We may only be a few episodes into HBO’s Euphoria, but it already feels safe to say that Jacob Elordi’s character, Nate Jacobs, is a bit unhinged. Though the high school football star is a jerk from the start, Nate shows his true colors during the party at his friend Chris McKay’s house, when he catches his on-and-off-again girlfriend, Maddy, going at it with a classmate named Tyler in the pool. After flying into a rage, Nate takes it upon himself to violently single out Jules, who has just arrived at the party at Kat’s invitation (and whom Nate had catcalled from his car just a few days before). Little does he know that Jules was just raped by Nate’s father in an incredibly disturbing motel room scene – wait, what?
At the end of the first episode, a family picture is revealed as Nate ascends the stairs after returning home from McKay’s party. If it looks familiar, it should. The photo – showing a young Nate, his parents, and two other young boys – was the same picture as the lock screen on Cal’s (aka DominantDaddy’s) phone, which we see when Jules checks Cal’s phone as he showers. As the man in the middle is clearly Cal, that means that Nate is his son. Plot twist! And if you had any doubts, the next episode then opens with an 11-year-old Nate just beginning to explore his dad’s collection of homemade pornographic videos. Apparently, his scene as DominantDaddy with Jules is not out of character.
But what else does the photo tell us? Nate has two brothers. As Rue reveals in the beginning of the second episode, Nate’s older brother, Aaron, is considered “a f*ck-up.” Though Nate believes himself to have a good – if unemotional – relationship with his father, he knows that his father doesn’t like Aaron because, as Rue says, Cal “didn’t think he had guts or brains.” According to IMDb, Aaron is set to appear in two more upcoming episodes, so we’ll hopefully learn more about his relationship with Nate.
If young Nate is on the far left side of the picture and young Aaron is on the top right, then that leaves one other brother (presumably the youngest) who sits in front. Rue only mentions the one brother when going into Nate’s backstory, so the identity of the third brother remains a mystery. Did this brother die? Did Cal (who appears throughout the episode as a menacing, dark presence, despite his acceptance of Nate) do something to make the brother leave? Though we hate to even go there, Cal’s videos demonstrate that he has a proclivity for both underage men and women, and it’s not outside the realm of possibility that Nate’s brother could have been a victim of abuse at his father’s hand. We’ll just have to wait and see what other dark truths come out about the Jacobs family as the first season of this provocative series continues.