Euphoria Season 2 Episode 8 (Finale) 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.
It’s been an emotional rollercoaster the past eight weeks for fans of HBO’s hit series “Euphoria.” This past Sunday, the second season concluded with the eighth episode entitled “All My Life, My Heart Has Yearned For a Thing I Cannot Name” in a chaotic finale.
This finale was the second part of the previous week's episode, “The Theater and Its Double.” It followed the same format: the characters gathered to watch Lexi’s play at the school. The scenes went back and forth from the play itself and actual scenes from the character's past.
This format served both episodes well. It helped show what was going on in real-time and highlighted aspects of characters' pasts without focusing the entire episode on one character or becoming too confusing.
It still does play with the timing of everything going on. Scenes of Fez (Angus Cloud) is trying to leave his house for the play are intercut with scenes from the play going on.
This helped build suspense in the previous episode as viewers are aware that the police could bust Fez at any moment. However, the severity of these scenes in the finale was often undercut by the more trivial drama going on back at the high school.
This play had been in production in the background of the majority of “Euphoria’s” second season. Lexi (Maude Apatow) has moved from being a more second-tier character in season one to an essential part of the plot in season two.
Lexi’s play focused on her life and her friends, who are the main characters of “Euphoria.” She didn’t hold back much, which upset people like Nate (Jacob Elordi) and especially her sister Cassie (Sydney Sweeney).
It helped bring some closure to some storylines while opening opportunities for new plots in the third season.
While the previous episode saw Maddy’s (Alexa Demi) emotional confrontation of Cassie for her relationship with Nate, this episode saw Maddy finally go after Cassie the way fans expected (she slammed her head against the wall.)
Although Nate ended things with Cassie at the end of episode seven, Maddy’s comment to Cassie following their brawl made it clear that their relationship is nowhere near overdue due to Nate's toxic behavior.
The acting/cast of “Euphoria” has been the clear highlight of the show, especially this season. Apatow has come into her own on this show, managing to perfectly convey the anxiousness and embarrassment her character has to go through in this episode.
Sweeney has been the standout this entire season. Her portrayal of Cassie’s obsessive need for male validation has been more than stellar. She keeps up this exceptional performance in the season finale.
The finale made it more apparent than ever that the sole issue with “Euphoria” is its writing. There were so many storylines that were huge during the season and saw no resolve or mention during the finale.
Sam Levinson is an impressive director and has a creative mind. However, being the sole writer of a show with a massive ensemble with many overlapping storylines makes it feel like the show could benefit from a writer's room.
Rue (Zendaya) still owes a drug dealer $10,000, which hasn’t been mentioned in the past two episodes. This is especially compelling considering Rue is clean again, and the drug dealer threatened to sell her into drug trafficking if she didn’t get her money back.
Instead of making any mention toward this, Levinson opted for Dominic Fikes's character Elliot to sing a song to Rue which took over three minutes. It is clear that Levinson often goes the more symbolic or artistic route, but there have been several times this season in which it hurt the episode more than aided it.
While this episode didn’t have a big cliffhanger, there are still a lot of storylines left to discover. This finale didn’t live up to the iconic one from the first season but still does its job leaving viewers wanting the next season as soon as possible.
Sophia D’Ovidio is a first-year majoring in communications. To contact her email firstname.lastname@example.org.