When “Euphoria” was first introduced to us in 2019, we met and explored the lives of eight young teenagers. Within each episode, we saw all of their storylines with distinct issues of the different social problems that young adolescents face in today’s society. This show made a big emphasis on the powerful use of drugs and alcohol abuse, exploring one’s sexual identity, the toxicity of male hyper-masculinity, and showing the hypersexuality that grows tremendously amongst young teens going through puberty.
The first season focused on Rue’s addiction– portrayed brilliantly by Zendaya– and tailored that as the grounding for the show, but in my opinion, the storyline of Cassie and Maddy is what added the extra glue to the table. Director Sam Levison showcased that even the most beautiful people could be the most broken of them all. As the season progressed, we see Rue on the journey of recovering until she is then triggered by a sense of being left alone, she then relapses and audiences are left with a huge cliffhanger wondering if Rue overdosed or not. Does Jules ever come back? What would Maddy do with the tape of both Jules and Nate’s dad, Cal?
After three long-awaited years, we finally got a new season which brings us a brand new twist to the recurring storylines of last season. Now be prepared for the possible spoilers, if you have not watched season two yet I truly recommend that you do.
This season is filled with raw material just like the first one, but it also sparks light into characters that were not spoken about much in season one like Lexi and Fezco. They also bring a new character to the mix named Elliot, not much was really spoken about his storyline this season, but he does play a big part, played by the world-famous singer, Dominik Fike.
Many of us had expectations coming in to see what happens to Rue, yet we don’t really see a lot of Rue’s battle with addiction until towards the end of the season when we got another amazing performance from her on the realism of the point of view of seeing an addict in manic mode. We witness the exchange of words Rue has with her mother, and how addicts’ issues stem from within. Rue exploded towards Jules who decided to tell her mother of Rue’s special stash that she purchased to “sell,” but Rue’s intentions were much darker than what she had planned with that suitcase.
This season also has a stir of toxic love triangles as well. First, we see the destruction of a friendship in the few episodes of Cassie and Nate hooking up numerous times behind Maddy’s back, while speaking and consulting with Cassie about possibly getting back together with him. We also see the love triangle between Jules, Rue, and newbie Elliot.
Elliot states in episode one, “I’m not sure it’s a good thing we met,” which in my opinion, is the truth. As much as Eli was a friend, he was also stirring the pot with sneaky hookups with her girlfriend, but also had the sense of realizing Rue was spiraling out of control yet did not have any intentions of getting her out of it until it was too late.
We could go more into the tea of what occurred during this season, but let’s switch this over to what I personally felt were the highlights of it all. The character development of both Maddy and Lexi was what really caught my eye. Maddy was already a powerful character, but she finally begins to find her true identity as a strong, independent woman. From the style choices you see on her throughout the season, to the standout makeup looks, and also with the advice she was given from her boss during Maddy’s babysitting gig, her character further develops into a stronger version of herself.
You see a lot of Cassie’s character growth, but it was really sad to see Cassie shatter that growth. Lexi was similar, in the first season she was a timid and shy person before she became more outgoing and spoke her mind (especially with the influence of her new love interest, Fezco). She starts to become one within herself.
We see the best version of Lexi in the two-part finale, which I personally resonated with. The ending to season two made her character so likable and relatable– because yes! She did spread the business of others, yet she showcased it in a way that they needed to see by showing themselves from the outside looking in.
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