Euphoria Particular Recap: Jules’ Flip
It looks like the holidays haven’t been happy for anyone in Euphoria land.
The second episode of the HBO series, before season two, which accompanies a Christmas episode released in December, aired on Sunday. The first special took us to Rue’s Christmas Eve, which she dined at a diner with her 12-step program sponsor, and showed how close the drug addict teen really was. (Read a recap here.) Sunday lesson focused on Hunter Schafer’s Jules sitting down with a therapist after returning home from his escape in the season one finale.
Like Rue’s episode, Jules’ special was beautifully written and performed and therefore very difficult to watch. (Schafer wrote the episode with Euphoria creator Sam Levinson, and she co-produced the special.) After admitting that her plan to get on a train was “stupid and not well thought out,” Jules blurts out what she is wants to stop taking her hormones. When the therapist (played by Lauren Weedman, Looking) urges her to elaborate, Jules says that she has built all of her femininity: “My body, my personality, and my soul, around what men want … I feel like a cheater.”
In the way that therapy discussions very rarely follow a linear path, Jules’ discussion covers a number of topics. She starts off by always being afraid of puberty, but now she’s a little busy with how it will make her taller and wider; After all, the ocean is “wide and deep and thick” and “I want to be as beautiful as the ocean”. Then a discussion of how girls tend to judge one another flows into an explanation of how Rue was the only girl who didn’t. Jules compares the way Rue sees her to the way mothers see their children: with unconditional love.
Later, the parallels between Rue and Jules ‘mother grow stronger – mainly because Jules’ mother has addiction problems herself and the feelings they evoke in teenagers are similar to those that Rue evokes. When Jules talks about her best friend, she remarks, “I feel that her sobriety depends entirely on how available I am to her” and that the weight of whether or not her actions (or inactivity) relapse is unbearable is. In flashbacks, we also learn that Jules’ mother had been fine and kept her sobriety for a few months, but relapsed on Halloween and ended up in the hospital. Jules found out just before she went to the party.
As the discussion turns to intimacy, Jules reveals that she is still in love with Tyler (aka “ShyGuy118”, aka Nate) despite – or perhaps because of – the fact that he doesn’t exist and all what happened between them was not. t real. We’re involved in a fantasy of Jules in the New York apartment she shared with Rue in Rue’s version of the fantasy, but in Jules’ version “Tyler” is there and they have very smooth sex (and eventually dating the window).
But Rue is also somehow included in Jules’ fantasy, which turns into a nightmare when Tyler (who is played for most of the interlude by someone who isn’t Jacob Elordi) transforms into Nate and demands that she not look at him while they are doing the deed. And later it gets worse when we see the continuation of the fantasy that began in Rue’s Special: Jules comes home from class and quickly realizes that Rue is no longer responding in the bathroom, which is locked from the inside. Jules knocks on the door, screams and cries, without success. Finally, we see a quick but harrowing image of Rue dead next to a puddle of her vomit, just like Gia found her when she had OD before season 1.
Back in the real world, Jules wishes her therapist a happy vacation and is on his way home. She’s been grounded since her unauthorized trip to town and her dad is really insane. But he lets Rue come to her when she goes over on her bike, and it’s the first time since the train station that the girls have met. It seems like it’s Christmas Eve; It’s raining and Rue says she is on her way to meet Ali. Both Jules and Rue are close to tears as they talk about how they missed each other. Then Jules apologizes for the dramatic start. Rue pulls out a tight, tortured “Merry Christmas, Jules” and then runs out as fast as her damp little sneakers allow.
Jules lies back on her bed and cries, and that’s where we leave her.
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