Euphoria season 2 set to be ‘brutal’ return for ‘irresponsible’ Rue. Here’s everything we know

Hunter Schafer and Zendaya in Euphoria

After a painfully long wait, Euphoria season two has a confirmed release date and a thrilling first trailer. Here’s everything we know about the new episodes.

Euphoria won plaudits and awards (including a Best Actress Emmy for its lead, Zendaya) following its first run back in 2019.

The series follows a group teenagers who struggle with difficult issues, including toxic relationships, drug addiction and mental illness.

At its core are Rue (Zendaya) and Jules (Hunter Schafer), who grapple with an on-off relationship while Rue tries to overcome drug addiction and Jules, who is trans, settles into town as a newcomer.

The first season ended with plenty of unanswered questions, with a pair of special “bridge episodes” which aired last year providing few answers. Here’s everything we know so far about Euphoria season two.

Euphoria season two trailer teases trouble for Rue

On 23 November, HBO dropped the first trailer for the new episodes. It begins in Rue’s bedroom, where she is dancing and singing along to Frank Sinatra’s “Call Me Irresponsible”.

A quick montage of scenes follows, depicting parties, violence and chaos. Rue appears to be struggling with addiction once again, and is seen running from a police car.

What happened in the ‘bridge’ episodes?

The COVID-19 pandemic forced many TV shows to shut down production, and Euphoria was no exception. According to Hunter Schafer, season two was forced to halt only three days before the start of production.

Instead of trying to film the new season amid lockdown, the producers of Euphoria opted to create two special episodes focusing on Rue and Jules’ relationships and the characters’ state of mind.

The first episode, titled “Trouble Don’t Last Always”, followed Rue as she reflected on her recent relapse while spending Christmas Eve with Ali, her Narcotics Anonymous mentor, who shared his own experiences with drug addiction and how it disrupted his relationship with his family.

The second episode, titled “F*** Anyone Who’s Not a Sea Blob”, centred on Jules’ first therapy session after she abandoned Rue at the end of the first season.

Jules opened up about the pressure of dating somebody with a drug addiction, and explored how her mother’s own addiction impacted her growing up.

At the end of the second special episode, Rue paid a surprise visit to Jules. Jules attempted to apologise for skipping town, but Rue departed abruptly and Jules was left crying alone in her room, leaving fans on another cliffhanger.

Will Rue and Jules get back together?

Back in June 2021, Zendaya posted a short but cryptic teaser video on her Instagram, featuring Rue and Jules smiling at each other from across the school corridor, suggesting a possible reunion.

In an interview with Collider, Hunter Schafer said that season one left her with countless questions about what will be next for Jules and her relationship with Rue.

“I wanted to know, how long Jules was planning on running away for? Is she severing ties with everyone and just running free? Is this all gonna collapse in on itself and she’s gonna come back? Is she OK? I definitely had a multitude of questions and wondered what that meant for Rue and Jules. Can their relationship, whatever it is, withstand something more dramatic and intense like that? Also, how will Rue’s relapse affect them?”

Schafer hopes Jules and Rue will be able to “find a happy frequency together” despite the tragedy and turbulence that has so far defined their relationship.

Schafer also expressed her joy at being able to portray a nuanced trans character: “As a queer trans person, I’m really excited to be exploring queerness as a trans person with Jules, as well,” she told Collider.

Euphoria season two will be ‘tough’ and ‘grown-up’

In an interview with ET Online, Zendaya said “it’s a tough season”, especially for her character, Rue. “It’s brutal, but a character like that I think really deserves that time and deserves those moments. I’m in the middle of it right now. Like, I had a night shoot ’til 2:30 last night,” she told the outlet.

Sydney Sweeney, who plays Cassie on the show and recently starred in The White Lotus, has also commented on the new season while remaining tight-lipped.

“It’s darker; it’s more intense,” she told ET Online. “I don’t want to say much more without giving too much away.”

She added: “I am so beyond excited and proud of the season, so I cannot wait for everyone to see it and all the hard work everyone’s been putting into it.”

Doniella Davy, the make-up artist responsible for Euphoria’s eye-catching looks, has revealed that the second season will have a “more grown-up” atmosphere. “A lot of time has gone by. Everyone’s grown up a bit. We’re picking up in the same place, but the world has shifted a little bit. The Euphoria world, just as our world has as well,” she told CNN.

Tackling important social issues

Colman Domingo, who plays Ali, Rue’s sponsor from Narcotics Anonymous, shared his own theories on future seasons in an interview with Digital Spy.

Domingo suggested that Euphoria could explore the Black Lives Matter movement and the COVID-19 pandemic, as he believes showrunner Sam Levison is keen to explore important social issues. “Sam is very astute and interested in the world, and letting the show hold a mirror up to society, and deconstruct it, and smash it over the head with a hammer,” said Domingo.

Euphoria season two premieres on HBO in the US on 9 January, and on Sky Atlantic and NOW in the UK on 10 January.