Euphoria ‘s season 2 reaches a new high with episode 4, unfolding character secrets while simultaneously proving to be a major turning point for the series.
This review contains spoilers for episode 4 of Euphoria.
Episode 4, “You Who Cannot See, Think of Those Who Can,” opens with an awkward sex scene between Rue (Zendaya) and Jules (Hunter Schafer) as we proceed to see what Rue is picturing in her mind in that moment since she is “secretely” high during the act. She is then forced to fake an orgasm because she can’t feel a thing Jules is doing to her due to the drugs she took beforehand, leading to a hysterical exchange between Jules and Elliot (Dominic Fike) where they’re trying to comprehend why Rue would fake an orgasm. It’s here that some of our past suspicions come to fruition: Elliot and Jules become intimate with each other while they practice how to properly “go down” on someone, and they start making out. The only reason why things don’t escalate between the two is because they are interrupted by the arrival of Rue, who is outside of Elliot’s house. We got to see Jules and Elliot’s chemistry spark last week, but I certainly didn’t expect for this complicated relationship to become a reality halfway through the season.
We then cut to where we left off last episode, with the Maddy (Alexa Demie), Nate (Jacob Elordi), and Cassie’s (Sydney Sweeney) love triangle becoming even more messy. Nate and Maddy are seen having an open-hearted conversation about love, what they did to hurt one another, and if their feelings for the other were ever genuine or mutual. You have to give it up to Alexa and Jacob because, although you know, as an audience, that they aren’t meant to be together because of their toxic traits, they do a damn good job at fooling you for a split second that maybe, just maybe, they can make it work if they tried again. Of course, we know it’ll never work, but this is such a great way to put you in Maddy’s shoes as we’ve seen for the past weeks that she’s still interested in Nate and him coming to manipulate his way back with her will only complicate things.
Nate, for what is worth, doesn’t hide the information about his meeting with Maddy from Cassie, as they have a very heated conversation about their current relationship status. Season 2 has already some of my all-time favorite moments in the series, and this fight has got to be up there because of their honesty with each other. Nate is a horrible person, but he isn’t a liar necessarily unless there is something that he wants in return. So, when he tells Cassie the truth about the kind of bad person she is for making the decision of having sex with her best friend’s ex, you can tell it hurts her to hear this, even if she pretend it doesn’t. Cassie tries to play it off by mocking the toxic relationship Maddy and Nate used to be in, only to demonstrate she is already in the same troubled position Maddy was in season 1.
We know that Lexi (Maude Apatow) is currently writing and doing casting calls for her original high school play, so seeing how she’s been taking inspiration from Cassie’s personal struggles, as she comes back angry from Nate’s house, is both hilarious and eye opening for how Lexi views her sister. They’ve made a big deal out of this play so far, so I can only wonder what implications it will have in the larger narrative because people tend to forget Lexi was treated almost as an afterthought in season 1. In episode 3, she sort of describes herself as such, so maybe this play will serve as a form for her to express how she really feels about those closest to her. Even at Maddy’s birthday party, Lexi seems to be taking mental notes of everybody’s behavior. I’m just speculating here, though, but does Lexi already know about Cassie’s secret relationship with Nate and will she be the one to expose it to the public through her play? Maybe, or perhaps it’s just a crazy theory. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
Meanwhile, Cal (Eric Dane) is getting drunk at his house after his encounter with Fezco (Angus Cloud) and Ashtray (Javon Walton), almost as if the beating he received from that experience served as a way to break free from the resentment towards his family he’s been putting at bay all these years. He takes the keys to his old truck, in which he made many valuable high school memories, and he goes out on a ride, but not before embarrassing Nate about his personality. Turns out, Cal doesn’t just go out for any ordinary drive around town: he goes to visit the same bar where he confessed his feelings to his best friend Derek (Henry Eikenberry) about 25 years ago. Here, he becomes overwhelmed with nostalgia as he plays a song on the jukebox and starts dancing with a random guy as he imagines it is Derek. Eventually, this leads to a confrontation with the people in charge of the bar, as Cal becomes hostile towards other guests and he’s forced to leave the property.
Back at Maddy’s birthday party, we see her have a conversation with Kat (Barbie Ferreira), where she opens up about how much she hates being in a relationship with Ethan (Austin Abrams), despite it being a relatively healthy one. At this rate, we are four episodes into season 2 of Euphoria and every time we get an update on Kat’s storyline she is seen complaining about the same thing with little to no actual exploration towards her feelings. It’s starting to become annoying how little attention she’s been receiving this season, though I really hope the remaining episodes will attempt to fix this.
Shortly after this, Nate finally arrives late to the party with a present for Maddy, making Cassie act weird and distant as she starts drinking all kinds of alcohol as a way to kill the jealousy she is feeling in the moment. Instead of cooling her off, this only makes her even more irrational as she puts on a very revealing bikini and walks downstairs where she knows Nate will notice her. She then goes to the next room and starts dancing and spinning around uncontrollably. Everybody’s night ends badly after everyone at the party goes into the hot tub, and a severe confrontation between Maddy and Nate breaks out after disagreeing on whether they’re back together or not. It doesn’t stop here though: out of nowhere, Cassie starts throwing up once inside the hot tub after consuming so much alcohol and immediately begins to apologize to Maddy about ruining everything. Although it’s presented in a way where our characters think she’s apologizing for ruining the party, we know she’s really saying sorry for sleeping with Nate behind Maddy’s back. At least that’s what is implied by her mannerism.
As if it wasn’t bad enough that Rue is doing drugs without telling anybody, or that Jules is slowly developing a sexual relationship with Elliot, these three decide it’s a good idea to rob a store in order to get free liquor after a truth or dare game where Rue is forced to kiss Elliot and Jules dares him to lick her stomach. Things don’t get any better after they are successful in their mission of robbing the place, only for Rue to begin drinking and confront Jules about how much she can’t stand being with her. She is asked to be left in the middle of the road, leaving Elliot and Jules by themselves once they return back to his house. Here is where Elliot confesses to Jules that Rue hasn’t been sober this entire time, and that he’s been part of the problem by encouraging her to keep using drugs along with him.
In a nearly 10 minutes long monologue Cal gives in the middle of the night, he exposes himself to his wife and older son Aaron (Zak Steiner) about the double life he’s been living while trying to raise a family. Finally, for the first time ever, he’s honest about how lonely he feels. How he yearns to be loved, form a connection with somebody else and how his own family backed him into a corner, not allowing him to live the life he’s been wishing for since he was a teenager. Even more surprising, how he accepts his biggest regret in life was having a second child and for it to be Nate. Cal doesn’t hide that he played a part in messing up Nate’s view of the world, but admitting it in front of their whole family to hear was definitely fascinating and oddly rewarding considering nobody in the Euphoria fandom likes Nate. Season 2, in a way, has been about our characters keeping secrets from each other. Cassie’s complicated relationship with Nate, Kat hating Ethan behind his back, Rue doing drugs even though she’s not supposed to, Jules having a crush on Elliot while being with Rue, everyone’s got something to hide. So, seeing a major player like Cal completely go off and reveal all of his secrets, to his family of all people, is a nice change of pace and could be a turning point for several storylines to come.
This week’s episode comes to a shocking conclusion as Rue is seen having visions of her long-dead father as she declares how much she misses him. She herself has said in the past that her loss isn’t the sole reason why she is a drug addict, but here you really do get an idea how Rue hasn’t been allowed to properly mourn her dad and process her pain in an open way. Perhaps if she was more open about her grief she wouldn’t be in the position she currently is, but unfortunately that’s not the case. From here, we are treated to a haunting final montage where we see how far our main characters have come. Even though we’ve seen their progression so far in season 2, it kind of makes you question how we even got here in the first place. Marcell Rév’s mesmerizing cinematography helps communicate this sense of going into the unknown with the future of these characters by shooting this sequence with unnatural lighting that makes the sets the actors are in feel unsettling. Euphoria can be a lot of things, but boring it is not. Episode 4 leaves us off not knowing Rue’s fate, if she overdosed as it is implied, or not. Because we have bad luck and we’re all impatient to find out, we’ll have to wait and see until next Sunday.
Euphoria ‘s Season 2 Episode 4, “You Who Cannot See, Think of Those Who Can,” is now available to watch on HBO Max.