REVIEW: “Euphoria” Season Two

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Natalie Richmiller

The season finale of the hit-show “Euphoria” left viewers with many mixed emotions.

Natalie Richmiller, Photo Manager

Throughout season two, the groundbreaking TV show “Euphoria” strategically led up to the events of the season finale. The last episode aired on Sunday, Feb. 27, and since then, fans have shown mixed feelings regarding the conclusion of the season. 

Season one of “Euphoria” was something that had never been seen before on television and left viewers anxiously waiting for three years for more episodes. “Euphoria” is one of the only shows on air that depicts the realities of drug abuse, trauma and the difficulties of navigating through high school years. It also touches on abusive relationships, the loss of a parent and sexuality and gender orientation. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the filming of season two was drastically delayed but the producers released two special episodes during that time.

Then in January, the official return did not disappoint. Each episode was increasingly more dramatic and intense. The show developed a variety of storylines throughout, leaving viewers curious as to how the producers would tie them all together in the end. 

Senior Alix Dalmasso is an avid “Euphoria” watcher. “My favorite storyline was Cassie and Maddy’s friendship, and at the end of the season they left us hanging when Maddy told Cassie, ‘This is only the beginning’ because of how ambiguous it was,” she said. Before this, their story was not addressed for an entire episode even after the bombshell when Maddy found out Cassie was sleeping with her ex-boyfriend, Nate. Fans were disappointed when they did not receive the drama they had been anxiously waiting for. Viewers also felt the same way regarding Rue and Laurie and Lexi and Fez’s relationship. 

Rue and Laurie’s relationship felt the most unresolved of all. Rue is the main character who heavily struggles with mental health and a severe drug addiction. She first encounters Laurie, a major drug distributor, with Fez in the first episode. A few episodes later, during a manic episode, Rue devises a plan to have an unlimited supply of “free” drugs. She goes to Laurie and receives a suitcase full of a variety of drugs, promising that she is sober and that she will sell them but in reality, she uses them for herself. 

Soon after, Rue’s mom found the suitcase and disposed of all the drugs. At this time Rue was going through extreme withdrawal and went to Laurie’s house looking for drugs even though she had no money to pay her back. Laurie finds out that Rue lied to her about being sober and told her in a calm demeanor, “It’s one of the good parts of being a woman, even if you don’t have money, you still got something people want,” implying prostitution and sex. Later that night, Laurie gave Rue morphine while Rue was too unstable to realize the dangers of taking it. At the same time, Laurie said to Rue, “You know what’s funny Rue, when I first saw you, I thought this girl’s gonna be in my life for a long time,” causing speculation from viewers as to the meaning of her words. Rue eventually snuck out of Laurie’s, and after the episode, many theories arose regarding how long Rue was there and what actually happened to her because of how ambiguous the ending was. After that episode, the storyline was never revisited, frustrating many audience members. 

Others felt the season finale was less impactful because of the way it was filmed. Senior Breanna Hoskins felt this way. “It was confusing because they were cutting scenes so much and every time something would get emotional it would switch to another storyline,” Hoskins explained. “I wish they would’ve spent more time on an individual story before switching to another one.”

The scenes at Fez’s house were the most anticipated by viewers because many speculated that Ashtray was going to be killed at the end of the season. During this episode, Fez discovered that Custer, a supposed ‘friend’ and fellow drug dealer, was working with the police. Ashtray lashed out and impulsively killed Custer, triggering a swat team to raid their house. Ashtray took and loaded every single gun he could find and locked himself in the bathroom where he began to shoot at the swat team, forcing them to fire back. Fez relentlessly begs Ashtray to stop, but he does not listen. The scene ends with a swat member pointing a target on Ashtray’s head. 

Although the entire scene was suspenseful, it also felt incredibly choppy, as each time the scene would start to reach a climax moment, it would cut back to Lexi’s play. “It kept taking the focus away from what was really happening at Fez’s house,” Dalmasso said. “I wished they would have shot the scene all at once, and instead it felt unfinished and less powerful.” 

On the other hand, some scenes were extremely moving. The conversation between Lexi and Rue towards the end is the best example. It was a vulnerable and pure moment between the two that many connected with, especially those who have also experienced the loss of a parent. It provided the contrast the episode needed from the other, more intense scenes. 

“Euphoria” producers also gave the audience the drama they had been waiting for between Maddy and Cassie. Cassie got on stage during the play and started criticizing her sister, Lexi, for writing about her personal experiences between her and her friends. It was during this time that Maddy also ran on stage, trying to physically attack Cassie. The way Cassie and Maddy reacted during this scene perfectly fit their characters which is what the episode needed. 

“Euphoria” is known for its unique style of filming that is usually loved by viewers but in this case, it was proven to be ineffective. Film styles and unresolved plot holes created a disappointing “Euphoria” season finale that failed to create excitement for season three.