Euphoria Review

April 1, 2022 | Narelyn Villacorta

Nearly 3 years of anticipation, curiosity, and eagerness to watch all our favorite characters back on our tv screens led up to the release of Season 2 of Euphoria. It was a long awaited season and fans were very excited to see what Sam Levinson, the creator of the show, had planned for the returning characters. Every twist and turn that this season brought kept audiences at the edge of their seats. However, the lack of attention that was brought to certain narratives this season was perplexing.

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Illustration by Taylie Kawakami

Audiences were given a glimpse into the certain anxieties Lexi grappled with—especially where Rue and her sister, Cassie, are concerned—in the form of her new play. Throughout most of Season 1, we saw her as an observer; to see her actively call out every single main character in the show and their behaviors towards one another was a big twist the show needed. 

 

It is important to note that with this new plot, Levinson effectively pushed characters like McKay and Kat to the sideline despite their potential to provide compelling narratives to the show. 

 

McKay was a character that played a huge role in Cassie's life during Season 1. After one traumatic night, McKay was no longer able to express the same passion he had for Cassie. This would have been an interesting topic to unpack, especially as it’s an issue in the real-world that can provide more representation for young Black men who are faced with stigmas about sexual assault and masculinity. Skipping over this big, traumatic event reinforces shame that is brought onto men who are victims of assault. This season, we only ever saw McKay in the first episode at the New Year’s Eve party. In the few scenes he is in, he was once again harassed by Nate and left heartbroken by Cassie. Season 2 could have explored much deeper topics if they hadn't written McKay’s character off. 

 

Another character that should have received much more attention this season was Kat. In the first season, Kat was the only plus-size character in Euphoria. Yet, it was clear that this was not the focal point of her relevance to the show. This season, there was a focus on Kat’s relationship with Ethan. Although we did see some scenes about her self-loathing, insecurities, and uncertainties, diving deeper into Kat’s storyline could have helped bring more depth to her complex, nuanced character. 

 

On one hand, audiences did get a sense of where she is mentally through one scene in Episode 2 where she imagines a discourse with conventionally beautiful women who are encouraging her to be confident. It paid homage to the reality of what it is to be a plus-size person taking part in the body positivity movement. Her narrative was cut off short, but there were many parts of this season that took the forefront in terms of character storylines. 

 

Rue's character in particular was interesting to look at.  She evidently harbors several self-destructive tendencies that come from her unresolved trauma. We did get a bit of insight on what's causing her turmoil and how she's dealing with her addiction on an emotional level. Through Rue's narrative, the season closes off with a great focus on toxic relationships and how one should focus on maturing emotionally and  working through their issues when they choose to be with someone else.

 

There was also a look into Nate's manipulative nature. Although he was the one that took advantage of Cassie at her most vulnerable state, leading her to betray the people closest to her, she was the one that was villainized and shamed. His character stayed low in this season, but after the ending in which he leaves Maddy disturbed, confronts his father, and breaks up with Cassie, there is no telling what his character will do in the next season. 

 

Despite the fact that Levinson abandoned some storylines, he did expand on interesting plots. This season took audiences through a ride of ups and downs with Rue’s character and left them in suspense with Nate’s. While fans are mourning Euphoria Sundays, they can't wait to see what's in store for the future of these leading characters.