In season two, episode three of "Euphoria", it was finally revealed to Cal Jacobs (Eric Dane) that his son, Nate (Jacob Elordi), is "in love" with Jules (Hunter Schafer). Well, technically Fezco (Angus Cloud) said Nate was in love with "Jewel," but you get the point. To some "Euphoria" fans, this may have been a shock. Nate has seemingly moved on from whatever feelings he had for Jules in season one, especially considering his new fixation on Cassie (Sydney Sweeney) that's cropped up in season two. Could Fez be onto something? Could Nate actually have lingering feelings for Jules? Well, there was an essential clue in season three, episode two, indicating his new crush on Cassie may actually be misplaced feelings for Jules.
Were Nate's Fantasies About Cassie Actually About Jules?
During the monologue in which Rue (Zendaya) describes why Nate is "in love" with Cassie, a trippy compilation of Cassie and Nate having sex appears on screen. Less obvious, though, were blink-and-you'll-miss-it clips of Jules taking nude photos of herself. Jules's selfie-taking appears to be a callback to when Nate catfished Jules as nice guy "Tyler" back in season one. Jules had sent nude photos to who she thought was a potential future boyfriend.
What Do Nate's Fantasies About Jules Mean?
When Nate catfishes Jules throughout season one, it's unclear if he's being partially genuine or purely trying to get photos from Jules to blackmail her after he finds out she and his father had sex (via a videotape his father secretly took), but the flashes of Jules in his visions suggests he does have lingering feelings.
Actually, when you think about the characteristics for his "dream girl" Nate lists as he fantasizes about Cassie, Jules fits the description (and arguably better fits it, considering Nate barely knows Cassie): Jules is also "intuitive," "sensitive and emotional," and "a strong, powerful woman." Then, when Nate begins seizing in the hospital bed and thinks about his life up until that point, Jules appears several times in sexual positions, along with Maddy and Cassie.
Why Can't Nate Accept His Feelings For Jules?
So why is Nate pursuing Cassie instead of Jules? Well, we can start with his blatant transphobia. Nate threatened Jules when they first met in season one and continued to bully her through catfishing her, threatening her with violence and revenge porn, and getting physically aggressive with her. Less obvious, though, is the way Nate's sexuality and his transphobia collide: he's attracted to Jules but can't accept that he is attracted to a transgender woman. His obsession with toxic masculinity and dominating cisgender women (see: caring about virginity, being obsessed with hairless women) are threatened by her in a way that he can't accept. Perhaps it's not just Jules being transgender that scares him, it's also that she doesn't seek male validation, especially not from Nate.
Cassie, however, represents the feminine ideals he is used to - she's cisgender and submissive to him (albeit because he's manipulating her insecurities). It's possible Nate is choosing Cassie to "replace" Jules without having to break down his own ideas about sexuality and gender. Furthermore, this could explain Nate's obsession with Cassie being pregnant, as he could be subconsciously pushing himself to consider what Cassie can "offer him" that Jules cannot.
Of course, this is blatantly transphobic and just plain messed up. Whether Nate is secretly into her or not, Jules deserves someone who accepts and loves her for who she is (and, for the record, Cassie does too)!