Recap: ‘Euphoria’ S2E8: When the curtain finally falls

The “Euphoria” season finale delivered a rollercoaster of emotions that will leave viewers eagerly anticipating a third season. “Euphoria” is available to stream on HBO Max.


The season two finale of the hit HBO show “Euphoria” was released on Feb. 27. (Photo by Eddy Chen/HBO, courtesy of WarnerMedia)

Shreya Wankhade, Contributing Writer

Spoiler warning: This review includes potential spoilers for Euphoria seasons one and two.

On the last Sunday before a two-year break, viewers gathered around their devices, logged onto their HBO Max accounts — with a lot of trial and error since the app kept crashing — to watch the season finale of “Euphoria.”

Director Sam Levinson spared no time addressing the most pressing unfinished storyline from last week’s episode: where was Fez (Angus Cloud) during Lexi’s (Maude Apatow) play? 

Picking up with the same tension from last week, Fez is shown finally about to leave for Lexi’s play. That is, until Custer (Tyler Chase) tells Fez that he has to talk to him about the death of Mouse (Meeko Gattuso). Faye (Chloe Cherry), who is nearby and aware that Custer is working with the police, shatters a glass. Unexpectedly, when she bends down to clean up the broken glass, she brings a finger to her mouth, signaling to Fez that Custer is not to be trusted. Further proving her loyalty to Fez, she begins to say that Laurie (Martha Kelly), the scary teacher-turned-drug dealer, murdered Mouse. Out of nowhere, Ashtray (Javon Walton) suddenly stabs Custer, and I almost jumped out of my skin.

As if that wasn’t petrifying enough to watch, a newly heartbroken Cassie (Sydney Sweeney) just may beat it. In an emotional rage, Cassie storms on stage and tears apart the content of Lexi’s play, which she based on her life and her friends. To top it all off, Cassie tackles the play version of herself who is reenacting her molly-carousel scene from season one. Maddy (Alexa Demie), who has had enough of Cassie’s unbearable behavior, finally gives Cassie the bitch slap that she deserves and chases her offstage to the bathroom.

When the play comes to halt due to Cassie’s interruption, viewers are thrown into a flashback in which Rue (Zendaya) goes to Elliot’s (Dominic Fike) house to forgive him. What comes next is almost annoying: Elliot sings Rue a song and asks if they can ever be friends again. Yes, Dominic Fike can sing, but that is common knowledge. Was it necessary to add a five-minute song when so many other storylines needed attention? No.

Returning to the current time at East Highland High School, Lexi, who has, for the first time ever, done something for herself, is crushed that her self-absorbed sister has ruined her play. Nevertheless, she persists after she hears the audience cheer her on with a chant started by Rue. Onstage, Lexi movingly dedicates her play to Fez, who she says inspired her to put it on. 

What comes in the next 15-to-20 minutes of the show might just be the most nerve-wracking bit yet. Viewers are brought back to Fez’s residence, where Ashtray has just murdered Custer. Knowing that the police will arrive at any moment, the brothers intensely deliberate their next steps. Ashtray, ignoring Fez’s wish to take the blame for their activities, loads up on ammunition and locks himself in the bathroom.

Meanwhile, Nate (Jacob Elordi) is shown doing what he does best: being a complete asshole, by drinking while driving to his dad’s hideout (at insanely illegal speeds), all while harboring a gun. But seriously, how has he not been pulled over yet?

You might think at first that Nate is going to kill his father for revenge. He does not do that. After confronting his dad for the trauma his dad caused, Nate turns him — and a flash drive of his illegal activities — over to the police.

Back at Fez’s house, the situation quickly escalates as the police break down the door. Ashtray begins to fire at the police through the bathroom door. One of the bullets hits Fez in the gut. The whole time, Fez tragically cries for the cops to stop shooting, telling them that Ashtray is just a kid. When the gunfire from behind the bathroom door finally stops, the police cautiously move forward, thinking Ashtray is dead. He isn’t — yet. He shoots the police officer who opens the bathroom door at point-blank range.

In response, another police officer shoots Ashtray, while Fez watches in agony. As the episode comes to a close, Fez is shown being carried out on a stretcher. His future will undoubtedly be one of the main storylines to look forward to in the now-confirmed third season.

Contrasting the chaos of the last few scenes, the show cuts back to the auditorium where Lexi’s play is being performed — giving viewers a chance to catch their breaths. In the play, the character playing Rue is delivering an emotional eulogy at her father’s funeral, in which she talks about the life lessons that he taught her. Scenes of Lexi and Fez grieving their loved ones play as the eulogy continues as a voiceover.

In the final scene of Lexi’s play, we see Rue telling Lexi that she really loved the play. Viewers were left unclear whether the conversation actually happened or if it was all part of the play. For the first time, Rue is able to see herself as someone who has endured a lot of trauma, rather than just as a drug addict.

As the curtains close and the audience enthusiastically applauds Lexi for her debut production, we go back in time. Maddy and Cassie are shown in the school bathroom, moments after Cassie ran onto the stage and their fight began. Cassie tells Maddy that Nate broke up with her, and Maddy — like the boss she is — tells Cassie not to worry as it is “just the beginning,” walking away smugly.

The episode ends with Jules (Hunter Schafer) telling Rue that she loves and misses her. Rue silently kisses her on the forehead and walks away. This scene contrasts with how Jules left Rue at the end of the first season — now, Rue is putting herself first. She narrates how Jules was her first love and that she would like to remember her that way. Most importantly, she reveals that she stayed clean for the rest of the school year.

Though the “Euphoria” season finale left a lot of questions unanswered, the confirmation of a third season is exciting, despite the two years it will be before any questions are answered. At the least, viewers were given a rollercoaster of an episode and plenty of material to speculate over.

Contact Shreya Wankhade at [email protected].