I’ve finally caught up with the Euphoria frenzy, thanks to the wonders of 21st-century technology. The HBO drama series, known for its raw depiction of high school life, grabbed me from the very beginning. While the second season impressed me, it also highlighted some flaws that are hard to ignore. In particular, I believe that one character, Cassie Howard, deserves more recognition and understanding from both the show and its fanbase. So, let’s delve into the complex world of Cassie and her journey through Euphoria.
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The Rollercoaster Ride of Euphoria
Euphoria introduces us to a group of high school kids who navigate through life in ways that would give any parent nightmares. From the start, the show is known for its over-the-top drama, but it also delves into important topics like depression, substance abuse, and the experience of feeling like an outsider.
The central character, Rue, played by Zendaya, effortlessly captures the audience’s sympathy despite her outrageous behavior. Throughout the series, Rue battles addiction and exhibits manipulative tendencies, hurting those closest to her. And yet, we find ourselves rooting for her redemption, hoping she can escape the consequences of her actions.
The Untold Story of Cassie Howard
Now, let’s shift our focus to Cassie Howard, a character who I believe has been overlooked by the show and its viewers. In the first season, Cassie was a relatively minor character, despite being the supposed best friend of the protagonist’s sister, Lexi. While Cassie’s conventional beauty stole the spotlight, Lexi was often left in the shadows.
Similar to Rue and other characters in the show, Cassie is revealed to have deep-rooted issues with her father. Her handsome, confident father struggled with addiction after a car accident. Losing her father to this battle left Cassie yearning for male affection and struggling to find her place in the world.
The Complexities of Cassie’s Relationships
In the first season, Cassie is portrayed as promiscuous, but her loyalty lies with her boyfriend, McKay, an aspiring college athlete. However, despite his genuine feelings for Cassie, McKay treats her poorly, criticizing her appearance and chastising her for being sexually expressive. Their relationship reaches a breaking point when McKay pushes Cassie towards having an abortion.
In the second season, Cassie is left heartbroken and depressed due to her breakup with McKay and the aftermath of her abortion. She craves attention and finds herself drawn to Nate, the school’s psychopath. Nate, who is arguably a terrible human being, has a history of violence and manipulation. Despite the warning signs, Cassie pursues him, desperately seeking love.
Unveiling a Softer Side of Nate
As the second season progresses, Nate begins to show glimpses of growth and vulnerability. He imagines an alternate reality where he had chosen Cassie instead of his toxic relationship with Maddie. It becomes evident that Cassie has had a positive impact on Nate’s personal growth.
Throughout the season, we witness Cassie’s unraveling mental state. Her behavior becomes increasingly erratic, driven by the fear of being discovered by her best friend, Maddie. However, despite her flaws, Cassie is not engaging in criminal activities or inflicting intentional harm on others.
The Complex Web of Relationships and Double Standards
Cassie’s biggest offense seems to be violating the unspoken “girl code” by sleeping with her best friend’s ex-boyfriend. While this action is morally questionable, we must acknowledge the extenuating circumstances. Nate and Maddie had broken up, and their relationship was always toxic. Maddie herself has committed actual crimes, yet the audience and characters seem to come down harder on Cassie.
Euphoria centers around empathy and presenting characters with their full context. However, Cassie was denied this courtesy in the second season, despite her valid reasons for her flawed behavior. Other characters who have committed worse actions have received more understanding and redemption arcs.
Cassie’s Climactic Moment
The season concludes with a school play written and directed by Cassie’s sister, Lexi, in which she reveals the personal drama of those around her. The play blurs the lines between reality and fiction, making it difficult to discern what the audience is truly witnessing. Amidst the chaos, Cassie storms the stage, expressing her pent-up emotions towards her sister’s portrayal of their lives.
While viewers may find Cassie’s outburst horrifying, one wonders why the play wasn’t stopped sooner. The content was wildly inappropriate, considering the young audience members and the potential harm caused by the revealing nature of the production. It’s a moment that begs for a closer examination of the parenting on the show, particularly the actions of Cassie’s mother.
A Ray of Hope for Cassie
As the season concludes, Cassie and Maddie seem to reach a truce, acknowledging Nate’s role in their lives. However, this resolution leaves us yearning for more. Will Cassie find genuine love and break free from the cycle of toxic relationships in the next season?
Despite some criticisms, I eagerly anticipate the third season of Euphoria. There are numerous plotlines that demand further exploration. But most importantly, I hope the show offers Cassie the redemption she deserves after enduring a season of turmoil and scrutiny.
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