In a Rue-focused episode, you get what likely will be Zendaya’s next Emmy submission.


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In a Rue-focused episode, you get what likely will be Zendaya’s next Emmy submission.


Aired 2/6/2022
Network HBO
Directed By Sam Levinson
Written By Sam Levinson

Recap

The Interventions – Rue, Leslie, Gia, Suze, Lexi, Cassie, Maddy, Jules, Elliot

Leslie knows. Thanks to Elliot telling Jules, and Jules telling Leslie, Leslie knows about the drugs, and she has thoroughly messed up Rue’s life by flushing them down the toilet. This action leads to a massive flip out that causes Gia’s door to be destroyed, Rue saying her biggest regret is meeting Jules, and Elliot being called out since he is an addict too.

But, in round 1, Rue tires out and seems fine with going to the ER until she realizes ER in Leslie’s mind translates to rehab. So begins round 2 as Rue jumps out of the car, running through traffic to see if Fez is home. He isn’t, so she heads to Lexi’s and starts stealing what she can and trying to find pills to end her withdrawal symptoms.

Unfortunately, for Rue anyway, Leslie catches up with her, and with feeling corned and Cassie deciding to make light of the situation, Rue exposes her and Nate’s relationship, which leads Maddy to be ready to beat her ass. In the commotion that comes with that, Rue slips away, and Lexi finds herself with an excessive amount of material.

Running Out Of Options – Fez, Rue, Laurie

Laurie in conversation with Rue

After leaving Lexi’s, Rue heads to Fez, and he is cool with her being there until he realizes it is like before where she is fiending and is out of control. I mean, she even tries to take Fez’s grandma’s meds to get some kind of high and is ready to wrestle with Fex to keep the bottles. So, with her doing that, out she goes, and to show how really desperate she is, Rue goes to Laurie’s apartment.

She confesses she doesn’t have Laurie’s money there, and in her monotone voice, Laurie seems eerily calm. Mind you, their conversation only temporarily speaks about Rue getting into sex work to pay her back, but you can tell even if not the focus of their conversation, Laurie’s wheels are spinning. But, right now, she sees Rue is going through withdrawal and being that Laurie knows about addiction via Oxycontin, she decides that some methadone, via a needle, is a means to help Rue calm down.

But, the next morning, Rue realizes that she might be locked up in Laurie’s home. At least, with a padlock on the front door, it doesn’t seem she was meant to easily leave. Luckily, through Laurie’s bathroom, she escapes, but just barely.

The Loop – Rue

Leslie hoping Rue came home

So, where to now? Jules has been cut off, Elliot is a snitch, she burned her bridges with Lexi, Ali, and even her mom, so where to? Well, it seems after one hell of a night, Rue might humble herself. But it isn’t clear who she may turn to now that the edge has been taken off.

Things To Note | Question(s) Left Unanswered

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. Why did Laurie padlock the front door? Was she trying to keep Rue in, or is that just the means she keeps everything safe and secure?

What Could Happen Next

  1. Rue owes Laurie money and made it clear sex work is a way to get it back, so expect her to come after Rue and maybe use Fez.
  2. I’d love a Fexi scene, but at this point, I feel like that won’t happen until the recently confirmed third season.
  3. Rue coming face to face with Ali, potentially at NA or on the street.

Review

Highlights

Crackhead Energy

This has to be the Emmy, Golden Globe, etc., pitch episode. From running about the town, the desperation, chaos, and those scenes between Leslie and Rue? Is that not what led to Zendaya winning an Emmy last year? Her beating away expectations, due to her Disney background, and showing herself as an actress who can just as much play pristine, beautiful, and poised as she can someone disheveled, addicted to drugs, and wavering between a manic or depressive state.

But perhaps what we appreciated more than anything else this episode wasn’t just Zendaya’s performance but also Nika King. As she notes in the post-show interview, her scenes with Zendaya are physical. It’s beyond the mental and emotional expectations of playing a role, but she mentions bruising! Can you imagine going that far with another actor, because you are using all of your might, that there is bruising done?

Cassie’s secret is out!

I just want to see what Maddy does to her and Nate. It’s great we got Zendaya in this award-worthy performance, but I’m at the point where, outside of Gia crying from the trauma she is experiencing, I’m numb to Rue. Cassie, on the other hand? I could get in my emotions about what Maddy is about to do to her. It may not be tears from sadness, but rather laughter.

On The Fence

Missing Character Specific Episodes

Gia crying and traumatized

You could say this is an episode focused on Rue, but increasingly it feels like the show has abandoned the method of storytelling in the first season to make this less of an ensemble and place a heavy focus on Zendaya. Which, I get, she is the biggest name on the show, is an executive producer, and has an award-worthy performance. But I miss us getting to see Kat’s life and how she deals with things. I feel like we’re still long overdue for a Gia episode and even a Leslie one. For surely Leslie has a life beyond battling Rue, right?

Add in Cal’s other son Aaron, Ashtray deserves a solo episode and so many others, and it makes it so, as much as you have to love what Zendaya brings to the show, I don’t think Levinson realizes that star is burning out. So, yeah, you can have these grand chase scenes that are really dramatic, but that high is only going to last an episode, and that crash is going to be real if you both ignore your supporting actors and give them weak storylines like what Cassie has with Nate. Even if Maddy beating Cassie’s ass sounds funny and could be entertaining.

[ninja_tables id=”53858″]

Rue looking over her shoulder at the camera
Euphoria: Season 2/ Episode 5 “Stand Still Like The Hummingbird” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)
Overall
In an intense episode, Rue reminds you that hitting rock bottom doesn't mean you have to climb up and try to get out. You can instead explore the darkness.
Highlights
Crackhead Energy
Cassie's secret is out!
Disputable
Missing Character Specific Episodes
80

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8 Comments

  1. Season 2 episode 5 will be the best episode of the WHOLE SHOW as far as I’m concerned! This scene was everything! It was life, It was life my life! I was Gia growing up. Seeing and hearing the disrespect and venom my siblings threw at my mom, pissed me off, made me mad and scared., but I couldn’t do anything to help her. I need more of Leslie and Gia, Rue too of course, but like I would love to see more of them in season 3.

    The scene after Rue threw that dig about her dad being dead towards her mom, Leslie face was soooooooo sad! Trying to be strong and not break as she stands face to face with her drugged out daughter just for that one tear to fall from her face.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=jXf7jjEFIr4&t=62s

    1. That scene helped me understand why Leslie tapped out towards the end of the season. All the energy it took to fight with Rue, while Gia’s life went down the drain, it just wasn’t worth it. They weren’t fighting for the same thing, and haven’t for a long time. And while Rue seems to be on the straight and narrow now, I do hope Leslie is able to continue her form of tough love.

  2. Nika King (Leslie) did an interview after episode 5 of this season aired, and I think it provides great insight into who Leslie is as a person and how she deals with her daughter Rue.

    This is one of my favorite parts from the interview because it makes sense as to why we see Leslie as we do, during the first two seasons of the show.

    https://www.complex.com/pop-culture/nika-king-euphoria-season-2-interview/addiction

    We also don’t discuss how Leslie also lost her husband and she’s also grieving and mourning but she is not able to. She has to put her feelings in the backseat to take care of her daughters, which is what a lot of mothers do when they’re in survival mode.

    “They don’t really get to. I honestly think Leslie is operating in a high-functioning depression mode. We don’t see her grieve, we only see her tackling this addiction with Rue and trying to avoid any direct consequences when it comes to Gia. So she has these two daughters that, one, she’s putting all of her attention towards, and the other one, she’s just collateral damage. And I think a lot of mothers in those situations are literally fighting these demons to keep their families from being torn apart.”

    Sounds like Leslie is just on autopilot. Trying to deal with losing her husband and now having to raise two kids by herself. Dealing with Rue and her various mental disorder and now full-on drug addiction as well.

  3. Nika King (Leslie) gave a great interview a couple weeks back during the showing of season 2 episode 5, I don’t know if you read it, but she gives some great insights into her role and her personal thoughts on how Leslie is a mother trying her best to raise up a daughter with addiction problems.

    https://www.complex.com/pop-culture/nika-king-euphoria-season-2-interview/addiction

    One of my favorite parts of the interview, that I feel like give us an insight to Leslie character:

    We also don’t discuss how Leslie also lost her husband and she’s also grieving and mourning but she is not able to. She has to put her feelings in the backseat to take care of her daughters, which is what a lot of mothers do when they’re in survival mode.

    “They don’t really get to. I honestly think Leslie is operating in a high-functioning depression mode. We don’t see her grieve, we only see her tackling this addiction with Rue and trying to avoid any direct consequences when it comes to Gia. So she has these two daughters that, one, she’s putting all of her attention towards, and the other one, she’s just collateral damage. And I think a lot of mothers in those situations are literally fighting these demons to keep their families from being torn apart.”

    This says so much in my opinion. fans of the show feeling Leslie is in denial, she has blinders on, and she doesn’t want to see the truth about Rue’s drug use. Well, this is it; she is like on auto pilot you know. Hasn’t really dealt with the death of her husband Robert and is now dealing with not only Rue’s various mental disorders, but now not only is Rue using drugs, but she is also full on addicted, and causing chaos, auguring, and strife throughout her family/household.

  4. Hey Amari! I didn’t know that you did recaps of Euphoria, so I’m happy to see that you do.

    This episode was giving! Beyond real and true to life. Zendaya was beyond amazing! Nika was so strong and beautiful, and Stormie was truly haunting and was the representation of various moments that I had throughout my life.
    But it was Nika King’s performance as Rue’s mama that had me truly emotional as well.

    Who is Leslie Bennett? We know she was raised in the church, and for what we are supposed to believe is still a Christian, or if anything else is still a faith-based person, who probably stopped going to church a few years back. Along with Leslie being prescribed Xanax.

    But (not grammatically correct but Idgaf) other than once being married to Robert, and birthing two children who is she, what was she like when she was younger? Where are her parents, who were parents, Preachers in the church?

    I ask this because I NEED to know who Leslie is. When I look at Leslie (Nika King) I see my own mother. Beautiful black skin, small petite frame, a quiet softness about her yet a fierce loyalty to her children, who will do what she can, in the best way that she can to raise her children up, even if it means potentially letting one daughter own for the mental, and psychical wellbeing of the other. Despite Leslie not getting a full episode/backstory for herself this season has been all Lelise for me (in terms of the adults/parents of the show of course.) After time she has been on screen she has just been GIVING! Whether it is her using her voice in loudness, and pain towards her daughter Rue in begging her daughter to stop the physical and mental, destructive warpath that she has thrown onto her and her youngest daughter Gia (season 2 ep 5) , or the quiet torture of having to watch her Babygirl go through withdrawal pains and not being able to help her (season 2 episode 6), or Leslie bringing out that quiet, yet final tone with Rue about her struggle and tiredness of trying to help Rue basically not die in turn neglecting her other daughter, and now wanting to put Gia first. (Season 2 episode 7).

    I just feel like Leslie gets a bad rap online you know. “She know she a black woman right”, “A real black mother would”, “She needs to just beat Rue’s ass”….. and so on, and I get it, I know the way a black mother moves, but it just feels like people paint Leslie in one broad stroke of how she should be acting/treating Rue because she is a black woman with children yet forgetting (not all but some) that she is just one person, a person that has done the best that she could. So, because she wasn’t slapping Rue in the mouth every time she cussed or slammed a door, okay?! Sometimes you just don’t want to turn every moment into a huge, knockout, drag out fight. So, there was a part of her that may have been in denial, but every single time Rue fell Leslie did NOT waver. She was there to pick Rue back up time and time again. She just can’t do it anymore you know.

    As we all saw that opening scene, of ep five of season 2 it was to HARD to watch. But for people like me, we ain’t just watch a family breakdown in chaos, fear, and destruction, a lot of us have lived it. Gia was me! Crying into my pillow, burying my head so far into my white large easter bunny on the top bunk in my room hoping, praying that the fighting, yelling, and cussing would stop. Shit was real. It sucks, but you just cry it out and wait for the fucked-up storm to pass. Seeing Leslie try to protect Gia from Rue, to her ultimately breaking down and crying was so sad and heart wrenching. Of course, we know, that Leslie didn’t envision her life turning out the way that it has, a dead husband, a mentally ill, drug addicted daughter, and a daughter that could very well slip through her fingers.

    which is why I need to know about what younger Leslie’s life was like, what were her parents like towards her? Maybe Leslie doesn’t believe in hitting Rue and Gia because she was hit growing up, maybe her parents were super strict, and restrictive of Leslie and they wanted her to be a good Christian girl, so she grew up not having a sense of the real world, like the dangers of drugs and alcohol let alone not knowing how to help Rue with her struggles with those things. Maybe she suffers from her own mental health struggles but was also told to “just pray about it” growing up, maybe she has just always been a soft, quiet girl and growing up people used that in a way to hurt her, take advantage of her, pushed her towards a certain way that fit into what they wanted her life to be (her parents). Rue and Gia do they know their grandparents (Leslie’s parents)? How did her parents react to her dating/marrying Robert? Again, how does your daughter lose her husband and (in terms of what the show has shown us) we see nothing from her family. Does Leslie’s parents know anything about their granddaughter’s struggles? I just feel like Leslie (and Gia) need some time to breath, and have some fresh, clean air, chaos free. Shit we can have a whole backstory for Cal’s crazy ass, Leslie and Gia deserve their own episode.

    Ya’ll I just see some much realness in Leslie and Gia. I can’t say Leslie has done all of right when it has come to Rue, but she has cried, yelled, and begged as much as she could. She doesn’t want for the streets to engulf her daughter and take her from this earth, but she has to do what is best for Gia and for herself, even if she hasn’t fully thought of her own wellbeing in a long time. Season 3 we need Leslie’s story. That 10 second teaser from ep 6 is NOT enough for me.

    1. I WHOLE HEARTEDLY AGREE!

      One of the things I wish we got, across the board, is the same treatment Fez, Ashtray and his grandmother got in episode 1. I thought I heard Gia was supposed to be featured in a episode, but I guess that was before they scrapped the season to do what we was given. Either way, I feel like after we got to know Cassie and Lexi’s parents so much, even Jules’ a bit better in the special episodes, just noting Leslie was a Christian, that wasn’t enough.

      And if you ain’t preaching to the choir about asking where is Leslie’s family. How are you going to present her as someone who grew up in the church, and still has faith, yet she isn’t part of a community? Where is her family, church, or blood relations? Rue keeps hearing choirs whenever she overdoses, so I’d like to believe she knows gospel music and possibly has been to church beyond NA. So what’s going on here?

      Don’t get me wrong, I get this show is largely about the teenagers and what they’re going through, but I’d like to see some cause and effect more. With Suze and her ex, you can see how they are as people led to Lexi being straight and narrow and Cassie being as she is, especially with relationships. I can’t say the same when it comes to Rue and Gia. Which is strange considering Rue is the star and Gia had a storyline outside of Rue in the first season and seemingly has a bubbling one according to Leslie’s reveal Gia is messing up in school and texting someone at the crack of dawn. Yet, we learn nothing and may not until season 3 which, considering how multiple careers have been jumpstarted because of this show, leaves me to wonder how long that may take?

      1. I WHOLE HEARTEDLY AGREE AS WELL! (Sorry for the late response).

        Like if not a whole episode, at least half an episode should give us a deeper understanding of Leslie’s life before she became a wife and mother, along with how she met Robert, what drew them together to eventually becoming husband and wife.

        I too remember reading something about Stormie getting a bigger role/storyline for season 2. But like many shows the shutdown caused a lot of chaos. More-so it gave Sam way too much time on his hands and he at some point must have felt like the scripts that he wrote weren’t good, so he decided to scrape everything and start over.

        Nika King herself has said that she hopes to get a better understanding of Leslie beyond being a widow, and a mother who is running behind her drug-addicted daughter 24/7 so fingers crossed. Considering Sam and the producers took the time out to cast a younger actress to play a young Leslie for 10 seconds in episode 6 of season 2 maybe, just maybe (regardless of how long we have to wait) we may get some sort of background focus on Leslie and Gia. Gia will be going into her freshman year in season 3, I think. I would love to get more of Gia, and more of Leslie and Gia’s relationship too.

        1. I think the current year that is being said is 2024 for season 3. But with that said, I wonder if they’ll do a time jump. At this point, they need to put everyone who can be a senior as a senior since Euphoria is approaching that point it may need to wrap things up.

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