One of the most impressive and most talked about new series of 2019 was HBO’s Euphoria. The show was hyped due to some intriguing trailers and the casting of the talented Zendaya in the lead role. It was a more mature character than fans had ever seen from her and she nailed it, earning an Emmy win for her performance.
The rest of the cast was also tremendous, delivering breakout efforts to help them become stars. Euphoria centers around a group of high school students who deal with things like love, drugs, reputations, abuse, and more. The show was certainly well-received by the users who rated it over on IMDb.
Updated on March 1st, 2022 by Kevin Pantoja: Euphoria season 2 has just wrapped up and the show has only grown in popularity. Since an argument could be made for which season is stronger, it’s interesting to look at every episode and the rating it received on IMDb. It’s one of the best ways to figure out the best episode of Euphoria. That includes both seasons and the two special installments dedicated to Rue and Jules in between those seasons. The show has done some extraordinary things that help it stand out among the crowded modern TV landscape.
18 Out Of Touch – 8.2
There are actually a handful of episodes tied with an 8.2 rating. Considering an 8.2 is still a very impressive score, it says a lot about the quality of Euphoria. This installment mostly dealt with the fallout from the explosive New Year’s party.
Rue built a stronger bond with Elliot, Maddy debated getting back together with Nate, and Nate spent time in the hospital daydreaming about Cassie, Maddy, Jules, and his father. The highlight had to be Jules’s heart-to-heart with Maddy, giving the fans a friendship they want to see more of going forward.
17 ’03 Bonnie & Clyde – 8.2
For fans who didn’t quite catch on, season 1 episodes are named after hip-hop songs, with this one relating to Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s hit track. One of the most notable things about this installment was that it was directed by Jennifer Morrison, star of ABC’s Once Upon a Time.
This episode put the focus on Maddy’s upbringing and her incredibly toxic relationship with Nate. However, considering both of their destructive tendencies, they might actually be perfect together. This also saw problems between Jules and Rue begin to pop up.
16 Stuntin’ Like My Daddy – 8.2
Nate quickly became one of the most volatile characters in all of television. “Stuntin’ Like My Daddy” revealed that when he was 11, he found videos of his dad (Cal) having sex with underage gay men and trans girls. It helped shape his terrifying personality, seen as he beat Tyler to a bloody pulp and accused him of raping Maddy in this episode.
The episode really became a great one at the end when it was revealed that the guy Jules romantically bonded with via text was actually Nate posing as someone else. It set the tone for their horrific relationship going forward.
15 Pilot – 8.2
The pilot episode of a series can often be hit or miss. Some shows get it right immediately but others take a bit longer to get going. Thankfully, Euphoria mostly nailed its premiere episode and set the stage for a fantastic series.
“Pilot” worked to introduce the characters. Viewers got to learn about Rue’s addiction, Nate and Maddy’s problems, and the unjust history behind Cassie’s reputation. It was praised for the wonderful visuals and was directed by Augustine Frizzell.
14 The Next Episode – 8.3
The flashbacks in this Euphoria episode were centered on McKay, the boyfriend of Cassie. Viewers got to understand more about him as he realized his dreams of playing in the NFL were very unlikely and thanks to the pressure put on him by his father, he had no backup plan.
Nate’s torture of Tyler reached its height as he threatened him into taking the blame for choking Maddy (which Nate did). He also blackmailed Jules into backing up the story which helped send Jules spiraling into a drinking bender that worried Rue. This installment also had hilarious scenes featuring Lexi dressed as Bob Ross.
13 And Salt The Earth Behind You – 8.3
You often see a season finale topping one of these lists but that’s not the case here. Euphoria still ended season 1 on a high note, though. This hour saw Rue and Jules reconcile and head to winter formal together where every main character was involved.
Nate had an emotional breakdown while fighting with his dad, Maddy saw one of Cal’s videos, Rue confronted Nate, Cassie had an abortion, and Rue also decided not to leave town with Jules. An upset Rue snorted drugs when she got home, breaking her sobriety. She experienced hallucinations in the form of an epic song and dance number where Zendaya got to showcase her talent.
12 All My Life, My Heart Has Yearned For A Thing I Cannot Name – 8.5
The build to the season 2 finale of Euphoria was pretty epic and while the last episode mostly delivered, there were some fans who didn’t appreciate it. The death of beloved character Ashtray was kind of expected but doing so in a Scarface level shootout felt out of place for the show.
Audiences also didn’t love the minimal screen time given to the Maddy/Cassie confrontation. However, the drama surrounding Lexi’s play was well-received and the small reconciliation between Rue and Jules gave hope for season 3. It did leave a few too many things unanswered though.
11 A Thousand Little Trees Of Blood – 8.5
It’s no secret that Nate Jacobs has done some awful things. Blackmail, assault, and domestic violence are just a few of those heinous actions but he may have saved his worst for this episode. He threatened Maddy at gunpoint to get the disc of his father and Jules back, leaving her crying in the fetal position.
He did give the disc to Jules in a rare show of kindness but he’s certainly a terrible person. This episode was also praised, as usual, for the performance of Zendaya as she detailed Rue’s struggle with withdrawal and attempts to make up for everyone she wronged.
10 Made You Look – 8.5
Whenever someone is nominated for an Emmy, there’s one particular episode used to represent it. For Zendaya, that was “Made You Look.” Her performance in it still gives people chills. The highlight came at the end when she broke down outside of Fezco’s house because he wouldn’t give her drugs. She blamed him for her addiction and it’s a heartbreaking scene all around.
Despite Zendaya’s powerhouse performance, the episode was actually focused on Kat and the abrupt weight gain she had while on a family vacation. She got chastised by her peers but found solace in her online fan fiction becoming popular. A piece of that fiction led to a controversial scene about One Direction.
9 You Who Cannot See, Think Of Those Who Can – 8.6
Halfway through season 2, audiences were excited to see if the truth about Cassie and Nate would come out. This episode came close to that with the two at Maddy’s birthday party and Cassie going on a drinking binge after seeing Nate be nice to Maddy.
There was some controversy in this episode though as fans were pretty furious with the decision to have Jules and Elliot hook up. They felt it went against Jules’s character and hurt considering they waited so long to see Rue and Jules as a happy couple. Alas, there was enough drama and some remarkable cinematography to keep everyone engaged.
8 F**k Anyone Who’s Not A Sea Blob – 8.6
COVID-19 caused a lengthy break between the seasons but fans were lucky to get two special episodes filmed during the era. They were kept to relatively small casts and crews to work within CDC guidelines and the second of these installments focused on Jules.
The episode was partially written by Hunter Schafer and dealt with a lot of her experiences as a trans girl. She also talked a lot about the unfair pressure she felt that Rue often put her sobriety on Jules’s shoulders. The performance of Schafer was critically acclaimed.
7 The Trials and Tribulations of Trying to Pee While Depressed – 8.6
This uniquely titled episode dealt with Rue falling into a manic depression after Jules leaves town. It got so bad that she couldn’t bring herself to get up and use the bathroom, leading to a kidney infection. This episode also featured the spectacularly creative scene of Rue and Lexi acting as detectives.
The flashbacks centered on Cassie and the things that led to her upsetting relationship with her dad, as well as her promiscuous attitude towards men. The tension also ramped up here, as Rue told Fezco about what Nate did, leading Fezco to confront him in an intense scene. Those emotional sequences and the creativity behind the detective scene were why fans liked it so much.
6 Ruminations: Big And Little Bullys – 8.7
Nobody really expected that a flashback episode of the series would ever focus on Cal Jacobs. As one of the show’s biggest villains, Cal isn’t someone who fans wanted to sympathize with but this installment shed some light on how his upbringing was similar to Nate’s.
Cal’s dad was homophobic so he had to hide his true self. The extended sequence leading to his romance with his best friend Derek was praised, as was the scene where Cal confronted Fezco and Ashtray. Rue also set up a storyline where she got drugs from a dangerous dealer.
5 Trouble Don’t Last Always – 8.9
The first special episode was hyped as “starring Emmy winner Zendaya” and the woman delivered another performance worthy of taking home a trophy. The episode took place almost entirely at a diner where Rue spoke with her NA sponsor, Ali.
Although it’s mostly just wall-to-wall dialogue, the conversation was in-depth, emotional, and featured some memorable quotes. The audience learned some truths about Rue’s relationship with Jules, Ali’s checkered past, and the fact that Rue doesn’t think she’ll be alive for a long time.
4 The Theater And Its Double – 9.1
Most of season 2 built up to Lexi’s play. Typically the quietest character on the show, she finally stepped up and did something for herself by putting on a school play. The twist was that the play was about her and her friends, revealing shocking truths in the process.
The episode masterfully switched between the play’s version of scenes and what actually happened, including shedding light on Maddy and Cassie’s friendship, Lexi’s friendships with both Rue and Maddy and more. The highlight had to be the “I Need A Hero” musical number that worked as a way to reveal a bit about Nate’s sexuality, which he desperately hides.
3 Shook Ones, Pt. II (Episode 4) – 9.1
Jules is arguably the most interesting character on the show, so it makes sense that the episode dealing with her past would be great. When she was 11, she was admitted into a psych hospital due to her gender dysphoria. The present-day stuff took place at a carnival where a lot of drama went down.
That included a fight between Maddy and Nate, Rue finding her sister stoned, and Maddy and Cassie taking MDMA. Nearly every scene with Jules was intense from her confronting Cal to him finding her later in the evening to the ending where Jules learned that Nate was “Tyler” and he planned to blackmail her.
2 Trying To Get To Heaven Before They Close The Door – 9.3
The highly-anticipated season 2 premiere of Euphoria delivered in spades. Instead of taking place over a long period of time, most of the installment centered around a New Year’s Eve party where all of the main characters intertwined. For example, it’s hard to top the intensity of Maddy nearly finding Cassie in the bathroom after the latter hooked up with Nate.
The show is always praised for how stunning it is visually and that was clear in this episode. Some of the shots winding through the party are impressive, as is the use of lighting in the final few minutes. The true kicker was the start of the adorable Lexi and Fezco romance, as well as Fezco beating up Nate, giving fans what they had been wanting for years.
1 Stand Still Like The Hummingbird – 9.6
While the entire cast of Euphoria is impressive, there’s no doubt that Zendaya is the star. This episode gave her the biggest opportunity to display that as it followed the terrifying journey that Rue experiences due to her addiction.
Zendaya put on a powerhouse performance as she shouted at her mother and sister, said awful things to Jules, revealed the truth about Cassie’s relationship with Nate to Maddy, stole from random people, and ran from the police. The intense episode ended when she ended up at her drug dealer’s home, only to be pumped with more drugs before luckily escaping.
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