The Most Stressful Moments In Euphoria’s Darkest Ever Episode, Ranked

Courtesy of HBO.
Warning! Spoilers ahead for Euphoria season 2, episode 5.
Chances are, if you’re here, just a frail exoskeleton of your former self remains as you’ve undergone the utter agony that is the latest episode of Euphoria. Yes, the credits have just rolled on one of the most harrowing and triggering hours of teen television, ever. In the aftermath – trying to make sense of what the hell you’ve just witnessed – you might find yourself asking Google the following: 'Is Sam Levinson trying to kill me?' 'What in the Uncut Gems did I just experience?'  
Zendaya has range. A fact that is not only celebrated across the internet but also critically acknowledged with her history-making, 2020 Emmy win for her turn as recovering drug addict and high school student Rue. This week, because of her sheer acting command, we’re in the pits of hell once again.
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"Stand Still Like The Hummingbird" is the telling name of season 2, episode 5, alluding to the way a hummingbird lives on the edge of survival and will starve to death within hours if trapped. At this point, we’re forced to confront the reality of a relapsed Rue up close: the ugliness, flagrant lies, self-loathing and agitation that come with being a drug addict who is currently going through a violent drug withdrawal. She’s cornered but can’t think of anything else but her next fix. Her body thrashes for it, her loved ones around her are collateral, and what ensues is a one-day heart attack of an episode in which she goes to whatever means possible and fucks over whoever possible in order to score.
If the blood has only just returned to your knuckles, your heartbeat has just about steadied to an irregular pa-pap and you’re thinking, What was the point of using retinol for the last two years because this episode has me AGED – we’re here with you. We ranked the most stressful moments in the episode by the number of years they aged us…
Courtesy of HBO.

The intervention

Once Rue realises the contents of her huge drug suitcase have been flushed, she loses it – not only because her next available fix has literally gone down the drain but also because of the terrifying implications of now not being able to get the money to laconic but threatening dealer Laurie. We can just about get over Rue being emotionally and physically aggressive to her mother, then sister Gia (our beloved Storm Reid), but when she realises that Elliott and Jules have been in the living room the whole time – and they’re collectively staging an intervention – her finger in girlfriend Jules’ face as she screamed irreparable atrocities at her, including "You’re dead to me", made me feel physically ill.
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Years aged: Two (I had to physically turn my head away from the screen when Rue was shouting into Jules’ face).

Teen on the run

Nothing good ever comes from a scene where someone who is vulnerable is in the middle of damn oncoming traffic! Okay, Sam Levinson?! In the car with her mum and Gia, on the way to be sectioned, Rue’s realisation that she’ll need to go through the process again of getting clean comes on suddenly and forcefully. She leaps out of the car, scrambling in the midst of cars screeching to a halt, Gia crying hysterically. Not the one.
Years aged: Five 

The truth comes out

The season 2 elephant in the room? That Cassie boinked Maddy’s ex-boyfriend Nate repeatedly and defiantly, and that when Maddy finds out she’s going to kill them both dead. Rue turns up at Lexi and Cassie’s house after running away, physically squirming due to…uh...bowel-related drug withdrawal symptoms, desperate for the toilet. The whole gang’s there, including Maddy and Kat. At which point Rue's mum and Gia also turn up and make it known they’re there because Rue has relapsed. So what will Rue do to take the heat off her for a second? Cause utter chaos and buy herself a moment to escape. She lets the cat out of the bag and says: "Cassie, how long have you been fucking Nate Jacobs?" Pandemonium.
Years aged: One
Courtesy of HBO.

Beware of the dog

After slipping away once again, Rue breaks into a random house, looking for money, prescription drugs, anything. In the darkness she hears a threatening growl and of course it’s a huge-ass Rottweiler. Pretty much at the same time she hears the sound of the owners coming home, who instantly spot that there's jewellery missing. Seeing Rue's face in the dark underneath a bed and hearing, "Dave, someone broke in, get the gun!" is one for the history books. 
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Years aged: Four

The police chase

I watched pretty much the majority of this scene through the gaps in my fingers, it was so stressful. Rue climbing over a garden wall and landing in a patch of cacti, then over another wall and shattering a glass table at a pool party. Then leaping over the flames of a searing hot barbecue pit, then being chased by a Pomeranian. You could wring the sweat out of my hands.
Years aged: Eight

The bathtub scene

I can tell you that watching Rue being injected with intravenous morphine is one of the most heartbreaking scenes of teen television I’ve ever experienced. And it's even more shudder-inducing when we hear Laurie coaxing her with the sinister words: "You know if I was going through withdrawal, I would do anything. It's one of the good parts of being a woman; even if you don't have money, you've still got something people want." Fear floods the body, not just because of the knowledge of the heightened health risks that come with this kind of drug use but also because of the horror that Laurie is grooming Rue to come back to her for more, and the insinuation that Rue can pay off her debt to Laurie using her body. It's the realisation that this could ultimately be Rue’s point of no return: that her desperation for a greater and stronger high has escalated into something that may eventually kill her.
Years aged: Ten

The great escape

I honestly thought this was it for Rue. I thought this was going to be a whole kidnapping storyline because I was convinced there was no way for her to escape out of dealer Laurie’s house. That’s how little I trust HBO, with their Tuscany betrayals and Red Weddings. When Rue wakes up from the morphine there are henchmen slumbering on almost every flat surface, doors with padlocks on them, firearms everywhere, squawking guard budgies. What is this? An episode of Breaking Bad?! And she still tries to break into Laurie's drug cupboard! It is utter, unhinged madness. When the credits rolled I had to physically prise my clenched fist from around my ribcage. Please, we beg you, Sam Levinson – no more. In (almost) the words of Succession’s resident legend Brian Cox: "I’m too old and too tired for any of this shit!"
Years aged: Eight

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