‘Euphoria’ season two was entertaining but unfulfilling

     The second season of HBO’s “Euphoria” was an unruly roller coaster of endless drama with the same great cinematography and beautifully curated soundtrack that filled season one. Each episode created agonizing anticipation for what lay ahead in future episodes, leaving the viewer eager for the next Sunday evening. 

     The new season focused more on the consequences of protagonist Rue’s (Zendaya) addiction, with more attention on how it affects Rue’s loved ones. However, through all the madness, limitless drama and endless teenage angst, the season finale fell short of expectation by leaving viewers with more questions open than answered and unfulfilled anticipation for a season probably years in the future. 

     This season balances the main story of Rue’s battle with addiction with more attention to the backstories of some characters from season one. Each episode seemed to focus on one side-character’s backstory and how their past led them to their current decisions. 

     I thought the distraction from Rue’s struggles and desire to immerse herself into her habit was nice. Understanding the “why” behind other characters’ thought processes added a new layer of understanding for some of their actions. 

     We learn how Fez (Angus Cloud) became a drug dealer in season two and how he developed his relationship with his younger brother Ash. Next, Nate’s (Jacob Elordi) dad Cal, played by Eric Dane, gets most of an episode, and we see how his closeted homosexuality turned him into the domineering Atlas we saw in season one. Finally, Cassie’s (Sydney Sweeney) story and her sister Lexi’s (Maude Apatow) play explain their childhood and how a lost relationship with their dad led to the internal struggles they both faced in the show. 

     Season two also introduced some new characters into the spiderweb of drama. Faye, Elliot and Laurie add new dynamics to the core group and create new obstacles for Rue and her friends to maneuver. 

     The creators set Laurie up to be an antagonist this season. Actress Martha Kelly plays the coldest, most dispassionate, emotionless schoolteacher turned drug-kingpin you’ve ever seen on film. Her interactions with Rue foreshadow a deeper plot that will likely culminate in season three. 

     “Euphoria” remains a masterpiece of aesthetics. Viewers can expect the same beautifully colored and choreographed scenes and accompanying Emmy award-winning original soundtrack. its darker themes. 

     The featured soundtrack this season was tremendous. With well over 100 songs and 15-30 per episode, each song choice beautifully enhances the aura of each scene and leaves viewers with new songs to add to their summer playlist. The variety in the music of this season spans generations and genres but never detracts from the scene. 

     Overall, I loved season two. The visual style is alluring, the complexity of the storyline is invigorating and the acting is top tier. However, the resolution felt more like a mid-season finale than a culmination of the whole season. Did McKay disappear from the show? What happened to the money Rue owes Laurie? What happens to Faye and Fez? 

     Seeing as there was two years in between the release of seasons one and two, we can expect to sit with those questions for a long time.   

     If you haven’t watched “Euphoria” yet, please give in to the peer pressure and watch it. It is a very binge-worthy show, but maybe wait until we are closer to season three’s release because the end of season two will leave you unsatisfied and craving more.