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‘Euphoria’ Christmas Episode Reveals What Could Have Been If Rue Had Left With Jules

It looks perfect — at first

(Warning: This post contains spoilers for the standalone Christmas episode of “Euphoria,” titled “Trouble Don’t Last Always.”)

While fans are still patiently awaiting the COVID-delayed second season of “Euphoria,” the HBO drama found a way to give them the next best thing in a standalone Christmas episode that follows Zendaya’s Rue in the immediate aftermath of the Season 1 finale.

In case you’ve forgotten, that episode ended with Rue relapsing and apparently overdosing after she decided not to run away with Jules (Hunter Schafer) and start a life together in the city following all of the drama the teen couple endured throughout the show’s first season.

During the “Euphoria” special — which launched on HBO Max Friday ahead of its linear debut on HBO Sunday at 9/8c — we find out Rue is alive, but definitely not well, as she spends Christmas Eve in a diner with her sponsor, Ali (Colman Domingo), talking about her recent life-threatening relapse and whether or not she even wants to get clean at all.

But before that, “Euphoria” gives fans a taste of what life could have been like if Rue had gotten on the train with Jules.

The episode, which is written and directed by series creator Sam Levinson and titled “Trouble Don’t Last Always,” opens with Jules asleep in bed in an apartment we haven’t seen before. Rue comes over to kiss her good morning and wish her girlfriend “good luck” on a big presentation she has at a fashion-design academy, and the two declare their love for each other while Jules gets ready for the day.

But after Jules leaves with a big show of support from her girlfriend, Rue goes to grab drugs she has hidden in the apartment and gets high.

After this bit, the “dream” ends and we see Rue getting high in the bathroom of the diner before coming out to talk to Ali, at first lying to him about getting clean and then confessing what she’s really been up to.

This episode is the first in a pair of standalone “Euphoria” installments HBO plans to launch. No date has been set for the second episode.

Readers can watch the “Euphoria” special now on HBO Max or on Sunday at 9/8c on HBO.