Euphoria's very trippy rave hookup highlights how toxic Jules and Rue's relationship really is

The troubled teens have surely found each other, but there's no denying that their relationship is a dormant volcano waiting to explode any time.


                            Euphoria's very trippy rave hookup highlights how toxic Jules and Rue's relationship really is

This article contains spoilers for 'Euphoria' episode 7: 'The Trials and Tribulations of Trying to Pee While Depressed'.

One of the most aesthetically beautiful moments in this week's episode of HBO's teen-drama 'Euphoria' was the rave party Jules (Hunter Schafer) attended. What followed was a bunch of hazy encounters in her drugged up state where she hallucinated people who are the source of all the current inner turmoil in her life: Rue (Zendaya) and Nate (Jacob Elordi). In what Jules called was her 'too high' state, she first hallucinates Nate apologizing to her at the party before the two of them make out. But it is actually another girl called Anna (Quintessa Swindell) that she was making out with; Jules and Anna later have sex, but once again, Jules hallucinates it is Rue she is having sex with, and that exactly is what highlights everything that's so toxic about her relationship with Rue.

Jules and Rue hit it off right from the start when they attend the new session of school, after a long summer that was signified by Rue's drug overdose. As the new girl in school, when Jules is attacked by Nate at a high-school party just for being trans, it is Rue who comes to her rescue later, thus sparking off a friendship which slowly evolves into stolen kisses and complicated feelings. That Rue is wholeheartedly into Jules is no secret, but the idea of being in a relationship with a recovering addict stresses Jules out for all the right reasons. Feelings and humanity aside, both are just 17-year-old girls, and to be responsible or someone's sobriety, as people keep telling Jules she is for Rue's, can be quite the pressure for a girl who is still maturing.

Jules (L) and Rue's relationship is equally toxic as the other relationships on Euphoria. (HBO)

Side by side, Rue doesn't hold back from expressing how deeply grateful she is about Jules's presence in her life. As the narrator, we see her claiming that Jules comes pretty close to the high one gets upon consuming the drug, Fentanyl. After another drug-related episode, it is only when Jules threatens to take back her friendship that Rue decides to get clean for real. Instead, she plummets into another addiction and her name is Jules. Rue, regardless of how she feels for Jules, treats her like a replacement for the drugs she is not taking any more. 

This causes a slight setback in Jules's approach towards their relationship as she begins to worry Rue might spiral into another overdose if she is not around, and also questions herself over whether she wants to take up that responsibility or not. That being said, becoming a crutch for Rue's sobriety isn't the only thing plaguing Jules, because we have seen what Nate has made her do. He is still blackmailing her with her nudes and got her to testify and send an innocent young guy to prison for a fault Nate committed. Living with that conscience can be quite burdensome because Jules can never be anywhere close to as vile as Nate, so it only makes sense that she decided to take time off to visit some old friends.

Jules was publicly harassed by Nate (L) in the very first episode of Euphoria. (HBO)

Now here is where the trouble begins. At the rave party, the Nate that Jules hallucinates is a manifestation of all the sweet nothings he had exchanged with her while catfishing her as Tyler. The halluci-Nate apologizes to her and tells her he didn't want to hurt her. He calls her the most beautiful thing he has ever seen and Jules admits she is scared of him before the two of them make out and he keeps switching between himself and Anna. This leads us to believe that there is definitely some latent feeling for him that she still harbors from his catfishing days. And just like Rue is using her as a drug-replacement, perhaps Jules's feelings for Rue are just a cover-up for how she feels about Nate - a distraction of sorts, none of which is anything short of toxic.

Even later when Jules has sex with Anna, she begins by telling her that she reminds her a lot of her 'best friend', Rue. And once they are done, Jules hallucinates it is Rue she had sex with. The same switching of appearances happen, which makes sense considering how high Jules was, but it also establishes that she does have some feelings for Rue. Of course, they are teenagers, and they don't have to point a finger and settle for one person right away, but what's to be noted is how delicate both the parties involved in the 'Rules' relationship are. Jules is a trans-teen being blackmailed and threatened as she tries fitting into the new town, while Rue has been an addict for five years and is struggling with sobriety. The two have sure found each other, but there's no denying that their relationship is a dormant volcano waiting to explode any time.

'Euphoria' airs on Sundays at 10 pm only on HBO.

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