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My Take On The “Euphoria” Season Two Finale

Over the last two months, my friends and I have adopted a ‘Sunday night "Euphoria"’ ritual. Every weekend at 8 p.m., we would assemble to watch the newest episode before we ran into any spoilers. I admit that the first season of the show wasn’t my favorite. Although it was beautifully filmed, I found the series to be dark in a way that began to affect my daily life. I felt as though I was becoming one of the characters in the show, who may lead seemingly attractive lifestyles but ultimately have more than their fair share of troubles. 

When it came time to watch the second season, I decided that I would try to embrace the "Euphoria" rave, and slowly but surely I did. Watching the series once a week had significantly less impact on my mental health; in a way, I was micro-dosing the show. I grew to appreciate the cast, the acting, and the filming style. The dark colors and melancholy music started to grow on me, without making me feel dark and melancholy myself.

By the time the final episode rolled around, I was a committed fan. I had watched every episode, investigated every conspiracy theory, and even knew a little about the personal lives of the actors. I was excited to see how the series would tie up all their loose ends in the finale, and how they would hook us into a possible new season. But I have to say, I was not particularly pleased with the last episode. 

There’s no doubt that the second season of Euphoria was packed with drama: Rue’s relapse and withdrawal, Cassie, Nate, and Maddie’s love triangle, Fezco and Lexie’s budding relationship, and Elliot joining the squad. Not to mention that Rue still owes Laurie a lot of money at the end of the show, but seems to get away with it? The final episode left me feeling like so much had happened, yet nothing changed. With the exception of Cal going to prison, Ashtray being shot, and Rue becoming sober, everything else is the same. 

On top of that, it feels as though there are way too many plot holes, or started storylines that were never tied up. The entire finale seemed rushed to me, but what frustrated me the most was Rue’s magical recovery at the end of the episode. It seemed unrealistic that simply watching Lexi’s play would somehow erase years of drug addiction and abuse from Rue’s life. It is no longer a matter of ‘deciding to be’ sober for Rue, which we saw when she suffered through withdrawal earlier in the season, and almost died. 

Rue has a physical addiction to drugs now, not just a psychological dependence. I thought it unfair for the show to spend multiple seasons romanticizing drug use (although I must admit it did well showing the negative side effects of drug use this season), just to end the show without ever explaining how Rue got clean. "Euphoria" is an incredibly popular show that is being watched by millions of young people around the world, many of whom use drugs as well, although likely not at the level of Rue. 

In effect, the show is showing the horrors of drug use but teaching their young audience that all it takes to recover from years of hard drugs is watching a play about yourself and having a retrospective moment.

Even though I had some issues with the finale of HBO Max’s “Euphoria,” the season itself lived up to my expectations, and I am excited to see what the future holds for Rue and her friends and acquaintances. My one hope for the next season is that the show spends more time talking about recovering from a drug addiction; after all, if you are going to show the positives and negatives of drug use and relapse, it would be incredibly helpful to show how to get better as well. 

Yana Medvedeva

CU Boulder '25

I am a student at CU Boulder, but am originally from New Jersey. I love Op-eds, creative, and persuasive writing. I also love spending time outside, whether that be running, hiking, or just hanging out with some friends. In the winter, you'll definitely catch me on the slopes!
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