by Paul Deeter
The third episode begins by establishing an already intriguing character, Kat, and digging deeper into her past. Kat is the character who has decided after her sex tape got leaked, despite denying her identity in the video, that she has potential as a cam girl. Her discovery comes after seeing that the video she "wasn't in" became viral on Pornhub (or some pornographic website.) They all commented asking who this mystery girl was. And Kat dug it up.
Kat is a teenager who outgrew an awkward phase of being fat-shamed at the age of 11 and losing her boyfriend because of it. Because of this she worked behind the veil of anonymity, writing fan-fiction of Harry Styles and another band member from One Direction hooking up before a show. I should mention that stylistically the fan-fiction sequences are animated in erotic and ridiculous ways, proving that this show still has some unrevealed tricks up its sleeves. Anyway, her smutty stories were popular far before she grew into her skin more confidently. But even despite this confidence she still struggles with fitting in her immediate group sexually. So camming seems to be her opportunity, and in the pre-credits sequence of the episode we see her mask up and twerk in front of a live cam. So it begins.
Meanwhile, Jules has a crush on a secret admirer. Who is it? Well its... Nate. Ugh. Super ugh. But neither of them know each other or where they are outside of the fact that Nate is a jock and Jules is not really in that popularity circle. Remember, Nate nearly attacked Jules at a house party? This can't end well. Jules is so infatuated with Nate that she fawns over a dick pic he sends and we get maybe the most genius and definitely the most lewd sequence in the entire season. Rue is our guide to the different kinds of dick pics in a classroom setting with an old school projector showing us some skin. She categorizes the dick pics as being 1% solicited (probably true) and even a third of that as acceptable (ouch.) And every other dick pic? Terrifying, poorly shot, filthy and then some. It's a sequence you could only expect from Euphoria, and its hilarious. It certainly helps balance out the normally dark subplots involving our characters.
The animation and silly montaging of this episode makes this show a standout for the overall unique appeal of Euphoria. But some of the nitty-gritty remains in between the jokes. Rue is jealous of Jules' unknown beau and is lying about her sobriety to her support group and her mother. She's going so far as getting urine from friends to fake her pee tests. Its all an exhausting operation and coming from any viewer who's suffered from any childhood addiction it can be pretty hard to watch. But Euphoria keeps things 100, down to when Rue's elderly sponsor calls her out on her sober BS when nobody else will.
And then there's McKay and Cassie. McKay is genuinely concerned about his sports career, and he should be because things get f**king weird. The hazing at center here is hard to stomach; as a new "recruit" he must chug beers or be stripped naked, do shots and even drink a live goldfish. Cassie is in his corner though she backs him up by doing the fishy drink with him. But what's Cassie's game here? Her uneasiness about McKay comes from moments where he's completely in the mood, and then turned off like a switch. McKay seems to be in control of the sexual climate of their affair, and Cassie seems like she's a few nights from having it. But if she partakes in the hazing maybe she thinks she still hasn't earned McKay's complete interest yet. And in this episode is romance in the air, or is it up in the air?
And despite the ambiguity of Rue's friendship with Jules, Jules and Nate's potential collision and the uncertainty of Cassie and McKay, someone stays cool here and remains in control. That control circles back to Kat. When she changes her wardrobe and completely does a makeover she knows she can own what she puts out. Even if it means humiliating guys with small penises on a cam site, because as weird as that sounds, well that's what gets some off. It's an unknown venture, but as long as it isn't hurting it's okay, right? Stay tuned for more developments in episode 4.