Recap: ‘Euphoria’ S2E7: The one where Lexi puts on a play

Episode seven of the second season of “Euphoria” shows off Sam Levinson’s directorial chops with a wildly inventive entry that stitches together live theatrical performances and flashbacks to tell the story of the teenagers of East Highland High School. “Euphoria” airs on HBO Max, with new episodes debuting every Sunday.


In season 2, episode seven of Euphoria, Lexi (Maude Apatow) premieres a much-anticipated play centered around the lives of her and her closest friends. (Photo by Eddy Chen/HBO, courtesy of WarnerMedia)

Shreya Wankhade, Contributing Writer

Spoiler warning: This review includes spoilers for “Euphoria,” seasons one and two.

The seventh episode of the second season of “Euphoria” and the first part of its two-part season finale aired on Sunday and rightfully claimed its spot as an all-time fan-favorite episode.

Centered around Lexi’s (Maude Apatow) long-anticipated play, the episode alternates between scenes that continue the season’s plot and Lexi’s directorial debut. Though Lexi’s play would never be produced by a real high school, the episode’s theater theme allowed director Sam Levinson to bring the show’s storytelling to another level. 

The episode begins with a flashback of Lexi’s perspective of Rue’s (Zendaya) late dad’s funeral, in which Rue is shown snorting her dad’s medication and shortly passing out as Lexi reads her a poem. In Lexi’s theatrical recreation of the event, the events are depicted with in-universe fictionalized versions of the show’s characters.

Lexi introduces all the main characters in her play “Our Life,” who are supposed to resemble the leading ladies of “Euphoria.” Rue is portrayed as Jade, Cassie (Sydney Sweeney) as Holly, Maddy (Alexa Demie) as Marta, Kat as Louna (Barbie Ferreira) and Lexi as Grace. The girls begin to realize that the most personal moments of their lives are being dramatically retold in front of them, with Maddy exclaiming “Wait, is this fucking play about us?!”

The episode often flashes between the theater where Lexi’s play is performed and Fez’s (Angus Cloud) residence. This is a bit nerve-wracking to watch, as the scenes at Fez’s are always tense. Faye helps Fez get ready, as he is nervous to make a good impression on Lexi. If viewers didn’t already love Fez enough, his adorable fretting over how Lexi views him has made him a hundred times more lovable. 

Cutting back to Lexi’s play, Lexi begins to explore her family dynamics through the characters. She narrates how she always felt as though she was in the shadow of her sister Holly. 

Holly has the ideal body, which, to Lexi, is one of the most important qualities to have. That is — until she realizes how much trouble could come with being known for your body. 

The scene cuts between Cassie, who watches distastefully in the crowd, and the actress portraying her on stage. Next, the play explores the relationship between Lexi and her dad. Lexi not only depicts the bad parts of their relationship, like her dad’s drug addiction, but she also heartbreakingly but beautifully shows the good times her family shared in a scene where her whole family dances together. The audience is highly receptive to Lexi’s play, which is heartwarming to watch — Lexi is finally breaking out of her shell and receiving the recognition she deserves.

Lexi also highlights her friendship with Rue, as she was the first person to make Lexi feel as though “it was OK to not be cool.” Rue watches emotionally as Lexi tells the audience how Rue’s drug abuse took her best friend away from her over time.

At intermission, the episode cuts to the series’ main plotline: Rue’s worsening relationship with drugs. Surprising Rue and viewers, Rue’s mom tells her that she is giving up on Rue when she turns 18 and that she is free to do drugs if she wishes to. Her mom explains how she hasn’t paid enough attention to Rue’s sister Gia (Storm Reid) and that she’d like to save at least one of her children. Back at Fez’s house, he is about to leave for the play but stops as he grows suspicious of a scheming Custer (Tyler Chase), leaving Fez’s storyline on a cliffhanger.

Back to the present, Rue and Jules (Hunter Schafer) have a silent encounter in the bathroom. Rue narrates how when she looks at Jules now, she feels as though they were meant for each other a lifetime ago, leading viewers to speculate that Jules and Rue may be over for good. Jules hasn’t gotten much solo attention these past few episodes but is briefly shown trying to destroy Cal’s (Eric Dane) sex tape, which Nate (Jacob Elordi) returned to her in the previous episode. 

As the second half of Lexi’s play begins, the attention shifts to Lexi’s relationship with Maddy. She explores Maddy’s character with a deep dive into when Maddy lived with her while her parents were fighting. Seeing how close Cassie and Maddy used to be makes them both emotional, even causing Cassie to leave the theater. 

Though it could be reasonably assumed that Maddy berated Cassie upon learning of her betrayal, a flashback reveals what really happened when Rue exposed Cassie for sleeping with Nate. Rather than breaking down the bathroom door which Cassie locked herself in to hide from Maddy, Maddy wept outside of her door. Viewers had assumed that Maddy was emotional because Nate went behind her back, but Maddy is in fact disappointed to learn that Cassie — her best friend — would betray her. Another flashback shows Maddy talking to her boss Samantha (Minka Kelly), stating she has taken it upon herself to move on and has a plan to do so. Hopefully, this plan will be explored in the second half of the finale, as the conclusion of Maddy’s character arc — which has shocked viewers all season — will certainly be exciting. 

The next relationship Lexi portrays in her play is Cassie’s relationship with Nate. Switching between reality and the play, Cassie is depicted as extremely submissive to Nate, fulfilling everything Nate has dreamed of in a woman. Shout-out to Lexi for putting Cassie on blast for how much she conforms to whatever Nate wants.

Thirteen high school boys perform a dance onstage while wearing football pants. Behind them are prop lockers and a punching bag that hangs from the center of the ceiling.
Season two, episode seven of Euphoria premiered on HBO and HBO Max on Feb. 20. New episodes air on Sundays at 9 p.m. (Photo by Eddy Chen/HBO, courtesy of WarnerMedia)

In the crowd, Nate uncomfortably watches as he recalls a nightmare, an uncomfortable sex dream in which his partner switches between Maddy, Jules, Cassie and… his dad? Cal’s appearance in his dream is terrifying, as it suggests that he might have abused Nate. Things couldn’t get worse for Nate, as the episode ends with his onstage version performing a homoerotic theatrical adaptation of “Holding Out for a Hero” alongside his football teammates. 

Though viewers enjoyed Ethan’s (Austin Abrams) high-energy performance as Nate, Nate did not, and he storms out of the theater like the big baby he is. Cassie, of course, follows him, and he breaks things off with her, claiming that Lexi’s play was homophobic and that Cassie is at fault because she is her sister. Like a scene out of a horror film, the final scene ends with an enraged Cassie watching the play through the window.

Levinson certainly did a great job of leaving viewers at the edges of their couches with so many potential outcomes for the characters. With the season’s storylines primed for a dramatic conclusion, next week’s final episode is not to be missed.

Contact Shreya Wankhade at [email protected].