• The Euphoria Season 1 Finale airs Sunday night.
• There've been a lot of moving pieces, characters, and plotlines this season.
• Here's what we've got to keep in mind before Sunday's finale.
The first seven weeks of Euphoria has had it all—interesting characters, wild twists, and some really great music. With the eighth, and final, episode of the season airing this weekend, that means we have to sift back through all that's happened, and see where everything stands ahead of the first season's finale.
Due to the structure of the show, with cutaways, flashbacks, and surprising narrative devices coming at a moment's notice, we know both a ton, and not so much about given characters. But for now, here's where each key character's storyline stands going into the finale:
Rue. Rue, Rue, Rue. Of course, Rue started the series with an overdose, and after a quick stint in rehab, didn't plan on staying clean. But after hitting rock bottom again (desperately knocking at Fezco's door), she met up with Ali, who's become her own mentor from Narcotics Anonymous.
Rue is clean—but her temptation is still there. In episode 7, a bottle of pills even started 'speaking' to her. We'll see what happens there in the finale, certainly.
Additionally, the last episode seems to have also revealed that Rue has Bipolar disorder; it made points of showing her manic phases (the detective sequence), as well as her depressed phases, when she watched 22 straight Love Island episodes, and couldn't even get herself out of bed to go to the bathroom.
Rue's family is complicated. Her younger sister, Gia, was the one who found her after her overdose; their relationship has been strained ever since. Rue has also found Gia's behavior more and more mirorring her own—smoking marijuana, spending time with questionable influences, et cetera.
Of course, she also has strong feelings for Jules, who doesn't quite feel the same way back. She seems to have come to terms with this, though it occasionally comes through elsewhere (like in her narration).
In the finale, she certainly seems to be in line for at least a couple moments of reckoning—can she stay clean? Will she fully figure out what's going on with Nate and Jules? What about her family? There are a lot of questions to answer, and we're probably going to get a few of them in the finale.
Jules transitioned at a young age, after a sequence when her unstable mother had her committed to a youth mental institution/facility. The start of Euphoria was Jules and her father moving, and her meeting everyone. Jules has a great friendship with Rue, but doesn't reciprocate the same more-than-friends feeling—to this point. She visited a friend in L.A. in episode 7, and talked to them about Rue a good bit. By the end of their wild night out, she was hooking up with a girl named Anna, who reminded her of Rue.
In the first episode, she had a motel-room rendezvous with Cal Jacobs, telling him that she was 22 years old when in fact she's 17. He confronted her about this a few weeks later, at the town carnival, concerned that it could ruin his life; she promised to not bring it up to anyone.
Jules also has a complicated relationship with Nate; after he got in her face and threatened her at McKay's party, Jules scared him off by cutting herself with a Knife. Jules fell in love over text with "Tyler," who was really Nate using a false identity. Nate eventually revealed himself to Jules, and as they had been sexting, now had a way to blackmail her—he could frame her for child pornography, he said.
As a result, Nate forced Jules to talk to the police on his behalf, serving as a "third party" to help him get out of an assault charge on Maddie. This is what fueled Rue's detective moment in episode seven.
Jules is also going to need to come to a moment of reckoning—will she get out of Nate's blackmail vice? What about her relationship with Rue? Will her father figure anything out?
Nate is violent, and seems to be in a different problem scenario every week. We've already mentioned his face-off in the first week with Jules, and how he also blackmailed her into vindicating him.
Most recently, Nate was back in school after his plan to frame an older kid named Tyler (who hooked up with Maddy and he also beat up) for all of his offenses worked to perfection. Nate got Tyler to admit to bruising Maddy's neck, and got Maddy and Jules both to point this out (since Maddy is 17, and says she was blackout drunk during their encounter, and Tyler is 22, Nate's threat was to turn him in to the police for rape).
Nate most recently called the police on Fez, after Fez told him to stop messing with Rue and Jules. Fez is, of course, a drug dealer—so last we saw, he was scrambling.
Nate is clearly the series villain, and common thinking would have to see him receive some comeuppance in the finale.
Maddy's backstory is interesting in that she has a clearly warped sense of right and wrong that's rooted from an early age; that she lost her virginity to a guy who was "like 40" is clearly either the character or the show itself having a poor understanding of the idea of consent. For now, we'll give Euphoria the benefit of the doubt, and say that it was meant to show Maddy's complete lack of proper judgment.
Maddy's on-and-off-again relationship with Nate is an extremely toxic one, and one that most recently saw him bruise her neck after she dumped over a pot of chili at the town carnival. The show handled this storyline extraordinarily well, showing Maddy's failure to recognize that she was indeed being abused, and not only refusing to admit or show her bruises, but eventually re-united with Nate, and then lying (blaming Tyler, again) in order to vindicate him.
She's an incredibly complex character—a victim of Nate's abuse, but also willing to go to almost any length to be with him, and help him cover his own tracks. She could go in any direction in the finale, but the most likely might just be turning on Nate for good.
Fez is, well, the show's best character. But when we last left him, he was in trouble. We know that he's got Rue's back—and by proxy, then, has Jules' back. But when he threatened to kill Nate if he kept messing with them (in a very Fez way, telling him "That's gonna be $5.75, playboy" right afterwards), Nate did as Nate does, and called the cops.
Fez is a school dropout, and deep in the drug game, as we've seen in his interactions with a dangerous drug dealer named Mouse (who forced Rue to take Fentanyl earlier in the season). With the police raiding his house, Fez could be in big trouble heading into the finale.
Kat is probably the character most evolved over the course of the season—after being scolded by Jules in the first episode for being a virgin, we've seen her undergo something of a sexual revolution. She's grown confidence, makes a lot of money within her...well...side endeavors (she works as a cam girl online). In the last episode, we saw a new client online offer her a lot of money, and talk through the video chat (but with no picture on). This is probably someone we know, in a twist.
While she's hooked up with a bunch of random older guys now (including a guy from the carnival and the clothing store guy), Kat does seem to have a classic Teen Drama crush/flirtation going with her classmate Ethan. However, she also seems to have become so cold and distant in her understanding of relationships that she doesn't quite know how to navigate someone like him who actually means well.
We're looking forward to seeing how Kat's storylines come to a head in the finale—maybe her secret online identities will be discovered; we shall see.
McKay and Cassie
This half-college and half-high school couple have been featured in the last two weeks; McKay got his episode two weeks ago, and Cassie most recently.
Their relationship has been on the rocks throughout the season; Cassie was upset that McKay refused to acknowledge her as his girlfriend at the carnival, and as a result hooked up with a jerk named Daniel. She then continued a flirtation with Daniel, who ended up verbally berating her, bringing her to tears, after she refused sex with him.
As this happened at a halloween party, McKay almost walked in on them. The night prior, when the two returned home from a party, something happened to McKay, when a bunch of frat guys broke in and ransacked his apartment. It was a traumatizing event for both of them.
In episode seven, Cassie found out she was pregnant—and told McKay. McKay told her she would be a great mom someday, but came down against keeping the baby now. No decision was made, but these two have a choice to make definitively in the near future.
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