A toxic relationship. Two best friends in love with the same person. An illicit affair.
It’s a tale as old as teen drama past on Euphoria Season 2.
Cassie, Maddy, and Nate are trapped in the classic love triangle that will doom them all. Sure, the temptation has pulled them in, and they’re enjoying the thrills and euphoria (yay to puns!), but there’s only pain waiting for them at the end.
Someone might make a relationship when all is said and done, or the trio will choose to walk away from each other for something healthier. But how much damage will be caused by then?
By Euphoria Season 2 Episode 5 alone, Maddy was ready to snap when she found Cassie out was hooking up with her ex.
Will she forgive her BFF? Will she fight to get Nate back to torture Cassie? Or has this broken them apart?
This is only a bump in the road for the drama soon to come. There might be makeups and breakups (this is a teen drama, after all); however, their fates are tied together with this messy love.
Let’s take a look at each pairing to see their chances.
MADDY & NATE
The OG pair. Much of Euphoria Season 1 focused on the ups and downs of their relationship.
Nate will always love Maddy, and Maddy will always love Nate. They understand each other in a subtle and strange way. But simply, they’re a toxic mess.
The best thing for this couple is never to get back together. Maddy and Nate are fire and gas; they’re disruptive, destructive, and dangerous long-term (and that’s just their love language). They complement one another, but they know how to hurt each other the deepest.
We’ll never forget the lengths Nate went to frame someone to get back together with Maddy. It’s a struggle of big gestures and controlling motives.
The problem with this pairing is that their love makes them heated. And they bring out their worst sides when they’re together.
Maddy and Nate might become happy if they get back together, and they’ll most likely have some happy moments long-term. But their destructive sides will rear their ugly heads and tear them down. It won’t be a happy future for them.
Just imagine them on Euphoria Season 1 all over again. It’ll be a never-ending cycle of control, paranoia, and feeling unworthy!
They’ve learned by now that they’re better off not in a couple, so they most likely won’t reunite. However, if they do get back together, we’ve seen their dynamic enough to know how the cycle will turn.
NATE & CASSIE
On paper, Nate and Cassie have elements that could work in a rom-com: Nate wants to be with someone he can “save,” Cassie wants to be with someone that matches her love intensity, and they have a long-standing history as close friends.
The problem, however, is they don’t have the foundation to make it last.
Their romance is surviving alone on the naughty energy of their affair and the romantic daydreams. If we take that away, all that’s left are the truths of Nate keeping Cassie a secret and Cassie betraying her best friend.
The truth doesn’t look too romantic. Hooking up kept their fire going, but they had no real plan for the future after that.
And let’s face it, Maddy and Cassie have a stronger connection when paired up against Nate. (We’ll get into this shortly.)
Currently, Nate and Cassie are dunzo after she rightfully ended things on Euphoria Season 2 Episode 4.
The second someone tries to get back together with their ex, that is a full hard stop for any romantic possibilities elsewhere. Plus, Nate telling Cassie that he loved her felt more like a manipulative ploy to lure her back in than actually loving her.
Cassie could do so much better with someone that would fully love her back. Nate is still too hung up on his ex to ever be open with someone else. And if he’s also in love with Jules, that makes the future even more complicated.
If Cassie goes back to Nate, the feelings of being in that relationship and what they did to make it happen will eat away at her.
She already sacrificed her friendship with Maddy, and she deluded herself into thinking Nate was worth all the secrets/extra work (I’m still jealous over her skincare routine). Settling for a toxic romance just to be with someone will hurt Cassie more in the long run, especially when Nate can’t give her what she needs.
CASSIE & MADDY
One of the constants of Euphoria stemmed from Maddy being the queen bee and Cassie as her relationship-troubled sidekick. The BFFs seemed like the unshakeable dynamic duo; however, hooking up with Nate was the worst thing that could’ve happened to them.
There’s no angle you could look at Cassie sleeping with Nate as a good idea, especially when her best friend was his long-time ex.
Maddy is not one to give up her power. And even if it were three weeks after her breakup, that wouldn’t be enough time for her to get over him. She and Nate dated for years; they still had a lot of baggage to work through.
Cassie knew that because her best friend told her.
The problem is that Cassie kept hooking up with Nate when she knew it was a betrayal to her best friend. The first time could’ve been kept a secret, a moment of weakness during her own post-breakup depression.
But weekly Friday time with Nate has done major damage to her friendship.
Even if Maddy forgives Cassie, there will always be an underlining note of tension and distrust between them. Maddy will always remember that her best friend lied to her, kept a secret, and hooked up with her ex. Plus, if she gets back together with Nate, she’ll most likely put all the blame on Cassie out of spite.
Cassie and Maddy’s friendship will never be the same. They’re the pair with the highest chance of burying the hatchet, but the damage will have lasting pain.
Who do you think is the most at fault for all the tension?
Will anyone walk away with a happy ending? What outcome do you want to see for the love triangle?
Share your thoughts in the comments below, Euphoria fans!
Euphoria Season 2 airs Sundays at 9 p.m. EST on HBO.
Justin Carreiro is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.