I am a huge fan of "Euphoria." I was a little late to the game when I started it right before season two dropped, but I finished within a three day period and was back on track just in time for the first episode to go live. It didn’t take long for me to absolutely fall in love with the show and the characters, and now that the second season has wrapped up, I can confidently say that I’m still a fan— just a slightly less blindly-in-love one.
The anticipation and excitement that occurred throughout the entirety of this season was insane. HBO Max announced recently that "Euphoria" was the second most watched series of theirs behind "Game of Thrones." That itself is insane if you think about it considering the absolute chokehold that GOT had on everyone for its run time. Twitter also announced it was the most tweeted about show of all time, which surprised me less as every Sunday while it was on, my entire feed was covered in nothing but Euphoria. People would live tweet shot by shot, talk about their hottest takes of the show, and express nothing but love and admiration for Angus Cloud’s character, Fezco.
However, despite the massive fan reaction to the show, there were some things that left me and other fans a bit upset with the show. One thing that stood out to me a lot was the action versus development that happened this season. The first season was full of balance between drama and character development with everyone on the show so the viewers were able to fully understand the characters and appreciate them for all that they offer. However, this second season felt like it was more focused on the shock-factor and the action-packed episodes rather than continuing to grow with the characters. As exciting as it made the season, it felt very drastically different than the first season. In the first episode alone, there is a big fight scene between Fezco and Nate, which sets up the tone for the rest of the season. I don’t wish that there was less drama, however, I just wish that there was a better transition from the tones of each episode to make it all smoother.
Another big thing that I noticed throughout were the various plot holes. It broke my heart when the final episode of the season dropped and all of my questions were left unanswered despite it being the perfect opportunity to tie everything together. I understand that not everything can be neatly wrapped together in the end so they can set up the already-confirmed third season, however, some things could have been addressed more. One major thing is the storyline between Rue and Laurie, and all of the money that Rue owes her. It’s incredible to me that it was set up to be something that needed to be resolved in this season after Laurie says she always gets paid and then nothing is ever done about that. We do get the scene between the two with Rue in the bathroom that can be argued to be a resolution of types, but that raises more questions: is Laurie just going to forget everything and go against her character? Is this going to be a larger problem in the third season? Does Rue no longer owe any money? Another thing that is never addressed after it occurs is the night between Jules and Elliot when Jules cheats on Rue. It’s never addressed if Rue knows what happened between the two, and it’s also never addressed if she cares at all if she does know. There are a lot of problems between the two girls to begin with, but Jules going behind Rue’s back as she did would definitely cause Rue to react in a more explosive way. One more little thing that I caught on to was Fezco’s age. It was talked about in the first season that Fez was in fact older than everyone else and would still be out of high school by now, even if he hadn’t dropped out. However, Lexi makes a comment in the beginning of the season about Fez being a boy her age. It’s a small but important detail that is also left unaddressed after that.
Something else that was frustrating was the season finale as a whole. The last two episodes are hyped up beyond belief by everyone watching, and even some of the people involved with the show. It’s an important two episodes as the viewers finally get to see the play that Lexi is putting on after it has been built up the entire season. The play itself is really fun, however in context of everything else, I was expecting something more. There is so much drama within the group and I was expecting it to be more exposing than it actually was. It was beautiful to see Rue’s reaction and how much she appreciated it, however, it could have been more theatrical than it was.
Aside from the play, I also had problems with the entire scene between Rue and Elliot in the final episode. It felt unneeded in the sense that there was absolutely no need for a full length jam session between the two with Elliot just singing for multiple minutes with the tension between Rue not knowing what happened with Jules and Elliot. I found it really frustrating to sit through, and this was the first time in the entire show that I felt the desire to skip a scene. However, it was nice to see Rue be able to forgive someone for once rather than her needing to apologize to everyone she sees and hoping to be forgiven herself.
As controversial as it may be, I also was not a fan of the actual ending of the show. I was more than excited to hear that Rue was doing well and choosing herself over everyone else to ensure that she was doing okay. It felt like a cop-out, though, as much as it pains me to say. It was the neatly tied together ending we all wanted, but it wasn’t actually tying anything together. It was a pretend resolution that tried to drown out all the plot holes I talked about before. There is a third season— that’s already confirmed— and the season ends talking about the future through the end of the current year. That causes a problem, though, because that dismisses all of the plot holes as none of them are addressed or resolved before the end of the year. There is still a chance that we will get the answers we’re begging for, but it would have to take a lot of explaining and flashbacks to get us there.
Overall, despite all my criticism of the show, I truly did enjoy the season. Every single week, my alarm would go off at 7:57pm on Sunday and I would get into my comfy bed with my snacks, open my laptop to HBO Max and watch with Twitter open. It became part of my routine, and I had a little watch party for the finale, so it obviously did a good job keeping my attention the entire time. The action did help with keeping me wanting more, and the intros transitioning from backstories to present time over the course of the season was incredible to me. There were so many scenes that left me in awe— like the scene with Rue and Labrinth— and so many individual shots that gave me chills— like the shot of Cassie crying with the flowers behind her. I highly recommend the show to anyone that hasn’t given into the peer pressure yet!