That Big Jules/Nate ‘Euphoria’ Twist, Explained

That Big Jules/Nate ‘Euphoria’ Twist, Explained


Warning: This post contains spoilers for the fourth episode of Euphoria. Stop reading now if you haven’t seen it yet.

As Euphoria‘s first season has trucked along, there have been a number of details that viewers—and, at times, the narration from Zendaya’s Rue—have known more than the characters depicted on screen. For one, the first episode’s closing twist, that the man Jules met in the hotel was Cal Jacobs, later revealed to be a town big wig and father of one of her classmates.

Another that we all knew a few weeks ago: Jules’ new online suitor, someone named ShyGuy, who said his name was “Tyler,” was actually Nate, Cal’s violent football player son. This week’s episode saw the truth of that reality depicted on screen, and we saw how Jules managed to react to what was truly a game-changing twist—and a heart-breaker as well.

At first, it seemed that Nate really was speaking from the heart both in his digital correspondences and his initial words. On the inside, is he really “Tyler”? For a moment, both the audience and Jules herself wrestle with that possibility. But it doesn’t take long for the next shoe to drop—after even the slightest initial pushback from Jules, Nate immediately dials back into the methodical, violent, and reckless nature that we’ve seen in past weeks, and even earlier in the episode, when he got physical with Maddie and left a mark on her neck.

In another American Psycho-esque plan, Nate immediately lays out a long, detailed plot that—long story short—would destroy Jules’ life. She doesn’t have much of an option but to comply, and is obviously crushed by the events that have just transpired. Before their meeting ends, though, Jules gets one last crack off: “I think you’re a fucking faggot, just like your daddy.”

Clearly, Nate is established as the worst of the bunch in a show full of people behaving badly. He’s violent, reckless, and has caused trouble thus far for everyone he’s come in contact with, starting with Jules, and going down the list: Maddie, McKay, and the real Tyler.

And in a show that’s made such an important theme of duality, and the idea that everything is not as it seems, it’s interesting that the show continues to wrestle and entertain the idea that Nate could not only be a violent, loose cannon of a person who truly needs to be dealt with, but also someone with deep-seated issues dealing with his own sexuality.

What happens next in this story, really, is anyone’s guess. It’s been made clear that—like his father—Nate has a major secret he’s keeping, and will go to dire lengths to make sure it doesn’t get out. The show has already handled his character brilliantly, depicting clearly the level of scheming, extreme violence that he’s willing to go to to justify both his own moral exceptionalism, and in the guise of protecting himself or someone he cares about. As any good show should, Euphoria has set the stakes, and throughout the entire fourth episode, it all felt very real.

Jules has nowhere to turn after her confrontation with Nate, and retreats to Rue’s house, where she spends the night and the two share an intimate moment (after Jules rejected Rue in last week’s episode). Whether their intimate moment turns into something more than friendship, or just was a reactionary moment thing, they have a safety net in one another—a place to return home to when things get rough. And in both of their cases, that steady rock is important to have in place.

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