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The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


Euphoria Season 2 review: An exhausting journey with a hopeful ending

The official cover for Euphoria. Euphoria’s season 2 finale brings a lot to unpack for its 6 million viewers, making it HBO’s second most watched show. PUBLIC DOMAIN

It has now been over a month since the release of the much-anticipated second season of Euphoria, leaving many fans in a state of utter emotional turmoil. No truer words have been spoken than when Zendaya said Season 2 would be “hard to watch.”

Major spoilers ahead:

The finale unpacked a lot in one hour: Lexi’s (Maude Apatow) high school play with a broadway budget continues to expose everyone, Cassie (Sydney Sweeney) and Maddie (Alexa Demie) and Nate (Jacob Elordi) drama intensifies, Fez watches Ashtray get shot and Rue stays clean. 

Cassie’s downfall is depicted throughout the season as she becomes a completely different person who is willing to lose relationships with the very people she cared about. All of this is for the love and attention of one boy, Nate Jacobs. Cassie’s villain origin story begins when Nate breaks up with her and kicks her out of his house after Lexi’s play reveals him and the roots of their toxic relationship to the rest of the school.

Although in the end, Nate turns his dad (Eric Dane) into the police by providing them with the tapes that scarred him since a child, one cannot dismiss the abuse and psychopathic tendencies he showcased towards Maddie when he held her at gunpoint, threatening her to give him the CD of his dad and Jules (Hunter Schafer). 

Season two delved deeper into different characters and their backstories, including Fezco (Angus Cloud) and how he got into the drug dealing business. The first episode, “Trying to Get to Heaven Before They Close the Door,” showed how much Fez had to grow up living with his drug-dealing grandmother, while also raising his adoptive little brother Ashtray (Javon Walton) and trying to protect him from his dangerous environment. 

The main focus though in Season 2 had been Rue and the lengths she goes to obtain more drugs, which get her into severe trouble with a drug dealer.

The episode in particular that got everyone watching on the edge of their seats was called “Stand Still Like the Hummingbird.” Rue goes on a rampage when she finds out her mom (Leslie Bennett) found the suitcase of drugs and flushed them down the toilet. This anxiety-induced episode showed Rue going through the stages of withdrawal while also narrowly escaping a life in sex trafficking when stuck in drug dealer Laurie’s (Martha Kelly) house. The tone and execution of the episode as well as Zendaya’s performance perfectly captured the lives of those struggling with addiction with an authentic portrayal of the effects of relapse. This accurate depiction had the influence of what director Sam Levinson went through as a young adult before he became clean. 

While Euphoria’s second season had a lot of high praise, some felt as though the season and the finale especially were overstuffed and had many pacing issues.

For example, after episode five, we never learn what was behind the locked door in Laurie’s house, and if she will try to take Rue down for costing her all that money after losing the suitcase full of drugs. Also, the mention of Nate’s mysterious and possible brother in the family photo was not addressed at all afterward. Most fans took to Twitter expressing how Elliot’s song to Rue was too long and poorly placed as they wanted to see what was going to happen to Fezco and Faye (Chloe Cherry) after the deadly shootout. 

Although Euphoria season two was exhausting and emotional, director Levinson was still able to provide some hope for Rue as we learned at the end that she remained clean throughout the school semester. However, Cassie and Maddie’s drama may not end as Maddie says to her former best friend that “this is just the beginning.” 

As Rue closes out the finale by saying “I don’t know if this feeling will last forever, but I am trying,” we are given a slight glimpse of what the next phase of her journey will look like in Season 3, as this is her story after all. 

On another light note, Euphoria became HBO’s second most-watched show behind “Game of Thrones,” with about 6 million people watching the finale. The season premiere itself is already reaching nearly 19 million viewers. The show as well has already been renewed for Season 3, which means we will be seeing more of the drama at Euphoria High and Levinson’s aesthetically pleasing cinematography. 

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