Season 2 of Euphoria is, in a word, frustrating.Excellent performances and a standout episode or two clash with absolutely baffling storytelling choices. Jules (Hunter Schafer) and Kat (Barbie Ferreira), both so integral to Season 1, are pushed to the side. Cassie’s (Sydney Sweeney) elevated importance is tainted by an uncomfortable (and unnecessary) amount of humiliation. In the season finale, Rue (Zendaya) summarizes her recovery — supposedly the show’s focal point — in a too-neat voiceover: “I stayed clean for the rest of the school year.”Then, there are the flashbacks.Euphoria has always had a strong relationship with flashbacks. Most episodes of Season 1, and a few of Season 2, open with deep dives into characters’ backstories. These give us much-needed context about our leads. Plus, their positions at the beginnings of episodes don’t interfere with the present-day goings-on. When there are other flashbacks or narrative asides — such as Rue’s memory of the first time she tried oxycontin, or her and Jules’s fourth-wall-breaking dick pic seminar — they enhance the story. Crucially, they’re short enough that they don’t overstay their welcome.
Zendaya in the Season 2 finale.
Credit: Eddy Chen / HBO
In Season 2, creator/writer/director Sam Levinson veers slowly away from the character backstory formula. That doesn’t stop him from peppering flashbacks throughout almost every episode, to the point that they stop being informative and start being nuisances.The problem first surfaces in Season 2, episode 2, “Out ofMashable https://mashable.com/article/euphoria-season-2-finale-flashback-problem