Stand Still Like The Hummingbird
Strap yourselves in guys, episode 5 of Euphoria Season 2 starts with a bang and it continues delivering hard-hitting drama from start to finish.
We’re at Rue’s house and Leslie confronts Rue over taking pills. Rue puts up a big defence and plays it cool. When she finds out Jules is who told her, her entire complexion changes. Rue threatens her mum, blames her for suicidal thoughts and even rasps that she’s “not a good person.”
With Gia and Leslie in the former’s bedroom, Rue is a woman possessed. She’s desperate to find her pills and between kicking down Gia’s door and turning the house inside out, her anger turns to despair when she realizes the pills have been flushed down the toilet.
The kaleidoscope of emotion Rue goes through in this scene is nothing short of incredible. And if that wasn’t enough, Jules and Elliot happen to be in the living room and have heard everything.
Rue turns her anger across to Jules, calling their entire time together a mistake and lashing out in a pretty horrible way. Elliot feels the guilt rise up and eventually leaves, wishing for the old Rue to come back.
Rue meanwhile, breaks down and admits to Leslie she misses her dad, agreeing to go to rehab. En-route though, Rue admits nonchalantly that she relapsed the minute she got out of rehab last time.
When a moment of clarity returns to Rue, she suddenly skips out the car and runs away, dodging traffic and ending up at Lexi’s house, looking the worse for wear. Her mum is polite enough but knows instantly she’s not doing well. When Rue uses her bathroom, she warns Lexi as much in confidence.
Rue immediately begins looking for pills in the cupboard but when she settles on pawning jewelry instead, she sneaks downstairs and finds Leslie there along with everyone else, concerned looks on faces abound.
When Cassie tries to speak up, Rue deflects and asks her how long she’s been screwing Nate. Good grief. Maddy kicks off at Cassie, threatening to get violent.
The adults struggle to keep everything together but when Cassie rushes upstairs and Maddy follows, Rue slips out the front door and tries to find solitude with Fezco. An addict will do anything for a fix and it doesn’t take long for Rue to begin searching through his stash of pills. So naturally, Fezco kicks her out too.
Rue eventually resorts to robbing a rich couple in town, snatching up their jewelry and cash. And as she heads out into the streets again, she evades police by hiding in a bin and shows up at Laurie’s in an absolute state. She’s yawning, clutching her stomach and very clearly addicted.
She tries to pay her way using jewelry and stolen cash but that’s not going to cut it. Laurie knows all about addiction, pointing out she used to be addicted to Oxycontin and understands what she’s going through. Although she acts sympathetic, there’s a chilling undercurrent of uneasiness in this entire conversation.
When Laurie casually suggests that “as a woman, she does have something people wants”, it should ring alarm bells. She’s implying that Rue take to the street and be a sex worker.
Anyway, Laurie takes her to the bath, undresses her and injects the girl with morphine. Rue drifts in and out of consciousness, returning to memories involving her father as a child.
Unfortunately Laurie also locks her in the house, leading Rue to creep through the hallways in the early morning hours and make it out in one piece. If she hadn’t got out now, who knows what may have happened to her.
As the episode closes out, we cut across to Leslie, at home and worried sick. The door opens and as she calls out for Rue, we fade to black.
The Episode Review
There have been some rumblings in the TV scape (and from myself re. episode 2 to be honest) about Euphoria’s lack of direction and numerous subplots but god damn does this episode absolutely knock that out the water.
This is a beautifully worked masterclass when it comes to acting and Zendaya’s kaleidoscope of emotion here, ranging from anger and fear through to despair and nonchalance is so well written that I’d be surprised if she doesn’t get an Emmy for that.
The entire episode essentially focuses on Rue, although dropping that bombshell on Cassie at the party was a massive hammer blow and throws everything up in the air. It’s a great way of showing the instability that’s been brewing there and it had to be Rue didn’t it?
The entire 52 minute chapter is an a absolute rollercoaster ride of emotion and easily one of the best slices of drama this year. The fact it comes right off the back of 1883’s excellent episode yesterday is just the icing on the cake for what’s been a very solid bit of drama.