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'Euphoria' Season 2 Episode 4 review: Sequence of fantasies and grief

HBO Max's Euphoria Season 2 Episode 4 shows Rue's grief, Cal's regrets, Cassie's breakdown, and love triangles (Image via HBO Max)
HBO Max's Euphoria Season 2 Episode 4 shows Rue's grief, Cal's regrets, Cassie's breakdown, and love triangles (Image via HBO Max)
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Shruti Kotiya

The latest episode of Euphoria lets grief, fantasies, and dysfunctional relationships take center stage alongside its beautiful cinematography and brilliant music score.

Created by Sam Levinson, the series dives into teenage existentialism and explores the complicated relationships one forms along the way. This episode shows Rue's grief, Cal's regrets, Cassie's breakdown, and love triangles.

Let's dive in and dissect the fourth episode of HBO Max's Euphoria Season 2.

Note: This article contains spoilers.


Analyzing Euphoria Season 2 Episode 4

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Episode 4 of Euphoria Season 2 took place entirely outside the halls of East Highland High, featuring the Howard sisters and car journeys. Rue and Jules' relationship went from being compared to works of art to a new low.

Viewers are aware that the former's sobriety depends on Jules, and not having her around the last time really messed Rue up. The episode suggests that Rue might finally be done with her obsession with Jules, only because she has replaced it with drugs.

While Elliot is being painted as the nice guy for being a chill friend, he is as destructive as Nate. Like Nate in Cassie and Maddy's friendship, Elliot is openly letting Rue and Jules' relationship crumble right in front of him.


Dysfunctional relationships

Cassie chose to plaster on a smile at Maddy's party and be her best friend for the night. She is clearly in agonizing pain, but no one notices or acknowledges it until she breaks down. This also proves that everyone may love each other, but it's not always necessary that they are in tune with one another.

Like every episode in this season of Euphoria, Sydney Sweeney nailed it with her acting skills. The evident dysfunction in Cassie and Nate's relationship is nothing but a product of two people dealing with their mental health issues differently while also adding to it.


Different forms of grief

In the previous episode of Euphoria, viewers saw how Nate only noticed Cassie when she was dressed like Maddy. In this episode, his ignorance towards Cassie during the entire party revealed the truth about their love triangle. For Nate, Maddy comes first, and he will only acknowledge Cassie at her lowest because he enjoys manipulation.

Cal's outburst and Rue's fantasized apology to her dad were different sides of grief. The two were yearning for a life out of their reach, and Euphoria has shown grief through Rue's eyes after losing her father.

Every character in the series seems to be running away from something, and things just keep getting worse for them. Cal's monologue in this episode might have been uncomfortable to sit through, but that is the years of oppression that came pouring right out.


A visual treat

As for Rue, her grief took the shape of fantasy sequences and got to the heart of her issues โ€” the gaping hole created by her father's death. Her grief has hit a catastrophic end, and people around her are affected by it.

The episode also saw Labrinth, Euphoria's music composer, appearing as a pastor. He is held by Rue as she imagines her father and apologizes for the person she has become.

Besides the brilliant music score, this episode, titled You Who Cannot See, Think of Those Who Can, was an absolute visual treat. The name refers to a phrase frequently seen on leaflets distributed by French Surrealists.

It also featured several recreations from the world of art and cinema โ€” from The Birth of Venus to Brokeback Mountain โ€” and the entire episode was full of 'the lover's montage.'


Teenage existentialism

As the series makes its way through the second half of the season, it asks viewers to observe the many forms of grief and complicated relationships. Once again, it has rightly portrayed heavy-handed teenage existentialism through fantastical visuals and brilliant casting.

Fans can catch the newest episodes of Euphoria Season 2, now streaming on HBO Max.


Edited by Ravi Iyer
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