The Following Recap/Review Contains Spoilers for Season 2, Episode 5 of ‘Euphoria’. For a review of Episode 4, click here.
Addiction is a disease, and it’s also hereditary. It is a disease that can ruin a person and every relationship in their life. An addict cannot truly defeat addiction without the proper support and will to do so. Euphoria is filled with drama, great designs, and an amazing aesthetic; but at its core, it is about a young woman battling addiction. It’s also about cause and effect, and consequences. Each action in the show leads to a consequence that is often bad.
The last episode of Euphoria opened up a lot of different things. Rue (Zendaya) snapped on Jules, and was so high she was hallucinating being in church and seeing her father. Jules (Hunter Schafer) was making out with Elliot (Dominic Fike). Nate (Jacob Elordi) and Maddy get into an argument that puts Cassie in a predicament and she throws up in the jacuzzi. Cal revisits an old spot, gets drunk, and decides to abandon his family.
This week’s episode of Euphoria is extremely wild. Rue gets into an argument with her mother, Leslie (Nika King). The argument starts because Rue is looking for her suitcase Laurie (Martha Kelly) fronted her. Rue rips the house apart screaming at her mom and sister Gia (Storm Reid). She knows what will happen if she doesn’t have Laurie’s drugs. She spends what looks like hours ripping the house apart while screaming and crying.
Jules is also there and admits that they emptied all of the drugs into the toilet. Rue then goes off on Jules and Elliot. She tells both of them how they’re also terrible people. Going after Jules for abandoning her at the train station, while calling out Elliot for also being an addict. She eventually gets in the car with her mom and sister and decides to go to the hospital.
Rue jumps out of the car in the middle of the street and goes to Lexie (Maude Apatow) and Cassie’s (Sydney Sweeney) house. Cassie tries to give Rue words of encouragement, and Rue exposes that she’s having sex with Nate. The situation goes from intervention to chaos. Maddy (Alexa Demie) chases Cassie upstairs, and Kat (Barbie Ferreira) and Lexie follow them, along with Suze. Rue makes a break for it, and takes off on foot again.
The police see Rue running, and stop her to question her. She takes off and goes on a wild chase. She goes to Fez (Angus Cloud) and tries to steal drugs from him. He kicks her out, and as a last ditch effort she runs to Laurie. Laurie takes her in and explains her life to Rue. How she had a family and ended up hurt. She also tells Rue she needs to come up with her money and even suggests prostitution.
Rue ends up in the restroom and throws up. Laurie injects morphine into her and bathes her. Rue wakes up in a room in Laurie’s house, and begins walking around. She sees rooms with locks on them, and in one of them, somebody is scratching at the door. Rue quickly realizes what’s happening and begins trying to escape. The house is completely locked down though. She eventually finds a way out and runs to what we believe is home. AS we see somebody walk into the Bennett home at the end of the episode.
This episode of Euphoria was a great follow up to the last episode. The last episode was filled with drama and suspense. A lot of carelessness, and some great scenes. This episode was that but amplified. Sam Levinson could definitely use a bigger writer’s room with more people, but this is his story. He’s guiding it exactly where he wants it, and directing how he sees fit. It’s working, and it’s great to see that he cares about his characters so much.
Zendaya gives another great performance. This may be her greatest performance as Rue Bennett. She shows the phases of addiction, and all the while Rue isn’t panicking about not being able to sell the drugs. Rue is panicking because she knows Laurie will sell her body. Nobody understands why Rue is panicking though, and that’s the painful part of this episode. Rue needs help and it isn’t from withdrawals.
Levinson does a great job with the Laurie/Rue scenes. Rue goes to the very woman she knows will traffick her in a last ditch effort. Laurie pretends to care, but you can tell from her monotone voice she has no intention on helping Rue. She gives her morphine, and fake cares about her. Levinson shows you that evil comes in many forms. This woman doesn’t care what happens to Rue, she just wants her money.
Everybody does a good job acting though. This was an emotional rollercoaster. Reid and King give some powerful performances. The cinematography, while Rue is running, is great. The police scenes, her running from her mom were all shot using handhelds and it worked out great. The editing and script parallels were also amazing. Rue was stating thoughts from the third wall perspective out loud.
Euphoria at its core is about addiction. Addiction to drugs, sex, adrenaline, etc. Each one of these characters is addicted to something or has serious character flaws. These are things people struggle with in real life. This show may be fiction in a lot of ways, but how it portrays addiction is spot on. As a society, we shun addicts when we should be helping them. Addiction is truly a disease and Euphoria drives that fact home. – Rascal F. Kennedy
Euphoria premieres Sundays at 9pm/8c on HBO and HBO Max