“Out of Touch” picks up in the aftermath of Nate’s assault as Cal goes looking for answers and Rue continues to spiral.
This recap of Euphoria season 2, episode 2, “Out of Touch”, contains spoilers.
What you dream about while you’re in a coma is, I suppose, a bit of a clue about what you’re really thinking and feeling, so it’s telling that Nate dreams about Cassie. He dreams about their hooking in the bathroom of the New Year’s Eve party in last week’s premiere, which is predictable, but he also dreams about a white-picket-fenced future, about her belly swelling with his child, about his father dying of a heart attack off in the distance so the two of them can finally live their own lives, together, free of his influence.
Euphoria season 2, episode 2 recap
Even as the victim of a violent attack, Nate’s still awful. He’s so awful, in fact, that anyone with even a vague interest in him seems hopelessly naïve. It’s hard to feel for Cassie or Maddy since they’re both on a collision course because of him, and his subconscious dreaming of an idyllic future doesn’t really suggest that Cassie might mean more to him than Maddy does. As much as it’s about drug addiction and parties and dicks, Euphoria is also about the imbalances of power in social hierarchies, and people like Nate, and especially his father, Cal, are the sharks cutting through the ocean-sized pools in their own backyards.
Cal’s very shark-like in “Out of Touch”, as he roams around trying to figure out who assaulted his son, and then goes to intimidate Fezco when he learns it was him. This isn’t a protective instinct for him, though, but a matter of pride. When Nate’s mother speculates that perhaps the attack wasn’t entirely unprovoked, he cuts her off with a simple, “He’s our son.” In other words, it doesn’t matter. The Jacobs are off-limits. The rules don’t apply.
But the reintroduction of Cal is a reminder that there’s still a matter of his sex tape with an underage Jules floating around, and that Nate has it. This comes up when a mystified Cal confronts him about letting some low-life drug dealer beat him up, but Nate, at least by the end of this episode, remains coy about the tape’s location and whether he’s in possession of it. It isn’t a secret that Nate despises his father, even if he has spent his life gradually becoming him, so it’s unlikely that he’ll just hand the damning material over as a favor. Nate probably wants something from Cal. But what?
Elsewhere, Rue and Jules are indeed back together, but the dynamic is immediately complicated by the presence of Rue’s new bestie Elliot and the fact she’s trying to keep her obviously worsening drug addiction from everyone. I’m not sure I’m going to buy this as a love triangle, but since Elliot seems like a nice guy, it’s an interesting dynamic that he, his habits, and his access to seemingly limitless amounts of Grade A narcotics are the absolute worst thing for Rue to be around even if he offers quite solid, well-intentioned advice.
Of course, Rue wants the bad influence, because she is, as Colman Domingo’s Ali puts it, on a suicide mission. I was happy to see Ali since the speed with which Rue and Jules reconciled seemed to suggest that the two special episodes of Euphoria had been completely forgotten about. Domingo is so great in this role – as he always is – that more of him can’t be anything other than a good thing, even if Rue’s downward spiral only seems to be hastening.
And if you’re keeping count, “Out of Touch” even managed to contrive a way to include another erect p***s, this one attached to some barbarian fellow that Kat imagines in her bedroom. We’re two-for-two so far, folks. May the streak continue.
You can catch Euphoria season 2, episode 2, “Out of Touch” on HBO.