Melancholic HBO series returns with an aimless second season

HBO’s hit teen drama Euphoria made its long-awaited return on Jan. 9, nearly three years after the premiere of the first season.  

The second season starts with a strong flashback sequence giving viewers a look into the origin story of Fezco, the fan-favorite drug dealer and friend of main character, Rue. After this, the episode is framed around a New Year’s Eve party the main cast attends. We also find out about the affair between Cassie and Nate in this premiere which this season mostly centers around.  

We’re also introduced to the new character Elliot, played by Dominic Fike. This premiere ends with Fez giving Nate a much deserved, and even more anticipated, beatdown.  

The episodes following this become messy as far as the plot goes, jumping from character to character which seems to be the result of some issues behind the scenes. This is especially noticeable with the lack of screen time from main characters like Kat and McKay. Jules, who was a central character in the first season and had a dedicated special episode, gets pushed to the background without much going on besides an odd love triangle situation between herself, Rue and Elliot.  

The season still has some absolute highlight episodes such as the one diving into the background of Nate’s father Cal Jacobs, my personal favorite. The episode “Stand Still Like A Hummingbird” fully dives into Rue’s relapse and breakdown as she goes through an episode-long chase scene running away from her intervention; Lexi’s play that ties together the final two episodes.  

     My favorite aspect of the season is the Fezco storyline and his budding romance with Lexi. It was nice to see the unlikely pairing form from the beginning, but I wish more time was spent on it as they only got a few scenes throughout the season which led to an unsatisfying ending.  

Fezco gets a front-row seat for Lexi’s play but can’t make it due to his house being raided. This ends up with his brother Ashtray, who has been shown to have a tendency for violence, making a very rash and almost out-of-character decision that causes him to be killed by the police.  

After this, we see Rue has possibly come to terms with her trauma and hopefully turns over a new leaf. We also get the aftermath of Maddy finding out about Cassie’s affair, surely spelling the end of their friendship as Maddy warns Cassie about the trauma she’ll suffer from Nate. 

     Overall, I think the final episode was a rather lackluster finale to cap off a season that seemed to have no goal in mind for the story it wanted to tell. I hope the confirmed season three gets more people into the writer’s room who are capable of tackling the subject matter the show deals with more than Sam Levinson is.  

I think the next season will be a time skip to the characters graduating high school. I also think this will be a season of healing as Rue will be trying to mend the damage that’s come from her addiction and those around her. We’re also likely to dive deeper into aspects of the story like Fezco getting arrested and hopefully a true wrap up to the plot thread of Rue owing a drug dealer thousands of dollars.  

I believe season three will be the last, so here’s to hoping the series finishes strong.