which is what she’s doing. But by the end of the episode, it seems like her constant badgering of Jal about her pregnancy or hiding Chris’s secret are weirdly malicious? Am I over reading this? Or is Cassie just super off the deep end?

Random Observations

  • It is final exams time and none of the Skins gang are remotely prepared.

  • Their principal person says that she’s never met a grade 13 as stupid as theirs. I mean homegirl has a point.

  • Jal’s counselor is wearing a WWJD bracelet.

  • There are SO many babies in this episode.

  • “It’s Your Abortion”.

  • Is Chris using a dildo as a candle during the dinner he cooks for Jal?

  • Chris is such a legit stand up dude.

  • Chris is taking some secret pills.

  • “Things worked out for once.” Cassie re: Sid

  • Anwar’s hippo pencil sharpener is adorable!

  • Maxxie has a boyfriend, James! Sketch looks like she’s about to murder them on the spot. Even Anwar seems jealous.

  • Why is everyone’s significant others coming to visit their class?

  • Michelle speaks really good Spanish.

  • Tony’s hair looks a lot better.

  • Michelle and Cassie talking for the first time since the Sid thing is SO tense.

Next week: A showdown happens between Cassie and Michelle, so I’m expecting SO MUCH SHADE. It’s also Cassie’s episode so some sort of breakdown is on the horizon.

About the Contributor:

Kerensa Cadenas is a writer living in Los Angeles. She grew up on binge reading Sweet Valley High and watching Saved by the Bell at a very young age. Hence, she is now unable to grow out of this life-long phase. She loves terrible teen television, young adult novels and probably listens to One Direction more than she should. She also enjoys more adult things like margaritas on patios and dance parties. A Marcus Flutie/Nate Archibald man-hybrid remains her ideal.


This post was written by a guest writer or former contributor for Forever Young Adult.