Lin the week, Euphoria season two was kicked off with a rollover - or should we say more rollovers, thanks to Fezco (Angus Cloud), who rang the new year by knocking Nate meaningless. His bloody, semi-conscious face is the first thing we see in episode two, Cassie (Sydney Sweeney) and Maddy (Alexa Demie) look over at him as a reminder of the second big drama from last week's episode.
Fortunately, Fez does not inflict much lasting damage on Nate (Jacob Elordi). After a while in the hospital, where he had fantasized about starting a family with Cassie and - more gloomily - his father, who dies of a heart attack, he is released to wreak more havoc on his classmates' interpersonal relationships at East Highland High School. Perhaps in his honor, even after having his head used as Fez's personal punching bag, he does not shrug off the drug dealer, and shuts down his father Cal's questions about his attacker on the way home from the hospital.
Cal, however, is unhappy with his son's refusal to give him a name and decides to take a different path. He points sharply at Cassie as a weak link in the students, as it is suggested everyone has claimed not to know about the assault, and visits the Howard House. When she comes home from school, her mother and her sister Lexi are sitting at the table with her new fling father waiting for the interrogation to begin. She repeats the lie of not knowing who beat Nate, but Cal forces her hand and threatens to involve the police chief and get him to sue everyone's phones and text messages.
Should that happen, Cassie and Nate could be in big trouble - not over the assault, but their mutual betrayal of Maddy, Cassie's best friend and Nate's ex-boyfriend. After New Year's Eve, Cassie decided that it had been a mistake, that it had been a mistake, that it had been a mistake, and she wrote to him to tell him so much, but she did not do much to hide what she talked about in the message. Seconds later, she received a phone call in which he warned her, "Never write it in writing again." Back in the dining room with Cal, the caution ringing in her ears, Cassie cracks and sniffs at Fez.
Meanwhile, yet another New Year's meeting threatens another of East Highland's relationships, the reunited Rue (Zendaya) and Jules (Hunter Schafer). Everything looks good until Elliot (Dominic Fike), with whom Rue spent much of the party making dangerous amounts of drugs, shows up in the corridor and distracts Rue when Jules tells her she loves her. Instead of buzzing with romance, she thinks, "If this asshole says anything about taking drugs, I'll literally cut my throat over on a quad." She does not have to worry about that, but she should do more to control her own behavior, which makes Jules and Elliot's introduction incredibly strange and awkward. Jules walks away thinking that Rue is in love with him and goes to cry in the girls' bathroom.
Later, Elliot sees the couple fighting and asks Rue if he got her in trouble. "I think we should take drugs," he suggests as a solution, and the new friends leave for his house - where they's been trapped a lot since NYE - to smoke cannabis and gather lines. Between sucking, Rue tells him that drugs are the only way she can be herself, leading to a conversation about love and loss, her father's death, and keeping her addiction hidden from her boyfriend. Elliot suggests that he and Rue might not get the best out of each other, and since we see Rue cycling off to his NA meeting incredibly loud, he might have a point.
On her way, Rue Cassie is seen running to Nate's car and kissing him as she sits in the passenger seat. Once she's on site for her NA meeting, she lazily takes a stair lift up the stairs and discovers that her sponsor Ali is waiting for her at the top. He immediately discovers that she is tall and tells her that she is on a "suicide mission". When the meeting is over, he drives her home and leads her to the door so he can introduce himself to her mother. Rue is nervous about telling her she's still using, but when asked if she's feeling well, he just says she has a "long way to go".
Elsewhere, Kat (Barbie Ferreira) struggles with her relationship with Ethan (Austin Abrams), who - as Maddy later puts it - has "no darkness, it's just cute". Kat feels bad about not being happy with him, and when he's in the bathroom, she fantasizes about a bodyless warrior who murders him before she seduces her. Later, imaginary demons reappear in the form of beautiful women who expel banal self-help clichés about having to love themselves and find their inner warrior.
Lexi (Maude Apatow) struggles with how Fez turned from being so sweet to her to the party to 10 minutes later almost killing Nate. She decides to confront him, but when she arrives at his store, she is shocked by the presence of Faye (Chloe Cherry), who stays in the house for a while. During Lexi's visit, Cal shows up and starts asking Fez questions. Just when it looks like he wants to pull a gun on the dealer, he instead calmly pays for his chewing gum and chips, answers Faye's questions about his identity by saying he's just a worried dad 'and runs off place.
Nate drives Cassie out to an isolated part of town by a construction site and tries to break up with her, but when she runs off into the half-finished building, he follows her and they hang out again. Back home, he finds his father waiting for him and wonders why "some punk drug dealer" hit him. Nate tells Cal that Jules had told Rue, who in turn had told Fez about their sexual encounter, and that he had tried to stop his father when they threatened to go to the police. Cal tries to apologize, but Nate denies it, revealing that he knows he was filming Jules. In a panic, Cal asks him where the disk is, but Nate just stares back quietly and warns that more drama is coming over Cal's big secret.
On the soundtrack
- An unidentified cover of Noah Cyrus and Lil Xan's 'Live Or Die' plays while Nate is in the hospital building up her dream life with Cassie in her head.
- The chaotic hyperpop in 'Haunted' by Laura Les evokes the fire that burns in Lexi as she decides not to sink into the shadows but confront Fezco.
- The loose, meandering groove in Cans' 'She Brings The Rain' soundtrack plays Rue's cycle while under the influence.
'Euphoria' is broadcast every Monday on Sky Atlantic at 02.00 in the UK - it is repeated at. 21.00. Stream it via NOW