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Euphoria Season 1 finale ending explained: Zendaya's vocals may have starred, but here's what Rue's haunting final shot could mean

The finale aka episode 8 titled 'And Salt the Earth Behind You' showed a wide range of emotions and zero closure for the troubled characters we have loved over the weeks.

This article contains spoilers for 'Euphoria' season 1 finale.

Season 1 of HBO's excruciatingly dark and extremely harrowing teen-drama 'Euphoria' came to a conclusion this Sunday, August 4. The finale aka episode 8 titled 'And Salt the Earth Behind You' showed a wide range of emotions and provided zero closure for the troubled characters fans have spent hours over worrying about,  but that only heightens the excitement for a second season. Yet what left us puzzled the most was the teasing cliffhanger that the show ended on.

Not strictly a cliffhanger per se, but the finale saw Zendaya's central character Rue finally let go of Jules (Hunter Schafer), the girl she had fallen in love when she returned to school after her drug overdose. On an impulse,  Rue and Jules decide to leave town together, but Rue backs out of the plan at the very last minute, leaving Jules to go away on her own. Following that, we see Rue in a semi-breakdown state walking back home as a vehicle with bright light approaches her. Even though it looks like she might get into an accident, Rue is able to reach home, and after weeks of staying clean, she finally resorts to substance abuse again.

Thus ensues a very confusing, haphazardly pieced narrative of flashbacks after Rue gets up from the bed and crawls through her house in the same way that a person in a drug-induced high state would do. The confusion is heightened by the sing-song manner in which the sequence unfolds. Rue can be seen hugging her mom and sister, but none of them seem to take notice of her. The only person who can see her is her dead father, who hugs her tight before she runs out of the house to a group of choir singers and a marching band. As Rue sings (bonus being Zendaya's vocals) and participates in a dance routine with the choir and the marching band, we see them grab and pull her on top of a pile of bodies, before she reaches the top and finally jumps off. This leaves us with the question, whether Rue is actually dead or alive after the end of episode 8. 


While it is possible that when Rue was returning after seeing off Jules and saw the car approaching, she might have been hit by it. Whatever followed since that point was just her take on how things would have gone down if she had lived. But on a brighter side, we can also rely on the fact that she made it home safely, so maybe she didn't die from being hit by a car. That doesn't erase all scopes for her death though. The next moment Rue is seen snorting up what looks like cocaine, and it is known that for addicts in remission if they use the same amount of substance they were used to taking before they got clean, there's a high risk of overdose. So yes, it is possible, that Rue overdosed and the song and dance sequence with a haphazard narrative that follows was just an abstract artsy vision of her as the omniscient narrator beyond the grave.

But don't lose hope so soon; it is also very possible that what followed from the point of her resorting to drugs was just a hallucination since she had been clean for all this time. She possibly hallucinated her mother and sister, which would explain why they weren't able to notice her. And since it was all a daze, it makes sense why her father - the one she is still attached to, considering she wears his red hoodie all the time - was able to see her. Maybe all of this was an elaborate high-induced hallucination, and season 2 will open with Rue waking up from the dream.

'Euphoria' season 1 finale is available for streaming on HBO.