“Euphoria” - Season 2, Episode 5 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.
Euphoria’s fifth episode of the second season, titled “Stand Still Like the Hummingbird,” crowned a time of reckoning. The episode stands as a definite turning point with secrets finally coming out and actions catching up to characters who are unable to escape the consequences.
By centering this episode on Rue and the crippling effects that her addiction can have on her and other people, Sam Levinson finally brings forward the true weight of the story of a troubled teen addict.
Zendaya presents yet another Emmy Award-worthy performance in the first 15 minutes of the episode, which focuses on her arguing with her mother about her drug usage and the suitcase that she borrowed.
This partially improvised scene shows Rue struggling to rationalize the situation that she is in and doing her best to hurt the people she loves to get what she wants. It is certainly accurate in its sentiments of such a sensitive topic and hopefully allows viewers to understand Rue as a character and real-life moments that resemble it.
It was also a wonderful display of Storm Reid’s and Nika King’s acting abilities, who play Rue’s sister, Gia, and Rue’s mom, Leslie.
The introduction also develops the relationship between Jules, Elliot and Rue. It is uncertain whether their relationship will be reconciled in the future or if it will go further downhill.
The episode also brings long-awaited trouble between Cassie and Maddy. This separation between the characters makes for an unsteady time for the very questionable Cassie and something to look forward to for the next episode.
The appearance of Laurie also makes a viewer question where the relationship between her and Rue will go and what her devious plans are with Rue.
The directing in this episode felt fast and anxiety-ridden. There were only a handful of scenes that were calm or lighthearted.
Levinson explains after the credits what his intentions were with certain scenes and the symbolism throughout the episode is phenomenal. However, it is unfortunate that some of the scenes, with Laurie especially, don’t feel solid in what purpose they were supposed to serve in storytelling other than creating a sense of angst in watchers.
The cinematography is always amazing, but this episode really took things a step further in comparison to others. This is the first time every angle, every scene felt intentional.
While viewers don’t really get any answers in this episode, major progress is being made.
In comparison to other episodes released this season, this episode has the best acting and best progress. The expectations of what is to come in future episodes and seasons have been raised and it is reasonable to say that it might be hard to beat.
Overall, the episode has a lot of movement and breeds eagerness within viewers during the episode and likely impatience surrounding the aftermath. There are a lot of off-screen moments that probably won’t be shown until later or won’t be shown at all which is slightly concerning, but the setup for the next few episodes is impeccable.
It will be exciting to see what happens next.
Erell Williams is a first-year majoring in broadcasting journalism. To contact her, email email@example.com.
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