Like the Rue focused episode, Jules’ will force you to reflect not only on the character’s state but also on your own mental and emotional well-being.
|Writer(s)||Sam Levinson, Hunter Schafer|
|Aired (HBO Max)||1/22/2021|
|Introduced This Episode|
|Dr. Mardy Nichols||Lauren Weedman|
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I’m Thinking Of Going Off Hormones – Dr. Mardy, Jules
Jules goes to a therapy session by coercion, and when it comes to the heavy stuff, like her mom and childhood, she wants to avoid that. Rather she kind of wants to talk about getting off hormones. Mind you, not to de-transition or anything like that, but to own and express her being trans differently.
The way Jules explains it, her definition of femininity and womanhood was defined by the desires of men, so she fought her femininity until femininity conquered them. And now, in this state of embracing the spiritual side of being trans, she doesn’t want to live by someone else’s rules, desires, or customs. On her own, Jules self-criticizes enough. Now she just wants to be.
So, specifically, she may stop taking her blockers that affect her voice and other things.
Mommy Issues – Amy, David, Jules, Dr. Mardy, Rue
For most of the first season, Jules’ main issue was being a trans girl looking for love, affection, maybe validation in all the wrong places. This is why Amy, Jules’ mom, is a bit of a sore topic. For one could submit that when it comes to Amy, and you setting them next to Rue, while Amy’s drug of choice was alcohol, it is through Rue that Jules was able to feel the love Amy was expected to give.
You see, what Jules wants more than anything is to exist beyond the layers she made for men or when women size her up. And when it comes to being seen, to be seen beneath all those layers, Jules theorizes only a mother could see you that way and someone like Rue.
Dr. Mardy picks up on that connection and tries to push it, but Jules is still having a difficult time trying to make sure her feelings for Rue and complications with Amy stay separate. Yes, Jules feels the weight of Rue’s sobriety on her shoulders, and sometimes that weight is a lot to bear. After all, with rejecting her mom’s desire to apologize, Jules believes she might be the reason her mom relapsed. Yet, walking on eggshells out of fear of losing someone or being the catalyst for their relapse is no way to live. You do have your own s*** to deal with and can’t make it all about them.
How It All Ties Together – Dr. Mardy, Jules, Rue, Nate
Yet, at the same time, as much as Rue was dependent on Jules, Jules was dependent on Rue. To be seen, to feel love can be reciprocated, that’s frightening. Add in Jules is 17, and Rue was her first love? That was the house, the cow, the whole farm amongst the chaos that was Jules’ life. Then when you consider Jules never kissed a girl before, maybe never thought about it, so came a new thing to figure out.
Take notice, Jules just moved to the area in June, has been trans for a few years, with not much luck finding love as she could sex, gets into this intense relationship, her mom tries to reconnect, and then there is Nate. A notable amount of time is spent about the texts and sexts until 4AM in the morning and feeling like it was the best sex Jules ever had. But, on top of that, there was this intimacy which, since it was in Jules’ head, it was perfect. Maybe even beyond what she had with Rue.
But that was the problem. Tyler, really Nate, wasn’t real. Half of Jules’ love for him was in her own mind while Rue was right there. As we saw, Rue was not only there but tasked with helping Jules continue things with Nate and take sexy photos. All the while, she was falling in love.
And in the end, Jules perhaps struggled with Rue since what was a dream for Rue was a potential nightmare for Jules. Rue saw herself capable of keeping the drugs, getting her high, and Jules being there. On the flip side, Jules believed she could get New York, have Tyler, aka Nate, at one time, and Rue as well.
However, you can’t have everything, and with that in mind, Jules believed Rue would be what gets lost in the shuffle.
Things To Note | Question(s) Left Unanswered
- Did anyone else want to make a drinking game out of hearing Jules say “Like?”
- Taking note of all Jules went through, you think David didn’t want Jules to reconcile with Amy just for her sake, but them as a family? Like, maybe he wanted to go back to how things were?
Collected Quote(s) & .Gifs
I feel like I’ve framed my entire womanhood around men.
Without the self-criticism, I’d be lost.
[…] you’re looking at a million layers of other people that I’ve grabbed and clung to throughout my entire life.
Most girls when you first talk to them, they automatically analyze and compare themselves to you, and then they search for where you fit in their hierarchy, and then they tret you accordingly.
At least for me, being trans is spiritual. You know, it’s not religious. It’s not for some congregation. It’s for me. It’s mine. It belongs to me.
[…] there’s a difference between thinking about hurting yourself, and wanting to hurt yourself.
Maybe that’s what I’m actually attracted to, maybe that’s the appeal? The letdown. The fact that none of its real and it’s all a fantasy.
I’m the one person you never have to apologize to.
That Downward Look When You Could See Jules Facing Who They Are Beneath All Those Layers
Processing what you’re thinking, really allowing the moment to stir, isn’t done enough. Especially in situations like what Jules is in where she can’t deflect, make things about the other person, but rather spend a whole hour talking about themselves. For take note, those layers that Jules was talking about wasn’t just some sense of performative femininity but walls and shields as well. The kind likely built deep, thick, and all the masculine terms she used, to the point she has to figure where the door is and which key opens the lock.
Because digging into your psyche when you’ve been burying your thoughts and feelings isn’t a quick and easy task. If you have numbed yourself for survival, being asked to thaw out, be vulnerable, and then allow someone to poke and prod you is no easy task. Especially considering, while Dr. Mardy is there for that hour, afterwards Jules is left with herself, her father, maybe Rue. But, for the most part, since her relationships with Rue and David aren’t the most communicative about her s***, it means Jules has to face all she allowed someone to help her dig up.
Which, for Jules, ultimately means she has to face these demons since you can’t bury something twice now that it knows there is no death in being buried. Just some feeble attempt at ignoring you.
How Jules Talked About Being Trans
While Pose and many other programs and movies have expanded what it means to be trans, Jules presented what many of those programs haven’t, which is how much the male gaze influences the person’s femininity. For what is the pursuit of being fish beyond desirability and survival from men?
Which, as Jules said, makes it so you go to their church and are forced to live by their rules. All to obtain this form of femininity that takes a huge amount of work. For whether it is hormones and figuring a way to get that, it is adapting your voice, your clothes, hair, and creating an entire persona. All of which should be a journey of self-discovery rather than you being molded to potentially be f***able.
And you have to appreciate Jules and Hunter Schafer adding that thought to the conversation. Especially for trans women, maybe even trans men, who find themselves more so trying to fit a mold than what feels comfortable for them in their own body.
Seeing The Difference Between Someone Like Ali And A Therapist Guide You
As someone who never really was fond of the idea of therapy, it is a nice reminder to see what you pay for when you go to a professional vs. what you get from a friend or mentor. With Ali, he presents the kind of tough love that can be seen as confrontational. Yes, it is deeply personal, and the confrontation is about the other person actively chipping at your wall, but the potential for added trauma is there.
On the opposing end, you have Dr. Mardy’s method, which is challenging in its own way since it challenges you to take down your walls. And you know, when people put walls up, high and strong, there isn’t always thought put into how to bring them down. Heck, some people don’t even think about how they will get from behind their walls. So to be able to compare and contrast how Rue and Jules were challenged to reflect on things they said and did, it forces you to do the work they were tasked with as well.
It’s Hard To Avoid Not Crying
Between “Liability,” the moments you were coerced to reflect, and getting to see Jules’ side of things, how can you not cry? All that we saw Rue go through, as our beloved unreliable narrator, didn’t make much room for Jules’ issues because Rue didn’t know what was going on. So to be dumped with everything in 40 some odd minutes, it reminds you that everyone is carrying a weight. And even just unpacking a few things, letting you borrow them could be some of the most difficult experiences a person goes through in life.
Seeing Quiet, Intimate Moments
With that said, it felt like the quiet and intimate moments allowed for healing and rest to take place. Be it, Rue and Jules, in bed, seeing Rue say, “Hi,” or Rue giving Jules a hormone injection. We were reminded that, as tumultuous as both paint the relationship and how it can be rather unhealthy, the reason they go back is that there is good there as well.
Heck, I’d even throw in the Nate/Tyler scenes. Mainly due to a lot of trans and queer people seemingly not having loving or intimate sex on Euphoria. It is either a hookup or sex work. So to hear Jules talk about her sexting and getting to know Nate/Tyler leading to the best sex she ever had, even though you want to write that off since she is 17, you can never forget all of this is still new.
So you can’t write off the first time she felt connected with a sexual partner. You can’t write off having someone to talk to until 4AM and wanting it to never end. Not to forget, having someone, especially as a trans person, who you are willing to have see every bit of your body and want them to touch it. And while, ultimately, that situation went south, you know the times when it was good has set a precedent that Jules will never forget.
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