'Euphoria' Had Its Golden Shower Moment
Eric Dane talks about letting years of Cal Jacobs' fermenting toxic masculinity culminate in one powerful piss.
It was inevitable that Cal Jacobs (Eric Dane) would reach a breaking point on this season of Euphoria. On top of harboring a lifetime's worth of shame and anger, he found himself caught in the crosshairs of the double life that he's kept from his family. Now that he's aware that the tape of his violent encounter with the underaged Jules (Hunter Schafer) is out of his hands, and his son Nate (Jacob Elordi) disappointed him by failing to remedy the situation, Cal began to desperately wrestle control over the situation himself. All that ended up getting him, though, is beat up by teenage drug dealers and pushed to the edge.
After trying and failing (like father, like son) to salvage his reputation as a seemingly perfect suburban dad, Episode 4 revealed all there was left for Cal to do was to finally accept his identity and, apparently, pee all over the entryway of the Jacobs' house in front of his family. "I thought it was brilliant. I couldn't wait for the scene," Eric Dane recalls when he first read the script for the episode, titled "You Who Cannot See, Think of Those Who Can."
The golden Cal Jacobs moment comes after a night of excessive drinking that forces him to face his past and who he is head-on. (Episode 3, "Ruminations: Big and Little Bullys," also revealed the extent of his repression and deeply lonely life.) After drinking at home and belittling Nate, who he bizarrely calls "the big swinging dick, Mr. Big Balls," he drives under the influence to a bar where his best friend from high school Derek (Henry Eikenberry) admitted that romantic feelings between them were mutual. He's overwhelmed by his emotions, due to both the heavy drinking and the fact that he hasn't been back to the spot in 20-some years—the last time he was at that bar was the night before he learned that his then-girlfriend, now-wife, Marsha was pregnant. After dancing with a younger man, who he fantasizes is Derek, and attempting to pick a wrestling match like the two might've done in their teens, he gets kicked out, only to drive home and continue his belligerent behavior by letting it rain once he walks in the door.
"It was fun and freeing [filming the scene]," says Dane. "I tried to stay as present as I could so I could keep it as loose as it could be." And he definitely did keep it loose: Cal literally walks in circles, peeing all over the hardwood floor, and has to be told by Marsha (Paula Marshall) multiple times to put his penis away once she comes out of her room and finds him.
Being one of the only other people in the scene, Jacob Elordi says, "It was one of those times where I just stood there and this man came through the door, and from the fucking get, it was like you had to stand back and watch because he had it by the fucking balls and just moved through it."
In order to prepare for the scene, Dane says he spent all day talking to Elordi, Marshall, and Zak Steiner (who plays Aaron Jacobs), who were "super supportive." Although the scene is hysterical—especially with lines like, "I'm a man. I'm an animal. I'm a motherfucking Rottweiler," which he says after he's marked his territory—it's ultimately about a man pleading to his family to understand how alone he feels, and admitting to himself what an awful person he's become. Of course, he doesn't do so gracefully—pointing out his children's flaws, blaming them for not letting him exhibit any emotion, and just generally being nasty—but it's certainly Cal Jacobs like we've never seen him before.
After they wrapped shooting the scene, Elordi says, "I went home and I called my mom and I was like, 'I am pretty sure I just witnessed one of the great performances of our time' … I sat back and was like, 'I think today I'm incredibly lucky to have stood here and seen that happen in front of me.'" Even now, he's still not over Dane's performance. "It's something I've thought about from the whole season. There's a couple scenes I've thought about, but this one you're watching something special, and that's a real treat."
In a show like Euphoria that constantly leaves you aghast, it's definitely a standout moment, right up to when Cal calls the puddle he's left something his kids can remember him by and says, "You dickwads can draw straws and see who cleans it up," before walking out the door. After years of bottling up his feelings, an uncapped energy radiates throughout the scene—culminating into one powerful, toxic piss.