As Cory Ellison puts it on The Morning Show, “Chaos is the new cocaine!” Euphoria has exuded this in season two, as we continue to see characters spiral out of control. Season one was more condensed and contained. Season two is sporadic and unpredictable. We are seeing characters that have progressed, regress and we are also seeing some amazing acting. Euphoria is a lot of things, and unhinged is at the top of that list.
This episode of Euphoria starts with Jules (Hunter Schafer) and Rue (Zendaya) having what seems like a very intimate interaction. Jules doing all she can to please Rue, and Rue so high on drugs she’s numb to the feeling. We also get a very hilarious montage of Rue and Jules in recreations of love stories, from Snow White to Brokeback Mountain. The dynamic of Rue, Jules, and Elliot (Dominic Fike) is explored a bit more. Jules who was afraid Rue liked Elliot actually likes him. They even kiss and get a bit intimate when Rue isn’t around.
The trio plays a game of truth or dare, leading them to steal beer from a convenience store. They drive off and start drinking, which Jules doesn’t want Rue to do. Rue eventually tells Jules exactly how she feels, and distances herself. She goes home and pops some pills, we then see a vision of Rue at church giving herself to God. We also see Rue talking to her father. Then we see a view into her room to see just high out of her mind, and a sense of sadness hits. Elliot tells Jules the truth about him and Rue, which leads Jules to make a very strange decision.
Nate (Jacob Elordi) is still playing mind games. He goes to see Maddy (Alexa Demie), tells her he loves her, and even goes as far as to buy her a birthday gift. We see him arguing with Cassie (Sydney Sweeney), and Cassie slowly becoming unhinged. She tells Nate that she will essentially do whatever it takes to keep him and Maddy apart. She states that they aren’t good for each other and that she’s doing the “right” thing. Which we all know is crazy, she’s just obsessed. Cassie even lashes out at Lexi (Maude Apatow) when she asks her if she’s ok.
Maddy has a birthday party at the Howard house with Kat (Barbie Ferreira), BB (Sophia Rose Wilson), and of course Lexi and Cassie. Suze (Alanna Ubach) tells the girls that if they tell anyone she let them drink, they’d never be allowed back over. We get unique sequences of them at the party. Cassie asks Maddy if Nate is coming and looking extremely uncomfortable and nervous. Nate shows up, and all hell breaks loose.
When Nate arrives Cassie goes to the bathroom to try to calm down. She ends up putting on a pink bathing suit in an attempt to catch Nate’s attention. All this does is just create an awkward situation so she goes to the jacuzzi. As things progress, Cassie begins drinking and singing “Drink Before the War” by Sinead O’Connor in a montage that’s crossed over by Cal’s (Eric Dane) bar scene, which we will get to next.
Cassie joins everybody at the jacuzzi, and Maddy begins to question Nate. Everybody asks if they’re together and Nate immediately says no. Leading Maddy to immediately question and badger him about their relationship. She tells him how he’s basically saying that they aren’t even working it out. Leading to an uncomfortable situation that ends in Cassie throwing up on Maddy and in the pool. Chaos ensues, and it’s wonderful.
We now know Cal’s background. We know of his relationship with Nate’s mother Marsha (Rebecca Louise) and his best friend Derek. He gets extremely drunk and goes on a bit of a rampage. Then he gets back in his old Jeep and speeds down the highway to the bar he visited with Derek. He drinks, enjoys a dance with a young gentleman to “Drink Before the War”, and then decides he wants to wrestle which leads to him getting kicked out.
Cal goes home and absolutely loses his mind. He comes inside and urinates all over the floor. Then he goes off on his entire family and tells them how he has sex with men and women (cisgender or otherwise). He then exposes the secrets of his wife Marsha and son Aaron (Zak Steiner). Marsha has notes from a counselor she had an affair with, and Aaron has a computer full of porn. He tells Nate he’s his biggest disappointment and how he doesn’t know anything about him. He then takes a family photo off the wall and leaves.
The other small subplots include Fezco (Angus Cloud) and Ash (Javon Walton) finding out people are starting to get curious about Mouse. Kat finally admits that she doesn’t love or feel how she thinks she should feel about Ethan. Maddy explains to her that if she isn’t happy she should leave. Lexi’s play is actually going to happen, and she’s balancing that along with trying to help her sister. These are small things that will have bigger fallouts or plotlines later for Euphoria.
Sam Levinson couldn’t have written a better screenplay for this episode of Euphoria. This episode encapsulates everything he’s been building so far in the first three episodes. A mixture of all things that have been chaos thus far, and some sort of fallout. Nikola Boyanov and company did a great job with editing. Between the writing, editing, and incredible acting, this was an all-time Euphoria episode. Levinson continues to show us that he cares and understands his characters in a way few creators do.
The acting in this episode was absolutely magnificent. Zendaya, Sweeney, and Dane in particular gave us great performances. Demie, Elordi, and Suze all pitched in as well. This was an episode full of emotions and despair, and these actors gave us everything possible. They contributed to a really good season and made it great. There was honestly nothing I have negative to say about any of the performances in this episode. From line delivery, emotions, mannerisms, this was a flawless episode in every way.
The only other showrunner/creator that I can honestly say cares about his characters this much is Taylor Sheridan (Yellowstone). This for me so far is Euphoria’s greatest episode. There was just something about them finally blending everything perfectly. It was the perfect mix and all you could do is watch as the chaos spread throughout the episode. It was a lot of fun, and I can’t wait to see where Levinson takes his story from here. – Rascal F. Kennedy
New episodes of Euphoria premiere every Sunday on HBO/HBO Max at 9pm/8c.