Euphoria special episode recap: Jules finds her way back to Rue
Just as we've mostly recovered from the devastating beauty that was Part One: Rue, Euphoria starts it's special episode Part Two: Jules playing Lorde's fragile ballad "Liability" as we see a highlight reel of the girls' relationship play out inside actress Hunter Schafer's blue eyes.
Right off the bat, we're to understand Jules is in a therapy session, and would prefer not to talk about why she ran away. Instead, she posits that it's time she goes off her hormones. She stresses that while she is not interested in de-transitioning, she is now "no longer interested in men philosophically," and does not feel the need to keep up with the standards desirable to them.
Soon we finally see what her therapist looks like, and surprise: it's Lauren Weedman! Like Colman Domingo before her, who was Zendaya's primary scene partner in Part One, casting Weedman is like employing a secret weapon. She was arguably the best part of the middling HBO series Looking.
As Dr. Mandy Nichols, she advises Jules to not be so hard on herself; that she is more than just an avatar created for the rest of the world. Jules counters that it's understandable to let people's perception of you shape your own image—and not just men either.
After stating how she fears "somewhere along the way femininity conquered me," Jules explains how she sees girls look at each other for the first time and immediately begin assessing them to figure out how they compare, and where they fit in each other's perceived social hierarchies. Rue was different though. Rue saw her for who she is. Just like Jules' mom suggests Dr. Nichols.
Her mother isn't something Jules would want to talk about. Instead, it's back to why she wants to go off hormones. Or at least, to remove the "chip" preventing her from going through puberty. As a trans girl, she's always viewed puberty as a broadening and thickening, something that would forever foil her feminine presentation. However, she now realizes that the "broadening" is maybe something she shouldn't avoid, that the ocean is broad, thick, strong, and feminine. "I want to be as beautiful as the ocean," she exclaims. "Being trans is spiritual… and I don't ever want to standstill. I want to be alive."
Jules admits that, like Rue, she panicked as the train was leaving in the finale. But while Rue felt the need to stay, Jules needed to escape the last six months. Being the new girl in town was not easy, and for whatever we knew of her dealing with Rue and Nate (Jacob Elordi), there has been more to her story that made the gap between thinking about hurting herself, and wanting to hurt herself, start to close.
Jules finally confesses that she felt uncomfortable with how much Rue's sobriety was dependent on her, and shortly after we see a montage of Rue and Jules, soundtracked to the haunting new Billie Eilish and Rosalía collaboration "Lo Vas A Olvidar." In flashes though, we begin to presumably see Jules' mom, immediately causing the mind to draw parallels between the two women who've shaped Jules' the most. She never talked about her mother because she never wanted Rue to think that she saw her mom in her, even though they're both in recovery.
Moving on, Jules begins to tell her therapist about her preference for romantic relationships that happen online. Even though we learn in season one that she was catfished, Jules still loves the idea of ShyGuy, and ponders if she's attracted to the letdown of their sexting not ever being able to lead to a real-life relationship. Though viewers know who catfished her, we see the type of guy Jules fantasized was ShyGuy, and how she pictured him ravishing her on a NYC fire escape.
In another flashback, we now see Rue sitting out a window as she warns Jules that there's a good chance ShyGuy isn't real. Picturing past moments with Rue, Jules finally asserts that she was attracted to Rue, and wanted to kiss her, and felt terrible about freezing after Rue made the first move. It's just as much as she doesn't want to lose Rue, Jules feels she ever got to know her as well as she knew ShyGuy.
The sexting she participated in with ShyGuy is something Jules considers the best sex she's ever had. She's still in love with Tyler, again imagine having sex with the male avatar representing who she thought him to be. The dream begins to crack though, with Rue hovering by, making Jules feel guilty, and suddenly Jules pictures Tyler as the person he really was, her tormentor Nate.
The episode pulls Jules into what we know from part one to be Rue's dream of their NYC apartment, but Rue's dream is Jules' nightmare. Jules can't help but imagine coming home to Rue overdosing.
In another flashback, Jules comes home to see her mom and dad waiting for her. She's furious at her father for not giving her a heads up, but he only wants her to allow her mother to make amends as part of her recovery. Jules is so loud in her disdain for the idea that even when she agrees to come downstairs and hear her mother out, she's already scared her away.
A week later, around the time of the Halloween episode, where Jules is in her iconic Romeo+Juliet costume with the angel wings, she overhears that her mother went missing for a week and ended up in the hospital inebriated. Going back to the fantasy apartment, Jules hears her dad bang on the door until she finally agrees to come home. Walking from the bathroom to the door, she steps over Rue's comatose body.
Back to reality, Jules' therapy session has ended. With Jules wishing her doctor a Merry Christmas, we have a better sense of the timeline, but it isn't until Rue shows up in her room that we learn the session was also on Christmas Eve, and Rue came to see Jules right after she met with Ali in Part One.
While Jules finally has an opportunity to apologize for the train incident, they both break down over not being able to be in the same room long enough to confess their love for each other. By now, it's still unclear whatever that season one finale fantasia was, but these special episodes confirm that Jules and Rue were always something more than friends.
Euphoria (2019 TV series)