This Euphoria Season 1 Theory Is Back And Stronger Than Ever
If this is true, it's going to be messy.
There’s one big mystery that has been plaguing Euphoria fans since the show began. Very early on in the series, a quick shot of the hallway in Nate Jacobs’ home revealed a family photo. Cal and Marsha Jacobs are posing with their two sons, Aaron and Nate, but there’s a third child in the photo as well. Since then, everyone’s been trying to figure out who this mysterious third Jacobs son could be, and Season 2 has been adding fuel to the fire of one prominent theory: Ashtray is Cal’s third son. It’s a Euphoria theory that’s popped up every now and then, but it seems more likely than ever after their combative dynamic in Season 2.
Spoiler alert: This post contains spoilers through Euphoria Season 2, Episode 4. Since the family photo was only shown in a super-brief shot in Season 1, there could have been reason to believe it was just a fluke or prop accident, but Season 2 confirmed the photo’s significance in Episode 4. After Cal’s, ahem, exposing rant to his family, he stared at the portrait and took it with him as he left home, declaring himself done with his family. Since it’s the only thing he took with him despite ripping Marsha, Aaron, and Nate apart just seconds earlier, it seems like Cal will move on to searching for his long-lost son, whom has yet to be mentioned even once on the show.
The renewed significance of the photo has led to fans resurfacing their theories about the mystery child. Back in Season 1, the predominant theory was that Fez was Nate’s secret brother, but now it seems more likely that it’s actually Ashtray. Viral theories started popping up after the Season 2 premiere revealed Ash was adopted by Fez’s grandma under mysterious circumstances. Fans have since pointed out how much Ash looked like the kid in the Jacobs’ family photo.
There’s an obvious hole in this theory, though — the kid in the photo is clearly older than Ashtray was when Fez’s grandma adopted him. Still, there’s reason to believe the Euphoria team might retcon or find a way to explain this away, given all the other clues about Cal and Ashtray’s relationship.
After all, it was Ash who jumpstarted Cal’s big self-acceptance moment. The head trauma Cal sustained from Ash bashing his head in likely played a big part in Cal finally telling his family the truth about his secret double life. Speaking of which, viewers have seen Ash display surprisingly violent outbursts several times before, which mirror Cal’s own spontaneous fits of rage and Nate’s meltdowns. If the theory proves true, then it would be something of a full-circle moment when Ashtray learns the truth, since he hates Cal so much he’s been ready to murder him on multiple occasions.
Hopefully Euphoria will finally answer the big third Jacobs son mystery before Season 2 ends. New episodes air Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO and HBO Max.