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10 Times Maddy Deserved Better

Most times, the worst things happen to the best of us. Other times, our best intentions and genuine efforts are responded to with indifference or, worse, betrayal. This reality defines a significant part of Maddy’s arc in the two seasons of HBO’s Euphoria.

Written and Directed by Sam Levinson, the teen drama series thrives on several fonts, especially with regards to its diverse characters, whose struggles and journeys many young adults today relate to. From Rue Bennett (Zendaya) to its big bad, Nate Jacobs (Jacob Elordi), every character in Euphoria navigates the highs and lows of teenage life through compelling and emotional approaches we cannot help but empathize with. However, one character whose arc needs more spotlight is Maddy Perez (Alexa Demie), the Queen Bee of this high school drama.

To the credit of the showrunner and a career-best performance from Demie, Maddy redefines the “mean girl” trope that is very common in television. Unlike other mean girl characters on TV, Maddy is not the stereotypical head cheerleader or privileged materialistic girl whose biggest problem is sticking to unrealistic beauty standards or amassing social media followers. Neither is she a bully who torments the protagonist for no reason. According to Anya Formozova for The Take, “Maddy is a queen bee with a heart.” Nontheless, her kind heart and fierce loyalty to her friends, among other positive traits, did not exempt her from receiving the worst treatment from the characters she cared for deeply in Euphoria. From remaining in a toxic relationship with a complicated Nate Jacobs to being betrayed by best friend Cassie, here are 10 times Maddy deserved better.


10 Being Gaslighted by Cassie


It’s one thing to be deeply hurt by someone, but it is another level when the person is oblivious to their faults. This replicates in the later events of Euphoria Season 2, when a high Rue drops the bomb of Nate and Cassie’s affair in internet-breaking fashion. Unable to face accountability, Cassie storms off the scene, leaving Maddy confused and enraged, demanding an apology or at least an explanation. Instead of getting it, Maddy is met with Cassie’s silence, which reeks of entitlement, self-righteousness, and lack of regard for their childhood friendship.

Related: Euphoria Season 3: What Does Barbie Ferreira’s Exit Mean for the Show?

9 Cassie Ruins Maddy’s Birthday

Euphoria Maddy's birthday

In Euphoria Season 2, Episode 4, Maddy hosts a mini-party to celebrate her 18th birthday. While the party starts off wholesome, with music, a cake, and a hot pool outside, the night turns for the worst when Cassie pukes her guts out all over the pool, irritating the celebrant and her hosts, thus ruining everyone’s night. On what ought to be a special night, Cassie’s gift to Maddy was a disgusting memory to forget.

8 Kat Blows Off Maddy

euphoria maddy calls kat

On the surface, Maddy projects a persona of confidence and an independent aura that make her seem she doesn’t need anyone. However, there are moments she is utterly broken and needs her girls. One of these moments is the aftermath of a huge fight with her mother. Maddy desperately calls her friend Kat, but Kat blows her off to hook up with a stranger in a parking lot, leaving Maddy to have an emotional meltdown alone.

7 Maddy Finds Out Nate’s Sexts

euphoria Maddy crying

The last thing anyone wants is to discover their partner is cheating. Despite being truly in love with Nate, Maddy is not spared from the hurt and confusion of infidelity. Catfishing as ShyGuy118, Nate begins to send intimate pictures and flirty texts with Jules (Hunter Schafer) while still in a relationship with Maddy. As Nate takes a shower, Maddy discovers raunchy images that make her wonder about the sexuality of her boyfriend. At the same time, it makes her question the genuity of their relationship.

6 Maddy’s Parents

euphoria Maddy's parents

The actions of every parent on this teen show provide an examination for bigger social conversations. With Maddy’s parents, Euphoria portrays the impact parental negligence and unstable homes have on an individual’s worldview. One of the significant reasons for Maddy’s distorted view of love is that she comes from a dysfunctional home that lacks the littlest bit of a happy and healthy marriage. Because of this, Maddy believes her relationship with Nate, regardless of its toxic nature, is far better than what she saw her parents share.

5 Being Slut-Shamed at the Carnival

euphoria maddy at the carnival

Maddy is often subjected to slut-shaming from Nate. She is judged and criticized for her clothing. The slut-shaming that Maddy experiences reflects the double standard that exists when it comes to male and female sexuality. For example, in Euphoria Season 1, Maddy wears revealing clothing to a carnival, leading to criticism from Nate. However, when he wears a tank top that shows off his muscles, he is praised for his appearance.

The slut-shaming that Maddy experiences is harmful and reinforces negative stereotypes about Latina women and their sexuality. It also reflects the pervasive culture of misogyny and sexism that exists in our society. Maddy deserved better than to be judged and criticized for her outfit and should be allowed to explore her personality without fear of judgment or shame.

Related: Euphoria: Why the Series is the Perfect Crossover Between the Millennial and Gen-Z Generations

4 Almost Walking into Nate and Cassie

Euphoria Maddy knocking on the door

The plot of Euphoria Season 2 kicks off in a very chaotic tone. It entails Nate and Cassie hooking up in a bathroom at a new year’s house party that Maddy is present at. Not only is this wholly wrong, but it is also profoundly disrespectful. However, their betrayal is still not at its peak. Nate and Cassie continue their secret love affair. During this time, Cassie begins a detailed skincare routine and, furthermore, goes on to imitate Maddy’s outfit choices in order to bag her best friend’s ex.

3 Being Physically Assaulted

Euphoria maddy crying

Nate becomes jealous of Maddy’s relationship with Tyler, a boy from their school. He confronts Maddy about her relationship with Tyler and threatens her, making her feel scared and helpless with visible bruise marks on her neck.

These instances of Nate’s threatening behavior are a reflection of his abusive and controlling personality. Nate uses fear and intimidation to exert power over Maddy and assert his dominance in their relationship. Maddy deserved better than to be subjected to Nate’s abusive behavior. She deserves to be treated with respect and kindness and to feel safe in her relationships. The scenes in which Nate physically assaults Maddy are a reminder of the importance of recognizing the signs of abuse in relationships and the need to speak out against this kind of behavior.

2 Being Threatened by Nate

euphoria nate Jacobs abusing maddy

At this point, there is no doubt that Nate Jacobs is one the most terrifying characters on Euphoria. The unpredictability of his actions, his tendency to initiate violence and make skin-chilling threats depict him as a villain no one deserves to cross.

In Season 2, Episode 6, we see Nate threaten Maddy into giving him his Dad’s sex tape. This is not the first time we see Nate in this light. In Season 1, Episode 2, he once threatened and beat Tyler in his room before blackmailing Jules into making a false confession to cover up his crime. While none of these characters deserves to be threatened, the last person we expected to see the villainous side of Nate Jacobs was Maddy, considering everything they have been through together.

In this scene, Maddy completely breaks down, to a gun-wielding Nate ambushes her and demands the disk. Tearfully she gives it up before Nate finally calls it quits with her. Leaving Maddy traumatized on her bed. This scene contains so much more than it presents. Maddy’s tears are more than the fear of this scene being her or Nate’s last moment alive. They convey the total disruption of the illusion that she was in love. We see a character realize the harsh reality that everything she thought she knew and loved about a person was a lie.

1 Being Nate’s Girlfriend

euphoria nate and maddy

As the series progresses, Maddy and Nate’s relationship becomes more and more tumultuous. They continue to struggle with issues related to trust, communication, and their own personal insecurities.

Maddy is often portrayed as a confident and assertive character, but she also struggles with insecurities and the impacts of a broken home. Despite moments of intimacy, her relationship with Nate is marked by instances of physical and emotional abuse.

Nate, on the other hand, is often depicted as charming and charismatic, but he also has a dark side. He is dealing with issues related to his masculinity, which often manifest in abusive behavior towards Maddy and other characters in the show. Hopefully in the upcoming Season 3, we see Maddy embrace her newfound freedom from Nate’s grip, seek happy and healthy relationships and be the best version of her self.

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