The first Euphoria special episode is here to bridge the gap between Seasons 1 and 2. Inspired by a scene series creator Sam Levinson originally wrote for Euphoria Season 2, most of "Trouble Don't Last Always" featured a long conversation between Zendaya's character and her Narcotics Anonymous sponsor Ali in a diner on Christmas Eve. While their moving discussion gave viewers tons of insight into Rue's psyche, it also had them doubting the protagonist in a major way. So, the question remains: Did Rue and Jules really get tattoos in Euphoria Season 1, or is Rue more of an unreliable narrator than fans thought?
Warning: Spoilers for Euphoria's special bridge episode, "Trouble Don't Last Always," follow. It started when Rue told Ali that Jules cheated on her with another girl. Ali followed up by asking Rue whether she and Jules ever actually discussed being in a relationship, a question Rue avoided by mentioning other things they had done to show their feelings for each other. like kiss and say "I love you."
"We talked about getting matching tattoos on the inside of our lips," Rue added. But when Ali asked if they actually got the tattoos, Rue chuckled and said no, they did not.
But wait... didn't Ashtray give Rue and Jules matching lip tattoos in Season 1, Episode 5, after they kissed the night of the carnival? Your mind isn't playing tricks on you; that scene really did happen. However, it seems that it may have only happened in Rue's head, not in the reality of the show.
In a behind-the-scenes featurette for the episode, Levinson explained this tattoo tidbit was meant to make fans question Rue's ability to separate fact from fantasy.
“We’re starting to see a little bit of Rue’s unreliability as a narrator," Levinson said. "This episode is starting to kind of sow the seeds that Rue’s perspective is very much Rue’s perspective, and she’s not always accurate in her retelling of things. She is limited in her ability to understand the other emotional worlds of other characters, and it leaves open the other side of the story, which is Jules’ side.”
Zendaya also weighed in on her character's emerging flaw in the featurette following the episode. “Rue fell in love with this idea of something that she never actually was clear about," she said. "I think both of them don’t know or have the emotional understanding to be able to have a conversation about how they feel. With that comes a lot of miscommunication.”
Luckily, the second special episode is going to focus on Jules' side of the story.
“Jules feels the pressure of Rue’s sobriety resting on her," Hunter Schafer, who plays Jules, said in the featurette. "I think Jules is really worried that if she makes the wrong move with Rue, it could go straight back to relapsing. And that’s countered with the two of them being very in love.”
So, if the lip tattoo scene was simply a figment of Rue's imagination, what else did fans see in Season 1 that didn't actually happen? Perhaps the Jules' bridge episode, which is expected to air on HBO sometime before the end of 2020, will explore just that.