Movies & TV

This Is Your Quick Euphoria Refresher Before Season Two Premieres

It's been approximately 50 years since Euphoria Season One wrapped. Here's everything you need to know before its return.
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When Euphoria premiered back in the strange and distant time of summer 2019, everyone over the age of 18 promptly freaked out. Dicks, glitter, and drugs? In the house The Sopranos built? But over the course of its eight episodes, Euphoria became one of the best shows on TV, giving one of the first must-watch portraits of Gen Z, with its anxieties, fears, and all the rest appropriately and compellingly realized. (Sure, the brushstrokes are bit heavy, often making the show itself look like it had one shot too many—but that's exactly the point.)

Now, this Sunday, Euphoria will finally return for its second season. Considering we've had nearly two years, a pandemic, and two standalone Euphoria episodes since its debut, we thought it would be helpful to put together a quick refresher on the ins and outs of Rue's messy, beautiful, downright terrifying world.

Our Emmy-Winning Lead

For those of you who were upset that the Emmy Award-winning Zendaya was relegated to serving donuts and imprisoning supervillains in Spider-Man: No Way Home, then queue Euphoria up this Sunday. In her leading character, Rue, Zendaya gives one of the best performances on TV. Throughout Euphoria, the usually smart, kind, and funny Rue struggles with a terrible drug addiction, fueled partly by the death of her father. SHe actually manages to remain sober during a decent period of Season One, after falling in love with the new kid at school, Jules. If you had any doubt, the relationship deteriorates as Jules starts to explore a life outside of her tiny California town, leading up to a heartbreaking breakup-goodbye to Rue at a train station, as she leaves for college.

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Rue goes home, relapses, and the season ends shortly afterward, which prompted speculation that she overdosed and was near death.

The "Bridge Episodes"

Since the pandemic-related production delays kept Euphoria's second season from briskly entering our lives, Euphoria creator Sam Levinson packaged and delivered two standalone episodes in December 2020 and January 2021, respectively. He dubbed them "bridge episodes." Both should be on your watchlist before Season Two premieres.

The first episode is an hour-long conversation between Rue and her mentor, Ali (played by the great Colman Domingo). Aside from being one of the best-written episodes we saw in 2020, we learn that, yes, Rue did survive her relapse. Unfortunately, Rue also shares that she's suicidal. The episode does have some hope, though, with Ali telling Rue that there's still time to forgive herself.

The second bridge episode focuses on Jules as she attends a single therapy session. Apparently, Jules's mother was recovering from addiction herself during Season One. Plus, at the time of the episode, there was a part of her that still loved Tyler, the online alias created by Nate Jacobs. (More on that next.) At the end of the episode, Rue visits Jules, who apologizes for the train station incident. Rue quickly leaves to meet Ali with Jules crying in her room afterward.

Photo by HBO.
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Nate: Still Bad!

In Season One, Jacob Elordi turned the role of high school star quarterback Nate Jacobs into one of TV's most terrifying villains. If you need a reminder of this dude's baggage, it starts with his dad. He keeps a meticulously coded porn stash in his office, which Nate found when he was young and has since seemingly sexually confused him for life. The father and son have an emotionally (and sometimes physically) abusive relationship throughout Euphoria's first season, and Nate preys on Jules, catfishing her into thinking he was her digital crush. Nate convinces her to send nudes his way, which he later uses to blackmail her. Separately, Nate finagles his way out of a domestic abuse charge with his on-and-off-girlfriend, Maddy, by blackmailing another person, this time a random guy who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Going into Season Two, it's best to just assume that everyone hates Nate, and Nate hates everyone.

Do Any of These Kids Study?

No.

Photo by HBO.
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The Rest of the Crew

As you very well know, there's a gaggle of other kiddos trolling around EuphoriaWorld, most of which only need a light reintroduction. There's Fezco, AKA Fez, AKA the drug dealer you would probably hang out with in real life. Near the end of the season, he's in a bit of trouble. Fez's house is raided by the feds, he's feeding Rue's drug addiction, is doing business with some shady dudes, and is locked in a rivalry with Nate that feels like it could turn deadly. Elsewhere, there's sisters Cassie and Lexi, the former of whom becomes pregnant with Chris McKay's baby, and eventually has an abortion. Kat heel-turns from goody two-shoes to an OnlyFans-esque star during the course of Season One. Plus, we know that Season Two will see the introduction of Dominic Fike's Elliot. In a show full of drugs, tears, and bloodshed, we just hope he's nice, to be honest.

A Parting Reminder

Objects in Euphoria are less real than they appear. So, parents: Every single Gen Z-er is most likely not shooting heroin, blackmailing their enemies, and soundtracking prom to Too $hort. The kids are all right, we promise.

FromEsquire US

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