Season Two of “Euphoria” began on January 9, 2022, and people are talking. Every Sunday at nine p.m. for eight episodes, we got to see the storylines unfold. Some new characters were introduced, only enhancing this already enticing story. Many moments of this season left many viewers wanting more, and not knowing enough, in many opinions. This season of Euphoria was definitely full of intense and emotional moments that made this season memorable.

Starring Zendaya as Rue, the troubled drug addict, addicted to opiates, heroin, and even fentanyl, Euphoria sets the stage to depict a drug addiction in a different and innovative way. Season Two explores her relapse following the first season in which her fight to remain sober was disrupted by when in the Season One finale, Jules left her at the train station. Jules, played by Hunter Schafer, was the new girl in town last season. She now is Rue’s girlfriend, but they subsequently split at the end of Season One. They explore their relationship in the second season but this culminates in another breakup. Only time will tell if they decide to get back together again. A new character introduced this season is Elliot, played by Dominic Fike, who Rue meets on New Year’s Eve, who also happens to be involved with narcotics. This friendship, to all viewers, didn’t seem like a good idea, seeing as though they both seem to be horrible influences on each other. This leads to a love triangle between Jules, Rue, and Elliot.

When the season begins, we see a rather heartbroken Cassie and her abortion, following her breakup with McKay. Cassie is played by Sydney Sweeney, and McKay is played by Algee Smith. The first episode depicts her intense interaction with Nate, played by Jacob Elordi, on their way to the New Year’s Eve party. They end up hooking up with one another, only to be interrupted by an aggressive Maddy, played by Alexa Demie, trying to use the bathroom that they were in. This just leads to much drama throughout the season, showing how Cassie’s need for male validation negatively affects almost every aspect of her life.

Another new relationship we see emerge is between Lexi, played by Maude Apatow, and Fezco, played by Angus Cloud. They meet on New Year’s Eve and have a more low-key friendship that progresses over the season. Lexi also played a much larger role in this season with her play being a focal point at the end of the season. She is depicted as an outsider, not really a part of the group. She uses this status to write a play about her life and the people in her life and it is a subject that seems to completely break Cassie.

Kat, played by Barbie Ferreria, and Ethan, played by Austin Adams, have a relationship that came to a rather stifling halt during this season, especially because we didn’t see much of Kat this season at all. We all thought that their relationship was going to last, but we see it end in a rather awkward way. Kat’s storyline was much more involved in the first season, but in the second season, she barely had a role. Her storyline was stagnant and had little development, being one of my complaints of this season.

Photo Credits: Gemma Ryles; Creative Commons License

Much of the storylines were left unanswered by the end of the season, either just simply not being addressed or just forgotten by the showrunner, Sam Levinson. In the very first episode of Season Two, we are introduced to Laurie, a drug lord that becomes Fezco’s supplier, following the murder of Mouse, his former supplier. Rue comes along with Fez and Ashtray, played by Javon Walton, and meets Laurie. An episode or two later Rue pitches a business opportunity to Laurie and gets $10,000 worth of drugs to “sell.” During an intervention held by her mother a few episodes later, it is discovered that they have flushed the entire suitcase, which Rue was supposed to be selling for a profit for Laurie. In the middle of the season, she goes back to Laurie’s house but finds herself in a rather scary situation as many viewers have suspected that she was injected with morphine in order to be sex-trafficked by Laurie. She somehow escapes, but that entire storyline is simply abandoned after Episode Five. We would assume a drug lord would have entities searching for Rue, but we never see this at all. One of my main complaints with the show is the lack of finishing storylines.

There have also been many criticisms of Levinson’s use of nudity throughout the show, specifically of Sydney Sweeney. Many have said that they feel like he sexualizes teenagers in a way that is unrealistic and exploitative. High school is not simply people going to parties and having sex, yet it feels that Levinson is only depicting high school in this way.

Other than these criticisms, I liked much of Season Two. I felt that the storyline about Nate and Cassie added the necessary drama that made this feel like a true drama show. You just wanted to ask Cassie why she wanted to jeopardize her friendship with Maddy for such an awful person like Nate. My other favorite addition to the season was definitely the “Fexi” relationship that many fans, along with myself, loved to watch unfold. Although we didn’t get much other than a few cute moments of them either watching a movie together or talking on the phone about their futures, it still made the fans happier. It also played into more of what a typical high school relationship looks like, not overly sexual or pressured. Just a simple friendship that made everyone happy for the most part.

This show explores the evils of addiction and the ways that many people struggle with it on a daily basis. The show depicts mental illness and questions of sexuality and love that many young people have in the modern era. I believe that, although this show has some issues in storytelling as well as overexploitation of its actors at moments, it tells a beautiful yet scorching story that hasn’t necessarily been told on television before. I highly recommend viewing this show, especially if you just want a good old-fashioned drama show that keeps you on the edge of your seat.

Nora Gross is a junior this year and is very excited to be co-editing the culture section. Nora loves all things surrounding fashion, music, and films.