The web of deceit continued to expand on Euphoria Season 1 Episode 4, and the carnival setting heightened the drama.
Nate is proving himself to be quite the loose cannon, and it's becoming increasingly difficult to understand his true machinations.
Is he gay? Is he just playing a game? Is he a sociopath?
You would think that someone as messed up as him would make all of his scenes unsettling, but Jacob Elordi delivers mesmerizing performances weekly.
We already know that Nate has no qualms about using his fists to do the talking as evidenced by the brutal beatdown of Tyler on Euphoria Season 1 Episode 2, but hurting Maddy like that?
That turned things up a notch. He's possessive and thinks that his sexual conquests are his property, and that's very problematic.
Jules: No. No.
[Jules starts to walk off.]
Nate: I'm not trying to hurt you. I'm not. I'm not here to hurt you. I know that you have these ideas about me based on the first time that we met, and I understand that. But I'm not the person that you met that night.
Jules: Can you let go of me?
[Jules walks towards the water. Nate follows.]
Nate: You know, over the past few weeks, I've spent every moment of every day getting to know you. At night, I fall asleep to you, and in the morning, I wake up to you. I kind of feel closer to you than I do anyone in the world.
Jules: I don't trust you, Nate.
Nate: I don't trust you, either.
[Nate moves closer and puts his hand on Jules's face. He kisses her.]
Nate: Open your mouth. Wider.
[Nate tries to pry her mouth open.]
Jules: Nate. Nate. Stop.
Cal: God, are you broken inside? And that's precisely why I don't trust you. Because you're so broken, you don't even trust yourself and that's scary. Not just for you, but for me, and my entire family. I wouldn't answer that, you're going to want to hear this. Over the last three weeks, you've knowingly produced and distributed child pornography, including obscene images that were taken on school property. I've compiled all these photos, along with an IP address, and an account that's linked to your name. I don't know if you're familiar with child pornography laws in this state, but they apply to minors just as they apply to adults.
Jules: I sent them to you.
Nate: No, you sent them to an account of a person that doesn't fucking exist. And I mean anyone can report child pornography, right?
Jules: Then I can tell them everything.
Nate: Okay, you do that, but here's what will definitely happen. You end up on a sex offenders list. That means no more college, it's going to be very fucking difficult to find a job, and everywhere you go, for the rest of your life, you'll be harassed and spat at, and treated like a fucking animal. You deserve better than that because I know you. You're kind, you're smart, you're generous. You got a big heart and you deserve whatever the fuck it is in this world that you want. So keep your head down and keep your mouth shut. Don't try to ruin my life, and I won't have to ruin yours.
Jules: You know what I think? I think you're a fucking faggot, just like your daddy.
[Nate grabs Jules by the hair.]
Nate: You have a nice night.
It's hard to decipher whether he inherited those traits due to his father's collection of homemade pornography, but how he got the proclivity doens't matter -- something needs to be done about him.
Maddy is no saint, but she didn't deserve the way she got treated. She likes to push the boundaries, and wanted to feel sexy in her own skin.
Nate calling her a whore and saying that she was an embarrassment proved that he wanted to keep up the act that his family is wholesome and filled with values.
Of course, Maddy was curious about why the person who fought so hard to win her back was rocking around with several different images of male genitalia on his cell phone.
Although she had never been in a relationship, Jules imagined spending her whole life with her new best friend. But that was before Tyler.Rue
But Maddy was done playing games. She knew the Jacobs family hated her, and that's why she got full of drugs and thought it would be a good idea to hurl the c-word at the person who could be her future mother-in-law.
The most striking part of this is Cal. He talks a big game about how perfect his life is because he doesn't take no for an answer, and fights to achieve his goals.
In reality, he's having sex with minors in motels and recording them for his private collection.
He squirmed during a meeting with Jules because he thought she would want to tell the world about him.
Jules didn't want to play any games. But it can't be denied that she had all the power at that point. She could have leaked everything to the world if she wanted to, but she was too busy on a high because she was about to meet
Meeting with a secret admirer in the dead of night was a big no-no, but months have passed since their first interaction on Grindr.
Jules knew the man she was chatting to was a jock, but she didn't know it was the most popular jock at school.
The meeting was downright creepy, primarily because Nate seemed like he genuinely cared about her at the beginning of the chat.
He pulled her into a kiss, but Jules recognized there was more to the meetup than she expected.
Nate was the one who got drunk and ridiculed her in front of the entire school on Euphoria Season 1 Episode 1, so it's no surprise that she couldn't trust him as far as she could throw him.
Did Nate want her to reciprocate his feelings for her? It certainly seemed that way, but the way he immediately went on the offensive was concerning.
He's trapped her so that if she ever decided to tell the cops about him or his father, she'd get placed on a sex offender register.
Cal: Hey. Look, I know you have the power to ruin my life right now. I'm begging you, pleading with you, please don't. I know you already told your friend. I saw her look at me.
Jules: She won't tell anyone, I promise.
Cal: 'Cause if this ever came out, I'd lose everything. I'll do whatever you want me to do.
Jules: I have no intention of, like, hurting you or anything. I'm sorry about earlier. That was kind of dumb.
Cal: That's okay. I just wanted to...
Jules: It won't be a thing, don't worry.
Cal: Thank you, thank you so much.
The manipulation from Nate was through the roof. He knew how to trap Jules so that she would be scared into silence.
The only positive from the storyline is that it sent Jules running back to Rue. Her feelings were understandably heightened because of the complete and utter disaster of a night she had, but she knew Rue would be waiting for her.
I still don't imagine the two ever being anything more than friends. The kissing and whatever else may have happened is going to be put down to what happened before it.
A relationship is not something Rue should be in right now. She's fighting to remain clean, and the added pressure of a relationship could derail her recovery.
Then again, Rue tried to remain clean because the thought of Jules icing her out of her life was too much to handle.
Did anyone else pick up on Lexi's reaction to hearing from Gia about Rue loving Jules? It certainly made it seem like Lexi could hold a torch for her childhood best friend.
Rue is trying to be a better person right now and that's why she extended an invite to Lexi to the carnival. Before that, Rue was being awful to her and only contacting her when she needed her urine to pass a drugs test.
There was a certain look Lexi gave to both Jules and Rue after Gia said the l-word, and it's something that's probably going to be explored down the line.
If everyone manages to band together, the Jacob name could be tarnished to the point they have to flee town by the end of Euphoria Season 1.
The sooner the link gets made that Tyler is the name of the kid Nate roughed up, the sooner a plan can be made to take down the family once and for all.
It's inevitable that Maddy will come clean about Nate strangling her. There's only so long she can cover those marks up with scarfs and makeup before people start to ask questions.
One character who finally got to take center stage was Cassie. Thus far, she's been mostly secondary, but the cracks are starting to appear in her relationship with Chris.
What is wrong with the men on this show? They think all of the women are trash, and that they don't have feelings.
Cassie felt like her relationship with Chris was going from strength-to-strength, but he completely and utterly disrespected her when he told the Jacobs clan that it was nothing serious.
We know that Cassie has an infamous sex-tape past, but there's a complete and utter lack of context about what happened with that video.
It's a shame she turned to drugs and made a fool of herself on the merry go round with someone who was not Chris, but this should serve as a wake-up call that her every move is getting scrutinized.
There's a double standard when it comes to men and women. The woman is always branded the whore while the man gets away with it because it's branded as "lad behavior," or whatever. It's disgusting, and I hope the women rise to change that on Euphoria.
The only decent guy on Euphoria is Ethan. He's been nothing but nice to Kat ever since she first asked him if he was a mass shooter.
Their interactions at the carnival were cute, and there was clearly something between them, so it's a real shame Kat's insecurities got in the way.
Her immediate reaction to the hot blond girl was to assume she was hitting on Ethan and that he loved every minute of it.
But Kat is trying to be more confident, and that's what made her turn to the worker at the carnival.
The carnival was the perfect setting to bring the characters together. It allowed background characters to get more screentime and set up some intriguing (if unsettling developments) for the second half of Euphoria Season 1.
What are your thoughts on the latest developments?
Did Nate turn on Jules after he realized she didn't want anything to do with him, or did he plan on doing so all along?
What do you think Maddy will do about Nate?
Hit the comments below.
Euphoria airs Sundays on HBO.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.