This story was originally posted on April 17, 2022. Visit the Nevada Sagebrush Archive to see all past stories.
Our dear friend Lexi Howard is back at it again.
This time, she plants herself in the main character position, not allowing any mercy for the characters surrounding her.
If your memory is a bit cloudy after the week-by-week wait for a new episode, make sure to read the half-season recap before stepping any further.
In the last episode, “Euphoria” fans were whipped around even more since the first half. An unexpected turn of events drove the characters into an even darker zone than before.
Episode six, especially, was the one that shook the core of every single viewer watching, something that people will not take lightly going forward.
To summarize the love triangle situation, Nate threatened Maddy with a gun—making him even more deranged than normal—before running into the arms of one “Crazy Cassie.” Rue slowly starts to clean up her act, meaning apologies are going to be abundant in the next episode. Fez and Lexi’s love story is flowing slow and steady and Jules and Elliot basically got skipped over—for now.
Episode seven was the first part of the finale that initiates the actual showing of Lexi’s play, with the final name being revealed as “Our Life.” The title is a blatant allusion to the exploitative nature of the play for revealing the inner workings of the characters lives to everyone at East Highland High School, or Euphoria High as social media has dubbed it.
Before both the finale episodes even begin, our typical trigger warning screen takes up the page with a black background and thin white lettering reading “VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED.”
This is the typical warning for the audience to buckle in for this intense adventure.
“The Theater and Its Double”
At the beginning of episode seven, the show starts weaving through the play and the paralleled scenes of Lexi’s real life experiences. And for a change, Lexi is the narrator instead of Rue.
The audience sees Lexi’s view of her relationship with Rue. During the entire series, Rue and Lexi’s friendship was always rocky and confusing—especially when Rue got into drugs.
Viewers are given a fresh look on their friendship, set in the advent of Rue’s drug abuse during her father’s funeral. This allows the audience to sympathize and understand their friendship a bit better.
When Lexi introduces the other characters in the play, she herself plays Grace. It is easy to see that Hallie, Marta, Jade and Luna could be replicas of Cassie, Maddy, Rue and Kat, respectively.
After the play’s initial introduction, the plot fans to scenes the well-awaited, building romance of Fez and Lexi. Though, as we expected, no one ever really gets a happy ending in “Euphoria.”
Suspicions build as an old friend of Fez’s emerges, to which we discover is trying to rat him out to the cops for the murder of Mouse, Fez’s old drug supplier who was killed by Asktray, which we witnessed earlier in the series.
The scenes in this episode are constantly flipping, so when we move away from the Fez storyline to build anticipation, we are pushed back into the play. However, scenes of reality weave around with the scenes in the play. Sometimes their real names are used, and sometimes their stage names are called. The alternating reality is hard to keep up with, but it shows the audience just how Lexi tried to stay true to the events.
The episode flashes between the experiences with her four friends, the good and bad with her dad, intimate moments of friendship with Lexi and Rue and the robotic-like relationship between Cassie and Nate—she is like his doll as we flash to scenes of him physically dressing her like he owns her.
At one point, we even get a taste of how awkward the relationship with Rue and Jules is now, but nothing quite comes about with this scene.
In the next instant, Rue is laying in bed with her mother. Rue’s mother warns her that if Rue goes back to drugs, she will choose Gia over her because she isn’t willing to lose both of her daughters at once. The scene is heartbreaking for the audience just as much as for Rue.
Then, the friendship between Cassie and Maddy is paralleled. Their friendship before Nate was beautiful and wholesome, but everything fell apart from beneath them when Cassie slept with her ex.
In the scene after Rue exposes Cassie and she runs to the bathroom, we watch Maddy cry, banging on the bathroom door, reminiscing about her relationship with Nate and her friendship with Cassie, repeating the words: “I would have never done this to you,” in tears.
At this moment, the whole world was standing against Cassie because of the way she broke her best friend’s heart over a boy. The emotions running rampant in these scenes cause Cassie to step out of the theater and into the bathroom. There, we get a glimpse of the act she puts on to keep herself in check and the amazing skills actress Sydney Sweeney puts on in this show.
When it comes to Nate’s turn in the scenes, the episode plays a disturbing scene where Nate’s mixed feelings for all the women in his life come to play. He’s in a hotel similar to the one where his dad had sex with Jules, and he seems to be conflicted between his love for Maddy, Jules and Cassie. At the end of his scene, it is his dad standing behind him—naked whilst Nate lays below him, facing down with nowhere to go.
He wakes up from the visions like it was a nightmare, the audience had never expected before, a reason for all of Nate’s madness.
The best part of the play finally comes on scene when we are shown a visual of most of the football guys working out together, the main character, Jake–who is supposed to represent Nate—plays a very sensual scene with his teammates.
The boys dance together sensually to the song “Holding Out for a Hero” by Bonnie Tyler, implying a LGBTQ+ connection between Jake, or rather Nate, and his teammates, an unknown part of Nate the audience never got to see resolved.
The audience cheers for the intense scene, but Nate storms out claiming the entire scene was “homophobic” before he yells and ends things with Cassie.
That’s when we know there will be revenge from the blonde sister as she stands in front of the theater doors fogging up the glass with her evil breath.
A nice cliffhanger for the finale to follow a week later.
“All My Life, My Heart Has Yearned for a Thing I Cannot Name”
At the beginning of episode eight, Fez is about to walk out the door to Lexi’s play, but of course, something has to go wrong.
Faye, played by Chloe Cherry, saves Fez from the incrimination that her ex-boyfriend Custer, played by Tyler Chase, was trying to pull on him. The whole time Custer was two-timing Fez and working with the police to expose him and Ashtray as the murderers of Mouse.
Ashtray, played by Javon “Wanna” Walton, comes out of nowhere and stabs Custer in the neck. Fez keeps him quiet and throws the phone in water so the cops don’t listen in.
Only six minutes into the episode and we already have another murder on our hands.
The plot flashes to Fez and Lexi’s relationship of connecting on the phones, talking about their futures and even discussing kids. When we see Fez panicking, we know he’s realizing there’s nothing left for him. He starts to doubt his hope that he could’ve become a better person for Lexi. The entire beginning is all a little heartbreaking for the “Fexi” fans out there.
Then things start to escalate even further.
Cassie gets on stage, interrupting the whole play, and we see a little family drama between Cassie and Lexi, something their comedic mother tries to intervene in.
When Lexi tries to play the next scene, we watch the sensual scene of Hallie grinding on the carousel horse come to play and Cassie goes ballistic.
Soon enough, after Cassie beats up Hallie, Maddy jumps on stage with Kat not too far behind her. Maddy slaps her in front of everyone and then shoves her head into a wall after they run to the bathroom.
Finally, here’s the cat fight we were all waiting for. Maddy beat her by a long shot.
The plot flashes then to Rue and Elliot where she apologizes, and Elliot sings her a long song about their friendship. Since the actor who plays Dominic Fike is a singer, the song gives the audience a little input to what his music and voice are like. Though the audience didn’t like that much time in the episode being taken up by Fike, the song was a good touch to reveal Rue’s emotions and get her to understand the pain she really caused people.
After the insane commotion, Lexi gets back on stage and Rue starts a wholesome chant that the entire audience joins in on.
As soon as she does, the scene flashes back to Fez where he tries to take the blame, covering up Ashtray’s tracks of murder. It seems Ashtray only knows the way of protecting his family and locks himself in the bathroom with a shotgun.
Then, boom, the camera flashes to Nate where he confronts his father in a random warehouse in the middle of nowhere.
There’s a moment where Nate holds a gun up to his dad and everyone thinks he’s going to end it here and now.
Then, he pulls out a flash drive of his father’s video-taped criminal offense of having intercourse with a minor.
We watch as Cal Jacobs gets arrested and Nate walks away, looking passive about the situation as he always does.
Another flash, and Fez’s house is being raided. The cops are yelling at Fez, Fez is screaming for Ashtray and guns are blazing from both sides.
Destruction is everywhere. Fez still screams for his little brother before there is silence and Ashtray stops shooting.
A cop walks to check to see if Ashtray is alive, where Ashtray lays on the ground below him.
Then, he sits up and shoots the cop straight through his chest.
There is a moment where Ashtray and Fez stare into one another’s eyes and the laser is pointed on his forehead.
Fez watches Ashtray die. The audience hears a gunshot and a body thud and the scene fades as Fez’s soul seems to die in that moment.
We flash to Rue at the funeral again and the heartbreak of the young Ashtray’s death resonates in the fans’ heads, reminding us of the abundance of death this show contains.
Then snippets of Lexi and Rue’s friendship after the play are shown on screen, and the audience feels a sense of relief and happiness as the two girls rediscover their friendship and embrace each other once again as the best friends they were before the drugs in this small moment.
Even though the last two episodes had so much commotion and heartbreak, the lesson about friendship was still learned as Lexi had promised.
There’s a moment of peace between Maddy and Cassie and even one between Jules and Rue as they say goodbye to one another. It may not be the end of the story between each pair, but it is a moment of closure for the audience to see that this is the end for now.
Rue gets her narration back at the end as she talks about her path now and her steps to moving on. There is a sense of closure to the episode as it closes out with the song “I’m Tired”, a duet with Labrinth and Zendaya.
There are a lot of cliffhangers left about what will happen to the characters in the next season, but luckily for all the show’s obsessed fans, “Euphoria” is being renewed for a season three.
The storyline between Jules and Rue needs to be addressed, the relationship between the Howard sisters is up in the air now and what happens with each of the characters’ individual dramas and storylines is up in the air. The thing most fans want to see is what is going to happen to Fez after what just happened with his brother.
HBO has not released an official date for the third season of their hot new show, but it is expected in late 2023 or early 2024.
For those wanting to see what happens to their favorite “Euphoria” characters, you better start counting down the days, because it may be a minute before we see what unfolds at Euphoria High next season.
Jaedyn Young can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @jaedyn_young3.