SKAM - THE OPINION OF A SLIGHTLY DRUNK AUSTRALIAN LITERATURE STUDENT

First, although we have all been quick to demonise Even for hurting our beautiful elven Prince Isak many of us can agree that he is likely suffering from some form of mental illness.

Many signs indicate this such as the scene in which Isak first encounters Even in the Kose group bathrooms where Even obsessively, compulsively removes every single hand towel from the dispenser, knowing that Isak still needs to dry his hands. Signs of mental illness can also be seen in the pool scene when Even ‘jokingly’ chokes Isak, this random, compulsive behaviour denoting that he is not of a stable mindset. He engages in extremely reckless and romantically grandiose behaviour such as breaking into a stranger’s house and kissing Isak in the locker room as the bell is going which is thoughtless behaviour seeing as both parties have an unspoken agreement that they are not prepared to come out to their schoolmates. He fails to contact Isak for days, this possibly due to the overwhelming stress of becoming vulnerable after spending so long in a safe relationship with Sonja, whom he most likely does not romantically love. People with bipolar disorders often have dark times followed periods of euphoria, this providing a good explanation for all of his random behaviour. It is obvious that Even is affronted when Isak mentions the fact that his mother is ‘crazy’ and he thinks his life is better off without the company of mentally ill people, this supporting the theories above.

It is evident that Even has retreated back to Sonja because his mental illness was likely to have set in during his teen years, which as stated in episode 4, is the time during which he and Sonja initially got together, this indicative that to Even, Sonja represents stability and safety which is crucial in the life of a mentally ill person. As Even would have spent much of his young adolescent years dealing with the onset of his mental illness he would have not had the chance to deal with his homosexuality or possible bisexuality. As his relationship with Isak is homosexual, this being a prospect he is not prepared to address, running back to Sonja in his time of uncertainty is logical from his point of view as she has already accepted many parts of him he is uncomfortable with. We can therefore surmise that Even is not a bad person, simply scared, confused and unstable this causing him to do the careless yet somewhat understandable things that he does to Isak. Isak himself lets his fear of being outed cause him to treat others poorly. His cruel treatment of Emma is a testament to this fact and both Isak and Even manipulate females to keep status and remain comfortable in their various social settings.

Isak has a tendency to run away from his issues, abandoning his parents when things got difficult and denying the fact he is gay for the entirety of season 1 and 2 and the vast majority of his teenage years. Through Even Isak is confronted with the reality that mental illness is not necessarily only to be associated with characteristically bad or out-casted individuals but also can exist within people he generally holds in a positive light, such as Even (prior to ep5 in which Even breaks his poor baby fucking heart). This may provide Isak with a better understanding of mental illness and reduce some of the stigma he feels towards his mother, adding a more human quality to her, this allowing him to reconcile with her.

Even also forces Isak to directly confront his homosexuality, their relationship inevitably requiring him to come out if he wishes to pursue it, his body language and general behaviour around Even prior to the final five minutes of episode 5 suggesting that he does.

As season 3 centres around the development of Isak as an individual Even will remain in the narrative as he plays a vital part in Isak’s character arc, therefore they will most likely end up in a public relationship by the end of the series.

If I am wrong I will drink myself into a coma.