‘Euphoria’ Season 1 Episode 5 Review: ’03 Bonnie & Clyde Was a Symphony of Strength & Weakness


Tonight is Season 1 Episode 5 of HBO’s new hit show Euphoria. This review/recap was written live while the episode aired. This post will have major spoilers for the new episode. 

Tonight’s episode is called: ’03 Bonnie & Clyde. Like the last few episodes, this is named after a popular song. The title refers to Jay-Z’s song ’03 Bonnie and Clyde, which he recorded with then-girlfriend Beyonce.

Euphoria‘s description for episode 5 reads: “In the aftermath of the carnival, Maddy and Nate are forced to deal with a police investigation. Jules begins to feel pressured by her role in Rue’s sobriety. Kat ignores a confused Ethan and embraces her new lifestyle. Cassie tries to distance herself from Daniel.” 

This episode was directed by Jennifer Morrison, and she did a phenomenal job.

Now here’s the live review and recap.

Tonight’s episode is focused on Maddy, narrated by Rue. Rue’s a self-admitted unreliable narrator, so this will be interesting.

Her parents pulled her out of the pageant life as a child after a man not connected to her was accused of molestation. Then she realized she didn’t like doing anything, and found inspiration in the women who went to salons and didn’t have to do anything either.

So that was part of what drew her to Nate, Rue tells us. He treated her well at first and loved her being a virgin (which she lied about.) Nate bought her expensive gifts, which she loved, but she had a tough time with monogamy. And when he was cruel, even after choking her and leaving bruises at the carnival, she knew she would still love him and couldn’t leave.

(By the way, anyone else wondering how Rue-as-narrator knows so much about everyone’s secrets and inner thoughts?)

There’s an interesting moment when Rue says that nothing compares to Fentanyl except Jules, who comes a close second. Some people are theorizing that Rue doesn’t really love Jules, but she’s more of a drug replacement for her since she just got out of rehab. I’m not sure if I agree with that theory, but it’s an interesting one.

After Rue told her mom they would take it slow, we next see Rue getting a lip tattoo that reads “Rules,” followed by Jules. That’s a great name for them.

In the next scene, Cal gets a call to come to East Highland, where an officer is waiting for him outside. I don’t like Cal, but this is a weird scene. Obviously Cal thinks he’s been turned in (which is why he vomits.) But instead, it’s about his son. Maddy passed out at school, and that’s when they found the bruising on her neck.

Barbara told the principal that Maddy was upset because Nate is gay. And then someone else tells him that Nate attacked Jules, which she denies. This is a well-done scene, and they’re actually showing a principal who cares for a change, which is nice. For most TV shows this is NOT the case.

Then we see a scene with Cassie and Daniel (?). She has to turn him down because she has a boyfriend, but he still wants to hang out with her.

Kat, who is still web cam-ing, found a lot of strength when she had sex with Luke, realizing guys weren’t as important as she thought. She realized her weight didn’t matter – she’s powerful and amazing. Kat’s empowerment is a great storyline.

Despite Maddy’s denials, Maddy’s mom is going to press charges against Nate, and now Cal and his wife are being told. What a scene.

Cal wants to know if Nate admitted to doing it: no. But did he do it? Nate lies and says no. “Well that’s good to hear,” Cal says, believing his son for some reason. Cal tells him to stay composed (yeah, he knows about these things.)  “You walk out first, I’m right behind you,” Cal tells him.

As they walk out, Nate whispers to Maddy: “I love you.” And Maddy whispers back, “I love you too.” And then Nate and Jules exchange a look, because Jules knows what’s up, but she’s not getting involved.

Rue wants to know how Jules ever slept with Nate’s dad, and Jules freaks out, making her promise to never tell anyone. “Do you think Nate knows?” Rue asks. “Nate’s scary,” Rue adds, deciding the whole family is scary. Jules doesn’t want to talk about (understandably.)

In the next scene, the police forceably remove Maddy’s shirt, cutting it to see her bruising and take DNA samples. This is SO bizarre to me. Does this really happen? Is it because Maddy’s a minor? I’m guessing so, because the police officer is telling her the person who did it doesn’t love her. Still, it was a traumatic scene and just feels so wrong. But those bruises on her neck are HORRIFYING.

Next we see Nate telling the lawyer that Maddy took a lot of drugs that night, but he doesn’t want to get her in trouble. (I’m not surprised by this scene.) Nate tells the lawyer they don’t have a healthy relationship but he loves her no matter what, even though he knows she sleeps with other guys when they’re broken up.

Everyone in this show needs a therapist.

And speaking of, Rue is in her NA meeting next and she’s telling the group that she wants to stay clean because she’s met someone.

By the way, Jules has a super supportive dad and I’m 100 percent here for that. Her dad tells her that he’d like to do a “family thing together” if Rue and Jules are a couple now.

Next we see Cassie telling McKay that Nate had dick pics on his phone. But Maddy later denied to Cassie that it ever happened, because she is always defending Nate. And it looks like Cass and McKay have made up. He tells her he’s proud to be her boyfriend (do we believe him?)

Now there’s an interesting scene with Kat and this new guy who’s name I can’t remember. He tells her he wasn’t expecting to hook up and just wanted to make conversation.

Meanwhile, Maddie is struggling. She sent Nate 273 texts and he didn’t answer them. “Love is a million things, sometimes it feels good sometimes it doesn’t,” Maddie yells at her mom, citing how messed up her parents’ marriage is. “You live in the same house and you don’t even say one word to each other.”

Ok, that explains a lot. Maddie feels her relationship with Nate is better than her parents’, so she doesn’t have a lot more to aspire to do.

Maddie is begging Kat to let her visit, but Kat is really into this guy. Annnnd, that didn’t end well.

The scene with Rue and Jules skating is a nice lighter moment compared to where we’ve been. Rue is really happy, and that’s nice to see. But Jules seems uncomfortable being told that Rue is happy because of her (kind of like she seemed uncomfortable when her dad said she was a good influence on Rue.)

And…. Cal hotel scenes are always disturbing.

But… Cal is saying he thought keeping his two lives separately was doing best for everyone. But his sons have so much anger and rage that it scares him. (By the way, that family photo shows three sons so what happened to the third?) He said it scares him because “it’s too late.”

So, does anyone else think Jules is going to break Rue’s heart?

And then Maddie gets a text. (By the way, Signal is a private text messaging service that can’t be hacked, in case you’re wondering from the show.) Nate asks her to meet him at the hotel off exit 27. Nate arrives just as Cal is driving away (so they use the same hotel – creepy.) And Nate and Maddy hug. Then we see Jules and Rue embracing, while Jules looks very uncomfortable and upset. So much for the happy relationship.

And the show is over.

It was a deep episode, with absolutely stunning cinematography. A lot happened that we’ll be unpacking for the rest of the week.

Many fans think this might have been the best episode of the season so far.

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