The TV series Skins was no stranger to controversial moments, but the shocking conclusion to season 4 completely changed Cook forever.
Introduced as part of the second generation of the series Skins, James Cook was forever changed by what happened to him in season 4 and beyond. Known as one of the show’s many troubled young characters, Cook was defined by his hard-partying lifestyle and general disregard for authority figures. Despite being somewhat of a troublemaker, Cook was usually gregarious and outgoing, but his temper was also volatile and unpredictable. Throughout seasons 3 and 4, Cook was seen to be quite impulsive with his decision-making, and that sometimes put him at odds with his closest friends.
Season 4 was a whirlwind for Cook and his best friend Freddie, and after their friendship was tested in season 3 through Cook’s relationship with Effy, they reconciled in season 4. Every season of Skins had controversial moments, but the shocking murder of Freddie in season 4 continued that season’s extremely dark turn. Freddie was murdered by John Foster in season 4, episode 7, “Effy”, and the bizarre turn of events eventually took Cook to his lowest point as a character. The season ended on a cliffhanger after Cook learned that it was Foster who murdered his best friend, and it would be several years before his fate was revealed.
Cook Killed John Foster After Discovering Freddie Had Been Murdered
In season 4, episode 8, “Everyone”, the episode and season concluded with Cook violently lunging toward John Foster after learning he had murdered Freddie. Seasons 5 and 6 were completely devoid of information about the events of season 4, but Cook would return several years later in season 7. Cook got one of Skins‘ most fitting endings when in season 7, episodes 5 and 6, “Rise”, it was revealed that he had spent the last few years on the run after murdering John Foster out of revenge for his departed friend.
How John Foster’s Murder Changed Cook Overall
Cook had always been on the wrong side of the law, but by murdering John Foster he crossed a threshold he had never approached before. Unlike simple drug-related charges, stone-cold murder showed him the depths of his own anger and allowed him to grow. “Rise” showed that he had spent years on the run as a drug dealer for a man named Louie in Manchester. Initially, he resisted advances from Louie’s girlfriend, Charlie, but eventually gave in to the detriment of his relationship with Emma. Louie eventually killed Emma out of revenge, but Cook resisted the urge to kill him when he was given the chance
One of the best episodes of Skins, “Rise” was the culmination of Cook’s arc as he eventually learned to resist his own urges. Killing John Foster was too much even for Cook, and season 7 showed he was trying to control all of his impulses – even if he was unsuccessful. As a followup to “Everyone” from season 4, “Rise” illustrated that Cook’s journey of self-discovery wasn’t completed, but his harrowing ordeal with Louie finally clinched it. As was usually the case with Skins, Cook changed in the most painful way possible and his so-called rise came at a great cost.