WARNING! SPOILERS AHEAD!
With the arrival of Winter Term came my newest distraction: Euphoria. When I first watched Euphoria, I was 16 and had never seen a nude body on television. Now, after my fair share of my HBO Max subscription, I truly believed that I was ready for Euphoria’s second season—and boy, was I wrong. Like many viewers, I developed opinions that others may not agree with. So, in tribute to the end of Season 2, here are my Euphoria hot takes.
While what she did was incredibly evil, I get Cassie’s craziness. Maybe this is one of my red flags, or maybe I’m just very empathetic. I do not condone her actions, nor are they morally correct. Screwing your best friend’s ex, WHO, by the way, you knew was emotionally abusive, and being okay with the trouble it could cause are both mind-boggling, but I can also sympathize with the notion of doing something even though you know that it is wrong.
Why do they sexualize Samantha (the mother of the kid Maddy is babysitting)? She is supposed to be a mentor figure to Maddy, but there were SEVERAL implications that something romantic would happen between them. I’m grateful nothing happened, but I thought that it was very strange that they implied something would. Perhaps it was a cinematic element, or perhaps Sam Levinson needs intimacy therapy.
Rue’s mom is incredibly valid in what she says to Rue in Episode 7. Coming from a Black Christian household in the South, this is exactly something I could envision several of my family members saying to me if I were in that position. There is a heavy emphasis on free will in Christianity—referencing what Rue says about her mother earlier in the season—where there is an understanding that if you truly want to do something, no one can stop you. She wants to focus on Gia because she knows that nothing she has already done for Rue can help her, so I don’t blame her for essentially leaving Rue’s life entirely to Rue’s own actions.
The breakup scene between Kat and Ethan was extremely funny. Please don’t get me wrong, she textbook GASLIGHTED him to filth, but the whole scene was written and paced with a comedic tone. I sympathize with her struggle to find her identity this season, and, while she took a backseat to the rest of the drama, I felt that the breakup scene was incomplete. It lacked a developed sense of context outside of that scene in Episode 2, but the humor element made the whole scene watchable.
The Jules/Elliot storyline wasn’t necessary. I felt like it was a crutch to fill up the time to get to the beef of the drama (Rue’s fight for sobriety and the Nate/Cassie/Fezco conflict), and Jules deserves more than that. Elliot was definitely introduced so that something could happen between Jules and him, which to me was frankly unnecessary. Rue and Jules’s relationship didn’t need a man, nor did this really stand out in the grand scheme of things. (Also, that song that he sang in the last episode was humorously irrelevant and unneeded, which makes me think his casting was really and truly only for this moment.)
The season ended in a beautiful way. I know that some audiences didn’t appreciate its open-endedness, which is a valid opinion in its own right, but the end of the episode had an immense feeling of peace: Rue’s kiss to Jules in place of a response, and Maddy and Cassie coexisting in the bathroom after their fight. Even after Fezco lost his brother, the peace came in his departure from consciousness, as he’s being hauled away into custody. With that being said, I am very curious about the loose ends that were left for next season. Rue fully owes over $10k to Laurie, the drug dealer. Will Fezco be free (mentally and physically) after Ashtray’s death? What’s Nate’s next move?
All-in-all, I give this season a 7.5/10. I enjoyed the plot (despite the semi-distasteful moments and the overly long transitional scenes) and Rue’s evolution as a character. The soundtrack was outstanding (with omission of Elliot’s song at the end) and the experimental cinematography served as an interesting character throughout the entire season. What will next season hold?