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TV Recap: ‘Euphoria’ Season 2 Episode 5:”Stand Still Like the Hummingbird” – Pulling Everybody with You Down to Rock Bottom

Spoilers Below

INTRODUCTION

In Euphoria Season Two Episode Five, ” Stand Still Like the Hummingbird,” directed and written by series creator Sam Levinson, Rue Bennett (Zendaya), finally hits rock bottom and drags a bunch of people down with her, including Cassie Howard (Sydney Sweeney). ” Stand Still Like the Hummingbird” is the most raw episode of Euphoria Season Two because it has a linear storyline, no narration, and contains no surreal or dreamlike scenes.

Episode Five begins with Rue’s mother, Leslie Bennett (Nika King), and her little sister Gia Bennett (Storm Reid), telling her that they know she has been popping pills. Rue completely freaks out, terrorizing her remaining family. She suffers from withdrawal symptoms and fears the wrath of drug dealer Laurie (Martha Kelly). Laurie has threatened to sell Rue into sexual slavery if she doesn’t pay her back. Rue feels completely exposed when she realizes that her girlfriend, Jules Vaughn (Hunter Schafer), and friend Elliot (Dominic Fike) overheard her violent meltdown. She lashes out at Elliot and Jules for revealing her self-destructive behavior.

Leslie and Gia drive Rue to the hospital to get detoxed. Rue jumps out of the car when she learns that after detox she will be placed in rehab. She hunts through her friend’s houses for drugs because she can’t handle the painful withdrawal symptoms. Rue crosses the line at Fezco’s (Angus Cloud) home when she tries to steal pills from his grandmother Marie O’Neill (Brynda Mattox). However, she doesn’t find the opioids she is looking for so breaks into a stranger’s condo and steals some jewelry. Some cops spot Rue behaving weirdly.

The cops chase her around suburbia until they give up. Finally, Rue finds her way to Laurie’s apartment, where the drug dealer manipulates her into injecting pure morphine into her system. Rue has never used needles before. Laurie attempts to sell Rue to sex traffickers or pimp her out, but she escapes the bolted-up apartment. ” Stand Still Like the Hummingbird” ends with Leslie and Gia staying up late at home, hoping that Rue will walk through the door any minute.

THE ADDICTION MONSTER

Rue reveals the monster that drug addiction has turned her into when she goes into withdrawal. “Stand Still Like the Hummingbird” does an excellent job showing how addiction hurts everybody who cares about the addict.

Episode five begins with a close-up on Gia’s tortured face as she hears her mother telling Rue that she knows she fell off the wagon. When Rue unfairly accuses Gia of snitching, her little sister tries to distract herself by writing in her notebook and puts earbuds on to block her out. It’s devasting seeing Gia beg her mother to tell Rue that she didn’t “say anything” because she can’t bear Rue being angry at her. Especially since earlier, Rue gaslighted Gia into thinking she was smoking weed and that if she tried to get her big sister help that she would commit suicide.

Sadly, Rue yelling at Gia is not the worst thing she does to the people she loves. Rue hits Gia when her sister tries to pull her away from Leslie. Their mother, Leslie, slaps Rue and pushes her out of Gia’s bedroom. The mom holds the door closed because she doesn’t want Rue to hurt Gia again. The drug addict bashes the bedroom door repeatedly, yelling about her pills.  

Meanwhile, Gia curls up in a ball crying as Leslie comforts her youngest daughter. Rue destroys her and Leslie’s bedroom, trying to find her suitcase full of pills. The drug addict returns and successfully breaks the door down. Leslie uses her body to protect Gia from Rue. Rue shouts at them as she asks what they want her to do.

Rue continues running around the house to look for the pills. She yells about how she doesn’t recognize herself, how she wishes she was different too, and how she hates herself. Rue doesn’t care about her life because of low self-esteem and anxiety. She uses opioids to mask that pain. She doesn’t want to return to the person she once was because she would have to face her behavior. Rue reacts so violently to everybody, including Jules knowing the truth because now all the illusions of the perfect daughter or girlfriend are gone. They can finally see Rue, the monstrous addict.

HURTING HERSELF AND OTHERS

Rue physically and emotionally damages everybody, including herself, after escaping her mother’s car. The first prominent example is when Rue runs into traffic two times. She exits Leslie’s car in the middle of the road and runs away from the police into traffic. Rue risks death or physical injury from a car hitting her. Both times Rue also runs away from help. Leslie is taking her from rehab to aid in her withdrawals and recovery. The police would have taken her off the streets and hopefully into her mother’s custody. Rue running into traffic hurts her mother and little sister, who are worried about her safety and now need to spend their time trying to track her down. Rue causes a car accident the second time around because drivers swerve around trying to avoid hitting her. The cars are totaled, and some passengers or drivers are probably injured.

Rue’s actions emotionally harm Cassie. Leslie tracks Rue down to Cassie and Lexi Howard’s (Maude Apatow) residence. Rue is looking for opioids and a safe place to crash. Cassie, Lexi, Maddy Perez (Alexa Demie), Kat Hernandez (Barbie Ferreira), and the sisters’ mother, Suze Howard (Alanna Ubach), are all present. When Rue cries about how she can’t handle being clean forever, Cassie attempts to comfort her. Cassie says that she must take recovery one day at a time. Rue acts vindictively to distract from her intervention and punish Cassie for her remark. She reveals Cassie and Nate Jacob’s (Jacob Elordi) romantic affair. This revelation causes total mayhem starting with Maddy yelling at a crying Cassie. Cassie denies the truth while Suze tries to calm the situation down. Rue’s drug addiction has not only destroyed her life but now Cassie’s universe as well. She has lost her best friend Maddy and is now a possible social pariah. Will this reveal lead to Cassie dealing with her need to be romantically loved no matter the consequences?

LAST THOUGHTS

Was that Rue coming home in the last scene? Can Maddy and Cassie ever be best friends again? Let me know your thoughts about Euphoria Season Two Episode Five in the comments below.

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Written by Paloma Bennett

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