This summer saw many changes in what’s available for television programming. Several popular shows ended, and we were treated to what may be one of the most controversial shows in television history. Euphoria’s unabashed portrayal of modern femininity and the issues facing modern teenaged society (and really, modern society in general) is what first drew me to the show. And as one of only two female contributors to the project (so far), Jennifer Morrison’s episode carries particular significance.
The bad-girl cheerleader Maddy Perez passes out at school. She wears a hooded sweatshirt over a turtleneck sweater to cover up the bruises she received from Nate at the fair, and heat, along with other factors, works against her. The principal learns about the bruises from the paramedics. Her mother is informed. Students are interrogated. And Nate is escorted out of the building by the police after charges are filed against him, yet Maddy swears to everyone who will listen that he didn’t do it. He still loves her, and she, him.
Rue Bennett is exactly thirteen days sober. Her mom is in the dark about it. She thought Rue has been sober since she was released from the rehab facility over the summer. But she’s sticking to it now that Jules Vaughn is in her life. She’s head-over-heels for the new girl. Her mom is happy about it, too. She likes Jules, yet worries that Rue is moving too quickly.
Jules is beginning to doubt her relationship with Rue. After Nate’s threat about the photos she sent him, she wants to forget about her one-night stand with Nate’s dad, but Rue can’t let it go – especially when they see Nate and his father escorted from the building.
The conventional heroes versus villains roles don’t apply when it comes to normalizing stigma and starting conversations. In a show about the ugly realities of real life, everyone is a little bit of both, and even the ladies aren’t afraid to show their dark sides.