“Euphoria” Special Episode 2 review: Jules


Courtesy of HBO

Brooklyn Joyner

“I built my womanhood around what men want and what men want is boring, simple and not creative.”

“It’s embarrassing.”

“I feel like a fraud.”

These are what Jules, played by Hunter Schafer, confesses to her therapist, played by Lauren Weedman, at the beginning of the second special episode of the HBO show “Euphoria.” The beautifully written script, co-written by Schafer with show creator Sam Levinson, starts off with a bang. As Jules talks to her unnamed therapist after returning to East Highland, she delves into the dynamic of her relationships with Rue, played by Zendaya, as well as her mother, femininity, men, women and being in love with someone who is not real.

Jules’s opinion on her womanhood resonated so much with me because this was how I have always felt but could never put it into words. This is also such a harsh realization to come to terms with because we all love to believe that we are living for ourselves, but are we really?

Jules stated that femininity “conquered” her (powerful words, right?). Femininity is supposed to be everything that masculinity is not, but neither one of these concepts are real. Femininity and masculinity are both social constructs which lead to Jules’s next point that femininity can be whatever you want it to be. You can be as strong as you want or soft as you want, and it should not make you any more or less of a woman. Unfortunately, girls are groomed to be the exact opposite of how a boy ‘should be’ and if you step out of this norm, you are ridiculed.

This episode also delves deeper into Jules’s reactions to situations between her and Rue. It gives the viewers a better understanding of why she ran away from East Highland and why she froze after Rue kissed her for the first time. We also learn that the dynamic of Rue and Jules’s relationship is also very similar to Jules and her mother’s relationship. Both have this codependency with Jules to motivate them to stay sober.

Lastly, Jules has never fallen out of love with Tyler, the persona that Nate created over a dating app to blackmail her. It leaves her feeling empty and hopeless because she misses someone who never really was there.

My favorite aspect of this entire episode was that the writers did not center Jules’s life around being a transgender woman. Often, most shows or movies have this habit of making the gender or sexuality of an LGBTQ+ character their entire personality when there are more parts to them. Jules has so many layers, and being transgender is just one piece of who she is, not the whole puzzle.

To watch “Part 2: Jules” on HBO Max, click here.

Illustration by Ariel Landry
Illustration by Ariel Landry