The actor opens up to ET about the shocking final episode of the HBO drama's intense second season.
After an epic meltdown that ended with him walking out on his family, Cal (Eric Dane) hasn’t been seen on Euphoria since episode 4. However, that all changed during a chaotic and shocking season 2 finale, when he’s unexpectedly confronted by his son Nate (Jacob Elordi) and given one more chance to explain himself. While speaking with ET’s Denny Directo, Dane breaks down what happened to Cal, talks about working with Elordi and addresses a fan theory involving Elliot (Dominic Fike).
After storming out of Lexi’s (Maude Apatow) wildly provocative play, which included a homoerotic dance number about him and the other guys in the locker room, Nate ends up at his father’s warehouse. There he finds Cal hanging out with some friends as they drink and listen to Kylie Minogue.
“You know what I think we have in common? We both get off on hurting other people,” Nate says, before he starts berating him for ruining his life. He then reveals that at 11 years old he found his father’s collection of sex videos, which eventually include the one time he slept with Jules (Hunter Schafer).
“I f**ked up Nate, but I love you. I love you and I should have protected you. I should have kept you safe, but I didn’t,” Cal says. “And there’s nothing I regret more.”
That’s when Nate pulls out his gun and says he doesn’t want his apology, he only wants revenge. After sharing that he has a flash drive containing all of Cal’s secrets on it, it’s revealed that his son had called the police.
“You are who you are. I don’t think you’re ever gonna change,” Nate says before walking away, leaving Cal to get arrested.
When Dane previously spoke with ET, he hinted there might be closure between the father and son. “I would like to say there’s resolution between him and Nate. I think that his biggest regret is that he failed miserably with his son,” Dane shared at the time. “I do think Cal’s going to get the opportunity to become a better parent. And I think that’s what Nate wants. He wants a father.”
However, his hopes of being a better parent may have been dashed completely.
While Dane knew he was going to return for the finale, “I didn’t know I was going to get arrested,” he says, referring to the fact that where things initially left off was “a cliffhanger.”
But when it comes to the intense scene between the two characters, Dane was glad that Cal was able to “genuinely express” how he feels about his son. “There is a lot going on there and there is a ton of stuff to unpack,” the actor says. “But at the end of the day, it’s my blood. It’s my son. And I love him. I got the opportunity to acknowledge that I had failed him as a father, and that I really do love him and whatever is going on with him, we’re going to figure it out.”
As for Cal’s arrest, Dane acknowledges there was just cause for it, including the fact that Jules was underage at the time the two hooked up in season 1, even if he was surprised that Nate turned him in. “It was illegal and amoral,” he says, adding, “You never wanna have your son call the cops on you. It was kind of jarring that it came from him but maybe it’s a statement, maybe he’s just teaching Cal a lesson, maybe he doesn’t go through with it, maybe he doesn’t turn over the USB drive.”
What this means for Cal moving forward, especially since the series has been renewed for season 3, Dane is unsure. “I just let Sam do his thing and I just show up. That’s sort of the protocol there,” the actor says, referring to the series creator Sam Levinson. That said, “I’m pretty sure you’ll see more of Cal throughout next season,” Dane adds. “We gotta find out if he’s in jail… I don’t know what goes on inside the mind of Sam, but it will be interesting.”
Certainly one theory is that Cal will somehow end up in the same prison as Fez (Angus Cloud), who was presumably arrested after Ashtray’s (Javon Walton) shootout with the SWAT team.
While that remains to be seen, Dane did address another popular fan theory about Cal’s missing third son, who is seen in the family’s portrait. “In the picture, there’s a third kid,” the actor confirms, before responding to the idea that this boy may in fact be Elliot. “The age is correct… I don’t know what happened to that kid. Maybe he was a stray that we just picked up on the day. I don’t know what happened to that kid.”
What Dane does know for sure is that he had a great time working with Elordi this season. “I love acting opposite Jacob,” the actor says. “That’s my dude. He and I have a pretty good connection. He is very present.”
“You know, Jacob is a really solid actor. He is a dynamic actor as well. We have a solid connection and that [final] scene just kind of played out. It seemed effortless,” Dane continues. “It seemed pretty effortless at the time and it felt natural. Like, it was sort of the natural evolution of how this relationship between father and son would go.”
Euphoria season 2 is now streaming on HBO Max.