Loyalty Or Fame
Episode 1 of Skylines begins with a motorcyclist speeding down a bridge. As it races toward a shop, we cut to see Jinn puffing on a cigarette outside before heading in to prepare for a Hip Hop performance with his friend Tonik. Despite some initial drama between Skee and Tonik, the two hit the stage and ignite the crowd with a barrage of rapping and slickly produced beats.
After the show, Jinn is taken aside and speaks to a prospective label executive, Semir, who tells him to come by the office the next day. As they drive off, Semir learns that Ardan is back.
Meanwhile Sara, a local police officer, heads in to grab sandwiches from a local store, only to be met with an explosion as she tries to leave the shop. As police rush to the scene, she reflects on the motorcycle and the two men, wondering if they may be connected to the blast in some way.
Back home, Jinn loses himself in the music and after waking up in the morning, he talks to his sister Lily where they discuss hip-hop and his prospective career path. Ignoring a call from Tonik, he heads into Skyline Records as requested. Shown around the building, they head downstairs where he sees the Blue and Red rooms first-hand. Here, he shows what he’s capable of with a live performance that impresses the other producers before Semir finally arrives to greet him. Speaking to him alone, Semir tells Jinn he needs people who can take him to the next level and Skyline Records are just the people to do it.
Back at the station, Sara dances around small talk with her superior Dagi and discusses the Kelmendi case she’s been working on. It’s here we learn she’s been gathering intel for the last two years. In order to get a glowing report toward her exams, she’s told to continue gathering intel, much to her displeasure. On the job, she manages to coerce a dealer into working for her though, offering him a deal he can’t refuse.
After an eventful day, Jinn returns home and speaks to Tonik about their music career by the river. Lying about being at Skyline, he contemplates what to do in the future and whether his friend will hold him back. At the same time, Kalifa discusses the future of streaming and what this means for the label. As an Indie studio, he’s told the board need to warm up to him as a prospective business partner. Their conversation however, is broken up when he sees Ardan outside. As he heads out and greets him, they begin talking.
With Jinn’s beat doing the rounds, the episode closes out with Jinn wondering whether to take Skylines’ offer or to stick it out with Tonik, as we see two very different styles of rapping take centre stage.
As an opening episode, Skylines does well to set the tone and mood here as we’re introduced to various different characters and begin our trio of different narratives. The different hip-hop beats nestled around seeing Jinn’s home life works well here and certainly adds extra depth to his character. Quite what the future holds for these characters remains to be seen but right now, Skylines gets off to a pretty solid start.