There was plenty about last week’s episode of Euphoria that seemed to foreshadow different strands of turmoil for our favourite high schoolers. Not all of that comes to a head this week, but fuel does keep being added to the fire, threatening to turn small flames into an all-out blaze.
Last week, Rue (Zendaya) hatched what she thought was a genius plan to get drugs for free and, when we catch up with her in episode four, she’s making good use of her mega stash. So much so that she’s become numb to a lot of things – a problem when girlfriend Jules (Hunter Schafer) is trying to pleasure her but getting no reaction. Much in the same way she thought her drug supply plan was foolproof, Rue decides to fake an orgasm with the logic that Jules will never be able to tell, clearly not counting for the fact that her delivery makes it hilariously obvious.
What she also hasn’t bargained for is Jules confiding in Elliot and her act of pretence bringing them intimately closer together. While the pair are hanging out waiting for Rue to arrive at Elliot’s (Dominic Fike) house, he gives Jules oral sex tips, which leads to them making out. Later, they steal kisses while Rue’s in the bathroom secretly doing drugs, the attraction between them becoming stronger by the minute.
Meanwhile, another love triangle is edging closer to implosion at the Howard house. The last we saw of Nate (Jacob Elordi) in episode three was him standing up Cassie (Sydney Sweeney) to go pay a visit to his ex – and her best friend – Maddy (Alexa Demie). We see what went down this week – Nate and Maddy analysing their relationship, him not letting on that he’s with Cassie now. Back at his house, he tells his new girlfriend what happened and they fight, with her warning him that she will do everything she can to prevent them from getting back together.
She tries to come good on her promise at Maddy’s birthday party, which is being held at Cassie and Lexi’s (Maude Apatow) house. Their mum lets them crack open the booze, which a sad Cassie takes to the extreme, downing bottles and bottles by herself. When Nate shows up and gives Maddy an expensive present, she gets jealous and changes into a hot pink bikini and turns the hot tub on. While she waits for it to heat up, she dances emotionally around the living room, necking champagne straight from the bottle and getting tangled up in the balloons floating around the room.
Later, she drags them outside and stumbles to join everyone in the hot tub, where she begins to drive a wedge between Maddy and Nate, asking if they’re back together. When Nate responds without hesitation that they’re not, Maddy gets angry and repeats all the things Nate promised her and told her wanted for them – marriage, children – during his recent visit. It’s at this point Cassie throws up in the hot tub, sending everyone racing out and leaving her wailing fraught apologies to Maddy that, on the surface, seem like they’re for this particular incident but could easily be for trying to take Nate from her.
Back at Elliot’s, he, Jules and Rue decide to go and steal some booze, which leads to an argument when Rue quietly starts drinking a beer in the back of the car after their heist. Aware that she’s high, Elliot warns her she shouldn’t be drinking, while an oblivious Jules is concerned about her drinking in light of her problems with addiction. They fight and Rue makes them let her out of the car at the side of the road and goes home to take more drugs alone. Elliot later tells Jules that her girlfriend is still using.
In her high state, Rue hallucinates walking out of her room and into a church, where a crowd is gathered and Labrinth is singing. She walks up to him and embraces him, the scene cutting between them and her hugging her dad and apologising for “not being a good person”. Her father comforts her and promises that he’s always with her.
Nate’s dad Cal (Eric Dane), meanwhile, appears to be struggling with a head injury after being pistol-whipped by Ashtray (Javon Walton) last week. After drinking, he decides to drive out to the same bar where he and his old friend Derek first got intimate. This visit doesn’t end so happily, with him thrown out for trying to wrestle with a man who he’d been dancing with. He drives home, veering wildly across the road, pissing all over the hall floor when he gets in and waking up the whole family to tell them the truth about who he is. During the confessional, he tells Nate that he is his biggest regret, takes down a family photo from the wall and walks out – but not before telling them they are all to blame for his issues.
Over at Fez’s (Angus Cloud) house, movie night gets a sudden interruption from Custer, who stops by to tell Fez that the mother of Mouse’s child is asking questions about his disappearance. The dealer is clearly troubled by this news, just as the rest of the characters appear to be perturbed by their own situations in the series of foreboding shots that this week’s episode ends on.
On the soundtrack
- Sinead O’Connor’s ‘Drink Before The War’ soundtracks Cal’s emotional return to the bar of his youth and Cassie’s living room breakdown, matching the poignancy in both.
- James Blake and Labrinth’s new collaboration ‘Pick Me Up’ plays as the end credits roll, its melancholy falsetto complementing the disruption of this week’s events.
- Rue, Jules and Elliot’s trip to nick some alcohol from the store plays out as Baby Keem’s ‘trademark usa’ plays, booming out of Elliot’s car stereo.