Season 2 of HBO’s ‘Euphoria’ Delivers on Character Depth

Ni`yah-Marie Preacely, Opinion Editor

HBO’s second season of its hit drama “Euphoria,” which follows a group of high school students as they navigate love and friendships in a world of drugs, sex, trauma, goes deeper into the storylines of Fezco, Ashtray, Lexi and Rue.

At the beginning of the season, we are shown the backstory of the character Fezco, portrayed by Angus Cloud. This season Fezco became a more prominent character. There is much more insight to him that was lacking in the previous season. Also, we get a better look at Fezco’s adoptive brother Ashtray, portrayed by Javon Walton. 

We get to see the unquestionable loyalty between the two brothers. They both grew up in the care of their grandmother who was selling drugs to make a living. When their grandmother became ill, Fezco had to take care of both Ashtray and himself by taking up his grandmother’s business. They had to depend on each other to survive. 

There’s a scene in which Ashtray kills someone because he believed Fezco was in danger and Fezco wants to take the blame for the crime, knowing the police will be arriving soon. 

However, Ashtray, blinded by stubbornness and his allegiance to his brother, stayed with him. He locked himself in the bathroom and engaged in a shootout with the police, which resulted in Ashtray being killed. In the end, Ashtray’s loyalty led to his downfall. 

The character Lexi Howard, portrayed by Maude Apatow, was also seen more this season. We saw Lexi not just as Cassie’s younger sister, but as a strong girl finally going for what she wants. The show finally introduces us to who she really is. Lexi used writing as a form of escapism. She writes a play about her and her friends’ lives that conveys her feelings of being on the outside, the awkwardness and being left out most of the time. 

In her play, she portrays what it is like growing up with her friend group. You really get to see Lexi as the observer she is. As a whole, Lexi’s character arc was set up in such a way that you get a sense that it can only go up for her. 

This season, tension between Rue, played by Zendaya, and Jules, portrayed by Hunter Schafer is shown, as they try to pick up the pieces of their relationship after Jules left Rue alone at the train station at the end of season one. 

The viewers got to meet a new person, Elliot, played by Dominic Fike. Elliot causes a rift between Rue and Jules. Elliot has been enabling Rue’s substance abuse. They have been using drugs without Jules knowing, she thinks Rue is sober. 

As the season goes on you see their relationship and love between them unravel. It fully ends when Jules and Elliot tell Rue’s mother that she is not sober. Rue tells Jules that her biggest regret was meeting her. 

We also get to see a lot of character development for Rue. She almost went into cardiac arrest and essentially laughs it off in the first episode of this season. She further makes her way down to rock bottom as the season progresses. She burns bridges with her sponsor, Ali. Jules and Elliot tell Rue’s mother everything and they find and dispose of her drugs, causing a rage-filled argument. It’s only after runs all over town to avoid rehab, is forced to go to the emergency room and goes through days of painful withdrawal that she realizes she must stay sober. 

At the end of the season finale, she narrates that she stayed sober for the rest of the school year and she hopes to stay that way. 

“I really loved what the writers did with Rue. She is now bettering herself and is trying to keep her priorities in order,” said “Euphoria” fan Danielle Bowling, 20, a Suffolk liberal arts major. “Also Lexi, being more of a main character instead of being on the side, is probably the best thing the show could’ve done.”