WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Euphoria Season 2 now streaming on HBO Max.
Last week’s episode of Euphoria, “A Thousand Little Trees of Blood,” showed Cassie’s inevitable breakdown after Rue told Maddy about Nate’s relationship with her best friend. The episode was filled with scenes of Cassie trying to justify her relationship with Nate to her mother and sister, as well as Maddy’s reactions to the revelation of her best friend’s betrayal. In the final scenes of the episode, viewers saw Nate leaving with Cassie. The preview for Season 2 Episode 7, “The Theater and Its Double” also shows Nate and Cassie walking down the school corridors together, as well as the performance of Lexi’s play.
In last week’s post episode interview on the Euphoria YouTube channel, actor Jacob Elordi states “I really don’t think in [Nate’s] head that he’s playing games at all. To him, any kind of love, he’s going to accept. And I think that brings him a great deal of comfort because it means he won’t end up in the same place that his mom and dad did.”
However, Nate’s actions in the show so far seem to contradict Elordi’s theories for the character’s reasoning. Season 2 previously established that Nate’s mother and father started dating in high school and ended up getting married because his mother got pregnant. This seems to reflect Nate’s decision to stay in a relationship with Cassie, cutting ties with Maddy and her friends completely and potentially putting Cassie and himself in danger. If the fan theories about Cassie’s pregnancy are true, Nate’s relationship with her would mirror his father’s actions perfectly.
Nate’s manipulative behavior is also uncomfortably similar to Cal’s. In Season 1, Cal filmed his sexual encounter with Jules without her consent. He constantly cheats on his wife by hooking up with young men and trans women, and eventually destroys his family by admitting to it in Season 2, Episode 4, “You Who Cannot See, Think of Those Who Can.” Nate displays similar behavior in Season 1 when he catfishes Jules on a dating app and blackmails her when she sends him nudes, believing he’s a different man interested in dating her.
Nate’s decision to steal the recording of Cal and Jules also proves how manipulative he is. Although his plan to steal the disc wasn’t perfect, as he ended up leaving it visible enough for Maddy to snag it, it is clear that he intended to use the recording to blackmail Cal. Although it has already been established that Cal and Nate have a bad relationship, Nate’s violent and manipulative behavior is not justified and proves how he is more similar to his father than he might think.
Nate is easily one of the least likeable characters in Euphoria, and his similarities to his manipulative father Cal suggest that he will become even worse as the show goes on. As Nate’s mother commented in last week’s episode, “[Cal’s] deeply flawed, and somehow, someway, we raised a child who’s even more deeply flawed.” If Nate’s violent and devious behavior continues, it is incredibly likely that he will end up just like Cal when he is older.
To see where Nate’s story goes from here, watch Euphoria Sundays on HBO at 9 p.m. EST and stream on HBO Max the same day.
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