‘Euphoria’ Season 2 Episode 4: Recap & Ending – Why Did Cal Leave His Family?


Episode 4 of Euphoria Season 2 adds to the already established jealousy, drug abuse, and newly formed friendship. Cassie is unable to accept Nate and Maddy’s proximity, while Jules finds comfort in Elliot’s company as Rue is lost in her world. The highlights of his episode were Cal’s confession to his family, where he finally takes control of his life and situation, and the love montage. “Euphoria” Season 2 Episode 4 is a drag with barely any progress in the story. The ideas and emotions that are already conveyed to the audience are revisited multiple times, even though visually appealing it loses its point.

You Who Cannot See, Think Of Those Who Can: Recap

Rue tries to describe her incomprehensible love for Jules. She was the beauty that one has imagined and painted for centuries. She was Frida Kahlo, and they were “The Lovers” by René Magritte. Their passion was nothing short of Yoko Ono and John Lennon. The love montage also refers to iconic romantic films that make you envy the otherworldly love. From Titanic to Brokeback Mountain, Rue imagined her love with Jules in every possible scenario. While her mind dreamt of their romance, the reality was different. The drugs affected her relationship with Jules, who concluded that Rue might be losing interest in her. She discussed her relationship troubles with Elliot, and in the process, they formed a romantic bond.

Meanwhile, Cassie hosted Maddy’s birthday party and embarrassed herself in front of her friends when she learned about Nate’s romantic proposal to Maddy. Cal finally decides to revisit the gay bar he went to with his lover when they were young. He decides to be wild and free from all familial attachments. On the other hand, Fez is informed about how Mouse’s mother was interrogating people.

The love montage in “Euphoria” (S2E4) brilliantly portrayed Rue’s love for Jules. The creative thought process, along with the execution, makes it one of a kind when it comes to television. The visual experimentation is what makes “Euphoria” exceptional. The expectations for the series are high, especially with the second season.

The Love Triangle: Are Nate And Maddy A Couple?

Nate shared with Cassie the fact that he went to meet Maddy, and they spoke about their relationship. Cassie was unable to comprehend why Nate wanted to get back with Maddy. She was determined to stop the two. She knew how toxic Nate was to Maddy. Though she had a vested interest, she believed that she was helping her best friend in a way. She wanted to share the truth with Maddy and destroy any possibility of them getting back together. She wanted to be evil and aim for destruction, but she loved Maddy enough to not act.

Cassie hosted a birthday party for Maddy, and all the girls came to celebrate. Cassie waited for Nate to join the party, though his arrival made her further depressed. She watched Nate gift Maddy a necklace. Maddy was visibly attracted to Nate, and Cassie knew she did not have a chance. She had to sacrifice her love for Maddy. Even if she confessed the truth, Maddy would end their friendship. She would be left alone and despised by her friends. She feared the ostracization and kept her secret close to her heart. Nate watched Cassie drink the night away as she danced alone in a room. The group decided to take a hot bath, and Cassie joined them. Maddy spoke about how they were planning to work on their relationship and take things slow. She even shared with her friends all that Nate said to express his love for her. This made Cassie uncomfortable, and she threw up in the tub. The friends rushed out of the hot tub while Cassie was carried by her mother inside her room. Cassie apologized to Nate while she was taken away.

Even though Cassie did not understand what Nate wanted, she loved him nevertheless. She could not believe herself when she heard Maddy talk about how Nate wanted to marry her and spend the rest of his life with her. Even after the embarrassing hot tub incident, Cassie apologized to Maddy and Nate continuously. She could not be the evil person she thought she would be, and instead, she drank her guilt away.

The Jules And Rue Argument

Jules, Rue, and Elliot spent most of their time together. When Rue entered the washroom to take drugs, Jules and Elliot stole kisses from each other. To make the night exciting, the three decided to steal beers from a departmental store. Jules and Elliot managed to grab the beers and run out of the store as Rue waited in the car. She started drinking the beer in the car, and Jules objected. She feared Rue would get addicted to either drugs or even alcohol, for that matter. Rue was not ready to hear Jules out; she went to the extent of exclaiming how she could not tolerate Jules and wanted to be left alone. Rue stepped out of the car and took drugs inside her room.

Meanwhile, Jules and Elliot reached Elliot’s place; Jules was heartbroken. She looked for comfort in Elliot, but he wanted to share the truth before any further involvement. He admitted that Rue was not sober; she was doing all sorts of drugs, and was not in her right senses. He knew it because he, too, did drugs with her. Jules felt cheated as Rue had lied to her all this while, making her believe she was working on her problem. Jules and Elliot did spend the night together after knowing the truth. Rue took drugs from the bag she was given by the drug dealer to sell.

When Rue imagined embracing her father when she was high, she felt comfortable and at peace. She imagined a church where songs of the Lord were sung. It spoke of complete submission, and Rue submitted to the love of the Almighty. She felt guilty for not being a good person, but her late father disagreed. He knew Rue was trying, and he was always watching out for her. In his scene, Labrinth joined Zendaya on-screen to perform the song “I’m tired.”

‘Euphoria’ Season 2 Episode 4: Ending – Did Cal Leave His Family?

In the third episode of Season 2, we were introduced to Cal’s past. We learned how and why he was in the situation he is in at the moment. Cal decides to take control of his life in this episode. He drinks to his heart’s content and takes his truck on a ride. He wanted to relive his happier days. He drove without any care and went straight to the old gay bar. He reminisced about his youthful days, his lover, and their intimate moments. He kissed the stool where they sat. He danced to the music. When a man embraced him, he imagined him to be Derek. His eyes moistened up, and the man was left confused. He demanded to wrestle the man, but the stranger rejected it. He forcefully wrestled him and was later thrown out by bouncers. Even though Derek was absent, he felt closer to himself, his choices, and his identity. He was no more ashamed of himself.

He entered his house and confronted his family. He questioned the hypocrisy of his sons, who would not question their father if he slept with a woman but felt shameful when he went out with any other gender. He screamed about how everyone had secrets, and no one’s secrets were better than others. His elder son had pornographic contents in his device that was disgraceful, and his wife had letters and social media interactions with her college counsellor. He was not ashamed of his secret anymore. He knew he was sexist and a chaser, but he did not regret anything. He rather regretted giving birth to Nate. He did not hate his son, but he hated the fact that he had handed his son all the toxic attributes that he had once learned from his father. He could not break the cycle of toxic masculinity, and that was his regret. Cal felt his family kept him in shackles. He was cornered and never allowed to express his emotions. It was finally his time to be free. He left the house with a family portrait.

Cal accepted the fact that he was not a completely “good” person; he was deeply flawed, and he was definitely not the image that he tried to create for his sons. Letting go of the image, especially after knowing that Nate knew his secrets, he found new freedom in acceptance.

While the visual experimentation of “Euphoria” Season 2 Episode 4 is excellent, especially with the usage of film stock to create the idea of revisiting memories, we expect the story to progress. Hoping the series will be a lot more engrossing with the upcoming episodes, till then, we’ll wait for next Monday!   

See Also: ‘Euphoria’ Season 2, Episode 5: Recap/Ending – Will Laurie Haunt Rue This Season?

 “Euphoria” Season 2 Episode 4 is streaming on HBO Max.

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Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni has worked as a film researcher on a government-sponsored project and is currently employed as a film studies teacher at a private institute. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Film Studies. Film History and feminist reading of cinema are her areas of interest.

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