Season Two, Episode Three of ‘Euphoria’ Takes On Some Risky Business

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Published January 24, 2022
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Emmy winning actress, Zendaya, stars as Rue Bennett in the hit drama series, "Euphoria." Photo courtesy of HBO

Warning: This article contains spoilers for “Euphoria” season two, episode three.

For some, Sunday is just a regular day, but lately, for others, it’s “Euphoria” Day.

After a long hiatus due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, season two of “Euphoria,” starring Emmy winner and executive producer Zendaya, finally returned to HBO Max on Jan. 9, setting a record with 2.4 million viewers.

Episodes one and two left viewers feeling quite flabbergasted, and it’s safe to say some are still reeling from it.

However, it’s time to move on because episode three is officially here.

In this new episode, titled “Ruminations: Big and Little Bullys,” viewers are greeted with a flashback to the 1980s with Nate Jacobs’ (Jacob Elordi) father, Cal Jacobs, portrayed by Elias Kacavas, in his senior year of high school spending every day with his best friend, Derek, portrayed by Henry Eikenberry.

Young Cal Jacobs, portrayed by Elias Kacavas, attempts to secretly navigate his sexuality the summer before college. Photo courtesy of HBO

Young Cal Jacobs, portrayed by Elias Kacavas, attempts to secretly navigate his sexuality the summer before college.
Photo courtesy of HBO

Cal and Derek did almost everything together: wrestling practice, driving around with the radio blasting and the typical meeting and dating of girls. This was all while Cal was secretly falling in love with Derek — or at least he thought it was a secret.

Cal’s family, specifically his father, picked up on his behavior and repudiated it right away, but that didn’t stop Cal.

Just a few weeks before college on a rainy night, Cal and Derek shared a passionate kiss only to find out Cal’s girlfriend, Marsha Jacobs, played by Rebecca Louise, was pregnant with Nate. To say this is tumultuous and complicated is an understatement.

“Euphoria” fans know the older Cal, played by Eric Dane, as a demanding, strict father who is living a double life as he sexually engages with young men and women. However, getting to see the context behind why Cal is the way he is allows viewers to shift their perspectives and gain empathy and understanding for him.

As for Miss Rue Bennett, portrayed by Zendaya, there’s no better way to explain her life other than a hot mess.

In a continuation from season one, Rue is navigating through her teenage years filled with drugs, love, sex, trauma, friendships and social media.

After Cal’s opening scene, the cameras transition to Rue performing a solo to the song “Call Me Irresponsible” by Bobby Darin. To no one’s surprise: she is high. With “Euphoria” having such dark storylines, this scene was quite needed, as it was humorous yet still disturbing.

Rue (played by Zendaya) performs a solo to the song “Call Me Irresponsible” by Frank Sinatra while under the influence. Photo courtesy of HBO

Rue (played by Zendaya) performs a solo to the song “Call Me Irresponsible” by Bobby Darin while under the influence.
Photo courtesy of HBO

“Euphoria” does a brilliant job of showing the effects drugs can have on someone and their ability to think clearly. This series never glorifies or sugar-coats its storylines, as many around the world can relate to these struggles.

Besides Rue’s addiction, there may be a love triangle on the horizon. After reuniting with her ex-girlfriend Jules Vaughn, portrayed by Hunter Schafer, Rue seemingly forgets to tell her that she met Elliot, played by Dominic Fike. Rue and Elliot seem to be the new dynamic duo, but simply, they are both drug addicts.

Elliot, played by Dominic Fike, is Rue's new sidekick as they navigate the world of drugs together. Photo courtesy of HBO

Elliot, played by Dominic Fike, is Rue’s new sidekick as they navigate the world of drugs together.
Photo courtesy of HBO

Jules is not a fan but warms up to Elliot after a risky truth or dare. And just when one thinks it can’t get any more complicated, the writers throw in another character to stir the pot of the bumpy ride that has been Jules and Rue’s relationship.

Rue Bennett, portrayed by Zendaya, and Jules Vaughn, portrayed by Hunter Schafer, discuss the future of the relationship involving Elliot. Photo courtesy of HBO

Rue Bennett, portrayed by Zendaya, and Jules Vaughn, portrayed by Hunter Schafer, discuss the future of the relationship involving Elliot.
Photo courtesy of HBO

Speaking of the horizon, there’s one love triangle already on the shore: Rue, a suitcase and whatever is inside of it. To feed her addiction, Rue ventures out to make a business deal and in return, she receives a suitcase in which lies quite the turmoil. Rue is in danger, and it’s only a matter of time before she falls down a black hole.

Rue (played by Zendaya) ventures out to make a business deal only to return with a suspicious, black suitcase. Photo courtesy of HBO

Rue (played by Zendaya) ventures out to make a business deal only to return with a suspicious, black suitcase.
Photo courtesy of HBO

Episode three is full of twists and turns, but this is only the beginning. Stay tuned for a new episode every Sunday at 9 p.m. on HBO.

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