Euphoria Special Episode Part 1 Review: Zendaya Continues To Be A Wonder

A more nuanced introduction to Rue

Just do it already– give Zendaya another Emmy! In fact, new categories of awards should be crafted just so that the talented actress could nab more for her beyond phenomenal portrayal of Rue in the renowned series Euphoria. And if by chance, you’ve forgotten the brilliance that the 24-year-old is, then you should definitely catch on to the recently released special episode of the series — the rare silver lining of the year that has been 2020. 

[The following article contains spoilers for Euphoria special episode Part 1]

Anyone who had complained that the HBO series was more synonymous with partying and hormone-fueled teenagers in place of being a character-centric dive into its core characters can hang up their complain-fest as Euphoria special episode has an exemplary Zendaya giving us a proper story of who and more importantly “why” Rue is the way she is.

Titled ‘Trouble Don’t Last Always,’ the first part of the special episode picks up where Euphoria Season 1 left us– Jules breaking up with Rue and leaving on the train alone, triggering Rue to have another breakdown and relapse. But surprisingly, the episode begins with Rue waking up a sleeping Jules, having a romantic morning routine before bidding her farewell.  

But it’s soon obvious that it’s all in Rue’s head as she meets up with her sponsor Ali at a diner and right of the bat, he knows that she is high and lying through her teeth about having found her “balance” in life. But she ultimately stops, giving into the burden of suppressed emotions that have been crushing her and no, it’s not all Jules’ fault, in fact, the only forgiveness Rue needs is from herself. 

As divulging anymore details about this episode would be akin to a sin, what we can share is that it allows the viewers to know Rue in ways that they have never thought of. It makes this Part 1 even more special considering that almost the entirety of it happens inside a single spot in a diner and still retains the magic that flocked viewers (and Emmys) to the story. And it isn’t just Zendaya who works wonder in the episode, by exceptionally emoting and connecting to the story of her character Rue, but also Colman Domingo who returns as Ali. 

Euphoria has always worked wonders and a major thanks goes to its remaining cast, which also includes Domingo who once again delivers a rather genuine yet moving performance in this special episode as an individual who has lost everything he held dear yet he is still chosing to do good every day, making others, particularly Rue, see their worth.

Given that the episode ends with Jules’ messaging Rue, it’s probable that Part 2 of the Euphoria special episode will pick at her psyche– whether she truly loved Rue and misses her or is she just pining for a platonic connection.

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