Day 4 – Your favorite character from Gen. 2
Oh man, I’ve been writing on this for two days now. I mean, I know exactly who my favorite character is, but it’s just so hard to write about her. There’s just so much!
**Edit** This turned out a lot longer than I expected. Like, a lot longer. It’s more like a rundown of every episode Naomi is in. Haha. But it’s good! I love Naomi, so I took a lot of care in writing this. I hope you like. :)
Anyways, my favorite character is Naomi Campbell. <3
But then again, I don’t think Naomi is herself without Emily, you know what I mean? I’m really gonna try just to make it Naomi-centric. I think Naomily will be a later post!
So, who is Naomi Campbell? According to the first episode she’s in, she “hates injustice and people tell lies about me.” That is Naomi in a nutshell.
We see so much of Naomi’s personality in the first episode alone. We meet her when she sits on the bleachers with Cook. We see their first interaction and we see Naomi as a catty bitch. When she notices Emily and her are in the same form, she looks terrified/angry/sad/happy all at once.
“Same fucking form,” she says, rolling her eyes. The chemistry between her and Emily is filled with tension, then later we find out from Katie that Naomi tried kissing Emily back in a lower grade. Katie says that Naomi basically pounced on Emily and all Emily can say is “leave it Katie.”
Naomi tries to fit in with the group. She goes to Cook’s birthday party, even though she doesn’t really know anyone except Emily. But that’s the reason she goes. Why else would Naomi put up with Katie’s snide and rude remarks the entire time? Because she wanted to see Emily.
One of my favorite poems is titled “We Wear the Mask” by Paul Dunbar:
“We wear the mask that grins and lies/It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes.”
I always associate this with Naomi. She puts up a huge front that no one else can see through; no one but Emily. She tells lies all the time, not outwardly, but she knows they’re lies. She wears the mask, and she wears it well.
In Pandora’s episode, Emily kisses her. ”It’s just the drugs, right?” Naomi asks her, and then kisses her again. Naomi needed that conformation from Emily that the drugs were an excuse to kiss her. She didn’t want to let Emily in all the way.
Finally, in the episode titled “Naomi,” she breaks from her mask. Well, almost. She lets Emily in more than she ever thought she would. Emily shows up at her house, telling Naomi that she should run for president of their class. Naomi basically tells Emily to leave. Emily does, but then comes right back in and tells Naomi off.
“Just so you know, the first thing I think when I see you is not ‘I want to fuck that girl’. We’ve kissed twice. It was nice. But it’s also nice just being with you. When you’re not being a prick that is.”
Naomi is taken aback, and lets Emily stay. This is the first break in Naomi. The first time she lets her guard fall. And it’s wonderful.
This is where Naomi starts to truly “Be Brave.” She breaks, ever so slightly, under Emily before she truly breaks down in the unseen content between series 3 and 4. They have a cute conversation, and Emily stays the night. The next morning, Naomi leaves before Emily wakes, and goes to school.
Throughout the rest of the episode, Naomi breaks more and more, because of Cook, because of her teacher, because of her home life. Everything. She breaks down and calls Emily, asking if they could go somewhere. ”Anywhere.”
The lake scene is beautifully scripted and directed. They have another cute conversation, about how Naomi never asks Emily anything. Emily asks if they want to do blowbacks and Naomi says, “Fuck it. Go ahead and disappoint me.” Another crack starts to form in Naomi. She wants to be disappointed. She doesn’t want to want Emily. But she can’t help it. And she finally lets herself go. This is my favorite part. The part where Naomi tries to Be Brave and she goes in for the kiss.
The next morning, Naomi leaves again before Emily wakes up. This time, Emily calls her out on it while Naomi walks away from her.
“Don’t you dare leave me in your bed again. I know you. I know you Naomi. I know you’re lonely. I think you need someone to want you. Well, I do want you. So, be brave. And want me back.”
Naomi walks away, after so many times. Then, finally, at the end of the episode, she decides to be a little bit braver. She goes to Emily’s house and sits in front of her door. They hold hands through the cat flap, and Naomi tells Emily that she wants her.
“I do want someone. Need someone. And when I’m with you, I feel like a better person. I feel happier. Less alone, less lonely.”
Naomi takes a small step in being with Emily. They sit there at the cat flap, holding hands, but never seeing each other. Naomi is still wearing a mask, but it’s starting to crumble.
The next time we see it start to crumble is in episode 9, “Katie and Emily.” Naomi tells Emily she’s going away for the summer by herself.
Naomi: “Let’s just be friends, okay?”
Emily: “We say that, don’t we?”
Naomi says goodbye and starts to walk away. Naomi has this habit of walking away, as we’ve seen. It’s her way to cope with things. It’s her way to cope with her feelings for Emily, as we’ll find out in the next series. Emily calls out after her and says, “I’ll miss you.” Naomi stops and heaves the biggest sigh in the world. She turns around and pushes Emily against the wall and kisses her fiercely.
“I can’t stand it. I can’t,” Naomi says. She’s so desperate. Her love for Emily is way too much to handle. She would rather walk away than be under Emily’s spell. But they leave college and go to Naomi’s, where they have an all day shag-fest.
Emily: “Come to the college ball with me. Like we’re together.”
Naomi: “I don’t want to do that.”
Emily: “Why not?:
Naomi: “Em, it’s nobody’s business.”
Emily: “Why? Who cares what other people…”
Naomi: “Emily, I’m not like you. I’m not sure like you are.”
Emily: “What aren’t you sure of?”
Naomi: “Can’t things ever just be complicated?”
Emily: “Fine. You like boys too?”
Naomi: “Maybe. Maybe I only like boys apart from you.”
Naomi goes back inside her mask. She is okay to be there with Emily, but when it comes to everyone else, she can’t be brave enough. Not yet. She can’t admit things to herself yet, so she can’t admit it to the world. Loving Emily will break Naomi, as we find in series 4, and series 3 Naomi isn’t ready to deal with it yet. Emily gets out of bed quickly and puts her clothes back on.
“Still holding hands through a cat flap, aren’t we?” Emily says and walks out.
Later in the episode, Naomi acquires another ounce of bravery and goes to see Emily at her house. Jenna Fitch answers the door and let’s Naomi inside, without seeing Emily. Jenna then tells Naomi that Emily is “impressionable,” and to “stop putting ideas in her head.” She tells Naomi to “disappear,” and Naomi leaves quickly.
It’s quite sad actually. Naomi finally has the chance to be brave and pursue Emily, like Emily has been pursuing her. But as soon as she is brave enough to do it, she is told to go home by Jenna. Her demeanor crumbles again. She tries calling Emily over and over again, and finally she answers. This act of bravery is so great for Naomi. She’s finally going to confront Emily. They agree to meet for coffee.
They meet and it turns out to be not Emily, but Katie. (Does the switching twin thing really work in real life??) Katie tells Naomi to leave Emily alone because she belongs to her. Naomi is finally brave enough and says:
“She can’t help what she is Katie. Neither can I.”
Naomi finally admits it. She finally admits, to Katie of all people, that maybe she is gay. Katie tells Naomi that Emily fucked JJ and Naomi can’t believe what Katie is saying. Finally, Katie threatens Naomi.
Naomi: “Why are you so horrible?”
Katie: “I love her more than you ever can. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have dresses to buy for the ball. You won’t be there, because if you are…”
Katie goes home and tells Emily to get dressed because they’re going to the ball together. They go with JJ and Freddie. Naomi goes home and thinks about what Katie said, but decides to go to the ball anyways.
This is where I fell in love with Naomi. Until now, I had seen Emily as the brave one. She was the one chasing Naomi. She was the one asking to go to the dance with her. She was the one who kissed her, not once, but multiple times. She was the one brave enough to come out to JJ, Thomas, and her family without thinking of the consequences. But in this instant, Naomi shows up at the dance. After all that Katie said to her and after all she thought Emily wanted. Naomi showed up, wanting to be with Emily.
Naomi and Katie have a full-out brawl, which turns into a Katie and Emily brawl. Emily finally tells Katie the truth about her and Naomi, something that, until this moment, Katie has tried to ignore.
Emily: “You have to understand, Katie. I love you, and I’ll never really leave you. But I can’t fix this. I like girls. No, I like a girl. No.. I love her. Ok? I love.. her.”
She points right to Naomi. And Naomi reaches for Emily. Reaches for her across the gym. But more so reaches for her across everything and everyone in their lives. There are so many things that keep these two apart: Jenna, Katie, Sophia, and Emily and Naomi themselves. She reaches past all of that, in this moment, just to take Emily’s hand so they can just BE for a while. And it’s beautiful.
She reaches out for her, wanting to tell the world that this is who she is. Not necessarily gay, but that she loves Emily. They leave, walking hand in hand.
Season 4 Naomi is more grim. In the first episode, we see that a girl dies in a club where the whole gang is at. In the second episode, Naomi gives Emily a present: a pair of cute goggles so Emily won’t get hurt while riding her scooter.
Naomi: “I love you.”
Emily: “Yeah, I know.”
Naomi: “Don’t forget it though.”
Naomi has secrets, you see. A big secret that she kept from Emily. She fucked this girl, Sophia, after an open day over the summer. Naomi saw Sophia in the club and sold her some MDMA so she could have some extra money and buy the goggles for Emily. Throughout the episode, Naomi tries to deny it to Emily, saying that she wouldn’t fuck some random that she just met. Naomi truly wants to believe it herself. She wants to forget that it ever happened. But when Emily goes sleuthing around and finds Sophia’s cadet locker, Naomi’s secrets begin pouring out.
Naomi: I’m sorry! I’m so sorry!
Emily: You ruined it! You don’t want anyone to care! I could be dead in a second. Everything’s so fragile. Didn’t you realize that? We were special!
Naomi: I was scared.
Emily: You’re always scared.
Naomi: Emily. Emily! Emily!
Now, some people don’t get the whole reason why Naomi cheated on Emily. But they don’t understand the power that Emily held over Naomi. Naomi said that she was scared. She was scared about the way Emily made her feel. Naomi had this plan, to go away for the summer and to be alone, to do some thinking. But Emily changed that for her. Naomi stayed for Emily. She went to an open day and felt like she had to lie about it, because after they graduate, they want to go traveling. Naomi was terrified about how Emily made her feel and what Emily was doing to her. She loved her too much, and that’s absolutely terrifying.
In the next episode, Cook goes to visit Naomi. Naomi tells Cook that they can talk about Sophia, that they sold her the drugs that killed her. She also tells him that they had an affair. Cook has always put up this front, where he doesn’t give a shit about anything, but Naomi calls him out on it.
Naomi: Yeah, right. You want to know how I feel? I feel fucking terrible. My girlfriend won’t look at me. I could cry every minute. I feel shit, and all I can do is … feel it.
Cook then walks away and Naomi tells him to “deal with it.” It’s funny, I think, that she tells him this, because I don’t see Naomi dealing with it well. Her and Emily won’t talk about it, which seems a little unreasonable since they live together. Naomi is breaking inside, and the only person who can really comfort her is Emily, and Emily won’t even sleep in the same bed as her.
To quote Heather Hogan: “The harshest space in the world is the distance between you and someone you used to touch without hesitation.”
Naomi would give the world to Emily, and Emily won’t even touch her, barely even look at her. Unless it’s out of spite or revenge, as when they kiss in “Katie’s” episode.
In this episode, the Fitch family is kicked out of their house and Katie suggests they move in with Naomi and Emily. Naomi, being the good-hearted person she is, let’s them come inside after Katie plays the Emily card, saying Naomi has to let them stay because Naomi and Emily are girlfriends.
Emily comes home and yells at Naomi. She doesn’t want her family here after everything they put the two of them through. Katie comes into the kitchen to tell Emily it’s only for a couple of days, but Emily isn’t having any of it.
Emily: “Stay out of my way. This is my house. I live here with my girlfriend. And we’re having a barbecue.”
Then Emily does something that I never suspected of her. In the past when she’s kissed Naomi, it’s always been about passion. It was tender and loving, and everything I wanted from a Naomily kiss. When Emily kisses Naomi this time, it’s so harsh and out of anger more than anything. Every time I watch this scene, I cringe at what is going on. Naomi just stands there, not kissing Emily back, and she just feels so used.
The barbecue happens outside, and Emily is making a fool of herself. She’s asking everyone for more weed and pills and barely even looking at Naomi. Naomi watches Emily dance with some random girl. Then Emily kisses her. And Naomi is ten different kinds of hurt.
Emily is hurting too, which is why she does this stupid thing. But Naomi sees Emily kissing some random out of spite. They have a confrontation, where Emily pushes Naomi into the small wading pool. They get up and have their exchange of “Fuck yous,” which is actually quite wonderful.
I feel like this is the only scene we really see how much hurt they are both in. They finally get mad at each other. Even if it is just the small ‘fuck you,’ at least it’s something. It’s better than pretending like they’re okay, and like nothing has changed. Because everything has changed. They lost that trust.
Naomi let Emily in all the way, yet she is still keeping her at a distance. Naomi “fucked the dead girl” and now Emily is punishing her for it. Naomi doesn’t even call her by name. The girl meant nothing to her. The only reason Naomi fucked this girl was to get a grip on what she was feeling for Emily. She didn’t understand this pull that this one girl had over her. It scared her so fucking much that she had to have a one night stand with some random girl that mean nothing to her. She realized that she loved Emily more than anything, more than she had ever felt for one person before. And that scared the shit out of her.
Katie comes between the two of them and ends up slapping her sister. Emily cries like I have never seen her cry before and it’s just wonderful. Naomi wants so badly to comfort her, to close that distance between them, but she can’t. She has to let Emily deal with this and she knows it. Naomi knows she fucked up and she doesn’t know exactly how to make it up to the one person she loves the most. Like I had said before, Naomi has this habit of running away. She had always run away from Emily. This time, it’s Emily who runs.
It’s sad, but this fight isn’t really resolved. The rest of the episode is the Fitch family, which is quite cute, but this is a post about Naomi. At least it’s trying to be a post about Naomi. Kinda did the Naomily thing, didn’t I?
So, even months and months later, these two are still in the exact same position, only this time Emily isn’t really trying to hide the fact that she’s cheating on Naomi. Now the girl has a name: Mandy.
JJ and his new gf go to visit the Fitch-Campbell home and we see these two still in their same predicament. They barely look at each other and they have never really talked out their problems. But really, would you still be living with someone who cheated on you and you still haven’t gotten over it? I mean, really now. If Emily had that big of a problem with Naomi, I never understood why she didn’t just move on and move out. It never made sense to me.
But Naomi finds out about Emily’s new girl and, again, her face tells more than she could ever say.
She’s hurt that Emily is potentially seeing someone else, even though Emily says she is just a friend. Emily and Naomi are still technically dating, even though everything their relationship was in the past is now gone, which is really sad. Naomi is breaking on the inside even more, now that she’s found out this information.
Naomi goes to visit Effy, who is in the psychiatric ward. Effy tells Naomi to just pretend that the whole thing with Sofia never happened.
Naomi: “Am I missing something? You can’t change what already happened. I wish you could. But you just … can’t.”
I love their small exchange here. It wasn’t much, but it was good. Effy has got this way of being the “all-seeing” on Skins. This season, she finally cracked in a way I never expected her to. But here, with Naomi, she’s almost back to being the “all-seeing.” She tries to convince herself that nothing bad in her life has happened. And that’s exactly what Naomi tries to do.
Naomi tries to fix things like nothing ever happened between her and Emily. She wants it to go back to the way it was before Sofia, but it will never be that again. In the final episode, which should be titled “Naomi” but is instead titled “Everyone,” Naomi comes in her and Emily’s room where Emily was sleeping with a naked Mandy. Naomi tells her that Mandy is pretty cute, “for a straight girl.”
This whole episode is a new layer to Naomi. She is trying to be like Effy, and just forget that anything has happened. But it’s all still fresh for Naomi. She still feels the disappointment and hurt coming from Emily. Naomi tries to convince herself that this new girl, Mandy, is straight, so she won’t have to feel like she’s losing the person she loves the most.
There were a lot of cringe-worthy moments in this episode, like the next scene with Cook and Arcia, so I won’t be talking about that. Just know that Lily Loveless is amazing with whatever dialogue she is given. Quite the comedic timing.
Naomi comes into the living room, where JJ (with baby), Karen, Thomas, Emily, and Mandy are sitting. She is completely drunk/high and she just wants everyone to drink with her. In this sense, I saw Naomi kinda like Effy. Effy was always the one who would drown her pain with everything, such as booze, pills, drugs, and sex. Naomi has been feeling everything so intensely since being with Emily that she just couldn’t handle feeling anymore. So she turned to the things that made Effy forget her pain.
She starts dancing, just trying to be without really being, if you know what I mean. She doesn’t want to feel anymore. She would rather do mundane things, like drink and dance, than actually talk to her girlfriend and try to fix what is wrong with them. Naomi can’t face that. Her mask hasn’t completely cracked all the way. She is still putting that facade up for everyone to see. She wants people to believe that she’s okay; that her and Emily are okay. Until this moment, she has hidden behind the mask. Now that she’s drunk, everything finally comes out.
Naomi: “We have problems, me and Emsy. Cause I was…bad. Isn’t that right, Ems? See? I’m forgiven! It’s just been heaven these last months. Fucking heaven!”
Emily jumps up to leave, her face completely torn with anger and frustration. She’s probably tired of living like this for so many months. Why didn’t these two ever work it out before now?! I just don’t understand that. It seems a little out of character for the two of them to just sit back and take it like that. Couldn’t one of them be brave enough and step up?
Mandy joins Naomi in the dancing and tells her “if you don’t want her, I do.” Naomi properly slaps Mandy after Mandy fondles her, which is quite disturbing. Naomi just stands there, with so many wonderful looks on her face.
Later on, Emily and Naomi wake up in bed together. Naomi is already awake, staring at Emily. I feel like she just wants to reach out and touch Emily. I feel like this is what Naomi misses more than anything. It probably still kills her just to sleep in the same bed, when they don’t really have a relationship anymore. It’s just so sad.
Naomi knows Emily isn’t lying. She knows that Emily really loves her. She wants Emily to say something back, to tell her ‘No, I’m not lying,’ but Emily doesn’t. Naomi still feels like the bad guy because Emily is making her out to be the bad guy. Naomi wants to tell Emily she loves her too, but she can’t quite say it yet, because of everything they have gone through.
Throughout the series, Emily has been the one fighting for their relationship. She started it, chasing after Naomi, and Naomi responded. And they became something amazing together. Then Naomi screwed up, and Emily tried to clean up the mess. She wanted Naomi to apologize to her in that moment, and say that she would die for her. But Naomi didn’t. She left Emily alone and Emily fell deeply into this pit of self-destruction. She began to date other girls, something she never would have done. Now, in this moment, Emily is apologizing for the things that she did to hurt Naomi back. Naomi hurt her first; Emily reciprocated. The tables have turned though. Naomi is now waiting for Emily to say all the things that she couldn’t after she cheated on her with Sofia. Naomi is waiting for Emily to prove her wrong.
Naomi gets up and tells Emily that her mom is coming home, and maybe Emily should go away. Naomi looks so defeated and the moment is filled with unresolved tension.
The thing I like most about this scene is the fact that Naomi is finally being brave. Sure, she hurt Emily, but Emily wasn’t exactly acting like the most perfect girlfriend afterwards. Did she really need to cheat on Naomi back? Naomi just walks out, tired of everything that has gone on between the two of them, and stands up for herself. Neither of them have been perfect in the relationship.
The cops come to Naomi’s house looking for Cook. They push Naomi against the wall and she feels absolutely nothing. She’s numb to everything and everyone around her. Everyone leaves her house to go to Freddie’s shed. She looks around her room when her mom calls.
Naomi: “I accepted a place at Goldsmith, but — yeah, I know how proud you are of me, Mum. I love you too.”
She is so close to telling her mom “But Emily and I are going traveling.” She stops herself though. Naomi has always been the person who actually cared. She cared and she knew what she wanted. From the first episode, when she said she “hates injustice,” Naomi knows what she wants and knows who she is. While other people that day said trivial things, like “I’ve never not had a boyfriend since I was 7,” and “I met a girl today,” Naomi actually tells a characteristic about herself that she knows is true. The only time she has ever lost her way was when she was with Emily. Emily wants to go traveling, and Naomi wants to be with Emily. Therefore, she’s willing to put her dreams and ambitions on hold so she can be with Emily. She loves her that much. She’s willing to give up everything for her. Now that’s love.
Naomi walks around her house like a zombie. She goes to her room, where she is lying there naked. She picks up the last thing Emily wore and clutches it close to her. She strips, down to her very core, holding the one thing that means most to her in her life.
It was at this point where Naomi breaks completely. She completely breaks from the mask she has had on from the first day at Roundview. All the times she had run from Emily, all the times she had said “no” to her, all the times she had acted like she didn’t care. She breaks free from all of that, strips back all of her ugly layers, everything that had been holding her back, and holds on by a thin thread. The only thing holding her to this earth is the shirt of Emily’s, which she holds onto for dear life.
The whole gang (minus Freddie) is at Freddie’s shed when Naomi shows up. Even though everyone is there, staring at her, she speaks directly to Emily.
Naomi: I’ve loved you from the first time I saw you; I think I was 12. It took me … three years to pluck up the courage to speak to you. I was so scared of the way I felt; you know, loving a girl, that I became a sarcastic bitch just to make it feel normal. I screwed guys to make it go away, but it didn’t work. When we got together it scared the sh-t out of me because you were the one person who could ruin my life.
I pushed you away. I made you think things were your fault, but really I was just terrified of pain. I screwed that girl Sophia to kind of spite you for having that hold on me. And I’m a total f–king coward because I got these … these tickets for us for Goa three months ago.
But I couldn’t stand … I didn’t want to be a slave to the way I feel about you. Can you understand? You were trying to punish me back, and it’s horrible. It’s so horrible because, really, I would die for you. I love you. I love you so much it is killing me.
The thing about this relationship is that it’s true. It’s honest. Every relationship isn’t perfect. There are always ups and downs. Someone gets hurt, someone messes up. That’s life.
I don’t want to watch a show that has nothing but perfect lives. I want people to mess up. I want the fuck-ups and the make-ups. Because that’s how life is. If everyone was perfect, why would I watch the show? That’s just boring.
Naomi Campbell conquered her fear: losing herself in love. She was brave in the most terrifying circumstances. Love is a scary place. It’s even scarier to lose yourself completely in love. But that’s what Naomi did. And I would like to think that Naomily are still a happy couple, living happily ever after.
Thanks for reading this super, super long post. If you read it at all. Maybe you just looked at the pictures, which is fine by me. I’ll try to update more. Depending on this epic snowstorm, I might be bored the next few days and I’ll be able to update more.
***Screencaps courtesy of Rophydoes***