Euphoria season two continued with Rue still spiralling, Kat grappling with self-love culture and a very naked (and aroused) Dothraki, and the reveal of whether Nate is dead or alive.

After last week’s tense, exciting and, at times, deeply uncomfortable season two opener, Euphoria manages to keep up the pace with its second episode.

Nate’s alive! Or is he? Euphoria, season two episode two, opens with a dream sequence as the quarterback zones in and out of consciousness following a brutal beating from Fez.

It seems to establish two main points – that Nate’s feelings for Cassie are serious and genuine. And also, that Sydney Sweeney is obscenely beautiful, with and without clothes on.

We also learn for the first time in this dreamlike state that Nate is aware that Maddy stole the DVD she found in his bedroom last season – the DVD that, judging by the confrontation between Nate and his dad in the episode’s last scene, we can probably safely assume shows his father, Cal, having sex with his classmate, Jules.

“remember that classmate of mine you fucked”#euphoria #EuphoriaHBOMax pic.twitter.com/UMSeIH1uKe

— (@x_erin_) January 17, 2022

By far the highlight of the entire episode comes in a fantasy Kat experiences which shows her arguing with physical manifestations of the influencers she follows who preach mindless, shallow messages of positivity and self-love. The women pop up in Kat’s bedroom, slowly surrounding her one by one as they force proverbs of self-empowerment down her throat. “Kat, you just have to love yourself,” a tall, slim, bikini-clad woman calmly advises her with all the nuance and tact of an older relative rubbing your back while saying anything they can think of that might make you stop crying. “But that’s what I’m trying to tell you – I f**king hate myself!”

Can we talk about Kat’s ‘love yourself’ social media culture scene in the new Euphoria episode. Shit was powerful. pic.twitter.com/YCgAHsN5F1

— femme fatale 2.0 (@eliesaaabs) January 17, 2022

More and more of these drone-like women pop up and aggressively chant positive affirmations at Kat, which only distresses her further. “Every day you get out of bed is an act of courage,” another influencer robotically informs her. “That’s easy for you to say, you don’t have, like, f**king mental problems,” she retorts, in that moment speaking on behalf of everyone who’s had the misfortune of scrolling by a ‘positive vibes only’ Instagram post whilst at their lowest ebb. We also see Kat fantasise about the Dothraki-lite Super Hot Warrior Man (played by Brock O’Hurn), with Euphoria treating us to our second erect penis shot of season two.

 

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A post shared by Brock O’Hurn (@brockohurn)

You try to expect the unexpected with #Euphoria but that fantasy Kat had about the dothraki actually had me howling pic.twitter.com/5IYvmjiIeh

— Nọ́lá Thee Journalist (@NolaMarianna) January 17, 2022

No one:

Kat and that big dothraki d1ck #EuphoriaHBO #euphoria pic.twitter.com/YpzCVkDsCO

— Axie Era | Freyy (@Meredithoutsold) January 17, 2022

Overall, Euphoria this week manages to progress nearly all of our main characters’ arcs ever so slightly so that we feel we’re heading in the right direction. Lexi builds on her newfound friendship with Fezco by attempting to warn him about Nate’s father finding out that he’s responsible for his son’s assault. Jules is consumed in jealousy and paranoia over Rue’s new BFF (and partner in crime/facilitator) Elliot. Faye, the ditzy but haunting addict we met at the stick-up in last week’s episode has moved in with Fezco after potentially murdering a motel manager by pushing him off a balcony for being mean to her. 

Oh, and Nate picks Cassie up for a nighttime drive to tell her that sleeping together at the New Year’s Eve party was a mistake which can never again be repeated… before shortly going down on her on some scaffolding. It seems like this season will be dominated by the growing suspense over when exactly Maddy will learn that her ex-boyfriend and best friend are sleeping together, and what she’ll do with that information when she learns it. Could a certain DVD lying in her drawer once again see the light of day when she turns her attention to plotting her revenge?

Elsewhere, we see Maddy lose herself in the wardrobe of a wealthy woman for whom she’s begun babysitting. It’s not clear what purpose this scene served other than as a vehicle to show us Alexa Demie trying on numerous vintage evening gowns, soundtracked by Judy Garland (an extremely worthy purpose), but then, it wouldn’t be the first time Euphoria has veered closer to an extremely long and expensive music video than a compelling drama.

This makeover montage ends abruptly when the woman who lives there returns home earlier than anticipated and shares an oddly tender moment with Maddy after asking her to undo the zip on her dress. Could this indicate that Maddy’s relationship with this woman will morph into something seedier as the season progresses?

Later in the episode, in a rare moment of respite from scenes of drug abuse and violence, we see Maddy, Kat and Jules frolic around a bowling alley taking photographs in slow motion. It would seem that Kat roped her friends in to join her on what should have been a date with her now-boyfriend Ethan, perhaps to distract her from the increasingly niggling doubts she has about her feelings for him. Later, outside the bowling alley, we see Maddy confide in Jules that she’s considering a reconciliation with Nate. “I wish you could see yourself the way the rest of the world does,” Jules says, empathetically wrapping her arm around her. It’s a sweet moment of support between the girls which is undercut slightly by the knowledge that Maddy is currently secretly in possession of a sex tape of Jules that could blow up her world.

Euphoria season two continues Sundays on HBO Max and Mondays on Sky Atlantic and NOW.

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