‘Euphoria’ Season 2 Episode 6: Why Did Rue Struggle With the Jolly Rancher? Fans Think the Candy Has Great Significance

In Euphoria Season 2, Rue Bennett’s journey has been especially hard to watch. Rue relapsed in the season 1 finale and has been doing everything from opiates to heroin in season 2. In episode 5 she realized her mother Leslie flushed all her drugs down the toilet and she goes into withdrawal. Her symptoms peak in episode 6, and one scene shows her struggling to open a Jolly Rancher candy. Fans have explained why Rue reached for the candy and explored the possible significance of the scene with the Jolly Rancher.

[Warning: This article contains spoilers for Euphoria Season 2 Episode 6.]

Zendaya as Rue Bennett in Euphoria Season 2. Rue sits in front of a window wearing a black tank top.
Zendaya as Rue Bennett in ‘Euphoria’ Season 2 | Eddy Chen/HBO

Sugar cravings may have been part of Rue’s withdrawel symptoms

In Euphoria Season 2 Episode 6 Rue is back home with her family dealing with the painful symptoms of withdrawal. The episode opens with her sitting at the kitchen table attempting to open a Jolly Rancher candy. Rue’s hands shake badly as she picks up the candy.

According to The Recovery Village, “Research shows that people who have had prolonged exposure to opioid drugs demonstrate a stronger preference for sugary foods over those who have not used opiates.” Reddit users with personal experiences going through withdrawal and recovery from drug addiction shared their experiences on the forum.

“I currently have three years and 11 months off opiates and my sugar craving is still very alive and well, along with most addicts I know, even after years of clean time,” a Reddit user wrote.

“I ate jolly ranchers, and still do, in recovery. The part they got wrong was you don’t crave sugar so fast when you stop using. It takes about 2 weeks for your body to go into sugar overdrive,” another said.

Fans suggest a deeper symbolic meaning for the Jolly Rancher in ‘Euphoria’ Season 2 Episode 6

As Euphoria Season 2 Episode 6 continues, Rue sits down to call Ali and ask for forgiveness for the terrible things she said to him while on drugs. After Ali forgives her, Rue picks up the Jolly Rancher and pops it in her mouth. Fans on Reddit have suggested a deeper meaning behind this scene.

She didn’t have the strength to open the wrapper until she mustered the courage to apologize to Ali and lift a weight from her chest, and in doing so she was rewarded for her step toward sobriety and a healthier life,” one wrote. “Maybe she didn’t feel like she deserved good things until Ali forgave her,” another suggested.

Colman Domingo as Ali in Euphoria Season 2. Ali sits across from Rue at the dinner table and smiles.
Colman Domingo as Ali in ‘Euphoria’ Season 2 | Eddy Chen/HBO

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‘Euphoria’ fans are applauding Zendaya’s performance

Zendaya had a tall task ahead of her when she was cast as Rue. Her performance in Euphoria Season 2 in particular has been lauded for a number of reasons. Not only is Zendaya showing an impressive range of emotions, but it seems she is accurately portraying the symptoms of withdrawal.

“I’ve detoxed from Oxy & heroin (and valium and Xanax and weed) and her acting is f***ing amazing. That yawn!” one Reddit user wrote. “Okay so for anyone who had gotten sober you will understand. It is like a damn chore doing the smallest of things,” another wrote about Zendaya struggling to open the Jolly Rancher.

How to get help: In the U.S., contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration helpline at 1-800-662-4357.

New episodes of Euphoria air Sundays on HBO and HBO Max at 9 p.m. EST.