It’s been over two years since Euphoria first graced our screens with its harsh reflections of an intoxicating drug-fuelled coming-of-age.
Season one left us standing next to Rue (Zendaya) on the platform of a train station as Jules (Hunter Schafer) passes her by. Much like Rue, the blaring questions about what comes next are all we’re left with. The two stand-alone Christmas special episodes – ‘Trouble Don’t Always Last’ and ‘Fuck Anyone Who’s Not a Sea Blob’ showcase both Rue and Jules struggling alone, in different places, seeking solace in an important conversation. Rue meets with her sponsor Ali (Colman Domingo) on Christmas Eve, off the rails again, spiralling with more than just her feelings. Jules confronts a therapist for the first time, delving deeper into her relationships and her motivations. A brief encounter is shared between the two before Rue inevitably scarpers off and we’re left wondering, again, about all the horrible things that are probably going to happen.
Creator Sam Levinson holds back absolutely nothing in ‘Trying To Get To Heaven Before They Close The Door’, as the first episode of season two kicks off with the origin of Fezco’s grandmother, a bad bitch who didn’t take shit from anyone. This inevitably led to the Fez (Angus Cloud) we know, love and root for. Learning the tools and tricks of the trade from his grandmother, this episode shines a blaring light on family duties and roles that shape us long into our coming-of-age. Intense graphic scenes riddle this episode from start to finish, as if we expected anything less.
It seems Levinson is defining and developing his format of tragic storytelling beyond the mere shock factor, as the consequences of Nate’s actions finally catch up with him. Euphoria possesses an emotional soulfulness to its gut-wrenching depictions of teenage druggy drama. The artistic execution and clear attention to detail are mere side attractions to the relentless emotional intensity of the narratives.
Each character operates almost as if connected to another, constantly pushing and pulling away from each other. This serves for some incredibly intense character studies that the television format provides a perfect environment to explore. The development and growth of the characters (or in some cases – lack of) are rarely rushed, and season two is off to an incredible start. Overall, this episode is bound to leave you reeling and desperate to see what happens next.
Euphoria airs every Sunday on HBO.
by Kelsie Dickinson