What Happened Last Night on Euphoria? Here’s Our Recap of Season 2 Episode 5
This story contains descriptions of suicide ideation. For help, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, or visit suicidepreventionlifeline.org to chat.
We’ll be the first to say: Euphoria often skeeters into the bombastic. Last episode opened on an extended montage that referenced both Botticelli and James Cameron (the same?). The episode before referenced itself—and HBO and the fact that the audience was watching a television series for entertainment. Episode 5, however, runs as a sobering, no-frills withdrawal, an episode which never leaves Rue’s side and makes only the occasional meta textual nod in the form of Rue turning to the camera before robbing a house.
In the general arc of the season so far, episode 5 punctuates a pattern of self-isolation that began with Rue’s relapse early in the season. (Or, rather, at the end of last season.) Since relapsing, Rue has been slowly alienating herself from her support group. Two episodes ago she brought up Ali’s abusive past, threatening to sever her connection to him as sponsor. Last episode, she cut herself off from Jules after she expressed concern over Rue’s drinking. Elliot, who feels he has enabled Rue’s drug usage, then told Jules that Rue had relapsed. The episode ended with Rue alone in her room doing oxycontin and having a vision in which she was reunited with her dead father.
With Rue now alone, episode 5 represents a desperate attempt by everyone in her life—including her schoolmates—to intervene, to make Rue see the damage she has caused, to make her seek rehab once more. The episode’s promise, however, never materializes, as Rue finds a way to further distance herself from her support, seemingly pushing away Jules for good, de-friending Elliot, betraying Fez, Gia, and Lexi. And saying some pretty awful stuff to her mom.
Here’s how it all went down.
The episode opens with a muffled offscreen argument between Rue and her mother. The camera lingers on Gia in this moment as she attempts to escape the coming storm by listening to music. (Sound distortion with be a recurring motif in the episode.) Her door then bursts open and Rue begins accusing Gia of narcing, of telling their mother about Rue’s weed use. (Rue had before lied to Gia, saying she was only doing weed to explain away her other inebriated symptoms.)
Rue’s mom then accuses Rue of doing more than weed, saying that Rue is also doing pills. Rue calls her bluff and suggests they do a drug test. Rue’s mom counters by saying she knows Rue is doing drugs, because Jules told her.
Rue then realizes her mother must have found Laurie’s suitcase and begins tearing the house apart looking for it. At the same time, she starts insulting her mother, saying it was her fault that she got addicted, that Gia will have to live her life making up for Rue’s failure, and that had their father lived long enough, he would have discovered what a terrible mother his wife became. Damn, Rue.
Rue cycles through every emotion before returning to anger and demanding her mother tell her where she put the suitcase. (The suitcase contains some $10,000 worth of narcotics that Rue must sell or risk Laurie’s threat of sex trafficking.)
After asking the question, Jules’ voice from the kitchen answers, “we flushed them.”
Rue goes to the kitchen to find both Jules and Elliot. She calls Jules a “leach” and a “vampire” and says she never wants to see her. She then sits in the hallway and continues to break down as both her friends leave. She agrees to her mom driving her to the ER.
In the car, Rue begins talking about how she was days away from killing herself. The car ride calls back the opening of season 1, when Rue first returned from rehab. Gia, her mother, and Rue are back in the same seats—because addiction is a cycle. As Rue says terrible things, we once again hear the scene from Gia’s sense experience, Rue’s voice becoming muffled with traffic as Gia zones out. (By the end of the night, Gia will have fully checked out, completing her intention from the very first scene at using earbuds to block out the family crisis.)
When she realizes the “ER” just means rehab, Rue gets out of the car at an intersection and runs.
Hours later, she wakes up in some culvert/alley and goes to see Fez. Fez is gone. Rue then goes to Lexi and Cassie’s house, where she’s greeted by a concerned group, including Lexi, Cassie, Maddie, and Kat. She uses the bathroom and steals some jewelry before emerging on the stairs to that same group—now including her mother, whom Lexi likely called—confronting her about her drug usage. Rue then drops a bomb.
She tells Cassie she knows she’s been hooking up with Nate. The room then erupts, and Maddie begins yelling at Cassie. In the chaos, Rue escapes out the door. She runs some more.
Rue returns to Fez’s. Fez is home and invites Rue in only to discover she is experiencing withdrawal. Rue tries to take pills from Fez’s grandmother. Fez then kicks a still-sober Rue out.
Rue continues to run, passing a house where couple is leaving their garage, driving out, it seems, for the night. Rue Indiana-Jones ducks under the closing door and heads to the bedroom where she begins stealing jewelry and loose cash. The couple suddenly returns. Rue hides. Rue is found. Rue runs again.
Rue Keeps Running
You know, if she doesn’t destroy herself from addition, Rue should really consider long distance track events.
Continuing to run through neighborhoods, Rue is spotted by a patrol car. She retches. They begin chasing her. The chase crashes through backyards and wedding parties and pool parties and BBQs. Rue escapes by hiding in a trash can.
She then goes to see Laurie, bearing payment in the form of the jewelry and cash she has been stealing all night. Laurie, unsurprised by Rue’s failure, insists she must pay her in cash. After telling Rue a story about how she herself was hooked on oxycontin, Laurie says she can help take away Rue’s pain and offers morphine. Rue has not yet taken opiates intravenously. She hesitates but ultimately relents. When Laurie is shooting up Rue, she comments on how when she first saw Rue, she thought to herself, “this girl is going to be in my life for a long time”—sinisterly implying how Rue’s debt to Laurie is far from over.
Rue wakes up in Laurie’s house hours later and realizes she is locked in. She escapes out of a window.
The episode ends with Rue’s mother sitting alone at the kitchen table as the front door opens.
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