"Rise: Part 1"
Series 7, Episode 5
Centric Character(s): James Cook
Original Airdate: July 29 2013
Written by: Jamie Brittain
Directed by: Jack Clough
Episode chronology
"Pure: Part 2"
"Rise: Part 2"

"Rise: Part 1" is the fifth episode of Series 7 and the 60th episode overall.

This episode primarily focuses on James Cook as a young adult, taking place around four years after he was expelled from Roundview College.

It focuses on Cook attempting to deal with the murder of J.T. Foster that he committed years prior while also dealing with multiple scars of the past. Now living in Manchester, Cook makes his living peddling drugs in Manchester's criminal underworld, while attempting to turn his life around.


On the face of things, the character of Cook - now a drug peddler in Manchester - hasn't changed that much. He may - with tongue firmly in cheek - despair over the activities of "f**king kids", but Cook hasn't lost his 'Jack the Lad' charm or way with the ladies - Rise sees him get his end away twice in the opening eight minutes.

But there's a sombreness to the character now, as evidenced by his early snatches of inner monologue. The rampant womanising, the cocksure demeanour are less obvious and when they do surface, they feel a little forced, a little empty - and that's sort of the point. Cook's lost something in transit.

It's implied that his murder of sinister Dr Foster - a revenge killing for the death of Freddie - was what curtailed Cook's wild excesses and turned him into the "straight down the line" figure we see now. But, as has become the trend in these Skins epilogues, what happened to the character between then and now is never explicitly stated.

It's not long before our man finds himself in trouble though, despite himself. Cook's employer Louis (Liam Boyle) tasks his charismatic number two with looking after his lady love - clearly he's never seen Pulp Fiction - and while he initially resists his adolescent urges, it's not long before Cook's giving the glamorous Charlie (Hannah Britland) more than a foot massage.

Charlie's been similarly unfaithful with Lucien Laviscount's cocky Jason and soon Louis has his burly henchman brutally off his love rival. Still, the greatest danger to Cook remains Cook himself.

The man may have tempered the beast inside - leaving us wanting for the big 'I'M COOK' moment where the bad boy can no longer abstain from violence - but judging by that fantastic cliffhanger, such a moral implosion / physical explosion now seems inevitable.