**Disclaimer: This was written directly after the release of Season 2 Episode 4. At the time this was written, the general audience had no idea what was going to happen after the events of this episode. To clarify, this means that there may be scenes in any episodes released after Season 2 Episode 4 that could either strengthen or weaken any parts of this piece that I had no knowledge of at the time this was written**
There will be spoilers ahead.
Episode 4 of Euphoria's second season is one of the most chaotic yet. As Rue continues to feed into her addiction and Jules becomes sexually deprived in her new relationship with Rue, one of the main parts of the show's plotline focuses on Cassie's relationship with Nate, Maddy's ex.
Towards the beginning of the episode, Cassie and Nate get into an argument about the morals of their relationship.
"I said Maddy because we're talking about how f*cking crazy Maddy is, which you can't seem to f*cking comprehend." - Nate
"No, what you don't understand Nate is that I am crazier." - Cassie
Many Euphoria watchers disagree with Cassie's statement:
While others felt the opposite:
Because Euphoria is a show that is centered around character interaction, emotion, and motivation, delving deeper into these characters and their intricate reasons behind why they are the way they are is fascinating. We've seen a lot of crazy things on this show, but who is actually the crazier one, Cassie or Maddy?
It is important to clarify the definition of crazy before relating the term to these characters. A quick Google search states the definition for crazy is:
mentally deranged, especially as manifested in a wild or aggressive way.
Someone who is crazy is someone who is mentally insane and tends to act on their intrusive thoughts in an aggressively fierce manner. The term deranged in this context implies that someone who is considered crazy is in a state of mind that will warp behavior and perception.
In order to determine which character fits this description better, it is important to look deep into these characters and their past actions.
It is safe to say that Maddy's main character traits are that she is combative and confident. From an early age, she would participate in pageants and perform as a young child. She would win often, therefore giving her confidence from an early age. However, after a news story regarding a man molesting young women in pageants was released, Maddy was no longer allowed to participate in pageants.
Maddy would often be at the nail salon her mother worked at and studied the women that would come in, aspiring to be like them. She wanted to be able to sit in the chair with their feet in the foot bath and have someone else take care of them. She realized that most of these people never really did anything, and they were people she wanted to be like.
Maddy idolized Ginger McKenna in the 1995 film Casino, and the way she would use her looks in order to manipulate men into gifting her wealth. During her first time having sex with Nate, Maddy lied and told him she was a virgin in order to make him happy. Through sex, Maddy would convince Nate into buying her expensive items. Maddy would even watch porn to practice these seduction techniques that women could use to make men feel more powerful.
Maddy's confidence is how she gets what she wants. However, her most notable instances of acting "crazy" are due to her combative nature.
Maddy's Combative Nature
It's no secret that Maddy has done many bold things. One of her most notable moments is when she confronted Nate and his family at the carnival in Episode 4 of Season 1.
Earlier in the episode, Nate had made a comment on how Maddy was dressed. Later, she comes in starting drama with the family, insulting Nate's mother and pushing over their award-winning bowl of chili.
This is a prime example of Maddy acting out in an aggressive way. However, this isn't really considered crazy in the 'mentally deranged' sense. Sure, it's a bold and risky move, but she's doing it for a reason, and although justified, she takes it a bit far. Whereas someone would have later confronted Nate about the rude comment in a private setting, Maddy went for the bold approach to do it in public at a time when there was definitely going to be a crowd.
This was an irrational moment for Maddy. Perhaps even, a crazy one.
A less specific example of Maddy's combative nature is these three clips during season 2 episode 2.
The audience is given these scenes without much context as to why Maddy is upset. However, the context behind showing these scenes is to showcase Maddy's aggressive tendencies in order to scare Cassie about her relationship with Nate.
Yes, Maddy has combative tendencies that make her come across as crazy. However, she is not 'mentally deranged' as many of her actions are justified and her confidence is what leads her to act out when she feels upset instead of doing it in a more calm manner.
Cassie isn't combative like Maddy, but she is mainly driven by emotion.
Cassie's father abandoned the family, which has caused her to easily fall in love with any man that gives her the slightest bit of attention. She often seeks male validation because of her father's abandonment and struggles to be alone. It wouldn't matter if these men were smart or dumb, she is obsessed with intimacy.
However, most of the men she ever dated asked for the same thing: to make a sex tape. She would often say yes in order to make them happy because she liked when she made them happy.
Cassie's tendency to please men because of her abandonment issues has caused her to start an emotionally draining relationship with Nate. She struggles to see how toxic their relationship is, and the way she uses Maddy and Nate's past together to rationalize her own behavior is causing her to lose her mind.
Cassie's Need for Love
Cassie began waking up every day for school 3 hours before she had to leave in order to look perfect for Nate.
The one time Nate looked at her, she had never been happier. Her facial expression showed nothing but joy and satisfaction, as she finally was able to hold Nate's attention for a few seconds. Of course, that was the one time she was dressed similar to Maddy.
This obsession has completely taken over her mind. She states later in the episode that she likes being Nate's little secret, but the scene in the bathroom a few minutes later shows how her guilt is truly affecting her mental state.
Cassie doesn't act out in an aggressive or wild way, nor is this "mentally deranged." However, her obsession seems to be aggressively impacting her mind. Although this isn't "insane," she's getting to a point where it is unhealthy. Unhealthy mindsets often lead to brash decisions and wild actions.
She's becoming crazy because of Nate. Not in a combative way like Maddy, but in a way that is completely taking over her feelings, behaviors, and perceptions of the world around her.
Another notable mention is at Maddy's birthday party in Episode 4 of Season 2, soon after Nate and cassie's initial argument.
Cassie's behavior is self-destructive. Her decision to pursue this relationship with Nate is making her feel extremely guilty. When Cassie throws up in the hot tub, it is because Maddy was stating all of the things Nate had been telling Cassie. Cassie drunkenly loses it at this point, throws up, and starts wailing as her mom tries to drag her out of the hot tub.
This act isn't aggressive, and could potentially be considered wild. Mentally deranged, though? An explosion of crazy screaming that she's sorry she ruined everything without specifying what she is truly sorry for? Nonstop crying and screaming after throwing up? Insane.
Maddy can be perceived as crazy because of her behavior, whereas Cassie is becoming more emotionally crazy. It is a side of Cassie we have yet to see, but her apparent apathetic emotion towards what Maddy would do to her is crazy in itself, due to Maddy's outbursts from her past.
The difference between these two characters is that one of them has always acted out in a combative way, and the other is only going crazy because of guilt. Cassie's emotional tendencies could lead her to become mentally crazier than Maddy, but Maddy will always be more physically aggressive than Cassie.
All in all, I think it is safe to say that the craziest one in the show is actually Nate, and his manipulation tactics and aggressive behavior often prove this.
I know this is very different from what I'd normally post, but I've been wanting to talk about Euphoria for a while and the online comments about Cassie's statement got me thinking.
I typically most more light-hearted content, so here's some more of that:
Thank you for your time!
Edit: Fixing a link to a video that was deleted