What Happened Last Night on Euphoria? Here’s Our Recap of Season 2 Episode 4

What Happened Last Night on <em>Euphoria</em>? Here’s Our Recap of Season 2 Episode 4

Warning: The following contains spoilers for Euphoria episode 4.

Euphoria episode 3 left Rue on a razor’s edge: alone in her bedroom doing a fentanyl patch from laconic Laurie’s suitcase (which she was supposed to be selling). Fentanyl, a deadly opiate, was the drug that almost killed Rue last season when Mouse forced her to take it. Fans had speculated that episode 4 might see Rue flirting again with overdose. That was not the case; however, that outcome, at this point, seems almost inevitable.

No, episode 4 instead imitated a late-night binge—taking place during something like six hours—where we experience a pregame, high, and comedown for several characters, most notably, Cal, Elliot, Jules, Rue, Maddy, and Cassie. The occasion: Maddy’s birthday. The other occasion: Cal’s surrender. The other other occasion: just another night for Rue, Jules, and Elliot.

While no character overdoses, dies, or incriminates himself, episode 4 significantly changes the series’ character relationships. Jules discovers Rue’s relapse. Jules cheats on Rue with Elliot. And Cal Jacobs takes off the mask of shame and accepts his sexual fluidity, a moment that during perhaps another INXS-scored period in time may have been redemptive, but somehow just feels sad and morose and, when it comes to his family, sort of cruel. But we’re happy for him? Yay for accepting yourself, Cal.

As for other developments, Cassie continues to deride Lexi—likely solidifying her intention to direct a school play primarily about their fraught relationship, a play that will likely humiliate Cassie. Kat seems ready to end things with Ethan after realizing that what she wants is not what society tells her she wants, namely, a healthy relationship. And Fez gets a visit from another drug dealer who insinuates that laconic Laurie might know about Mouse—the dealer Fez and Ashtray totally smoked. (Laurie’s knowledge might explain why she entrusted Rue with a supply of drugs: she knows Rue will fail, and then she will get revenge on Fez.)

So. A lot a going on.

Here’s what happened in episode 4.

The Night Begins

euphoria episode 4 recap


The episode opens with Rue narrationally explaining her love for Jules over a series of visual romantic allusions where the two are dressed to imitate famous works of art and film—Birth of Venus, Titanic, Brokeback Mountain, etc. The sequence ends with Rue faking an orgasm while with Jules; she’s too high to feel any sensation. Later, Jules commiserates with Elliot and the two have another Moment. They make out. Rue then shows up, but is unaware. And the night begins.

Maddy and the girls have birthday cake as both Maddy and Cassie remember respective moments with Nate. We see Maddy and Nate speaking at the babysitting house (episode 3 ended with Nate delivering her flowers). The two express their toxic love for each other and then hug, implying they will try and iron out the insurmountable creases in their relationship.

We then see Cassie and Nate in his bedroom, where Cassie accuses Nate of trying to get back together with Maddy while he’s with her. Nate counters by gaslighting Cassie, saying that’s exactly what Cassie did with Nate while Nate was dating Maddy. Cassie says Nate had broken up with her then. Cassie then leaves, warning Nate that he should be afraid of her. In a final desperate attempt to retain power over Cassie, Nate tells her he loves her. Cassie pauses. She walks out anyway.

Back at the birthday party, Maddy and company begin to drink under the clearly deft supervision of Maddy’s mom. At Nate’s house, Cal has already started and giddily tells Nate he’s going for a drive. (Wow, who would have thought Cal was kind of a happy/fun drunk? We expected more violence.)

Back at Elliot’s, Rue, Jules, and Elliot start kissing one another before Elliot suggests they all take a drive and steal some booze. (Elliot also makes the discovery that Rue took some kind of opioid that night.)

The Night Escalates

euphoria episode 4 recap


Cal dangerously drives down the road in his jeep (which looks a lot like Derick’s jeep). Elliot, Rue, and Jules rob a liquor store, Elliot’s car taking a bottle to the window in the process.

Rue begins drinking in the back seat. Elliot mumbles that she shouldn’t be mixing alcohol with other drugs, but she doesn’t care. Jules voices a similar concern, asking Rue why she’s drinking. Rue says she just wants to go home because she “can’t stand” Jules. Jules is visibly hurt.

Meanwhile, Cassie begins slipping into meltdown mode.

Meanwhile, Cal is having the time of his life.

He arrives at the bar where he and Derick kissed 20 years earlier. He plays music and slow dances with a stranger who he imagines is Derick. He says, “I thought I lost you.” He then tries to playfully wrestle the stranger and is then dragged out of the bar, laughing the whole time. (Again, Cal is a boisterous drunk? Who would have thought.)

Meanwhile, Nate shows up at Maddy’s party, precipitating Cassie to start drinking like a fish. Cassie then dons a bikini to mess with Nate and the whole group decides to do a hot tub session. In the tub, Nate is confronted about his relationship with Maddy, which he denies will be given another chance. Maddy erupts. Cassie seems to be waiting to say something. Nate looks wildly uncomfortable. Maddy begins calling Nate on all his false statements, including that he wants Maddy to have kids with him. At this recollection, Cassie vomits in the pool and begins cathartically apologizing to Maddy.

The Night Crashes

euphoria season 2 fan theory


Rue returns home and does more drugs. She has an extended vision of herself at church where she reunites with her father, apologizing for how she’s behaved and saying she’s a bad person. Her father forgives her. The whole thing plays out like an intervention/exorcism and hopefully represents a turning point for Rue.

Elliot and Jules are about to hook up when Elliot admits he was the one who may have enabled Rue’s continued drug usage. Jules is upset but later returns to Elliot’s bed.

Cal returns returns home and proceeds to urinate in the foyer. Marsha, Nate, and Jacob stand on the balcony as Cal begins to orate. He says he’s tired of living his double life. He admits to having sexual relations with men and transexuals. He calls out the family’s hypocrisy of also leading a double life—Marsha keeping love letters from another man, Jacob having disgusting porn habits, and Nate being so elusive that Cal knows nothing about him. After exclaiming the toxicity of family secrets, Cal then says he has been set free and that he’s leaving. He takes a family photo off the wall and then peaces out.

Joshua St Clair is an editorial assistant at Men’s Health Magazine. 

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