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Your 'Euphoria' season 2 recap: Shaky script saved by flawless performances

Angus Cloud was just one actor in "Euphoria" who benefitted from the expanded roles of the ensemble cast through his role as Fezco. – Photo by euphoria / Twitter

“Euphoria” has taken the world by storm once again after the full release of its highly anticipated second season after the season two finale aired last Sunday.

Season two of “Euphoria” was geared to pick up directly where season one concluded, delving deeper into the upbringings and motives of multiple characters as well as the development of many character story arcs. The hit HBO Max drama has an all-star cast to play said characters, featuring Zendaya as Rue, Hunter Schafer as Jules, Sydney Sweeney as Cassie, Jacob Elordi as Nate, Alexa Demie as Maddy and Maude Apatow as Lexi.

Episodes one and three of season two equipped us with backstories for both Fezco and Cal, played by Angus Cloud and Eric Dane, respectively.

We were able to learn more about Fez’s grandmother and how her illness led him to pursue a career in drug dealing so he could provide for her and his younger "brother," Ashtray, portrayed by Javon Walton. Additionally, we learned about Cal’s closeted teenage years and how that led to a life of routine meetups with men in motel rooms behind his family’s back.

We were also exposed to more of Rue’s struggles with addiction, including how her new friendship with Elliot, played by Dominic Fike, enabled her to continue using drugs instead of working to get clean. We were brought deeper inside Rue’s mind this season, learning more about her dad’s death and the effect it had on her.

Rue had many heartbreaking moments this season, from a heated physical altercation with her mother to telling Jules she was dead to her. With each episode, Rue’s battle with addiction seemed to be worse than ever.

In episode four, we saw a potential love triangle form between Rue, Jules and Elliot, but there was never a follow up to that storyline. Although this love triangle had the potential to stir the pot and didn't deliver, we did witness another budding relationship throughout the season that caused waves of drama and heartbreak.

Throughout this season, Cassie and Nate had continuous romantic relations, even though Nate and Maddy were still in an on-again, off-again relationship. This secret love affair continued throughout the whole season, until Rue exposed Cassie’s secret to multiple people, including Maddy, during a withdrawal episode where her friends attempted to stage an intervention.

The news of infidelity in Maddy and Nate’s relationship immediately ended Maddy and Cassie’s friendship, sparking multiple scenes depicting verbal and physical altercations between the two characters.

Around the midway point of the season, we also see Lexi begin writing a play about her life (and the lives of the other characters that surround her) titled “Our Life.”

Lexi, who is a self-proclaimed bystander, makes the other characters of “Euphoria” the main characters in her play, which she gets approved to put on at her school. None of the characters around her know that her play is about them, and they are completely blindsided when they attend the play on its opening night. 

Lexi’s play mainly focuses on what life has been like living in her sister Cassie’s shadow, implementing elements of comedy to poke fun at other characters such as Cassie and Maddy. Cassie, in a fit of rage over her sister’s play, storms on stage and interrupts the show, prompting a physical fight in front of the whole audience between her, Lexi, their mother Suze, played by Alanna Ubach, and Maddy.

Just like in the backstory for Fez in episode one, we get a glimpse into Fez’s life with his younger brother Ashtray, as well as Faye — the girlfriend of Fez’s friend, Custer — in the entire season.

Faye, played by Chloe Cherry, begins living with Fez and Ashtray in the first episode, and we get to see their friendship develop throughout the season. After police find the body of Mouse, a drug dealer that Ashtray brutally murdered, police work with Custer to convict Fez and Ashtray in exchange for Custer’s immunity in the case.

This investigation leads to a shocking plot twist that left fans in shock. In the finale, Custer goes to Fez’s house to try to get a confession for Mouse’s murder while secretly recording him. Faye shows her loyalty to Fez by throwing Custer off and accusing a different drug dealer, Laurie, of Mouse’s murder.

Once they realized what he was doing, Ashtray murders Custer to shut him up. Soon after, the SWAT team breaks in, resulting in a shooting battle between Ashtray and the officers, leaving Ashtray dead and Fez with a gunshot wound.

Rue, the show's narrator and main character, ends the season in a better place in regard to her addiction. By the end of the finale, she reveals that she remained clean and is seen both granting her friends and loved ones forgiveness and offering them apologies.

Overall, season two of “Euphoria” had its standout moments, but it was also lackluster at some points. This season showcased more of an ensemble cast rather than focusing mainly on one character, allowing for more depth into each character’s arc.

The writing within this season was dull at times, with many intriguing storylines being put on hold and never getting clear closure. Besides flaws within the script, the dark and melancholic cinematography was even more beautiful than season one, and the cast delivered award-worthy performances.

Hopefully, the already-announced third season will satiate fans and continue to showcase the dark and intense world of “Euphoria.”

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