“You Who Cannot See, Think of Those Who Can” is a messy episode, but one with several great moments that moves many subplots forwards.
This recap of Euphoria season 2, episode 4, “You Who Cannot See, Think of Those Who Can”, contains spoilers.
I’ve seen plenty of divided opinions on this week’s episode of Euphoria. When I got up this morning all the characters who were involved in major moments in “You Who Cannot See, Think of Those Who Can” were trending individually, as was Sam Levinson, who was mostly being lightly mocked. I understand the division. On the one hand, this episode was just a mess, with no sense of focus, narrative through-line, or cohesion. On the other hand, it’s the story of a drug addict who is rapidly spiraling a drain and who surrounds herself exclusively with people who’re as messed up or more messed up than even she is. How would you even try to tell this story in a coherent way?
If the messiness of this episode was intentional, and I suspect it was even though I’m reluctant to give Levinson too much credit by stating as much outright, then you have to be impressed – it was messy. So messy was it, in fact, that I think I even came out of it liking Cal Jacobs, which you’d think would be inconceivable.
Euphoria season 2, episode 4 recap
And yet here we are. Cal’s high-speed, drunken journey through this episode culminated in him doing something that no other character in the show has yet been able to do – cast off the shackles of a public-facing façade and announce, loudly and proudly, who he really is. Admittedly, him being sexually fluid isn’t the issue, and whether he feels shame about it or not, filming yourself having barely consensual sex with underage high-school students isn’t a good look. Still, it was nice to see him really unload on his family, but more on that in a moment.
So, Rue and Jules’s relationship gets a lot of focus here, especially now that Elliot has been introduced to properly complicate it. Almost as a follow-on to last week’s discussion about Rue’s potential asexuality, this episode shows her obviously faking an orgasm while Jules is going down on her after imagining a string of made-for-TV romances. Both the imaginings and the lack of a genuine orgasm come from Rue being too high to really feel much of anything, but that’s no comfort to Jules, who doesn’t know that Rue has relapsed or indeed that Elliot has been enabling her all this time.
This, then, is one of the core conflicts of the hour, especially when Elliot and Jules have a moment that leads to making out behind Rue’s back. Speaking of making out behind people’s backs, Cassie and Nate argue about him getting back with Maddy in a way that seems designed to filter Malcolm and Marie through Harley Quinn and the Joker – note Nate’s pathetically desperate “I love you” when Cassie goes to leave after threatening him; dude’s such a scumbag – and it leads to a hilarious gross-out moment in Maddy’s hot tub. Cassie, having had far too much to drink, simply can’t stand to hear Maddy regurgitate all the performatively romantic things Nate has apparently said to her, and literally regurgitates the contents of her stomach directly into the hot tub, much to the disgust of everyone. And after she made such a big deal of dressing in sexy swimwear to torment Nate!
Anyway, Rue. After robbing a liquor store with Elliot and Jules, she starts mixing alcohol with opiates, which rarely ends well, and then cruelly lashes out at Jules when she tries to intervene. She goes home alone and does more drugs, imagining a kind of idyllic dream-like intervention with her father, which I think is implying that she has taken an overdose again? It’s kind of unclear. Either way, she leaves Jules alone with Elliot, and the two start making out again until Elliot guiltily confesses to having been enabling Rue. But! Jules takes the news on the chin and climbs back into bed with him anyway, having presumably settled on his laidback sexuality over Rue’s absent sexuality. It’s a bold decision, but a girl’s got needs.
Speaking of needs! Cal is finally ready to embrace his, although it takes him a while to get there. He gets very drunk and drives very dangerously all the way back to the gay bar where he and Derrick shared their first kiss two decades prior, and he tries to relive the moment with a stranger to such a degree of detail that he gets ejected for being too handsy. Still, it turns out that Cal is a super reasonable drunk, and he just takes it all laughingly in stride, before driving home to share his double life with his family. Nobody can say anything in return, of course, since he pre-emptively points out the hypocrisy by exposing his wife’s collection of love letters from another man, Aaron’s worrying p**n habits, and Nate’s general sense of complete mystery. How can any of those people judge him? It’s a good point. The chance of him just being able to breeze out of the door and live a happy, free life, though, are rather slim – he’s due one heck of a hangover, at the very least.