Warning: the following contains spoilers for Euphoria season 2 episode 3.
Euphoria‘s third episode places the narrative spotlight on Cal Jacobs with an almost 15-minute opening sequence showing his tumultuous senior year in high school. Cal is the weekly focus after episode 2, during which he discovers Nate’s knowledge of his sex relationship with Jules — and that the band may not be in Nate’s possession. Episode 3 confirms this last detail as Cal embarks on the sex tape-grail quest. (Maddy has the band, by the way, but Cal does not know it yet.)
Episode 3 also gives us (finally!) More Lexi, whose school scene will add another shot of metafiction to an already confusing world of narrators and fantasies.
Meanwhile, Jules and Rue begin to drift apart as the drug lullaby calls Rue to its euphoric shores. While Rue’s relapse remains hidden from her friends and family, she now has a suitcase. And in that suitcase lies enough drama to fill the rest of this season.
Before we get into the episode, we have a quick note on the drug use so far this season (which, along with the sex, is not representative of the generational cohort depicting the series) – namely, it seems to be cooler?
We must best remember that the series takes us through cycles of abuse. So far this season we are riding the highlight with Rue – a highlight, so far, without any clear consequences. But the consequences are threatening. The final image of the episode contradicts Rue’s opening dance montage. While Rue’s use temporarily counteracts her depression, it also isolates her, and the episode ends with her alone in the dark. She pushed away her sister, Jules, and Ali, who all represent her support system.
As bright and technically colorful and musical-whole as the drug-associated cinematography can be – and there could be an argument that these features tend to glorify drug use – the series is ultimately a warning story.
Episode 3 laid the foundation for what will be another downfall for Rue.
Here’s how it went down.
Cal se INXS Somer
The episode begins on Cal Jacobs, high school student. Rue recounts the extensive series and says Cal spent every day with his best friend, Derick. The two drive around and listen to INXS, they attend wrestling exercises together, they meet girls, they go out with girls, and then they graduate. All the while sharing the two intimate, increasingly tense moments, culminating in a gay bar kiss on a rainy summer evening before college.
And then the summer of love is crushed by a phone call. Cal learns that his girlfriend is pregnant, presumably, with Nate. He cries.
Cast title credits.
Rue Is High, Soos … So Hoog
Rue dances around her house with a song playing in her head. She is noticed by her sister who asks if she is tall. Rue then stands still to explain to the audience in an elaborate fourth-wall-breaking order that she is in fact tall; however, she has a cover. Realizing that there was no way to completely hide her drug use, she decided to plant the idea of her use of weeds in the minds of her friends and family. Both Jules and her sister buy Rue’s list, and they get her fluctuating emotions to weed use.
Knowing this, Jules forgives Rue for hiding her relationship with Elliot. Yet Jules believes Elliot just wants to sleep at Rue, and she interrogates Elliot to find out. The two exchange allegations of sexual promiscuity, but apparently get along. Jules discovers that Elliot does not strictly classify his sexuality because he has relationships with both sexes. It looks like the three become friends and start hanging out.
Sexuality is often mentioned in their conversations. When Rue is gone, Jules and Elliot discuss sex drive. Elliot discovers that Rue and Jules are not sexually active. He tells Jules that he first assumed that Rue could be asexual and asks how Rue’s sex drive affected their relationship, since Jules had previously admitted she was a more sexual person than Rue. Elliot then says he is attracted to Jules and continues to empower her. (It is insinuated that Rue did not say these things to Jules.) The camera lingers, indicating that the two have a moment. We’ll see how it plays out in future episodes.
Lexi has been writing a play since the tense convenience store confrontation between Fez and Cal. Lexi realized her lack of intervention stems from the fact that she is mostly an observer. She began writing about her observations — especially her relationship with her sister Cassie and their dysfunctional family. The play will be performed by the school, which will lead to a mockery behind the scenes of Lexi explaining to the audience (us) her idea to play the side character as the main character. The series features spot BTS interviews with Rue, who plays a side character. It’s all very meta and seems to echo a previous point that Rue made in her own fourth wall break when she said people seek comfort in entertainment / television (referring to the very program in which she is, Euphoria, and HBO.)
If ever there was a scene that screams for film students to analyze it, it would be that scene.
Watch me, Nate!
Meanwhile, Cassie woke up at 4am to spend more time to herself. However, her self-care routine is also designed so that Nate can spot her in the halls. He does not. Cassie convinces herself Nate is actually a sartorial observant man, and the sequence ends with Cassie and Maddy walking side by side with the same outfit. Cassie then runs away when she realizes Maddy realizes.
Later in the episode, Cassie quietly begins to break down and comes close to telling Maddy that she’s in love with Nate. She later tells Maddy that she (Maddy) deserves someone who actually cares for her (Maddy), even though it is she (Cassie) who believes she (Cassie) deserves someone who actually cares her (Cassie). We then cut to scenes of Nate definitely not really caring about her (Cassie). Fantasies of compassionate sex are interrupted by Nate who is a fucking crawler and hooks up with Cassie while his parents listen below.
What the hell is this show?
At the end of the episode, Nate arrives at Maddy’s babysitter with a bouquet of flowers.
Rue Is Broke
Realizing that she can not sustain her drug habit financially, Rue Fez (who refuses) and then later suggests Fez’s plug (the laconic woman from that cramped apartment) to use her to sell drugs. (Instead of just, you know, getting a legal job to make money.) She says she can avoid harsher sentencing because she’s a minor and suggests that because her friends are worried about college admission, they will not. not anesthetized.
The woman – who knows that Rue is an addict – inexplicably gives her a chance and provides her with $ 10,000 worth of drugs in a completely inconspicuous black suitcase. On the way out, the woman tells Rue that if Rue loses any money for her, she will kidnap Rue and sell her to “some really sick people”.
Rue later takes the totally inconspicuous suitcase to NA where Ali confronts her outside. Rue (after learning about Alli’s past during that dinner episode) calls Ali a bad father, causing him to give Rue an ultimatum: if she despises him again, he’s done with her. Rue respects him again and mentions his previous domestic violence. Ali leaves. Rue sits alone in her room and starts getting high on her own stock. Here we go again.
Return to Cal
After learning that Nate does not have the band, Cal goes to Fez. Ashtray repeatedly whips Cal with a shotgun while Fez interrogates him. Cal, assuming Fez has the tape and blackmailed Nate (an accusation, we are led to believe, that came from Nate), asks Fez to give it back. Fez, who only now learns that Cal had sex with a minor Jules, and realizes that Nate made his father sick of him, drops the bomb: Nate is in love with Jules.
Cal is completely confused. Fez is completely confused. Fez allows an extremely confused Cal to leave.
The tables turned on Nate.
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