That was not what I expected after such a long wait for Euphoria Season 2, but it was what I needed.
Rue's actions were questionable throughout Euphoria Season 1, with me scrutinizing her every move.
Euphoria Season 1 Episode 9 was a nice change of pace in that we got the answers to the most burning questions about the character.
The most striking aspect is that the entirety of the special episode took place in a diner, save for the opening scene.
In essence, it felt like Rue was being quizzed about her feelings by a journalist. We learned so much, and it made her story even more tragic.
This is a young woman who has experienced more heartbreak than many people would in their entire lifetime.
I appreciated that Colman Domingo returned as Ali, her sponsor, because this type of scenario could only be pulled off with someone who has been through something similar to what Rue has been through.
Ali has lived a colorful life, one that involved many years of addiction, relapses, and everything in between.
You could hear the pain in his voice as he contacted his ex, determined to speak to his children. His reaction certainly would make you think that his kids didn't even remember who he was.
He's a great talker, but he wants to reiterate that Rue needs to change her ways soon, or she's going to pass the point of no return.
It was obvious from the get-go that he knew Rue was playing him when she said she had found the balance in her life.
It's not uncommon for addicts to lie to themselves and those around them, that everything is fine. Rue was in a dark place, a place that could ultimately lead to the end of her life.
After her breakup with Jules on Euphoria Season 1 Episode 8, Rue relapsed and felt like her life was no longer worth living.
That sentiment echoed through this first of two bridge episodes between the first and second seasons of the series.
Her quick responses to Ali's questions, as well as the revelation that she doesn't expect to be alive for much longer, highlighted the fact that Rue is still hurting, not only from Jules but from everything that has led her to this point.
We witnessed the tragedy of her losing her father to cancer and how her first foray into narcotics actually transpired.
It's rare for TV characters to have this many layers, but the writing for Rue, coupled with the phenomenal acting from Zendaya, continues to elevate Euphoria above the other TV shows out there.
The painful part of this is that Rue being in a relationship with Jules, or anyone, for that matter, is not a good idea.
If she does get back on the road to recovery, a relationship that could implode at any moment could make her turn back to alcohol or, god forbid, drugs.
Recovery plans typically warn against relationships for that reason alone. Rue's group of friends love to party, and I dare say that won't be changing any time soon.
The text from Jules saying she misses her was a surprise because I figured Rue would be the one to pursue Jules after the way their relationship ended.
We don't even know whether the second part of the special will focus on Jules, but it seems likely.
Jules left town on a train, determined to never return, so there's a decent story to tell there. Whether that means moving on from Rue or pining for her, we don't know.
Euphoria made a splashy debut on HBO in 2019 and quickly hit the headlines for the risque content.
The series became synonymous with drug and alcohol-fueled parties, so the special episode breaking the norm to offer a more nuanced story about Rue was surprising.
Then again, the special was only conceived after production on Euphoria Season 2 was scuppered due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
It's going to be tough to bring the series back in its previous form unless there is a drastic downturn in cases, so we should probably expect the show to feature fewer characters during its sophomore run.
It would have been nice to get some updates on what became of some of the other characters, but given the nature of this episode, it made sense.
The bulk of the cliffhangers will be resolved on Euphoria Season 2, and in the meantime, we're getting character-driven, self-contained stories that allow the series to gift fans with new episodes.
Okay, Euphoria Fanatics.
What did you think of the episode being set in the diner and being a deep-dive into Rue's psyche?
Are you surprised about how remorseful she is about her actions? What did you think of her deciding that her life was not worth living?
Were you impressed that we also got some insight into what happened to Ali?
Chat with me in the comments! I would love to know your thoughts on the episode.
Euphoria's special episode is airing now on HBO Max, but will also air linearly on HBO on Sunday, December 6 at 9/8c.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.