[Header Image: Hunter Schafer as Jules Vaughn and Zendaya as Rue Bennett | HBO]
It felt natural to have Maddy’s cold opening next, especially after what happened to her in the previous episode. While we do discover what life has been like for her growing up as well as getting more of an insight into her, we also get inside her head for some of the events that we’ve seen so far this season, giving us yet another angle.
In this particular episode, things go from bad to worse for Maddy. Due to a series of events, the school find out about the bruises on her neck and suspicion leans towards Nate. While she is determined that they love each other, that she’s doesn’t want anything to do with pressing charges, and she meets up with Nate later in the episode, Maddy isn’t stupid. We see in this episode that she knows he can be violent and that things aren’t always the best between them, however, it also becomes clear that she’s blinded a little by how much she loves him and what she feels goes above what he might do to her. We also saw from the cold opening that a lot of her previous ambitions disappeared and she really doesn’t have any now, Nate is really all she has. All that being said, Alexa Demie was amazing this episode. Her talent really shone through, especially in the scenes in the interrogation room where she was forcibly cuffed to the table so they could cut her sweater off and take pictures for evidence. The entire sequence was just filled with so much emotion that split out into the rest of the episode.
Technically that’s not true but it wouldn’t be surprising if Maddy felt it was just her and Nate. She fights with her parents, she lashes out at Cassie in this episode, and Kat refuses to change her plans even though Maddy needs her. It’s not impossible to understand why Maddy thinks that Nate is the only one to have her back. That’s not to say the people in her life are in the wrong but it’s easy to see how Maddy might take it all and push herself closer to Nate.
Speaking of Nate, he’s surprisingly calm this episode. Not once does he not lose control, he also doesn’t seem to blame Maddy. That’s even before he knows if she’s willingly involved or not. That being said, I did mention in my last review that his calmer side is often the most dangerous so just because he’s chill now, doesn’t mean it’s a good thing. We also got a little more talk about his sexuality this episode and the more it’s mentioned, the more it seems like it might become something that spills over at some point. A few people know about the dick pics on his phone but there’s no definitive proof of it, especially with Maddy denying she ever saw them. It’s really hard to tell how Nate might react if it does all come out but the fact that it’s mentioned so much and plays a big part in his overall storyline, makes me think that it might come out for real in some way.
On the other side, Cal is going through some things as well. When he first shows up at the school, he’s so nervous that he has to go to the bathroom to be sick. Considering Jules goes to that school, it’s not hard to imagine that he would freak out over being called in to talk about what happened between him and her back in episode one. He does regain some composure when he realises it’s about Nate instead but the events show us that he’s still worried about the events at the motel.
It’s actually kind of interesting watching Cal. Don’t get me wrong, we don’t know a ton about him and he generally seems like a pretty horrible person, however, he’s a little unpredictable and we’ve dived a lot deeper into him than I was expecting to. In this episode, when we saw him genuinely concerned about his secrets and what they might be doing to this family, it reminded me of when he confronted Jules in episode four. He seemed far more scared and reserved than the usual proud person we normally see. It’s a more delicate side to him that I wasn’t expecting to get. I’m generally surprised by the amount of insight into him, especially when the writers could have given him absolutely no depth at all (or just enough to keep his part of the story rolling). Similarly to Nate, he may be an awful person sometimes, but I’m constantly intrigued to find out what happens next with them.
While all of this is going on, we see that Rue has been clean for thirteen days and things are going relatively well with Jules. Once again, Ali mentions the potential downfalls of Rue relying on her so much because it could all come crumbling down but Rue hopes that it’ll be fine. Considering Euphoria is a TV show that does have a lot of drama, I can imagine the road isn’t going to be easy for her. We saw how much she latched on to Jules so any kind of fallout won’t be too much of a surprise. She already mentioned that the only reason she isn’t taking fentanyl is because she wants to be with Jules so the obvious thing would be for her to fall back to drugs if things don’t work out.
And we see that Jules is worrying. She gets a little defensive when her dad asks if she and Rue are a thing, she begins to panic when Lexi mentions that Rue is clean because of her, and at the end of the night she does try to go home alone. It is a lot of pressure. If things don’t work out and Rue goes back to drugs, that won’t be Jules’ fault, she’s done nothing wrong., however, it makes sense that she might be freaking out over the seriousness of everything that’s going on. I was a little nervous about seeing where they might go after kissing at the end of episode four but I’m still very much interested (and curious) to see how things might continue to develop between the two of them from here on out.
Beyond all that, there wasn’t much else. We saw that Cassie and McKay seem to makeup but there’s no way to know if it’ll actually last. Elsewhere, we saw Kat being cold towards Ethan (poor guy has zero idea why) and then hook up with a guy from the mall (who we saw in a previous episode). We see her confidence has definitely grown a lot, she no longer cares what people think and realises that being confident overshadows the fact that she’s fat. It definitely seems that things are moving at a really fast rate for her and I’m honestly waiting for the moment it blows up. Something has to go wrong. Or maybe I’m just preparing myself for the worst, just in case.