Back for another week, HBO’s stylish teen drama returns with another visually impressive episode, one that asks big questions around this new digitalised age of love. With text conversations between multiple duos dominating proceedings this week, Euphoria continues to match up its gorgeous visuals with a thematically strong narrative.
We begin with an introduction to Kat’s past. Her childhood, weight gain and loss of her first boyfriend Daniel act as the catalyst for what follows from there. We see her rise to the top of Tumblr, courtesy of her erotic fiction, before bringing us right back to the recent uploaded sex video. Determined to ride this wave of newfound internet fame, she dons a mask and twerks in the doorway, recording it for a porn site.
We return to Rue this week who decides to stay clean off drugs for a while. Not 60 days as the rehab center would believe but clean nonetheless. While she grows closer to Jules, her best friend starts falling in love via text with shyguy…who happens to be Nate in real life. From here, Euphoria boasts a beautiful split-screen shot of their text conversation as they continue to fall deeper into coversation together.
They’re not the only ones having text conversations either, as Kat starts talking to a guy online whose willing to pay her for a Skype session. Unsure how wiring money works, she heads off to ask Fez for advice on the matter.
Rue continues to feel conflicted over her feelings toward Jules and on her way out her house, she steals some narcotics and throws away 2 weeks of rehab for a quick fix. However, she comes across a man named Ali on her way home who speaks some home truths about being clean and lying, prompting Rue to head home and spend time with her sister.
Meanwhile, Maddy prepares for her night with Nate and after screwing around together, she checks Nate’s phone while he’s in the shower and, after a fruitless search through his messages, comes across an abundance of pictures of his penis.
With renowned confidence following her Skype conversation with the strange internet guy, Kat dons a new appearance and rocks up at school a changed girl. While she continues to turn heads, Rue has a heart to heart with Jules, ending with her leaning forward and kissing her before running out the room in shock.
Unable to deal with her feelings, Rue heads to Fez’s for a fix but he refuses to give her any more drugs after the incident last week. The episode then ends with Rue phoning Ali, finally ready to properly be clean off the drugs.
While not quite as hard-hitting as last week, Euphoria’s latest episode asks big questions around love and about how we experience this through digital conversations. With plenty of text conversations and a continued narative playing on the idea of porn and how this distorts our perception of love, Euphoria does a good job advancing each of our main characters whilst keeping this idea a central focus of the show.
Of course, stylistically Euphoria continues to shine, with a few really slick camera shots late on. There is a fair amount of explicit content again this week and for those not prepared, it’s worth pointing this out as Euphoria is not shy when it comes to male genitalia. While there isn’t anything wrong with this of course, this week it feels placed for shocks rather than a genuine thematic purpose.
Euphoria continues to deliver an enjoyable teen drama nonetheless and in true HBO fashion, the story progresses with a good pacing, with a continued reliance on the gorgeous visuals to drive the characters forward. Whilst not quite as impressive as last week’s episode, there’s enough here to make Euphoria one of the more stylish shows out there right now.