Out of Touch
Episode 2 of Euphoria Season 2 begins right after Nate’s brutal beating at the hands of Fezco. With blood staining his face, Nate is rushed to hospital as he questions his conflicting feelings toward the two women in his life. On the one hand there’s Maddy. His high-school sweetheart, Maddy has always been there for him – but brought out the worst side of his persona.
On the other hand, there’s Cassie. During his delirious state, Nate flirts with the idea of love, and sees himself spending his whole life with her. In doing so, this would also break the family cycle of messing up relationships.
Nate snaps out of his fantasy though when he remembers that Maddy is in possession of the disk. Still, that doesn’t stop him from letting his mind wander back to Cassie.
The first day of the school year begins, right after New Year, as Rue reconnects with Jules. Everything is fine… until Rue notices Elliot, the boy from the party whom she did drugs with. That’s a problem, given he could destroy their relationship if he knew that Elliot and Rue have been spending time together, doing drugs.
Jules can hardly contain her disappointment, believing Rue has a crush on him. She takes off to the bathroom, trying to hold back her tears.
Meanwhile, a love triangle brews. Cassie and Nate’s hook-up plays on the former’s mind, feeling guilty that Maddy and Nate are sorta-together – and jealous over Nate’s nice messages he’s sending to Maddy. The thing is, if Maddy found out the truth about Cassie, she would probably kill her – or at least beat her to an absolute pulp anyway.
This problem is only exacerbated that night when Nate’s dad confronts Cassie and threatens to phone the police unless she reveals what happened to Nate. She caves, knowing her own message to Nate that night about them having sex could well be leaked if the police are involved. So naturally, she reveals that Fezco was responsible for the beating.
Nate heads out with Cassie and the pair drive together in secret, with Maddy struggling to get through to either of them. They arrive at a secluded area, where Nate tells her that what happened was a mistake and never should have happened. They can’t see each other anymore or speak about what happened… that is until he follows her and the pair kiss again.
Elsewhere Kat and Ethan’s relationship is facing problems, away from the façade of perfectness they’ve presented to the school. Kat wants more spontaneous lovemaking sessions, typified by her fantasy about a big, rugged man having his way with her. These problems start to manifest themselves, as Kat suffers from depression and struggles to make sense of what she really wants.
That night, Jules, Maddy and Kat all head out bowling together. While Maddy and Jules marvel at the “perfect” relationship Kat and Ethan have (unaware of Kat’s woes), Maddy reveals that she’s going to get back with Nate.
Meanwhile, Fezco and Ashtray have an unwanted house guest. Faye. After evading the police following her pushing the motel manager off the roof, she’s now living with him.
The trouble is, this causes friction between him and Lexi, who shows up at Fezco’s shop and sees the pair together. She immediately believes they’re a couple and can hardly contain her disappointment.
Nate’s dad arrives in the shop, hand in pocket, and begins questioning Fezco. It’s certainly an unnerving moment, as Ashtray fishes out the gun from a cereal box. Instead of brandishing a gun though, he pays for his goods and tells Fezco that he’s a “concerned father” and leaves.
While Fezco is paranoid that Nate’s dad is going to come after them, back home Nate tells his dad exactly why Fezco beat him. When he asks whether Nate has the tape or not, he’s silent, debating over whether to reveal the truth or not.
The Episode Review
Euphoria is a really enthralling show with a big problem. There are so many subplots that this season is juggling now that it dilutes the main ideas of the series. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of Euphoria and have championed this show from the beginning but this episode is messy.
The love triangle between Nate, Cassie and Maddy; Rue’s woes with Jules’; Rue’s struggles with drug addiction; Kat’s relationship with Ethan; Fezco’s problems with Ashtray and Faye; Nate’s Dad’s extracurricular activities and Lexi’s conflicting feelings toward Fezco.
All of these storylines are interwoven together but instead of a focal point, everything flits back and forth between these different plotlines, struggling to find a consistent rhythm.
After such a strong opener, this almost feels like a filler in the way the artistic visuals and ideas overpower the main narrative. Still, it’s early days and we’ll have to wait and see what the rest of this season has in store for us!