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Smile, you’re on camera: ‘Euphoria’ episode 6’s telltale signs that someone is always watching

By Monica Athnasious

Feb 16, 2022

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Disclaimer: this article includes ‘Euphoria’ season two, episode six spoilers

Euphoria’s sixth episode of its second season made its debut and, once again, it’s all we can talk about. The episode was filled with the aftermath of Rue’s actions, Cassie’s Karen-like tears, a blossoming Fezco and Lexie love story and the mothers of the show displaying a deep fear for (and of) their children. However, what I want to focus on is the overarching theme of ‘being watched’. The sixth installment was rife with observation as both Cassie and Rue were meticulously minded by their mothers while Fez and Lexie watched a movie (and more sinister surveillance revealed itself).

Maddy’s boss is secretly filming her

While Maddy plays dress up with the gloriously vintage wardrobe of Minka Kelly’s mysterious character Samantha, she receives a text message from her employer who states that she will be home in 15 minutes—prompting our ‘it girl’ to quickly undress. The camera pans to an alarm clock, slowly zooming in. For many of us, we didn’t quite catch the reason behind this—perhaps it made you feel some impending doom regarding the time—but for some eagle-eyed fans online it revealed something more sinister: a hidden camera. So, what does this tell us? Maddy is being watched. It appears that the incredibly wealthy Samantha may be well aware of her babysitter’s Clueless Cher moment in her closet—what’s even more interesting is that she most likely knows and hasn’t yet mentioned it to Maddy. While intent has yet to be disclosed, it is a disturbing fact to realise that once again, a Euphoria adult is filming a minor without their knowledge.

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The mystery behind Maddy’s ‘smile you’re on camera’ poster: did she film Nate?

Speaking of that infamous tape, upon Maddy’s arrival to her home, yet another observer is watching her undress—Nate Jacobs. Cooly sat in a dark corner of his ex-girlfriend’s bedroom, wielding a gun, Nate (played by Jacob Elordi) observes her sinisterly—awaiting the moment he threatens the infamous tape out of her hands. While this scene alone is terrifying enough to warrant its own analysis, I want to draw your attention to the vivid yellow of a poster framing the shot when Maddy first notices her abuser—it reads: ‘smile you’re on camera’. An interesting choice and perhaps a deliberate one. Maybe it’s continuing the parallel of her previous scene, dropping hints at the alarm clock, or perhaps an even more far-fetched theory—Maddy herself has a secret camera. What if she got that whole encounter on tape? It would be all she would need to take down the human embodiment of toxic masculinity that is Nate Jacobs.

To top it off, the entire motivation behind the torturous Russian roulette he plays with a traumatised Maddy is to obtain the tape that implicates his father Cal. A tape that he admits to Jules, he’s watched. His perceived ‘kindness’ to Jules in giving her this footage is, to me, a worrying sign of his increased obsession with her. But his affection is often short-lived (as we have seen) before he once again begins displaying his concerningly violent and aggressive behaviour. Basically, I’m not giving him any credit just yet—especially because of what he did to get it. This theme of the observer continues as Jules herself watches the tape.

Fez and Ash are being watched by the police

The episode also gave us the Fez and Lexi sofa scene we had all been waiting for but the cuteness of the scene was seemingly overshadowed by the daunting reality that they too are being watched. Smile for the camera Fez and Ash, it looks like you’re about to be caught up in some serious trouble. Escaping his own monitoring responsibility, Ash leaves his multiple CCTV footage set up to go to the toilet. In that time, while taking the rubbish out, Faye is surprised by her boyfriend Custer who admits to her that he is cooperating with the police who—as he puts it—already have their eyes set on Fezco and Ash for the murder of Mouse. You know, the guy Ash bashed in with a hammer—yeah, that creep. With the police already watching them, Custer says to his confused girlfriend that he’ll be coming around to talk and that she should mind her business—begging the question, is he going in with a wire? Will he be recording the two brothers in an attempt to incriminate them? Guess we’ll have to wait till the next Euphoria Sunday to find out.

Rue's 'observation' is slowly dying

While the situations of the lives of Euphoria played out in the episode, so did Rue’s narration. In that it basically stopped. Her observations—ones that usually rule and drive the show—had ultimately diminished by the end. What this means for the character or the show is yet to be determined. Some may view it as yet another sign of the many fan theories that Rue is actually dead/dying? Zendaya, however, quickly shut down such rumours in Entertainment Weekly stating, “We can’t leave her here.” If it’s not here, I wonder where the show will next take us.