Last week’s episode of Euphoria showed us that people – even grandparents – will go through far lengths to protect their own. This week’s episode is no different, as the events from last week spill over into the new episode. This week’s episode is about betrayal, trust, and protecting your own. There are more and more secrets in store, and the payoff is building to be incredible. The storytelling, cinematography, and acting have always been praised in Euphoria, and they continue this week.
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD.
Last week we saw Fez (Angus Cloud) break a bottle on Nate’s (Jacob Elordi) face. In addition, we saw Nate and Cassie (Sydney Sweeney) almost get caught having bathroom sex by Maddy (Alexa Demie). These things fold over into the next episode and it makes for great entertainment as the main plot of the episode. Maddy notices Cassie’s despair on her face after Nate gets attacked while they’re in the hospital. We also get a montage about Nate if he had met Cassie first, dialogued by Rue (Zendaya). We see a better version of Nate, one that isn’t evil. Either way, Maddy senses something and spends the episode trying to figure it out. All, while Nate and Cassie do their best to hide the obvious.
Kat (Barbie Ferreira) is in a healthy relationship that is admired and hated at the same time. Kat doesn’t feel the same though. She doesn’t know if she loves Ethan (Austin Abrams) or if she even loves herself. She spends the episode inside her own head fantasizing about what could be or what she wants. Letting her fantasies get the best of her. She even envisions Ethan as a Viking, and it’s a pretty entertaining bit. An interesting subplot to the episode and expanding on Kat’s sexual liberation, having a scene of women telling her to love herself.
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Rue and Jules (Hunter Schafer) are in a weird situation. After Jules finally meets Rue’s new friend Elliot (Dominic Fike) and finds out Rue never told him she was in a relationship. We see how it affected both Elliot and Jules. Jules is just kind of a confused mess and Elliot is trying to realize if he actually likes Rue. All while Rue is strung out on drugs, and trying to figure out what it is she’s doing exactly. She goes to her NA meeting, where we see the reintroduction of Ali (Colman Domingo), her sponsor. He introduces himself to her mother Leslie Bennett (Nika King).
The big part of the plot was Nate’s father Cal (Eric Dane) trying to find out what sent Nate to the hospital exactly, who did it and why. He searches high and low, questions Cassie and Lexi (Maude Apatow), and even badgers Nate about it. As Nate and Cassie deal with their own issues involving Maddy, and Fez deals with having to look after Faye (Chloe Cherry) along with Ashtray (Javon Walton). Eventually, Cal finds out who harmed Nate, and he makes a weird intimidation attempt towards Fez. When he finally confronts Nate about it, he realizes that there’s a lot more than meets the eye. Cal could very well end up in trouble as Nate now knows of his pedophilic streak. It’s here that the episode reaches its shocking conclusion.
Sam Levinson has a vision, and it’s beautiful. The aesthetic of Euphoria is great art, and it is very pleasing. Levinson is continuing to direct his show in a great fashion and push limits and boundaries as much as he can. Marcell Rev is a great cinematographer and this episode solidified it, the scene in the hospital is one of the greatest shots I’ve seen in a TV drama. Levinson’s script and continuity are great as well, everything meshes together.
As much as I enjoyed this episode of Euphoria, it wasn’t perfect. The pacing could’ve been better, and there were moments where things just felt jumpy. As consistent as the show typically is, this one bounced around a lot. There was no central focus as there usually is, and then a few subplots in the background. It may have worked for some, but for me, it didn’t create that sense of importance. The Nate/Maddy/Cassie love triangle and the Nate/Cal/Fez beef kind of just didn’t feel as important as they should have.
This was a good episode though, and one that lays a good foundation for the rest of the season. This season is definitely becoming more interesting as it goes on, and this episode created a lot of questions. What is Cal going to do knowing that Rue and Fez know his secret? What about Maddy? How will Nate handle the entire situation? There are a lot of things that could go completely wrong for everybody now. – Rascal F. Kennedy
Euphoria premieres Sundays at 10pm/9c on HBO and HBO Max.