WARNING: This review contains spoilers for the Season 2 finale of Euphoria. For last week’s review click here.
Siblings: they can be blood-related, they can be adopted, or they can be close friends you grew up with. A siblings’ bond is one that goes through various trials. We love our siblings, we may argue, fight, disagree, but we always love each other. That’s just what it is to be siblings. The season 2 finale of Euphoria focuses on many things, but the bond of friendship and family is a major one.
Lexi’s (Maude Apatow) play “Our Life” has clearly ruffled some feathers in the last episode of Euphoria. It made Nate (Jacob Elordi) feel embarrassed to the point that he left Cassie (Sydney Sweeney) at the play alone. Rue (Zendaya) was having a chance to reminisce on her life. Maddy (Alexa Demie), Kat (Barbie Ferreira), and BB (Sophia Rose Wilson) along with Suze (Alanna Ubach) were enjoying the show. All the while Fez (Angus Cloud), Ashtray (Javon Walton), and Faye (Chloe Cherry) were clearly in a bit of a pickle. This would set the stage for the awaited finale.
There were several loose ends to tie in this episode, so please bear with me. I think this was a brilliant season. Was it messy? Sure, but most writers can’t pull off what Sam Levinson has. He’s the writer, director, and one of several producers. This is HIS story he wants to tell, and he’s doing that. The show fills itself with complicated characters that deal with several things all at the same time. There are a few gaps still left open that we want closed, but for the time being, we focus on the ones that did get closed.
Lexi wrote “Our Life” about her, her family, and her friends. It especially resonates with Rue, who got the chance to look at her life through a different lens. The play also allowed Jules (Hunter Schafer) to understand Rue better. We see flashbacks of Lexi and Rue’s friendships, and how they bond through the loss of their fathers. There are many conversations between the two about their dads and the different ways they feel about them. Rue’s father passed away from cancer, and Lexi’s dad walked out of her life. The play had many factors, but at its core, just like Euphoria – it’s about Rue.
Rue had her storyline for the season closed. She went through hell and high water, but she came out sober. Yes, the Laurie subplot never closed. Personally, I think Laurie just wanted to scare her and make her turn her life around. Guess we’ll get that closure next season. Rue also goes and visits Elliot (Dominic Fike), they talk and apologize to each other. Elliot even sings her a song, and it brings tears to her eyes. She wants to be friends with him, but they are on different life paths. She also gets some sort of closure with Jules, she ultimately walks away and gives us a monologue on how she stayed sober throughout the year.
Nate gets some closure as well. He goes to Cal’s (Eric Dane) business and finds him surrounded by sex workers. Nate chastises him, asking him about his happiness. Cal admits to being happier, and that angers Nate. He tells his father how he loves him, how he found the videos at eleven years old, and spent most of his life protecting his father. This brings a moment of clarity to Cal, as he realizes his son who he’s called his worst mistake has actually been the one looking out for him. Cal is arrested for his crimes, as Nate finally spills the beans about his father.
Cassie, who abruptly interrupts her sister’s play after Nate leaves her, is reeling. She chastises her sister and goes off about how the play was made to embarrass her. She includes bringing up that she “stole” Nate from Maddy. The crowd boos and jeers at her. Eventually, Suze gets on stage to stop her. She continues and even chases Lexi around, leading up to Maddy, Kat, and BB joining in the fun. Maddy finally gets her hands on Cassie and chases her off stage. The show eventually continues on after the crowd cheers in support of Lexi.
Now, let’s talk about what everybody wants to talk about… Fezco and Ashtray. One of the great brotherly bonds on television. We know Custer (Tyler Chase) was setting up Fez and Ashtray. Faye essentially tips off Fez that Custer is setting them up. Custer tries to get them to admit to murdering Mouse, but Faye intervenes. Ashtray realizes what’s going on, and makes an impulsive decision: he kills Custer. Fez tries to talk Ashtray into surrendering, but off impulse, he takes all the guns in the house and lays in the bathtub. He gets into a shootout with the S.W.A.T. and ends up accidentally shooting Fez before shooting a SWAT officer, and eventually getting killed. Fez and Faye get arrested, and he never makes it to Lexi’s play.
Levinson definitely left the show on a cliffhanger, and for good reason. He basically did the same thing in the season one finale. He keeps you interested and questioning what comes next. We saw Maddy tell Cassie that Nate leaving her was only the beginning. He’s going to do the same thing to her that he did to Maddy. We don’t know what characters are coming back for season three or where they’ll be, but we are all invested. We don’t know if Fez will be in jail, on trail, or what. Laurie and Rue is something people are very curious about, as well as Ali (Colman Domingo) and Rue’s relationship and her relationship with Leslie (Nika King) and Gia (Storm Reid).
This was a well-directed and written episode. There were just enough doors closed, and left open to make the third season interesting. This season was most definitely messy, but it attributed to the show. Euphoria feeds off of two things, how anxiety-inducing it is, and its aesthetic. The cinematography and editing make both of those things possible. They are probably the most important factors to the show. Which is good considering they have been the highlights of this season. Also, the score for the finale may be the best score in both seasons of Euphoria. When Cassie has her Carrie moment, it definitely takes on a dramatic twist. Ultimately enhancing the scene.
This was a great season of Euphoria. It pulls from everything and builds to a really good finale. The first episode about Fez only makes it more difficult to digest. Knowing how much he loves Ashtray, and how Ashtray is willing to protect him at all costs. There’s a nuance to their sibling love. Gia and Rue, and Lexi and Cassie also were built into the sibling dynamic. This season of Euphoria had a recurring theme of family: whether it be mothers, fathers, or siblings, it was a heavy theme. This was a season that put us through many emotions, and it did its job. – Rascal F. Kennedy
Euphoria season 2 is now streaming on HBO Max.