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"Jal" (Episode 1.03)

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"Jal"
Series 1, Episode 3
Large skins-jal -2
Centric Character(s): Jal Fazer
Original Airdate: February 8 2007
Written by: Bryan Elsley
Directed by: Adam Smith
Episode chronology
previous
"Cassie"
next
"Chris"

"Jal" is the third episode of Series 1.

This episode primarily focuses on Jal Fazer and her relationship with her father and her quest in winning the "Young Musician of the Year" competition for clarinet performance.

Plot[1]Edit

The episode starts during Jal’s music lesson. Her teacher, Claire, is bad-mouthed and foul-tempered. She is frustrated by the teenagers, the only one she is impressed with is Jal. It seems Jal has a competition in which she will be playing the Concerto, which she rehearses with Claire, only a male teacher, Doug, comes in, asking for a word with Claire. He says they’ve had a couple of complaints about the orchestra. However, it’s not the music, it’s the swearing. Jal has difficultly not laughing out loud at this, but Claire doesn’t understand what Doug is getting at and says she’ll talk to the class and have them stop.

Later, Tony and Michelle are going at it on the sofa at Tony’s house, while Jal and Effy sit bored, waiting for them to finish. Jal and Michelle are supposed to be going shopping for a dress for Jal’s music competition, but Michelle ignores her pleas to go and takes Tony upstairs instead. Jal, fed-up, leaves just as Sid rings the bell. He is looking for Tony. Jal asks him if all he does is hang out with Tony, which pretty much sums up Sid’s life. Settling for Sid instead of Michelle, Jal takes him shopping. He protests that he doesn’t shop, but he’ll have to do.

In a shop changing room, Jal tries on a dress while Sid tries to look cool examining some ladies underwear. Jal then asks him into her changing room to help zip her dresses. However Sid catches his fingers in one zip and starts groaning with pain. Outside the changing room, several customers can hear him, obviously getting the wrong impression. Freeing his fingers, Sid takes the first dress out to the assistant and gets a few disgusted comments from passers by. Sid thinks they mean his body odor, explaining that it’s Lynx.

Later Jal and Sid talk about Michelle and Sid reveals his plan, that a drunk Michelle will one day mistake him for Tony. Although Jal mocks Sid over sex, he points out that she’s not getting any either. She has Young Musician of the Year; he has cookies as substitutes.

Back home, Jal tries to play her piece in the new dress she bought. As soon as she starts however, loud rap music starts up from downstairs. She goes down and finds her brothers and their friend dancing around and singing like idiots. An angry Jal unplugs their equipment and says she’s trying to practice, but her brother says they’re not stopping her. Their friend, a white boy, talks to her in terrible gangster rap speak, but Jal just smacks him. Jal’s brothers then smack him for being rude to their sister. Fed-up, Jal goes downstairs, where a barman of her father’s club compliments her “brown” dress, which is meant to be green. Jal finds her father sat with his friends and a leggy blonde. She tells her dad that she can’t practice due to her brother’s stupid music. He says they need to practice as well and his friends agree, as they’re “fucking bad” and need all the practice they can get. The leggy blonde, Alicia, asks to be introduced to Jal, but Jal is shows contempt. She then reminds her dad about her competition on Saturday, but he doesn’t appear too concerned. As she leaves, his friends comment that she’s looking more like her mother everyday.

Back in her room, Jal calls but Jal soon realizes that Michelle is still having sex with Tony and tells her to ring back when she’s not. She goes back to her clarinet practice, but doesn’t even get a single note out before the loud music starts up again. She goes into her dad’s studio despite the no entry sign and finds Ronny and Alicia playing with the sound equipment, no doubt as a build up to getting his “special slider” out. Ronny notices Jal watching them but she walks-out.

The next morning, Jal, her brothers, Alicia, and Ronny are all sitting down for breakfast. Jal’s brothers are going out of their way to be disgusting in front of Alicia by slurping their cereal. Alicia tries to lighten the atmosphere by asking the boys about their music. They just talk to each other about her in rap speak and, despite obviously insulting her, Alicia takes it as a compliment and asks Jal if she can use her “flute” on one of her tracks. Jal takes up the rap speak as well to annoy her. The boys get smacked on the head for being lippy to Alicia, but she says it’s all “kickin” as she tries to fit in. One of the brothers gets annoyed that Alicia is sitting him his mother’s seat. Alicia apologies and gets up, but is sat back down by Ronny. Ronny has all three kids leave the kitchen. When they’re gone, Alicia asks what happened to their mother. Ronny says she didn’t like his sound, but there is clearly more to it that he doesn’t go into.

Back at school, Jal is taken to see the school rector. The rector tells Jal that she’s delighted they’ve got such a talented pupil. The school want Jal to do a couple of interviews to make the school look like its helping ethnic minority pupils achieve. She’s even prepared a checklist of ways in which the school has helped her overcome her “handicaps”. Jal has had several interviews organized for her and the rector, clearly not confident in Jal, has also prepared a checklist of things to think when she loses the competition.

We later see Jal’s TV interviews, in which she is sullen and monosyllabic, answering “no” repeatedly. Michelle is appalled by Jal’s dress, and determined to make her look nice.

In the evening, the Skins gang all gather at Jal’s father’s club. Jal is sexily dressed-up, courtesy of Michelle, and her cleavage amazes the whole gang, who aren’t used to Jal wearing anything so shapely and revealing. Jal is also chatted up by some guy, who says he likes her dress. He offers to get her a drink, but as her friends are waiting, they agree to make it later.

On a sofa, Sid sits with Michelle, who is worrying about what Tony is doing at the bar with Abigail, “the posh bitch”. Sid assures her that they’re just talking. Michelle changes the subject, saying she knows he fancies her. Sid is embarrassed by this, but Michelle says she loves him – but more as a brother. She kisses him, for luck. Getting an idea, Sid says they could be like a Welsh brother and sister, “locked up in the farmhouse with nothing but the sheep”. Michelle calls him funny, and goes off to find Tony and annoy Abigail by kissing him right in front of her. With Sid alone, Cassie comes over and gives him a pint, which he half downs before walking away. Jal’s brothers perform terribly at the club, and Tony gets with Abigail, but Michelle doesn’t notice.

Later, the man who chatted Jal up invites her to the pub. She is hesitant but Sid agrees to come with them for a couple of drinks and they all leave together. However, in a dark alleyway, Mad Twatter appears and the man grabs hold of Jal. It's a trap for Sid. Twatter wants his money from Sid, so takes his credit cards and Jal’s clarinet, which he smashes against the wall. Hearing Jal’s screams, as Twatter and friend leave, her brothers and their friend arrive and, believing Sid to be her attacker, beat him up until Jal manages to stop them. She points them in the right direction and they run after Twatter instead. She checks on Sid, who now has a bloody nose for his trouble. But Jal is in worse trouble, with no clarinet for her competition.

The next day, Jal and Michelle visit her brothers in hospital who, along with their friend, have got many injuries from their encounter with Mad Twatter. Michelle agrees to kiss one of Jal’s brothers. Later, Jal’s dad seems proud of his sons but Jal finally confronts him, saying it’s not her fault she looks like her mother and that she’s gone, so he should deal with it like everyone else. Almost ignoring her, he tells her to keep out of his room in future and that her room is a tip and needs tidying. Confused by this, Jal goes up to her room, which is immaculate as always, and finds a box on her bed. She opens it to find a brand new clarinet inside. She begins to assemble it, but has difficulty as she begins to cry.

The episode ends at the competition, as Jal goes out onto the stage and takes her place in front of the orchestra – a proper one this time and prepares to play.

Outside, Twatter is out walking alone when a black 4x4 pulls up beside him as he walks under a bridge. The doors open, revealing Ronny driving. His two friends force Twatter into the 4x4 and they drive off into the night…

Characters Edit

  • Jal Frazer
  • Tony Stonem
  • Michelle Richardson
  • Sid Jenkins
  • Cassie Ainsworth
  • Chris Miles
  • Maxxie Oliver
  • Anwar Kharral
  • Effy Stonem
  • Abigail Stock
  • Doug
  • Mad Twatter
  • Ronnie Frazer
  • Ace Frazer
  • Lynton Frazer

Music Featured in "Jal"[2]Edit

Note: The music tracks listed below only refer to the music featured in the episode's initial airing. Many of the music tracks featured in this episode have been substituted for alternative tracks either for the BBC America airing or for both the US and UK home media release of Series 1.

Drop Ya Thangs School Orchestra - "Rhapsody In Blue"
Jal - "Clarinet Concerto In A Rondo (Allegro)"
J Walk - "Soul Vibration"
Jal - "Clarinet Concerto In A - Adagio"
Arc - "Arcane"
Roots Manuva - "Highest Grade Dub"
Isaac Hayes - "Breakthrough"
George McCrae - "I Get Lifted"
Gwen McCrae - "Ninety Percent Of Me Is You"
UK Apache and Shy Fx - "Original Nuttah"
School Orchestra - "Rhapsody In Blue"
London Symphony Orchestra - "Clarinet Concerto In A Rondo (Allegro)"
Adam And The Ants - "Prince Charming"

Unseen Skins: "Shoot 'Em Up Bang Bang Props To The Hood"Edit

Main article: Unseen Skins#Series 1

A screen states that Ace and Lynton are attempting to get a DJ to play their music. It is written twice, once above in Ebonics and below in "proper" English. Ace and Lyton are having a conversation in some form of Ebonics with subtitles in "proper English". They mention a plan to see Stuart Elmore, a DJ with a lot of connections. They then mention that, when they arrive at the station, they need to be talking "proper English". When they arrive at the station, they starting in "proper English", there are now, Ebonics subtitles. Ace then asks Lynton to show the receptionist the mix tapes that he is carrying. Lynton tells Ace that the bag contains a pineapple. They once again mention their motto, the receptionist responds with Ebonics and says, "Papoose, he is truly shower". They then offer to perform a demo, which they do. The receptionist says that they are good and then tries to get them on air. She sends them up, where they perform a very long intro to the rap. They then start the rap, but they are cut out because of the use of a swear word.

ReferencesEdit

  1. http://www.tv.com/skins/jal/episode/965156/recap.html?tag=episode_recap;recap
  2. http://www.e4.com/skins/music/series1-episode3.html

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