- For the episode's transcript, see here.
Seventeen-year-old Rue returns home from rehab with no plans to stay clean. She meets Jules, who's new in town, at a party at McKay's house. Nate gets in McKay's head when McKay takes an interest in Cassie. Nate and Maddy, who have broken up once again, attempt to make each other jealous. Meanwhile, Kat is pressured to lose something.
Narrated by main character Rue Bennett, the show begins with a look at her past life and descent into depression, with an increasing reliance on drugs and alcohol as she reaches her teenage years. The summer before junior year was spent in rehab, but she had no intention of staying clean, going to ask Fezco and Ashtray for drugs. After getting out of rehab, Rue continues to do drugs before we cut out and follow Nate Jacobs as he drives along, taunting Jules Vaughn on her bike.
Jules happens to live in the suburbs but is new to the neighbourhood, finding solace in her friend Kat Hernandez, whom she texts after trying to find a hook up for the night on her phone. Her text to Kat then jumps perspectives to Kat, Maddy Perez, and Barbara Brookes as they prepare for the upcoming party at Chris McKay's.
Later, Rue arrives home to Leslie, her mom, berating her for leaving. She's forced to do a urine test to prove that she's clean, but before she does, she heads to her friend Lexi Howard's house to get a fresh sample.
Jules proceeds to hook up with a married man while McKay's party begins. A group of topless guys huddle around McKay’s phone, sharing nudes of Cassie Howard which causes him to feel uncomfortable and awkward. Later that night though, he hooks up with Cassie and things get heavy, leading to him becoming rough and choking her; a nod toward one of the themes of the episode: the similarities between intimate sex and porn.
As we jump back to Rue, we see her taking drugs before stumbling out into the hallway. The hallway rotates in a full 360 degree angle while she scrambles up the walls and ceiling before touching the ground again. She stumbles downstairs, but the camera defiantly steers away from her, traveling into a room with Kat accompanied by Roy McKay, Troy McKay, and Wes smoking weed. Struggling to fight against peer pressure and ridicule, Kat tells the boys she's not a virgin, and she is then pressured into taking her top off.
Nate calls off the party upon seeing his ex, Maddy, hooking up with Tyler Clarkson, but when he enters the kitchen again, he sees Jules, who has just arrived. Nate takes his frustration out on her, threatening to hurt her, until Jules grabs a nearby knife and turns the tables on Nate. She slashes her own arm and smears the blood on Nate before introducing herself to the onlooking crowd, which includes an impressed Rue. The two formally introduce themselves as the party clears out, and they head to Jules' house to spend the rest of the night together.
Eventually, the party ends and Nate arrives home near dawn. As he climbs up the stairs, we are shown the family picture that was on the lock-screen of the man Jules had sex with: Cal Jacobs, Nate's father.
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|“||I was once happy. Content. Sloshing around in my own private, primordial pool. Then one day, for reasons beyond my control, I was repeatedly crushed... over and over by the cruel cervix of my mother, Leslie. I put up a good fight, but I lost, for the first time, but not the last.||”|
|— Rue narrating her own birth[src]|
|“||I don't remember much between the ages of eight and 12. Just that the world moved fast and my brain moved slow. And every now and then, if I focused too closely on the way I breathed... I'd die. Until every second of every day, you find yourself trying to outrun your anxiety. And quite frankly... I'm just fucking exhausted.||”|
|— Rue about her life with anxiety[src]|
|“||I just showed up one day, without a map or a compass...||”|
|“||Bitch, this isn't the '80s. You need to catch a dick.||”|
|— Jules to Kat about Kat's virginity|
- In a supposed original script, Nate Jacobs was supposed to be murdered by Rue Bennett.
- It isn't revealed how he dies, but he was found in a cornfield.
- This idea was still incorporated into "And Salt the Earth Behind You", where Rue unloads a full clip on Nate, who is tied to a chair and on fire.
- Nate's funeral was also the cold open and it happened 4 months before said cold open which is when Jules Vaughn arrived in town in August 2018.
- Nate was beaten so badly the cops could only identify him by the monogram on his jacket.
- In the original script, the cops ask Rue what happened the night of August 24, which was also the day of McKay's party.
- Rue Bennett showed her phone's photo album: years of memories from soccer games to birthday parties to her family, sleepovers with best friends, dance routines, selfies, makeup and school. Furthermore, there were supposed to be home videos shown with Robert Bennett.
- Rue also showed more photos: more sexual, more obsessive, more focused on how she looks: pushing her boobs together in a mirror, her butt propped up against a sink, her lips, her mouth, more makeup, more disaffected, skirts, shorts, bras. panties, the gap between her legs, the side of her face that looks best, her stomach from the front, the side, standing, laying down, relaxed and sucked in.
- Maddy Perez was originally Madison.
- Ashtray was originally supposed to have Asperger's syndrome.
- McKay was originally supposed to have one brother named Skylar, whose friend's name was Nick (Wes).
- While he's driving past Rue, Nate shouts out "I'd do it for Rue!" before throwing up the Three Finger Salute from The Hunger Games.
- In a flashback by Rue explaining how she didn’t remember much from ages 8-12, the boy that pushes past her is young Nate Jacobs.
|Intro Song: "Hold Up" by Beyoncé|
|Symphonies (Dada Life Remix)||Dan Black ft. Kid Cudi||UN||EUPHORIA Trailer|
|Can't Get Used to Losing You||Andy Williams||Rue feels those two seconds of nothingness that she's been craving for as flashes back to her childhood.|
|Brighter Tomorrow||Soul Swingers||Weeds (Music from the Original TV Series), Vol. 4||Rue spots Nate buying drugs.|
|Once Again||Stratus||Nate and McKay discuss the party their throwing then he run Jules off the rode.|
|I'm Gone||Jozzy, Tommy Genesis||Jules gives herself an injection then dresses for her night out.|
|Narcos||Migos||Culture II||Nate and the guys prep for the party as they discuss Cassie.|
|Cocky AF||Megan Thee Stallion||Tina Snow||Rue gets a ride with Kat, Maddie and BB.|
|I Know There's Gonna Be (Good Times)||Jamie xx ft. Young Thug, Popcaan||In Colour||Rue does a bump of coke then heads into the party; Nate and Maddie attempt to make each other jealous.|
|New Level||A$AP Ferg ft. Future||Always Strive and Prosper||Kat hangs out with a guy and the McKay twins.|
|Run Cried the Crawling||Agnes Obel||Aventine||Rue helps Jules clean and treat her wound; Chris and Cassie sleep in bed together; As Maddy sleeps, Kat awake scrolls her phone; Nate arrives home.|
|Snowflake||Jim Reeves||End credits.|
- See also: Category:Images from Pilot