“Euphoria Part 1: Rue ” Review

Story posted December 8, 2020 in Arts & Entertainment, CommRadio by Courtney Benedetto

“Part 1: Rue”

As part of a two special episode release, the creators of the HBO show “Euphoria” released the first episode since the end of season 1 called “Part 1: Rue.”

This new episode is also known as “Trouble Don’t Last Always.”

The special episode gives fans just a taste of their beloved characters because the main focus is entirely different than the rest of the show.

This episode follows Rue, played by Emmy Award winning actress Zendaya, and Rue’s sponsor Ali, played by Colman Domingo, as they sit in a diner and discuss Rue’s sobriety, or lack thereof.

Almost the entire episode takes place in that diner booth, with the conversation between Rue and Ali as the bulk of the show.

The two characters talk about drugs, religion, forgiveness, depression, and philosophical questions throughout the episode.

The conversation is amazingly captivating. Some may think that watching two people just talk for an hour would be boring, but the actors did a phenomenal job of keeping the audience fully engaged.

The performances from both Zendaya and Domingo are truly breathtaking. Not only can viewers see the emotions on the characters’ faces, but every warble of every syllable is raw and real. Their acting is completely convincing.

This episode is the prime example of why Zendaya earned her Emmy.

People who watched season 1 of “Euphoria” are well-acquainted with the main character, Rue, but this episode introduces a great character in Ali.

The dynamic between Rue and Ali is entertaining because on one end, there is a damaged young girl who has given up, and on the other end, there is a man who has tried his whole life not to give up.

The subject matter is sad, but the way the two actors move the dialogue keeps the audience interested in the complexities of addiction and mental illnesses.

The directors also did a fantastic job with the score of this episode. Season 1 of “Euphoria” was praised for its music, which was mostly made by the series’ composer Labrinth, and this extra episode did not disappoint.

Elements from the season 1 finale ending song are played throughout this new episode, which fans will pick up on right away.

The camera angles and overall cinematography of the episode are powerful and impactful as well.

This episode strips away the iconic glitter and “euphoric” party scenes to uncover and dive into Rue’s psyche. The camera pans from Rue’s face to Ali’s face throughout their meeting in a way that allows the audience to connect with both characters on a deeper level.

“Euphoria” was always about the struggles within Rue and her friends, but this special episode takes that much farther.

In this episode, Rue bares her soul and some of the darkest repercussions of her numerous mental health issues.

The only criticism that could come from some audiences would be the lack of clarity regarding Rue’s relationship with the character Jules.

However, this episode is clearly not about their relationship, but more so the dangerous relationship Rue has with drugs.

Hopefully the second special episode will give some insight on the other important characters from the series, but the focus on Rue in this episode was much needed.

Fans will still have tons of questions after watching this episode, but that only builds suspense for the rest of the show.


Courtney Benedetto is a freshman majoring in print/digital journalism. To contact her, email at cmb7747@psu.edu.