More than two years after the season one finale aired, HBO’s “Euphoria” is finally returning for its sophomore season.
When the teen drama series debuted, “Euphoria” captured fans' and critics’ attention for its depiction of teenagers battling substance abuse, anxiety and body image issues. The show landed Zendaya her first Emmy win for her portrayal of Rue, a 17-year-old with a drug addiction who finds herself back in rehab at the end of the first season. “Euphoria” also made Hunter Schafer, who plays Jules, a rising star in Hollywood.
“Euphoria” wrapped up its first season in August 2019 and followed it with two holiday specials airing in November 2020 and January 2021.
The much-anticipated new season is nearly here, but it’s been a while since we’ve seen Rue and her classmates. So, in case you forgot what happened, here’s everything you need to know before “Euphoria” season two premieres on HBO and HBO Max on Jan. 9.
What happened in the last episode?
The last of the two “Euphoria” holiday specials focused on Schafer’s character Jules, who speaks with a therapist after running away from home in the finale episode.
Jules returns home and reveals to her therapist that she wants to stop taking her hormones. The therapy sessions also help her realize that her relationship with Rue is similar to her connection with her mother. Like Rue, Jules’ mother also struggles with addiction and relapses in the first season.
The special ended with the two teenagers reuniting for the first time since Jules left town after Rue backed out of their plan to meet at the train station and run away. The teens say they miss each other and apologize before Rue leaves again. The final shot showed Jules crying on her bed.
Who will be in the cast this season?
Zendaya and Schafer will be reprising their roles in the sophomore season along with series regulars Nika King, Jacob Elordi, Sydney Sweeney, Eric Dane, Angus Cloud, Algee Smith, Alexa Demie, Barbie Ferreira, Maude Apatow, Javon Walton, Storm Reid and Austin Abrams.
In March 2020, the show’s Twitter account posted pictures of the cast coming together for a table reading for the new season.
“Here we go !!!!!!!!!!!!!!” one caption said next to a photo of Zendaya and Cloud reading their lines.
Another post showed a close up of Zendaya smiling. “Season freaking two,” the Tweet said.
However, the reunion was short-lived. The filming of the second season was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
During her talk with Mj Rodriguez for Variety’s “Actors on Actors” last year, Zendaya revealed, “We were supposed to go back to work, I believe, on March 16. And three or four days before that, they were shut down.”
She added, “I can’t complain. I’m very lucky to be safe and healthy and still know that I have a job, 'Euphoria,' that will be there. I think all we ever wanted was for people to feel seen through our work. And so that’s all I want to continue to do, to show the human side of what addiction does to a person. Hopefully, I get to get back into my Chucks and do it again.”
In addition to the returning cast members, Variety also reported in August that a few new faces will be joining the show. “Friday Night Lights” star Minka Kelly, Demetrius “Lil Meech” Flenory Jr. from the series “Black Mafia Family” and musician Dominic Fike will appear in the new season.
Based on the trailer, it looks like Fike’s character will encourage Rue’s drug abuse.
What can we expect in the new season?
“Euphoria” promises to deliver just as much chaos and heartbreak in its follow-up season.
The new trailer opens with Rue attending a 12-step meeting while carrying a large suitcase with her. She keeps the mysterious bag close by throughout the teaser.
Her sponsor, Ali, played by Colman Domingo, asks “What’s in the suitcase?” but the answer isn’t revealed in the two-and-a-half minute video.
“When I first met her, I was just immediately in love,” Rue says about Jules in one scene. “As soon as I saw her, I was just immediately afraid to lose her.”
Later, Jules questions when Rue’s relapse happened as Rue turns to Fike’s character for pills. After he helps feed her addiction, Rue calls him “my new favorite person.”
Meanwhile, there seems to be a budding relationship between Sweeney’s Cassie and Elordi’s Nate. Cassie is also sporting a completely different style for season two.
Earlier this year, Schafer spoke with IndieWire about what fans can expect from Jules and the rest of her classmates this season.
“(I hope] this growth and interrogation of Jules…and what she wants and ultimately finding newer and healthier intimacies in her relationships, which I hope will be more queer and more healthy…[I hope] that will continue,” Schafer explained at the time. “That’s a really beautiful process and something I want to see more of on TV. Representation-wise, we’re still working on getting trans women who lie on many different ends of the spectrum of conventional beauty and conventional attraction and conventional ways of navigating gender and sexuality. There’s a myriad of ways to do that. And many trans people move through all that in that myriad of ways, including myself.”