Sunday, July 7, 2019

REVIEW: 'Euphoria' - Jules Learns More About Cal and Nate While At the Carnival With Rue in 'Shook One Pt. II'

HBO's Euphoria - Episode 1.04 "Shook One Pt. II"

Rue tries to get clean for Jules and chaperones Gia at the carnival. Jules encounters Cal with his family. Cassie and Maddy, annoyed at their boyfriends, decide to do molly together. Kat hangs out with Ethan until she misreads a situation. Nate reveals who he really is.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of HBO's Euphoria.

"Shook One Pt. II" was written by Sam Levinson and directed by Sam Levinson

The season appears to be losing momentum a little bit. Sure, it can't be total shock and awe all of the time. Nor should the show only be exciting and compelling to watch when Rue is high on drugs and putting her life in danger. However, it still feels like the show is establishing a lot of basic character details without also fleshing them out in compelling ways for longterm satisfaction. This hour delves further into Jules' backstory which was always going to be a dynamic topic because her past is shrouded in secrecy. There is a lot of material that could have come up with her transition and her mother no longer being a part of her life. And yes, it's a potent image to see her forced into this psychiatric facility. There appears to be ample reason for doing so as well. She does cut her arm while in there. But that moment feels a little exploitative in order to really get the message across. Jules never loved her body. Even in the present day, she likes to view herself as a character in a fictional story instead of someone who is actually alive and experiencing all of these events. Of course, it's still absolutely horrifying to see her in numerous situations in which she is putting herself in harm's way. That's the way that she views sex and love though. The people who are capable of attraction to her only view her as an oddity that should be fetishized. They get their pleasure for a moment only to never want to engage with her again. That's a pattern that she has enjoyed for a long time. But it's scary and terrifying as well. It shows how easily Jules can disconnect with some of the events in her life. She is willing to completely forget that Rue kissed her. Their friendship immediately goes back to what it was. That shows how easily teens can be willing to write off something. Their interests are always changing and moving. Rue was worried about Jules meeting Tyler all by herself at night. She knows that's a situation that could end in disaster. And yes, this is a perilous hour for Jules as she is confronted by both Cal and Nate. Cal learns that she is actually underage. In that moment, his heart immediately sinks with the knowledge that his life could be completely ruined by Jules. But he sees it as him being at her complete mercy. Jules doesn't want to destroy his life. Instead, Nate is the one who presents with animosity. When Jules is stunned to see him emerge from the shadows, he retaliates by declaring that he will report her for distributing child pornography online should she ever mention this to anyone. He wants to ruin her life just in order to keep his own secrets. He sees that as something that he is allowed to do because his feelings and emotions matter more than the people around him. He doesn't offer a good explanation to Maddy when she asks him about the dick pics on his phone. But she still comforts and coddles him as a result. That shows that Nate is used to getting what he wants. He was raised by a father who believes that one must win no matter what even if they have to take it by force. It's that brutal mentality that ultimately pushes Jules back to Rue. Sure, the two of them becoming more intimate with one another could also end in disaster. It's hard to get a good reading on it right now. They can confide in each other in ways they have never done before. That's special in this world. There is no judgment even though they both want the other to do better. Rue doesn't want Jules going out at night to meet guys and Jules wants Rue to stay sober. Both are difficult to actually do though. And yet, they are in bed together by the close of the hour and kissing. This is a confusing and vulnerable place for both of them. It could ruin this friendship. Or it could be the start of something even more beautiful and powerful.