Here’s what we know we’ll see on Skins tonight: lots of our favorite cheerleader Tea. Here’s what we won’t see: ads for Schick, Subway, H&R Block, Taco Bell, GM, and Wrigley. We can live with that!
Opening scene. Tea's in class, making eyes at a cute, curly-haired girl named Betty. She raises an eyebrow, all sexy like, and then drops a note at Betty's desk that says "Northern Soul." Cut to a montage of Tea coming home, stripping down, taking a blue pill of some kind, getting dressed up, going to an underground lesbian club, flashing a fake ID, and then seeing Betty. Tea and Betty lock eyes and start dancing. Tickle, tickle, kiss, kiss, and suddenly they're back at Tea's house. All the lights are off and they do it on the stairs. And in Tea's bedroom. If we didn't know that these scenes were filmed months ago, we'd suspect they were intended to be a giant finger to the Parents Television Council.
The morning after: Tea and Betty wake up to a noisy, busy family house. Betty wants to sneak out, but Tea's dad spots them and recognizes Betty from way back when. He insists she say hello to the family: Tea’s Jewish mom Ruthi, her senile grandmother Nana, a heavily pregnant blonde lady, a lecherous preteen (gasp!), and a few random kids. Daisy drops by and the lecherous preteen calls her a lesbian. Tea's mom: "We do not use that word in this house!" Oh no.
Tea, Daisy, and Betty escape to the sidewalk in front of the house. Betty doesn't want Tea telling anyone about their thing because she's got a boyfriend. She leaves just in time for Tea's dad to ask her to go bowling with a boy as a favor to him. She agrees. Tea's dad and Betty leave, so Daisy asks if Tea wants breakfast or "did you eat enough last night?” Hardy har har Daisy.
Commercials! Teen Mom! The show that features actual teenagers making actual life-destroying choices. Stick ‘em, Subway!
Now we're at school. Tony sits down next to Cadie and asks if she'll tell people she’s sleeping with Stanley, to save him the shame of being a virgin. Cadie says fine, whatever, and goes back to her music.
Meanwhile, over at another table, Stanley has chocolate all over his face like a spaz. Tony announces that Stanley is no longer a virgin, so Tea needs to make good on her bet that she would "lose control of her top at halftime" if he was deflowered. It all makes sense now.
At this point, a geeky teacher breaks up lunch for a lame presentation on "just saying no." He says he was picked for the presentation because he’s from Canada — cute, since Skins US films in Canada with mostly Canadian actors using a set we’re pretty sure we recognize from Degrassi. Anyway, Geeky Teacher introduces a group of scummy types to scare the kids straight, including… dun dun dun... Le Dong, the drug dealer who wants Stanley's pound of flesh!
Cut to Stanley and the gang freaking out in the bathroom. Tony slaps him and Stan screams like a little girl. Stanley suggests they all band together to get the cash and the gang bails. We gotta say: That's cold, kids. Real cold.
Michelle, Tea, and Daisy walk down the hall, reassuring each other it'll all blow over since Le Dong doesn't know where to find Stanley. Of course, Le Dong is right behind them. He stalks off, looking pleased. Nefarious!
Tea pulls a mini bottle of vodka from her backpack because she's a classy lady and Betty taps her on the shoulder. She says she wants to talk, but Tea isn’t having it for two reasons: Betty has a boyfriend and Tea doesn't want a relationship. When we next see Tea, it looks like Betty's condemnation shook her up. She's at dinner, her family is loud, and she slams her hand against the table. The family quiets for a moment. Then the pregnant lady’s water breaks.
Cut to Tea in bed, talking to a photo of Audrey Hepburn. She starts to masturbate. Sorry — we'll do this Skins-style — she starts double clicking the pleasure mouse. While her eyes are closed, Nana walks into the room. Awkward. Nana thinks Tea is Ruthi, Tea's mother, and curls up against her. Tea pours her heart out to Nana that she doesn't want a relationship — she can't find anyone who matches up to her. Nana starts to snore.
Next, Tea and her dad are meeting her bowling date, which is apparently a favor for the mob. (Really? We always suspected they were a bunch of yentas.) They go into the restaurant, dodge all the Italian stereotypes that are thrown at them, and finally meet Tea's date, who is... Tony!
Tea asks Tony the exact question that has sprung to our inquisitive minds: Why is that handsome devil mixed up with mob business? He says his dad is union and paid him to go on the date. Tony's mute sister Eura is sitting with them and Tony bribes her to go away. Then Tony and Tea go to a playground and get wasted on vodka. Tea pukes and then gargles with the vodka. Then Tony takes a sip! Ewwwww. The sex and drugs we were totally fine with, but vomit backwash?! Skins, you go too far! Someone alert the media!
Tony tells Tea he’s with Michelle because she’s the hottest, the cleverest, and her nipples make him laugh. Tea asks if it gets boring. Tony doesn't say anything. Tea says she's not going to indulge Tony's pervy curiosity about what she and her girls get up to in bed, but she will say that she can't imagine finding anyone who can match her. Tony says he can help her out.
They head to an empty Northern Soul, where they dance to “Wade in the Water” and end up kissing. They get it on on the couch until Tea starts laughing because it's terrible. Tony says “normal girls like it,” to which she responds, "they must be really stupid."
Tea rolls back home from her date with Tony and finds someone waiting for her. That’s right — it's Le Dong. He wants to know where Stanley is. Tea refuses to tell him and he calls her a dy**. But Tea's dad is suddenly there, menacing in his boxers, and Le Dong runs off.
Tea goes to her room to cry, but Audrey's company just ain't cutting it. She goes to Nana's room and asks if she can sleep with her. One minute Nana's mumbling about Eisenhower, and the next minute she’s telling a moving story of escaping Antisemitism in Europe, only to lose her lover Marta to homophobia and the fear of the so-called "Lavender Menace." Tea realizes what she's hearing and starts to cry. Tea tells her that she loves her. Nana responds, “I know you do Ruthi.” Sob. We love Nana. Why is there no episode called "Nana”?!
The next morning, Tea’s looking pensive at Nutbush when Michelle sits down next to her. She wants to know how the bowling date went. Tea says it was good. Then Michelle seems to imply that Tony hasn't put out lately, which kinda blows our minds. Their conversation is interrupted when Betty comes up and lays one on her. The cafeteria boys hoot. Michelle yells, “why don’t you go screw each other in the ass?” It's sweet of Michelle to defend Tea, but calling people gay is a weird way to deflect from gay kissing.
On her way out of school, Tea’s dad drives up and says he has a question for her. He rolls down the window of his car to show Le Dong restrained by two mob hands. He asks Tea if that’s the guy that called her a ki**. She almost corrects the slur, but only says that her dad shouldn't hurt him. Yeah, it doesn't look like he's going to take her advice.
Tea’s back at home, and her phone rings. It’s Tony. He’s calling to claim that he matched her and he looks more vulnerable than we've seen him before. She hangs up because she gets another call. It’s Betty. Tea doesn’t pick up. Instead, she puts some music on and starts to dance. And that, my friends, is the complicated life of Tea.