Euphoria ending explained: Did Rue die? A meme recap of the season 1 finale

5 August 2019, 17:09

Sam  Prance

By Sam Prance

The ending of Euphoria season 1 left us with lots of questions about Rue and the rest of the characters in the main cast.

The Euphoria season 1 finale aired last night and the ending was a LOT to process.

Euphoria has transfixed audiences since debuted on HBO this past June. From the stellar cast (the acting from Zendaya, Hunter Schafer and Jacob Elordi this season is sublime) to the stunning aesthetic (every still in the Drake executive produced series is music video worthy), Euphoria is mesmerising.

The hit show may have caused controversy (there's multiple naked penises and even some Larry Stylinson fanfiction) but, ultimately, it's been praised for tackling teen issues in a raw and honest way.

READ MORE: Euphoria season 2: Release date, cast and everything you need to know

READ MORE: Euphoria soundtrack: What songs were played in the HBO series?

How did the Euphoria season 1 finale end though? Is Rue still alive? Here's a meme recap of exactly what happened.

Did Rue die in the Euphoria season 1 finale on HBO?

Euphoria ending explained: Did Rue die? A meme recap of the season 1 finale
Euphoria ending explained: Did Rue die? A meme recap of the season 1 finale. Picture: HBO

And Salt the Earth Behind You opens with Rue in hospital. She's contracted a kidney infection and has to get it treated. Here we find out that Rue loves hospitals... of course she does. “I love hospitals. If I could spend the rest of my life in a hospital, I would. Because when you’re in a hospital, you have zero responsibilities.” To be fair, she made several points.

Rue's hospital honeymoon period can't last forever though. Near the end of Rue's stay, Jules comes to visit. Jules asks: "did all this happen because I left?” but Rue reassures her that it had nothing to do with her (...looks at camera). Jules apologises for not being completely honest about what happened with Nate and the two of them seem to be on much better terms.

Flash forwards and we see Rue and Jules getting ready for Winter formal. Jules tells Rue about hooking up with Anna in the previous episode but Rue seems okay with it, even with Jules praising Anna: "You would die for Anna, she’s just next level". Rude. Rue then imagines killing Nate and honestly we stan.

The episode then cuts back to an NA meeting in which Rue's mum Leslie makes a speech about how addiction has affected her family. While Leslie is speaking, we're shown a montage of Maddy, Cassie, Lexi, Kat, Rue and Jules getting dressed for the Winter formal. It's actually really beautiful. We also see Nate taking a new girl as his date to the dance.

Meanwhile, Fez is shown kissing his grandma, telling her he loves her and leaving his house with a gun.


At the formal, Rue, Jules, Kat, Maddy, Cassie and Lexi all sit at a table together and now I'm mad that we haven't seen them interact more as a clique because they are serving true girl group realness and I'm ready to make merch. We then see Jules texting Anna right in front of Rue's face. NEVER IN MY LIFE HAVE I YELLED AT A GIRL LIKE THIS.

We're then shown a flashback in which Maddy and Nate are trying to have sex but Nate can't get it up. Maddy thinks Nate is bisexual and won't admit it. They fight and Maddy leaves. As she's leaving, she bumps into Cal, who encourages her to 'let go' of the relationship. This explains why Maddy and Nate aren't together at Winter formal.

However, they just spend all of the formal trying to make each other jealous. Nate publicly grabs his date's exposed bum on the dance floor and Maddy grabs a random guy to grind on. They then essentially have a dance off to 'Mi Gente'. The scene is wild and toxic but what a banger.

Back to Rue and Jules. Jules goes off to the girls' bathroom to text Anna photos (!). Rue finds her and Jules asks Rue to kiss her (!!). I know she doesn't want to hurt Rue but she is being reckless and it's horrible. Particularly, when she knows exactly how precarious Rue is with her sobriety.

Thankfully, Kat and Ethan sweeten things up a bit. Kat lets Ethan know that she was only mean to him because she thought that he would break her heart. He reveals he's always liked her and says he'll ensure he's the one who gets hurt if things go sour. They kiss and it's adorable.

The formal is intercut with scenes from a football game in which Nate is playing terribly. This is fine and all but the editing is confusing af. We also learn that Cassie recently went to hospital for an abortion! Sydney Sweeney acts the scene perfectly but it would have been nice for this storyline to get a chance to breathe a little and not be so rushed.

At the formal, Rue confronts Nate and accuses him of being responsible for Fez getting his house raided. Nancy Rue knows what's good. She asks him to leave Fez alone or she'll make his Dad's illegal sex secrets public. A serve. Nate then tries to get under Rue's skin by telling her that Jules will leave her and won't even remember who she is in 10 years time.

Nate also tells Rue she looks beautiful...

Back to football, Nate somehow manages to win the game. At home, Cal berates Nate for losing control of the game. They then fight but Nate starts to have a breakdown and Cal leaves him alone in his room crying, bashing his head against the floor and screaming. Jacob Elordi's acting in this scene is extraordinary.

We also see Maddy watching a home DVD she stole from Cal's private collection. And I oop.

We then return to Rue and Jules. Rue asks Jules if she loves Anna. Jules says yes. I'm tired. She just met her. Teenage lust is stressful. Jules says that she also loves Rue. Where is this love you speak of? Rue then suggests to Jules that they run away to another city and they kiss. It's unclear if Rue is being serious or just romantic.

At the same time, we find out that Fez was trailing Mouse. He ends up in the house of a doctor. Mouse has left so Fez asks the doctor where the money is and points his gun at him. The doctor empties his safe but gets his own gun and tries to shoot Fez. It seems likely that the doctor was supplying Mouse with drugs.

Fez then beats up the doctor and we see the doctor's son watching. We have no idea if Fez leaves him dead or alive. He takes the money and runs home. Mouse is there though. Fez gives Mouse the money and asks him if they're all good. There's a long pause and we're not shown what happens next.

Moments later we see that Jules and Rue are actually leaving town together. Rue has forgotten her medication though and is unsure if it's a good idea. Jules tries to persuade Rue that she'll be fine though as she gets on a train but Rue says it's unfair on her family and decides to stay as Jules and the train go off without her. Rue's maturity and growth here is incredible.

We then see Rue head home crying and it's heartbreaking. Zendaya is acting with every fibre of her being. As she's walking home, we see happy flashbacks in which Rue's dad was alive. We watch as he gets sick with cancer and we see Rue standing by as his dead body is wheeled out of their home. We also find out that the red hoodie Rue always wears was her dad's.

When Rue gets home, she is so grief-stricken that she relapses. A music video sequence (Zendaya and Labrinth are singing) then begins in which Rue floats out of her bead and stumbles around her house like a zombie. Her mum and her sister don't even notice her as she's trying to get their attention. Her dad (!) sees her though and dances with her.

A choir of people in red robes then carry Rue outside of her house. They also form a pile which Rue climbs and falls off. The screen then cuts to black and a voiceover says: "until then". It's unclear if Rue was just hallucinating after taking drugs, if it was just symbolism or if she overdosed and died. And it looks like we won't know until season 2.