HBO’s hit YA series Euphoria has to be the one with the most biting cliffhangers of the year 2020.
A year like that and an ending like that! Why is Rue (Zendaya) falling off the human pyramid like that – is she symbolically dead? Why is Fez right in the middle of an indoor gun battle – is he dead? Then there are some of you who are here mid-season asking if Nate is dead! (No, he isn’t)
So far, there are no confirmed deaths in Euphoria. There are some serious hints at Rue and Fez’s deaths but none of them are confirmed. Rue is coming back in season 2 and the news is confirmed by none other than series creator Sam Levinston. As for Nate, well he only died in Rue’s fantasies.
Anyway so read on to find out what exactly happens to each of these characters and how.
1. Is Rue Dead? Did She Overdose Again?
The final episode of Euphoria season 1 left us with a billion questions (and only one answer – Kat and Ethan got a rom-com ending after all).
But the biggest question was what on earth happened to Rue? After bidding goodbye to Jules on the train, Rue is suddenly back in her room, wearing her dead father’s hoodie, and flying up in the air to the tunes of Labrinth’s All For Love.
Before we know it, Rue is atop a human pyramid in what is a music video squeezed into the show’s running time. She jumps off. What does it mean?
Did she die? Will she die? Is she just remembering the last time she spiraled into an overdose and died? Is it even death? Is it her falling in love? Falling in love with Jules after she leaves? (Ok I need to catch my breath!)
So, let us discuss logistics first. For Rue, to overdose, she needs to score the drugs in the first place. But her only drug dealer, Fez, had refused to give her anything. Did she manage to score some off him after Jules left? Does that mean then Fez is still alive?
Secondly, we know for sure Rue is returning for another season. Creator Sam Levinson has said so herself. In which case what else can the falling-off-the-human-pyramid mean? One explanation could be that Rue is reminiscing the last overdose and how she overdosed for love.
Unable to bear the pain of being separated from her father, she decides to die as well? It could mean that the overdose was a suicide.
A popular extrapolation of this theory says Rue is actually dead this whole time and her spirit is narrating the events that led up to her death. How she meets Jules, only to be abandoned by Jules and finally killing herself.
That still does not explain where did the drugs come from. But that is a small matter next to such a major plot twist.
The roots of this theory go back to the original Israeli show in which Rue’s character is dead the whole time. (Remember how everyone keeps asking Rue how come she is alive or saying “I thought you were dead”? Yeah it could be a hint)
Thirdly, the scene with Jules going away on a train and Rue staying back – is that even real or is it a dream sequence? Is all this happening inside Rue’s head the night of the party? Well, only the next season can prove us right or wrong.
2. Is Fez Dead? Who Killed Fez?
In the season 1 finale, we see Fez caught in a gun battle with the horrifying Mouse.
While Rue was busy with her tragic maroon song and dance (she is literally marooned), we see Fez getting into some trouble with his gang.
Guns are out and ready to shoot. We never hear a gunshot but we get an idea that somebody is going to die. The whole sequence just reeks of death or some other kind of major tragedy.
So as we know Fez was forced to rob a wealthy doctor to repay his debt to the drug lord Mouse. Nate had tipped off the police about Fez’s illegal drug business forcing Fez to throw away all his drugs to prepare for the police raid.
But it turned out that the doctor Fez robbed was Mouse’s drug provider. In the final scene, Mouse notices a bloodstain on the money that Fez hands over to him.
Guns are out. Fez asks a disarming question about the money being alright. Mouse locks gaze with him and the scene cuts.
Things can go either way. Maybe Mouse took the money and simply asked Fez to wash the blood off. Or he kills Fez and the story takes the darkest new turn.
3. Is Nate Dead? How Does He Die?
In the first 10 minutes of the season 1 finale, we see Rue fantasizing about setting Nate’s body ablaze. We are immediately told that it was all just a fantasy because Nate goes on to threaten Rue if she revealed his dad’s secrets.
Jules was still on a high from meeting with her big-city girlfriend Anna. But Rue seems unusually calm and not jealous in the least. Later we get a fantasy scene from Rue imagining herself killing Nate and setting him on fire, about 10 minutes into the episode. So no one is dead, especially not Nate.
4. About Euphoria
Euphoria is a young adult series from American writer Sam Levinson, loosely based on an Israeli series of the same name. It deals with dark themes of mental illness, drug addiction, death, sexuality, violence, and trauma.
The series follows Rue (Zendaya), a teenage addict struggling with Bipolar disorder and the untimely death of her father due to cancer.
Rue meets Jules (Hunter Schafer), a transwoman who is new in the school, and falls in love with her. The first season is narrated by Rue and follows different characters of the high school as they continue with their weird and dark lives.