Euphoria

Season 2

Ally Hjort, Writer

On January 24th the second episode in the two-part bridge between seasons one and two of Euphoria was aired on HBO. This episode centers around Jules (played by Hunter Schafer), a typically vibrant character who has since found herself battling her inner demons in her first therapy session.

In the first season, the show is centered around the life of Rue (played by Zendaya), a teenage girl battling drug addiction. When we are first introduced to Rue, she has just come home from rehab after overdosing at the beginning of the summer, however, she has no plans to stay clean. She soon meets Jules whom she later falls in love with and they fight her addiction together. At the end of season one, Rue and Jules make plans to run away together but at the last second Rue doesn’t get on the train because she doesn’t want to put her sister and her mom through another loss. The season ends with Jules leaving on the train and Rue relapsing, which then leads to a music video-type sequence. In the end, Rue climbs a mountain of backup dancers, then she falls and the screen goes black. Overall, season one left viewers with many questions such as ‘is Rue alive?’ and ‘what happened to Jules?’

In this episode, Jules gives us her take on the things that happened in season one and talks with a therapist about who she is and who she wants to become. 

At the beginning of the episode, we see a close up of Jules’ eye and a reflection of all these different clips throughout her experiences from season one. This could be taken as her life flashing before her eyes, or it could be showing us that she feels dissociated from what has become her reality. While we’re watching this, “Liability” by Lorde plays in the background to further enforce how Rue placed her sobriety in the hands of Jules, and how Jules now views herself.

From this episode we get a look into Jules’ world that we haven’t seen before, we’re starting to pull back the layers of her personality and see why she does what she does. We see that she has people-pleasing tendencies, she mentions that up until this point she has based herself around what she thinks men desire. She also talks in-depth about her femininity and how she wants it to be her’s and nobody else’s. These tendencies also show that Jules will put others’ needs before her own, especially when it comes to Rue. Not to mention how she often sacrificed things to be there to support Rue whenever a troubling moment arose. 

However, you can tell by the way the clouds part to cast warm sunlight into the room when asked about Rue that Jules still loves her. Jules and her therapist break apart her and Rue’s relationship and they connect it to an experience in Jules’ life that hasn’t been brought up before.

Even though the bridge episodes of Euphoria haven’t been the most exciting, I’d venture to say that I like these character-focused episodes more than the regular show because the writing is focused on the development and breakdown of these two characters and how different things make them who they are.

This show is incredibly well written and this episode was no exception. We are now more connected to Jules than ever and Hunter Schaffer and Sam Levinson did a great job diving into her character development. These two bridge episodes gave people an insight into these complex characters and a look past the glittery eyeshadow and neon lights.

In the end, there’s a resolution that satisfies many questions viewers may have had from the first season, including the timeline. And it still keeps fans interested in what’s to come in season two.