Christmas came early this year. HBO’s Euphoria is the gift that keeps on giving as it released its special Christmas episode early on Friday, December 4 at midnight, via Variety.
Now available to stream on HBO Max, this sudden announcement comes just days after Euphoria revealed there would be a special Christmas Episode. Several of its stars, including Zendaya (Spider-Man: Far From Home) and Hunter Schafer promoted the bridge episode that aimed to connect seasons one and two as fans patiently await the series return. The episode was originally scheduled to premiere on Sunday, December 6 at 9 p.m PST.
The trailer for the new episode was released earlier this week, announcing the new episode would air on HBO Sunday night at 9 p.m. PT. Finally the waiting game is over, as the episode “Trouble Don’t Always Last” is now streaming on HBO Max.
Star of the show, Zendaya, promoted the early release of the episode on Twitter with several tweets announcing it was coming to HBO Max early on Friday. See her post below:
Euphoria Part 1:Rue …streaming early on @hbomax tonight 9pm PST / 12am EST
I hope y’all like it, missed Rue Rue a lot. https://t.co/SEEhQl6q1Y
— Zendaya (@Zendaya) December 3, 2020
*spoilers for season one and the special episode ahead*
Picking up where the season one finale left off, the stand alone episode chronicles Rue in the wake of abandoning Jules at the train station and relapsing into drugs. “Trouble Don’t Always Last” is a stark contrast from previous episodes as it removes all the glitz and glamour that the show has become known for. Instead, Rue sits at an empty diner on Christmas Eve with her sponsor, Ali.
As summarized by Variety, the episode is essentially an hour long conversation happening in real time: “In the aftermath of Rue’s relapse, she joins her sponsor Ali (Colman Domingo) at a diner after a Christmas Eve Narcotics Anonymous meeting, but quickly finds herself on the ropes once Ali realizes she’s high. Aside from an opening fantasy of Rue’s potential life with Jules, the entire episode is just Rue and Ali talking over cold pancakes about drugs, sobriety and the exhausting struggle of feeling suspended between the two extremes.”
The simple set up of this episode was brought on by COVID-19. Shot during the ongoing pandemic, the creator of the series Sam Levinson (Assassination Nation) wrote and directed the episode. Having the bare minimum of actors and crew members on set was crucial for the safety of everyone involved. The result was a success, as the episode dives deep into the struggles of staying sober in a frank and earnest way.
This is the second project Levinson has completed during the pandemic. He directed the upcoming Netflix original film Malcolm & Marie earlier this year, following careful COVID-19 safety protocols and guidelines. Starring his frequent muse Zendaya along with John David Washington (BlacKkKlansman), the film will be released on Netflix February 5, 2021.
“Trouble Don’t Always Last” will still air on HBO Sunday night at 9 p.m. PST. This episode is the first in a two part special, with another episode expected to air sometime before season two. The second season is expected to start filming in early 2021.