'Euphoria' episode 7 review: Cassie's dilemma, Rue's bipolar woes and a big drug bust keep us hooked
We knew Cassie's episode was going to open up a dam of emotions; we didn't know everybody else's plot in the episode would make things even worse!
This article contains spoilers for episode 7.
Episode seven of Euphoria takes a crack at two primary objects of focus for this entire season: the mysterious reason why Cassie is the way she is, and the intensity of Rue's depression, which by extension, is an in general depiction of the disease. Leading up to the seventh episode of HBO's excruciatingly dark teen drama 'Euphoria', fans knew we were about to go on a journey to explore the life and past of Sydney Sweeney's blonde bombshell of a character, Cassie. But there was no expecting that the episode would hit this hard.
Sure, there was a pregnancy scare revealed in the promotional trailer, and knowing Cassie's already established past as the 'easy' girl with leaked sex tapes and nudes viewers would have estimated that things were going to be a wreck in the seventh episode titled 'The Trials and Tribulations of Trying to Pee While Depressed'. The episode opens with our self proclaimed unreliable narrator, Rue (Zendaya), detailing Cassie's life from childhood. An attractive father with a penchant for relentless flirting and an alcoholic wreck of a mother who got tired of his s**t built the perfect framework of a dysfunctional family for Cassie and her sister, Lexi (Maude Apatow.)
Clearly, the impact was worse on Cassie because she went from an ice-figure skater to just an attractive body that sleazy, older men couldn't wait to squeeze and grab under the pretext of 'hugging'. Cassie's father couldn't keep a job and after a big fight with her mom, he left. Soon he met with an accident that sent him spiraling into an addiction that made him steal from their house, and Cassie was the only one who knew about that because that's what spineless, selfish fathers do, clearly.
They snapped off all ties, but the longing was always there. The yearning to be loved by a man she so truly adored was something that manifested in the later years of Cassie's life too; probably why she always gave into men asking to record her while she performed sexual acts on them. Rue's voiceover tells us Cassie fell in love with every boy she dated, and that she made mistakes, “But they weren’t big ones. They weren’t the kind of thing you couldn’t come back from.” Cut to a shot of Cassie breaking down in panic on the toilet seat with a pregnancy test in her hand and that is the implication that this is beyond coming back from mistakes.
So Cassie does what any other 17-year-old would do and has a roundtable conference with her three best friends, and sister. Of course, it blows up to a whole other thing once she mentions she wants to be honest with McKay about making out with Daniel, as Maddy (Alexa Demie) and Kat (Barbie Ferreira) have differing opinions on it. But more than that, the scene also highlights a realistic aspect of group friendships where an individual's crisis gets overshadowed by other people making the discussion totally about themselves. Kat and Maddy get into a verbal duel and Kat leaves the conversation crying, while Cassie leaves with no constructive advice whatsoever.
She tells McKay, but not what she discussed with her friends. She jumps straight to the point about the pregnancy and McKay being the typical college jock struggling to prove himself handles it like anybody in his place would. He asks Cassie if she is considering having the baby because he is going through a lot right now. For all the jerk for men, this show has showcased, McKay is actually a shining beacon because of how well he tries to reason with Cassie, who thinks they should have the baby because she loves him and because she thinks this is all she's supposed to do with her life. That's how ingrained society's perception of her is in her own brain. The constant abandonment and let down has really driven Cassie to believe she doesn't deserve better, and maybe that's what Rue means by 'there's no coming back from mistakes'. Eventually, she seeks out her mother's help in a way she hasn't been able to for a while, and thus her story comes full circle.
Meanwhile, Rue's depression is reaching analytical heights where her too acutely self-aware brain dissects the various levels of it. The topmost level is finding reality TV an effort and realizing you haven't peed in 24 hours, but the idea of exerting all that effort just to flush out toxins seems a dreary, and frankly, pointless thing to do. Side by side we see Jules (Hunter Schafer) is depressed too and we find out she hasn't been out since the Halloween party.
Rue's narration takes a shift here, like that time she went on a sex-education lecture. As she narrates that she tried putting the pieces of Jules's depressive episode together, we see her in a harnessed outfit, walking around the screen like a detective hooked onto the lead, with just the pornstache missing. One of the only lighthearted moments of the episode, beware. Her sidekick is Lexi, of course, and something tells us the next episode will be about little Howard. But this episode offers us the best vision into how spectacular Rue and Lexi are as a team. Their chemistry is bang on, but more importantly, it's touching because of the light the show painted Rue's solitude in until Jules arrived. But Rue is also considering the possibility that she might be bipolar. There really is no relief for her.
Speaking of Jules, while Rue tries to connect the dots about what went wrong with Jules, the latter spends the weekend with an old friend from a town she previously lived in. This is the first time we get some reassurance about Rue being 'special' in Jules's life, as she tells her old friend. It's interesting when these two stories play out side by side because the roles have been reversed. While Rue spends all day in bed and being mean to her mom's new boyfriend, Jules takes time off to sort out her head and actually shares details of her 'complicated' friendship. Maybe the two are endgame, after all. Just a little out of sync. But drugs are drugs and an intoxicated Jules makes out with a girl after she hallucinates that she's kissing Rue instead.
The table really has turned, and not just for them. Fezco (Angus Cloud) threatens Nate (Jacob Elordi) to stay away from Rue and her friends, so Nate brings his monstrosity to the table again and busts Fezco by tipping off the cops. Kat meanwhile cams with a stranger who keeps his screen black and asks her to get completely naked, so there's the big bad to look forward in the next episode!
'Euphoria' airs on Sundays at 10 pm only on HBO.