[Header Image: Johanna Colón as Kat Hernandez | HBO]
The cold opening for episode three revolves around Kat which, considering the things she went through in the previous episode, isn’t a total surprise. There’s an obvious routine when it comes to the cold openings. Firstly, they’re told to us by Rue. This really just adds to the idea that she is the primary main character because we see a lot of her story and while everyone does get a decent amount of focus, their stories feature Rue doing a voiceover. Secondly, we usually dive back to when the character (aka the subject of the cold opening) is relatively young and is experiencing a specific moment (or series of moments) in their lives.
In this case, we see that Kat fell in love when she was eleven years old but when she comes back from a trip weighing twenty pounds more than she did before she left, her boyfriend breaks up with her and other people begin to comment on the way she looks. It was made pretty clear in the very first episode that Kat had some a lack of self confidence, especially when it came to the way she looks. Despite the negatives of episode two in terms of that video being leaked, we do see a big change in her for this episode.
For starters, she tries out posting videos of herself online. She does her best to be as anonymous as possible which is a plus but it doesn’t take her long to figure out there are some pretty strange people online. Still, she manages to make a bit of money and we see her confidence grow a ton by the end of the episode. Honestly, Kat quickly became one of my favourite characters when I saw the first episode and I’m really happy to see her feeling so confident and realising how great she is. I am a little scared to see where this goes, however, because Euphoria definitely doesn’t hide away from the creepier side of what Kat is doing and all of the potential downfalls. Most of which will result in her getting hurt in some way.
I will say though, that I’m interested to see more of Kat in the rest of season one. All of the focus on her was really fun and I also loved the music that played in a lot of her scenes. Although, so far, all of the music in the show has been amazing.
Something I really appreciated about Kat’s scenes, were her interactions with both Ashtray and Fezco. I really wasn’t expecting it but it does show that the two of them are known to various people and not just Rue. It really helps to thread everyone together and make sure that – no matter how many individual storylines there are – everyone is connected in some way, shape or form.
Speaking of Fezco, we actually don’t see too much of him this episode and it’s a while before we see him interact with Rue again. Unsurprisingly, when they do, things have shifted between them. He refuses to let her inside and says he won’t give her drugs. It quickly turns sour and I have to admit, my heart broke a lot watching it. I figured he wouldn’t be angry with Rue because the show has made it abundantly clear how much he cares for her – we’ve seen evidence of it pretty much from the moment we met him actually – and so it was also unsurprising that he refused to sell her any drugs. Now, I don’t want to say that Rue’s outburst was surprising because really it wasn’t. She blames him for her current addiction because he was the one that sold her drugs in the first place. However, by the time Rue speaks to Fez, she’s been through a lot and her reaction to being denied drugs seemed more out of desperation than anything. I really wouldn’t be surprised if she regretted it a little.
It’s tricky with the pair of them. A lot of her passionate yelling seemed to be because she really needed drugs but there’s a degree of truth to her words. Fez might care about her now but he was part of her getting her hands on drugs in the first place. That being said, Fez doesn’t come cross as a horrible person per se. It doesn’t seem that his involvement in drugs – or even selling them to Rue – was or is about being vicious and wanting to ruin people’s lives. The fact that he refuses to sell to her means he’s turning away business. Clearly it doesn’t mean that much to him, clearly she means more. It’s obvious (even before this episode) that there’s something between them, especially that he cares about her, so to see them like that at the end of the episode was upsetting. It didn’t help that Fez looked so deflated about the whole thing.
Before Rue goes to speak with Fez, quite a bit happens. In episode two, we saw how upset Jules was after she was called to help with Rue and we see more of that in this episode. Jules says that she can’t be friends with Rue if she’s going to keep taking drugs and we see that she’s genuinely afraid of losing her (i.e. of Rue dying). This forces Rue to try and get clean for real instead of going to her meetings and pretending like she is.
It’s a difficult route. We see that she’s latched on to Jules and it seems like Rue might be developing feelings for her. It’s denied, of course, and she comes across a little jealous in places and in others, a bit dismissive. As we get closer to the end of the episode, Rue and Jules make up after a fight. They talk about how they love each other and needs each other. Once again the bond between them is shown to be pretty strong but when Rue tries to kiss her, Jules seems stunned. We don’t get to fully see her reaction but we do know that she’s been falling for Tyler (aka Nate) so I’m interested to know where things will pick up in the next (or future) episodes.
A lot of things, including her fights and kiss with Jules, make it hard for Rue and she slips up a couple of times with trying to be clean. Luckily, right at the end, after her fight with Fez, she actually calls Ali (Colman Domingo) which will hopefully be to discuss her addiction and actually start to get clean. I don’t imagine it’ll be easy for Rue (if it was, she would be clean already) but the fact that she’s calling out to someone seems like a good sign. Rue has definitely been through a lot already and I’m only three episodes in, it makes me anxious to see what happens next.
With Jules, as I said before, she’s falling for Tyler (aka Nate) and we pick up a lot with them this episode. The two of them have been messaging back and forth constantly. I really loved the way that montage was edited. The split screen was done really well so that there was ample time to focus on both sides of it. The two fo them seem to be pretty genuine with their messaging but we mostly see Jules’ side as she talks to Rue about how she’s falling for him.
Nate’s side is a little more confusing but there’s a lot more evidence that he knew all along he was speaking to Jules. I’ll admit, I can’t remember for sure if her profile had a picture of her face but even if it didn’t, presuming she doesn’t crop her face out the photos Rue helped her take, he’ll see it’s her for sure. But here’s the evidence that he does know. Firstly, there’s that moment in class where they’re still messaging and he looks over at Jules. The look he gives suggests that he’s known all along that it’s her but it could also be because of the confrontation they had at the house party in episode one. However, there’s also the fact that Maddy finds a ton of dick picks on his phone and considering she practically confirms they belong to other men, it means that either a) the pics are for him or b) he gathered some so he could send them to Jules.
It’s also weird that he brutally beat up Tyler in episode two and then proceeded to use that same first name. It’ll be interesting to see if or how all of it is connected. There’s a couple of different ways it could go. At this point, I just don’t trust Nate but I am interested to see where his story goes.