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"Trying to Get to Heaven Before They Close the Door" is the first episode of the second season of Euphoria, and the eleventh episode of the series overall. It was released on January 9, 2022 on HBO and HBO Max.[1]

For the episode's transcript, see here.

Premise

Rue and Jules cross paths for the first time since Christmas as East Highland rings in the new year.

Plot

Rue, acting as a narrator once more, introduces Marie O'Neill, Fez's grandmother, as "a motherfuckin' G". In a flashback scene, a blonde woman in a blue suit enters a cabaret, gun in tote. People in the club react in fear as she makes her way to the back of the club, where she interrupts Paulie receiving fellatio. After getting his attention by insulting him, Marie shoots at the man's thighs, to his horror and the woman he was with. Marie calmly returns to her car and comforts a young Fez, who is sporting a black eye. She consoles him, telling him he spoke to his father: Fez is going to live with her now. The two leave the cabaret.

Through his grandmother, Fez learns the drug business, grounding up product, packing them up. His mother apparently wasn't someone his grandmother liked to speak about often. Regardless, his grandmother imparts her wisdom on her grandchild, although she doesn't treat him as such, speaking to him as a young business associate. Through the trade, it's implied that Fez developed good mathematical skill, as he is seen doing well in class by applying what he learned from the real world into school.

One day, Fez arrives to find a small child on the floor, greeting him coolly: the child is apparently collateral, until 10pm. Fez struggles to keep the baby calm: 10pm passes and the baby's mother never arrives, leaving the two to raise a new child. After he eats some discarded cigarettes, his grandmother laughs at him, calling him "a little ashtray". Their life is unconventional, as someone asks why a kid is present for a drug deal, but his grandmother defends him: he is her business partner.

After running into some trouble with a man with a bowl cut, Fez's grandmother arrives at a donut shop and pulls out a crowbar from the trunk in her car. In panic, Fez runs at her, trying to stop her, and ends up getting accidently hit in the process. His grandmother never apologizes for it and for his trouble, Fez doesn't bring it up: the injury affects him mentally for about two months. One night, during dinner, his grandmother tries to go lay down after feeling bad, and ends up collapsing unexpectedly. Fez drives her to the hospital and "next thing he knew, he had a business to run an a little brother to take care of", as his grandmother ends up bedridden.

In the present, Fez and Mouse speak business, in the aftermath of Fez's house raid on Phillip from the last season. Ashtray, watching from the sidelines, picks a hammer and weaves through the apartment. He sneaks around the corner and leaps at Mouse, smashing his head and breaking Custer's nose in seconds. Fez, in shock, looks at the now dead dealer: things have gotten more complicated.

On New Year's Eve, Fez and Ashtray drive with Rue while on their way to meet with someone, as they need to switch partners due to Mouse's death. Rue, completely drugged out, sings to 2Pac's "Hit "Em Up". After enduring the singing for a minute, the two get irritated with her antics and tell her to chill. The two arrive at an apartment complex: Custer and a young blonde wait for them. He introduces her as his girl, Faye. After speaking for a minute, Faye gets in the car, while Fez, Ash and the other man leave. The man gives them a rundown on the dealer: Laurie, a former schoolteacher turned dealer.

Rue and Faye speak a bit, where Faye expresses annoyance at finding out it's the New Year: Rue rants about the breakup between her and Jules. Faye brings out heroin, to Rue's discomfort. Faye coldly insults her for judging her and proceeds to inject her vagina, only for two men to snatch them from the car and bring them up the apartment, where a man, Bruce, rants about the two girls showing up to Fez and Ashtray.

A woman, Laurie, the dealer, calmly tells Bruce to come over to her chair. Bruce then walks over, puts on some music and tells everyone to strip, in case they are wearing a wire. He stops Ashtray from undressing and has him taken to a closet. Fez protests, as does Faye, only for Bruce to slam her head into the wall and strike Custer again. Custer, Fez and Faye strip, but Rue only manages to take off her jacket. She protests she's just in high school, but Bruce takes her away to a bathroom and sprays her with water. Rue finally undresses enough to satisfy Bruce.

Custer introduces Fez to Laurie, who wonders where Mouse is. Fez asks her to be able to put on his clothes and speak about the situation. He explains he didn't approve of how Mouse did business. Laurie echoes the past, asking why Ashtray and Rue are involved in the deal. Fez defends them as a business partner and family, respectively. After Custer and Faye get dressed, Laurie brings out a suitcase, apologizing for the commotion earlier: she's just being careful. She asks if they are ready for business: Fez pays her, saying "yes ma'am" and takes the suitcase.

Despite the situation, later in the car, Rue rambles about the events, proclaiming her admiration for Laurie as a female drug dealer: Fez finds the events far less humorous.

In a massive house, Kat, Jules and Maddy arrive at Virgil's New Year's Eve party: Rue notices Jules' arrival and instantly wants to avoid her, even ducking out of her line of vision. Maddy tries to find a bathroom, but is stopped by Lexi, who asks if she knows where Cassie is. They were going to the party together, until Cassie left the car.

Elsewhere, at a convenience store, Cassie buys a pack of powdered donuts and sits outside, pensively eating. A massive truck pulls, blinding her momentarily: it's Nate, who is buying a pack of beer. As he walks back out, he hands a bottle to Cassie and sparks a conversation. The two speak briefly: Cassie is now single, intending to focus on herself. Nate decides to take her to the party. While speeding, Cassie ends up with beer on her dress. Laughing at the situation, she takes off her underwear and makes heated eye contact with Nate.

As Maddy finds the restroom, it's shown to be occupied by Cassie and Nate, who are having sex. After yelling at her, Maddy realizes Nate is in the bathroom, to Cassie's horror: Nate clamps a mouth over her mouth to silence her. The two begin to panic over the situation, as Maddy pounds down to the door and Cassie panics, crying in stress. Lexi weaves through the party, passing Jules and Kat and sits down next to Fez. Fez sparks up a conversation with her, as Rue walks back to the car and contemplates texting Jules. She sees Faye's discarded drugs and, after some thought, ingests them.

As Maddy waits, a man, Travis approaches her and flirts with her, to Maddy's disinterest. Rue returns to the party, more relaxed. Nate opens the door, attempting to pull Maddy away for privacy, but she rebuffs him and goes to pee. It's shown that Cassie is still in the bathroom, hiding in the tub nearby, attempting to stay quiet. Nate makes eye contact with Fez, still with Lexi, and Jules, who is dancing with Kat. Rue walks down some halls and tries to get into a room and finds Elliot, a blond man snorting some drugs in the laundry room. Elliot tries to play off the drugs, weakly claiming to be a repairman, but Rue sees through it and admits she's a user too.

Maddy finishes peeing, only to find no toilet paper. In a moment of desperation, she grabs a towel to wipe with. She cleans herself and tosses the towel into the tub, right into Cassie's face, to her utter disgust. As she opens the door, Travis offers to smoke with her and walks in. Rue and Elliot do some lines, but the drugs hit her much more intensely and she has Elliot check her pulse. Realizing she's going into cardiac arrest. Elliot panics, but Rue tells him to just crush up some Adderall in her sock for her. Travis continues to flirt with Maddy: she's aware he was three years ahead of her, works as a DJ or producer and had a song on the radio.

Jules sits with Lexi and Fez briefly, asking if they have seen Rue. Fez tells her she's around somewhere, as Rue snorts the Adderall and recovers her pulse: Elliot and Rue laugh, despite the situation. Jules walks through the party, checking her phone. Lexi keeps trying to reach Cassie, but her calls fail. She talks with Fez about the holidays, and two have a chat about religion. After Lexi gives him a brief history lesson, going into ethics and morals.

Finally, as she walks outside, she finds Kat by the pool and briefly chats with her. Kat confesses she thought the two would be closer, likely referring before Jules and Rue began to see each other. Jules rests her head on Kat's shoulder, apologizing for having been so cut off last year.

Back in the bathroom, Maddy and Travis keep talking, with Travis boldly asking to her for a kiss, which Maddy easily rejects. Outside the bathroom, Nate keeps an eye out for Cassie, just as McKay arrives. Greeting him, Lexi finds him as well. After asking if he's seen Cassie, Lexi walks off again, trying to call her. Maddy explains Travis is too corny for her to like, just as Cassie's phone vibrates, alerting him. Travis finds her and thinks she's passed out. Uncaring, Maddy suddenly decides she wants to dance with him and pulls him out, to Cassie's relief. Another boy walks in, to her alarm, just as Cassie climbs out. Travis and Maddy move to the dance floor, just as Cassie walks out, still reeling over nearby being caught.

As Jules hands a drink to Kat, Ethan arrives. Finding their romance a bit too much, Jules walks outside, about to text Rue, only for her eyes to find a bonfire in the dark and Rue sitting in front of it. Finally, Lexi runs into Cassie, along with Maddy and McKay, the latter who pulls her away to speak privately. Lexi rejoins Fez in the couch. Cassie tells McKay about how she feels like they are in different places. Guilt ridden, Cassie tells McKay she doesn't think she should be with anyone, because she's not a good person. McKay walks off, defeated and takes a drink, as Nate finds him. As they speak about what happened, Nate becomes more aggressive, getting into his space and asks him a series of uncomfortable questions, making McKay increasingly more uncomfortable.

Jules and Rue chat as Elliot goes to get a drink. Jules bluntly asks when did she relapse and Rue confesses it was the night of the formal, when she left. Meanwhile, Fez begins to leave the party after telling Lexi to stop doubting herself too heavily, telling Ashtray to start the car. The latter runs into Rue, telling her they are about to leave. Rue walks off on that note. Later, Jules and Rue find each other however and, among tears, make up and reconcile amidst the turn of the new year.

Fez approaches Nate, takes a bottle and pours him a drink after exchanging some pleasantries. After toasting him, Fez smashes the bottle right on his head and begins to beat down Nate, even amongst Maddy and Cassie's protests. McKay arrives, pulling Fez off a bloodied Nate, who is lifted away. Having witnessed the whole beatdown, Rue and Jules look down in shock.

Credits

Cast

Starring

Guest Starring

Co-Starring

Crew

Directed By

Written By

  • Sam Levinson

Created By

  • Sam Levinson

Executive Producers

Producers

Co-Producers

Director of Photography

Production Designer

Edited By

  • Julio C. Perez IV

Music Composed By

Casting By

NY Casting By

Unit Production Manager

  • Will Greenfield

First Assistant Directors

Second Assistant Director

Costume Designer

Associate Producer

Music Supervisors

Sound Designer

Consultants

Trivia

  • The title of this episode is a reference to the Bob Dylan song "Tryin' to Get to Heaven" from his 1997 thirtieth studio album, Time Out of Mind.
  • This episode takes place on Monday December 31, 2018.
  • According to Angus Cloud, this episode was filmed on location for five days and each day was 7:00 PM till sunrise, all solid all-nighters.[2]
  • HBO Max actually crashed for many users due to over activity.[3]
  • It's only been around a week since the events of the specials, which take place around Christmas.
  • According to Levinson, the intent of the party was to not appear to closely to the opening party of the first episode, intending for it to appear as a party taking place at 5am.
  • Cassie confirms she has broken up with McKay.
  • The flashes of the characters as the New Year begins is intended to evoke the feel of a photo taken during a party, acting almost as portraits.
  • The production team reached out to Kodak to remake ektachrome for shooting, who then had to convert their factory to remake it.
  • Daelo Walton, Javon Walton (Ashtray)'s brother, portrays 6-year old Ashtray.
  • It was previously the highest rated episode on IMDb, with a 9.3 rating, until "Stand Still Like the Hummingbird".
  • The episode bump up to 10.8 million total viewers since the series original broadcast.[4] The episode is also the most viewed episode of an HBO series ever on HBO Max, currently with more than 14 million viewers across platforms, more than double the average audience of Season 1 (6.6 million viewers per episode).[5]
  • The episode was the #1 most social premium cable episode since the Game of Thrones finale in May 2019.[5]

Soundtrack

Song Artist Album Scene
Don't Be Cruel Billy Swan I Can Help Fez's grandma walks into the strip club.
Look At Grandma Bo Diddley Where It All Began Fez's grandma teaches Fez how to deal drugs.
Jump Into The Fire Harry Nilsson Nilsson Schmilsson Fezco in math class and sees baby when he arrives home.
Think - Instrumental Curtis Mayfield Superfly (Soundtrack from the Motion Picture) [Deluxe 25th Anniversary Edition] Fez tucks the baby in and sleeps next to him.
Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquedalymistic Isaac Hayes Hot Buttered Soul Fez's grandma cooks drugs on the stove.
What Time It Is Sonny Skillz Fez counts money while grandma sunbathes.
I Want Action Poison Look What The Cat Dragged In - 20th Anniversary Edition Fez counts money while grandma sunbathes.
I Walk On Guilded Splinters Johnny Jenkins Ton-Ton Macoute! Fez's grandma attacks Bowl-Cut with crowbar.
Who Am I The O'Jays Back Stabbers Fez and Ashtray watch a movie.
Vampy Thing Analogue Skywalker Ashtray attacks Mouse and Custer with a hammer.
Hit 'Em Up - Single Version 2Pac, Outlawz Greatest Hits Rue, Fezco, and Ashtray sing along in the car.
Right Down the Line Gerry Rafferty City to City Ashtray, Fez, Custer, and Rue in Laurie's apartment have to undress to confirm no one is wearing a wire.
Dirty Work Steely Dan Can't Buy A Thrill Fez and Laurie talk about Mouse; Gives Fez the drugs and they all leave.
Affix 44577 Benji Decadez Fez, Ashtray, and Rue drive away from Laurie's.
Hypnotize - 2007 Remaster The Notorious B.I.G. Greatest Hits Rue and Jules show up at NYE party; Lexi tells Maddy she can't reach Cassie.
Thirsty Jackie Bistrow Cassie buys a pack donut.
Who's That Virus Syndicate The Swarm A truck drives with bright light up to Cassie at the convenience store.
Just My Luck David Fredericks Just My Luck Nate buys beer at the convenience store.
Dead of Night Orville Peck Pony Nate drives Cassie to the party.
Runway Blaq Tuxedo RUNWAY Cassie and Nate hook up in the bathroom.
Back That Azz Up JUVENILE, Lil Wayne, Mannie Fresh 400 Degreez Cassie hides in the tub; Jules dances; Rue finds drugs and Elliott.
Mr. Bangbadaboom Thrillah Maddie and Travis flirt; Cassie hides in the tub; Rue goes into cardiac arrest; Fezco and Lexi talk.
Uhuh Yeah Colbie, G.L.A.M. Uhuh Yeah Jules looks for Rue.
Ferrari Troyman GODSPEED Fez and Lexi talk about God.
Queen Foxi Jules finds Kat by the pool.
DIRT B.o.B Somnia Nate talks to McKay.
I Can’t Wait Nu Shooz Poolside Lexi calls Cassie; Jules sees Rue by the bonfire.
Party Up DMX ...And Then There Was X Maddy and Travis talk; Lexi finds Cassie; McKay Cassie to talk.
Madonna Tarik Madonna Nate jokes about McKay and Cassie.
Straight Shooter Jody Upshaw Straight Shooter Jules talks to Rue; Ash gets a phone call form Fez to start the car.
4,5,6 Big Mali Gangsta Talk Fez and Lexi talk; Fez takes of his sweater.
Pull Up Derek Minor, Greg James, THICC James Pull Up Fez breaks a bottle over Nate's head.
(I Just) Died In Your Arms Cutting Crew Broadcast End credits.
Auld Lang Syne Labrinth End credits.

Gallery

See also: Category:Images from Trying to Get to Heaven Before They Close the Door

References

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