Each episode of Euphoria focuses on a different character, like LOST and Orange is the New Black did before it. Christopher McKay, who is just called “McKay,” had his turn in the sixth episode of Euphoria.
McKay (Algee Smith) is dating Cassie (Sydney Sweeney), but their relationship has been rough because, for one thing, she is still in high school, and he is away at college. Also, in the episode at the carnival a few weeks ago, he hesitated to call her his girlfriend, which led her to kiss a classmate named Daniel on a carousel (the same Daniel who dumped Kat during her youth flashback).
The “The Next Episode” episode gave us a taste of McKay’s backstory, which was a lot like Friday Night Lights in that it was about coming to terms with and adjusting expectations about professional athlete dreams. However, it was a scene in the middle of the episode that confused and angered viewers.
What did McKay do in that scene from Episode 6?
The whole episode takes place at different parties on Halloween. The first night, Cassie goes with McKay to a college party dressed as Patricia Arquette’s character, Alabama Worley, from the 1993 movie True Romance, written by Quentin Tarantino. McKay doesn’t like how she’s dressed. The episode also explores his idea of “having” the girl everyone else wants, so he asks her to change into a football jersey.
When they finally return to McKay’s dorm, they start getting close. (It should be noted that the beginning of the episode made it clear that McKay is having difficulty adjusting to college football. He used to be the best. He has trouble adjusting to being on the same talent level as thousands of other college football players.)
When McKay and Cassie get close to McKay’s dorm room, several masked men walk in behind them. He and Cassie are both naked, and the masked men pull McKay off the bed, pin him to the ground, and yell, “McGay!” at him.
Even though Cassie yells at them to stop, they hold him down and cry and chant for their fraternity (“Sig Pi Nu, bitch! “). Even though the camera cuts don’t show for sure what happened to him—and given the history of hazing in college and college sports, it’s not impossible that he was sexually assaulted—safe it’s to assume that something terrible happened.
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After the guys in masks leave, McKay stays on the ground for a while, then gets up and cries for a long time in the bathroom. Cassie is seen thinking and sending her sister a text, “He just started crying. I felt so bad.”
From what we know about what happened after the fact, it’s clear that McKay’s rights were violated in some way. Again, you can tell from what Cassie says when McKay finally comes out of the bathroom: “I can’t believe they did that to you, McKay.” “It was so wrong.”
“Cassie, it’s all good,” he says, but his face and body language say something else. “It doesn’t matter that much.”
What happens next is a continuation of their earlier sex scene, but it’s clear that both McKay and Cassie have been affected. McKay is cold and distant, and Cassie also looks like she’s been through a lot.
It’s not clear what happened to McKay, and the producers and creator of the show made that choice on purpose. But we know that this was a terrible thing that happened and that McKay was used.
The episode next week will be about Cassie so that this story will go on.