“F*ck Anyone Who’s Not A Sea Blob” catches up with Jules after the Season 1 finale, and manages to impress in the same way as the first special with a tight focus, great writing, and a killer leading performance.
This recap of Euphoria special episode 2, “F*ck Anyone Who’s Not A Sea Blob”, contains spoilers.
Both of Euphoria’s “special episodes” are intended as bridges that lead directly into the forthcoming second season. Both were filmed under strict Covid-19 protocols, so both follow a similar stripped-down and pared-back format, mostly consisting of a single conversation stretched across the episode, with occasional flashbacks or surreal imaginings to break things up. The first one was a masterpiece. The latest, “F*ck Anyone Who’s Not A Sea Blob”, which focuses on Jules and is designed to flesh out her perspective on the Season 1 finale which saw her and Rue’s plan to run away together fall to pieces when Jules left without her, didn’t impress me in quite the same way. But it’s still a very solid and interesting examination of Jules’s post-Season 1 headspace.
The structure of the second Euphoria special episode takes the form of a therapy session, Jules’s first with a shrink she has been forced to see by her concerned father. But smartly the therapist is given little to say, only really present to lead Jules along the strained fault lines of her relationships with her parents, particularly her addict mother, as well as Rue, and the leftover trauma from falling rather deeply in love with “Tyler”, her online boyfriend who was revealed in the first season to have been the despicable Nate, catfishing her.
Of particular importance here are the obvious parallels between Jules’s mother and Rue. Both are addicts, prone to relapse at any moment, but both are the only people whom Jules considers to have properly “seen” her for who she is, rather than engage solely with the façade she has carefully cultivated in order to better fit in. But that familiarity comes with a crushing weight of responsibility. Jules could never have a “normal” relationship with Rue because of how much her potential relapsing became a factor in Jules’ decision-making. And Jules could never – or, at least, probably never – reconcile with her mother after a lifetime spent trying to repair their relationship only for it to fracture again and again.
This is all interspersed in “F*ck Anyone Who’s Not A Sea Blob” with hazy imaginings of Jules and Rue – an idyllic fantasy ruined by a relapse – and Jules and Tyler, long-distance, anonymous sexting made immediate and personal. Fantasy merges with reality, so that Jules’ first kiss with Rue, which is also brought up and which actually did happen, takes on the same ethereal dream-like quality.
Through that lens, halfway between reality and dream, Jules also sees her transition. To her therapist she suggests coming off her hormone replacement therapy, having become disillusioned with the idea of femininity that she had cultivated in response to the desires of men. So much of this Euphoria special episode exists in this space that, when Rue visits a grounded Jules towards the end of the episode, I wasn’t totally sure if the encounter was real. But, of course, the timeline makes sense once Rue explains that she was on her way to visit Ali, and blurts out, “Merry Christmas, Jules,” before running away. This adds context to the “I miss you” text that Rue had received from Jules in the first episode. That one took place after this one, with Rue having relapsed and seen Jules, however briefly, before her meeting with Ali.
It’s a nice, clever ending, and with no official word on the second season of Euphoria proper, it’s a great way of keeping the show, its characters, and their stories alive in our imaginations until they return. “F*ck Anyone Who’s Not A Sea Blob” lacked the searing naturalism of the first installment, by design, but Hunter Schafer carried the weight of the story admirably well.