Review: Trending show hits campus

Ashanti Thompson, Reporter

Episode 5 of Euphoria left us with thousands of questions: Is Rue okay? Will Cassie survive Maddy’s wrath? When will we see Fez and Lexi? And for the love of God, are there any relationships that didn’t burn to the ground? Well, I’m here to fill you in on an absolutely horrifying, and at times, heartwarming episode that happened during the Super Bowl. 

Let’s start off with the woman of the episode herself, Rue. Euphoria does a great job at not sugar-coating addiction. It is not glamorous and withdrawal is painful, disgusting and horrifying to be a part of. Zendaya does a fantastic job at portraying the effects of addiction in the first two minutes. Last week, we saw how it can break apart families, but this week, she showed how much support an addict needs, both physically and emotionally. Her mom, Leslie, a saint, is doing her best to support Rue in her recovery to become sober. However, one thing that lingers on my mind is Gia. She is going through just as much as the rest of her family, coming from a background where addiction is present. It is hard to support an addict when they have repeatedly let you down. 

Ali truly allows this into the light as he understands that recovering from addiction affects family members more than most realize. He allows her feelings to be heard and validates them. He is, in my opinion, one of the best characters in this entire show. On top of all this, in lighter terms, when the heck is he going to ask out Leslie? I know we all see those little moments between them. Yes, Ali has his stripes and does not have the best relationships previously (if you watch his therapy episode with Rue). Based on his teachings, however, it’s not difficult to realize he has worked hard to become a better man, not just for himself, but for helping others. Anyway, I ship it and would love to see if this storyline continues to bloom. 

Next, Kat had a small place in this episode, and honestly, I’m glad. She tried to gaslight Ethan into believing she had a terminal brain tumor… like what? My boy, Ethan, didn’t deserve that, he saw right through her as I knew he would and had the self-respect to end it with her. He knew that was her plan. Even after Kat tried turning it on him, he still knew the truth. Ten stars to Ethan, no complaints with him. Now Kat, on the other hand, please grow up. Nothing else left to be said here. 

Courtesy of HBO press kit

Now onto probably the biggest storyline of the episode: this whole Nate drama. I just wish this man had some consequences in his life for once. I understand his childhood was rough, but that doesn’t excuse his behavior, especially in episode 6. After he found his father’s gun, I honestly didn’t know where he was going to go. Was he going to Fez, Cassie or his father? Welp, I was wrong about them all. He broke into Maddie’s house, and not only physically threatened her, but also threatened to shoot himself if she didn’t hand over his father’s tape. Afterward, Maddie is distraught as Nate tries to justify his actions by claiming it was a joke since there were no bullets in the gun. Does he not realize the mental damage he just put Maddie, the woman he once loved, through? He needs some therapy ASAP because he does not take into consideration how his actions affect others. He locks onto something he wants, and he goes straight for it, just like he did with Cassie. This entire scene just felt like a horror movie, and I think it was brilliantly executed by all the actors. For those people who are going to say, “Well, at least Nate returned the tape to Jules.” He only did that because Rue threatened him earlier about messing with Jules. He had no altruistic intentions behind it, period.

Nate has too much drama for just one problem, of course. I thought Cal was the root of many of his problems but after this episode and her opening up, I’m not sure anymore. I personally believe she projected many of her own wrong-doings onto Nate. She explained how she hated Maddie and thought she would trap him into a life with her. Honestly, that sounded much more like a Cassie deal in my mind. His mom, at this point, was an enigma to me. I cannot figure out what her deal was at this point. Hopefully, they will emphasize her early life in a future episode. 

Continuing on the subject of Cassie, her mom was correct. She needed an exorcism. Cassie needed to realize what she did was wrong. She did not feel remorse. She just kept trying to justify her actions over and over and no one was buying it. I was shocked by their ending scene. Nate actually called her over, and she wasn’t exactly happy with him. Does he really have feelings for her, or is she convenient for him and his future? I guess we’ll have to wait and see till the next episode. I’m also waiting for Maddie to raise hell on her, but that’s for another time.

Courtesy of HBO press kit

Onto my final moment, I saved the best for last. I have been waiting for 5 episodes for Lexi and Fez to finally have a scene together and boy, was it worth the wait! The hand holding during the movie just made my heart melt. Seeing both of them just talking and clicking made me so happy, ironically, for the first time in a while. It was a good breather for everything else that had happened in this episode. When Lexi was crying with Fez trying to hold it back to no avail, that was one of the cutest moments of the entire show. I’m praying that Mouse and Faye do not get Fez and Ashtray in trouble. We can see this love story actually play out for once in this show’s history. 

 You thought it was over, didn’t you? What’s Euphoria without a cliffhanger? Turns out, Rue cannot go into an inpatient rehab facility like we once thought. You can hear the anguish and pain in her mother’s voice as she feels all hope is lost for her daughter’s livelihood. I know Leslie, and she will find something and not give up. For Rue’s sake, hopefully, it is quick.