When Ashtray beat the shit out of Cal last week on Euphoria, it turned out to be exactly what he needed. Though mostly drunk and hysterical this episode, Cal also seemed to have a breakthrough prompted by that encounter. And even though he is not a good person, it’s hard not to feel happy when someone finally accepts themselves for who they are — regardless of how chaotic it is when it happens.
Last week’s episode started with Cal’s backstory, in which we saw his relationship with his high-school best friend, Derek, turn romantic as they ventured to a gay bar and shared a kiss. All seemed to be going well until he found out his girlfriend, Nate’s mom, Marsha, was pregnant. While that obviously doesn’t excuse all his behavior — his habit of recording sex without consent — it helps explain why he’s so angry at his family all the time. Even though Nate is not Cal’s firstborn, who we can assume is the baby that kept him from being with Derek, he seems to hate Nate as if he were.
After his encounter with Fez and Ashtray, the bandaged-up Cal spent the week totally plastered. “I’m gonna go for a drive,” he tells Nate as he uncovers the car he used to drive Derek around in. “Wear a seatbelt,” Nate says. “Okay, Dad,” Cal answers, laughing. Driving recklessly to the point where I’m shocked he does not die, he arrives at the Cowboy-themed gay bar where he kissed Derek more than 20 years ago. Inside, the clearly drunk Cal makes a lot of men uncomfortable as he cries, and when a lovely mustached man asks him to dance, Cal daydreams that the man is Derek, and I start to get a little sad. He tries to wrestle with him the way he would wrestle with Derek and gets kicked out of the bar. “C’mon, I have good memories here,” he yells from the outside, until he drives away, as reckless and drunk as he was when he got there.
But the real chaos doesn’t start until he walks into the front door of his house, unzips his pants, and begins to pee all over the entryway. Hello again, Eric Dane’s prosthetic dick. When his whole family creeps out to the stairs to see what’s wrong, he finally reveals why he has been acting this way. “I think I’m lonely,” he says. “Please put your dick away,” Marsha says. He then delivers a seven-minute monologue that left me speechless, confessing to sleeping with men and living a double life, which Nate already knew. The only one that appears shocked is Nate’s brother.
“Sorry for fucking you up with my double life,” he says to Nate. “But living a double life wasn’t my biggest regret. You were.” Now that is a harsh statement that left my mouth wide open. I love Nate slander, and normally wouldn’t hesitate to agree, but this was painful. Telling his sons that they trapped him, and that his family was the problem, Cal leaves. “See you assholes later,” he says. And just like that, he’s gone. Is this good-bye or just see you later?