In Euphoria Season Two Episode Eight, ” All My Life, My Heart Has Yearned for a Thing I Cannot Name,” directed and written by creator Sam Levinson, the play Our Life blows up in Lexi Howard’s (Maude Apatow) face. Rue Bennett (Zendaya) addresses the problems created during her drug haze.
During a series of flashbacks, Lexi and Fezco (Angus Cloud) spend hours on the phone speaking about life. Crazed, Cassie Howard (Sydney Sweeney) barges onto the stage, interrupting Lexi’s play Our Life. Cassie rants to the audience about how Lexi has never lived and is embarrassing her for taking chances on love. Suze Howard (Alanna Ubach) unsuccessfully tries to pull her oldest daughter off stage and protect Lexi. Then, Maddy Perez (Alexa Demie) reveals to the whole school that Cassie slept with Nate (Jacob Elordi). The actors continue to perform Our Life, but everything unravels when Maddy and Cassie fight on stage. Maddy chases her ex-best friend into the girl’s bathroom. After the fight leaves the stage, Lexi pulls herself together and directs the cast to continue with the performance.
Faye (Chloe Cherry) warns Fezco that her boyfriend Custer (Tyler Chase) is tapping their conversation after he brings up Mouse’s murder. Ashtray (Javon Walton) stabs Custer in the neck, realizing something is wrong but not knowing the police are listening. Fezco tries to take the rap for Ashtray, but instead, the younger brother bizarrely decides to get into a shootout with the police. Ashtray dies, leaving Fez heartbroken.
Before the night of the play, Rue visits Elliot (Dominic Fike) to forgive him for sleeping with Jules Vaughn (Hunter Schafer) and thank him for saving her life. Sometime after the play, Rue reconnects with Lexi. After leaving the theatre, Nate turns his father, Cal Jacobs (Eric Dane), into the police for sleeping with underage Jules.
MAKING ART OUT OF TRAUMA
Rue comes over to Lexi’s home to discuss what Our Life means to her and let her best friend know how incredible she is after Cassie’s freak out. First, Rue calls Lexi up to tell her how she found Our Life beautiful. Still down on herself, Lexi comments how she might be the only one who thinks so. Rue cracks a joke about how unbelievable it would be if Cassie loved the play and she hated it. Lexi laughs. The audience can see the remnants of their close bond in this phone call. Finally, Rue asks Lexi what she is doing today. The writer thinks about lying then tells Rue that she essentially plans to spend all day in bed. Lexi agrees that Rue can come over. Both teenagers end the call with shy smiles, elated that their friendship is still intact.
The friends have a deep frank conversation about grief, their lives, and art. The sequence starts on a medium shot of a photograph of them, Cassie, Maddy, and Kat Hernandez (Barbie Ferreira) at Rue’s father’s funeral. Next, Rue’s voice-over says that Lexi’s play is the first time she could examine her life without hating herself. Instead, Lexi’s play allowed Rue to see herself as a kind, quirky, intelligent young woman in a way that she has been unable to do before. There is a cut to a medium close-up of Rue leaning on a dollhouse. She completes her sentence by admitting she has hated herself for everything she has done.
Rue explains that she has gone through a lot but doesn’t know what to do with her pain, but Lexi does. Lexi disagrees. Rue points out that Our Life proves that Lexi can create art with her pain. In other words, Lexi has an outlet to work through her trauma. Unfortunately, Rue doesn’t have an outlet for her sometimes-dark emotions. Emotional Rue tells Lexi the play meant the world to her.
They finish their conversation talking about their complicated feeling around their fathers’ deaths. I must admit that I am puzzled about whom Rue is talking about when she tells Lexi that the problem is that “he” only wants to do better for her. It’s not clear who the “he” they are referring to is. Fez or her father?
The sequence ends perfectly with Rue comforting a crying Lexi as they lean against the living room couch. She hugs her friend tightly. Throughout episode eight, Lexi embraces and comforts others. As the background character, she must protect everybody else. Finally, Rue takes care of Lexi.
The scene turns into a long shot of Jade (Aja Bair) hugging Grace (Lexi/Maude Apatow) as they lean against the same couch on stage. There is a spotlight on the two friends embracing. Grace tells Jade that she missed her erasing the boundaries of “reality” and “fiction” in the show. Through her play, Lexi has manifested her desire to be reunited with Rue.
END OF RUE AND JULES’ LOVE STORY?
Episode Eight’s ending wraps up all the storylines in season two, including Rue’s love story with Jules. The episode’s conclusion begins with Jules nervously watching Rue. They both stay seated while everybody else leaves the auditorium. The two have not spoken since Rue’s intervention. Earlier in the episode, Rue tells Elliot that she can’t forgive Jules.
Jules apologizes to other audience members as she pushes through them and heads toward Rue. She sits down right next to Rue. Jules greets her, but her ex-girlfriend won’t even look at her. Rue stares at the stage while Jules tells her that she knows that she is still angry with her. She says that she loves Rue and that she misses her. Jules’ face contorts in emotional pain. Rue remains emotionless.
Rue finally looks straight at Jules. The viewer cannot see her face. She kisses Jules on the forehead then leaves. Rue’s way of saying goodbye and apologizing for her part in their breakup is the kiss. Jules cries. She knows their relationship is over.
Rue makes her way out of the school. Her narration explains that Jules was her first love, but she can’t know how natural her feeling were because Rue was high most of their relationship. She hopes Jules can forgive her. She stays clean for the rest of the school year. Rue’s voice-over says she will strive to be a better person.
The end of “All My Life, My Heart Has Yearned for a Thing I Cannot Name” implies that Rue’s romance with Jules is over but promises a future full of hope.
For the first time in Euphoria, Rue actively stays clean and takes responsibility for her mistakes. Will Rue continue her mentally healthy trend in Euphoria Season Three? What will Lexi write next? Can Lexi and Fezco have a romantic relationship with him heading to prison? How long will we have to wait for the next season? In the comments below, let me know your thoughts about Euphoria Season Two Episode Eight and your predictions for the next season.