The hit HBO series Euphoria is back — not with season two, but with two bonus episodes to tide everyone over until the cast and crew can resume filming the show.
In the season finale of Euphoria, we saw Rue (Zendaya) lose her sobriety and Jules (Hunter Schafer) get on a train and leave Rue.
In the first bonus episode, “Part One: Rue,” the audience gets a look at the dream life Rue wishes she could live with Jules. They’re living in an apartment in the city, Jules is working to be a designer and Rue is as happy as can be. However, in a smooth transition, the audience is taken from the fantasy to the reality that Rue is still in her hometown and is high on Christmas Eve.
She’s in a diner having dinner with her sponsor, Ali (Domingo Colman), and the two stay there for the entirety of the episode.
They discuss addiction, life, family, death, religion, love and everything in between. Creator Sam Levinson was able to create an entire episode out of an idea he had for one scene and still keep the audience’s attention.
About halfway through the episode, there’s a brief change of pace where Ali has a phone call with his children, and Rue listens to a song sent to her by Jules through a text, with the note “Miss you.”
When he comes back inside, the episode goes right back to the heavy topics and interesting back and forth between someone who is young and thinks she knows everything and someone who has actually lived and has the experience to back up his wisdom.
They finish the conversation by talking about Rue’s behavior with her family and what her next steps are going to be.
“How do you want your mom and sister to remember you?” Ali said.
“As someone who tried really hard to be someone I couldn’t,” Rue said.
“I got faith in you,” Ali said.
As a society that thrives off plot twists and filmmakers subverting expectations, for once, the audience is given something that harbors nothing but a mature nature: no twists, no fake-outs, just two people having an open dialogue about issues that matter.
The two actors are absolutely electric together. Zendaya proves why she won her Emmy, and Colman proves why he deserves one. The episode is not only a nice change of pace from the somewhat whimsical vibes of the first season, but it’s also a fantastic learning experience for people to hear different perspectives on important, debated topics.
Here’s how audiences reacted on Twitter:
Euphoria special episode, part two will premiere Sunday, Jan. 24, at 9 p.m. on HBO.