It appears that Rules was made to be broken.
On Sunday night’s episode of Euphoria, we witnessed what are likely the penultimate moments of Rue and Jules’ passionate but short-lived relationship. Though drawn to one another at first sight, the two girls just can’t seem to make it work right now. Rue’s becoming kind of codependent, while Jules is running scared at the first sign of intimacy. The former’s newly committed to her sobriety, while the latter’s coping with a truly fucked-up blackmail situation she didn’t ask Nate to rope her into by drinking too much. In short, they’re out of sync — something that Heidi Bivens' expert costume design hints at throughout this latest episode.
“The Next Episode,” which aired July 21 on HBO, saw Euphoria’s cast of traumatized teenage hotties hitting up the most bisexually lit Halloween house party ever represented on-screen. Jules (Hunter Schafer) dressed up as Claire Danes’ angel-winged Juliet from the masquerade scene in Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet, which came out three years before Schafer was born. Rue (Zendaya) picked Leonardo DiCaprio’s Titanic character, Jack Dawson — specifically the scene when he suits up to hobnob with Rose’s peers, crossing the class lines between steerage and first class.
Rue’s costume choice is perplexing, given that DiCaprio also played Romeo opposite Danes’ Juliet. Why didn’t she go with that? Or if Rue was dead-set on Jack, why didn’t Jules do Rose instead? They’re star-cross’d lovers, star-cross’d with someone else — a couple’s costume that fails to make a pair. But a Rose DeWitt Bukater by any other name would still smell as sweet, right? “You smell like alcohol,” Rue says as Jules leans in then pulls away from a kiss.
Their discord continues once they get to the party. Jules, having seen Nate (Jacob Elordi) and Maddy (Alexa Demie) enter the room, begins pounding shots with Kat (Barbie Ferreira). Rue watches in anxious frustration from the sidelines, only intervening once her girlfriend intentionally (?) walks straight into the in-ground pool out back. Rue calls out to Jules, but she ignores her, reciting one of Juliet’s lines from Act II, Scene 2: “Although I joy in thee, I have no joy of this contract tonight. It is too rash, too unadvised, too sudden,” she says, which is Shakespearean for “I’m avoidant and bad at communication, so you should probably fucking stear clear.”
Rue tries to get Jules out, but Jules pulls Rue down with her, submerging them both in the water like it’s the final act of Titanic. Only one of that movie’s lovers makes it out alive, and it’s not the one Rue dressed up as; Jules’ reference point provides a doubly morbid alternative. Jules gets out of the pool, but Rue lets her stumble drunkenly back into the party alone, perhaps realizing that their love story has come to a close.
“I can’t fucking leave her,” Rue tells Lexi, though apparently she can.