‘Euphoria’: A Poem Hunter Schafer Wrote Inspired Jules’ Special Episode
The relationship between Rue Bennett (Zendaya) and Jules Vaughn (Hunter Schafer) is the heart of HBO’s Euphoria. While the cast of Euphoria waits to film the second season, HBO announced it would release two special episodes featuring Jules and Rue.
The first episode was titled “Trouble Don’t Last Always” and focused on Rue. It premiered on HBO on Dec. 6. The second Jules-centered episode, titled “F*ck Anyone Who’s Not A Sea Blob,” will premiere on Jan. 24. According to Euphoria creator Sam Levinson, Jules’ special episode of Euphoria was created so fans would stop seeing her as a villain.
Why ‘Euphoria’ made two special episodes
Originally, Euphoria was supposed to begin filming its second season in 2020. However, production was shut down because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
“I had a feeling that the pandemic was going to shut us down for a while leading up to it because I was watching what was happening to the rest of the world,” Levinson said in an interview with GQ. “So the day they called to shut us down, I actually pitched the idea of doing a super contained Euphoria movie, and if not that, then multiple character studies.”
After the second season was pushed until 2021, Levinson was given the chance to write and direct special episodes to act as the bridge between the first and second seasons.
“… they asked if I could do COVID episodes. And to be honest, I loved the challenge that COVID restrictions put on the show as a medium,” Levinson said.
A poem Hunter Schafer wrote inspired Jules’ episode of ‘Euphoria’
Schafer co-wrote and co-produced the upcoming special episode of Euphoria with Levinson. It turns out that a poem Schafer wrote when she was a teenager inspired the episode.
“… I called her up to get her thoughts on this episode. Several hours later, we were talking and she said something that was based on a poem she had written when she was sixteen about the ocean and its femininity and strength,” Levinson said. “And I said, ‘Well, this ought to be actual dialogue. Do you want to just write this thing together?’ Four days later, we had a draft of the episode that we co-wrote.”
Why Sam Levinson wrote a special episode for Jules
At the end of the first season, Rue came up with a plan to run away with Jules to the city. She ultimately decided to not go through with it while Jules chose to leave anyway.
After Jules left, Rue broke her sobriety. Her special episode showed her meeting with her sponsor Ali (Colman Domingo). The two discussed sobriety and life, and the episode revealed how Rue is at times an unreliable narrator.
While Levinson always planned to have the special episodes focus on Rue and Jules, he became extra inspired to focus on Jules after seeing fans of Euphoria assume Jules is a villain.
“I always imagined these episodes as a two-part piece focusing on Rue and Jules separately. And there was some point in time in which I read that the character of Jules was trending on Twitter because people were debating whether she was a villain or not,” Levinson told GQ.
He continued, “The idea that people could watch the show and walk away feeling that she was a villain was so appalling to me that I thought, ‘I’m gonna write an episode that forces the audience to look at the world through her eyes and understand the burden of loving an addict.'”