Trouble Don't Last Always is the first special episode of Euphoria, and the ninth episode of the series overall. It was released on December 6, 2020 on HBO. On December 3 and 4, 2020 the episode had an early streaming premiere on HBO Max.

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

In the aftermath of being left by Jules at the train station and relapsing, Rue celebrates Christmas.

Plot[edit | edit source]

SPOILERS AHEAD

Jules, in just her underwear, is lying on her side in bed. Time visibly shifts from the window facing her, filling the room with sunlight. Rue slides in next to Jules and wakes her up. Jules panics briefly over an upcoming presentation. Rue assures her she has plenty of time. After some intimacy between the two, Jules gets up and gets ready. The two are in apartment with one bed and appear to be in a good place. Jules finishes getting ready and leaves, amazed at their good luck. After she leaves, Rue heads to their bed and pulls out a bag of pills from under her bed and goes to their bathroom. She begins to ground up the pills to consume them. As the camera shifts to the mirror, Rue appears again, adjusting her nose and pulls on her hoodie. She exits the restroom of a diner and takes a seat in front of Ali, where they are each sharing pancakes with one another.

Ali and Rue begin a long conversation on Christmas Eve. Rue, having recovered from her winter formal relapse, declares she had found emotional balance and attempts to convince Ali she is in a good place now that Jules is gone. Ali keeps bringing up her sobriety, which Rue tries to dismiss, as she is currently high. Rue and Ali get into the topic of staying clean from drugs. Rue deflects that sobriety can be her asset, because without them, she feels like there is no reason to exist. Ali appreciates her honesty and reminds Rue that whoever tough she may be, Rue is a teenager with no life experience. Rue briefly explains that all the things she remembered and didn't want to came "racing" to her head when she relapsed, to the point where she didn't even want to get help from Ali. Ali asks her where she got her supply: Rue confesses that despite being clean, she had emergency pills. Ali and Rue debate about how Rue sees herself: Rue intrinsically believes she is a piece of shit: Ali counters that the world is stacked against her. He states that addiction is a deadly, silent disease not treated as such and does not warrant the same type of sympathy as other diseases. Ali confesses to being sober twelve years, and seven prior. He spent a year and a half relapsed, stating "he got cocky". Ali slips that his real name is Martin and that he converted to Islamic faith, surprising Rue.

The topic of faith bristles with Rue: she visibly becomes angered that the idea of a higher power. Ali asks her what she thinks is a greater power. She lists off "a Mack truck, an ocean, any song by Otis Redding". Ali dismisses the latter, but Rue defends her point by stating one of his songs has more impact that she ever will. Ali at one point, states it's by God's grace she draws breath. Rue sheds a layer and questions the older man why her dad is dead. Ali is visibly unprepared by the question of faith. Rue goes on to ask him about purposes and life in general and why survivors are blessed by God and not random luck. Rue is not interested in an explanation for his death. Ali assures her that despite not having all the answers, it's unexpected. No one knows. Life's greatest mystery will be "the inability to see or comprehend the full arc of human life"

He briefly speaks about the life of Malcolm X and his journey to a movement in white America. Ali pulls no punches bringing up the history between drugs and race, used to weaken them. Rue scoffs as Ali finishes up on the topic of why some people have a purpose and some don't and claims "maybe I'll start a revolution like Malcolm X". Ali scoffs at the concept of revolutions: the term is now adopted by many people, fighting multiple revolutions and not letting their impact sink in.

Ali brings up the story of how he went to buy a new pair of Nikes and their black activism based propaganda. Ali dismisses their activism after he sees the sneaker's high price and brings up how their slogan is used to ensure the masses will buy their product after being associated with a revolution, bringing up how the shoes makers are paid such a low wage, addressing the hypocrisy. Ali brings up that revolutions are and should be more spiritual based, relating to internal priorities. According to Ali, "believe in the poetry".

Ali uses the advertising aspect and compare it to addiction as he returns to the topic of being clean, reminding Rue that there is an advertiser within her that is attempting to take advantage of her vulnerability to sell her a product that is no good for her, until she ultimately dies. He states that he has to commit to a revolution and use it a focus for herself.

Ali pauses for a moment to draw out a pack of cigarettes and exits for a moment to go to the parking lot. He makes a call to his family. At the same time, Rue receives a text from Jules. It simply reads "I miss you". Upon opening the text, a song is attached. Rue uncoils her headphones and plays "20 Years by Moses Sumney". She leans back and absorbs the song in silence. Outside, Ali struggles for a moment but gets through and speaks to Imani and a younger member, Rashad. Ali is visibly euphoric at being able to simply talk to his family and be able to wish them a Merry Christmas.

Ali returns to the dinner where Rue asks him what to do about Jules. Ali turns in his seat and asks the advice of a waitress, Miss Marsha, a woman who has been sober for seventeen. The woman states that she had to prioritize her sobriety over dating, because she could not do both simultaneously. But on a lighter note, she quotes her grandmother: "Trouble don't last always", for the people who want to make a change. Rue continues speaking about Jules and how she cheated on her while she being sober. Ali questions the nature of their relationship and how it was established, lampshading the lack of confirmation about being in a relationship to begin with. Rue is confused by the need for declaration and then says that she believes her past sins were why Jules left, as karmic punishment for being a "piece of shit". Ali brings up that using past actions to prevent growth of others is useless.

Ali and Rue begin to speak about character. Rue confesses about stealing from her mother and hitting her in the face, how she held up a shard of glass and said she would kill her. To Rue, this act is completely unforgivable. Ali counters that it's not, compared to what he's done. Rue pushes past his confirmations about doing bad acts and says she can't believe a man like Ali doing anything bad. Ali confesses that he used to have a father that was abusive to his mother and how much he wanted to kill him, only for his addiction to mess his fundamentals so badly that he hit the mother of his children, becoming who he once hated. Ali warns her that comprising her beliefs for drug use will degrade her moral fiber over time.

Ali asks if Rue still believes he is a good person. Rue tearfully sticks to her belief. Ali confesses that the simple belief is strong enough for him to continue his path. However much she agrees with him, Rue still confesses to him that she doesn't plan to survive for much longer. Ali wistfully speaks about the current state of events and the world's bleak nature, to which Rue adds she doesn't wish to be apart of it. Ali tells her again to believe in the poetry.

Ali asks Rue what impact she wants to leave on her mother and sister. Rue, in near tears states, “I want them to remember me as the person who tried really hard to be someone I couldn’t”

Ali touches her hand and expresses his faith on him. Rue rebuffs him in confusion. Ali then brings up how he was formerly a Christian before Muslim as a joke on faith, making Rue laugh.

Ali and Rue leave the diner and get inside Ali’s truck. Ave Maria, covered by Labrinth begins to play as Ali drives Rue. Slowly, the scene slowly fixes in on Rue through the windshield, finishing the special.

Credits[edit | edit source]

Cast[edit | edit source]

Starring[edit | edit source]

Guest Starring[edit | edit source]

  • Marsha Gambles as Miss Marsha

Quotes[edit | edit source]

You're too busy running around, trying to bullshit everybody into thinking you're hard, and you don't give a fuck, when in reality, you give so much of a fuck, you can't even bear to be alive.
— Ali
But, hey, but the hardest part of having the disease of addiction, aside from having the disease, is that no one in the world sees it as a disease.
— Ali
The world's just really fuckin' ugly, you know? It's really fuckin' ugly, and, um... Everybody seems to be okay with it, you know?
— Rue
Forgiveness is the key to change.
— Ali to Rue
I want them to remember me as the person who tried really hard to be someone I couldn’t.
— Rue to Ali
It's funny, when I think about it. I still blame Jules for all this shit.
— Rue

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • The episode was produced under COVID-19 guidelines.[1]
    • The episode debuted Sunday, December 6 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT on HBO and had an early streaming premiere on HBO Max on Friday, December 4 at 12:00 a.m. ET/Thursday, December 3 at 9:00 p.m. PT.[1]
  • The only main characters to appear in this special are Rue and Jules.
  • This episode was released early on HBO Max.
  • This is Ali's 5th appearance series-wide.
  • This episode has a subtitle of, Part 1: Rue.
  • It is revealed that Rue made up the scene where she and Jules get matching lip tattoos that say, Rules.
  • The episode was the #1 most social program on premium cable throughout the weekend is came out (Nielsen Social).[2]

Multimedia[edit | edit source]

Soundtrack[edit | edit source]

Song Artist Album Scene
Trailer Song: "Cigarettes and Coffee" by Otis Redding.
Mount Everest Labrinth Imagination & the Misfit Kid
Sarf Tahj Keeton Sarf Rue and Ali sitting talking about pancakes.
I've Never Felt So Alone Labrinth Jules, in Rue's fantasy, kisses her before leaving for a work presentation and as Rue uses drugs in the bathroom.
Me In 20 Years Moses Sumney Bless Me Ali is outside calling his daughters to wish them a Merry Christmas while Rue is listening to music on her headphones.
Ave Maria Labrinth Rue and Ali leave the diner, step out into the rain, and drive home.
All For Us Labrinth Euphoria (Original Score from the HBO Series) End credits.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]


References[edit | edit source]

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