Euphoria's portrayal of Rue and Fezco's friendship is a ray of hope amidst the clouds of addiction
When Rue goes into mania courtesy withdrawal symptoms after deciding to get clean for good, more than her, it is her dealer Fezco who refuses to budge.and that speaks volumes.
This article contains spoilers for episode 7.
HBO's very disturbing teen drama 'Euphoria' might have a lot of harrowing instances but the one ray of sunshine amidst the gloom of drug addictions and violence is the wholesome bond between its central character slash narrator, Rue (Zendaya), and funnily enough, her drug dealer cum brotherly figure, Fezco (Angus Cloud.) As problematic as Fezco's profession might be, his kind, generous, and compassionate spirit is what has been able to woo fans quite a bit; the fact that he is extremely protective of the often manic and severely depressed Rue also proves to be a highlight of the show.
As odd as it might seem for an addict in recovery to be close enough to her dealer to have a little sister-big brother going with him, it is the conversations and the spontaneous rapport between the two that helps us overlook those points. Rue, despite her many issues, finds a confidante in Fezco's calm aura. The conversations between the two not only indicate how long they have known each other but also brings out the trust she has in him. She confides in him with things she shares with no one - not even her mother or little sister, let alone anybody outside of her family.
When Rue comes back from rehab following the terrifying overdose that is the premise of the show, we see Fezco hesitant about selling drugs to her. And through that minor gesture, it becomes evident that unlike most street drug dealers, this high-school dropout is not an exploitative businessman leeching off his clients. As the debut season proceeds, he grows exceedingly more cautious about Rue going back to her same old habits even though she is fresh out of rehab and supposed to be attending Narcotics Anonymous meetings.
It is also clear that Fezco has a conscience, filled with morals and wisdom. Maybe that comes from growing up on the streets and being a part of such a dangerous profession, or it could just be the fact that Rue has been a customer for over five years now, so the two of them go way back. Certain fans have also speculated that Fezco might have real feelings for her, but all of that aside, it is his loyalty and the extremes he is willing to go to, to protect her.
In simpler terms, Fezco is the guy who steps up and shows up every time Rue needs him to, and as thrilling as the all-women support group surrounding Rue is, Fezco often becomes for her the older male figure everyone needs in their life. In one of the initial episodes, we see Rue in a manic state, begging him for drugs which he is reluctant to indulge her in as a scarier drug dealer called Mouse is about to come over to his place with supplies. Rue being Rue, doesn't budge and ends up getting coerced into taking Fentanyl. When she doesn't have enough money to pay for it, Mouse insinuates she could pay for it with sex and it is at that moment we see Fezco's true loyalty. Even with the terrifying Mouse sitting right opposite him, Fezco's hand reaches for a gun hidden under the couch he's sitting on the moment Mouse tries sliding his hand up Rue's thigh. In the end, Fezco sends him off after paying for the Fentanyl with his own money.
When Rue goes into mania courtesy withdrawal symptoms after deciding to get clean for good, more than her, it is Fezco who refuses to budge. He sternly refuses to sell drugs to her as she screams and bangs on his door, and even calls him out for growing a conscience about it. Rue blames Fezco for getting her into addiction and uninhibitedly selling drugs to her until she overdosed, but the sweet-natured guy is resolute about not selling. Neither does he hold a grudge for even a split second. That's how deep his brotherly affection for Rue runs because it wasn't a one-time affair. In the latest seventh episode, Rue complains to him about Nate (Jacob Elordi) coming at her and her friends; Fezco, like the big brother he is, threatens Nate saying he would kill the jock if he doesn't stay away from Rue and her friends.
Rue might not have gone out of her way to show her care and affection for the puppy-eyed Fezco, but the fact that she is able to confide in him, and truly, openly, be her own self around him vouches for the love and fondness she has for the boy. It makes sense because he is this town-dealer trying to run a successful business discreetly, while taking care of his multi-talented sidekick, Ashtray, and also caring for his ailing grandmother, which, by the way, includes sponge-baths. And considering the incessant cloud of gloom that the show can be, with ever so realistic portrayals of teens and their harrowing encounters with drugs, violence, and sex, this friendship between Rue and Fezco offers a much needed silver lining to the show. We stan!
'Euphoria' airs on Sundays at 10 pm, on HBO.