I’ve read quite a few complaints that Happinesssecond season, so far, is a crooked, pointless mess. I can’t say that the series ever focused on what it meant to be about modern adolescence. And honestly, I have a better teen time, rated CHEAP Seinfeld. But the time we spent exploring each character in season one felt more balanced, at least. It’s annoying when Kat and Maddy are pushed aside to give Cal, everyone, some introspection. And inside it’s a bunch of crap.
As far as the story goes, Sam Levinson seems to have run out of ways to make Rue’s drug addiction engaging or even stressful to watch. The fact that he had to get involved in a drug deal to add more stakes to her already precarious life was telling. She has had several near-death experiences. Most of her relationships are either significantly damaged or extremely fragile at this point. This episode, she falls into Labrinth’s arms playing a cantor in the literal coming-t0-Jesus scene after ascending again. Unfortunately, I’m really not sure where else to go with this recurring plot other than the most obvious outcome.
As most of us predicted last week, Jules and Elliot’s relationship turns sexual. There’s a lot of flirting, rolling, and thumb sucking. While Jules likes to be wanted physically, I wish she was written as a slightly better partner to Rue or at least honest enough to express that she doesn’t fulfill her needs, as she She really cares about Rue’s health. Likewise, she is devastated when Elliot finally reveals that Rue hasn’t been sober.
It’s safe to say Cassie and Nate’s love affair and hope that Fez and Lexi will go into the sunset have made this season so enjoyable. “You Who Can’t See, Think Of Who Can” spends a lot of time building suspense around whether or not Cassie is clean. As a result, she argued with Nate when she discovered he had met with Maddy to try to mend their relationship. The direction and dialogue of this scene gave me a flashback to Levinson’s 2021 film Malcolm and Marie with all the raw screams and awkward rebuttals. At one point when Cassie tried to justify their close bond with the fact that Nate and Maddy had broken up, Nate replied, “that’s consolation for no one but you!” like he was reading Shakespeare.
It’s hard to tell if Cassie is suffering more than guilt, as we watch her looking through scrapbook photos of herself and Maddy, or frustrated that Nate doesn’t have feelings for her. Despite that, she had a fever when Nate showed up at a birthday party she threw for Maddy and started drinking. At the end of the night, she changes into a sexy bathing suit to get Nate’s attention and induce vomiting in everyone as they sit in the jacuzzi. She starts crying and aggressively says sorry to Maddy. Everyone, other than Nate, assumed she was talking about vomiting. But we all know what she’s really sorry for.
Lexi’s presence at the party reaffirmed the anxiety I expressed last week about this whole thing being “more than just a supporting character”. It’s been well established, starting in season one, that Lexi is pretty quiet and observant. But what is really going on in her brain other than a diary of other people’s problems? There’s a lot of scenes where Lexi watches Cassie make bad decisions all night long, but she doesn’t say anything. When Lexi asked about Cassie’s weight in another scene, Cassie quickly denied her. This moment becomes the material for her play, as we watch several girls audition for Cassie’s character. However, there is nothing interesting about this sister’s dynamic without hearing more of Lexi’s point of view.
“However, there is nothing interesting about this sister’s dynamic without hearing more of Lexi’s point of view.”
Meanwhile, her flirting with Fez seems to have been put on hold. To be fair, Fez had bigger problems when Custer informed him that Mouse and his mother were questioning his disappearance. It is not clear if Mouse is dead or just severely injured and tied up in the basement. But I’m glad we’re getting back to that because it seems like an overly neat conclusion to that whole conflict.
Before that conversation, however, we see Fez, Faye, and Ashtray smoke and watch the 1978 remake of Invasion of body hunters, which Faye describes as “very real.” Hitherto, everything that came out of Faye’s mouth unexpectedly made me laugh. And I’m extremely interested in seeing more of what goes on in this trap house.
Unfortunately, we get less of that and more of Cal, whose action-spiral sucks the air out of this episode. He begins drinking alone and harassing Nate before he even arrives at Maddy’s party. Then we get a million cutscenes of him driving wildly on the highway. It felt like a fatal accident was about to happen, which honestly would have been a better alternative to what came later. But he made it to the bar safely, where he kissed Derek during the day and danced slowly with another man before being kicked out of the house. He then drives home, where he introduces his family in the most obnoxious and deranged fashion.
This clunky scene is equally frustrating and hilarious in its making, from Eric Dane’s overly drunken act to his flamboyant rant about repression and shame. This monologue could have worked better if it hadn’t victimized itself. But Cal largely blamed his wife and sons, as if they weren’t the product of his internal homophobia and fear of being exposed. His indictment against Nate, in particular, is startling, as if he didn’t raise his son into a nightmare and doesn’t currently plague him with the whole DVD scandal. He also tries to shame his other son Aaron for his perfectly fine pornography and considers them his “secret”, including videotaping his sexual partner. without their consent and assaulted at least one minor that we know of.
Levinson tries to give Cal a daring escape, the more triumphant he looks the more cowardly he looks. I wish I could say that Cal’s position doesn’t have to be espoused here. (And I think Levinson understood that he was at least partly a trash human.) But everything about this scene, from the blocking to the script, feels like Levinson is trying to create a mic drop moment. I think it’s fair to say that there’s nothing about Cal’s life circumstances that warrants the psychopathic behavior he exhibits over the two seasons. It’s all reminiscent of Kevin Spacey’s eerie appearance attached to his statement admitting sexual assault allegations. Unfortunately for Levinson, the show’s audience was too smart to pat Cal on the back.
Overall, the point of this volume seems to be that we’re all hiding something. Cassie and Nate are hiding their love affair with Maddy. Nate is trying to hide Cal’s DVD. In fact, Rue is hiding her addiction from everyone. Jules will most likely hide her feelings for Elliot from Rue. Kat is hiding how much she hates Ethan (this is one of three statements she makes throughout the entire episode). Fez and Ashtray are probably hiding a dead body. Lexi is hiding all her feelings. Hopefully, with Cal out of the picture, we don’t have to wait much longer for these secrets to come to light.
https://www.thedailybeast.com/euphoria-gives-us-the-house-party-from-hell-and-continues-to-disappear-barbie-ferreiras-kat?source=articles&via=rss ‘Euphoria’ Brings Us Home Party From Hell and Keeps Disappearing Barbie Ferreira’s Kat