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TV Recap: ‘Euphoria’ Season 2 Episode 6 “A Thousand Trees of Blood” – Destruction Verse Healing

INTRODUCTION

Spoilers Below

In Euphoria Season Two Episode Six, ” A Thousand Trees of Blood,” directed and written by creator Sam Levinson, Rue Bennett (Zendaya), with the help of her family, attempts to pull herself out of her suicidal path to a drug overdose. At the same time, Cassie Howard (Sydney Sweeney) continues down her path to self-destruction with Nate Jacobs (Jacob Elordi). Leslie Bennett (Nika King) takes care of her daughter Rue as she suffers through withdrawals. Leslie feels overwhelmed by her daughter’s suffering, but she holds fast for her children. Gia Bennett (Storm Reid) supports her big sister without getting the love that she needs. Rue feels terrible about all the horrible things she said and apologizes to her sponsor Ali (Colman Domingo). Ali hangs out with the Bennett family. He gives Gia permission to be angry with Rue and not trust her.

Kat Hernandez (Barbie Ferreira) messily breaks up with Ethan Daley (Austin Abrams). Next, Lexi Howard (Maude Apatow) watches Stand by Me with her crush Fezco (Angus Cloud). Meanwhile, the brothers’ roommate, drug addict Faye (Chloe Cherry), learns that her boyfriend Custer (Tyler Chase) ratted on Fez and Ashtray (Javon Walton).

Cassie flashes between crying in her bedroom while desperately calling Nate and yelling at her family about how she is not a terrible person. Angry, depressed Maddy Perez (Alexa Demie) plots Cassie and Nate’s downfall. Nate forces Maddy to give him the sex tape. The sex tape of Cal Jacobs (Eric Dane) sleeping with Jules Vaughn (Hunter Shafer). Nate returns the sex tape to Jules as an apology. Nate knows she will never share it with anybody, so his family’s reputation is safe. Nate ends the night by sleeping with Cassie even though he doesn’t care about her.

A MOTHER’S PAIN

Two of the most emotionally powerful scenes in ” A Thousand Trees of Blood” reveal the pain Leslie feels helplessly watching her daughter suffer. The opening shot is a medium close-up of a sweating jittering Rue yawning as she stares at a red jolly rancher. Her hands are shaking so hard that she can barely pick up the candy. Leslie walks into the kitchen across the room and stares back at Rue. The mother turns on the water faucet to fill up a glass of water. A close-up shot of Leslie’s face as she closes her eyes reveals her emotional anguish. She can’t look at Rue in her vulnerable state. The water glass overflows. Leslie pulls herself back together because Rue needs her to be strong. It’s clear that Rue’s withdrawals hurt Leslie’s soul, but she can’t take the time to feel anything fully. Rue needs almost constant care. Leslie and Gia’s needs come second.

Episode six ends with Leslie breaking down during a call to a rehab. The camera pans over to a long shot of Leslie sitting up in her bed, answering a phone call in her darkened bedroom. The viewers only hear one side of the conversation. Leslie sounds defeated though calm and assertive while answering questions. The camera pulls further back as Leslie explains that she took Rue to the hospital for detox. The mother raises her voice and insists that her daughter needs to go to rehab. Now the viewer can only see a sliver of the bedroom.

The emotion rises in Leslie’s voice while she states that Rue needs to be placed in an in-house treatment center to stop taking opioids. The viewer can imagine the measured pre-written responses that the worker on the other side of the call says. There is not enough room in the rehab, or the policy says we give outpatient treatment to those already in detox. Leslie pleads for Rue’s life, refusing to let the worker pawn her off. The camera pans to Rue and Gia asleep in bed together while Leslie explains that her eldest daughter will kill herself if she doesn’t get proper help. Leslie bursts into tears as she begs the person, ” Don’t do this!” The camera pans over into darkness as the mother completely breaks down. Leslie is reaching out for professional help to save Rue’s life, but the system refuses to authorize the assistance her eldest daughter needs to stay clean. The darkness of the screen gives the viewer no other choice but to imagine the pain of mothers like Leslie, who are blocked from saving their children by a broken system.

NATE’S REAL FEELINGS

Nate remains one of Euphoria’s most abusive toxic characters, but he genuinely cares about Jules. The teenage boy’s sweet-ish treatment of Jules reveals how he doesn’t love Maddy or Cassie. Nate doesn’t become physically violent with Jules when he doesn’t get his way as he does with his other love interests.

The two teenagers meet up in his car. After offering Jules a beer, Nate admits he has done “shitty” things but promises that he means no harm. Nate genuinely apologizes to Jules for hurting her to protect his father. The teenager takes responsibility for his actions. However, he usually refuses to take ownership of his “shitty” actions. For example, Nate becomes angry when his mother, Marsha Jacobs (Paula Marshall), brings up how he strangled Maddy. Marsha’s abusive drunken words to her son trigger him. Maybe the world doesn’t only have Cal to blame for Nate’s bullying behavior? Nate hands Jules the sex tape. Now he is not giving up the sex tape for entirely selfless reasons. Nate cares about his family’s reputation because people knowing his father is a “pedophile” will screw up his life. He is all about image. Jules will never spread the sex tape because she is embarrassed by it. Nate proves that he cares about Jules by telling her that he meant everything he wrote when they were secretly texting last season. Nate confesses his feelings, knowing that he won’t get anything out of it. Jules will never forgive him.

Meanwhile, Nate scars Maddy for life by holding a gun first to her head and then his head while pulling the trigger. He threatens to kill Maddy to get back the sex tape, so she can’t use it to take revenge on him for sleeping with Cassie. Earlier in the episode, Nate doesn’t sound upset when he tells his mother that Maddy will never talk to him again. Nate doesn’t answer Cassie’s thousands of calls and then has what appears to be emotionally one-sided sex with her. Nate doesn’t love Cassie or Maddy. It appears Nate cares for Jules, but toxic masculinity won’t allow him to embrace his feelings for her openly.

LAST THOUGHT

Cassie’s need for love stops her from taking responsibility for her misdeeds involving Nate or admitting that he is a toxic bully. Cassie yells at her mother, Suze Howard (Alanna Ubach), about how her mom thinks she doesn’t have any self-respect. The popular girl is projecting onto her mom because she doesn’t see herself as worthy of having a boyfriend who treats her right. Let me know what you think of Euphoria Season Two Episode Six in the comments below.

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Written by Paloma Bennett

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