You Who Cannot See, Think of Those Who Can
Episode 4 of Euphoria Season 2 begins with Rue reflecting on how much she loves Jules. Through a series of re-enacted love scenes, we see the pair’s affection for one another. Brokeback Mountain, Titanic and even Sleeping Beauty are depicted. Unfortunately, Rue’s feelings are completely muddied by being high on drugs. While Jules is going down on her, Rue fakes an orgasm.
Jules knows. Of course she knows. And naturally she heads off and speaks to Elliot about it. Jules starts to doubt herself so Elliot shows her “how it’s done” by practicing on his hand. Unfortunately, this also leads to the pair kissing… until Rue messages and confirms she’s outside.
Hold up, didn’t we learn during the standalone chapter last year that Jules is completely done with men? Well, I guess not.
Anyway, Jules is clearly conflicted over her true feelings, breathing heavily while lying on Elliot’s bed. And even worse, when Rue goes to the bathroom, the pair end up kissing again.
There are so many lies between these three and the biggest lie of all comes in thee form of a 2 inch long line across the sink basin. While Rue continues to do drugs, Elliot meanwhile, does not. He actually blows his line away.
Meanwhile, thee situation between Cassie and Maddy continues to grow ever-more volatile. While Nate can keep his feelings buried, his body language says otherwise. Folded arms, standoffish and avoiding Maddy’s eye contact; his robotic response to why he loves her speaks volumes.
Cassie however, is far less nonchalant. She painfully smiles through Maddy’s birthday and she’s wracked with guilt. Cassie’s drama stems from Nate’s feelings, and specifically how she’ll do anything to make sure he and Maddy don’t get back together. Cassie essentially blackmails him into a relationship, warning Nate that she’s crazier than Maddy and will happily tell her best friend everything. Even his strained “I love you” doesn’t do the trick.
At Maddy’s party, Maddy speaks to Kat, who’s clearly depressed. Kat admits that she hates Ethan and isn’t sure what to do. So Maddy tells her she needs to do what she feels is right, and admits she had a feeling things weren’t right between them.
Speaking of not right, Cal, with a bandaged head, goes out for a drive while drinking. It’s reckless, dangerous and bound to end in tears. Drunk, he shows up at the old bar he frequented as a student, reminiscing on the precious moments with Derek from his past. While he puts a song on and dances, an absolutely beautiful montage ensues, with Cal dancing and Cassie losing control, unbeknownst to her that she’s being watched while she dances in a bathing suit in the lounge.
Speaking of tears, the Rue/Elliot/Jules situation takes a turn for the worst. After doing drugs earlier on, Rue starts drinking in the car. Now, given she’s in rehab and apparently “sober” (at least in the eyes of everyone around her) then it all goes awry. In fact, Rue tells Jules that he can’t stand her in a really heartbreaking moment.
The thing is, Rue’s problems are about to get a whole lot worse. At home she starts popping pills from the suitcase. The same suitcase she’s supposed to be selling gear from.
Back at the party, everyone gets in the hot tub, including Nate and Cassie. Things take an awkward turn when Maddy reveals they’re not in a relationship. All the words Maddy taunts him with are unceremoniously interrupted by Cassie, who ends up vomiting in the hot tub. And all over Nate, Maddy and Kat.
Cal is kicked out the bar for trying to wrestle the patrons and eventually gets back in his car, tears stinging his eyes, and heads home. Cal begins urinating all over the floor.
With his family watching on, Cal snaps and admits that Marsha is his biggest regret and that as a family, they all have secrets. When the attention tuns to Nate, he claims his entire life is a mystery. Interestingly, he has the family portrait under his arm the whole time he’s speaking. And with that, he leaves and decides not to return.
Meanwhile, Elliot reveals the truth to Jules about Rue. He’s had enough of lying and drops the news about how Rue hasn’t been sober all this time. And worse, she’s taking every drug under the sun.
As we jump back to Rue, we dive into her psyche and, specifically, how dangerously close she is to having another overdose. She misses her father, and as the pair subconsciously embrace, it’s clear he’s the catalyst for Rue’s misery and depression. She’s taking drugs recklessly to try and be closer to her father whom she believes is on the other side. With Jules one of the sole reasons she’s continuing on, how is that going to play out now that Jules knows the truth?
The Episode Review
There is a lot to unpack in this episode and honestly, this is probably the best chapter of the whole season next to the opener. Say what you want about the unfocused storylines and the amount of subplots being juggled, but when this show focuses on two or three stories and interweaves that around a central theme, it’s all the stronger for it.
The theme this week is clearly regret and that can bee seen through Cal’s trip down memory lane and his regretful life he’s built around him. Of course, Cassie’s internal issues eventually manifest externally when she gets drunk at the party while Rue and Jules’ situation is far more complex.
The love triangle is still a bit contrived and there are moments here that don’t quite work as well as they could. Kat’s subplot is indifferently boring while the whole Fezco situation feels like it’s going nowhere too, especially after such a compelling opening chapter with his past explored.
However, the cinematography and little stylistic ticks in this episode do help this one stand out and there’s plenty to like about this season too. You could also argue that the scattered plot is indicative of how our characters are feeling, although you can sense that the whole Cassie/Maddy situation is going to blow up sooner or later