Why Lexi’s Takedown of Nate in Euphoria Has Us Conflicted

Why Lexi’s Takedown of Nate in Euphoria Has Us Conflicted

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Who would’ve thought that Lexi Howard would be the one to take down Nate Jacobs?

Certainly not us. Because, for all of Nate’s faults, he’s strangely immune to attacks, even physical ones. And yet, it’s Lexi Howard’s school play, Our Life, that absolutely decimates one of the most irredeemable characters in Euphoria.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.

Our Life starts off on an awkward note as classmates begin to piece together that Grace, Hallie, Marta, Luna and Jade are actually Lexi (Maude Apatow), Cassie (Sydney Sweeney), Maddy (Alexa Demie), Kat (Barbie Ferreira) and Rue (Zendaya). It also doesn’t help that the opening scene confronts Rue’s drug addiction and her father’s death, which would make any high school audience uncomfortable.

But as Lexi tells Fezco (Angus Cloud) during one of their many phone calls, she only has good intentions.

Nonetheless, it’s obvious that Cassie is put off by the fact that Our Life is largely based on Lexi’s perception of their relationship, including the moment she went through puberty. Their mother, Suze (Alanna Ubach), on the other hand, is living for the portrayal of her by Ethan (Austin Abrams).

Eddy Chen/HBO

For better or worse, the play is an embarrassingly honest look at Lexi’s relationship with Cassie. But it’s also proof of how much she cares for the people around her. And as Rue sits in the audience, she realizes that her addiction didn’t just impact her mother and sister, it had ripple effects that went beyond the walls of her family home.

Without drugs to numb her from the pain, Rue is forced to see that she isn’t the only one hurting. Gia (Storm Reid) confides that she also misses their dad, telling Rue that she worries she’ll wake up and not be able to remember the moments she shared with him.

And Lexi features a bittersweet memory from her own life, from a time before her father abandoned their family. The Howard family laughs as they dance together in their house onstage, a recreation that elicits tears from Cassie and Suze as they sit in the audience. Even Rue smiles.

Eddy Chen/HBO

But pain manifests itself in different ways. While Cassie sought to replace her father with relationships, often toxic ones, and Rue relied on drugs, Lexi turned inward.

And while no one seemed to notice Lexi, she was keeping tabs on everyone and everything. When Maddy moved in with the Howards and cried in the comfort of Cassie’s arms at night, Lexi secretly laid awake as she realized that her sister’s friendship went beyond boys and clothes. And in seeing this moment played out onstage, Cassie is confronted with how deep she twisted the knife in Maddy’s back—all for Nate (Jacob Elordi), who regards her as nothing more than a plaything. 

Lexi knows that Nate doesn’t care for anyone but herself, so she treats him the way he treats everyone else. She choreographs a homoerotic dance number where Ethan, as Nate, thrusts and grunts across the stage with a group of men in gold shorts. And while there’s no way Lexi could know about his texts with Jules (Hunter Schafer), the audience looks at Nate with glee which well and truly pisses him off, prompting him to tell Cassie to get lost.

Eddy Chen/HBO

To be honest, we’re conflicted about this scene. We acknowledge that Nate deserves a lot of hate for being an abusive and vindictive guy, but does that justify the embarrassment this suggestive scene will cause? Maybe if Nate had been in on the joke, we’d feel differently, but it feels problematic to use Nate’s sexuality against him on such a grand scale. On some level, it feels like Lexi is outing Nate.

Moreover, we already know that Nate isn’t against payback, so we’re anticipating repercussions beyond him breaking up with Cassie.

We’re also worried about what’s happening with Fez, Faye (Chloe Cherry) and Custer (Tyler Chase), as the latter has already revealed he’s working with the police. With one episode left, it seems trouble is looming on the horizon.

Tune in to the series finale of Euphoria on Sunday, Feb. 27 at 9 p.m.

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