“All My Life, My Heart Has Yearned for a Thing I Cannot Name” closes out the second season of Euphoria in a messy torrent of emotion and drama.
This recap of Euphoria season 2, episode 8, “All My Life, My Heart Has Yearned for a Thing I Cannot Name”, contains spoilers, including big ones for Euphoria Season 2’s ending.
Art imitates life. Life imitates art. This is the sentiment that powered the penultimate episode of Euphoria’s second season, which staged the first half of Lexi’s play Our Life and deliberately blurred the lines between what was happening on-stage and the real lives and relationships from which it was drawing inspiration. “All My Life, My Heart Has Yearned for a Thing I Cannot Name” employs some of the same tricks, has the same push-and-pull tug-of-war battle between reality and artifice, but eventually, one overpowers the other. Even the scenes with artistic license become so true to life that, rather than everything feeling slightly fake, everything, even the fake stuff, feels all too real.
Euphoria season 2, episode 8 recap
Last week, what was going on with Fez was the only certainty, the only thing we knew was real and not a production. Thus, that’s the first thing that reality overwhelms. Just as Fez is about to leave, Custer confesses about the police having found Mouse’s body. Before he can continue, Ash stabs him in the neck with the box cutter he hid up his sleeve, and since the police might be listening through his phone, Fez clamps a hand over his mouth while he messily bleeds out. We frequently cut back and forth between here and Lexi; we see the tender getting-to-know-you conversations the two shared over the phone, about Little House on the Prairie and the character traits they share. The point is an obvious one. That lovely romance isn’t going to get a chance to flourish. Fez isn’t going to make it to the play.
Perhaps, given how things go, it’s just as well. Cassie, having been freshly dumped by Nate, gate-crashes the whole thing, and the crowd, not entirely sure whether this is part of the show or not, start booing and jeering pantomime-style. Cassie is furious with Lexi for mocking her life. Maddy is furious with Cassie for you-know-what. Eventually, everyone is on-stage brawling. As the fight heads into the stands and then through the halls of the high school, Lexi remains backstage, sobbing.
Eventually, Lexi is given a new lease on life. She decides the show must go on, and thanks to some chants of her name started by Rue but enthusiastically taken up by everyone else, she returns to the stage, thanks everyone for coming, and dedicates the next portion to Fez, who at that moment is trying to take the blame for Custer’s death to protect Ash. But Ash won’t listen. Instead, he piles all the guns in the bathroom, locks himself inside, and prepares to make his last stand in the bathtub. As the police raid the place, Fez is still banging on the door, imploring Fez to come out and the police not to shoot him. He opens fire through the door and wall, the police shoot back, and Fez, having been clipped by a bullet, screams Ash’s name while bullets shred the house to pieces of plaster and porcelain.
Eventually, the shooting dies down. One of the officers opens the bathroom door to find Ash on the floor, seemingly dead, but he sits up and blasts the cop. It’s suicide, essentially. A red laser sight tracks up to his head as Fez helplessly watches on. We linger on Fez’s face as Ash is shot in the head and his body thuds lifelessly to the floor.
For a moment, Euphoria season 2, episode 8 intercuts the police raid with Nate loading a revolver and drinking beer; it looks for a second like he’s the one coming for revenge on Fez. But he’s out for revenge of a different kind. He turns up at the construction site where Cal is living and hanging out with some scantily clad friends. He explains to them how he found the videos of his dad having sex with hookers when he was only 11, and how since then he has had a recurring dream – the one we saw last week – of Cal having sex with him the same way. Cal is apologetic, obviously. He tried to keep his family and private lives separate, and he failed. He tried to keep Nate safe, and he failed. Nate isn’t interested in apologies or excuses. He shows Cal a thumb drive which he claims contains “everything”, and then lets the cops in to arrest his father.
Euphoria season 2 ending
Amongst all this, the anchor remains, as ever, Rue. We get snippets of her usual narration, and her reaction shots to the various goings-on of the play – her face when Cassie is heavy breathing through the glass of the auditorium doors is especially brilliant – are priceless. She visits Elliot to tell him that she forgives him, and he plays her a highly relevant song that brings tears to her eyes. They’re still not good for each other, but maybe they can be friends eventually. She has a stand-in in Lexi’s play, but from our perspective, she plays herself in all her scenes, including one where she eulogizes her father. Later, Rue congratulates Lexi on the play and goes over to see her, telling her how much it meant to her, and how much it helped. Both bond over the loss of their fathers, and they hug and cry, finally able to be best friends again without the buffer of drug addiction and all the pain of loss between them. It’s a profound moment of closeness and honesty, and then the camera pulls back and reveals it’s a part of Lexi’s play. It gets a standing ovation.
Jules tells Rue that she misses and loves her, and Rue kisses her on the head before she leaves the auditorium. She walks home alone as her voiceover tells us that she stayed clean for the rest of the school year, mostly because it was easier than relapsing. As Ali’s words echo in her head, she explains how the thought of eventually one day being a good person is reason enough to keep trying. Maybe there’s something in that, she speculates. Maybe she’s right.
You can stream Euphoria season 2, episode 8, “All My Life, My Heart Has Yearned for a Thing I Cannot Name” on HBO and HBO Max. Do you have any thoughts on Euphoria Season 2’s ending? Let us know in the comments.