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6 takeaways from the ‘Euphoria’ season 2 finale

From left, Maude Apatow as Lexi, Zendaya as Rue, Barbie Ferreira as Kat, Alexa Demie as Maddy, and Sydney Sweeney as Cassie.HBO

“Euphoria” just wrapped the final episode of its second season, and for a show that consistently shocks its fanbase, some viewers may have considered the finale rather ... tame.

But that’s not to say nothing happened in episode 8, titled “All My Life, My Heart Has Yearned for a Thing I Cannot Name.”

The episode weaves in and out of the season’s storylines, leaving room for viewers to make predictions about what’s to come in season 3 — which HBO confirmed earlier this month.

While the finale may have spared us our weekly blood pressure spike, it was still full of memorable moments. Here’s a look at six of them.

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Spoilers ahead.

’Don’t shoot, he’s just a kid’: Fez tries to save Ash

Fezco, the series’ beloved resident drug dealer, has had a healthy dose danger looming over his every move this season, which reaches its pinnacle in the finale. The episode opens as he’s about to leave to attend love interest Lexi’s play when fellow drug dealer Custer shows up. It becomes clear that a police raid is impending, targeting Fez and his younger brother, Ash.

But first, the scene cuts to a phone conversation between Fez and Lexi that pulls on our heartstrings, where Fez talks about wanting to work on a farm one day, and Lexi talks about wanting to have three kids. The innocence and ease of these two characters discussing their futures sharply contrasts with what’s to come.

Faye, Custer’s girlfriend, seems to be officially Team Fez, and she quietly warns him of the police presence surrounding the house. Ash, whose temper has proven to be unpredictable, ends up stabbing Custer in the throat. He bleeds out and dies.

As promised, a SWAT team moves in on Fez’s house, and he begs Ash to let him take the fall for everything — for murdering Mouse, for stabbing Custer, for peddling drugs.

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As the SWAT team raids the house, Ash locks himself in a bathroom with an assault riffle. Fez screams out for Ash to turn himself in, and for police to spare him: “He’s just a kid!” In a gut-wrenching sequence, rapid-fire shots ring out from both directions, Fez takes a bullet to the side, and it appears police kill Ash.

‘Oh, this [expletive] needs to be put down’: Maddy gets violent with Cassie

Picking up from the last episode with Lexi’s play in production, older sister Cassie is furious, as the staged show is based on the sisters’ real lives. Cassie takes a moment to collect herself in the bathroom after her boyfriend Nate breaks up with her, also enraged about the show. Red in the face, Cassie storms back into the auditorium and onto the stage.

“Lexi, you really outdid yourself ... she’s up here unpacking all of her trauma ... can we get a round of applause for how hard Lexi’s life has been?” Cassie sarcastically says in front of the packed theater. Mumblings can be heard from the audience wondering “is this part of the play?”

It very much wasn’t, and hurting people’s feelings was the thing Lexi was most worried about when it came to putting on her play in the first place. The sisters get into an argument onstage, and Maddy, Cassie’s ex-best friend who used to date Nate, can’t help herself.

“Oh, this [expletive] needs to be put down,” Maddy says before rushing onstage and starting a physical fight with Cassie.

After the dust up, Maddy and Cassie ice their bruises in the bathroom, and Cassie reveals to Maddy that Nate broke up with her before she got on stage.

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“Don’t worry,” Maddy says. “This is just the beginning.”

Elliot can sing

Elliot, a newcomer in season 2, can apparently carry a tune, and an entire scene in the finale was dedicated to that, which confused some viewers.

It’s a scene where Rue, in her own way, thanks Elliot for not keeping her drug use a secret. “I think you might have accidentally saved my life,” she tells him. Elliot then asks Rue if she thinks the two of them can still be friends. “You’re the one who said we weren’t any good for each other,” Rue responds, leading some viewers to believe this friendship might be fizzling.

Elliot asks Rue if he can play her a song, and he sings one (for about four minutes) that seems to be about their friendship.

“I like it,” an emotional Rue says when he’s finished.

(Zendaya explains in post-finale clip that she and singer-songwriter Labrinth wrote the song together. “The cast are not just acting, they’re part of the music now,” Labrinth reflects in the interview.)

‘I don’t think you’re ever going to change’: Nate sends his dad to jail

Nate is by far the show’s angriest character, and between his father Cal leaving his family a few episodes back, and Lexi’s play publicly provoking questions around Nate’s sexual preferences — he reaches a breaking point. He tracks down his dad and watches him get arrested as he turns him in for preying on minors.

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“I spent my whole life trying to protect you .... I don’t think you’re ever going to change,” Nate tells Cal as the cops arrive.

‘Your play was really beautiful’: Rue seems to be clean

Watching Rue watch Lexi’s play is the most sober we’ve seen her this entire season. It’s also the first time we see Rue look at her life with a little bit of compassion. Lexi’s play positions Rue as her best friend, and as someone who suffered similar losses, like losing her dad at a young age.

“I think your play was the first time I was able to look at my life and not hate myself,” Rue tells Lexi in a scene where the two appear to be rekindling their friendship.

“I think I’ve been through a lot, and I don’t know what to do with it,” Rue tells Lexi. “You’ve been through a lot, too, and you know what to do with it.”

The two share a moment where they talk about what it was like losing their dads, and how Lexi’s play gave Rue a way to work through her grief: “You’re play was really beautiful ... I don’t want to hold onto this forever.”

Ethan was never boring

Credit must be given where credit is due, and a season 2 shout-out goes to Ethan — the ex-boyfriend of main character Kat, with whom she broke things off for being more or less bored.

While somewhat of a peripheral character throughout the series, Ethan is the star of Lexi’s show, and he absolutely steals it. Whether leading a homoerotic dance in golden spandex as Nate, or nailing the role of Lexi and Cassie’s borderline-alcoholic mother, Ethan’s talent and confidence are hard to miss, and many of us are hoping to see more of it in season 3.

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Viewers also might be hoping for closure on a few dropped storylines: Does Rue still owe Laurie money for the lost suitcase of drugs? Was that it for Maddy and her boss Samantha?

Fans had to wait nearly 2 1/2 years after the series wrapped up season 1, so here’s hoping season 3 comes much, much sooner than that.


Brittany Bowker can be reached at brittany.bowker@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @brittbowker and on Instagram @brittbowker.