Content warning: Spoilers
The “Euphoria” season two finale dropped on Sunday, Feb. 27, and what a fateful episode it was. As usual, some characters got more attention than others. Many deserved their time in the spotlight. Lexi (Maude Apatow, “The King of Staten Island”) literally shone in hers despite Cassie’s (Sydney Sweeney, “The Voyeurs”) attempts to storm the stage and ruin the play, while others [read: Elliot (Dominic Fike, debut)] wasted our time with original songs.
Still, others made the most of their screen time, but it felt like it would never be enough: Ashtray (Javon Walton, “Samaritan”) was shot dead by cops after a hell of a last stand as Fez (Angus Cloud, “North Hollywood”) watched in horror, bleeding from a gunshot wound himself. Although Faye (Chloe Cherry, “Twinkle Toes 4”) managed to warn our two sweet boys that they were in peril, it wasn’t enough to save either one. Other thrills and disappointments included Maddy (Alexa Demie, “Mainstream”) finally beating Cassie’s annoying ass, Cal Jacobs (Eric Dane, “The Last Ship”) in handcuffs, Rue (Zendaya, “Spiderman: No Way Home”) and Lexi’s friendship rekindling and most certainly in the latter category, Nate (Jacob Elordi, “the Kissing Booth 2”) seemingly escaping any form of justice.
Without further ado, here are the TV beat’s takes on this shitshow of an episode and a wild second season of “Euphoria.”
How could Sam Levinson do this to us?! I wanted this man fired anyway (see recent scandals) but doing Ash and Fez like that was really the final straw for me. To see Ash’s horrified face as he confronted death? To hear Fez’s screams to the cops to spare him? To watch Fez’s love note for Lexi get crushed in all the rubble? It’s simply too fucking much for me. Frankly, that whole bit was so high in intensity that I had a hard time caring about anything else. Lexi’s play might have been the wildest thing going on in last week’s episode — thanks to standout performances by jack-of-all-trades Ethan (Austin Abrams, “Dash and Lilly”) — but this week, high school drama felt like old news. Sure, Maddy and Cassie finally threw hands, but what’s a slap on the cheek in comparison to a shootout effectively dooming the only characters I really liked? Even Cal’s arrest paled in comparison, which is honestly a bummer because you’d think I’d get the chance to genuinely enjoy any retribution for him. Maybe I just have no faith in the “justice” system.
This episode of “Euphoria” did manage to do better where so many of the others disappointed me — in its use of screen time. Throughout many of the episodes, I felt like I was waiting for something to finally happen; tonight, though, for better or worse, things just wouldn’t stop happening. But for a pointless few minutes of Elliot strumming his guitar, I didn’t feel like a second of the runtime went to waste. Still, the raucous finale left so many questions unanswered: How did Rue go from an addict on a bender to a casual citizen viewing a play? What ever happened to the whole situation with Laurie and Rue’s suitcase of drugs? Are Jules (Hunter Schafer, “Belle”) and Elliot a thing now? Does Fez live or go to prison? Hopefully someone other than Sam Levinson will answer my questions (and soon).
— Daily Arts TV Beat Editor Emmy Snyder can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The second season of “Euphoria” was definitely a rollercoaster. It had me watching with my mouth hanging open, peeking through my fingers; at one point I had to actually get up and take a lap because it was so tense. Despite all the buildup, though, the finale felt extremely open-ended. Yes, we lost a beloved character in a dramatic sequence, but some of the biggest issues remained unanswered. The consequences of Rue’s drug abuse (most notably Laurie) were not discussed, we have no idea where Cassie’s relationship with Nate stands and we don’t know what Nate’s deal is at all. The finale certainly had its great moments to complement the amazing cinematography and shock factor elements we’ve seen all season, but it didn’t seem like the best way to leave viewers hanging for another two years.
— Daily Arts Writer Swara Ramaswamy can be reached at email@example.com.
Literally everyone and their mom (or at least my mom) had been waiting with bated breath for the sophomore season of “Euphoria,” but I think I speak for all of us when I ask: what the hell happened?
Just like in the first season, the cinematography, costuming and imagery of “Euphoria” are mind-blowingly beautiful and captivating. This season’s issues don’t lie with the symbolism and visual creativity, but rather the writing. Writer and producer Sam Levinson seems to be getting lost in the intricate maze of his own creation, leaving season two feeling almost incomplete. Parts of the show that could have been suspenseful cliff-hangers now just feel like plot holes (Laurie the drug dealer?!) and the characters season one worked so hard to showcase such as Jules and Kat (Barbie Ferreira, “Unpregnant”) now feel neglected. What’s more, so much of what had once been a very real and down-to-earth show now just seems overly dramatic and unrealistic. Nate breaking into Maddy’s house and threatening her with a gun? That is almost “Riverdale”-ish.
At the very least, Levinson hasn’t given up on Rue, whose struggles with drug addiction continue to serve as the central plot point for season two. Though it’s easy to get caught up in the insanity that was season two, those raw moments are still there, mostly in Rue’s scenes with her family. So, while season two was a bit all over the place, I’m still holding out for (a hero with) season three.
— Daily Arts Writer Annabel Curran can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.