Euphoria Season 2 Episode 2 Review
Before reading this article, please note that this article mentions complex topics such as drug addiction and abuse along with physical abuse. For resources on drug addiction/abuse, visit https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/national-helpline. For resources on physical abuse, visit https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/national-helpline.
The HBO hit series “Euphoria” returned this Sunday with its second episode of the second season, and things got weird, even a show infamous for its risky explicit and artistic choices.
This episode entitled “Out Of Touch” broke the typical format of an episode of “Euphoria,” rather than the opening scene based on a character’s back story. The episode picked up nearly right where it left off in the previous episode.
This opening credit scene also seemed to focus on Nate, who already had an episode central to him in the previous season.
While the plotline from the previous episode was continued in this episode, it at times seemed to take a back seat to the hallucinations and daydreams characters were having.
For example, Rue’s drug addiction is continued to be explored and the strain that is taking on her relationship with Jules. It also helps integrate Dominic Fike’s character Elliot into the plot more and hints at a possible love triangle between the three.
However, in the same episode featuring Nate dreaming about life with Cassie, Kat was experiencing a depressive hallucination, and Maddy was babysitting for a family with no relationship to any previous plot.
It becomes confusing, and the episode becomes tedious, especially considering how high the tension is with the significant plotlines.
Nate and his relationship with Cassie are interesting, considering how abusive and manipulative Nate mixed how desperate Cassie is for male validation. This is all happening while Maddy Nate’s ex-girlfriend and Cassie’s best friend know nothing about it.
The parts of the episode that featured this relationship in real-time were filled with tension and featured fantastic acting from Jacob Elordi (Nate) and Syndey Sweeny (Cassie.)
But Nate’s hallucination of what their relationship could be was somewhat disturbing, featuring explicit scenes of his father, a pregnant Cassie, and other girls like Jules and Maddy that Nate has had feelings for in the past.
Maybe this scene would’ve worked better if Kat’s daydream didn’t also happen in this episode.
This day-terror Kat was experiencing had an excellent commentary on social media and how it affects teenagers’ mental health. This wave of self-love coming from conventionally attractive influencers can be damaging to susceptible teenagers, especially those who don’t fit into the beauty standard.
The issue is not with the commentary or Barbie Ferreria’s performance but how out of place it felt in the episode. This episode was not centered around Kat or any of her issues. This scene was the majority of Ferreria’s screen time in the episode.
While Nate’s daydream felt off-putting, it made sense in the episode; it was just disturbing at times. Kat’s hallucination felt like the writers were juggling their world of characters and just stuck this scene to include Kat.
The real issue, in particular, is the fact that neither of these dream sequences felt like they furthered the plot in any way. The writers made the artistic choice, but having these “visions” in the episode slowed it down significantly.
The other parts of the episode were centered around what seems to be the most significant plotline of the season. The growing tension between Fez and Nate creates anxiety in each scene either of these characters is in.
Maude Apatow, whose character Lexi is seemingly becoming more prominent this season, put on an outstanding performance. Her growing feelings for Fez continue to build tension with her sister Cassie and her secret relationship with Nate.
This episode still features a fantastic soundtrack and cinematography, which the show is consistently praised about. The acting performances remained remarkable as well.
While this episode felt all over the place, it kept viewers wanting more and excited for the next episode’s release.
The main issue with this episode is that at times it felt like a mosaic of stories rather than multiple stories are interwoven into one story, a feature that “Euphoria” normally executes masterfully.
This season has the potential to be just as compelling and brilliant as the previous season. Hopefully, for fans of the show, the remainder of the season has a more focused and cohesive storyline than last Sunday's episode.
Sophia D’Ovidio is a first-year majoring in communications. To contact her email firstname.lastname@example.org.