Last night, HBO and Sam Levinson put Euphoria season two to bed. But it wasn’t a cozy tuck in with fluffed pillows, a kiss on the forehead, and a wish for good dreams. No, the Euphoria finale felt like the equivalent of your friend tossing you a pillow and old blanket and telling you to sleep on the couch. Episode eight of the season closed with so many storylines left unresolved, so many characters left underutilized, and the announcement that we will have to wait two years to return to East Highland, it’s amazing there’s much fan patience left to comment on the finale at all. But the crash of the HBO site at 9 PM ET last night when the episode dropped proves the viewership is larger than ever, and the few resolutions and laugh-out-loud moments in the episode were most likely enough to keep us waiting for 2024.
So, before looking at last night’s episode, let’s ignore Rue’s brush with drug dealing (one would assume Laurie wants something in exchange for that briefcase of drugs she never got back) or Maddy’s strange relationship with her boss, Samantha, as the Euphoria writers clearly want us to do.
Otherwise, the finale was definitely an intriguing 60 minutes (albeit the four minutes when the writers thought it was a good idea to let Elliott perform what will hence forth be known as the “bathroom break” song).
While the writing left a bit to be desired, Levinson did deliver some guaranteed hits, specifically the climax of Maddy v. Cassie, a matchup fans have been waiting for since episode five. As Cassie reached her full villain arc onstage of her sister’s play, Maddy took the opportunity of an open target and ran with it, planting a fat slap right on her ex-best friend’s face. Maddy kept the pain coming, slamming Cassie into a brick wall and then delivering the worst blow of the night when she looked Cassie in the eyes and said, “Don’t worry, this is just the beginning.”
And then there was the Fez and Ashtray saga, a storyline that ended so terribly for everyone involved aside from Chloe Cherry, who emerged from this season, not only as a breakout star, but also as fashion month’s most unexpected model.
As for Kat and Jules, it seems Levinson was just hoping we’d forget about them this season, considering their underwhelming story arcs and lack of any character development. Apparently, it was more important to give Dominic Fike a moment to promote his music career than to give Barbie Ferreira a substantial line. Luckily, we have two years to complain about Levinson’s 60 minutes of questionable choices before we get a fresh new slate to protest. See you in 2024 when we get to do this all again.