Euphoria: A Lacklustre Finale to a Shining Season
By Emme Larkins, Staff Writer
As controversial as the topics the show disturbingly and delightfully details, the finale of Euphoria’s second season did not live up to the brilliant work of the previous seven episodes. Across social media platforms, many fans got heated that unnecessary music numbers and missing pieces of the puzzle took precedence over key plot points. There might be spoilers ahead. So, beware.
Show viewers were also irritated at the countless loose ends left behind by creator Sam Levinson, but this shouldn’t have come as a surprise. Quite frankly, the show didn’t budget their time correctly. By the second to last episode of the season, “The Theatre and Its Double,” simple common sense showed that the writers left themselves with too much to cover in the finale.
My overall impression? A disappointing end to a great season.
I was skeptical of the Euphoria hype at first. Was it all spectacle and shock value? Or was there a real story being told? I began watching the first season shortly before this latest finale aired, and while watching the first season, I wasn’t convinced Euphoria lived up to the hype.
Then season two arrived and I fell deeply and madly in love with the drama, and (most of) its characters. Many say the show romanticizes the lifestyle of Rue with substance use issues, played by Zendaya, but that’s not my take. Euphoria tells the story of a broken person, struggling with a multitude of mental illnesses and the loss of her father. Generation Z was essentially born into an opioid crisis. To solve addiction and all that comes with it, we must first understand what triggers people like Rue.
Euphoria manages to shed light on important issues like drug addiction, gender identity, and mental illness, all the while producing an entertaining show.
This is where the second season finale faltered. While packed with surprises, and those previously mentioned loose ends and cliffhangers, the pace was clumsy and the important stuff seemed to fall behind the unimportant.
Let’s start off simple — Elliot’s three and a half minute song which he ends by saying “I’m still working on it.” As much as I love Dominic Fike and his angelic voice, I was left screaming at my screen. I hope he was “working” at cutting a verse or two. The metaphor Sam Levinson tried to convey sorely missed the mark and took away from the meaty bits fans were dying to sink their teeth into.
Moving on, Fezco (aka Fez), played by Angus Cloud, finished off the season as a fan favourite. By wooing playwright Lexi, played by the genius Maude Apatow, Fez definitely won our hearts. A key player in what many said was the most enthralling plot point of the finale, Fez’s home, where he deal drugs, is raided and it doesn’t end well. The brutal scene ends with gunshot after gunshot, including one that seriously injures Fez and another that kills his “brother” Ashtray.
I was left weeping with no assurance of whether or not our beloved Fez will return next season. My prediction is that Sam Levinson is not so cruel and all of our Flexi dreams will come true. Sadly, no predictions will be confirmed until season three is released nearly two years from now.
The entire episode revolved around Lexi’s play, a true story about her life and friends. In the show, many were fans and applauded her work. I say it was a noble try for Lexi but I do hope it’s the last we see of her writing. Much of what I attribute to Lexi falls on the shoulders of Sam Levinson, who essentially used the play to retell the story of the entire series thus far. Unnecessary much? Absolutely. I think Lexi will have some explaining to do to her sister and friends come next season.
Lexi’s play is interrupted by juicy plot points that deserved to be more central to the show. This includes Cal Jacobs as Eric Dane, being sent to prison for child pornography by his son Nate, played by Jacob Elordi. In this scene, we see Nate pull up to a ramshackle warehouse where he finds his dad embracing his new queer journey with a gaggle of what we can only assume are his new besties? Confusing.
I predict, and I truly hope this one doesn’t come true, that we’ll see Fez and Cal doing jail time together next season. Who knows, maybe in prison Fez gives Cal a taste of what his son experienced at the infamous New Year’s Eve party?
As I said, the finale left us with more questions than answers. Like, will Rue continue her journey through sobriety? One can only hope, but something tells me her journey won’t be so smooth. As viewers, we are still under the impression that another hungry drug dealer is still out there waiting for her. I’m looking at you Laurie, aka Martha Kelly.
When it comes to the beef between Maddy, played by Alexa Demie, and Cassie, as Sydney Sweeney, we must heed Maddy’s advice in her closing line.
“This is just the beginning.”