Episode 2 of Euphoria got me thinking this ish may just take a tuurrrn. Where else could the show possibly go from its premiere? Let’s put it this way: Euphoria might just become a murder mystery. This episode looks into Nate’s world. Remember in the first recap how well the description of ‘the quintessential jock a**hole’ fit him? Well, I’m not wrong… but it’s waaaay more.
We get Rue’s voiceover again, which is a thing I am actually about. When the intense sh** starts happening I’m like ‘Rue voice? Help, please’! The backstory on our buddy Nate starts with his younger self in his father’s office. Obviously, this is forbidden territory, because he finds his father’s porn collection. Considering suburbia and curious white kids, it sounds par for the course. Nate’s discovery is not your regular browser history stuff, though. First of all, they are in DVDs (which places the timeline at least 7 years in the past, when burned DVDs were around). These aren’t bootleg videos, either – they’re of the ‘home video’ variety. If you remember from the pilot episode, Nate’s dad is Jules’s Tinder date. This means Nate’s being exposed to some thangs beyond his 11 years. To top it off, his dad is a creep so it is not a healthy look into the world of sex. Nate’s dad decides to have a talk with him. Not The Talk, but A Talk…one where he tells Nate that ‘they don’t see what I see in you’ and ‘don’t let anyone break you’.
LIKE FATHER LIKE SON
So little Nate starts working out doing the cis-hetero normal activities society says are “manly”: working out and participating in “masculine” things like football. He likes the team thing, but hates the locker room. ‘Love / Hate’ would be more accurate, as Nate tries his hardest not to look at anyone’s penis. Here, the show takes this time to show the most varieties of penis. I’m good, but watching Nate be uncomfortable about it all is the focus. As you can guess, the narrative is setting up an inner conflict with his repressed true self. This is expressed through specific rules Nate has made about his attraction to women. How he hates cankles, how he likes specific choker necklaces, certain sandals and girls with particular features. His control issue could’ve just been a consensual kink but his poor anger management complicates things. We’ll revisit this.
Back at school, Mandy decides to tell people she blacked out rather than admit to having sex in public in a pool at McKay’s party. Nate is now stalking the kid who had sex with Maddy. The guy isn’t even a high school student – he’s either in college, or just out of school. Awkward, but more awkward that Nate is stalking him at the mall.
Kat is at school, awash in emotion. She’s relieved that she achieved what she set out to over the summer lost her virginity before the school year began, maybe not so excited about footage of the night being on the interwebs. Everyone knows it’s her, so she springs into action and we see her with the McKay’s little brother. One of the twins! Ohh…I thought she had been with the weird white kid, but nope! She tells him to take it down and tell everyone it’s someone else and not her in the video. Somehow this works, but the principal is already privy to the situation and calls her to the office. Kat twists it so manipulatively. She says ‘that’s not me’ and ‘how dare you fat shame me thinking it is me’! He turns on his heels real quick. Apparently the whole thing dies by the last period of classes – who knew! I also want to note that the principal looks like Tim Meadows as the principal from Mean Girls. I’m starting to think this is on purpose.
As rumors go people at school (people as in just that one girl from the plastics group) are calling Jules “that girl who tried to commit suicide at McKay’s party”. Huh? The deductions these kids make are criminal.
Cut to Jules and Rue are riding bikes through a beautiful orange grove. Rue tries to get Jules to come to dinner at her house, but Jules has family dinner with her dad. Even though it’s always just her and her dad, he makes a special night out for family dinner. Jules thinks it’s cute Rue has been talking to her fam about her. Rue gets embarrassed cuz Rue has a cruuuussssh!
After some more light stalking, Nate asks Maddy out. She says “ I hate you”, which means ‘yes’ in terrible high school relationship talk. So it’s a date? Jeez…
On the other side of town Cassie meets up with the older McKay brother, who drove down from college to see her. Since he’s older than everyone, he went off to college while everyone else started their junior or senior years. I still wanna know what happened to his house! He was complaining about his mom being real particular about the house and how he was gonna get in trouble if anything was out of place. Last I saw, that place was traaaashed! In this scene, McKay seems perturbed that his coach won’t play him because he’s the best football player ever or something. You’re a freshman, settle down. Cassie, who is just as bored about it as the rest of us listening, starts seducing him. He’s all like “why you gotta make everything sexual?” Uh…what now? Aren’t you like, 18? Everything is sex! Cassie looks hurt (or at least embarrassed) and they move on.
Later, Kat is feeling a certain way about her video getting out. She goes searching and finds it on fake Pornhub, where it has something like 86,000+ views. She starts reading the comments. Never read the comments! There are mad good comments asking if she cams – oh no (not shaming any sex work, in fact camming is the most lucarative business for a lot of people as long as they aren’t underage teens. Sounds pretty dangerous, but you know what I don’t think Kat cares. The girl is feelin’ herself! Can’t be mad at the new confidence, but like everything in this show it hurts a little bit.
During Rue’s bike ride, the sky just opens up. Rue is drenched while trying to get somewhere. I’m thinking she’s headed home. No, Rue heads to Fezco’s to get more drugs. Fez (as she calls him) looks alarmed as anyone with permanently half-closed could be. He tries so hard to get Rue to leave but she won’t. She’s just not taking him seriously, but his drug dealer is coming and he said he really doesn’t want her there when he arrives. It’s too late, though. The guy is there, and he’s the kinda dude that just makes you uneasy like especially when he is smiling. Fez checks his gun stashed in the couch cushions. Yeah, now Rue’s concerned. What did you think this was? You walked up in your drug dealer’s home while he has the money machine going, and he is legit going to throw your a** out on the curb Uncle Phil-style.
Fez’s dealer starts reading off all the contraband he’s dropping off. His henchmen to do the math. Fez pays up quickly, hoping he will take his money and get out.
Instead, the drug dealer asks if Fez wants some fentanyl. Fez says no, “too many ODs”. He doesn’t wanna get mixed up in it. The drug dealer turns to ask Rue about it. She declines, but ‘no’ is not in his vocabulary way. At this point, Rue is terrified for sure. He puts a drop of clear liquid on a velociraptor claw-shaped blade, and makes her take it. She sends a prayer up to whoever is listening, takes the drug, and passes out almost immediately.
This drug dealer has the nerve to give her more while demanding “you owe me $300”. In her stupor, she says she doesn’t have it. Fez offers to pay, but the drug dealer is like STFU. Fez almost goes for his couch cushion gun. Mind you, in the background we got Ash (Ashtray), our 11-year old face-tattooed G. He’s surveying the situation and giving silent nods to Fez, like ‘is this gonna be a problem’. Fez nods like ‘I got it’, then convinces the drug dealer to take Fez’s money to pay for Rue. This piece of work fondles Rue as she slinks away from reality before he demands double. Fez pays, and the man leaves with his lackey. Rue is out, uttering a heartbreaking “I’m so happy”. Fez calls Jules to help. This idea of finding Euphoria is of course the main theme, but Rue exclaiming happiness while high is like watching a bird fly in a cage thinking they are soaring through the sky. Just…ugh, my heart!!
So remember the anger thing I was talking about with Nate? Well, he goes to the guy’s house. Turns out it has not been light stalking at all. Nate makes it inside, collects any possible weapons, and is waiting for him in the dark on the couch. This just became a horror flick, and Nate is a calculated murderer. You would think I’m far off, but no. Nate proceeds to beats the life outta this man with his bare hands, while trying to make him say that he raped Maddy at that party when he knows damn well that isn’t true. It’s just… the look in his eye? The way he was operating? He may be his father after all, or even more dangerous. He then showers in this stranger’s house, wears the man’s clothes, and takes Maddy out for bowling.
While kissing in the alleyway, Nate asks Maddy if the other guy was better than him. Maddy questions what Nate would do, and Nate responds that he’d kill him. I believe him, especially after what came before. One of the things he loved about Maddy was that she was a virgin. I can tell you right now Maddy lied straight to his face about that. Not saying that with any air of judgment at all, but I know that look when you tellin’ someone something they wanna hear. She woulda said she never drank water before if he asked.
After the date, Nate gives Maddy a gift in a nicely wrapped red box. Maybe I’ve watched too many horror films, because I’m scared it’s a severed penis. It’s actually pink lingerie! Her reaction: “ew”. LOL! Nate sits in his car, watching her open the gift through her bedroom window like the massive creeper he is, then he heads home.
We see at the same time Cassie texting with McKay. He is apologizing for rudely hurting her feelings earlier. He starts to ask for nudes, which is weird because he’s not the type. She’s like… it’s late. My suspicion? This isn’t even McKay. It has to be some idiot college students who took his phone. She still takes the nudes, though – with her sister nearby hearing it happen.
Across town, (or right next door because I don’t really have a concept for spacial relation of peoples’ houses in this show yet), Rue is sleeping off the fentanyl at Jules’s. Shyguy1182 or something (can’t remember the exact username) messages Jules through the Grinder/Tinder dating app, texting sweet nothings in the modern dating kind of way. They were doing this all day and during Jules’s family dinner. Jules looks smitten. Then in a very cool camera pan we end up in Shyguy’s house, which reveals his identity as Nate’s dad! What is his plan? Is he going to kill everyone? I am so scared! I am also protective, horrified and so many other emotions. I want to know if Rue is gonna make it out of this trip alright. I hope to all that is soberness she does not want more. I want someone to thwart Nate’s sadistic plans, because he is about to castrate and kill that man he just beat up. He better stay away from Jules! Where did Cassie’s nudes go? Is Kat about to partake in underage camming? Is Maddy so reckless with her tongue and her words that she gets someone killed? How is Fez gonna reconcile all this! AAAHH!
As you can see, I am enthralled. Until next episode…
Remember if you or anyone you love is affected by the issues addressed in this program, HBO is offering a place to start finding help at euphoriaresources.com. Play safe and be safe.
Enjoying our site’s recaps of Euphoria? See here for last episode’s recap.
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