Season Two of Euphoria is now in full swing and a certified success. With the premier hitting 8.3 million across all HBO platforms, and the latest episode reaching 3.6 million viewers according to Deadline, it is safe to say the show is one of the biggest in recent memory. As the show is heating up, so is our feelings towards the characters. To mark the midway point of Euphoria, here is our ranking of the characters thus far.
*Warning: Euphoria spoilers and mentions of graphic and sensitive content ahead*
14. Cal Jacobs
It is safe to say that Cal Jacobs is by far one of the most downright evil characters in recent TV memory. Yes, his son Nate is satan’s spawn, but everything spans back to Cal and his influence over his son. From being a serial cheater through having sexual relations with underage boys and transgender girls, and using his status in the community to ensure they remain quiet, he certainly is one of the worst. Oh, and he resents his eldest son for even being born.
13. Nate Jacobs
Nate, Nate, Nate. What can we say really? He truly is a product of his upbringing and surroundings, and is the picture-perfect image of the saying “like father, like son.” Nate has his issues, and I can understand how he has become the way he is, but good lord it does not excuse the evil radiating off of him. He is mentally abusive to Maddy, threatens Fezco, blackmails Jules…for his own father’s infidelity AND is now engaging in a relationship with Cassie, Maddy’s best friend! By the looks of the episode six preview too, he now has a gun and is coming for Maddy with it. Yikes. The only redeeming quality of Nate Jacobs is that he is the inspiration for Labrinth’s best score for the soundtrack of Euphoria “Nate Growing Up”, because that is a certified banger.
Elliot…..Elliot…….we had so much potential! Elliot was the newest edition to season two, introduced to us as a new friend for Rue..however he is also the absolute worst influence for her as he also is an addict with no intention of entering recovery. Oh, and he also has sex with Jules after telling her that Rue is still using drugs. Very odd.
11. Chris McKay
Honestly, McKay is not that bad. He is only here because we have seen him once in season two and was still a kinda-main-character-kinda-background-character in season one of Euphoria. That being said, McKay handled Cassie (his then girlfriends) pregnancy BAD. On the flip side, the guy was assaulted by his frat brothers in front of her, had it filmed and clearly was still processing what the hell had just occurred. I really wish we could have explored this so much more in season two, but the lack of McKay thus far indicates we won’t.
10. Cassie Howard
If you would have told me in season one that Cassie would have ranked this low come the second season, I would have laughed in your face. Cassie, Cassie, Cassie…how did we end up here?! Cassie enters season two pretty traumatised from her abortion in season one and being single for the first time in forever, and celebrates this by hooking up with none other than Nate Jacobs, her best friends horrible ex. To make matters even worse, she tried keeping the whole thing a secret and played the jealousy game at Maddy’s own birthday party when Nate arrived. Cassie has serious abandonment issues stemming from her father, but please Cassie, get therapy instead of NATE JACOBS.
9. Leslie Bennett
Leslie Bennett has been through it. Losing her husband to cancer, having an addict daughter, and having to cope with her youngest baby, Gia, being affected by it all too. Leslie is the image of how families deal with this all, and how easy it can be for them to be tricked into believing their addict family members are deep into recovery and rehab. Dealing with addicts can never be easy, as you want to be there for them, keep trusting them when they say they are getting better. Leslie, sometimes very naively, has tried to trust in Rue and not always think the worst. She has always had her daughters best interests at heart, and wanted her to get better, even when Rue did not want that for herself. Leslie has had every word under the sun thrown at her by Rue, but she still manages to remain calm because she knows its her addiction talking, and that’s truly heartbreaking. Leslie is a good, good woman.
8. Gia Bennett
Miss Gia Bennett is the purest soul and has seen too much for someone so young. Losing her father at such a young age, witnessing her sister overdose and, unfortunately, being ever-so-slightly sidelined by her mother due to Rue’s addiction. Gia deeply cares about her sister and wants to defend her so badly that she even kept quiet the ‘marijuana’ use from her mother because she genuinely believed it was to help her sister’s anxiety. Gia is a young girl who is having to grow up too fast, and you can’t help but feel for her.
7. Jules Vaughn
Jules is by far one of the most complex characters on the show, with her trauma being endless. She was sent to an institution by her mother at a young age due to her gender dysphoria, her mother is an addict, she struggled to understand what being a woman meant to her even after beginning her transition, and now she is dealing with Rue’s addiction and the whole Jacobs family mess too. The girl can never catch a break.
However, while Jules has so much to be sympathised with, we cannot brush over the most recent episodes. Jules accused Rue of liking Elliot and then proceeds to have sex with him herself. She also got ahold of alcohol, drank it in front of Rue, a recovering drug addict, and then got angry at Rue for wanting a drink too? You cannot put an addict in these situations and then wonder how they are tempted by it. Jules is a fantastic character but has not been the greatest this season, but we are still rooting for her regardless!
6. Rue Bennett
Yes, we know how bad Rue can be. We know she can make it so painful watching Euphoria sometimes, but we still love and care for her.
Rue is a hard, hard character to stand by. You want to shake her, wake her up from this fantasy that her life is better on drugs. You want her to stop with the absolute menacing behaviour, lashing out at those who care. Yes, she has done some terrible, terrible things. She has gaslit her sister, she has called her mother every name under the sun, she has dragged Jules through the mud for wanting her clean, but you cannot help but remember that she is a suffering addict with a huge problem.
Euphoria S2, EP4 shows how terrified Rue actually is of who she is on drugs. In one of the most heartbreaking scenes of the show, she is hugging her dead dad in a hallucination, crying to him saying how she feels she is not a good person, and that is her biggest fear. Rue is terrified of being a bad person but cannot break the cycle she is in. She is not, at the core, a bad person. The drugs she is on bring out the worst in her because it is the drugs and addiction talking. Rue is hard to root for when you can see her being destructive, but she is a terrified teen who is caught up in one of the worst cycles imaginable and is deep down so good.
Ali is one of the most heartbreaking characters in the show, as all he wants is to do is help Rue. Throughout both seasons of Euphoria, all Ali has ever done is bare his soul to Rue, letting her into his darkest secrets in order to try and help Rue on her journey to sobriety. Rue is hard, hard work, but Ali is constantly trying to keep her on the straight and narrow. He has taken every jab she has ever thrown at him, especially the god awful of season two episode three, and still wanted to stand by her.
Ali sees himself in Rue. He sees the person he used to be, he sees the potential Rue has to be better at her age than he was when he was younger. Ali is a rarity among the Euphoria cast. He knows his errors, his mistakes and his demons, but he uses them to be better. Something he wants for Rue.
4. Kat Hernandez
This one might come as a surprise, but Kat is one of the best in the show. Kat has been battling against herself since she was a very young child. From being dumped by her childhood boyfriend because of holiday weight gain and then having her first sexual experience spread online, Kat has had it tough. But Kat grabbed this with her two hands and came out of it stronger.
“There’s nothing more powerful than a fat girl who doesn’t give a f**k” became one of the most quoted moments from season one, and rightfully so. Kat embraced who she was, grew into a confident and powerful young woman, and in turn broke the mould for fat women on teen tv shows. Kat no longer hid herself or tried to fade into the background. She stood toe to toe with her peers and embraced herself, her sexuality and her body for what it was. Kat became what other tv shows failed to do; show fat women they can be loved, be desired and be accepted without needing to change a thing about them. Yes, this is challenged in season two (with a phenomenal ‘love yourself’ influencer scene) but Kat still is trying. She is trying to break through despite being challenged and her vulnerability does not take what her character stands for away from her. It is realistic to not always be 100% confident, but Kat has not redacted back to hiding or shying away from her style, she is trying.
3. Maddy Perez
Let’s not get it twisted, Maddy is most definitely flawed. She is messy, she believes she’s incapable of pure love and gets herself stuck with horrid men because of it (re: Nate Jacobs.) Maddy is in love with the pain of Nate Jacobs, but ranks so high because we have seen her without him. Maddy is quite honestly, thriving without the weight of Nate hanging around her neck, and it is wonderful to see.
She is fiercely loyal to her friends. She comforts Kat on her own birthday over her problems with her boyfriend Ethan, giving her quite brilliant advice about what you want vs what you need. She became incredibly worried when Kat changed FAST after her sexual encounter went viral, out of concern for her and she remains worried about Rue potentially relapsing. Maddy gets a bad reputation because she is direct and honest. She is like marmite; you either love her or you hate her, and Maddy Perez, we love you.
The rise of Fezco nation has been something so pleasing since the beginning of season two. He was a controversial figure; the man who essentially helped Rue become the addict that she is, being her dealer. But Fez at the core of it is a very, very good person, who got unfortunately caught up in an awful lifestyle as a child. He had no say in leading the life he does, being one of the towns biggest dealers, and having to remain doing so while his grandmother is ill.
As fas as drug dealers go, Euphoria does not give their dealer a hard exterior. Fezco is protective as hell over Rue. He refuses to deal to her again due to how severe her addiction is, and the chance of her death is quite high with how much she has spiralled. No matter how much his friendship with Rue could be damaged from his refusals, he prioritises her life over any money he could make from her. Another person Fez is incredibly soft for is Lexi Howard. The season premiere of Euphoria season two shows Fez become heart eyes and soft-spoken towards Cassie’s sister, even admitting to being religious to her and changing his demeanour immediately when talking to her. Also, he battered the life out of Nate Jacobs, something that will always give anyone brownie points in my eyes.
This may be the biggest surprise, but yes, Lexi IS the best character on Euphoria. Lexi is a breath of fresh air among the absolute chaos and stress within this show. She is the light in the darkness, but that does not mean that she is not without her troubles. She has always been sidelined within her family, with Cassie taking priority She has always had to watch over her sister, even if Cassie acts like Lexi is the dirt on the bottom of her shoe.
Lexi uses this to create a dream world. She pretends her life is a tv show and utilises this fantasy world to write a play about her life. Yes, it is at the expense of her sister, since she is the centre of the play, but can you blame her for holding a slight resentment towards her after years of being treated like you’re nothing by her? Season two also shows Lexi coming more and more into her own. We knew she was 100% herself after she (very adorably) dresses as Bob Ross in the Halloween episode last season, but during her conversation with Fezco in the season 2 premiere, we learn how charming she is. While getting tangled up with Fez *could* be very dangerous for Lexi, we also cannot help but hold a sweet spot for them too. Rumours are circulating that episode seven of this season will finally unveil her play, and we cannot wait for Lexi to shine even more.
Who is your favourite from Euphoria? Let us know by tweeting the CelebMix account!