Hasn't Rue been through enough? Throughout Season 1 of Euphoria, fans have watched as Rue struggled to stay sober while reintegrating herself into the lives of her family and friends after a stint in rehab. And, just when it looked like she was just finding her way to a healthy balance, something happened to knock her back down again. But even though it seemed like Rue relapsed at the end of "And Salt the Earth Behind You," what happened to Rue in the Euphoria finale is still somewhat of a mystery.
Let's start with what we do know: Jules left town without Rue, breaking her heart in the process, and sending her back home, seemingly into relapse. That's when the show took on a more spiritual tone, with Rue singing a cover of Labrinth's "All For Us" alongside a chorus of people dressed in her father's red sweats. She climbed her way atop the chorus, and fell as she finished the song, disappearing from view, and perhaps from the show completely. The symbolism is hard to ignore, and the sequence could be interpreted as confirmation of the popular fan theory that Rue is dead, and has been narrating Season 1 from beyond the grave.
But before you start freaking out, it's important to note that this could be a flashback to her previous overdose. After all, leading up to this musical number there were flashbacks to Rue's father's death and other important moments with her mother and sister. Maybe she's reliving her earlier overdose, or going through the same emotions she was feeling when she did overdose. But the bottom line is that there are many different ways to read these final moments. Here are a few of the most likely options.
The dance that literally takes Rue to new heights before sending her crashing down after snorting a line certainly hints at a relapse, if not an overdose. As noted by Entertainment Weekly's Jillian Sederholm on Twitter, the musical sequence begins with Rue "[rising] out of her body" off her bed and stumbling around her home. That said, just because Rue overdosed doesn't mean that she died. As Sederholm theorized, "She dances with her demons and hopefully comes back."
In the dance sequence there is a moment where Rue is embraced by her father. He kisses her forehead before she leaves the house to join the chorus outside. Her mother and sister, however, don't interact with her at all; they don't seem to see her, suggesting that Rue died and is now dancing into the afterlife. Not to mention the final lyrics Rue sings before she disappears — "When I go disappearing / Into that good night, good night" — definitely sound like a final farewell.
It's All A Flashback
Euphoria frequently plays around with flashbacks and timelines, so it wouldn't be out of the question for this "overdose" experience to actually be a flashback to Rue's pre-Season 1 overdose. After she leaves Jules at the train station, Rue has a panic attack, and those feelings of helplessness and anxiety could have triggered a flashback to her overdose, especially if she's considering using drugs again.
Euphoria's Season 1 finale left Rue's fate on a pretty intense cliffhanger, and while it seems most likely that she either died of an overdose, relapsed, or had a flashback, the truth is we don't know. The only thing fans know about what happened to Rue with absolute certainty is that any concrete answers will have to wait for Season 2.
If you or someone you know is seeking help for substance use, call the SAMHSA National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP(4357).