Look, Euphoria just got renewed for a third season. It’s a massively popular show that sits on the shoulders of its biggest star, Zendaya. So there was never really a possibility that Rue wasn’t going to make it through this week’s highly upsetting episode.
But still… it felt that way at times, didn’t it?
The whole hour is one big nail-biting, soul-aching stress session during which Rue goes on the run. Read on for the highlights of “Stand Still Like the Hummingbird.”
At first, Rue thinks that Gia ratted her out about the weed she “confessed” to doing a while back. But Rue’s mom says that Jules was the one who let her know about Rue’s relapse. She wants to take Rue to the hospital, but Rue won’t go. They fight. Really hard things are said. (“You’re not a good person, Rue,” Mrs. Bennett tells her daughter at one point. Ouch.) They tussle, and when Gia tries to pull her sister off their mom, Rue shoves Gia and then Mrs. Bennett slaps Rue and orders her to leave. Then Rue literally breaks down her sister’s bedroom door.
“You wish I was different? So do I!” Rue says, suddenly realizing that her mother has either moved or disposed of the drugs that were in that suitcase from Laurie. She frantically searches the house. “You f–king hate me? So do I!” She oscillates from fury to despair (“I don’t want to be here anymore,” she tells her mom in a quiet moment, saying that she wants to get clean but just can’t seem to do it), then goes back to trashing the house in search of the pills. Only when Jules chimes in from the living room that Mrs. Bennett flushed the drugs does Rue realize that Jules and Elliot have been there the whole time.
Rue has no time for either of them, but the majority of her anger is focused on Jules, whom she calls “a greedy whore who just likes sucking the life out of people.” The louder Rue gets, the quieter Jules does; the blonde merely repeats “I love you” in response to everything Rue levels at her. Eventually, a broken Rue sobs and agrees to let her mother take her to the hospital. Gia helps pack a bag, and then the three Bennett women get in the car and go. But after admitting that she relapsed as soon as she got out of her last rehab stint, and adding that she was about a month away from killing herself, Rue decides that she’s no longer into the hospital plan. So she gets out of the car at a traffic light and just starts running down the middle of a busy street, somehow avoiding getting hit.
By this point, Rue is in withdrawal and starting to have symptoms.She stops by Lexi and Cassie’s house, where she asks to use the bathroom and then searches for jewelry and drugs to steal. When she comes downstairs, the sisters — as well as their mom and Maddy — are there… and so is Rue’s mother. It’s clear that Rue is having some problems, and Cassie does a very stupid thing by offering up some bland advice about taking it one day at a time. “Hey Cass,” Rue says offhandedly in response, “I have a quick question for you: How long have you been f–king Nate Jacobs?” Maddy launches herself at Cassie, ready to fight; in the melee, Mrs. Bennett gets distracted and Rue slips out.
When Fez won’t help her — and, in fact, bodily removes her from his home after she tries to steal some of his grandmother’s medication — she breaks into a house and takes money and jewelry, but nearly gets caught when the couple that lives there unexpectedly comes home early. Sweating, limping and clutching her belly, she catches the attention of some police officers, who chase her until her only choice is turn around and face them or run back into a road with multiple lanes of traffic. C’mon, you know what our Rue chooses.
“Please God, don’t let me die,” she thinks as she plays live-action Frogger, causing two cars to crash into each other but somehow escaping with her body unscathed. She runs through an autobody shop and a family’s backyard celebration. She hops walls and cars. At one point she uses a barbecue grill as a stepping stool. But adrenaline’s a hell of a drug, and she eventually eludes the cops by getting ahead of them and hiding in a garbage can.
At Laurie’s, Rue dumps the jewelry and money on the table and apologizes for not having the rest. In that eerily flat tone of hers, Laurie explains that she was a school teacher with a family, but after an injury, she got addicted to oxycontin — aka she knows what withdrawal looks like, and she knows Rue is in hell. That said, Laurie needs to get paid and casually suggests that Rue turn to prostitution to make the money back: “It’s one of the good parts about being a woman: Even if you don’t have money, you’ve still got something people want.”
After Rue is violently ill in Laurie’s bathroom, the older woman helps her get in the tub and then shoots her up with morphine. When the drug kicks in, Rue has a flashback to being with her father as a very little girl, seeing Gia in the hospital nursery and then speaking at her dad’s memorial service. She wakes up at Laurie’s, clothed and in bed, with needle marks in her arm. She can’t open her window, there’s a padlock on the door and a dude with a gun sleeping on the couch. Laurie and Bruce (remember the naked guy from the premiere?) are asleep in another room, but Bruce wakes and gets up as he hears Rue tiptoeing around the apartment searching for a way out. (Side note: I cannot ever convey how nerve-racking this scene is.) Rue eventually gets one of the windows open and is extremely lucky she’s by a balcony; by using it, she’s able to drop to the ground without killing herself. A car happens to be leaving at the same time, and Rue runs out of the open gate just after it passes.
Back at Rue’s house, Mrs. Bennett is sitting at the table when she hears the front door open. “Rue?” she calls… just before the show cuts to black.
Now it’s your turn. What did you think of the episode? Sound off in the comments!