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Warning: This post contains spoilers for Euphoria season 2. As the high from the heartbreaking and hilarious second season of Euphoria wears off, soothe yourself with the news that the drama about raucous teens at East Highland High (and sometimes their parents or drug dealers) has already been renewed for a third season.
The second season drew criticism for leaving too many storylines unfinished and underusing fan-favorite actors, but it also told gutting, honest, and beautiful narratives about the ups and downs of addiction, teen love, and grief leading it to skyrocket in popularity. According to Variety, viewership nearly doubled from season 1, and Euphoria now stands as HBO’s second-most watched show since 2004, following only the juggernaut Game of Thrones. (The outlet reports that Euphoria is also the most tweeted-about show of the decade.)
With Euphoria season 3 on the horizon, here's what we know about it.
'Euphoria' Season 2 Ending
Season two had a bittersweet ending: we saw the second act of Lexi’s brilliant play (including a riveting intermission, thanks to a rogue Cassie and Maddy); watched Nate turn his father over to the police; saw Rue come to terms with her grief and close chapters on her relationships with Elliot and Jules; and saw Fezco and Faye be arrested while Ashtray was killed in a shootout with a S.W.A.T. team.
HBO announced in early February that Sam Levinson’s hit drama had been renewed for a third iteration. The streamer hasn’t provided any details yet on when the new season will premiere or what it’ll focus on, but you can assume there will be plenty of winged eyeliner and stress-inducing teen behavior.
“Sam, Zendaya, and the entire cast and crew of Euphoria have taken season 2 to extraordinary heights, challenging narrative convention and form, while maintaining its heart,” Francesca Orsi, executive vice president of HBO Programming, said in a statement when the news was announced. “We couldn’t be more honored to work with this gifted, wildly talented team or more excited to continue our journey with them into season 3.”
It's possible that Zendaya will direct at least one episode of the third season. Speaking to Vogue Italia, she said, "It’s funny. I was actually supposed to direct episode 6, but then I had to act in it. I didn’t have enough time, so unfortunately, I wasn’t able to this time around. I wanted to have enough time to do it the right way. So, next season, probably."
Cast of 'Euphoria'
Most of season 2's regulars, including Zendaya, Hunter Schafer, Jacob Elordi, Sydney Sweeney, Alexa Demie, Maude Apatow, Nika King, and Storm Reid, are expected to reprise their roles in the third season—but few have been officially confirmed, aside from Zendaya, Erin Dane, and Dominic Fike. Despite Angus Cloud and Chloe Cherry’s characters being arrested at the end of season 2, it's plausible that season 3 would trace their journeys in court or jail. (Dane, for his part, told Esquire of Cal's journey: "Last season we see Cal, there's obviously a big dip in his journey back to consciousness, right? But I'm pretty sure we don't see Cal behind bars, or he is not having a relationship with Nate behind glass.")
In August, Barbie Ferreira, who plays Kat, confirmed that she would not be returning for season 3 of Euphoria. "After four years of getting to embody the most special and enigmatic character Kat, I’m having to say a very teary-eyed goodbye," she wrote on Instagram. "I hope many of you could see yourself in her like I did and that she brought you joy to see her journey into the character she is today." The announcement came after months of rumors of a falling-out between Ferreira and show creator Levinson.
Speaking to Deadline, Colman Domingo, who plays Ali, Rue's NA sponsor, noted: "Sam Levinson and I had some really deep conversations...He's talking about the arcs of all the characters and what he wants to do to expand that, to actually re-examine at times. It’s an organism and he wants it to keep shifting it in many ways and I think he’s going to take some really big swings actually with Season 3. He’s someone who, once there’s an expectation of the show, he wants to smash that expectation because he truly is a consummate artist and he wants to make sure he’s telling some really compelling storytelling. And just because we had some successes before with this season, he said, ‘Let’s not rely on that. Let’s move forward. I’m going to go deeper with these characters. I’m going to really peel away the layers of them and just get to the human heart.”
Meanwhile, Kathrine Narducci, who played the young version of Fezco's grandmother, told ELLE: “I hope I go back. I got to come out of that dang coma. I told Sam [Levinson] I want to come out of the coma, and go after Laurie."
It's always safe not to get too attached to Euphoria characters, however; Dominic Fike, who plays Elliot, has noted that Levinson told him he could leave the show at any time. “Sam was always giving me the option to leave. He was like, ‘Whenever you want to go be a musician, dude, you let me know, I’ll kill you.'"
Speaking to Variety, Zendaya said of Rue: "Rue wants to be here and it’s up to her now. I really hope that we can explore her life in the future, closer to the other side and her sobriety journey.” But for now, it sounds like the cast are in the dark about what's next, plot-wise: "I know nothing. I’m so curious," Maude Apatow said in an interview with Variety. "We’ve heard whispers but barely anything.”
As Marie Claire’s Entertainment Director, Neha oversees and executes strategy for all editorial talent bookings and culture coverage across the brand's print and digital entities, including covers, celebrity profiles and features, social takeovers, and video franchises as well as handles talent relations for our flagship summit, Power Trip. She's passionate about elevating diverse voices and stories, loves a hot-take, and hates TV reboots. Her bylines have appeared on Glamour, Vanity Fair, GQ, Allure, Teen Vogue, Brides, and Architectural Digest, and she is a graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism.
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