Reactions, thoughts, and theories
Warning: spoilers ahead.
As a devoted Euphoria fan, I thought it only fit that I write a review of the season two finale which aired last Sunday on HBO. The final episode finely wrapped up the season, while still leaving some questions unanswered for next season, which has been confirmed for production.
I’ll admit, after episode four— you know, the one with Cal’s whole “I am who I am” speech –– I was not sure what direction the show was going to take. While the entire season was a perfectly crafted mixture of art, television, social issues, and super hot actors, there was a part of me that felt like the creator, Sam Levinson, was not sending the right message — or any message at all. I personally feel that with a show this intense, it is important to reassure the viewers, or have a clear message like, “don’t do drugs!” or, “toxic relationships are not cool!,” or “don’t sleep with your best friend’s ex-boyfriend.” I don’t know, something like that.
But the first few episodes did not do any of that, and I was slowly getting upset. I feel like I can handle the topics that are discussed in the show, and separate it from my real life. But that’s also because I’ve been through high school and most of university, and I was raised in a house where we always talked about everything. But I don’t know how fourteen-year-olds just entering high school might take the subject matter in Euphoria, especially in this past season. I definitely don’t think I would have been able to handle it at that age, or even truly understand Levinson’s intent of having these characters and all their trauma on the screen.
As mad as I was after the fourth episode, I’m glad I was wrong about Levinson’s vision because he wasn’t just creating and glorifying for the sake of art. The rest of the show addressed all the questions and uncertainties I had about the different plots. So, with that being said, I thought I would do a rundown of my thoughts and reactions to season two, as well as my theories for season three.
First of all, I just want to say how relieved I am that we are leaving season two with Rue (played by Zendaya) being sober. I don’t think I would’ve been able to handle a relapse, especially with everything else that happened in the finale (crying as I write this). Her entire journey throughout the season was so painful to watch, but Zendaya’s performance made it impossible to look away. It was great to see her come to terms with herself, as well as the pain she went through right after her father died, by watching Lexi’s play.
And since I just mentioned her, go Lexi Howard! We are all on your team. It was incredible to see her character’s development throughout this season, and the role Fezco played in it. I remember how excited the internet was when Lexi sat on that couch next to Fezco at the NYE party in episode one. The way that Fezco supported Lexi’s creation of her play was so beautiful and I wish we had more screen time with them together.
Lexi’s play — which took place during the last two episodes — pretty much walked us through all the events that took place in seasons one and two. We were also exposed to some parts of the past which helped us better understand the characters, including, Rue’s dad’s funeral and several others from the past two seasons from Lexi’s perspective. I think Levinson’s next step is to create an actual live performance, because I would spend my money on that.
Lexi truly destroyed everyone in this play, and seeing how much her mother and Rue enjoyed it was very heartwarming. But it wasn’t all her since Ethan (played by Austin Abrams) played almost every character, including Nate. I actually had to pick my jaw up off the floor after watching him dance to Bonnie Tyler’s “Holding out for a Hero.” Watching Nate storm out of the theatre was just the cherry on top. But, Cassie walking on the stage and giving a speech about how she’s okay with being a bad person — that’s pretty much what it was — and Maddy running after her to finally give her the smackdown she deserved, truly gave me life.
There was a lot of confrontation in the final episode that addressed all the struggles that each character has gone through. Nate finally confronting his father, and telling the police about everything his father has done, including recording having sex with Jules, was just one such confrontation. I still can’t believe it happened, and even though Cal deserved what came to him, I think there is still room for Nate to be humbled.
Rue confronting Elliot after smacking him on the forehead was also a nice way to leave their friendship. Not to mention the long-ass song that Elliot played for her — yes I cried.
Now for the bombshell. The reason it’s taken me so long to write this article. Even though we knew someone was going to die this season, why did it have to be Ashtray? We all knew Ashtray was ride or die for Fezco — that was clear when he killed Mouse. And yet, when his time came, I was not prepared for it. I think the fact that he was the youngest character out of all of them and was clearly a product of his environment never really gave him much hope. RIP Ashtray.
I’m scared to see what this means for Fezco, since he’ll probably go to prison. And with that, here are some theories I have for season three:
With Fezco and Cal both on their way to prison, does this mean we are finally going to learn more about the resemblance between Cal’s youngest son, who we’ve never officially met, and Ashtray? It was just too strange that after Cal came out to his family and told them all off that he also took their family photo with him. There must be some connection between the two. Maybe the two will become bunk buddies in prison and we’ll get to learn more about that third child.
Will Cassie and Nate stay together? After their fight, Maddy looks over at Cassie and says, “this is just the beginning.” Does this mean that Cassie and Nate will be continuing their toxic affair? And if so, what does that mean for Cassie and Maddy? Not to mention Nate is clearly in love with Jules, but because of his own trauma and issues, he thinks that Cassie is the closest he’ll ever get. I have the feeling that in season three, Jules and Nate’s relationship will develop. Especially since he went to apologize to her and give her the only copy he had of the tape his father took. However, that couldn’t be true, since he gave the police the flash drive containing all the incriminating videos of Cal having sex. Honestly, this is my least favourite plotline. Fuck Jules, fuck Nate, and fuck Cassie.
My last theory is that Maddy is finally going to come forward and expose Nate to the police. Although she tried to protect him in season one after he physically abused her, this season showed Maddy as someone coming out of an abusive relationship, and I’m excited to see what else she does with this newfound independence. There were theories about Maddy having a camera in her room, which would be interesting since Nate snuck into her room and threatened to kill her if she didn’t give him that tape that she stole from his house in season one.
My final thought goes out to Rue, who the story is truly about, after all. When she jumped out of the window of Laurie’s house, that was the last we saw of the drug supplier. And many people thought that Rue had been sex-trafficked after she confessed to Laurie that she didn’t have the money she promised she would bring her. Laurie responded to this confession with probably the scariest line I’ve ever heard in my life: “Even if you don’t have the money you’ve still got something people want.” I don’t know what this means for Rue in season three, but Euphoria will most likely address it.
In the meantime, I will sit here mourning Ashtray, rejoicing that Rue is sober, and praying that Lexi and Fezco end up together.