The latest episode of Euphoria, Season 1 Episode 8, is called “And Salt the Earth Behind You.” This review/recap was written live while the episode aired. This post will have major spoilers for Euphoria‘s finale on HBO.
It’s unclear what the focus of tonight’s episode will be, going in. It’s unclear if Rue will be narrating again, based on the promo. And unlike many previous episodes, tonight’s title is not based on a song title. We’re in uncharted territory.
So here we go, with the live review.
We start out by learning that Rue had a kidney infection and now she’s in the hospital. She’s turned over a new leaf and refused the Vicodin they offered her. WOW. Oh wait… Now she’s asking for Roxicet. OK, never mind.
“It’s not a relapse if it’s warranted, it’s a hall pass,” she says.
But the doctor’s not buying it and is only giving her Tylenol. She stayed in the hospital for three days on a strong antibiotic. Rue says she likes hopsitals because there are no responsibilities.
“And it’s the best place to be in the event of a mass shooting.” Well that hit a little close to home. :-(
She actually makes being in a hospital sound like a great vacation. This is an angle on hospitals I’ve honestly never pictured before.
Jules came to visit her in the hospital, and Rue assures her that she’s always been this way and it’s not Jules’ fault.
Jules tells Rue the truth, but now she’s different, Rue observes. She makes Rue get dressed up and put on a lot of makeup for fun.
“You would die for Anna, she’s just next level,” Jules tells Rue. And she admits that they hooked up. I thought Jules would lie about it, but I guess not. This show continually surprises me. Jules is still on a high from her encounter with Anna, and Rue seems not jealous in the least.
“I missed you so much,” Jules says.
And now we get a fantasy scene from Rue imagining herself killing Nate and setting him on fire, followed by a nice, upbeat 80s song.
Next, Rue’s at an NA meeting and her mom is talking. So THAT is where that scene came from, it wasn’t Rue’s funeral. Whew.
In case you don’t believe me, check out the dialogue. It’s how things work in an NA meeting, not at a funeral.
And now I just realized… Rue’s not really narrating this episode anymore. Hmmm.
And it looks Rue’s mom and Jules’ dad are getting along quite well.
Rue’s mom is talking about her daughter’s struggles, but we see a montage of all the other characters and their struggles too. It’s a nice touch.
Nate is taking out a new woman to the winter formal, but it’s just a cover for meeting up with Maddy later.
Everyone’s heading to the winter formal, except Fezco who is getting out his gun. He kisses his grandma and tells her that he loves her. Something big is going down with Fez. It looks like he’s following Mouse, and I’m worried how this will turn out for him.
Rue’s mom seems to be revealing that Rue has some OCD too, maybe… That she needs a lot of order in order to feel safe and breathe easier.
At the formal, all the girls are hanging out at a table together. Jules gets a text from Anna and answers it right in front of Rue. Tone death. :(
Meanwhile, Maddy and Nate are having a fight because Maddy thinks Nate is bisexual and he won’t admit it. Maddy really needs to let this psychopath go.
Only at the house, Cal encounters Maddy. “This relationship you two have is not sustainable and it’s only a matter of time before it takes you both down… You’re a beautiful girl, and a smart one. It’s time to let go.”
So Cal is creepy but also saying what we’re all thinking. Maddy needs to leave Nate and move on.
Now we’re at the school’s football game – Nate’s first game back since he was found “innocent” because of Tyler’s confession. The game is happening at the same time as the winter formal, which obviously didn’t happen simultaneously. So now I’m really confused about the timeline here. Normally I can keep up with these things, but this one’s a bit confusing.
Jules is busy texting Anna at the winter formal and Rue goes to look for her in the bathroom. Jules is NOT being nice to Rue. Now Jules is asking Rue to “kiss kiss” her, which is confusing since she was just texting Anna. I don’t think Jules really knows what she wants.
Everyone’s dancing in a creepy, passive-aggressive way. No one is really enjoying this dance.
Kat pulls Ethan aside and confesses that she was only mean to him because she thought he’d hurt her and she wanted to hurt him first. Ethan says that he’s always liked Kat, but he knows she said there’s zero chance of their being together. He said will one of them get hurt? Probably, yes, but he’ll do his best to make sure it’s him.
FINALLY. A sweet moment on Euphoria.
And after the awkward Nate vs. Maddy dance-a-thon, Rue is following Nate out of the room. Ummm… That can’t be good.
Lexi and Cassie have a chat, and then we cut to Cassie at the hospital with her mom. Looks like Cassie is going to have an abortion.
Then we cut to the football game again. Nate is NOT having a good game. Everyone keeps missing every ball he throws. It seems almost like the receivers are purposefully not helping Nate.
Now we’re back at the formal, and Rue stops to talk with Nate outside. “Why do I feel like you’re the reason Fez got his house raided?” Rue asks. Rue then mentions that she knows his dad has been involved in illegal stuff. She wants him to leave Fez and Jules alone or she’ll destroy his dad’s life.
Nate tells her that Jules has real dreams she’ll achieve, in a strange flex. He tells her that Jules is going to leave her and won’t remember her in 10 years. And he walks away, telling her that she looks beautiful.
We cut back to the football game and Nate pulling out a victory.
Back at home, Cal tells Nate that he lost control even if he won the game. Nate stands toe-to-toe with his dad, who tells him to step back. Nate tries to shove him, but Cal quickly gets the upper hand and throws him to the ground. Nate keeps fighting him, but Cal doesn’t really want to fight his son, it appears. Nate stars crying and hitting his head against the ground over and over while screaming.
Cal just walks away, leaving Nate to his bizarre, crazy temper tantrum. What on earth?
Next, Maddy has a CD and… wait, what?
We cut to what I’m guessing is Fezco, dressed in all black, tailing Mouse.
And next we’re back at the formal, with Jules and Rue talking outside. Rue asks if Jules is in love with Anna, and Jules admits that she is. So at least she’s not lying.
“Are you in love with me?”
Jules nods. “Yeah.”
OK, Jules is totally confused. As one person on the live Reddit discussion, u/Silent_ThreatZ wrote: “A part of me thinks Jules loves Rue as well as she can. The other part of me thinks Jules is playing games.”
Now we’re back at the hospital, for Cassie’s abortion. She pictures herself ice skating during the procedure.
Cut to Fezco breaking into the home that Mouse was in, mixed with scenes of Cassie skating. Since I never really connected these two in my mind, it’s an interesting mix.
Rue asks Jules what would happen if they just left and ran for the city. Jules says it’s crazy, and Rue kisses her.
Cut to Fezco in the house that Mouse was at. He holds a gun to the man’s head. It’s the man who owns the house, not Mouse. “Where’s the money at?”
The man moves slowly to the safe as Fezco holds a gun on him. “You’re a f***ing doctor?” Fezco asks.
The man empties the safe, but there’s a gun hidden under the money. When Fez is distracted he pulls out the gun, but Fezco hits him first with his gun. He tells him to drop the gun as he beats him, clearly not wanting to kill the man. He beats him as the man’s son watches. Ugh, this is dark. We’re left not knowing if the man is dead or alive. We don’t even know his name, but I’m pretty certain he’s the guy who was supplying Mouse with drugs.
Jules and Rue are clearly having a magical moment, which is a stark contrast to Fezco’s scene. I’m just glad that Rue is finally happy for a change.
Cassie’s procedure is over. She’s had the abortion.
Fezco keeps beating the man until he stops struggling.
Rue and Jules are biking in the dark, happy and carefree.
Fezco takes the money after beating the man and runs. It’s not clear if he killed him, but I’m going to guess yes.
I was positive that Rue and Jules were going to get hit by a car, but they get back safely to Jules’ house instead.
Now we’re back at the dance and Nate is demanding that Maddy dance with him. After some arguing, she goes with him. Another bad decision on Maddy’s part.
Fez gets back home and Mouse is waiting on him. He gives Mouse all the money that he owes him (which he just stole from the doctor.) Mouse’s righthand man sees money on the bills.
“So we all good?” Fez asks. There’s a pregnant pause and we’re not sure how Mouse is going to answer.
Cut to Jules and Rue getting ready to leave town. Rue is freaking out because she forgot her medication. Jules promises her that they’ll figure it out. Rue just looks scared.
“Jules, I don’t think this is a good idea,” Rue says. Jules reminds her that it was her idea and it’s great. “I’m thinking of my mom…” Jules assures her that it’s not far and they can call. Jules is ignoring all her concerns. But Jules can’t do it. She can’t abandon her family for Jules. Jules begs her to go with her. “I love you,” Jules says.
But Rue can’t do it. She watches the train disappear, with Jules on it, leaving Rue alone. That was a crazy mature moment from Rue.
Cut to the NA meeting. Rue’s mom is finishing her talk, mentioning how her daughter was in a coma for four days after overdosing at the age of 16. That after this, she had the opportunity to be a better person. “No matter what you say or do or wish, the decision will be all hers. And all you can do is hope she gives herself the chance she deserves.”
Cut to Rue walking home without Jules. She’s crying, heartbroken.
She flashes back to her younger days when her dad was alive and healthy. Poor Rue. She’s had a tough life. :( We get a haunting montage of Rue’s life – the happy times with her and sister, and the tougher times when everything fell apart after her dad got sick. We see a montage of her with Jules, a montage of her and her sister and her mom fighting, a montage of despair and sadness.
During the montage, we see Rue walking into the room where her dad had his hospice care when he had cancer, just after his body was wheeled away after he died. The bed is empty. Her mom is crying. Ugh. This is way too much for a girl Rue’s age to deal with. Her father’s death was terrible and no one should have to deal with that kind of pain so young. :(
The red hoodie we sometimes see her wearing is her dad’s. :(
After seeing how much her family has gone through, it’s understandable that she wouldn’t want to leave her family.
Cut to present day and Rue walking home in the dark, sobbing after watching Jules ride away on a train. She’s walking to a bright light as “All for Us” by Labrinth plays.
Rue lies down on her bed, heartbroken. Life is too much. She relapses and takes drugs again.
And then it looks like it’s snowing inside her house, and Rue seems to “float” out of her bed. She’s walking around like a zombie. This is a very confusing scene. She walks around like a zombie, bumping into things, hugging her mom who doesn’t see her. She touches her sister who also doesn’t see her. She dances with her dad, who DOES see her.
She’s being carried by a bunch of people dressed in red just like her. Is she hallucinating right now? What’s going on? A whole montage happens that looks like Rue is dreaming. she climbs on top of a pile of bodies and dives off. A man says in a voiceover: “Until then.”
And the episode ends.
It’s not clear if Rue was hallucinating or dreaming in the end, or if perhaps she died. There’s a chance that the bright light bearing down on her as she walked down the road was a car about to hit her. There was a chance that she didn’t just relapse, but she took pills and overdosed again. But I’m going to guess that she lived, because I can’t imagine Zendaya not being on the show next season. Plus, in the “unfiltered” commentary right after the show ended, Zendaya and Hunter talked about how Rue and Jules’ love “still exists” even though they didn’t run away together. I’m going to hold onto that as the hope I need that Rue is still alive.
And now our wait for the next season begins…
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