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Euphoria Season 1’s Biggest Cliffhanger Gets an Underwhelming Resolution


While a fan-favorite couple reunited in the intense, angsty Season 2 premiere of HBO’s Euphoria, it was in pretty underwhelming fashion.

WARNING: The following contains major spoilers for Euphoria’s Season 2 premiere, “Trying to Get to Heaven Before They Close the Door,” now available on HBO.

One of the most alluring aspects of HBO’s Euphoria has been the romance between Rue (Zendaya) and Jules (Hunter Schafer). It was a pivotal point of Season 1, with Rue trying to get sober and Jules figuring out her path as a transgender teen in a judgemental pocket of their LA-like suburb. Sadly, their relationship was left on a major cliffhanger due to commitment issues, and while the Season 2 premiere reunited the fan-favorite couple, it was in a pretty underwhelming fashion.


Jules wanted to be free and out of control, which was the opposite of what Rue needed. Jules represented chaos while Rue wanted stability, ergo why they seemed to go their separate ways at the train station last season. Fans, though, knew they’d find their way back to each other due to how ambiguous it all played off, although there’d be a lot of discussion needed.

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Jules cheated on Rue and seemed more into polygamy, hence why their reunion shouldn’t have been rushed. Unfortunately, that was exactly what happened, which diminished their self-discovery together and made the past drama seem like nothing.


Euphoria

It occurred at a party where Rue took a lot of drugs, only for a new guy, Elliott, to revive her. They had a spark but Rue quickly left, as she still harbored feelings for Jules. Jules was also looking for Rue and when they found each other, rather than having a mature discussion, Rue just plopped back into Jules’ hands and apologized. They made up superficially, and while it did feel like typical teenage love where break-ups don’t last, it still didn’t fit Euphoria, which positioned them as a more mature couple.

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Rue alone shouldn’t be saying sorry when Jules was the one that did most of the harm in their relationship, manipulating Rue, who now understands her own sexual nature. This turn just lacked nuance, as fans wanted them to dissect if Jules could be monogamous or if she’d continue taking advantage of Rue’s love, which she admittedly treats like a convenient drug. Jules also shouldn’t have been all in, as she admitted that the last year was a wash and she wanted to reboot. It may be she is in love and wants to get over the denial, but this ought to be a slow burn; not some flash-in-the-pan at a party where strobing lights and drugs push them back to each other.


It undercut the emotional maelstrom from Euphoria Season 1 in a cheesy, throwaway moment that didn’t feel earned. It also scrubbed the differentiation Rue and Jules had from the other teens, making them more impulsive than usual. This was expected with Cassie and Nate, who hooked up after she aborted McKay’s baby, and Maddy and Nate breaking up, as they’re all hot-heads. But with Rue and Jules, the show usually adopted a slow-burn approach. As such, Euphoria should have waited an episode or two before pulling this trigger to keep fans, who waited two years due to the pandemic delay on production, invested in a couple steeped more in substance than style.


Euphoria airs Sundays on HBO at 9 p.m. EST and streams on HBO Max the same day.

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