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Francesca "Franky" Fitzgerald was a fictional character in the television series Skins, and was portrayed by Dakota Blue Richards.
Franky is initially portrayed as being a bit of a loner, and her androgynous fashion seem to be a contributing factor to this. She is originally from Oxford, but was bullied so badly that after the final incident (where she was severely humiliated and pictures of her humiliation were posted online), she and her two fathers moved to Bristol for a new start.
As the series progresses, she comes more out of her shell and becomes close to Grace Violet, Rich Hardbeck, and Alo Creevey, although doing so initially causes her to be at odds with queen bee Mini McGuinness. Her mutual attraction to Matty Levan is also a major theme of the series, and later draws the temporary hostility of Liv Malone.
By the next series, she ditches her androgynous look and begins to embrace her femininity. Her personality also changes as she seems to be more confident and quite flirty, as well as being quite headstrong. However, it is that bullheadedness that eventually alienates her from the group, as it expands towards a callous rejection of everything in her life, including her friends. Her hanging out with the dangerous Luke inadvertently results in Grace's death and Matty being on the run from the police (not knowing he was framed by Luke). What makes her relationship with Matty even more complicated is that his brother Nick Levan has fallen in love with Franky, a feeling she eventually seems to embrace and partially return, although her feelings for Matty have not actually disappeared (despite what she tells Nick).
According to her official profile, her favorite person is Joan of Arc. She also admits that when she gets nervous, she "flicks the flint of this Clipper lighter I had in my pocket."
Part of her androgynous identity is related to her interests. They include reading Catcher in the Rye and A Clockwork Orange, books that largely deal with male identity, and watching Battlestar Galactica and The Walking Dead, which are more favored by male fans than female. She makes stop-motion films and experiments with sketches, and prefers post-apocalyptic concepts (another interest that has a predominantly male fanbase). She has access to (and uses) a rebuilt replica of a revolver, possibly belonging to her fathers (who were in the army), which she appears to be proficient with. She also displays strong street-fighting skills as displayed during her experiences with Luke, though it is unclear whether she has been taught these skills or whether they are innate.
In "Franky", Franky is a shy, isolated girl starting her first day at Roundview. Due to her unusually masculine style and dark attitude, she is accosted by several young chav boys. She defends herself from them, knocking one to the ground, after which they chase her. She steals a motor scooter to escape them and ends up crashing it on Roundview Campus. There, she draws the ire of Mini, the queen bee of her group; this is exacerbated by a violent field hockey game and Mini's disdainful view of Franky's androgynous manner and dress.
At lunch, Franky is approached by farmboy Alo and metalhead Rich, who are also outsiders and hope to befriend her. However, Mini pushes them aside (possibly already planning to publicly humiliate Franky, or possibly fascinated by Franky's lack of obvious interest in Mini's own style) and joins Franky, along with her two friends Grace and Liv. They invite her to spend time with their clique, which Franky accepts. They share drugs with her and take her shopping.
Franky warms up quickly to Grace, who is more compassionate in general and much less aggressive about persuading her to try new things than her two friends. With encouragement from Grace and Liv (who also seems genuinely pleased by Franky's willingness to be taught), Franky tries on makeup for the first time and begins her slow transformation in style. Mini, on the other hand, quickly becomes frustrated and annoyed by the fact that she cannot get Franky under her thumb and becomes jealous of her friends' positive interactions with Franky. She invites Franky to a party but manipulates her into buying and wearing a dress for the occasion, even though Franky is quite obviously uncomfortable wearing it. She also shows contempt and condescension toward Franky over the fact that she was adopted by two gay men, and displays open delight over the humiliating images of Franky that her former bullies posted online.
The next day, Franky's new look draws appreciation from many of the students. In spite of this positive reaction, she goes on to flatly refuse Mini's demands that she wear the dress Mini picked out, complaining that it makes her look like a 'bulimic Barbie'. Infuriated, Mini tells her boyfriend Nick to copy the humiliating photos of Franky off Facebook and scatter them around the school while the others are in class. After the class ends and the students see the printed flyers, Grace and Liv show open disapproval to Mini over having humiliated Franky, while she violently tears them down and proceeds to flee the school. She vents her rage by smoking a joint and shooting a revolver at some discarded junk in a relatively isolated area. It is here that she meets Matty for the first time, as he walks along the footpath behind her and stumbles across her emotional display. Unfazed by her distress or the gun she is holding, Matty tells her she is beautiful and challenges her threats by walking up to her while she points the gun at him, revealing that he understands the purpose of her shooting and also understands that she is not likely to actually hurt a human being with the weapon. In this moment he also validates that her inner self is neither ugly nor frightening, but rather that her unwillingness to change for the comfort of others is beautiful in its own right.
After this event and some time to herself to think, Franky burns the dress Mini chose for her and is able to confront Mini. She shows up at Mini's party, and despite Mini's repeated demands for her to leave, she calls Mini out for her unacceptable behavior. Grace, who displayed a genuine interest in Franky from the beginning, follows the new girl when she leaves the party. Alo and Rich stop Franky in the street, invite her into Alo's van, and the four of them go into a local swimming pool after hours, where they unite as a gang of their own.
In "Rich", she is asked for dating advice by Alo and Rich, but tells them she doesn't have any experience. She suggests they ask Grace, which they do. She also stands up once more to Mini, telling her that she cannot order Grace around.
In "Mini", she helps Grace design clothes for the Roundview fashion show. Mini's behavior suggests that she would have accepted the clothing if Grace had designed it alone, but she rejects it largely due to Franky's contributions. She fires them both, but quickly discoveres that she cannot accomplish the fashion show by herself, prompting Grace and Franky to return to the team and complete it, saving the show with the help of Alo. At the after-party, Franky speaks to Mini, who is distraught over her fight with Liv (over Nick), and the fact that she has suddenly lost her friends. Franky tells her that at first she believed Mini's group to be pretentious bitches, but that when she spent time with them, she saw their love for one another and the fact that they watched out for each other. She also makes it clear that she didn't come to ruin Mini's life, and the two of them make amends. When they return to the party, they witness Nick and Liv returning to the party together after having sex. Mini asks Franky to pretend she didn't see it, to which Franky agrees. Moments later, she makes eye contact with Matty (who she still does not know anything about), but he leaves before she can approach him.
In "Liv", Franky is the first of the gang to forgive Mini for her previous actions, which is both surprising and powerful since Mini's actions were overtly aggressive toward Franky and hurt her feelings more than any of the others. Franky spends most of the episode smoking weed. Eventually, she falls asleep, and wakes up when Liv kicks the others out. Liv also asks Franky to leave, but before Franky goes she watches a video of when Liv and Mini were children, demonstrating the deep bond that the girls share from their childhoods.
In "Nick", she finally meets and learns who Matty is. Both are obviously intensely intrigued by one another. When it is suggested that Franky becomes Alo's girlfriend, Matty agrees, which causes Franky to shoot him an angry and confused look. She comes across Nick after he fights with his father, and (likely influenced by Matty's stark honesty toward her) informs him that he isn't 'a complete dick'. This interaction inspires him to quite his rugby team and to call his father out on the emotional mistreatment that he and his brother have been subjected to over the years.
In "Alo", Franky is approached by Mini at Alo's party. Mini suggests that Franky is in love with Matty, and though Franky vehemently denies it Mini encourages her to pursue him, claiming "Liv'd do it to you in a heartbeat". Franky coldly leaves Mini, and gets into a fight with a stranger at the party. Because of his previous encounter with Franky, Nick stands up for her and confronts the stranger. Liv leaves the party and consoles her. Franky's sexuality is brought up, though Franky refuses to discuss it, leading Liv to believe Franky is unsure. Later on, Franky is at Nick and Matty's party and accidentally discovers Liv and Matty having sex in his bedroom. She leaves in tears, which Matty sees, but Liv doesn't. Matty doesn't tell Liv.
In "Grace", Franky is enlisted by Grace to play Viola/Cesario in her version of Twelfth Night. In doing so, she spends a lot of time with Matty (who is playing Orsino), much to Liv's chagrin. Liv is aware of the connection between Matty and Franky, and becomes more hostile toward Franky. Grace has a party at her house, and once again Franky's sexuality is brought up. She states that she is not a lesbian nor a bisexual, but that she is interested in people, suggesting that she is pansexual. Liv demands to know who Franky likes, to which Franky gives an awkward silence. Grace, under the influence of drugs, interrupts to encourage everyone to dance. During the play rehearsals, Matty attempts to kiss Franky (as was dictated by the script), but Franky turns her head away from him. Eventually, Liv's growing paranoia that Matty is falling in love with Franky causes her to drop out of the production, which leads to Mini taking her place. When Mini and Franky rehears the kiss between Olivia and Cesario, there appears to be significant sexual tension between them. Their later relationship and protectiveness toward one another suggests that even early on there was physical attraction between the characters, especially on Mini's end (which would go a long way toward explaining Mini's immediate aggression toward Franky.)
The play goes on with Liv returning to play Olivia, and during the kiss scene she passionately kisses Franky while watching Matty through the corner of her eye. After they leave the stage, Liv confronts Matty over his feelings for Franky, and demands that he stops feeling them. Franky watches, stunned, as Liv and Matty both walk about in anger.
In "Everyone", Mini appears to have developed strong feelings for Franky (possibly a romantic crush), and has been looking after her since her confrontation with Liv and Matty. She angrily warns Matty to stay away from Franky because he's 'made her ill' (his actions have had an extremely negative impact on Franky's life). She also tells Franky that she 'deserves better'. On top of this, Franky has left a note for Matty asking why he is 'head-fucking' her. Alo's van breaks down, and although Franky falls on top of Matty, things do not go well between them. To make matters worse, she leaves with Liv and Matty when Alo's navigation skills fail them, and Mini's protectiveness does not help her. The three of them take drugs together and, while under the influence, they break into a nearby church. There Liv tries to seduce Franky in front of Matty, hoping he will react to her actions. Matty instead shakes his head firmly at her, and they end up fleeing the church as the owner comes after them with a shotgun. They are separated in the forest, and Matty and Liv have an argument while Franky wanders off.
Matty knows that his relationship with Liv cannot be made perfect and that he cannot suppress his attraction to Franky. He goes to find her, to Liv's dismay. Matty catches up with Franky, and they begin to kiss and touch each other. Before they can have sex, Franky has a panic attack, shoving him away from her and running away into the forest. Matty, confused and horrified, follows her. He comes across Liv and Mini and reveals to them what has happened, and that he does not know where Franky has gone. Scared for Franky's safety, they all go to look for her, including Liv (whose concern for her friend has surpassed her jealousy over Matty's feelings for her). Franky runs from their calls and trips over the side of the cliff, barely hanging on to the edge. Liv, Matty and Mini find her there and pull her to safety, where they console her. Franky then reveals that she was put up for adoption at the age of six. Later on, she reconciles with Matty, texting him what he said to her at their first meeting (that he is a 'glorious fucking head-fuck thing'), after which they embrace for the first time.
In "Everyone", we discover that the group is staying at a mansion in Morocco and that they have found a large quantity of drugs on the property, which they have been enjoying since their arrival. Franky and Matty arrive later than everyone else, having travelled from a trip together in Tunisia. They argue heatedly in the car, displaying considerable personal tension. It appears they have spent their time together discovering the incompatibilities of their very different personalities. When they meet the rest of the group, Franky meets Liv, Grace and Mini with warm welcomes between them. She cheers up and Mini convinces her that she should apologize to Matty, who is spending time with Alo, Nick, and Rider, while they help Alo bathe himself with bottled water and dish washing liquid. Alo is unlucky enough to be naked and soapy when Mini and Franky turn up to see about Matty.
Because of Mini's influence, Franky apologizes to Matty for her previous behavior. However, she then explains to him about how she is annoyed by Matty's repetitive behavior on their trip and that she is bored by him, clearly showing that she did not have the same emotional response to his presence that he did for her. She believes that because they are now in Morocco with their other friends, they can talk to other people and discard the problems that have been bothering them. Matty is visibly hurt by her callous attitude. Later, the group attends a party and meets the villa's owner, a young man named Luke. While the rest of the group has a good time at the part, Matty cannot stop longingly watching Franky.
Eventually, Matty can't take his unhappiness any longer and pulls Franky aside, but Franky is not interested in making up. Matty says he thought they had a great time in Tunisia, while Franky admits that she was bored. She ends up walking off and sequesters herself to the roof. She is not alone for long, as Luke shows up. There is a great deal of immediate sexual tension between them, and they flirt for a few minutes before dancing together.
Later, the girls are sunbathing together while the boys play in the pool. Matty confides to his brother Nick that he doesn't believe Franky can manage to be in a relationship, and Franky excuses herself from her own friends after Grace suggests that she should try to consider Matty's feelings and make up with him. Despite the fact that Grace seems to have Matty's feelings in mind, Franky seems to feel that Grace is saying she should consider 'making our boyfriends feel good' as her primary purpose.
Luke hosts another party, during which Matty gives up on trying to confront Franky about their problems. Franky goes to sit by herself, but Luke soon joins her. He talks about how he believes life as a teenager is formulaic and predictable, which speaks to Franky's own problems. She falls for his charms and the two prepare to leave together. Around the same time, Luke's friend Jake approaches Matty and says that Luke's posse had hidden about £6,000 of dope on the property (the drugs that the group has already been partaking from). He says that Luke needs Matty to drive it to Marrakech, which is over 300km away. Jake states that once Matty has done it, he'll get Franky back from Luke, but that if Matty refuses to comply the police will be set on him and his friends. They get into a short-lived fight which leaves Matty winded.
In the same party, Liv goes for a walk with a Moroccan she met earlier named Mahmut, who mentions that a young drug dealer named Luke stashes his drugs in empty areas, and makes it clear that he is very dangerous. Liv sees Franky leaving with Luke, but it is too late for Liv to stop her - Franky is already in the car.
Matty watches Franky and Luke go, and unfortunately Grace decides it is a good time to talk to Matty about Franky. Liv then arrives, informing Grace of what she's heard about Luke and urging Matty to go after them for Franky's sake. The drive quickly escalates into a dangerous road chase. While Liv and Grace yell at Matty to stop, Franky is doing the same to Luke. Sadly, the drivers do not listen to their passengers and Matty's truck sails over a cliff at the same moment that Rich realizes Grace has disappeared.
Three weeks later, Roundview begins its new term and the gang discuss Grace having been in hospital and that Professor Blood - taking time off from his job at the school - has forbidden anyone from seeing her. Franky's guilty feelings have isolated her from the rest of the group, causing her to reject the efforts of Nick to smile at and include Franky. The final shot shows Franky silently crying by herself out of guilt.
In "Rich", Franky seems to be on better terms with the gang. Rich calls Franky to tell her that Grace woke up, and is pleased to hear she can speak fluent French. Rich believes they can go together and find Grace in Paris. Franky is also invited to a house party that Alo and Rich throw at Principal Blood's house (which is empty since he is with her in France), which they hope to use as a way to raise money to travel to Paris.
When Franky discovers that Rich was incorrect about Grace waking up and finds out about Grace's death, Franky is deeply affected. She holds in a lot of her guilt and begins to push many of her friends away. In "Alex", she hardly speaks, though she is seen drinking with her friends silently in some of the scenes. Franky is also the only one to mention Grace as they bury Alex's grandmother at sea, saying 'If you see our friend, tell her we miss her'. In this way she symbolically says goodbye to Grace, something that the other members of the group clearly take part in, weeping and speaking as if they are also letting Grace go.
In "Franky" the guilt of Grace's death finally begins to openly manifest. Her relationship with her fathers is visibly strained and she can hardly sit her examinations. After skipping class - in some cases so disrespectfully that she earns suspension - she looks up Luke, finding him at a seedy looking pool hall with his crew. Apparently second-guessing her actions, she leaves suddenly, only to find him waiting outside her house later after she has a fight with her parents. Over the course of the episode she becomes increasingly entangled in Luke's world and the relationship escalates quickly. Franky attempts to express her grief over Grace's death through violence and rage; she and Luke engage in street-fighting, sex, drugs, and excessive drinking on a daily basis. However, the longer she stays with Luke the more she realizes the relationship is toxic. This is especially evident when she attempts to gain some emotional intimacy with him and he rejects it in favor of mindless physical intimacy. Franky continues alienating herself from the rest of the gang, and when Mini makes a sarcastic remark about Franky's 'outstanding taste in men', Franky accuses Mini of blaming her for the crash that ultimately killed Grace.
Franky continues to self-destruct until she has an angry altercation with one of her fathers that results in him falling and cracking his head on a countertop, which gives him a minor head injury. Like Rich and David Blood, Franky finds herself plagued with visions of Grace. She finally consents to see a counselor. The session appears to be ineffective until Franky snaps, after using a stuffed penguin as a stand-in for Grace and finding herself repeatedly and desperately apologizing to it. Apparently alarmed by this, she runs out of the session rather than confronting the problem further.
At this time, Nick begins to see the destructive spiral Franky is entering into and tries to save her from herself. When she demands to know his motives, he is speechless, though he later mutters 'I think I love you,' before running off. She begins to lose interest in Luke, which is fueled by his refusal to show even the occasional tenderness or compassion toward her. She becomes frightened when he reacts violently to her attempts to contact her friends and displays violent impulses toward them personally. They have a sexual encounter that appears to be rape, which causes her to return to her fathers' home. Her dad chases Luke away when he comes after her.
In "Mini", Franky discovers that Mini is pregnant. They become closer over this revelation, leaving Liv out of their friendship because of Liv's tendency to express her grief over Grace as hostility toward Franky. Franky supports Mini and her decision to carry the child, and makes it clear that she will do everything to make Alo understand his role in both Mini's life and the life of the child.
In "Nick", Franky is conflicted over her relationship with Nick and the feelings involved between them. Nick tells the gang that he is in trouble, but Franky behaves as if she does not care about it. Nick is desperate to save his brother, something the others fail to understand due to their blaming Matty for Grace's death. When they chastise him for continuing to worry about Matty, Nick storms off and does drugs. Franky surprises him there, asking why he didn't tell her that Matty had returned, and they get into a huge fight where he declares his love for her. She is not suprised, but denies any reciprocation of his feelings, after which she goes away. However, she produces the money that Nick requires to sort out Matty's situation, but she claims that she only did it for Nick's sake. Nick and Franky have sex, and begin to behave as a couple.
In "Alo", Franky atempts to get Alo to step up and make things right with Mini, though she does not reveal that Mini is pregnant.
In "Liv", Franky finally talks with Liv when they are at Mini's house. Liv doesn't understand why Mini is pushing her away. Franky tells Liv that Mini needs time before she can tell Liv the truth, which only upsets Liv further, since Liv has been friends with Mini since childhood and Franky has only known them for a year. Franky tries to convince Mini to tell Liv what is going on, but Mini is afraid to reveal her situation. Mini and Liv have a tense discussion by their lockers, during which Liv says that Franky is a whore. Franky slams her own locker and says that she needs to go, sarcastically saying she has to 'be a whore'. Liv turns on Franky and states that nobody has the nerve to tell Franky the truth, that it is because of her that Grace is dead, and that if she hadn't been head-fucking Matty Grace would never have been in Matty's truck. Franky slaps Liv, but also turns to Mini and says one more time that she needs to 'tell this bitch the truth', revealing that though she and Liv may not recover their own friendship, she believes that Mini's bond with Liv is not worthless and that Liv deserves to know what is happening. Franky then storms off. Afterward, Liv takes Matty to Mini's house where he and Franky have a conversation about his running away after the accident. Franky informs him that she is now in a relationship with his brother, Nick.
In "Mini and Franky", it is revealed that Mini and Franky have been staying together in Mini's home while her mother and her mother's boyfriend are on holiday. The two adults abruptly return home while Franky is cooking breakfast in her underwear. Mini's mother is still unaware of her daughter's pregnancy, and Mini barely manages to conceal her baby bump when her mother barges into her bedroom. Her mother's boyfriend discovers that Mini is pregnant after he confronts Franky over her strange behavior, when Mini collapses during their argument. At the hospital, Mini's mother makes it clear that she wants Mini to give the baby up for adoption. Over the course of the episode, Franky encourages Mini to run away with her so that she will not have to give her baby up, something that Franky has very passionate personal feelings over due to baggage of having been given up for adoption at 6 years of age. Mini ends up having doubts and wants to return home, which upsets Franky. Ultimately they return to Bristol, in part due to Mini's stepfather's encouragement, and Franky has an emotional breakdown. Franky overhears Mini's mother discuss a previous miscarriage with Mini, resulting in her agreement to let Mini keep the baby. This causes an unexpected reaction in Franky, who then runs out of the house in tears.
In "Everyone", Franky leaves to search out her biological mother. She meets a former guardian, asking why she 'loved me and then fucked off'. The woman tells Franky that she was not allowed to contact her and that although she had information on Franky's mother, she could not 'be the one to give you it'. She then pointedly looks toward her filing cabinet and excuses herself to use the toilet. Franky takes the hint and searches the woman's files, finding information on her birth mother. She locates a previous address of her mother's, and although her mother no longer lives there, she does meet her biological sister Clara. Clara informs her that their mother is dead. Franky returns to Bristol, where she visits Mini in hospital and has a vision of Grace that tells her to put her life in order, especially her relationships with Nick and Matty. She faces them and admits that she loves both of them, but can not be with them. Clara and Franky meet again with Franky's father Geoff present. Franky attempts to return a ring of their mother's that she had stolen, and Clara admits that she lied about their mother's fate. The final scene reveals Franky and her sister entering a room in a mental hospital and a woman turning to look at them in amazement, indicating that her mother is actually still alive and that Franky will be able to build a relationship with her.