Hunter Schafer lays naked Jules’ aspect of issues in an emotionally vibrant if narratively slight second hourlong particular.
[Editor’s Note: The following review contains spoilers for the special episode of “Euphoria” featuring Jules, aka “Fuck Anyone Who’s Not a Sea Blob.”]
Proper earlier than the electrical blue title hits, “Euphoria” spends two minutes staring into Hunter Schafer’s eyes. Effectively, truly, it’s simply the one eye. After her new therapist asks why she ran away (alluding to Jules’ try within the Season 1 finale to depart house with Rue, performed by Emmy winner Zendaya), the brief query elicits an eruptive response. Within the reflection of Jules’ eye, reminiscence after reminiscence spills out in fast trend. Many are of Rue and their shared time collectively, however some are of her household or her personal experiences. Paired with the emotional bombshell of Lorde’s “Legal responsibility,” the scene is straightforward but mesmerizing. We’ve seen these moments earlier than, however by no means fairly like this, from this particular person, within the second she’s residing by now.
“Fuck Anybody Who’s Not a Sea Blob” works in comparable trend. Lots of the experiences Jules discusses over the 48-minute particular episode are acquainted ones. Like the primary particular, which targeted on Rue and takes place after this one (regardless of airing first), there’s no series-shifting twist or teenage pyrotechnics. These “bridge” episodes, connecting Season 1 and Season 2 but current in neither, are character research. They individually study every companion whose romantic coupling drove “Euphoria” to success, and so they perform as a technique to higher perceive how every particular person feels concerning the different, and themselves.
Jules’ episode fills within the gaps, not solely in the way it units up Rue’s stoned assembly along with her sponsor later that evening, however in how Jules has been experiencing their relationship. The “Lorde”-backed eye montage makes it’s clear there’s nobody purpose she left house, simply because it’s clear all the explanations are linked indirectly Jules has but to reckon with, till now.
So far as her connection to Rue goes, the episode carries each explicit and opaque references to prior scenes the place the 2 are both serious about the identical factor or reacting to one another. Most strikingly, they every shared the identical dream area, the place they pretended to have gone by with the transfer and lived collectively in New York Metropolis. All of it is a savvy technique to construct their romantic saga, even once they’re aside. Episode writers Sam Levinson and Schafer repeatedly discover methods to indicate that their predominant love story is as grand because it feels to the couple in it. However the root of Jules’ relationship points with Rue ties again to probably the most scarring loss in her life this far: her mom.
Eddy Chen / HBO
Early within the session, Jules remembers how Rue would take a look at her and see the true her, whereas so many others solely checked out her to seek for flaws or see what Jules wished them to see. It made her really feel good, and he or she imagines it’s how her mom as soon as noticed her, when she was a new child. However her therapist (Lauren Weedman) factors out why Jules resists linking the 2 ladies: Each Jules’ mother and Rue are addicts, and each of them have didn’t see how their habit affected Jules. Her mother repeatedly relapsed and left the home. Rue doesn’t understand how a lot stress Jules feels to like her again, realizing that if she doesn’t, Rue might relapse.
Once more, these concepts aren’t new. Season 1 illustrated Rue’s dependence on Jules, however sometimes from Rue’s standpoint. Jules’ episode clarifies her perspective, simply because it clarifies her actions to herself. Jules now is aware of a bit extra about why she falls in love “so simply,” in addition to why Rue is completely different from the relationships that existed primarily in her head. This leads us to the particular’s revealing perception into Jules: She says she’s nonetheless in love with “Tyler,” the fictional character created by Nate (Jacob Elordi) so he might blackmail Jules.
Jules revealed a lot of herself in that relationship. Earlier than she begins speaking about “Tyler,” she says that actual life romances are at all times a letdown, whereas on-line relationships can help you be “extra trustworthy and weak.” Clearly, she’s afraid of what might occur with Rue. So lots of her real-life relationships finish with somebody leaving or mendacity or each, whether or not it’s her mom or “Tyler” and even Rue, whose ever-looming relapse poses the fixed risk of taking her out of Jules’ life.
Eddy Chen / HBO
And that’s what makes the ultimate scene all of the extra heartbreaking. Rue, on her technique to see her sponsor, musters the braveness to go to Jules on Christmas. Jules apologizes, Rue cries, and leaves. They’re each scared, they’re each attempting to be weak, and so they each know there’s a connection between them that may’t be denied.
That is the final particular episode earlier than Season 2, which is on monitor to premiere later this year, and whereas Rue’s hour feels extra enriching (thanks partly to its dialogue-driven, back-and-forth construction) and extra inviting to revisit (it’s a singular, “Blue Christmas” vacation particular with an uplifting message), it’s been encouraging to see “Euphoria” break from its extremist tendencies and ship two low-key tales intent on mining the emotional reservoirs of its predominant characters. That every episode additionally feels distinct from the opposite is even higher. Sure, they work hand-in-hand to amplify the collection’ searing love story, however in addition they distinguish Rue and Jules as people.
“Fuck Anybody Who’s Not a Sea Blob” outlines and underlines acquainted concepts in sometimes vibrant scenes of amped-up emotion. Maybe it’s slightly mild on ahead momentum, however typically you must take a beat, look within the mirror, and mirror. That means, you possibly can higher put together for what’s subsequent.
Each particular episodes of “Euphoria” are streaming now on HBO Max. “Fuck Anybody Who’s Not a Sea Blob” additionally airs Sunday, January 24 at 9 p.m. on HBO.