WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Euphoria Season 2, Episode 5, “Stand Still Like the Hummingbird,” now streaming on HBO Max.
In Season 1 of Euphoria, one of the things fans noticed was the family photo at Nate’s (Jacob Elordi) home, which had a character the show never touched on. In the portrait, there was young Nate and his brother, Aaron, as well as their parents, Cal and Marsha. However, there was was another young boy, who has become an utter mystery. It’s intrigued viewers once more thanks to Cal’s self-destructive ways, and that’s because, in leaving home, Cal took the portrait with him as a memento, which has created an air of sleuthing once more to discover what happened to the boy.
Euphoria creator Sam Levinson has always been cryptic with key characters, namely Nate and Rue, which is likely why he didn’t identify which brother was which in the photo, or give a timeline for when it was taken. It’s vague, probably to encourage people to dive down the rabbit hole with guesses.
For instance, one could theorize he is Ashtray, Fez’s adopted little brother, who was taken in by his granny before she got sick. Since then, they’ve become drug-dealers, with Ashtray beating Cal senselessly in Season 2 for snooping around too much. Admittedly, Ashtray bears a strong resemblance to the kid, but there are problems with this, as well.
The grandma took him from a mom suffering from addiction, but Euphoria hasn’t linked Marsha to Fez’s family. If that were the case, Cal wouldn’t have been looking to beat the brothers down to get his sex tape back; he’d have likely approached it as if they weren’t strangers. In addition, when the granny brought the kid to Fez, he was younger than Ashtray, so this theory would imply the kid went back to Cal, got older, had the photo taken and then magically re-appeared with Fez.
Another theory might be the boy simply ran away or emancipated himself. Afterall, Cal was toxic, urging the boys to be alphas and misogynists, so if the child grew up and saw how dysfunctional the future would be, it’d be understandable he left to be with other family members or left to find a new family. Plus, Cal’s real estate business did rake in big bucks, so the teen would have a foundation to make such a bold step if he took any of that money.
The most plausible scenario, however, might be the kid died. Illness could be a cause, but given how Euphoria is about secrets being exposed and dark consequences thereafter, it could be this son found Cal’s stash of sex tapes. Thus, knowing his dad was a predator who took advantage of teens, the boy’s trust and faith might have been broken. This could have been too much for him, and he may have taken his own life, ran away or done something else in response to this.
This may even play into why, no matter what, Maddy stuck with Nate. She could have felt sorry due to the trouble they went through, which would inform why she’s always hated his parents and wanted to expose Cal for being a monster. Hopefully, Season 2 will shed light on this, but for now, fans will keep seeking clues now that Cal’s on his own.
To see how the Jacobs family handles their drama, stream Euphoria on HBO Max. New episodes of Season 2 premiere Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.
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