HBO Max’s hit television phenomenon “Euphoria,” starring the youngest Emmy-winning actress Zendaya, has finally returned to the screen. We are already halfway through the second season, and so much has happened. While there are a few new castmates, there are a lot of returning cast members deepening their roles and storylines in this season. Broadening the audience’s take on these beloved characters, the director and creator of the series, Sam Levinson, is generating controversial opinions among the fans. This is my Top Ten: “Euphoria” Characters … currently. Content warning and spoilers ahead.
10. Nate Jacobs played by Jacob Elordi
In the strong words of practically anyone who has seen the show before … “F*** Nate Jacobs!” He is toxic masculinity personified. He is an abuser, a cheater and a manipulator. He is really possessive and controlling. He has a lot of internalized homophobia which he weaponizes against his own father. Granted, he grew up with a lot of sexual exposure and family abuse, but this does not excuse his unruly behavior towards the other characters.
9. Cassie Howard played by Sydney Sweeney
For those who haven’t seen season two yet, I know this placement will come as a shock. Since she ended things with Mckay (Algee Smith) and had her abortion, she’s been going through a lot. She’s finding it very difficult to be her own person and not be in a relationship. I know a lot of people relate to Cassie and love her character, I do too. But she is frustrating me so much. Maybe she’ll get her act together by the end? Or, maybe she’s in her villain arc era? Either way, she needs to stick to one or the other.
8. Jules Vaughn played by Hunter Schafer
To be honest, this was a really difficult decision but I feel like it’s the right one. Jules, according to herself, is still “navigating a largely straight, binary world,” as a transgender girl. In season one, Jules definitely conquered her femininity, and now she’s exploring an androgynous outlook on life. And while I’m all for this, Jules does not have an excuse to cheat on and tell intimate details about her co-dependent relationship. Rue is in love with Jules, and everyone (including Miss Vaughn) knows this. No one deserves to get cheated on and that’s why Jules is number eight.
7. Rue Bennet played by Zendaya
Our favorite unreliable narrator is back! And this time … she’s worse than where we left her. After her relapse at the end of the season one finale, obviously, Rue is on a downward spiral. Director Sam Levinson said he wanted to see how far he could push Zendaya’s likability, and he’s succeeding. Rue is a struggling addict, who wants both worlds: being with Jules and being on drugs. And in doing so, she is lying to everyone who’s cared for her (Jules, Lexi, Gia, her mother and her AA sponsor Ali) — including herself. And she’s heading down a dangerous path.
6. Cal Jacobs played by Eric Dane
If someone would’ve told me in 2019, that future me is rooting for Nate Jacobs’ daddy — I wouldn’t believe them. Yet, here we are. FYI, Cal Jacobs is a bad person. I’m not excusing his actions of recording people without their consent, because that is horrible. But you can appreciate a character’s good “Coming Out” story; and his comedic timing while he is dragging his family and peeing on the floor, simultaneously.
5. Maddy Perez played by Alexa Demie
Maddy “stans,” do not come for me. Don’t turn a blind cat-eye to the fact that Maddy created false sexual assault allegations against an innocent man, in order to get back with her abusive boyfriend Nate. She has gone through physical and verbal abuse, emotional trauma and domestic violence … practically hell and back. I hope she realizes that she deserves better than Nate and truly grows this season. Hopefully, she beats someone up too *wink wink.* I heard it’s a justifiable way to cleanse negative energy.
4. Kat Hernandez played by Barbie Ferreira
I relate so much to Kat; it’s kinda ridiculous how true some aspects of her storyline are. She hasn’t really been in a lot of screen time so far, but when Barbie Ferreira shows up, you know it’s going to be good. Considering the fact that she is a fanfiction writer, she has to come to terms with reality — and that’s really difficult for someone who’s been romanticizing and fantasizing everything in her life. This is where we start to see problems in her and Ethan’s (Austin Abrams) relationship. The only reason Kat is not in the Top Three, is because she is leading Ethan on when she should be ending it.
Honorable Mentions: Elliot played by Dominic Fike and Faye played by Chloe Cherry
Before we get into the Top Three, there are two honorable mentions. Elliot and Faye are new characters that the audience meets in “Trying to Get to Heaven Before They Close the Door.” There isn’t much to say about these two, but there is a lot of speculation about how they interact with the existing cast. Elliot is an outlet for both Jules and Rue; he acts as the gateway for Jules to explore her sexuality and for Rue to experience drugs and substances again — which puts him in the middle of a love triangle. Faye, on the other hand, is stereotyped as a dumb, blonde druggie with too much lip filler, but I think there’s more to her story that hasn’t been revealed yet. Still, if I’m wrong, I do love her.
3. Ashtray played by Javon Walton
For a twelve-year-old, Ash is a god. He has the confidence and the seriousness that is way too scary for a kid to have, but he owns it. He’s extremely violent when he has to be and he gets the job done. Ashtray is loyal to his older brother, Fez. He cares about the family business and protects his territory. All I want for little Ash is for him to have a decent childhood, honestly how about a taste? After all, he is still a kid and he deserves better than the life he’s living.
2. Fezco played by Angus Cloud
Fez has my heart. He’s honest, loyal and respectful. He’s serious when he has to be; violent when he needs to be; and playful when he wants to be. Fezco is also a man of his word– especially at the New Year’s Eve party. He cares for Rue and Ash, takes Faye under his wing, and even develops a crush on Lexi? Like, come on! Fez is one of the sweetest drug dealers in television history.
1. Lexi Howard played by Maude Apatow
If you have two words to describe Lexi Howard, they are “unproblematic queen.” I think the focus of this season is the Howard sisters, and I’m super excited about their dynamic and development. Lexi practically knows everything about everyone and hasn’t snitched (talk about loyalty!) I hope she gains more confidence in herself, especially if she starts a “situation-ship” with Fez. She’s an observer that has been the side character for too long —both in her life and in the show — and she’s finally getting the main character arc she deserves!