Predictions: Euphoria season two

The newly released trailer leaves fans with more questions than answers

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Illustration by Karina Rower

Rue and Jules became an item in the first season, becoming loved by fans as the season progressed. Season two is anticipated for a multitude of reasons, but the relationship between Rue and Jules is universally loved by the “Euphoria” fanbase.

Warning: The following article contains mentions of sexual assault and drug abuse, as well as spoilers for the first season of “Euphoria”. 

In 2021, HBO’s “Euphoria” was made known for an amalgamation of themes and issues, encompassing a number of mediums. Some may first think of its notable cultural significance to a generation of technology-centered teens, and others may remember back to the “euphoric” makeup trend that happened on social media in early 2021. No matter what you think of “Euphoria”, it has now become one of the most widely anticipated releases for the new year, and generally a pop culture phenomenon. Season two premieres Jan. 9, joining other shows in a round of new releases. It comes two years after the first season premiere, and around one year after two special episodes focusing on the main female protagonists, Rue (Zendaya) and Jules (Hunter Schafer), were streamed. Fans and critics alike believed that Euphoria was the show of the summer in 2019, and that sentiment held strong into 2020, with the show’s artistic style becoming a trend on multiple creative-dominated platforms, one example being TikTok.  

For every reviewer who attempted to disparage “Euphoria”, the show and its all-star cast received another accolade. Zendaya was awarded an Emmy for her portrayal of Rue, a girl who simultaneously struggles with drug addiction and discovering her sexuality. Despite its success, critics seemed to pick on it solely because of its overtly blunt depiction of teenage life, revolving around drugs, sex, and social media. At times the world of “Euphoria” seems too harsh for its own good, but in some ways, that’s why the world has needed a show of its kind for so long. Its impact on Gen-Z has not gone unnoticed, with issues like drug abuse, sexuality, and transitioning gender coming to the forefront of movements for change. With a trailer of just two minutes and 40 seconds to entice us into the new season there is a lot to unpack.   

 

1. Cassie’s evolving style and persona 

“Euphoria” writers chose to let Cassie (Sydney Sweeney) be most defined by her relationships in the first season. From her intense friendship with Maddy, to her turbulent romance with McKay, she was constantly seeking external validation from those she loved. Her reliance on others for stability and confidence in herself stunted her character development, causing her to be swayed into bad situations, like allowing people to verbally berate her for not being the exact person they wanted her to be. In the last episode, Cassie decides to get an abortion, a traumatic and emotional experience accompanied by a modern ice dance number to “My Body Is A Cage” by Arcade Fire.

Cassie’s personal style from the first to the second season parallels the plot of her achieving autonomy over her life. Though Cassie has a true feminine personal style, she also understands the power she wields by the way she presents herself. Through slyly seductive clothes and makeup, Cassie is actively taking control of her own narrative. In the season two preview, we see her stepping out in three different ensembles, two in her signature pastel color palette, and one that is far more bold and less demure. The latter outfit is shown in a clip where a blasé Cassie wears a hot pink strappy bodysuit, walking down the steps seemingly ready to go out, as one does every day in the world of “Euphoria”. After this brief clip, the scene cuts to annoyed and judgemental glares from Kat (Barbie Ferreira), Nate (Jacob Elordi), and Maddy (Alexa Demie) —  her friends in season one. 

Prediction: It’s hard to say why, but it could be said that Cassie becoming a more independent person after being exploited for sex in her past relationships is not something that was expected, and isn’t exactly welcome by her friends. In the second season, Cassie coming out of her shell may lead her to surrounding herself with new people, and only time will tell if this will help or harm her character development.  

 

2. Kat’s new relationship  

Kat was infamous in season one for her style evolution, from an introverted fanfiction writer into a more dominatrix-inspired goth aesthetic. Her change resulted in backlash from her friends, but she also gained newfound confidence in herself. One trait that sets Kat apart from the rest of the characters in “Euphoria” is the perspective she has on her body. Kat doesn’t let societal standards dictate the way she feels about herself as a plus size woman, instead she focuses on how she personally feels in her body. “There’s nothing more powerful than a fat girl who doesn’t give a f***,” Kat said in the season one episode titled, “03’ Bonnie and Clyde”.  

There’s nothing more powerful than a fat girl that doesn’t give a f***.”

— Kat Hernandez

Some fans believed that Kat’s transformation was the start to the downfall of her character, but it also what ultimately led to her realizing she needed to value the people who loved her for who she was, not just for her body or reputation. At the end of the first season, she and Ethan (Austin Abrams) both confess their true feelings for each other. From the preview, we see Kat and Ethan together, appearing happy in their relationship. But the sole shots that feature Kat alone are of her looking sad at her locker and then her screaming at a party, with a bunch of unknown women surrounding her, seemingly egging her on. Will Kat get her happy ending, after changing drastically in season one? Does anyone in “Euphoria” get their happy ending? 

Prediction: Seeing Kat in a new state of mind that may or may not be to her own detriment will be difficult to watch for viewers, particularly for fans who have seen Kat as something of a role model for knowing her own self-worth. If Kat can’t feel happy even in a secure relationship, maybe she is still struggling to have confidence in herself? 

 

3. Themes of regaining control and healing

For Rue, life in the first season is a balancing act. Viewers can hope that life for Rue will get easier, but based on the overwhelming climax of the music and dark colors in the preview, it could be said that all characters will start to feel the stress of balancing multiple aspects of life throughout the upcoming season. With new relationships and conflicting interests, characters like Maddy, who faced hardships like no other in the first season might be bitter or out for revenge against those who wronged them.  

Maddy, a character notorious for her brazen attitude and iconic quotes, dealt with a severely abusive, on again, off again relationship with her boyfriend Nate in the first season. Despite efforts from her loved ones to get her out of a bad situation, Maddy loved Nate, up until the season finale when they finally broke things off. 

Prediction: From what can be seen of Maddy in the preview, she genuinely seems like she’s living her ideal life. The iconic eye makeup and black monochromatic clothes, both continuous traits from the last season, are representative of Maddy’s trademark attitude. Her fractured heart may lead to spite towards her friends that are in relationships, and jealousy is a color we have yet to see on Maddy. It is possible that this is the season when fans will see Maddy fully actualize her true potential, whether that be through school or in another form. Like Cassie, Maddy is taking control of her life, with a vengeance.  

 

4. Rue’s recovery (and her mysterious suitcase)

The greatest question prompted by the trailer is “What is in Rue’s suitcase?” It’s an object that is focused on quite a bit during the brief preview, causing many viewers to voice their interest in the suitcase’s contents online. 

 

Though the suitcase doesn’t open in the trailer, it is assumed by most that the suitcase is filled with narcotics.

The first season ends with a dance sequence that is generally interpreted by fans as an artistic visualization of Rue relapsing after Jules left her at the train station. Jules was the person that Rue felt the strongest need to stay clean for, and Rue felt like she had just lost her. The special episodes that were released in early 2021 showed that Rue had survived the relapse and was trying to make amends with Ali (Colman Domingo) and Jules. 

Prediction: From what can be gathered in the trailer, Rue is returning to Narcotics Anonymous, and is potentially also attending rehab as well. However, a currently unnamed character played by musician Dominic Fike appears to be interfering in Rue’s recovery, by potentially serving as her drug dealer. The suspicious suitcase starts to appear soon after viewers see Fike’s character introduced to a curious Rue. 

 

 

The reasons behind Rue lugging around a suitcase remain unknown, as do the reasons behind many of the other questionable actions committed by the teenagers of “Euphoria”. In conversation with Teen Vogue, Zendaya discussed what fans can generally expect from the new season. From what can be gathered from the preview, “Euphoria” may be evolving from a series that romanticizes intoxication into something far more brutal to witness.  

“It’s a challenging season,” Zendaya said. “It’s gonna be hard and it’s going to be devastating sometimes, but I think Rue really deserves all that care when it comes to her character, because I think she represents a lot for so many people.” 

“Euphoria” season two premieres Jan. 9, airing on both HBO and HBO Max.