Euphoria Season 2 Review: Episode by Episode


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Iconic quote after iconic quote, Euphoria takes the world by storm as season 2 finally drops after 3 years of anticipation.

After literal years of waiting, Euphoria season 2 had officially come back to ring in the new year, and with a vengeance. 

Season 2 Episode 1: Trying to get to heaven before they close the door 

The season opener starts off with a dramatic introduction to the childhood of fan favorite, Fez, and the tales of his grandma. This was much anticipated as we’ve been waiting for his moment to shine since the last season. Producers  didn’t waste any time getting into gruesome details as ‘Grandma Fez’  enters a strip club and kills its owner, who happens to be Fez’s father speeding off with a young Fez. Already off to an explicit scene, it left me wondering if we were going to receive the vulnerability of the special episodes or just the raunchy entertainment aspect without delving too deep into the characters. As we already know where Fez goes, trouble follows and this wouldn’t be any exception. Rue, being Rue, doesn’t listen to directions and finds herself in an escalated version of her interaction with the now dead Mouse in season 1. The weird thing about their relationship is that there’s a double-edged quality to Fez’s care; he calls Rue his “family” but he’s also her drug dealer, afraid to admit that he supplied her addiction. Now it wouldn’t be Euphoria without a raging, aesthetically pleasing party that ends in disaster. As euphoria is a show all about shock value, they sure knew how to pack it in as Cassie and Nate become this confusing thing. Why they took this turn I don’t know, but it sure brings a lot of drama. The premiere closes with Fez’s sudden assault of Nate. The only thing that has me confused is the woefully rushed reunion of Rue and Jules after the resolution to a two-year cliffhanger is to… have them get back together? I guess that’s a teenage relationship for you but it’s as if the specials never happened. 


Season 2 Episode 2: Out of Touch 

The episode picks up right where we left off, on Nate’s bloody face after a brutal pummeling from Fez. Nate is torn between his new, undeveloped relationship with Cassie, who he  fantasizes about a white-picket-fence future with, and Maddy— a fierce opponent for power. What would euphoria be without a dream sequence? When Cal asks why Fez beat him up, Nate fabricates a lie about him, Rue, and Jules to keep his father in the dark about his own involvement. Only now, Cal knows that Nate is aware of the missing disk which is the biggest revelation of the episode. 


Season 2 Episode 3: Ruminations: Big and Little Bullys


This episode we got something I would’ve never expected; a Cal Jacobs spotlight. Not to say his actions are excused but watching an adolescent teen love growing with his best friend and the scene in the gay bar was one of the top tier moments of the season for me. It made me sympathize with the sad and lonely boy who just wanted to love and even shed a tear for him. In the present, Cal is on a mission to get the tape of him and Jules back going to Fez’s house, giving us one of the top comedy scenes of the show. I, for one, would like to know who “Jules?” is. Then the focus shifts to Rue who… oh? Of course. She got a suitcase full of drugs to sell for a profit. I wonder how this will play out the rest of the season. 


Season 2 Episode 4: You who cannot see, think of those who can

While no character overdoses, dies, or incriminates themselves , episode 4 significantly changes the series’ character relationships. Jules discovers Rue’s relapse so, naturally, she leaves Rue on the side of the road in the dark and cheats on her with Elliot? Kat, who has barely shown up this entire season but already seems ready to end her relationship with Ethan that she spent most of the 1st season getting into? Just when we may have thought Maddy and Nate were over, they talk it out and implies they’re trying to fix the toxic parts of the relationship—which is basically everything but I digress. Cal arrives at the bar where he and Derick kissed 20 years earlier and while drunk, he slow-dances with a stranger who he imagines as Derick and says, “I thought I lost you.” The whole thing felt too depressing to watch but nonetheless I cried out of pity. Cal takes off his hetero mask and in a moment that in another time could have been redemptive, managed to be depressing and just downright cruel as he tells Nate that he’s his biggest mistake. After exclaiming the toxicity of family secrets, Cal then says he has been set free and that he’s leaving. He takes a family photo off the wall and then peaces out.


Season 2 Episode 5: Stand Still like a hummingbird 

If I had one word to describe this episode it would be Chaotic. Rue’s mom finds out about Rue’s relapse and the suitcase with all of the pills she’s supposed to sell for Laurie is gone. I myself was having an anxiety attack just thinking about what Rue’s going to have to deal with if she doesn’t get the suitcase back. Rue goes on a rampage, kicking down Gua’s door, pushing her mom, and eventually begging and pleading for forgiveness for scaring them. Though things escalate further when she finds out Jules and Elliot heard the whole thing. She screams at Jules, and if I were Jules and heard all the things Rue said I’d honestly pull a Taylor Swift and go MIA for a year. On the way to the hospital Rue jumps out of the car and the chase begins. The best to come out of this was Rue’s hilarious and seemingly out of nowhere reveal of Nate and Cassie’s relationship which of course, like many iconic Euphoria scenes, became a trend on Tiktok. 


Season 2 Episode 6: A thousand Little trees of blood 

After the undeniably outstanding Rue-centric episode the previous week, this episode felt like the path to healing–well except for Rue and that poor Jolly Rancher. Ironically though, the Bennett family actually finds some semblance of normalcy with the help of Ali who actually listened to Gia’s feelings (finally someone!)–I would love to see more of him in season 3 by the way. When watching the four of them at the dinner table I found that after the last episode, there’s something equally powerful in these in-between moments — that happiness is just within her grasp. A certain Howard sister, however, is in some major denial. Can you guess who? Cassie throws just about every coping mechanism at the wall to see what sticks, seeking validation her mom won’t give her. I promise I’m not a Cassie apologist but come on girl, I was holding out for you to come to your senses! And then there’s the game of Russian Roulette in Maddy’s bedroom. The fact that he turns the revolver on himself, not Maddy, speaks to his awareness that she may care more for him than herself. He knows how to weaponize her love for him which is honestly terrifying.

Season 2 episode 7: The theater and its double 

The episode starts off as Rue at her dad’s memorial and just as we thought it was a regular flashback the camera pulls back… and we realize that we’re now watching the dramatization of this scene in Lexi’s play. It’s finally time for Lexi’s play and man did she give it her all. If there’s one thing I want to aspire to learn, it’s Rue’s facial expressions throughout the entire production. Throughout the hour, we see Lexi checking the crowd for Fez’s face; she’d saved a seat for him, and he’d said he’d be there. But the show rolls on, and no Fezco. There are so many scenes and so many elaborate sets in Lexi’s play I had to wonder that this thing must be a four-hour production. Also, what was the budget for all those sets? I’ve seen Broadway productions that would’ve killed for that intricate  rotating school hallway setup. For the grand finale–well of the episode at least– that i can’t share in detail with you but man, Ethan just became an icon in my book. I also love how Nate suddenly became a LGBTQ+ activist calling the performance “homophobic”. Hello pot… meet kettle. And then we see Cassie’s face all fogged up through the auditorium window–I’m sorry I had to laugh. 


Season 2 Episode 8: All my life, my heart has yearned for a thing I cannot name 

I feel like I can honestly write an entire piece on this episode alone. Where to begin? We found out that Custer had been cooperating with the police back in episode 6 I think it was? Well you know how that went. I must say, Faye is a real one for warning Fez about Custer’s motives and I’d beg at the writers doorsteps to get them to have her in season 3 (no writers I will not actually harass you, in person at least). Naturally though, Ash would do anything for his big brother and I guess was feeling extra homicidal that day. I was practically having an aneurysm attempting to contain myself before and during the raid scene. Seriously though, watching the fear in Ashtray’s eyes as the red beam traveled up his body and Fez pleading for the Police not to shoot was so heart wrenching and I’m now so sad as Ash was one of my favorite characters. Sigh. Plus, we don’t even know the status of Fez who even if he survives getting shot, will be a wreck for sure. As for Maddy and Cassie, they finally fought like all the viewers had been waiting for, and let’s just say, Cassie looked like a ragdoll. “Don’t worry,” Maddy says, “This is just the beginning.” Was it supposed to be a comfort or a warning? For that I’m not sure. After the whole Cassie/play extravaganza Lexi was left embarrassed but she made her return to the stage, dedicating the show to Fez. As the rest of the show goes on, it shifts to Rue and Lexi talking in Lexi’s room after Rue sees the play explaining that it “meant the world to me,” Rue adds. They talk about how much they miss their fathers, and all of the other complicated emotions that go along with that. I was so ecstatic to see that friendship mending after it felt Lexi had been put on the backburner by Rue since season 1.    


I feel like we just pulled through a thread of yarn and we’re only 1/4 done. There were so many stones left unturned. Like hello? We’ve yet to see the consequences of the suitcase, Nate turning Cal in and still having a hard drive of his tapes, and is the treacherous love triangle semi-close to over? What will happen to Fez after the police raid? Are Rue and Jules getting back together? All that is Fexi?

Welp– see you guys in 2024 I guess.