This season, Sydney Sweeney's character, Cassie, has received the most hate from audiences. We are here to set the record straight.
Out of all the storylines this season, Cassie's has earned quite some screen time. Despite always sharing the screen with morally questionable characters such as Nate Jacobs (Jacob Elordi) or Maddy Perez (Alexa Demie), Sydney Sweeney's character continues to get all the hate from audiences. But this is not a coincidence. As everything that occurs in the Euphoria Universe, Sam Levinson has dropped hints, some hidden, some obvious, that reveal how Nate is tricking us into believing Cassie is this season's villain.
The power imbalance between Nate and Cassie is always present in their interactions
When the Nate and Cassie arc begins, a power imbalance is established. What does this mean? Nate ensures that he's always in control of the situation when it comes to Cassie.
Outside the convenience store? He's standing up, she's sitting down on the curb.
On the drive to the party? He's driving the car, she's in the passenger seat.
In the bathroom scene? He's interacting with Maddie, Cassie is half-naked and Nate's got her mouth covered so she can't speak.
During their nightly hook ups? Nate makes her walk to a far street where he picks her up, and when he doesn't show up, she's stranded and alone in the middle of the night.
These situations are not coincidental. Nate always seeks to be the controller of every interaction with Cassie. Why? Because it keeps his fantasy alive.
Remember that not everything we are told in Euphoria should be accepted as true
Not to derail, but I'm sure you remember the scene montage from season one where Ashtray gives Jules and Rue lip tattoos. Well, if you watched the special episode with Rue and Ali, you might have missed that she admits that never happened.
While Rue is an unreliable narrator, that doesn't mean other bits of the show are fabricated. After all, Euphoria's known for its cinematic drama. What does this mean? It means that Sam Levinson won't let the truth stand in the way of a good story.
When Nate is unconscious at the hospital, we get a glimpse of his fantasy. He's married to Cassie in a white picket fenced house with a pool. She's pregnant, and Nate's dad is there, but he's sort of a less intimidating version of the real Cal Jacobs.
Then, during one of their nightly hook ups, Nate takes Cassie to a construction site. If you missed it, this is Nate trying to recreate that fantasy he has of growing up with 2.5 kids, a dog, and a wife that meets all his ridiculous standards.
In Nate's mind, Cassie is not a player in the game, she's a pawn.
Did we learn anything from Cassie's back story?
Cassie's dad was a missing blur in her childhood and teenage years, yet Cassie never gave up on him. Not when her mother told her to. Not when Lexi seemed to accept the sad truth. Cassie continued to wait, months even, for him to show up.
Why? You could say Cassie's a hopeless romantic and believes that happy endings do exist for those who persist. But you can also say that Cassie's attachment stems from experiencing a one-time high with a person, and then she clings on to that because it's better than nothing. In this case, Cassie's feelings with Nate in the drive to the party are very present and very real in her mind, and she wants to recreate them to fill in the otherwise emptiness that she experiences.
In conclusion, please remember Cassie is a teenager
We've spent enough time with Nate to catalog him as a psychopath – an individual who feels no remorse, no guilt, and cares little for other people's feelings. We saw it on his relationship with Maddy. His treatment of Jules. And now we're seeing it with his fixation on Cassie.
So when you get an inexplicable feeling of hatred towards our beloved Cassie, remember that she's another victim to Nate's manipulation. And that doesn't mean she isn't strong or independent.
The reality that we often forget due to the heavy nature of the series is that at the end of the day, these characters are teenagers. And teenagers are often fooled by the romanticism that comes from not knowing what love is yet seeking it so desperately. Cassie is simply a young person navigating the world one mistake at a time, and that's something we should all be able to relate to and also emphathize with.
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