‘Euphoria’ Season 2: What Does Morphine Do to Rue in Episode 5?

Euphoria Season 2 took an incredibly dark turn in episode 5. Rue’s family and friends confronted her about relapsing and she made a run for it. Out of desperation, Rue ended up at Laurie the drug dealer’s house. She injected Rue with morphine, insisting she didn’t have anything else to give her. The next morning Rue woke up with a badly bruised arm and narrowly managed to escape Laurie’s locked-down house. But what did the morphine do to Rue? And why exactly did Laurie insist on giving her morphine in the first place?

[Warning: This article contains spoilers for Euphoria Season 2 Episode 5.]

Rue in Euphoria Season 2 Episode 5 leaning against a wall sweating and looking in pain
Rue in ‘Euphoria’ Season 2 Episode 5 | Eddy Chen/HBO

Rue’s withdrawal symptoms take effect in ‘Euphoria’ Season 2 Episode 5

In Euphoria Season 2 Episode 5, Jules tells Rue’s mother Leslie that she has relapsed. Leslie confronts Rue, with Gia, Jules, and Elliot present. Rue is irate and goes on a rampage around the house, eventually running from Leslie’s car when she and Gia try to take her to rehab.

Rue first ends up at the Howard residence but flees after Leslie shows up. She then gets thrown out of Fezco‘s house for trying to steal drugs and later she burglarizes a couple. With nowhere else to go, Rue goes to Laurie’s house with stolen jewelry and $2,000. However, Laurie won’t accept the jewelry, telling Rue she needs to come up with the money in cash.

Rue is clearly in a lot of pain, but Laurie insists that the only drug she has is intravenous morphine. Rue finally accepts the injection to ease her withdrawal symptoms. The next morning, she wakes up locked in Laurie’s house with painful injection marks on her arm. Luckily, Rue manages to escape out of a window.

What does the morphine do to Rue?

Viewers of Euphoria Season 2 quickly realized that Laurie was lying about only having intravenous morphine. In fact, she has a whole suitcase full of various pills and other drugs. Laurie’s decision to give Rue morphine was a calculated one. She purposely pushed a stronger drug on Rue.

Morphine is an effective painkiller and one of the most powerful opioid drugs in the world. According to the American Addiction Centers, “Morphine is designed to block pain sensations and calm some of the functions of the central nervous system by slowing heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration while enhancing a sense of calm and pleasure.”

The website also explains how morphine can cause dependence and lead to addiction. It is remarkably similar to what Laurie was telling Rue about drugs potentially becoming the only thing that makes an addicted or dependent person feel good. It also states that injecting morphine “may lead more quickly to dependence and addiction.”

The morphine Laurie gave to Rue certainly would have eased her withdrawal symptoms temporarily. It also put her in a helpless state to be locked in Laurie’s house. What’s more, Rue may find herself more dependent on Laurie after taking intravenous drugs for the first time.

Why did Laurie insist on giving Rue morphine?

It’s clear now that Laurie gave Rue morphine to incapacitate her and perhaps push her addiction to the next level. However, Laurie’s intentions are even more sinister than furthering Rue’s addiction. Throughout Euphoria Season 2, the drug dealer has made subtle threats about sex trafficking Rue.

Earlier in the season, Rue gave Laurie a suitcase full of drugs worth $10K for her to sell. Laurie also told Rue “if you screw me I’ll have you kidnapped and sold to some real sick people.” When Rue shows up at her house in the throes of withdrawal, Laurie states, “It’s one of the good parts of being a woman. Even if you don’t have money, you’ve still got something people want.”

It seems likely that sex trafficking Rue was Laurie’s plan all along. Many fans believe that this would have been Rue’s fate if she hadn’t escaped out of the window. A fan on Reddit also suggested an explanation for why Laurie insisted on giving Rue intravenous morphine and injected her in such an aggressive manner.

“Def trying to make her look like she’s been using IV for a while, so she seems less believable when looking for help and easier to keep under her control (Laurie’s).” Considering all of this makes Laurie an even more spine-chilling villain.

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.

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