The season finale left me with some questions and hangups about some things, but I guess that’s the point of a season finale, especially when the show has been renewed for a second season. I don’t expect so many complex and drawn out problems to be solved in 8 episodes. But I’m glad to see that it definitely confirmed what I said in my previous post, which is that everyone’s situations had reached a boiling point and they’ve reached the point of no return. I think Rue and Jules’s situation was the slowest burn of all, even for the viewers because up until the previous episode, I was going hard for Rules but now I feel the total opposite for obvious reasons.
New Rules, No Dua Lipa
Rue enjoying her stay at the hospital because of her lack of responsibilities is pretty much how I felt about being a teenager. I miss it when my only duty and job was to go to school and get good grades, when my mom was still in charge of me, and I followed her lead. I had a set schedule to follow, I had assignments to complete, I was always instructed and told what to do. I didn’t have to think much for myself, I was on auto-pilot really, while everyone made decisions for me. It’s scary once you realize you can’t be a kid forever and when high school ends and adulthood begins, you have no choice but to fend for yourself and make all these decisions, not always knowing or wanting to do what’s best for you.
At this point, I do think leaving Jules alone is what’s best for Rue. This episode was even more sobering than the last when it came to her and Rue’s relationship, and I think Jules actually sort of gets off on making Rue come out of her element and give in to her temptations when it comes to her. Maybe it’s because she knows it would be extremely fucked up to convince Rue to get intoxicated, but love and lust is the next best thing to tease her with that she can feel less guilty about but still have fun with. There’s so many people out there who play with people’s emotions and their heart for fun, it makes them feel powerful to lead people on and break their hearts, and Jules is definitely one of them. She gets high off of being desired.
“I want you to wanna kiss me so bad that you don’t even ask.” - Jules
Jules doesn’t take love seriously, not the way Rue does, and it shows in how she keeps Rue around to make her feel good despite her not really loving Rue as a person and allegedly being in love with Anna anyway. I think Jules is definitely the type to be polyamorous while Rue is a monogamist, so it probably would never work any way. Jules’s character definitely reminds me of a manic pixie dream girl but not entirely, only because she’s a bit more grounded and she is her own person that knows what she wants for the most part, not existing to fulfill the purpose of being a man’s escape or dream girl. Cishet men do fetishize her to a degree but she’s aware of that, and that knowledge is what both complicates and defines her relationship with cishet men and with herself as a trans girl.
At the end of the day it’s clear to see that Jules is an adrenaline junkie who uses life experiences as her highs for the most part, she’s impulsive and adventurous and that gives her a rush.
“I don’t know, you gotta meet these kids. Cause I swear you would fucking flourish in that energy.”
That scene right there and that quote specifically is when the unhealthiness and newfound disconnect between Rue and Jules became apparent. Jules flourishes in high-energy, intoxicated settings, and the fact that she thinks Rue, a recovering drug addict, would flourish in that space, is damning evidence against any case for them to be together in any capacity at this point. Jules is always searching for the next big thing so I am really curious to see what happens with her in the next season, and I do hope they dive deeper into her as an individual and her dreams and curiosities because that conversation in the previous episode about her wanting to conquer femininity left me even more interested in her and how her brain works.
The Great Relapse
That train station scene was kind of gut-wrenching. I could literally feel Rue’s anxiety and hesitancy when second-guessing her spontaneous runaway plan with Jules, Zendaya really knows how to tug at some heart strings. The anxiety that comes when you decide to take that next big step, that step that’s so big it scares you and makes you crawl back into your comfort zone is all too real. Especially when it’s a spontaneous and selfish decision. She could’ve ran away with Jules but Rue didn’t want to ruin her mother and sister again, things were going good and I think she wants to keep it that way. But when Jules decided to stay on that train, Rue probably felt like any hope she had left for happiness was gone because the one person she loved the most left her, again. It’s like even when she does the right thing, she can’t win for losing no matter what she does.
Rue felt another loss, with Jules leaving town, and it triggered her. That triggered state left her no choice but to rewind her memories to when everything was good, and then got bad, and became good, and got bad again. That waxing and waning can be so unbearable for the human heart and sometimes there’s nothing that can remedy that. Not therapy, not a hug, no condolences, nothing. When you feel like you’ve tried your best and given it your all, you throw in the towel and say fuck it because you really did try, and it got you nowhere.
I am afraid Rue might die for real this time because usually when you haven’t used for a while and you use again, you die because your system isn’t used to it this time around. And with seeing her father grab her and being the only one to interact with her while she was high, I can see why people saw that and thought she might be dead. But I also think her seeing her father and the whole musical number was also a representation of her high, something she hadn’t experienced for months so maybe it feels like the first time again. It was literally Euphoria.
Your daughter is going to be smart, funny, and outgoing. You’ll see it instantly at a young age. She’ll be charismatic and make friends easily. She’ll be kind and sensitive, maybe too sensitive. She won’t be an easy child. She’ll struggle. And in turn, you’ll struggle to understand her. To understand what’s going on inside of her head, the night terrors that can’t be interrupted, the times after dinner where she’ll just sit at the table and count the tiles over and over until she hyperventilates. The fight to hold her in your arms and tell her it’s okay. Calm down the kicking, the screaming, the anxiety of being harmed. The transitions from day to night, from home to school, from meal to meal. Of losing her mother, or father, or little sister. Of being alone. The panic attacks, mood swings, and confusion, disorganization.And all that rage, not just at you, but at herself and the tough part is you’ll feel as helpless to help her as she does herself. You’ll make mistakes, small ones and big ones, you’ll look for help from people who aren’t helpful or don’t actually understand what’s happening. And the guilt will never leave you. But if you remain calm and patient, if you listen closely, you’ll begin to understand her more. The counting, the repetition, the need for symmetry. That if you kiss her left cheek before bed, you have to kiss her right cheek and forehead, then her chin. That it’s about balance, stability, the need to organize her feelings and thoughts so she can breathe easier. And there will be moments of relief, in her and in you. Moments that feel so normal and calm and rewarding that you’ll find yourself praying they’ll last forever. Even though she’s only a child and the hard parts have yet to even come. And at the age of 16, she’ll overdose, spend 4 days in a coma, and you won’t know if she’ll live or die. But when she wakes up she’ll be given the opportunity to get clean, to become a different person, a better person. Here’s the toughest part: no matter what you say, or do, or wish, the decision will be all hers, and all you can do is hope she’ll give herself the chance she deserves.
Seeing Rue’s flashbacks to those bad times also showed me that Rue’s mother was the stereotypical Black mother at one point, shoving Rue and aggressively arguing with her as if she was her peer and not her parent. The loud arguing, talking down on her, going toe to toe with each other like Nate did with his father. Shit didn’t get better until Rue got sober but also when Leslie made a conscious decision to be gentle with Rue while recognizing that sobriety is ultimately Rue’s choice. Leslie could’ve continued to be misunderstanding of Rue’s mental state and be stern and cold, but she knew that that wouldn’t help the situation either. Checkmate for you bitches that were questioning Leslie’s Blackness and parenting skills because she’s not an asshole.
Man, Jacob Elordi gave a great performance during that bedroom scene with Cal, it still gives me goosebumps the way Cal looked at him, almost in a horrifying manner. It’s like he’d never seen anything like it. Nate has so much pent up anger and rage that he fails to tend to, and it reminded me of that episode where Cal was in the motel room expressing the regret he feels for the way he’s raised his sons, especially seeing how angry Nate is but never expresses it. Regardless of how we feel about Nate, he is a tortured soul with learned behavior from his father at the end of the day, he is his father’s son in every sense of the word. He has so much aggression that he channels through sex with Maddy, abusing her in general. It’s a side of him that he keeps hidden with his neutral, nonchalant demeanor.
“You may have won the game but you lost control of the team. And in the long run if you don’t lead, you’re gonna lose.”
It was evident that Nate had reached his boiling point when it came to Cal when he stepped him, becoming fed up with his father taking every opportunity he could to tell him he’s not good enough, to tell him how and who he should be. When Cal yelled, “Do you want to keep fighting?!” it felt like he wasn’t just talking about Nate physically fighting him, but mainly Nate fighting everything about himself. Nate banged his head against the floor even after his father had unpinned him, he was free to hurt Cal from that point forward but chose to hurt himself instead. He was fighting himself and all his inner demons, Nate literally has no idea what else to do besides self-destruct. That was a very haunting scene for me, it was giving me Toni Colette in Hereditary teas.
Cal left because he clearly felt some kind of way of the rage he’s instilled in and passed down to Nate, and he doesn’t know how to stomach that, seeing it so up close and personal. Seeing how dangerous it is. Neither of them know what to do about it. Maybe Nate is also so angry towards his father because of those videos that he was exposed to as a kid. It changed him forever and if his father wasn’t such a philandering creep, maybe Nate feels like he would’ve turned out “normal”.
The fact that Nate was only able to get his dick hard and jack off to himself in the mirror after his failed attempt with Maddy is a severe case of narcissism I think. He’s had a lot of scenes where he’s just staring at himself in the mirror and I think that’s for a reason.
It’s easy to write his character off as the typical American Psycho type, but after seeing the tantrum he threw I’m thinking he’s actually a much more layered and complex character than we think, especially since we know he might be struggling with his sexuality and is going about it in such a bizarre, violent way. It’s not uncommon for seemingly straight men to become in denial and violent when struggling with their sexuality and taking it out on queer people, but Nate isn’t doing that. He’s taking it out on himself and I think he blames his dad to a degree too.
His conversation with Rue also showed me he’s very observant but also a master manipulator because of it. He studies people, and is usually right unfortunately, and he uses his findings to manipulate people and distract them from what really matters, like he did with Rue by basically telling her Jules would go on in life to be something big but Rue wouldn’t. And then he proceeded to compliment her. Nate uses those tricks and mind games to redirect the spotlight from him onto someone else, and to make them question something they’re deeply insecure about. I think this conversation is what caused Rue to make that impulsive decision to run away with Jules initially, she was afraid of Jules forgetting about her in the future and wanted to act now to do what she could to prevent that from happening, but then she may have realized it’s better to let her go and deal with that heartbreak now rather than later because it felt inevitable.
Speaking of insecurities, Maddy swiped that sex tape from Nate and I think some shit is gonna pop off in the next season with that because Maddy cannot keep her mouth shut. She’s gonna end up getting wrapped up in some mess with Nate, Jules, and Cal probably, and somebody’s going to die!
Days of Our Lives
“What if these are like the big moments in life? Like my mom always talks about how high school was like this big monumental part of her life. But I cannot imagine being 40 and looking back at this like, ‘Wow.’”
Jules saying she feels like she peaked, although she can go higher (150% to be exact), while everyone else feels the opposite was interesting to me. It reminded me of her adrenaline junkie nature and Nate saying that he thinks Jules might actually go on to do something big with her life. Jules is always looking for the next big think, looking to go higher, looking to conquer the next task that’s bigger than the last. I can relate to that, cause I’m a capricorn. But Jules definitely has that potential in life so I honestly don’t worry too much about her, though she can be impulsive but I think that’s just something to take advantage of while you’re young and free of obligations and responsibilities.
That conversation and Jules’s reply also reminded me of the fact that everyone is an addict in some way. Jules is addicted to life and the intoxicating energy that it can bring, Rue is addicted to love and drugs, Maddy is addicted to her abusive relationship with Nate, Kat is addicted to attention, Cassie is addicted to validation, Nate and his dad are addicted to control. Everyone has their vices and addictions, we’re all just trying to make it out alive as best we can.
“Maybe people are all nostalgic about high school cause it’s like the last time in their life that they get to dream.”
There’s this theme I’m noticing with Cassie and dreaming. As soon as they injected her for local anesthesia, she immediately closed her eyes and started daydreaming about her figure skating. When things get bad, she dreams to escape from her harsh, painful realities. I do hope in the next season she comes into herself more and takes the steps towards learning how to give herself the love she seeks from gremlins like McKay. She’s a sweetheart and deserves everything good in this world.
What A Man, What A Man
“I feel like love is super dark and no one ever talks about it.” - Cassie
Shoutout to Ethan! I loved seeing him and Kat put their pride and ego aside to reconcile and reach a common ground, which was the mutual like they had for one another. That’s how it should be, a relationship should never be about who’s right or who cares less, you’ve already lost once you put your need to be right and look tough before your love. Ethan stepped up to the plate despite how awkward it felt initially and I also loved the fact that he acknowledged the reality that they may not last forever and one of them could get hurt in the end, and he hopes to make sure it’s him and not her. That was one of the cutest and most honest and healthy displays of young love I’ve seen in a long time, and Kat deserves that. Her savage persona was really just a cover up for the insecurities that she felt, a way to protect herself and use her “I don’t give a fuck” nature as armor, and that shit can get exhausting. Maybe now she can finally chill and be herself now that she knows she doesn’t have to do that extra shit to get a boyfriend and get guys to like her. Seeing the way Ethan handles Kat really reminds you of what love looks like and what it’s not supposed to be, it’s a refreshing reminder.
“This relationship you two have is not sustainable. And it‘s only a matter of time before it takes the both of you down. Sometimes two people in the universe who aren’t meant for each other find each other. You’re a beautiful girl and a smart one. It’s time to let go.”
What else is there left to say? Cal made all the points.
What’s Up, Doc?
Fez literally had to rob Peter to pay Paul and I hate to see it, but it wasn’t his fault. He did what he had to do, but I also feel like it’s gonna come back to bite him in the ass because he robbed the source, left blood on the money, and the doctor’s son witnessed the robbery. Plus Mouse was looking at him funny after he gave him the money.
Seeing a doctor being the source of these drugs is fascinating yet unsurprising to me. The healthcare/medical/pharmaceutical industries are corrupt and unethical as fuck, doctors are just legalized drug dealers with pens and pads, if you really think about it. And more often than not they’re the reason people become addicts in the first place, it’s all by design to keep people coming back for more.
I really really enjoyed this season, it did a great job at sowing how destructive life really can be, and how even love can be sabotage instead of salvation. I never expected this show to be critical of the woes of our current society and youth, I’m taking it for what it is which is entertainment that reflects the lives we live. Euphoria is reckless, dangerous, painful, sobering, and intoxicating all at once in such an overwhelming yet relieving way. Watching each episode is emotionally taxing for me but at the same time is edifying in a way, it takes the fear and pressure away from me to know that nothing I’ve experienced was because I deserved it or because I brought it upon myself. It happened because life is a serious of decisions and their equal and opposite reactions, there’s no bigger reason for the pain we’ve endured. It’s a fucked up world and fucked up things are bound to happen, but at least we can fuck up and get fucked up together.
McKay Being Absent
Maddy’s Spiked Gatorade + Everclear Mix and Sweat Skirt Set Thingie
Rue Shooting Nate Point Blank While He’s Literally Up In Flames
Rue and Jule's’s Parents Hitting It Off
The only couple on this show I’m rooting for at this point.