Euphoria: Did Ash Really Die?
We Need to Discuss That "Euphoria" Death
Watch out! This post contains spoilers.
We felt pretty confident someone would die at the end of "Euphoria" season two. We weren't sure who it would be — maybe Nate (Jacob Elordi), maybe Fezco (Angus Cloud), or maybe someone totally different. It turns out, it's someone different, and yet not surprising in the slightest. It all comes down to an intense scene in Fez's house that results in a rain shower of bullets.
Who Dies in the "Euphoria" Season 2 Finale?
Earlier in the season, Custer (Tyler Chase) tells Faye (Chloe Cherry) that he's talking to the cops about Mouse's (Meeko) death, which Ashtray (Javon Walton) is responsible for. It's hard to tell at first what Faye might do with this information. Custer is her boyfriend, after all, but Fez has been there for her in a way no one else has. Would she give Fez a heads up that Custer is working with the police to arrest him and Ash, or would she stay quiet and let it all happen?
In the finale, just as Fez is about to leave for Lexi's (Maude Apatow) play, Custer comes over and tells him he needs to talk to him. Faye purposely drops a glass on the floor, and as she bends down to clean it up, she tells Fez to stay quiet, signaling that Custer is recording them. She's chosen to help Fez and Ash (albeit way too late in the game).
Custer tells Fez the cops found Mouse's body, and Faye chimes in to divert the blame to Laurie (Martha Kelly). As she and Custer argue, not realizing the extent of the situation they're in, Ash jumps up and stabs Custer in the throat, killing him before Fez is able to stop him. Fez keeps Custer quiet as he dies and then drops Custer's phone in a soda cup. As Fez begins to try to cover up Ash's actions, he tells Ash to run so he can take the fall for Custer's murder. Ash, instead, grabs all their guns and ammo and locks himself in the bathroom. Fez pounds on the bathroom door trying to get him to come out, but the police soon barge into the house as Ash refuses to surrender. Fez screams at the police not to shoot at the door — that there's a kid inside. But Ash starts shooting from inside, forcing the police to shoot back. Fez gets hit by a stray bullet, knocking him to the floor, where he continues to plead with Ash to stop.
After an intense shootout, assuming Ash is dead, the police open the bathroom door to find him on the ground. But it's a ruse, and Ash sits up and shoots the cop who opens the door. The last we see of Ash, he's sitting on the bathroom floor with a stricken look on his face and a red laser beam from a police officer's gun aimed at his forehead. It seems as though Ash may have thought there was only one police officer outside, not an entire SWAT team. As the camera pans away, we hear a shot and a thud.
Is Ash Really Dead After the "Euphoria" Season 2 Finale?
While we don't see if the police kill Ash, the red dot is on his forehead right before the shot. Fez also looks heartbroken and dazed as he's carted away by the police, implying that he saw his brother shot to death. Still, it's not out of the realm of possibility that Ash gets out of this alive. While the red dot of the police officer's gun was pointed at Ash's forehead, it's possible it was just a fake-out. The officer could have moved the gun to point somewhere else before he shot, injuring Ash rather than killing him.
As for Javon Walton, the actor who plays Ash, he thinks there's a chance Ash makes it to season three. "You know that Fez needs Ash, and Ash needs Fez. They both really rely on each other, so it's going to be really hard for both of them," Walton told Esquire about the events of the finale, adding: "With Fez in jail, I feel like he's going to get out no matter what. I don't know how, but I feel like he's definitely going to be able to get out somehow. And Ash is definitely going to find a way back to him because that's the person he cares about most to him. That's what I would want to happen, is for Ash and Fez to reunite. People love the Ash and Fez duo. The Fesh train!"
Why Does Ash Sacrifice Himself in the "Euphoria" Season 2 Finale?
It's hard to know exactly why Ash goes off the rails in the season two finale.
Though Fez is Ash's big brother, Ash always seems to be the one saving Fez. Fez has been Ash's family his whole life, and if Fez has taught Ash anything at all, it's that you go to bat for your family when they need it. Ash wants to save his brother, but since he's just a kid, he's likely not sure how to do so under the circumstances. Many Redditors have pointed out that he has no impulse control and never did, so, unwilling to let Fez take the fall for him, it makes sense that he ends up doing the only thing he can think of: shooting the place up.
On a logistical level, it seems the show may have ended Ash's run to deal with a real-world issue complicating the character's arc: despite the fact that not even a year has gone by over the course of the series's storyline, Ashtray has visibly aged much more than a few months on screen. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, three years passed between shooting the first season and second season, meaning Walton turned 15 and aged considerably off screen when his character on screen can't be any older than 12 or 13. By the time season three airs, Walton will be 17. Save for a massive time jump in the storytelling, it would have been hard to explain Ashtray's massive growth spurt. So Ash's abrupt, tragic end may have had more to do with that than anything else.
We'll certainly find out in season three if Ash is truly dead or not, but it seems likely. And it's also pretty likely that it'll affect Fez deeply, meaning he may never be quite the same.