The 'Euphoria' Season 2 Finale, Explained

The show must go on!

Euphoria finale Lexi Maude Apatow
(Image credit: Eddy Chen/HBO)

Here’s the good news: It could’ve been worse...it could’ve been boring. The always buzzy, sometimes hilarious, sometimes devastating second season of Euphoria drew to a close Sunday night with its eighth episode, “All My Life, My Heart Has Yearned for a Thing I Cannot Name,” delving into the heartbreaking fates of fan-favorite characters and teasing future arcs.

While the episode wrapped up some storylines, salving several emotional wounds, it left just as many unanswered questions: Will Laurie ever come after Rue (Zendaya) for her unpaid dues? What’s going on with Kat (Barbie Ferreira)? Where is Maddy (Alexa Demie) moving to? Is the footage of Jules (Hunter Schafer) and Cal (Eric Dane) on the USB Nate (Jacob Elordi) gave the cops? Did Rue and Lexi (Maude Apatow) ever hear about what happened to Fezco (Angus Cloud)? How is Gia doing??

We’ll have to wait for the already-confirmed third season of Sam Levinson's HBO series for more answers, but for now, here’s everything that went down in the Euphoria season 2 finale.

Maddy and Cassie

Ah, the storyline that launched a thousand memes. A bloodthirsty Cassie storms the  stage moments after being dumped by Nate, spiraling into a full meltdown. She screams about how Lexi is only ever watching life happen to her and not experiencing it, like she does. She drags her crying sister from the wings to confront her and then tackles the play version of herself (to be fair, play-Cassie was about to pantomime an orgasm on a carousel horse). Lexi and Cassie’s mom, Suze, runs on stage to break up her daughters in a hilarious, yet ultimately futile, turn of events. 

Maddy enters the fray, running onto the stage and inciting a riot between the play actors and their real-life counterparts. Cassie flees into the school’s hallways as Maddy chases her (and Kat chases her). We catch up with the former friends in the bathroom, as they silently nurse their injuries (Maddy, our queen, has sustained only the smallest scratch on her foot) while Cassie is banged up from one too many slaps to the face. Cassie reveals Nate broke up with her and Maddy, amused but unsurprised, tells Cassie, “Don’t worry; this is just the beginning.”

Nate

After Nate flees the East Highland auditorium, mid-dance sequence, we find him in his car, loading a revolver (seemingly the same one he used to threaten Maddy). He drives  to Cal’s construction site (and current residence) and, upon entering, sees his dad partying with a group of sex workers. Nate greets his dad with an aggressive hug and pours himself a drink. He begins to accost his father for abandoning their family and reveals that he found Cal's stash of porn (a.k.a. the sex tapes Cal made) at just 11 years old, explaining they scarred him to the point that Nate had recurring nightmares about his father performing sex acts on him. 

Cal asks his drinking buddies to leave, and then finally apologizes for putting his son through years of trauma. Cal admits he should’ve loved and protected his son, but ultimately Cal’s words are meaningless. Nate quickly flashes his gun but then pulls out a flash drive. He tells his dad he wants revenge and that “everything”—meaning all Cal’s footage, taken without consent, of his sexual encounters—have been saved on the drive. We begin to hear police sirens as the realization dawns on Cal’s face. Nate’s season 2 arc ends with him watching his dad be taken into police custody.

Lexi

Despite Cassie’s best efforts to derail her theatrical ambitions, Lexi—after a teary interlude, a pep talk from her stage manager, and a “Lexi” chant prompted by Rue—wages on with her show. (She even dedicates the play to Fezco in a sweet speech.) She receives a standing ovation for “Our Life” and, a few days later, gets a call from Rue, telling her she loved it. The play helps Rue and Lexi reconcile; they hang out, and Rue says she’s amazed at how Lexi used theater to cope with and unpack the hardships she's endured, including her troubled relationship with her dad. Rue reveals to Lexie that the play—which even recreated the eulogy Rue gave during her dad’s funeral—allowed her to see that she also has to find her own way to process her grief. “I don’t want to hold onto this forever,” Rue tells Lexi.

Rue and Jules (and Elliot)

Rue Jules Euphoria season 2

Zendaya, as Rue, says bye to Jules, played by Hunter Schafer. 

(Image credit: Eddy Chen/HBO)

We see in a flashback that Rue went to see Elliot a few days before the play, forgiving him for “snitching" and saying he ultimately saved her life. She asks Elliot if he’s still using and he says yes, and also reveals that he hasn’t spoken much to Jules since Rue’s intervention. Elliot plays a song for Rue on the guitar before asking her if they can ever be friends again. Rue says it it was Elliot who said they were bad for each other, which Elliot still agrees with.

After the play, Jules approaches Rue, telling her she loves her and misses her. Rue wordlessly kisses Jules’s forehead and walks away. In a voiceover, Rue explains that Jules was her first love and wants to remember her in that positive light, suggesting  they don’t get back together. The voiceover continues with Rue revealing she stayed sober through the end of the school year. 

Fezco and Ashtray (and Faye)

Reader, emotionally prepare yourself. Faye (Chloe Cherry) becomes the unsung hero of the episode as she warns Fezco about Custer’s betrayal, expertly using a dropped water glass as a distraction. She then attempts to pin Mouse’s murder on Laurie, the terrifying drug dealer from earlier in the season. Fezco begins to catch on and Custer seems sufficiently confused to foil any police raids, until Ashtray (Javon Walton) decides to take matters into his own hands and stab Custer in the neck. Fezco jumps into action, muffling Custer’s final breaths and destroying his phone and with it any recorded evidence. Unfortunately, Fezco knows that the police will be at their door at any minute, so he punches Ashtray to make it seem like Ashtray was just a bystander in all the violence. He then puts his own fingerprints on the murder weapon. 

Fezco tells Ashtray he’ll take the full blame for Custer’s (and likely Mouse’s) death, but Ashtray won’t allow it. He barricades himself in the bathroom with several loaded guns. S.W.A.T breaks down the door, arrests Faye, and then starts a shootout with Ashtray as a heartbroken Fezco watches on. Fezco continues to beg for Ashtray to surrender, even after getting shot in the stomach in the crossfire. Eventually, police break down the bathroom door, finding Ashtray who is just feigning injury. As an officer approaches him, Ashtray shoots and kills him. 

Ashtray Euphoria season 2

Javon Walton as Ashtray in the moments before the police raid. 

(Image credit: Eddy Chen/HBO)

We then see S.W.A.T. guns trained on Ashtray as the camera cuts to Fezco, who watches his younger brother be killed. Fezco and Faye are taken away in handcuffs, and Fezco’s love note to Lexi sits, bloodstained, amongst the wreckage of the house.

As Marie Claire’s Entertainment Director, Neha oversees pop culture, celebrity, and current events features with a focus on elevating diverse voices and stories in film and television. She also oversees the brand's print and digital covers as well as book and produces MC's video franchises. She loves a hot-take, hates TV reboots, and is always happy to discuss reality television. Before joining Marie Claire, she held positions at Glamour, Brides, Condé Nast, and Mashable, and is a graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism.