Good afternoon everyone! I hope y’all are having a wonderful day! I recently watched the new episode of the series Euphoria and I was literally screaming at the TV. First, the series is so thorough. It dissects characters so rigorously that you begin to empathize with their respective thought processes. This episode infuriated me because I feel that so many mistakes were made. I completely understand the factors of peer pressure, possible humiliation and embarrassment and not processing emotions are common attributes in young adolescents and adults. However, some of these issues are so overwhelming and shouldn’t be carried by one single individual. But, let’s get into the actual review. The episode is simply titled “The Next Episode” since it is a continuation of the previous episode’s storyline.
This episode focuses on Christopher McKay (Algee Smith), who grew up with the pressure of becoming a professional NFL player. The episode opens with young McKay reciting “America” by Harlem Renaissance poet Claude McKay to keep him motivated. His father was very domineering and stress-inducing in McKay’s life. Constantly pushing a child to be the best, instead of being his best! McKay’s father made him strive to become a football player before he could figure out what else he was passionate about. Every time that young McKay got exhausted or flustered, his father would repeatedly tell him “However strong you think you are, you are stronger.” This quote rung in McKay’s head everyday. It was a daunting motto that held weight within McKay’s psyche. He couldn’t be his best. He couldn’t be enough. He was forced into the mold that A LOT of Black young men are forced into. BEING THE BEST. This “being the best” mindset is so detrimental to a young man. Forcing him into having a hypermasculinity complex, which is overexerting energy to fit into masculine roles in society. For example, chastising peers, constantly making homophobic jokes, using misogynistic language, aggressive behavior, choosing not to process emotions or feelings, etc. Hypermasculinity and toxic masculinity are very unattractive attributes. These attributes keep a lot of women at bay because WOMEN LIKE SECURE MEN. Men who are secure are powerful beyond measure because no one else affects their reaction. They are able to know who they are and be comfortable with themselves so that when people different than them enter their radius, they are able to act appropriately, accordingly and respectfully. Insecure men are incredibly dangerous. Most insecure men struggle with gender identity, sexual orientation, identity as a male, gender roles, masculinity, and fear of not being able to uphold their manhood. Insecure men are capable of doing very malevolent things i.e. NATE! That man is crazy, but we will get to him in a second.The next scene, McKay realizes that his dream of going pro is very SLIM. Also, he notices that all of his peers are as good as he is. Which is very hurtful for him, since he had made this his dream since he was a young boy.
As this show progresses, it highlights McKay’s initial attraction to Cassie (Sydney Sweeney). He falls in love with her, but struggles with dating her because he believes she has a low level of self-respect due to her exposed videos of engaging in sexual acts with guys. I believe that Cassie thought that at that time, sex was all that she could offer. A lot of young women today face societal pressures to appease the man and make him feel good, so sex isn’t necessarily pleasure for them, but more so pleasure for the man. I believe that Cassie sought self-validation from these guys while doing these sexual acts. Her face lit up when McKay expressed how beautiful he thought she was. He made her feel worthwhile in that moment. So, it is very frustrating for McKay when he sees Cassie dress a certain way because it looks as if she doesn’t respect herself or her union with him. The guy Daniel, who Cassie kissed on the carousel when she was high, is still fiercely pursuing her. He simply wants sex and to be honest, I thought he would try to rape Cassie. He was very aggressive and overly sexual when interacting with Cassie, so that indicated to me that he has a fragile ego, wants to feel like “the man” so he needs sex for validation and he’s very insecure about himself as a young man. Okay, now the formalities are out of the way and you get a better sense of McKay and Cassie as characters. The next scene cuts to Cassie in a very risque outfit, which she claims to be impersonating Alabama Worley from True Romance. This outfit is embarrassing to McKay because he knows that his peers will ogle at Cassie, but he wants other guys to know that Cassie is his girlfriend. McKay makes Cassie change into a more dressed down sports jersey to Cassie’s dismay. She is irked the entire party, but McKay gets her into his good graces again. They go back to McKay’s room and are about to have intercourse, when these obnoxious frat guys enter the room naked. They pin McKay down on his back and are taking pictures, videos and pretending ad if they are having sex with McKay while he is naked. This is not only humiliating to McKay, but this is shocking for Cassie to see. As McKay gathers his emotions, we see that he doesn’t feed into how he is feeling. Instead he uses Cassie as a sex toy. He asks her if she “Still wants to have sex or not?”, to which Cassie agrees because she wants to make McKay feel better. He doesn’t feel good and it’s obvious. I wish she would’ve really talked to him about what just happened. He aggressively has sex with her and then lays down. Cassie goes into the bathroom to wipe herself and the look in her eyes just really sunk into my soul. In that moment, she knew she was used. It broke my heart to see her so broken. At Daniel’s Halloween party, Cassie gets drunk and Daniel pursues her when she is vulnerable yet again. He dances with her and they go up to his bedroom. They make out, but Daniel wants more this time. He keeps pushing for sexual intercourse with Cassie, but she wants to uphold her loyalty to McKay even though she felt used by him. She finally decides to leave because she is too drunk. This induces Daniel to make a visceral reaction to Cassie wanting to leave. He angrily describes how much of an incessant bore that Cassie is. He calls her uninteresting, easy and nothing more than a pretty face. (Sidenote: I always knew he was a f-boy. He was just aggy because Cassie didn’t give up the cootie-cat. He was so bothered and pressed pressed pressed like I said, insecure men are dangerous. Cassie begins to cry and it almost made me cry because those words are emotionally shattering. It was so harsh, mean and cruel what he said to her. It made her feel worthless. I wish she would’ve told her sister Lexi, who by the way saved her ass by distracting McKay before he barged into the room when Daniel and Cassie were making out. Instead, she heads home to her sleeping alcoholic mother and drinks more alcohol to cope with feeling awful about herself. So sad. I wanted to give her a hug. I almost forgot. Cassie might be pregnant with McKay’s child because the camera pans off to tampons and a pregnancy test.
FUTURE MURDERER: NATE JACOBS
Nate. I strongly dislike how Nate is conducting himself. He is indulging in monstrous, murderer-like behaviors. He is trying to pin the entire abuse incident on Tyler, the 22-year-old man who now wears a neck brace since Nate almost pummeled him to death. He blackmails Tyler that if he doesn’t admit to choking Maddy, that he will make Maddy report Tyler for having sex with her since she is a minor. So, Tyler then goes to the police station and confesses to choking her, knowing that Nate did it. By the way, falsifying a police report is a felony and they all can go to prison for up to 7 years. Nate is truly a monster. He visits Maddy every weekend and their relationship is still very volatile and intense. He convinces her to go to the police station and lie that Tyler was the one who choked her. Nate even prints out the sexually explicit images of Jules to blackmail her into being a witness to the alleged crime. Jules is then coerced into giving a false statement by claiming she saw the attack. The detective reminds her that lying on a police report is a felony, but she accepts this penalty and states that she is not being coerced. This all works out for Nate because he is able to attend the Halloween party with Maddy by his side. Ironically, he is dressed as a jailbird. I wish he was in prison because he is an awful man. He notices Jules across the room and gives this smug look. I was so angry with Jules because she let him have power over her. It did put her in a compromising position, but I wish she would’ve told someone. Now, it feels too late.
The next scene cuts to Rue picking up Jules so that they can attend a Halloween party. Rue is dressed as a beautiful groom and Jules is dressed as an ethereal angel, to which Rue replies “Wow.” Rue is enamored with Jules and she relies on Jules for her sobriety, which I knew wouldn’t last but Rue really believed Jules was perfect. Rue should’ve became sober for RUE. She should not base her sobriety on anything else, but herself. She chose Jules to be the reason for going clean, which was the worst thing she could’ve done. As the story progresses, Jules is drinking heavily and is dancing erratically on the dancefloor. I feel so bad for Jules because she is holding so much inside. She thought that Shyguy118 was her first love story and someone that she could possibly develop a future with. When she finds out that it was Nate, she is utterly disappointed. He deceived her and I believe he did this because he found out that his Dad, Cal, had slept with her and recorded it. He has a lot of unresolved issues with his father and his sexuality. Nate is using Jules’ sexting images as a way to press charges and have her listed as a sexual offender since she was underage and produced and solicited child pornography. Her entire future is at stake and this will ruin her reputation. I wish she would’ve told Rue or her father because if she tells someone that Nate is using the sexting images for blackmailing purposes, then they can go to the police, explain the situation and possibly get Nate in jail because nowadays there are revenge porn and sexting laws that can imprison Nate for using the images to hold Jules hostage. Instead of doing that, Jules copes by getting drunk and acting foolish. Rue observes this and realizes that Jules is different than she thought. In the corner of the party, she notices her younger sister getting high with the twins Troy and Roy. Rue and Lexi takes Roy downstairs to the basement, I presume, and scares him into thinking that she is friends with murderers and robbers from rehab. He falls for it and doesn’t allow Gia to get high or intoxicated. The series continues and Rue goes out to the pool area to talk to Fezco. She apologizes to Fezco for her harsh words to him due to him not giving her drugs. He explains that he doesn’t take anything that a drug addict says personally, which is so true. Fezco directs Rue’s attention to a drunk Jules falling into the pool. She goes over to help Jules get out the pool, but Jules is so inebriated that she pulls Rue into the pool and kisses her. I DO NOT BELIEVE THAT JULES LIKES RUE IN A ROMANTIC WAY. I believe whenever Jules feels overwhelmed, stressed or anxious she uses Rue like a pain pillow to release all of her internalized pain. That is a very unhealthy, toxic relationship because it is very one-sided since Rue truly loves Jules. It is so sad to see Rue break down in the bathroom. It just showed me that you cannot depend solely on one person for your personal growth. You have to find it within yourself. As Rue is about to leave the party, Lexi approaches and consoles her. (Sidenote: I really want to learn more about what happened to Lexi and Rue’s friendship. Was it Lexi became uncomfortable with Rue beginning to develop romantic feelings for her? Did they grow apart? Was it their peers influencing them?) Jules then comes out to drunkenly comfort Rue and urges them to come back inside the party. Rue believes that they should all go, and Lexi agrees. Jules doesn’t and decides to go back into the party. Rue knows that she cannot leave her since she doesn’t have a ride back. So they both head back inside. Later on, they notice that both Nate and Maddy come into the Halloween party. Rue sees how Jules and Nate catch eyes and she knows in that moment that something is wrong.
KITTENKWEEN & NICE GUY ETHAN
Kat on the other hand, is using sex as a form of confirmation that she is sexy and attractive. Kat has a psychological block as of now and she feels disappointed and dismissed by men, so she wants to use them to make her feel better about herself. It is sad that Kat cannot see that Ethan is genuinely interested in her and he likes her. She is so hellbent on being this “bad bitch”, but she doesn’t even realize how much he likes her as a person before and after her “personal transformation”. She thinks all men are sex-driven, so she wants Ethan to “cut to the chase”. Ethan succumbs to Kat’s pressure and gives her oral sex, but doesn’t have intercourse with her because she claims to not have sex with virgins. I rolled my eyes so hard at Kat. She is still on her City Girl Summer because she is scamming all of her PornHub cam buddies. They are paying for everything on her online wish lists. A mess. I feel bad that no one genuinely pays attention to Kat because anyone can see that she going through an internal crisis. Where is Kat’s mom? Her dad? Her friends? Why can’t they see that she is drowning? It just is so tragic to me. She doesn’t even know that she is worth more and that she deserves more. Ughh Poor KittenKween.
In final analysis, this episode was very well done and the storylines were so unique, relatable and disheartening. This is a reality for so many people and I just love how Euphoria is spreading awareness for the plights of young adults. The series is very needed in society today. The next episode is going to focus on Cassie’s upbringing and I am so excited because from the trailer, it seems that Cassie was a very ambitious girl, who was an ice skater. It will also delve into her mother and father’s relationship and her mother’s alcoholism. I hope it will also dispel the rumors and speculations that Cassie is “easy”, because to understand someone you have to see where they have came from. But, that is all for today guys. I hope you liked the review. Please share this post with friends and subscribe to the blog below to receive email notifications of new posts. Please feel free to leave comments, suggestions and recommendations. Love you guys! Later.