REVIEW | A Recap of HBO’s “Euphoria” New Season Two Episodes

The widely acclaimed teen drama returns with a stellar season premiere.

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CREDIT: Eddy Chen | HBO

Elliot stirs the pot for Rue’s addiction in season 2.

New year, same troubles. After a long hiatus, HBO makes a return to screens with the second season of award-winning drama show “Euphoria” that aired last Sunday, Jan 9.

The show follows teen addict Rue, played by Zendaya, as she struggles with drug addiction, classmates and her relationship with a transgender girl Jules, played by Hunter Schafer.

The first season was a gigantic hit and received major acclaim with critics commending the show’s visuals, characters, and topics.

The series was put on hold due to covid-19 and was pushed back a year. To make up for the wait and lost time, two special episodes were released a year after the first season focusing on Rue and Jules respectively.

The season premiere “Trying to Get to Heaven Before They Close the Door” aired on Jan. 9, picking up where the special episodes ended.

The episode starts giving a backstory of drug dealer Fezco and his introduction to the drug business through his grandma. It’s great seeing him get more screen time as he was a fan favorite from Season One.

After that, we cut back to the present where Fez and Rue go to a drug deal that turns rather intense. All of them are forced to drop-trout except Ashtray, Fez’s younger brother. When Rue refuses, one of the employees pulls her back. It’s definitely one of the more uncomfortable scenes in the show.

In the meantime, we see blonde bombshell Cassie drunk and alone at a liquor store. She is swooped up by Nate, football jock and ex-boyfriend to her BFF Maddy, who offers to drive her back to a NYE party. One thing leads to another and bad decisions were definitely made.

The whole interaction is so hilarious, from Maddy throwing a used, pee-filled bath towel in Cassie’s face (she deserved it) to her accusing Nate of “taking a shit” at a party.

Rue shows up to the party and meets a guy named Elliot, played by artist Dominic Fike. With no intention of trying to be clean after last season’s relapse, they do drugs. The future is bright for this newly formed friendship.

Fez and Lexi, younger sister to Cassie find themselves being the only ones having a genuine conversation. Realizing that they actually have a lot in common, they exchange numbers. Sparks were flying and the fandom is here for it.
On the other side of the house, Jules and Rue reunite. After leaving on not so good terms in last season’s finale, tension arises and the two confess their feelings for each other, finishing it with a kiss when the clock hits midnight.

The episode ends with a fight between Fez beating Nate’s face in as the two have some left over bad blood.

Overall, the episode was a great reintroduction back into the series, getting right back into the motion of things and giving more time to characters that need it.

The second episode “Out of Touch” released last Sunday on the 16th with a different direction of storytelling.

The episode begins with Nate realizing during his recovery that he is deeply in love with Cassie, so much that he envisions his life with her. The whole scene is a roller coaster, accumulating all of Nate’s anger and desires into one montage.

When we get to Rue and Jules, we can see that things are already starting to get rocky as Jules is getting jealous of Elliot taking up Rue’s attention. While Elliot and Rue are just friends at this point, it’s very apparent that their relationship will grow into something more throughout the season.

We see Cassie suffering from a severe depressive episode, bundling the pain from her abortion from last season and her guilt in betraying Maddy by getting with Nate. The only thing that gives her happiness is talking and seeing him.

After returning from the hospital, Cal Jacobs, Nate’s father, is determined to avenge whoever hurt his son.

The return of body-conscious teen Kat’s storyline feels less interesting, especially compared to last season. She reveals that she hasn’t loved her current boyfriend Ethan for a little and falls into a pit of trying to find self-love.

Despite Ethan being a good person, he’s kind of just been there. There’s not a whole lot Kat can even say that she likes about him despite being “handsome,” “funny” and “cute”.

The episode ends on a big cliffhanger with Nate confronting his dad of his secret stash of sex tapes he records and that he knows that he slept with Jules. When Cal asks him about one of the missing discs, Nate gives no answer, as Maddy had taken it from Nate and watched what was on it last season.

These beginning episodes build up a lot of storylines for characters that need it. Although, it feels like Rue and Jules’ storyline has been pushed to the side, it looks like it won’t be for long.

The season is just beginning so there’s no clue on where things are heading, but one thing’s for sure is that I’ll be there for each episode.

New episodes air on HBO Max on Sundays at 6:00 p.m.