'Euphoria': Storm Reid and Nika King on Rue's Emotional Intervention in Season 2 (Exclusive)

Storm Reid, Nika King and Colman Domingo discuss Rue's relapse in season 2.

Season 2 of Euphoria has been building up to episode 5, which sees Leslie (Nika King) and Gia (Storm Reid) confronting Rue (Zendaya) over her relapse and continued drug use. King, Reid as well as Colman Domingo, who plays Rue’s sponsor, Ali, opened up to ET’s Denny Directo about the emotional intervention that went down with the family and if there’s a sober future for Rue. 

In season 2, “Leslie is still that mother who is hopeful to see Rue go down a different path. I mean, if that was even possible,” King said. And because she also has Gia to look out for, “we’ll see Leslie make some hard choices. But it’s all for the sake of possibly letting Rue see the real effect that she’s having on her younger sister and possibly bring the family back together.”

And that ultimately leads Gia to action with Rue, whose drug use has grown out of control as her attitude has become increasingly erratic. And episode 5 wastes no time digging into the repercussions of Rue’s broken promises to herself and her family while showing how she responds to the unexpected intervention led by her mother, Leslie, and sister, Gia.

“Like with any intervention… it gets a little down and dirty,” King said. 

Storm Reid in 'Euphoria' season 2. - HBO

Almost immediately, Rue turns violent, lashing out at her mother when she realizes that her suitcase of drugs is gone. She later goes after Gia when she thinks that her sister is the one that spilled about her drug use. After pushing Rue out, Gia and Leslie lock themselves in a room as Rue goes on a destructive tirade around the house. 

“It was tough,” Reid said of filming the episode. “I feel like all of those scenes where we have to really try to corner and let her know that she is destroying herself, those are hard.” 

“And it’s not, I wouldn’t say for me, it’s not hard on an acting level,” she continued. “But, like, I am human and even though I do become these characters and step in my characters' shoes, I’m a sensitive, emotional person and to just be in that space or in that state of mind or even to think that people go through this on a day-to-day basis is heartbreaking. So, I’m fortunate to play these great roles and be these characters, but it’s hard sometimes.” 

After breaking down, Rue learns that Jules (Hunter Schafer) and Elliot (Dominic Fike) revealed the truth about her relapse. And just when it seems like Rue is broken and is willing to go to the hospital, she jumps out of her mom’s car and goes on a stealing spree around the neighborhood to get enough valuables to make up for the money she owes her dealer. 

Colman Domingo and Zendaya in 'Euphoria' season 2. - HBO

This all comes after Rue seemingly severed her last thread to sobriety, when she crossed a line with Ali during their last encounter after a narcotic anonymous meeting. “I would describe it as the breaking of a bond,” Domingo said of that moment between the two characters. 

It’s especially heartbreaking since it comes after the standalone episode, “Trouble Don't Last Always,” when, Domingo notes, “they went deeper as two addicts understanding one another and being honest with each other and just holding each other accountable for just who they are in the world.” 

He added, “Then Rue breaks that faith, breaks that bond.”
Given Rue’s resistance, and her refusal to go to rehab, it’s hard to imagine there’s a sober future for her. But the cast is hopeful. “There’s definitely a possibility for Rue to become clean. She’s still a teenager and her brain’s still forming,” King said. And Leslie, no matter what her daughter says, is “hopeful that this is not just the end of the road for her.” 

She added, “We’re hoping for the best. But it could go the other way real quick, real fast.” 

When asked the same question, Zendaya told ET, “I would like to think so, yes.”

On Sunday night, the actress shared even more thoughts about Rue’s journey, especially when it came to this episode and what it meant for her going forward. She concluded by saying, “Redemption is possible.” 

Of course, what ultimately happens to Rue remains to be seen.


Euphoria season 2 airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HBO and HBO Max.