‘Euphoria’ Episode 8 Finale Ending Explained: Did Rue Live or Die?

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Now that HBO’s hit new series Euphoria has ended, we have a lot of unpacking to do from that crazy finale episode. Did Rue live or die? What did that ending mean? Here are the top theories. This post will have major spoilers for Episode 8, the finale of Euphoria. 

First, we aren’t given a clearcut answer about what happened at the very end of the finale, but we have some clues that can help fill in the blanks.


Her Mom Was Not Speaking at Rue’s Funeral

Most of the episode was framed around Rue’s mom at an NA meeting, talking about how her daughter survived an overdose and got a second chance, but it was ultimately her daughter’s choice whether she would take that chance or not. Rue is sitting in the audience, but it’s entirely possible that this is Rue’s spirit.

As one fan pointed out, Rue was wearing the same hoodie in her overdose scene that she wore at the church when her mom was speaking. But I don’t think that’s reason enough to believe she died. The hoodie was her dad’s and she took it off his bed after he died. She wears it a lot. And the setup for that scene is clearly an NA meeting, not a funeral, even though it’s at a church.

The dialogue is clearly that of a meeting, just look below.

HBO

HBO

HBO

Also, just look at Rue’s sister. She’s also in the audience and just looks too calm to be at a meeting after Rue’s death or at her sister’s funeral.

HBO


A Car Likely Didn’t Hit Rue at the End When We Saw the Bright Light

Later, after Rue decides not to leave with Jules on the train out of the suburbs, Rue is walking home and sobbing. She made a decision for the sake of her family, but it’s tearing her apart.

We see Rue walking into a bright light. This could very well be an oncoming car, and we’re left to wonder if maybe this the moment she died.

HBO

HBO

Rue appears to get safely home, however. We see her taking drugs again and collapsing on the bed later. I don’t think they’d have a relapse scene later if she had died walking home.


Her Relapse Happened in the Present & Not in a Flashback

But Rue did relapse, and that was not a flashback to her first overdose. We saw that scene in an earlier episode when her sister found her, and Rue was dressed in different clothes. This current relaplse scene is taking place in present day.

HBO

So the main question fans are left with is whether or not Rue died when she took these drugs. It’s well known that when a person takes drugs after being clean for several months, if they take the same amount they were taking before, they are more likely to die of an overdose.

After she takes the drugs, it looks like it’s snowing in Rue’s room. She floats off the bed, stumbles through the house like a zombie, and seemingly tries to interact with her mom  and sister but can’t. She’s clearly hallucinating because it’s late at night and her mom and sister are asleep. She’s just dreaming that she’s trying to interact with them.

HBO

HBO

The part that is the most unclear is when she sees her dad. He’s dead but he CAN interact with her. This could all be part of a hallucination, or it could be the one clear sign we’re given to indicate that Rue died when she took those drugs.

Rue’s in a musical montage at the end, thrown around by people dressed like her, until she climbs a pile of bodies and dives off the top.

HBO

Viewers are not told if Rue lived or died. Everything we’re seeing is likely a hallucination from the drugs she took. The only question is whether or not she died after that trip or if she’s still alive.


Unfiltered Offers a Small Hint

An “unfiltered” interview at the end with Zendaya and Hunter seems to hint that Rue’s still alive, but they don’t fully give it away.

Hunter talks about Rue’s decision to leave and says: “Their love still exists.”

HBO

HBO

This seems to be a clear indication that Rue DID live. Zendaya seems to correct that comment.

HBO

She says: “We hope they make it” and they both laugh. So they’re trying to leave us unsure not only if their love made it, but whether or not both characters survived too.

Here’s the clip:


euphoria | unfiltered: zendaya and hunter schafer on rue and jules | HBOzendaya and hunter schafer discuss rue, jules and the season finale. #EUPHORIA #HBO #zendaya #hunterschafer Subscribe to euphoria on YouTube: po.st/subscribe.euphoria About euphoria: Zendaya leads an ensemble cast that also includes Maude Apatow, Angus Cloud, Eric Dane, Alexa Demie, Jacob Elordi, Barbie Ferreira, Nika King, Storm Reid, Hunter Schafer, Algee Smith and Sydney Sweeney. From…2019-08-05T03:06:07.000Z

Zendaya is the show’s big draw, so it’s tough to imagine they’d kill Rue off. But it’s also tough to imagine that Season 2 would feature another stint of Rue recovering from rehab.

On Reddit, DeadbyDawn94 wrote: “That end sequence had me shook because I felt like it was a metaphor for Rue crossing over into the afterlife while being high(a.k.a overdosing).”

But it really doesn’t seem that way. Leslie is addressing Rue in her speech at the church. That speech certainly could be from the first time Rue went through rehab, but it’s likely a speech she gave after Rue’s relapse. It’s definitely not Rue’s funeral, as explained earlier.

And here’s another clue that Rue lived:

We also heard bird chirping instead of a song at the end. Rue said earlier in the episode that when she’s in the hospital, she pretends the beeping sound is birds. So that could be a hint that she’s in the hospital now.

Most fans think that Rue lived, but it was left ambiguous so we’ll keep guessing until the show returns.


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